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Old 09-18-2010, 08:10 PM
 
5,507 posts, read 9,259,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet S. View Post
I have lived in Gainesville for the last 10 years. I also own a business and have two young children. Gainesville is not cheap! Cost of living is not any cheaper than in other areas of the state other than maybe car insurance. The area was not overbuilt other than maybe condos and student housing. Real estate prices are still way too high compared to wages Home rents and appartments are high. Go Wikipedia Gainesville's median wage info and its poverty level. Property taxes are sky high and every year they find a way to raise tham some more by adding something new. Local laws are very unfavorable to small business. Decent employment is limited to UF/Santa Fe College , State of FL, Nationwide Insurance, Hospitals (there are several large ones) There are no manufacturing jobs to speak of. Housing slump has killed most construction work Be sure you have good emplyment in place before you come here and expect far lower wages than other areas in the state sometimes drastically so. If you are a business person and considering opening a business do a lot of research first A low media income means you will be selling to/providing services to customers who dont have the money to spend. Also because of the insanely high property taxes the rents on retail storefronts are nuts. I coulod easily rent same size space in Tampa/Orlando/Jax all areas with 10X the population and higher income for less money than in gainesville

Ok on the positive side. There are a ton of young families in the area. Nice college scene with sports and some weekend activities. Area is eco friendly and green. Crime seems to be held in check for the most part and is most visible in the east side and along Tower Road where there is a lot of section 8 housing. Very good hospitals. Schools are a mixed bag as they are struggling with funding right now. Most of the schools on the west side are decent if not good On the east side a lot of problems due to poverty and poor funding due to FCATS and skewed statistics.

IMPORTANT!! If you suffer from allergies do not move here! My family didnt have any allergy problems before moving here and my wife and I suffer almost year around with symptoms.
I think the ave income is very skewed. You have a lot of very low income on the east side and a some very high income on the west side. I do agree property taxes are very high but that is because there are a lot of higher paying UF/hospital jobs.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:16 AM
 
21,130 posts, read 30,232,986 times
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The OP has apparently researched and given the cost differential between the Northeast US and Gainesville, finding it to be an attractive option. It's all about perception, and in this case it's accurate that Gainesville will have lower property taxes and lower real estate prices than suburban Washington, DC.

In terms of allergies, that varies for everyone. When I moved from Florida the first time(a native) to the DC area, I had the worst run of allergies ever. Spring just about did me in until I started allergy shots. Besides the possible allergy scenario, I think your family will enjoy the lack of winter and lifestyle of Gainesville. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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One of the top 100 in the US.

Americas Promise Alliance - Alachua County, Florida (http://www.americaspromise.org/Our-Work/Community-Action/100-Best-Communities/2010-Winners/Alachua-County-FL.aspx - broken link)
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:36 PM
 
34 posts, read 114,515 times
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Property taxes have zippo to do with high paying jobs from UF. It has to do with UF not paying property taxes, the hospitals not paying property taxes, churches, plus the vast amount of land in the county that is state/county owned and tax exempt. Almost 60% of the counties land is tax exempt. Rest that is private owned gets to foot the bill. County is dead set on stopping urban sprawl with master planned communities. All that land west of Parker road is set up to build one dwelling per 5 acres. Rest of the tax payers foot the bill

Far as local income compare what a particular skilled job earns in other areas of the state and its almost always considerably lower in Gainesville. There is also a lack of decent paying jobs for blue collar uneducated folks. No manufacturing jobs per say.

In other words if you're a UF professor sure you're set But if you're a nurse/teacher/etc you make less money here than Ocala, Jacksonville, St Pete, Orlando etc etc.

It is a nice area but not cheap considering the local wages.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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Oh and forgot , add an extra 20 cents per gallon on gas Go to south to Ocala or North to lake City and price drops by at least 20 cents
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:13 PM
 
5,507 posts, read 9,259,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet S. View Post
Property taxes have zippo to do with high paying jobs from UF. It has to do with UF not paying property taxes, the hospitals not paying property taxes, churches, plus the vast amount of land in the county that is state/county owned and tax exempt. Almost 60% of the counties land is tax exempt. Rest that is private owned gets to foot the bill. County is dead set on stopping urban sprawl with master planned communities. All that land west of Parker road is set up to build one dwelling per 5 acres. Rest of the tax payers foot the bill

Far as local income compare what a particular skilled job earns in other areas of the state and its almost always considerably lower in Gainesville. There is also a lack of decent paying jobs for blue collar uneducated folks. No manufacturing jobs per say.

In other words if you're a UF professor sure you're set But if you're a nurse/teacher/etc you make less money here than Ocala, Jacksonville, St Pete, Orlando etc etc.

It is a nice area but not cheap considering the local wages.
There are plenty of good jobs at UF and the hospital system. I'm not sure if you are aware but there are a fair amount of professor who only teach that don't make all that much money compared to a nurse for example.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:02 AM
 
Location: northeast florida
10 posts, read 34,497 times
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Default one item for your planning/ location consideration

I'm from fla (family from Miami back to the 1930s; we have spent many years living out of the Jacksonville area; a brother attended UF @ G'ville for his undergraduate Botany degree, etc etc). In the 1970s my family lived in the area of Washington DC for eight yrs (dad was a Navy officer at the Pentagon) so we've seen moderately large-city life as well.

I think G'ville is prob the best snapshot of smallish-town (but edges into city sized) life in Fla.

I strongly prefer G'ville over Jacksonville, Pensac or Orlando (I don't much care for beer-drinkin' "Spring Break" partyin' version of beach & bikini lifestyles).

I feel that g'ville has a lovely "personality"...they were looking at keeping old trees and considering recycling and such, long, long, before recent national trends finally started focussing on "green" ...Back in the early 1970s.

the one aspect that I'd keep in mind, as far as the younger members of the family...is that during football season, you might want to have a plan in place for traffic or safety or activities for the younger family members during those weekends. The town gets all wrapped up in lots of good-natured (not so much thug type) street pedestrian celebration & some drinking around the major football games.

Actually, I have a very good friend/ 15 yrs who works in the city hdtqrs library; she describes, that it becomes pretty much a teenager daycare center every school afternoon (re. the high school students )


GORGEOUS nature, trees, even slight hills (majority of Fla is flatlands, so to have slight inclines...visually unusual) & such. Also daytrips to nature preserves/ forests/ beach areas very nearby!!

Best of luck to ya!!
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:31 PM
 
777 posts, read 3,396,782 times
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Gainesville is less expensive than most metro areas and more expensive than many places in Florida. The property tax rate is higher than some places, for the stated reason of so many entities not contributing to the base, but with housing still relatively inexpensive, the actual property tax paid is not that high. Shop around for home and car insurance. But have a decent job lined up before you move here and you'll be fine.
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