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Alice Rodhas, Real Estate Pro in NJ,

is it expensive to live in lithia? at fishhawk ranch?

Asked by Alice Rodhas, NJ, Mon Jul 9, 2007

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I live in FishHawk Ranch and it does have a CDD (Community Developement District Fee) but it has a very small HOA (homeowners association) The CDD is currently 900-1200 per year, but then the HOA is only 150-250 per year. Expensive is a relative term... when we first moved to Florida in 2005 we eliminated FishHawk because of the CDD. Our agent and family in general warned us: "Stay away from communities with CDD's." So we did. Over the past two years we have spent many Friday evenings at the free concerts. My husband loves to jog and adores the over 26 miles of trails. We finally just bit the bullet and purchased a home in FishHawk... and WE LOVE IT! This past weekend we went to the saline pool both on Saturday and Sunday... As the billboards say "Ignore your inner couch potato" This was a great choice for us as baby boomers. The youngest of our 6 children now 20 is the only one that joined us in Florida. The others love to visit here with our grandchildren... I don't think they would be as excited about a visit to sun city (nor would they be welcome there) It may cost more to live in FishHawk, but it is worth it. -
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2007
If you don't have to commute to work, FishHawk may be a good choice and not a bad of value for the CDD+HOA fees paid. Just be sure to be well informed of the taxes and HOA fees you'll pay before writing an offer on any property. Also in this foreclosure market you have to be careful of HOAs that have non-paying homeowners since you will foot the bill for their fees (i.e. cable tv contracts, etc.). Some HOA boards are being advised to foreclose and take ownership of properties that have no equity. As a homeowner you will be financially liable for foolish board decisions. Larger HOAs like FishHawk are better managed but the smaller HOA Boards are more likely to fall prey to unscrupulous property managers and HOA attorneys who may only be looking out for their best interests! See for some of the horror stories about HOA mismanagement. You can find the CDD fees at the County Tax Collector's website under the Non-Advalorem taxes. ... and one other important detail, the amount of property tax the current owner is paying has no bearing on the amount you will pay since we have a "save our homes" deduction that is lost when a home is sold. Your Realtor can approximate what your property taxes will be. Good luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 7, 2008
Hi Alice,
I know your post is old, but thought I'd pop in with a quick reply. I also live in Lithia, but not in Fishhawk. There are some lovely areas in which you can find resales or new construction and not have the HOA and CDD fees. Of course you then don't have the services that these communities provide, but in most cases they are within a short drive. I'd be happy to provide you with further information if you are still looking!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 6, 2008
Let me explain what a CDD (Community Development District fee) is. When certain communities are developed a builder may or may not decide to put certian ammenities in place to be used by the future community owners. This would include feature like a community club house, swimming pool, recreational areas, playgrounds, etc...
The builder takes out a bond to pay for these ammenities, and in turn the owners pay back the bonds in the form of a monthly CDD fee. The CDD fee differs from what is called an HOA, or Home Owners Association fees. The HOA typically includes maintanence to the common areas shared by the community and may or may not include other services.
It is therefore important to decide if the use of these CDD facilities warrants an expense from you. If you find a home with a pool, are you really going to use the community pool? It really becomes a matter of preference to you.
There are other master planned communities that offer similar ammenities. Pasco County, for example where your tax rate is much lower than Hillsborough and could offset the extra expense of the CDD
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
Alice, the answer to your question really depends on how much you qualify for and what you consider expensive! A quick, general MLS search for Fishhawk Ranch and no other specific criteria shows 290 properties currently listed. They range from Single family homes to Townhomes and Condo's. Price range's from a low of $142,500 to $1,725,000. So nearly anything you might imagine for your next home is probably available at this very moment. There are other communities in the area that offer similar homes. Total costs to consider would be purchase price, annual insurance and tax's, HOA fee's (monthly/annually) and if the community has a CDD.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2007
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