Buying a condo near Wellington -advice wanted

Apologies if this is a repeat post - it seems the last time something similar was asked was a few years ago.

Husband and I are looking into buying a condo in FL to be “snowbirds”. We both work from home. He wants to be near the inter coastal and I want to be near “horse country”. Im a dressage rider and will bring my horse and show occasionally - don’t need to be 5 minutes from WEF but don’t want to be more than two hours or so from the action and need access to boarding barns within 45 minutes of where ever we live. We have interest in renting rooms to other equestrians during the winter season.

Given all this, I’m Looking for advice on where to buy a condo to make all of this a reality. Is anywhere in palm beach reasonable? Any towns outside of the city?

I’d hate to buy the condo and then wish there was something I knew ahead of time. Thanks in advance.

I’m up just north of Orlando, so dont have really good data, but: you might want to look into the Jupiter area; its less than an hour to Wellington depending where you are off the highway and there are farms west of I95 and condo’s east of I 95. I would suspect that renting rooms in that area may be less easy but honestly dont know. Also Palm City which is a bit further north. I dont know how easy it is to find stalls seasonally unless you are connected to a trainer but it will be harder and more costly in the heart of Wellington. Many seem to offer dry stalls only. My first two winters my northern trainer was down here and she arranged for space for my horse.
I would say that you might want to start with the reality of where to keep the horse. Talk to everyone you know who comes south; call some farms in the areas mentioned above. Make a road trip to check out the various areas to get a feel for what you can get. And really I would strongly suggest doing a seasonal rental somewhere BEFORE you buy. Wellington/Palm Beach is very congested and IMO unpleasant.
We are fortunate in my area to have many show options that are low key, and now the WEC facility in Ocala. I do know a couple of trainers on the eastern side - Deland, and more towards the beaches of Daytona, New Smyrna etc.


Look at HOA fees, and what those fees pay for. I don’t take the realtor’s word for what HOA fees cover, and access to amenities. (When the house next door was for sale, the realtor was telling all kinds of lies about what was included in the minimal HOA fees, and it was all a bunch of garbage.) If the complex is gated, see how many gate clickers you can have, or if you have to purchase extras. Find out if you can rent rooms, and if there is enough parking, or limitations on the type of vehicles you can park there. Make sure a renter can use the amenities at the complex.

You might do better with a single family home, or a duplex. However, some places have stand alone villas, still covered by the HOA. My street is made up of single family homes, a few duplexes, and a few of the oldest are actually connected townhouses. The townhouses only have backyard access through the house, unless they’re an end unit. Lawn mowing isn’t included, so whoever lives in the townhouses, has to do their own backyard, by going through the back door.

If you look at complexes with HOAs, look online for HOA newsletters. If they’re available, you can see what issues come up over and over. Also, find out if there are limits to the number of units that can be sold to investors, as opposed to owner/residents. I always think about resale, even if I intend to stay in a house forever.

A friend bought a condo near where her daughter went to college. After the daughter graduated and move away, they found out that many of the units in the big complex were rentals, and so the remaining units could only be sold to owner/residents, severely limiting their buying pool. Look at how much the condo fee has gone up over the last few years. See if parking is assigned, and how many spaces. Look at the reserve fund for the condo complex too.


You can do very well buying a unit in the Fountains right now, especially if you are 55+ and can buy on one of the age restricted courts.

Nice size units, low HOA (each court is run as its own HOA with its own rules, so you can choose; some have more favorable rental restrictions than others) good location right at Jog & Lantana I think with a Lake Worth address…it’s about 10 mins to Wellington but with lower taxes. Very close to Publix, Target, Home Depot, etc and easy to get to 95 and TPike (sits almost equidistant between them)

A renovated unit should be around $200k (too bad you weren’t looking a year ago, they were $110k…)

example unit, 3br, $175k needs some renovation.

I nearly bought one then found a single family in a nearby development and bought that instead. Still, I think there’s value to be had there.

I keep my horses in Delray Beach off 441 in season, it’s about a 20 min drive down Lyons rd to get there. Everything is very accessible from this location.

If you want to rent to horse people, focus on Wellington, Loxahatchee, Lake Worth, West Palm area. There is also an area of dressage people up in Palm City that might be worth a look.

I missed the part about wanting to rent rooms - you will definitely need to be in Wellington/Lake Worth/Royal Palm Beach if you want to rent to people in season.

I think it’s difficult to understand how spread out the area actually is, but for example, from Lantana & 441, which is the closest entrance to 441, to Southern & 441, it is about a 20 minute ride on a straight, three lane highway.

From Fountains to WEF is probably 20 mins by itself. From GDF to White Fences is 1/2 hour. Loxahatchee is pretty far out there even though it might not really look it on the map.

Thanks! We will be sure to check the HOA and all that and we did a seasonal rental in boynton beach which is why I thought to ask this question here to strategize… it is very congested and I know 10 miles doesn’t look like much on a map but driving in heavy traffic can be tough.

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I think we’d like to have an HOA for the amenities and the peace of mind. We will only live in the condo a few months out of the year.

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Thanks so much for your recommendation above! It’s exactly the info I’m looking for. Renting a room would be a nice perk but not a deal breaker.

Is living in palm beach near the inter coastal too far of a commute to get to the more inland, horsey areas? Could I live there and reasonably get to my horse within 45-55 minutes during rush hour?

You could probably also consider Boynton Beach. Anything between 95 and 441 is going to be a lot more affordable than anything on the Atlantic side of 95 to the intercoastal, like add a zero to the price different. Once you get to Delray Beach you are getting pretty far south - similarly anything too far north of Southern Blvd - for example Palm Beach Gardens - is wayyyyy further north than you’ll realize.

The first few years I owned a nice condo in Lake Worth proper, just a few blocks from downtown - nice walkability but the parking situation sucked. I traded up to Lake Worth off Lantana and am super happy with the proximity, ease of getting to things, plus the neighborhood is nice.

Be cautious of attractive prices for units in Palm Beach Polo - condo fees are very, very high and there is ongoing litigation between the town and the various condo entities in Palm Beach Polo, which you are paying for in your condo fees - and in Wycliffe, where properties are attractively priced but you must contribute a $50,000 equity buy in and own a golf membership.

I looked at some nice units in St. Andrews (behind Palm Beach Polo) but ultimately decided money went a lot further in Lake Worth and am very happy there.

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Short answer: maybe.

If you wanted to go up towards Palm City (Jensen Beach, north side of Jupiter, Port St. Lucie), there is boarding in Palm City. Jupiter to Wellington via Southern Blvd is probably a minimum 30 minutes, zero traffic. At rush hour, there is TRAFFIC. Palm Beach Gardens/PGA Blvd area, it could take you an hour.

The good news is that the whole area is set up in a grid so if you know how to get around, you can avoid 95. The bad news is, so does everybody else, so living strategically is key.

From my front door to the intercoastal for dining/boating/etc is about 25 minutes.

You can feel free to message me if you’d like, I’ve looked at a lot of properties in this area while trying to find my eventual home.

We just bought a house in Royal Palm Beach. It’s in a non-gated small community with lots of families and normal (non-horse) people. The neighbors are great and I’m 10 minutes from my horses and about 20 minutes to Global. Low HOA fee but we didn’t bother looking at anything with high fees. Our realtor suggested that anything that doesn’t have a Wellington address was a little less expensive.

We did look at a house in West Palm Beach - I loved it; 1930s old Florida style. My husband had nightmares about upkeep though. It was a mile off the inter-coastal and the price wasn’t bad. It took about 25 minutes to get to Wellington from there.


Yes. I have lived in Loxahatchee for 40yrs so know the area quite well.

Reading with great interest :thinking:
Midwest Winter gets a little harder every year & I get older :persevere:
I’d love to snowbird, but I bring 3 horses with me.
I have zero need for a fancy barn, just someplace I can ride or (dare I think it?) hack out on trails < to ride or drive my mini.
Afraid to ask, but what are my board options?
Dry stalls would not be a problem since mine are at home now.

I’d pick someplace else. With land in the Wellington area at a premium, board in season is very expensive (including dry stalls). If you don’t need to be here for the competition - I’d go elsewhere. Maybe somewhere like Black Prong near the Goethe forest which is equipped for driving and likely significantly less expensive. Maybe someplace like Black Prong.

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I’ve heard of Black Prong for CDEs.
Sounds like it may be too $$ for me, but I can research other places in Bronson.
A dear friend is in Ft Lauderdale & being 4h from him would be an added enticement :grin:
Off to Google Bronson…

You might consider something around Ocala (Black Prong is west of Ocala.) THings are really heating up here in the Ocala area with the new World Equestrian Center, new Eventing facilities (majestic Oaks, etc); WEC just bought the old Ocala Jockey CLub north of town to develop an eventing center (it already is one…)… Driving is in full swing right now.
Prices are less than Wellington but still on the way up, especially if you are within a half hour of WEC.

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