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Old 01-29-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Barkhamsted CT
11 posts, read 62,442 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi Everyone. Originally, my husband, myself and our boys were looking to move west to escape the ridiculously expensive CT living. He is looking for a wildlife job, and I am looking for a corporate office (I'm an executive assistant). However, those plans have changed because we found out yesterday that my Parents are moving to Florida. We want to stay near them. So...here is my question...

We know little about FL with the exception of my trips to Disney as a kid...so we are hoping there's a town in FL that might have what we're looking for... We are looking to find a small farm town/farming community...the one stop light kind of town where the idea of neighbor helps neighbor is still intact. Where there is a good elementary school, and I can commute to a metro kind of area in less than an hour and a half one way. My Husband will be applying for Wildlife Law Enforcement, however, he's willing to take what he can until they're hiring in the area we decide to settle in. We'd prefer a hilly area, with woods, preferably one that's at least a few feet above sea level. I'll be too homesick for the hills and I've heard FL has some. We enjoy outside activities, walking our dogs, swimming, riding our horses, atv riding, sight seeing, and would like to have a home that isn't in a huge subdivision...right now we are about 2mi from our nearest neighbor. While I realize that's probably a stretch...we really dont want to be in a subdivision. We'd like a home where you can't see the house from the street. We aren't real beach people, so proximity to a beach is no concern for us. I hope thats enough info that some Florida experts might be able to point us in some sort of direction. Looking at properties in CT is easy because its so small...looking at FL...it's intimidating because of the size. So any info would be HUGELY appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:22 AM
 
34,214 posts, read 41,172,845 times
Reputation: 29664
I'd focus a search on the north central parts of Florida, perhaps within an hours drive from Gainesville or Tallahassee. places like Old Town or Chiefland might provide the isolation you are wanting within a few miles out of town.
Trying to get a county or state job in wildlife could prove daunting as many of those type of jobs have been cut due to state and county financial hard times.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:49 PM
 
2,932 posts, read 3,987,540 times
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Where are your parents moving? How close do you want to be to them?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,644 posts, read 16,003,755 times
Reputation: 7617
Google puts Chipley to Tallahassee right at an hour and a half's drive. It's a neat little Normal Rockwell town surrounded by farmland, and would be a good option if you could make the job situation work.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,745 posts, read 10,748,888 times
Reputation: 16567
Florida is a surprising state ... geographically, it's a 16+hour drive from Miami to the Panhandle; there are as many large population centers and small, rural towns, as several NE states combined; the population is ethnically and agewise diverse; and there is often great wealth and great poverty in the same geographical area; ... and there are both good and bad housing and job markets in the same state. Of course, there's the sunshine and blue skies, but, even so, there is a 20-degree average difference between S. Florida and the Panhandle.

Simply "Moving to Florida to find jobs and be near the folks" will either work, or not work --- depending on how you deal with these diversities.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:53 AM
 
21,082 posts, read 30,119,082 times
Reputation: 19434
Quote:
Originally Posted by looking2goWest View Post
Hi Everyone. Originally, my husband, myself and our boys were looking to move west to escape the ridiculously expensive CT living. He is looking for a wildlife job, and I am looking for a corporate office (I'm an executive assistant). However, those plans have changed because we found out yesterday that my Parents are moving to Florida. We want to stay near them. So...here is my question...

We know little about FL with the exception of my trips to Disney as a kid...so we are hoping there's a town in FL that might have what we're looking for... We are looking to find a small farm town/farming community...the one stop light kind of town where the idea of neighbor helps neighbor is still intact. Where there is a good elementary school, and I can commute to a metro kind of area in less than an hour and a half one way. My Husband will be applying for Wildlife Law Enforcement, however, he's willing to take what he can until they're hiring in the area we decide to settle in. We'd prefer a hilly area, with woods, preferably one that's at least a few feet above sea level. I'll be too homesick for the hills and I've heard FL has some. We enjoy outside activities, walking our dogs, swimming, riding our horses, atv riding, sight seeing, and would like to have a home that isn't in a huge subdivision...right now we are about 2mi from our nearest neighbor. While I realize that's probably a stretch...we really dont want to be in a subdivision. We'd like a home where you can't see the house from the street. We aren't real beach people, so proximity to a beach is no concern for us. I hope thats enough info that some Florida experts might be able to point us in some sort of direction. Looking at properties in CT is easy because its so small...looking at FL...it's intimidating because of the size. So any info would be HUGELY appreciated.
The most difficult piece of the puzzle will be finding a good elementary school with the rest of your criteria as rural areas in the state tend to have poor schools. That said you might add Babson Park to your list which is located in the somewhat hilly Lake Wales Ridge area about an hour south of Orlando. It's in a rural lake-filled area of southern Polk County. Babson Park Elementary is a Five-Star/A+ rated school.

Babson Park Elementary
Lake Wales Ridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,254,809 times
Reputation: 1181
Keep in mind that Florida has to close a $2 Billion budget deficit this spring entirely by cutting. Gov't jobs are on the chopping block at the state level again (same as last year). Not sure if he would be state or federal.

Kyle is right about the lack of "good schools" in the rural areas. Many districts are hard hit by financial cuts now and some are going to a 4-day school week.

Also, you need to know about Florida's new gun law. I found out the hard way... If you are buying rural land, your neighbors can shoot guns (including high powered rifles) anytime, any day, as close to your home as they want to (while remaining on their own property of course). This can be a huge deal if you think you are buying a few acres, and then your neighbor decides to put up a dirt berm and shoot rifles just 200 feet from your house.

Nobody seems to know about this law, but you cannot buy without doing your homework in this area. FL statutes tell you all of our state gun laws now. Any city and county laws are null and void (ie the distance requirement that our county used to have, and the "no shooting in city limits" ban is also void now)

Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Miami, Florida
613 posts, read 648,436 times
Reputation: 261
Look around Belle Glade, out.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:02 PM
 
4,158 posts, read 7,878,956 times
Reputation: 2371
If you want hills you'll pretty much be limited to Central Florida northward.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Barkhamsted CT
11 posts, read 62,442 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks EVERYONE for your hints and suggestions! It's a huge move...I'm not looking forward to the bugs and humidity...but home is where the heart is, and we really need to be somewhat close to the only family we have. They're moving within an hour of Orlando, and being an executive assistant, I need to be within a decent drive to the corporate world as well...so I'll look within an hours drive of Orlando and hope for the best. Thanks again!!! If the residents I meet in FL are as nice as everyone on these boards - I'll be a happy camper! Connecticut has really lost that mentality over the last few years, so I'm looking forward to finding that small "cow-town" kinda' place again.
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