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Wednesday, April 18

Moving to Florida

I've seesawed around this many times over the last couple of years, but I'm closer than ever to doing it this time.  Chances are I will be moving to Pinellas County, Florida later this year.  Home to Clearwater, St. Petersburg and across the bridge from Tampa Bay, opportunity is calling.

Earlier this year my old boss from the software company sent me a little nudge about investing in real estate through a Self-Directed IRA.  I had heard about this type of investment before but was told there are so many hoops to jump through and fees to pay that it isn't such a great idea.

I will revisit exactly what a Self-Directed IRA is in a future post.  For now, let me just say I have decided to diversify my real estate portfolio and Pinellas County looks like a good area to plant my flag (though neighboring Hillsborough County might be in the cards, too).  There's still work to be done.  The investments I make with my IRA can only be used as rental properties - I can't use it to buy a personal residence.  I will probably purchase a rental property and then move down there, staying in a rent-by-the-week type of place temporarily.  Once the rental has been rehabbed and occupied I plan to find a second home to purchase as my primary residence.

This will sort of be like starting over.  What I mean is, in 2003 I bought my first house, then moved in 2006 and rented that one.  Then in 2008 I moved again and rented the home I was in.  This will probably be my strategy there.  The difference this time is that I have my Alabama base of rental properties to sustain me and throw off cash to use for future purchases.

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