U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-09-2007, 12:45 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,073,546 times
Reputation: 66

Advertisements



I just found this out on city-data's own stat page. Monroe County was in the top 100 counties %-wise losing population last 6 years. Key West lost 8.7% of its population from 2000 to 2006, going from 25,478 to 23,262. I'm really shocked about that. I used to go to KW and MC often in the 90's, and it seemed as if it was booming. Key West to me was an even bigger shocker. It really seemed like the place to be in the 90's, and was attracting an international base of buyers as well. Are these stats wrong? I mean, KW was a steady 25-30K for the last 20 years or more, and I never saw it under 25K. I can only guess that the housing prices got so out-of-line that it became strictly an affordability issue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-09-2007, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Florida
272 posts, read 1,403,807 times
Reputation: 157
The cost of living is outrageously high, the wages are a pittance compared to the housing prices, I think Citizen's is the only insurer who will touch the Keys, and the hurricane risk is the highest in the state. It's a nice to visit, but...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2007, 01:43 PM
 
231 posts, read 1,073,546 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckardc View Post
The cost of living is outrageously high, the wages are a pittance compared to the housing prices, I think Citizen's is the only insurer who will touch the Keys, and the hurricane risk is the highest in the state. It's a nice to visit, but...
You just explained it with the hurricanes and COL. I thought that as soon as I finished typing that post. I just thought there was such a demand, and Key West was so small, that US and international buyers would continue to flood in. Then, seeing the huge population loss going on in Key West, I was pretty much floored. KW was pretty sleepy up to the 80's, so maybe its just going back to a long term trend. It was 29,312 in 70, and 34,000 in 1960, and, yes, I know the military was bigger then, but it hasn't been under 25K(it's now 23,262) since 1950....has Key West jumped the shark, no pun intended? Finally just outpriced itself, focusing primarily on bar and hospitality jobs? I heard that Stock Island ended up being the only place workers could afford to rent at a certain point in the 90's, which I would presume was the the tipping point that kicked in the population losses you see the last 6-7 years. Somehow I figured that would happen. Just too many greedy people, and not enough thought on how workers could survive on a living wage there. Anyone think the losses will continue?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2007, 04:59 PM
 
1,572 posts, read 3,676,440 times
Reputation: 512
Key West is overrated, no matter what Jimmy Buffett says.

Honestly I don't see what the skin cancer set sees in going to beaches and getting lots of sun. I guess there's a certain romance and mystique people have with living near the beach that people want to buy into that, and living in a "landlocked" area has a negative connotation (even many cities that are landlocked actually are not, but I digress). But then that's why most developement in Florida has been along the coastline.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2007, 05:17 PM
 
975 posts, read 3,428,571 times
Reputation: 263
Who lives in Key West anyway--is it mostly second (or third, fourth) homes for the independently wealthy? What jobs are there other than working at or owning a bar, restaurant or guest house?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,738,174 times
Reputation: 4899
Property Taxes
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2007, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Key West, FL
5 posts, read 66,376 times
Reputation: 25
Key West was seeing a mass exodus of families. Some who had owned homes for years saw the property values skyrocket, and decided to take the money and run. Many young families can not afford to buy a starter house, so they move elsewhere. Growing families who own a home are unable to move up to a larger one due to the property tax bite. If they bought their home for $200,000 and it has increased in value to $800,000 and they sell for a slightly larger house, they will now be paying tax on a $800,000 + home rather than on $200,000 +. Florida has a Homestead Exemption to the property tax law which limits the annual increase if it is your primary residence. This exemption does not transfer when you change houses, so it becomes impractical to move up to a larger home if it is much more expensive than your previous purchase, even if you're financing the same amount as before. I think the exodus has slowed down, there was not the drop in enrollment at the public schools which they had been seeing lately. Some older people move because their grown children can not afford to live in Key West, and they want to be near their grandchildren.
Insurance has been an issue for many people as well. The rates went up after the busy storm seasons a couple of years ago. Some of this has been taken care of due to the efforts of a grass roots group, but insurance still costs more than it did a few years ago.

Key West has been a draw for young people who get out of college then come down here and wait tables or what not for a few years before moving on. I think that despite the cost of living, and despite the fact that many of these people have to have more than one job to get by, there will be more young people next year. They just may not stay as long as they used to.

What kind of jobs are there? There are plenty of service industry jobs, in bars, restaurants, hotels, dive boat operators, fishing guides... then the more lucrative positions as the owners of the above businesses. Then there's the regular running of any town. There are teachers, police, water company employees, bank tellers, Sears Clerks, Mechanics, Grocery tellers, lots of people in construction ... You get the picture.

Key West is not the funky fishing and partying town I moved to years ago. It's more upscale. The weather is still warm, the flowers are still pretty, and there are still lots of fun events throughout the year. There are still people who come to party, there are rich people with second or third homes, there are immigrants living too many to a home but happy to be here. Key West has been my home for many years, and I'm both happy and sad to say I'm thinking of moving on. Anyone who's ever dreamed of living here should still give it a chance. It just helps if you can come with some money in your pocket. It's no longer cheap here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2007, 05:30 AM
 
231 posts, read 1,073,546 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by INeedAChange View Post
Who lives in Key West anyway--is it mostly second (or third, fourth) homes for the independently wealthy? What jobs are there other than working at dealing with owning a bar, restaurant or guest house?
This is true. I certainly don't bank on it becoming silicon valley in the near future. However, years back hospitality wages could still pay the rent. One bedrooms there started peaking at about 12-13 hundred a month, and everything that could be converted to condos or timeshares was. There are other whole metro areas dealing with affordability issues for their
workers, including SF bay area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2007, 05:41 AM
 
231 posts, read 1,073,546 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwmom View Post
Key West was seeing a mass exodus of families. Some who had owned homes for years saw the property values skyrocket, and decided to take the money and run. Many young families can not afford to buy a starter house, so they move elsewhere. Growing families who own a home are unable to move up to a larger one due to the property tax bite. If they bought their home for $200,000 and it has increased in value to $800,000 and they sell for a slightly larger house, they will now be paying tax on a $800,000 + home rather than on $200,000 +. Florida has a Homestead Exemption to the property tax law which limits the annual increase if it is your primary residence. This exemption does not transfer when you change houses, so it becomes impractical to move up to a larger home if it is much more expensive than your previous purchase, even if you're financing the same amount as before. I think the exodus has slowed down, there was not the drop in enrollment at the public schools which they had been seeing lately. Some older people move because their grown children can not afford to live in Key West, and they want to be near their grandchildren.
Insurance has been an issue for many people as well. The rates went up after the busy storm seasons a couple of years ago. Some of this has been taken care of due to the efforts of a grass roots group, but insurance still costs more than it did a few years ago.

Key West has been a draw for young people who get out of college then come down here and wait tables or what not for a few years before moving on. I think that despite the cost of living, and despite the fact that many of these people have to have more than one job to get by, there will be more young people next year. They just may not stay as long as they used to.

What kind of jobs are there? There are plenty of service industry jobs, in bars, restaurants, hotels, dive boat operators, fishing guides... then the more lucrative positions as the owners of the above businesses. Then there's the regular running of any town. There are teachers, police, water company employees, bank tellers, Sears Clerks, Mechanics, Grocery tellers, lots of people in construction ... You get the picture.

Key West is not the funky fishing and partying town I moved to years ago. It's more upscale. The weather is still warm, the flowers are still pretty, and there are still lots of fun events throughout the year. There are still people who come to party, there are rich people with second or third homes, there are immigrants living too many to a home but happy to be here. Key West has been my home for many years, and I'm both happy and sad to say I'm thinking of moving on. Anyone who's ever dreamed of living here should still give it a chance. It just helps if you can come with some money in your pocket. It's no longer cheap here.
tremendous post....this should be published in one of the local papers there
like the Key West Citizen. Thanks for taking the time to write and post it.
I still feel truly bad for Key West, and have many fond memories of when
it was a truly great place that all kinds of folks could afford to live and
thrive in. I will cherish them..........
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2007, 08:34 AM
 
75 posts, read 448,405 times
Reputation: 58
If you don't own a buisiness or have big $$$$... How do you survive in Key West??? You could work for civil service or the state.... But there's nothing there... No corporations.. Just road and ocean.... The Keys are my fav part of Florida though... Just soo relaxing.... To me it seems like a different world compared to the rest of Florida.... I love to visit Bahia Honda, snorkle at the reef, and fish down there....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top