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Old 10-30-2006, 01:18 PM
39 posts, read 259,445 times
Reputation: 33


Good question! After giving it some thought, I can't think of to many things that are great about Florida. Sure we have great weather, but to go along with that we also have numerous Tornado's and Hurricanes, not to mention some nasty thunderstorms. Florida has some great beaches, but we also got red tide. Florida has alot of coastal cities, but who can afford to live on the beach, not me. Florida has a inflated housing market, where the jobs that are available don't match the cost of living here. Florida has above average crime statics, and it would help to be bi-lingual here. Oh yea! we have Disneyland home of Mickey Mouse, but the latest stats show that Orlando is the 25th most dangerous city. So what's great about Florida? Nothing, it just keeps me out of the cold.

Old 10-30-2006, 02:25 PM
48 posts, read 200,707 times
Reputation: 28

Disneyland is in California, we have Disney World. Yes, there is inflation, but take a look around the different state forums and you read 50% of the posts are complaints about cost of living. I don't know what part of Florida you currently reside in, but I was born and raised in Miami were there is way much more to do than visit a theme park.
Old 10-30-2006, 02:33 PM
83 posts, read 319,965 times
Reputation: 61
Originally Posted by Chicken Wing View Post
It CAN'T more expensive than living in New Jersey, can it?
I have no idea and I have no desire to live in New Jersey either. You must understand that many of us are comparing the cost of living to what it was say ten years ago or even longer for folks like myself who have been here all of their lives. I just know that my family, including extended family, is not happy with our quality of living in ratio to our income and would rather move somewhere to get more for our buck, wherever that may be. I can see how for some moving from another state that maybe the cost of living situation in Fl looks better if you were already used to astronomical prices.
Old 10-30-2006, 02:41 PM
83 posts, read 319,965 times
Reputation: 61
Originally Posted by Jammie View Post
Just getting ready to go to work, but wanted to catch up on a few posts. I don't have the luxury of staying indoors for my entire shift. In fact, I'm in and out of the building quite often. The temp here is 40 degrees and that's the highest it will get today. Tomorrow morning it will be below 20 degrees and with windchills probably down to 5 or 10 degrees. Our winds are blowing at 40 mph with gusts over 50. Our trees are bare, our flowers froze off a few weeks ago while lying under a couple light snowfalls. It's cloudy here and will be that way until next weekend. And it's still OCT. The worst is yet to come.The Holidays are coming and we have no family here anymore. All we have left is extended family and they live in Fla. We had been planning on going down over Christmas, but our time off doesn't correlate so we'll have to wait until after the holidays to go. We aren't rich by any means, but live modestly and plan on continuing to do that. We won't be able to afford a half million dollar home or pay thousands for insurance a year. We plan on either getting an apartment or a nice mobile home and hope to be living in Fla. by next year at this time. My husband will be getting social security and a modest retirement check monthly. I will be working full time and my husband will be working part time. I've just got to say that Florida looks better and better every day. I love the palm trees, the warmth, the beaches, etc. It may not be for everyone, but at this point in our lives, it's definitely a good choice for us.
Hi, I just wanted to say that I would think it would be challenging with your fixed income situation to afford decent housing in Fl. I'm glad you have extended family you can stay with to check it out because I can tell you it's hard. Many are already paying thousands for insurance a year and that isn't even for a half million dollar home. We rent an older home in Tampa in a not so great neighborhood for $950 a month. Anything nicer is considerably more, including apartments. It sounds like a mobile home would be more in your price range but in these days I think buying a mobile home in Fl is a lot like taking a gamble. They will literally tear apart in a hurricane or tropical storm (even if you live inland) and the last I heard nobody will insure your mobile home either. I'm sure someone else in the know can shed light on this. As for the beaches, if you plan on living closer than an hour away you are going to need more than a fixed income to afford that.

I'm not trying to be negative, these are just from my own personal experience. I do wish your family the best of luck and please be careful with your decision making.
Old 10-30-2006, 03:01 PM
Location: Florida
8 posts, read 15,649 times
Reputation: 10
Perhaps the one thing that everyone has forgotten to mention is that FL has become difficult to live in for the average family because salaries do not go hand in hand with cost of living. Yes, FL has a lot of great things (weather, superb cultural life, and multicultural exposure). But there is so much negative that goes with that as well. I believe that each person has to evaluate FL based on their own circumstances, but if you are looking for advice as to whether to move to SE FL to raise a family, you better reconsider. Too many sacrifices, too many negative societal patterns already established. Good Luck to all!!
Old 10-30-2006, 05:32 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
75 posts, read 307,084 times
Reputation: 31
Good point clowdees. If you are a first-time home buyer in Tampa, and you have a household income of $40K (more than the median), you could probably afford a place that costs $140K a year (if you stretch it). This will probably get you the smallest of condos in a decent area, but as far as houses go, anything under $200K is probably infested with crack dealers. Now if I were a blue collar worker in Tampa just starting out making $33K a year (side note, that is a teacher's starting salary), I would probably pack up and move somewhere else where the opportunity to build equity and have a real home was much greater.

People who already own homes don't feel as much pressure. Their taxes are based on the value of their home 5 years ago (with the capped annual increase). They have insurance which they got before the huge wave of hurricanes a few years back (if they were allowed to keep it at all). Their equity skyrocketed a few years back. A household currently making $40K a year who has been in their home for 5 years could easily be in a $250K home. However, those people starting out now in Tampa are in big trouble. I would tell them to move far away and never look back. If enough new skilled people move away seeking better opportunities, I bet that could have quite the impact on the state.
Old 10-30-2006, 07:45 PM
20,836 posts, read 39,041,284 times
Reputation: 19046
Default Laura....you're re-travelling my steps of a few years ago....

Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
....I decided to retire in 2007.....will have a decent pension and can pretty much live where I want to live within my means. I automatically ruled out 3 places: FL, CA, AZ and every major city in any state. FL & AZ were ruled out from the get-go because they are too hot.....I read a bazillion books and magazines, visited websites, eliminated the Gulf states, the left coast and other places.....
Sounds like us. Rather than repeat here the story of our research and such, just read our story at:
Why Choose Colorado Springs?

Short story: The Front Range of Colorado has four seasons, friendly people, great scenery, very livable dry climate, tremendous variety of things to do year-round, conservative cities (Colorado Springs), liberal cities (Boulder), moderate cities (Denver, Fort Collins) and is very affordable compared to FL, CA, NV and the east coast from Richmond on north. CO isn't for everyone, but do not rule it out.

s/Mike from back east, and I ain't going back
Old 10-30-2006, 08:13 PM
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,004,733 times
Reputation: 15058
Pixie, thank you for the heads up on that. Actually, we would live in the central part of the state and there are a few companies who will still insure mobile homes there. We wouldn't totally be on a fixed income since my husband would still work part time and I would work full time. The only reason we'd be looking at renting an apartment or buying a mobile home is because we've already done the mortgage thing. It seems that once you're in your 50s and 60s taking out a 30 year mortgage just doesn't seem appealing like it did 35 years ago. We're at the point that the past few years, we're only buying what we can afford to pay for. The houses and insurances are just too expensive so we need an alternative plan.
Old 10-31-2006, 06:08 AM
83 posts, read 319,965 times
Reputation: 61
Well, kudos to that mentality. My husband and I are only in our thirties and have decided that we don't want to be trapped by a mortgage payment for years. We are hoping to buy some cheap land with very little financing and then build something modest with cash. Of course we won't be doing that here but I definitely agree with where you are coming from.
Old 10-31-2006, 06:27 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,584 posts, read 33,570,813 times
Reputation: 51678
LauraC sounds like a typical "half-back" to me. Let me guess, you weren't from Florida originally; probably from New York, or one of the other north-eastern (possibly California) states. You moved down to Florida, didn't like it, and moved half-way-back to where you came from, i.e. to the appalachian mountains somewhere.

I live in a suburban community in a mid-atlantic state, now. I'm originally from NY. I have never lived in Florida. Have been to Florida for business several times and when I was a pre-teen, vacation. I don't believe in living in two places, ever, because then you are a resident of no place. People who live in two different places are saying neither place is any good to live there permanently. That's why snow birds have no business touting Florida weather.

Ok, if you are over 70 moved to Forida and have no family or friends here and don't like making friends, then I can understand not liking Florida.

Eh, in my 50s.

Afterall, I wouldn't expect people over 70 to take up the many sports and physically challenging hobbies that make Florida awsome for the those who are capable of getting all they can out of Florida. For example, where else can you go kayaking, canoeing, fishing, water skiing, swimming, surfing, wind surfing, sailing, hunting, jet-skiing, motor boating, bicycling, motorcycling, scuba-diving, golf, tennis, running, gardening, horse-back riding, explore thousands of tiny islands, and thousands of lakes. And, do this all year round. North Carolina? Tennessee? New York?

I would love to be able to retire early just to do all of these fun things every day in my own backyard!

Just don't do it in July and August, eh? Or do it after 3PM and before 9AM.

Don't get me wrong, I love the mountains of North Georgia / North Carolina too. When I go up there, I find pleanty of fun things to do, and meet all kinds of nice interesting people. But, as much as I love hiking in the mountains and white-water kayaking, I love even more windsurfing and exploring the many costal and lake islands in a flat water kayak.

The thing is Florida isn't the only place you can do these things. Other places have coastlines and warm weather.

If you are all about sitting around and engaging in no physical activity, then you are not getting what Florida (or the mountains) has to offer.

Let's not forget, Disney World, Sea World, and Universal are only a few square miles of land in the southwest corner of Orlando; Miami / Ft. Lauderdale is about a 60 mile strip of land on the South eastern tip of Florida. Florida is the second largest state east of the Mississippi second only to Georgia. If you don't like Florida, I suggest that you've never experienced Florida. Who's fault is that?

Been there. Too hot. Too much traffic. Too hot. Too many hurricanes. Too hot. Escalating cost of living. Too hot. Big bugs. Too hot. Too many tourists. Too hot. Too many master planned communities. Too hot. And then, it's too hot.
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