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Thread summary:

Leaving Florida for Colorado, Florida housing expensive, high property taxes, traffic congested, unfriendly people in Tampa area, Colorado people more friendly

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Old 05-01-2007, 08:07 AM
20 posts, read 41,913 times
Reputation: 29


First off, I want to thank all of the wonderful members of this discussion forum, with a big 'ol hats off to 'Mike from Back East'. You all have provided some great dialogue, advice and suggestions and really helped us to make the very best decision of our lives.

We moved from Co Springs to the Tampa, FL area back in 2000 due to a terminal family illness. It was with great anxiety that we relocated to Florida after having lived in CO for 5 years (1995-2000). We knew that FL would provide great housing values, lots of recreation and some new opportunities. Since we have been here, we have found just the opposite......

First off, housing is no longer cheap (or even reasonable). The cost of homes down here has quickly declined over the past 2 years. When I look out on our street (in a very nice neighborhood), I see 4 homes for sale on our block alone. Last summer, there were 12 for sale in our 75 home subdivision. Luckily, we were aggressive in listing our house for a fair price (2-3% below market value) and sold it in a month. Others are pricing their homes off the board and they will never sell.

Secondly, the property taxes on our home have gone from $4,700 in 2005 to $9,200 in 2006 and are projected to go over $10k this year. This is on a $550k home and 1/2 acre. Our property insurance is going up 72% from last year along and we are over $6k a year in property insurance even though we do not even live in a flood zone.

As for the recreation, there are some things to do down here. We do have some pretty good sports teams (Lightning, college sports, etc), and we do have the beaches and boating. Besides that, there is little to do. Being from Baltimore originally, I thought that kids would be outside all summer long playing....not! There are no kids to be found due to the 95+ degree days here. The parents either put them in summer camp or they never come out of their homes. It is like a ghost town and my kids can't wait for school to start again just to have some things to do.

Finally, the people. I personally believe this to be the worst aspect of the Tampa area (or maybe it is a Florida thing or even a 2007 thing). People are generally not very friendly or accommodating. Most have established 'clicks' which are hard to join. As parents, we have found this as have our kids. In fact, any folks that have moved into our neighborhood over the past 3 years have moved out within that time. All of the originals (neighborhood is 7 years old) are all still here. I have coined Florida as the new 'Show Me' State. Why? Because most folks down here are worried about their tans, their 'surgically-enhanced' bodies, their Mercedes and Hummers and how much money they have. They care little about others. Again, I know this will cause some outrage in others as it is just an observation.

PS - Traffic on the West Coast of Florida is horrendous as well. There are constant traffic jams and accidents.

Due to all of this, and the unhappiness in Florida, we have decided to move back to CO. We sold our home down here in record time and purchased a beautiful home in Monument, CO. While we were househunting in March, my wife decided that she wanted to meet the neighbors for a home that we were going to be putting a contract on. She (and our 3 small kids) walked up to each of the neighbors homes and introduced themselves. She came back giggly due to the happiness that I could see in her eyes! Everyone on the cul-de-sac was very welcoming and pleasant. They told us that they would love to have us over when we move in and my kids made instant buddies. The fact that these folks came to their doors in their robes, with their hair messed up and welcomed us with open arms is EXACTLY THE REASON WHY WE ARE COMING BACK TO THE BEAUTIFUL STATE OF COLORADO! It is not how these people look or the car they drive, but what they have in their hearts. They wake up every day and look at the natural beauty around them and start the day with a smile.

I know this was a very long post, but I simply wanted to share with everyone how very happy we are to be moving out of Florida and back to Colorado! Thanks for all of the previous advice and suggestions. Mike, thanks for the suggestion on American Furniture Warehouse (we donated a lot of our furniture here in order to not have to pay to move it). I hope we can hook up sometime and talk about B'more! We hitch up the wagons and head west on May 17. We can't wait and feel so thankful for the great country in which we live!

Rick 'from down south'
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:08 AM
20,315 posts, read 37,820,570 times
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Rick, you really made my day....

By comparison to Florida, the El Paso county property tax on our $550k home in Colorado Springs, near Pine Creek HS, is $3.2k/year. Our homeowners insurance is $1.5k/year. That's $11k less than you're paying in FL, which works out to $1,000.00 per month LESS on a mortgage payment for the same amount of principal. Amazing numbers. Location Location Location.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 01-09-2012 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:57 AM
20 posts, read 41,913 times
Reputation: 29
Mike (et al) -

You are 100% correct. Since we are self-employed, we just assured ourselves of a $14k per year raise simply by moving to paradise! That even factors in paying the CO income tax!

Just to give everyone a summary, here is our location for location comparison (Palm Harbor, FL vs Monument, CO) -

In FL, we:
1. own a $575k home (3400 sq ft) that we purchased in 2005 for $550k (so after netting out real estate commissions and moving costs we lost about $25k on the house);

2. pay $6k per year in property insurance just for the privilege of NOT living in a flood zone; this was an increase of 72% since last years bill.

3. pay $10k per year in property taxes. This was a 120% increase over the last 2 years.

4. pay almost $500 per month during the Spring and Summer months for electricity and $200 per month in the shoulder months and winter. St Pete Times article recently said our utility rates (which USED TO BE among the lowest in the nation) are going to skyrocket next year as they start to build new plants including a nuke.

5. pay a a few thousand $$ per year for bug control, termite protection, lawn disease chemicals and pool chemicals.

6. pay almost $1600 per year in car insurance even though we drive older cars and have not had a ticket in 20 years!

In CO, we:
1. paid $499k for a dream home in Monument that is nearly 4,000 sq ft and has a great view of the mountains;

2. pay $600 a year in property insurance;

3. pay $2400 per year in property taxes;

4. most certainly pay lower utility bills than in FL;

5. no bugs, no termites, no lawn chemicals!

6. pay $1000 per year for car insurance.

Add all of that up and you have a $14k per year raise simply by moving to Colorado. Oh and by the way....I also get to introduce my kids to AFA football games, Sky Sox baseball and some of the some of the friendliest and kindest people we have ever met in our lives. In addition, how about all of the outdoor adventures, National Parks, clean air and great cooking!


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Old 05-01-2007, 10:53 AM
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,140,086 times
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Welcome to Monument. We have been here 3 years and love it.
Finally, the people. I personally believe this to be the worst aspect of the Tampa area (or maybe it is a Florida thing or even a 2007 thing). People are generally not very friendly or accommodating.
I've only been to Florida once, but this was the main observation I took from my visit. Maybe it's a 'deep south' thing or maybe the extreme humidity dulls people down.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:36 AM
3 posts, read 18,894 times
Reputation: 13
Default Would like to mov to Colorado

My husband and I have property in Southern Colorado and I have been reading the blogs about Colorado and everyone seems happy there. We live in Tampa, Fl and I have lived here for most of my life and feel I need a change. Just wanted to see a bit more climate change.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:02 PM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,195,278 times
Reputation: 865
Yup, hence why we are dying to get back too. However, I worry about doing too much bragging about CO- don't want everyone moving there.
Welcome to Monument- a fantastic place to live!
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:25 PM
727 posts, read 1,135,855 times
Reputation: 766
All you guys braggin' has caused at least one more household to come to CS. Packers come Monday, moving van Tuesday, close on sale of house in VA, Thursday, drive out over the weekend, close on CS house on Tuesday. Can't wait to start posting on our first impressions. Finally joining all you expat Virginians. Now, back to packing...
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:50 PM
Location: Southeast US (for now)
21 posts, read 49,752 times
Reputation: 13
I am dying to return, too. Maybe next year...
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:41 AM
1 posts, read 3,969 times
Reputation: 10
Default Another Tampa Bay Mover

I've been living in Manatee/Sarasota County for the past 25 years and I can't handle it anymore. My Fiance was stationed in COS years ago and he fell in love with the area, this past Sept. my daughter and I took a short vacation there and I can't wait to get things settled on this end to make COS our new home..

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:55 PM
Location: Panama City, Florida
1 posts, read 3,411 times
Reputation: 10
I know this post is some years old, But i could use some advice... I'm in my early 20's and I was planning on moving to Denver for a better live... I currently live in Florida, And i'm wondering if moving is a really good idea or not?
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