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Old 10-07-2007, 12:35 PM
 
41 posts, read 108,155 times
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We're moving to Southwest Florida, from Buffalo, NY in about 9 months. We are a young couple with young, school age children. We like the closeness and the great friendly neighbors we have in Buffalo. We hate the winter and the crappy economy. What neighborhoods are safe for families. We are thinking of Cape Coral, Punta Gorta, and North Port. We are concerned about violent crime, Kidnapping, and sexual predators. Help....
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:56 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,427,788 times
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Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are picking one of the worst areas to raise a young family. If you were retiring here & did not need an income or concerned about the value of a home, then I would say go for it & good luck. Other than that, if weather & economy is the reason you are moving to SW FL...wow...I suggest doing some MAJOR research.

We are a young family living in Punta Gorda. My husband works in Fort Myers. We moved here only due to job circumstances that we knew were temporary. It has been a very bad experience.

"Friendly" community...ahh, if you are retired. Living in Punta Gorda has depressed me. There are no young families nor children. The retirees are cranky & grumpy. They move here for peace & quiet, not young families. There is an area called Deep Creek in Punta Gorda that has some young families, but the area is not safe & way too close to Port Charlotte, which is not even a city, but some sort of municipality that just scares me. There is nothing in Punta Gorda. You will have to go to Port Charlotte for stores & restaurants.

Cost of homes? SO overpriced that it will take years for them to reach what they are worth. Inventory is scary at best there is so much. Real grass...there is none. It's crab grass that is filled with spider ants. Kids can't play on it. We went days of heat indezes of over 100...very difficult for kids to play outside in that sort of weather. And I mean days & days of it.

Good economy? There is no economy in SW FL & what there is of it; it is fading fast. Please take a hard, long look at the real estate market & how it has destroyed the economy of SW FL. WalMart & Publix are usually hiring though.

Schools? Awful in SWFL. I am a teacher with a Masters in Education. I know what to look for in schools. I would never send my child to school in Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral or Port Charlotte. Don't be swayed by "A" or "B" ratings...they mean little.

Sexual predators? Check out Watch Dog for Port Charlotte & North Port. You will be floored with what you see.

If your family is ready for heat, humidity & a part of FL that revolves around retirees, then this is the place. If you want good schools, family friendly environments, an area not infested by sexual predators...please look elsewhere. It has been in the 90s since June. It gets old really quick. Pumpkins are rotting outside the grocery stores. And be ready to buy pumpkins & Christmas trees at grocery stores. It's just weird.

We are finally able to move back to where I grew up in NE OH. I know how the economy is there & the weather...it can get trying. It's not perfect, but it is not here. The schools are better, the people are friendlier, the cost of living is cheaper, and homes are more affordable. I'll take the winters & bizarre springs over Punta Gorda ANY day.

And crime...there have been a few crack & meth busts in Port Charlotte & some guy just got arrested in Punta Gorda for keeping a dead corpse in his home for months & using the dead person's ATM & cashing his checks. It is just plain weird here. Other than that, status quo. Crime is everywhere.

I'm not even going to comment about Cape Coral. Take time to look through some old posts. 99% of what you read is the truth. I never wanted to believe what I read before moving here & found most of it to be dead on accurate.

If you are really looking into Florida, there are WAY better places than Punta Gorda, Cape Coral or North Port. STAY AWAY FROM SWFL!!!! Don't be swayed by the supposed cheap home prices & weather. The homes are not chealp. They are overvalued. What you buy today will be worth 15-30% LESS if not more in the next 12-18 months. Moving to SW FL will be a complete disservice to your children.

Last edited by 121804; 10-07-2007 at 01:07 PM..
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,209 posts, read 6,912,383 times
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You'll love it and never want to return to that frozen tundra in upstate NY except to visit the fall maybe.

Port Charlotte should also be on your list.

With the soft real estate market you'll be able to buy a 3 or 4 bedroom house with a backyard and 2 car garage for less than 200K EASY. Just make appropriately LOW offers which factor in the weakness in the market or rent for a while.

Look at census.gov or even the website here for actual statistics for lifestyle, median incomes, and other information for cost of living.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:20 PM
 
41 posts, read 108,155 times
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Sounds scary. But thank you for your honesty. Here's the problem, there is nothing here in Buffalo. Unless your into football, beer and chicken wings. I'm not. We want to live in a place where people know there manners, friendly, safe, and laid back. Oh, and no long, dark, cold winters. We only get about 3/4 months of decent weather. Then it's back in the house and wait for the end of May, when it warms up. By the way, most of the houses are about hundred years old and need to be torn down. Yet, conservation groups won't let that happen. No one wants change up here.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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Have you considered Northern Florida? As I understand it, it is much more family orientated than SW FL.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:33 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,427,788 times
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Yeah, travelled through Buffalo many a times. When I was in college, played at lacrosse game at University of Buffalo...it was interesting... Notoriously known for bad winters & its economy is suffering as are most of the major cities on the Great Lakes.

Do you have a job lined up in SW FL? Not trying to pry into your personal life, but this particular part of FL has little to no real ecomony. It is solely based on retail & the fastly fading construction business.

There are better, safer, friendlier (ESPECIALLY in terms of children) communities in Florida....it's called north Florida..not central or South Florida.

You will find cheap real estate in 75% of this state right now.

Suggest looking in northern FL. Better schools, better environment, nicer pace of living. It's prettier up there, also.

I have never felt so guilty raising my 2yr old here than this past summer. Weeks at a time of telling him we cannot go out & play b/c of the heat. No kids for playgroups. There is a YMCA in Port Charlotte, but it is expensive. No community pools in Punta Gorda. Nothing community oriented for kids that is practical. Great if one has a pool in their backyard, but I want my child to have friends & interact with other kids his age. Not here. It's not found. Trust me. I've been living it.

If you HAVE to move here to this area & cannot imagine your family anywhere else, I'd say the lesser of the evils for where you are looking at is Port Charlotte. It's a lot like Buffalo minus the snow....bars, chain restaurants, one mall, WalMart, and shady characters walking & driving around.

The homes are cheap here for a REAL good reason; not b/c so many people want to move here. Do your kids like sidewalks? Hopefully not. There are none here. Make sure to check for septic tanks/well water. A lot of the homes in North Port are on septic & well.

VISIT for sure prior to moving.

Good luck. I am not trying to disway you from FL, just the cities you mentioned. We are in our 30s. I feel like I have aged 50 years living here & not for good reasons. I could never imagine my child going to school here & living here. It's not fair to him. If it was just my husband & I, fine...but when KIDS are involved....stay away.

Best of luck. Look in north Florida. Keep researching & asking questions.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:40 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,427,788 times
Reputation: 3189
Quote:
Originally Posted by sg928 View Post
Sounds scary. But thank you for your honesty. Here's the problem, there is nothing here in Buffalo.
And there is nothing in the cities you mentioned.

What I said was honest...I cringe when I hear a young family wants to move here. There is no perfect city or perfect place...but there are FAR better places than the areas you are looking to move to in FL if you are a young family.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:04 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 6,346,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sg928 View Post
We're moving to Southwest Florida, from Buffalo, NY in about 9 months. We are a young couple with young, school age children. We like the closeness and the great friendly neighbors we have in Buffalo. We hate the winter and the crappy economy. What neighborhoods are safe for families. We are thinking of Cape Coral, Punta Gorta, and North Port. We are concerned about violent crime, Kidnapping, and sexual predators. Help....
Jobs are getting very hard to find now. Our economy is sinking fast. Crime is up and will get worse as the layoffs continue. I would check into north Florida this area is a mess. Alot of people are stuck here and will say anything to sell there home. I was just talking with a guy from Michigan and he said its just as bad here as it was there. As far as kids its a major concern.
Sorry if its not the news you wanted to hear.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:34 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,427,788 times
Reputation: 3189
MrTudo-
Please state what is "unfounded & untrue" about:
1) the crack bust at Boomerz last week
2) the man arrested for storing a dead man in his home in Punta Gorda & cashing his checks
3) the inflation of home prices in Punta Gorda & the excess inventory..please let the OP know how many homes in Deep Creek have been on the market for over 12 months & have seen price drops of over $40,000. It is not a healthy market here.
4) the heat index & summer heat
5) the test scores of Sallie Jones elementary school
6) the number of sexual predators in Port Charlotte...it is LISTED ON THE NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER WEBSITE.

Please, enlighten the OP & show evidence that what I wrote was lies.

I don't like the place, but what I wrote was not unfounded nor untrue. They were FACTS. And the OP asked for the truth not sugar coated b/c of weather.
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Old 10-07-2007, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Naples
672 posts, read 690,157 times
Reputation: 63
Default Actually I stay all YEAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by sg928 View Post
Sounds scary. But thank you for your honesty. Here's the problem, there is nothing here in Buffalo. Unless your into football, beer and chicken wings. I'm not. We want to live in a place where people know there manners, friendly, safe, and laid back. Oh, and no long, dark, cold winters. We only get about 3/4 months of decent weather. Then it's back in the house and wait for the end of May, when it warms up. By the way, most of the houses are about hundred years old and need to be torn down. Yet, conservation groups won't let that happen. No one wants change up here.
So far from June through October that I have been here, it is UNBEARABLY HOT. Oh, wait. It has actually cooled off to the low 90s in the last couple of weeks. Yippeee. I hear the "great" weather will come in January = 70s. That is STILL more SUMMER. No, thanks. I guess I will stay inside ALL YEAR in Florida in comparison to about 3 months in NY.

I would trade you Buffalo winters for Naples HEAT, HEAT, HEAT.

PS. I am from downstate NY.
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