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Old 01-31-2017, 05:52 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2 posts, read 1,176 times
Reputation: 10

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We are considering a move to Florida, my husband is a high school teacher/admin/coach (took a year off admin duty to coach tennis and is ready to get back into administration). There is a job fair in Lake Placid, for a few counties, that he will be attending in April to find out the scoop and to see if it is of actual interest to us (as of an older pay scale he found, looks like starting base pay will be the same). The counties in question are: Poke, Okeechobee, Highlands, Glades. Osceola and Martin may have been on the list as well.

My concern is if the jobs available end up being in middle of the state. Most importantly Okeechobee since they reached out to him. It looks like a lot of open country with not a lot to do. We are 30 and have one child and are planning another so I would love to find somewhere with a few parks/playgrounds and walking trails. Shopping and things of that nature aren't a big deal but some sort of fitness center/gym would be ideal.

And on to the crucial piece for me, horses. I know Wellington is close-ish by, as well as Ocala, but outside of those hubs (which, frankly, are out of our budget and my current expertise), what is the equestrian scene like? I am happy with pasture board and trails but really want somewhere to take lessons and work, after number 2 of course haha.

There is always the possibility of other areas (I think we would love the Mt Dora, Winter Garden etc section) But right now the focus is on the middle of the state since that will be his first real contact with the state. I think Polk is what we are hoping for at this point.

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:06 AM
 
24,921 posts, read 39,219,876 times
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I would seriously give pause before considering Polk County. The schools are notoriously bad and it's not known as terribly family-friendly given the high number of retirees and long-standing drug problem. You're pretty accurate with Okeechobee and lack of things to do nearby. Highlands shares a lot of similarities with Polk, as does Glades County which is somewhat economically depressed as well. Osceola has issues with it's schools in general and has a high proportion of Hispanic students (primarily Puerto Rican) which can pose problems for integrating. If you can swing it Martin County in my opinion would be your best bet as it's very family-friendly, has traditionally had excellent public schools and certainly enough acreage as it's fairly low density. I'm not familiar with the equestrian aspect in Martin County but as you can see from the link it's very popular given the number of stables/equestrian centers.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...4!2i589!4f13.1
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:42 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2 posts, read 1,176 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the advice! We were considering Polk because of its proximity to Orlando, so that is really good to know. After the reading through the threads this morning I was curious about Martin. I did find a few of those barns in my initial search but it's been interesting figuring out all of the county lines! My husband speaks Spanish (not fluent any more but I'm sure it would come back) and he teaches primarily in underfunded areas (he is really great with those school) but we have gotten use to having lots of things around! I would definitely have problems with integrating as I only speak English and am very quiet/introverted. Is most of this portion of Fl low density?
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:29 PM
 
24,921 posts, read 39,219,876 times
Reputation: 26875
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needmorecoffee View Post
Thanks for the advice! We were considering Polk because of its proximity to Orlando, so that is really good to know. After the reading through the threads this morning I was curious about Martin. I did find a few of those barns in my initial search but it's been interesting figuring out all of the county lines! My husband speaks Spanish (not fluent any more but I'm sure it would come back) and he teaches primarily in underfunded areas (he is really great with those school) but we have gotten use to having lots of things around! I would definitely have problems with integrating as I only speak English and am very quiet/introverted. Is most of this portion of Fl low density?
There is a huge misconception (even among many Floridians) that most of the state is heavily developed which is not the reality. All of the areas you brought up are overwhelmingly low density outside of the anchoring towns. Your husband will find some opportunity for Spanish in Martin County even though it's not as heavily populated like areas further to the south, or those to the southwest in Glades and Okeechobee counties which are heavily populated by migrant farm workers (mostly undocumented and quite poor). The Indiantown area in western Martin County shares the same demographics as well. You could live in a nicer low density area closer to I-95 and towns like Stuart, yet be an easy 20 minute drive to the Indiantown schools if he desires that.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:58 AM
 
143 posts, read 103,435 times
Reputation: 148
If you like horses, then Ocala is the place to be.
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