Some people will ultimately decide that life in a Florida retirement community is not for them.
While I am a big fan of many communities, I have one big problem. I love the ocean, and get the shakes if I go too long without smelling salty air.
In 2012 we moved into a Florida oceanfront condo and I’m not gonna lie, we love it, and it would be very hard to get us to leave.
But, there are several things about life in an oceanfront condo that I could do without.
I know for certain that for some people, these annoyances would be enough to get them to leave.
Years ago when I sold homes in a Florida active adult community, I saw people that lived in condos come in every month and buy houses after realizing they could not hack condo living for one reason or another.
In no particular order, here’s what they don’t tell you in the ads and MLS listings for oceanfront condos.
1. You WILL hear the people above you
Admittedly, I was naive and didn’t think this would be a huge issue.
The condo we live in was built in 2003 so I thought condo construction practices had evolved to the point of eliminating this pesky problem, but apparently not.
Everyone gets along here at the condo, but I think everyone has moments where they wish the people above them would just stop moving around.
Our biggest problem is that we tend to be late risers. Meanwhile the lady that lives above us is an early riser, and goes out onto her patio to watch the sunrise every single morning.
Because of where our bedroom is in relation to the patio, which is the same as her bedroom and patio we hear her get out of bed, use the bathroom, flush the toilet, open the sliding glass door, and adjust her chair to just the right sunrise viewing position.
Then 20 minutes later, we pretty much hear the same, just in reverse.
If you’re thinking about moving into a condo, and its not the penthouse, plan on having to deal with this issue!
2. You can’t pick your neighbors
And I don’t mean your neighbors in the condo. We actually don’t ever hear the people that live beside us, and they claim to not be able to hear us, which I have my doubts about…I can get pretty animated sometimes 🙂
What I mean here is that in a normal community, you can pretty much count on another house being right next to you. Heck, it might even look exactly like yours.
Here at our condo, just to the south of us we have a vacant lot and then an old hotel. The old hotel is currently shut down and undergoing renovations. I believe it is supposed to be a Hyatt Place when they are through, so that’s not too bad.
But my biggest worry is what will become of the vacant lot. Now, I know the city, county, and local planning department will have a say in what can and will ever go there, but who knows? Dumb projects get approved all the time.
Nothing you can do about this though, and again, for us, it’s not enough of a worry to make us want to leave. I think the condo market in this part of the state being what it is, it will be a while before anything is built there. (You should see how hard I’m knocking on this table right now!)
3. You can’t control the weather
In the last community and house we lived in, we didn’t worry too much about hurricane season. As long as there wasn’t a category 4 or 5 bearing down on us the routine was buy water, buy batteries, and let the hurricane party begin. We were several miles inland.
In the 7 months that we’ve been here at the condo, we have not had any major hurricanes, but we had one on the verge of a category 1 go through, a few pass by 100+ miles offshore, and another that never got a name but probably should have.
Now, this place feels like its built like a fortress. It probably is. I have little concern for it blowing over or the roof blowing off. But what puts you on edge during big storms is the sound.
The wind finds any and every way it can to enter the building…hallways, vents, underneath doors…and when it does, it sounds like a constant train whistle blowing. It’s not so bad during the day, its kind of fun to watch the palm trees blowing in the wind and the sound is a suspenseful soundtrack to this activity. But at night man, its tough to get to sleep with that sound.
We have hurricane shutters on all the windows and sliders, and you’d think that would help. While it does help us feel safer, it does not cut down on the sound at all.
Another downside as it pertains to weather is if a higher category storm ever makes its way to us, and it will, if there is enough time the county typically evacuates the peninsula.
So this means we’d have to batten down the hatches, pack some stuff and head on out. An inconvenience for sure, but of course it’s all in the name of safety.
UPDATE: In 2017, we rode out Hurricane Irma at our condo. You can read about those shenanigans here.
4. You’ll never have clean windows again
If your wife or significant other is a stickler for clean windows, good luck. With all the wind and sea spray from the ocean, your windows and sliders will get dirty in a hurry.
There might be a height limit on this…I’m not sure. We are on the 5th floor southeast corner of a 12-story building, and I know almost everyone facing the same direction as us has the same issue.
My wife doesn’t make me dangle my head out there and clean the windows, thank God. We have a service that comes out once a month, dangles down the side of the building and gets the job done.
The windows look great right after they finish, but it doesn’t take long for them to get dirty again.
So those are just a few of the things that we’ve found to be annoyances here at the condo in our first 7 months.
Of course it’s not all bad! In another article I cover the things I LOVE about Florida condo living.
Like I said before, there’s nothing on this list that would cause us to want to leave, but they might be deal breakers for some of you!
Over to you...
Do you think you could ever live in an oceanfront condo?
Why or why not?
Let us know in the comments below!