Are We Living on Another Planet?
Vacationing in Florida with an RV is problematic. People love doing it and have been camping for over one hundred years. In the 1920’s Titusville, and other cities along the Indian River/Lagoon or Intra-costal water way, created camping spots where people could stay for free. They even added amenities like showers, and running water, and food. Their goal was to attract people to their city. Well, it worked, and people have claimed RV spaces of their own for decades or longer.
Finding Our Paradise
Many of the RV resorts/campgrounds in Florida today have broken down small trailers smashed together. In the old days, people did not sport 40 foot Class A Motorhomes. We thought for sure that we had found a place to stay for the winter in Cocoa Beach, just a minute from the water, but it too was a mess. We scoured the East Coast and Central Florida in 2018 and found nothing that would work for us. (We looked at over 20 campgrounds/resorts.) We were not about to pay $125 a night for a high-end RV resort that offered only a concrete pad.
The other problem with renting is that it is almost impossible to rent several weeks in a row. One RV resort will give you three days. A state park might give you two weeks (if you win the online lotto). And then another RV resort will give you two days. So, this means that you are constantly moving. You are really in a competition with others to land a space, and often you lose because they only offer spots at a certain time online. And they call their friends first. We ran into a couple who tried to find a place for a month near the water. They gave up and went north to St. Augustine.
Real Estate Mania
In 2018 we found TGO but no one would show us around the facility. Real Estate people were too busy and they did not allow “foreigners” to just tool around. (The community is gated.) So, in 2019 we decided to stop and look at properties on our way to Sebastian Inlet which is about 90 miles south of TGO. We emailed the Real Estate people twice. Called several times and no one returned our calls or emails. How were we to see properties if TGO Real Estate people would not show us any? Finally, we called a Real Estate agent outside TGO and made an appointment. She showed us only properties that were listed by MLS agents. TGO is not MLS, and, while she could show TGO listed properties, she would only make $400. Essentially, TGO agents run a cartel. What? Eventually we did buy a property and that story is another blog in itself (more cartels here).
Which Property to Purchase?
Our goal was to find a place to rent. This did not happen. TGO charges $70 a night for a down and dirty driveway. YUK! We stayed on two of them while we were looking for property. When we first toured TGO, we were shocked by the architecture. We just wanted a place to park for the winter, a driveway. But, as we investigated TGO, we decided that we needed more room that our 400 square foot RV, so we purchased what they call an Executive Suite or a hut or… It gives us about another 1200 square feet of living space. But a bedroom is not included. What?
First Glance, it was Ugly
The more we circled TGO, the more we were in awe of the architecture. It was so ugly to us. (Recently I took a real estate friend around at TGO and she was shocked also.) Often all you could see of a home were the openings for the RV and cars/toys. Where did people live? We have explored some of these homes and they are very dark inside and most of them have only two bedrooms. Some of the other homes are trailers with huge ports in front. Others are two bedroom bungalows. All of this was very odd to us. And prices ranged from $69,000 to millions. So this blog is really designed to give you a small peak at how people live at TGO.
Just as an aside, we also flew to Texas with hopes of finding a place to spend the winter. We found the same problem of small trailers/RV’s squished together. Some of the “resorts” had casitas (one room buildings) but the prices were outrageous! We left after only a couple of days of searching. Texas was not for us!
Walking the Walk. The Hurricane Home!
Most days I walk about five miles and choose to circle areas where there are larger homes. On a few occasions I brought my phone and cataloged the building process of new hurricane resistant homes. Most of the homes took about six months to build. The walls are of concrete with hurricane resistant windows and hurricane window covers of all kinds. The roofs were made of pine, which did not make sense to me. The walls might hold during a hurricane but certainly the roof would fly away. I did not see anchors on a roof. So the following photos sort of follow the process of building one of these homes. The prices on these homes range from around $600K to a million and over.
So here goes with the photos:
We have read several stories about how animal shelters are empty. People decided that a pet might help them through the lock down. Our white girls, Hillary and Twinkers, are our best buddies. They are always there for us. They eat with us. Walk with us. Play with us. Smile at us. And, they keep us company when the rest of the world cannot enter our home or RV. We are so lucky to have these creatures in our life.
Please be safe. Politicians don’t always have our best interests in their primary career goals. Keep distancing for at least a year–maybe two!
As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge