Hey Foo, our family is doing a 15 month change-of-station from New Mexico to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Our priorities for moving are: good school district (elementary), close to work, pool and easy ocean access. We are treating this like an extended vacation and are going to try to make the most of this tropical move.
Given that, and assume a family of 4, which of these three rentals would you choose and why?
Option 1: Detached house, 1400 ft2, 3br, 2ba, 1 car garage. Backs up to banana river (canal). <1 mile to work. half mile to ocean. Pool. A little dated, but nothing needs repair. No screened porch. Quiet street. Lawn and pool maintenance included: $1500/month
Option 2: Detached house, 1450 ft2, 3br, 2ba, 1 car garage. Community boat dock (canal), community pool. <1 mile to work. Half mile to ocean. Updated kitchen, maple cabinets, granite counter top. Not right on any water and across from a busy road. Screened porch. Lawn maint. included: $1300/month
Option 3: Beachfront condo, 3rd floor, 1650 ft2, 2br, 2ba, 1 car carport. Community pool. ~ 1.0 miles to work. 50 feet to ocean. 45 foot wrap-around deck. Not fancy inside (no granite, etc). Two big living spaces, so one could have a pull-out sofa, treating like 3rd bedroom, which the kids are actually excited about. They're not quite into the "my room is my existence" phase yet. $1450/month.
With the above in mind, let me know what you would go with. I am very torn between saving money, being right on a canal (can canoe out in minutes), or being right on ocean. Thanks!