Each day we talk to customers that want to move to SW Florida to enjoy our year round sunshine and all we have to offer, like boating, fishing, shelling, golf, tennis, and more. Often times customers find themselves buying expensive real estate on a golf course or waterfront homes with a dock in the backyard.
Living the SW Florida Dream Affordably
Some potential buyers dream about buying in SW Florida but are just shy of having enough money to buy that expensive golf course home or waterfront property without exhausting too many reserves to pull it off, so they do nothing and give up.
If buyers knew of cost saving alternatives to enjoy the SW Florida lifestyle we believe many would act, so we looked into affordable boating and found some answers.
You’ll see many ads for boat clubs on TV and in the newspaper and there are all kinds from local clubs to national companies. We decided to focus on national companies because we’ve seen some local companies close shop leaving their customers out in the wind. National companies may be more secure and offer ways to enjoy boating while traveling as well.
We focused on the two best known national companies to us, Freedom Boat Club and Carefree. Both have local and national locations and costs vary by location. Each club works similarly in many aspects in that there is a buy-in and a monthly cost. Freedom Boat Club has some seasonal options in addition to the yearly plans, so you can save money if you only want to use a boat during certain months.
Carefree Boat Club has the lowest buy-in at $3,500 with a 5 year rate lock and $4,500 with a 3 year rate lock. Freedom Boat Club has lower monthly fees and a $5,500 buy-in and the rate is locked in for life.
Carefree Boat club advertises that members save 40-60% compared to owning their own boat. Freedom Boat Club provided a chart that compares the cost buying a new boat and maintaining for 3 years versus being a boat club member and saving for 3 years. There is no doubt joining a boat club is more cost effective.
You do give up the convenience of having your boat in your back yard and using it anytime you want, but both boat clubs agree that availability is plentiful because they keep their membership numbers at certain ratios. As they increase members they add more boats to the fleet.
Gone are the days of paying for insurance, towing services, costly maintenance, boat payments, storage if you dry dock it or rent a slip, tax, title, and licensing, and all the headaches of owning a boat. Don’t forget to mention the cost of selling and buying newer boats as time goes on.
For a one-time investment and low monthly fees you can have it all, and save on real estate too. The hard core boater or fisherman will probably not be attracted to such an idea, but the casual boater who would like to enjoy the water without all the cost and headache of boat ownership will be attracted.
Snowbirds from up north who are casual boaters will be too as they won’t have to tie up hundred’s of thousand’s of dollars in expensive waterfront property just to house that boat that will also cost them.
There is a saying that goes, “The two best days in a man’s life is the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.” Not sure why it wouldn’t apply to women too.
By joining a boat club you take away that last day where you’re relieved to sell the boat because it cost you bunches to keep it. Now you have an affordable alternative.
Whether you need to look for an expensive waterfront home or condo, or a more laid back parcel you can retire in, Always Call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group 239-489-4042
Good luck, and Happy Boating, no matter how you get out there!
If you’re considering buying or selling in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Ft Myers Beach or anywhere in Lee County Florida, give us a call. 239-489-4042 or visit our website www.Topagent.com