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 05-05-2015, 03:03 PM
 
11,636 posts, read 20,432,482 times
Reputation: 12160

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
I would want a nice home in a nice, quiet area (not a fixer upper) for under $250K, if possible. But it's impossible around here.
Where are you seeing nice houses in nice quiet areas for $180K in Broward?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-05-2015, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,113,945 times
Reputation: 7075
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
South Florida is, by no means, "cheap" due to lots of costs that don't necessarily meet the eye, so to speak.

When you take into consideration that salaries are roughly half to two-thirds of comparable salaries in the Northeast or California, the cost of housing in "desirable" areas of Florida becomes increasingly less affordable.

Unlike many areas of the Northeast, Midwest, and West, the vast majority of communities in Florida are low-income and/or high-crime. The number of "desirable" communities in Florida, as in those that are safe, family-oriented and moderate-to-high income with high quality public schools and lots of amenities, is very low, especially in South Florida.

I lived in Palm Beach County for 12 years, the wealthiest county in Florida with the highest per-capita personal income and one of the three counties that constitutes the South Florida metro area, and I can count on one hand how many communities meet all of that criteria (Boca Raton, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Wellington). FWIW, there are close to 40 incorporated communities in Palm Beach County.

Because public schools are generally lower-performing in South Florida than in, say, Fairfield County, CT or Marin County, CA, families often feel compelled to send their children to private school in order for them to receive a higher quality education.

A long-time friend of mine who I've known going on 20 years lives in Davie, FL and sends her children to Archbishop McCarthy High School, a private secondary school in SW Ranches. Last I checked, her son's tuition is approximately the same as what my cousin is paying to send her son to LaSalle Academy, a private secondary school in Providence, RI with similar high-caliber academic and athletic programs as Archbishop McCarthy. However, salaries and household incomes are much lower in Florida than in Rhode Island, generally speaking.

Another major cost to homeowners in South Florida is homeowners insurance. Because South Florida lies at the heart of Hurricane Alley, not to mention is also highly prone to other adverse weather events such as severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, homeowners insurance is inherently high.

In coastal Florida, hurricane insurance is oftentimes not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies, requiring homeowners to take out an additional, separate hurricane/windstorm policy. Flooding isn't usually covered in homeowners insurance policies regardless of location, but it's highly recommended in South Florida, given the region's very low elevation and poor drainage.

Yet another cost to homeowners that many people from older, more established areas of the country with older housing/neighborhoods don't take into consideration when moving to Florida is HOA fees, which are collected from homeowners in many newer communities for the general maintenance of community landscaping and amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, clubhouses, swimming pools, etc. The more higher-end your community, the more amenities and better landscaping it will most likely offer, so naturally, your monthly or annual HOA fee will be higher.

In states like Connecticut with very few new construction, "lifestyle" communities, HOA fees are unheard of in residential neighborhoods and often limited to condominium and rental communities. Needless to say, that cost often surprises people who move to Florida from the Northeast.

Even though property taxes in suburban Florida tend to be less expensive than in suburban areas of the Northeast, especially the NYC metro, this cost is often offset by HOA fees and higher homeowners insurance coupled with lower salaries.

But that's not all.

Utilities may not be more expensive in Florida than in Connecticut, but they're certainly more expensive than in coastal California, where heat and air conditioning are rarely ever used. For about 9 months/year, you have to run your A/C constantly, as in 24 hours/day, in South Florida. You can't turn it on in mid-afternoon for a few hours to cool down the house--you have to run it all day long to keep your house at a comfortable temperature and prevent the buildup of mold.

Years ago, before recurring online payments were a thing and not long after I moved to Florida, I remember going to FPL to pay my electric bill, and I couldn't believe the number of people standing in line to contest their bills. It later dawned on me that, in Florida, you can't simply turn your A/C off if you can't afford it--you have to keep it on, kinda like heat up North.

Auto insurance is, far and away, more expensive in South Florida than anywhere else in the country due to incredibly reckless driving habits among the general population. The Northeast transplants, blue-haired retirees and snowbirds, and third-world immigrants as well as tourists who have no clue where they're going make the roads in South Florida some of the most dangerous in North America. The South Florida metro area is consistently ranked first in terms of pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist fatalities.

In fact, there are some auto insurance companies that don't even write policies for residents of Miami-Dade County anymore because the associated risk is too high. I will have you know that my auto insurance was cut in half when I moved from Florida to California, with a newer car ($5,000-->$2,500/year). Insane.

However, a car is almost required for someone living in South Florida because public transportation options are very limited and the region is home to very few "walkable" neighborhoods.

Aside from Connecticut, gas is about the same or more expensive in Florida than in most Northeastern states plus there are many more tolled roads. And although people will argue that the lack of snow/ice is the reason why cars last longer in Florida than up North, they fail to realize that the constant rainfall and intense humidity of Florida as well as high salinity content of the air, especially along the coast, causes cars to rust just as quickly. Why do you think you see so many more classic vehicles on the road in dry areas of the country such as Arizona and Nevada than in Florida?

Food, especially produce, is significantly more expensive in Florida than in the Northeast and especially California due to less price competition as a result of the Publix monopoly. Despite having a year-round warm climate, farmers markets and community-supported agriculture are definitely less common than out West, which help food costs low.

Finally, medical expenses are often higher in Florida because, in addition to lower wages, health insurance benefits tend to be more limited and less comprehensive in Florida than in states such as Connecticut and New York.

With lots of local, out-of-state and even international competition for jobs, Floridaís labor market is essentially a monopsony, so employers can suppress wages below the competitive equilibrium level. This includes non-wage benefits. Prior to the employer mandate of the ACA, many office workers in Florida had no insurance. Even CNAís, who make $10/hour and expose themselves to illness and disease every single day, had no health insurance. Thatís unheard of in California, New York, Illinois, et al.

For someone on the outside-looking-in, especially in Fairfield County, South Florida may seem cheap, but there's a lot more that goes into the equation than lower housing prices, especially for working professionals and families.
Wow, very detailed and helpful.

But I just have to ask. If living in South FL was so challenging financially, why did you stay there for 12 years? At what point did you decide that you wanted to leave and why? To have stayed there for 12 years, there must have been something you liked about it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 03:25 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
2,319 posts, read 1,852,661 times
Reputation: 2308
To me, I feel the same but I am looking at the gulf coast(sarasota to northport area) and east coast(vero beach, PSL) housing is fairly good $150k and under range in certain areas. Job pay seems about the same if not better then my area($9-10 is average here an hour) the main difference is insurance. I pay $1700 yearly premium for homeowners & flood(in a flood zone here..) and in FL will probably be higher. property tax doesn't seem much different either, probably slightly higher. Other things like groceries and goods seem normal to me. Utilities seem mostly the same, but electric runs a few cents higher a kilowatt then here. Depends where in FL you live, south FL like miami seems much more pricey then other SoFl areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Fort Liquordale, Florida
242 posts, read 264,110 times
Reputation: 289
Sure, Florida can be very cheap if you choose to live like Blowfish Key or Gypsychick. One shops at walmart and the other has an SO who does everything. Must be nice!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 07:16 PM
 
6,258 posts, read 3,451,115 times
Reputation: 5700
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
Another major cost to homeowners in South Florida is homeowners insurance. Because South Florida lies at the heart of Hurricane Alley, not to mention is also highly prone to other adverse weather events such as severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, homeowners insurance is inherently high.

In coastal Florida, hurricane insurance is oftentimes not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies, requiring homeowners to take out an additional, separate hurricane/windstorm policy. Flooding isn't usually covered in homeowners insurance policies regardless of location, but it's highly recommended in South Florida, given the region's very low elevation and poor drainage.
Flooding is NEVER covered in homeowners insurance to my knowledge - that's what flood insurance is for. Many people in the NY/NJ/CT learned this the hard way when they were hit by Sandy.

My homeowners insurance cost is actually LESS than what I was paying in the NE. A lot will depend on the hurricane mitigation credits you get.

Quote:

Auto insurance is, far and away, more expensive in South Florida than anywhere else in the country due to incredibly reckless driving habits among the general population. The Northeast transplants, blue-haired retirees and snowbirds, and third-world immigrants as well as tourists who have no clue where they're going make the roads in South Florida some of the most dangerous in North America. The South Florida metro area is consistently ranked first in terms of pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist fatalities.
My auto insurance was cut in HALF moving to Florida from NY. Same coverage.

Quote:
Food, especially produce, is significantly more expensive in Florida than in the Northeast and especially California due to less price competition as a result of the Publix monopoly.
Not my experience, it's about on par.

While Publix might be more expensive the level of service you get totally BLOWS AWAY the surly checkout people you get in the NE. To my knowledge the prices Costco charges are the same here as in the NE.


I do agree with some of your other points - salaries tend to be lower here, for example, especially for lower-skilled positions. However, many people are able to relocate to FL and keep their same compensation package and actually get a pay raise due to not having to pay state and/or local income taxes.

You also do need AC for most of the year, but the OP is probably paying close to 20 cents per KW/h as opposed to 11 here, plus the addition of oil heat in the winter. It's probably close to a wash and a lot depends on the efficiency of the house and the HVAC system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 09:41 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,046,833 times
Reputation: 2543
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Flooding is NEVER covered in homeowners insurance to my knowledge - that's what flood insurance is for. Many people in the NY/NJ/CT learned this the hard way when they were hit by Sandy.
I never said it was.

I was telling the OP that he would definitely have to a carry a flood insurance policy if he owned a home in South Florida, regardless of the home's location, because all of South Florida is prone to severe flooding due to torrential rains from tropical storms as well as the region's low-lying, coastal location and poor natural drainage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
My homeowners insurance cost is actually LESS than what I was paying in the NE. A lot will depend on the hurricane mitigation credits you get.
Maybe homeowners insurance premiums are less expensive than in Long Island, but in a non-coastal town in Connecticut? No way, Jose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
My auto insurance was cut in HALF moving to Florida from NY. Same coverage.
That's your experience, coming from New York, which along with New Jersey has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the entire country, even higher than Florida. However, auto insurance rates in other Northeastern states such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania are certainly lower, on average, than in Florida.

Plus, if you move down to Florida, you need to own a vehicle to get around because public transportation infrastructure is very limited, not to mention what does exist isn't very convenient. For example, PalmTran buses don't usually run past 8:30-9:00pm or so, but malls, restaurants, and other establishments stay open until 9:30-10:00pm.

Another thing, too--regular vehicle maintenance costs will be probably increase in Florida, too, because you will find yourself doing much more driving than, say, in Connecticut or New York. Because most of Florida was developed in the 1970's onward, things are very new, but also very spread out.

Going around the block to the bank, post office or grocery store, for example, would sometimes be a 10-15-minute drive with all of the traffic signals, U-turns, etc.--nothing's just "right there," so to speak. Definitely something you have to experience to understand. Same deal in other very new areas, too, like Arizona and Nevada.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Not my experience, it's about on par.
Another thing regarding Publix--they don't have a discount card or do "double coupons."

I remember visiting one of my friends in Boca last year, and when were standing in the checkout line at Publix when I proceeded to pay for the groceries (my friends love when I come to visit because I always cook for them). I asked her if she had her discount card with her, so maybe she could get some gas points or something. After she and the cashier looked at blankly for a second or so, my friend reminded me that there is no discount/gas card at Publix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
While Publix might be more expensive the level of service you get totally BLOWS AWAY the surly checkout people you get in the NE. To my knowledge the prices Costco charges are the same here as in the NE.
I could never understand, for the life of me, why people rave about the service at Publix.

I used to shop regularly at 3-4 different Publix stores when I lived in Florida, and I found the service to be generally rude and curt at all of them. Perhaps the store associates were just a reflection of the general culture of the area in which I lived, but overall, I never found service in Florida to be anything to write home about. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Overall, service in Florida outside of, say, the Disney theme parks is generally rude and incompetent. I've never had the displeasure of living among and interacting with a collective group that lacked common sense, basic knowledge and general reasoning ability as people in Florida. Not a very swift bunch down there, that's for sure.

You could blame that on the service-oriented economy and the type of people that it attracts, but I encountered that type of blatant incompetency at the professional level, too.

The poster, THX 1198, has an amusing story about an intern or entry-level employee he hired at his company who thought Long Island was a state, lol. Definitely very common behavior in Florida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
You also do need AC for most of the year, but the OP is probably paying close to 20 cents per KW/h as opposed to 11 here, plus the addition of oil heat in the winter. It's probably close to a wash and a lot depends on the efficiency of the house and the HVAC system.
Even though homes are newer in Florida, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're well-insulated--or well-built, for that matter. Lots of those Cracker-Jack-boxes that were built in mid-2000's are very poorly insulated, so energy efficiency is poor. And if your home is south or west-facing, forget it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN
4,925 posts, read 4,912,763 times
Reputation: 4778
South Florida used to be a lot cheaper its gotten progressively more expensive over the years and if you want nice real estate it can cost you millions especially in Palm Beach county, Broward and Dade where I have family is the generally cheaper, Pembroke Pines and Weston are nice areas where you sometimes can get a bargain if you are lucky.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,113,945 times
Reputation: 7075
8to32characters makes it sounds like living in SoFla is basically hell on earth in many respects.....lmao.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN
4,925 posts, read 4,912,763 times
Reputation: 4778
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
8to32characters makes it sounds like living in SoFla is basically hell on earth in many respects.....lmao.
Thats not very nice, South Florida weather alone would make me depressed but it has its pro's as well lol
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2015, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Fort Liquordale, Florida
242 posts, read 264,110 times
Reputation: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
8to32characters makes it sounds like living in SoFla is basically hell on earth in many respects....
A very real comment unfortunately.
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 · Bug Bounty

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