Ten Things Everyone Moving To Northern Florida Needs To Know And Understand (Tampa: fit in, transplants)
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Ten Things Everyone Moving To Northern Florida Needs To Know And Understand
As a native who is fleeing this state with glee due to what it's become, I feel like I ought to give a little advice to those of you who plan on moving here.
1) If things were so great back where you came from, you wouldn’t be moving here. We don’t want to hear about “back home” every other sentence, nor do we want you working to change Florida into another (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or wherever it is that you came from). If New York is what you want, stay in New York.
2) North of Tampa, Florida is still very much a southern state. If you don’t like the nuances, lifestyle, politics or pace of southern states, either prepare to be very uncomfortable, or simply do not move here.
Do you think that you've really got Florida pegged based on your annual trip to Disneyland, Bike Week, Spring Break or the beach?
Once you live here, this dynamic will become crystal clear. Remember: In Florida, people from Georgia and Alabama are technically “northerners”.
3) Unless you already have a line on a job where the details are iron clad, understand that you ARE NOT going to make as much money in Florida as you used to back in (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or wherever it is that you came from). If you are coming to Florida to seek your fortune, you had better be the entrepreneurial sort who intends on starting something of your own. If you’re coming here to “work”, you’re probably better off staying where you are.
Florida is a right-to-work state (no unions) and the wages very much reflect this.
Shift manager at a hotel?
In New York, you were making $17.50 an hour. Here? $7.00 if you’re lucky.
In Massachusetts, you were making anywhere from $30 to $70 an hour. Here? If you break $15, you’re doing VERY good.
In the not too distant past, the lower wages weren't that big of a deal since you could still buy a decent house for $75,000, but with housing prices being what they are, Florida is pricing it’s “workers” our of their own market. It's the Aspen Factor.
4) The house I bought for $90,000 is now worth $400,000. Lucky me. If you buy my house tomorrow for $400,000, there’s a very real chance that it won’t be worth much more than that for the foreseeable future. Don’t ask a realtor who’s trying to sell you on a house about the state of the Florida housing market; talk to a person actually selling a house. Speculating on Florida Real Estate in the year 2006 is akin to buying tech-heavy mutual funds in late 1999. What it’s done in the past doesn’t mean anything for the future.
5) We don’t like seeing your white legs on the beach. Work on your tan in a booth before coming out in public.
6) Since the beginning of recorded history, hurricanes have existed in Florida. It isn't like they were suddenly discovered with the invention of CNN and the 24-hour news cycle. You must fully understand and comprehend this component of Florida living if you plan on buying a house within a couple miles of the ocean. In due time, your house will completely blow/wash away. If it doesn’t happen this season, then IT WILL happen some random year down the line. It is neither mystery nor tragedy when it occurs... It is nature. If you just can't deal with things like hurricanes and evacuations and the lingering prospect that your home may be reduced to a pile of brine-soaked rubble, then Florida isn't for you. You either accept this as a part of the Florida lifestyle, or join the ranks of U-Hauls heading back northward from Port Charlotte and Port St. Lucie.
7) The nice new house you’re buying in that pretty, new “gated community”?
Yeah, that’s where we used to hunt and ride horses. Needless to say, we’re not too happy to see you living there. Your in-ground swimming pool used to be my tree-fort when I was a little kid. I used to pick up real Indian arrowheads where your driveway now sits. The only people who hate transplants more than Native Floridians are maybe Native Hawaiians, but it’s too close to call. Understand this, know this and you will be better off for it.
8) All animals in Florida either bite or sting. Poisonous snakes, alligators, insects, bears, panthers, mosquitoes, chiggers, flies, wild boar, etc. Do not pet any of the wildlife, or else you will die. Furthermore, all freshwater in Florida, without a single exception, has Alligators. Hot, muggy day and you want to go for a swim? See ya on the news...
9) As things stand today, most everyone living in Florida is really from someplace else. As such, the state has attained a very transient, almost callous feel to it that many people never get comfortable with. It is impossible to understand or explain this phenomenon; it’s something that must be experienced first hand in order to truly understand it. If you are coming to Florida from someplace where your roots run deep, I would suggest that you not unpack all of your boxes for at least the first 5 years. Florida is the one state that everyone is excited to move into, motivated by grand visions of beaches and Mickey Mouse, but in many instances, those same people are just as excited to leave and go back home when reality sets in.
10) After you’ve lived here for 10 years, you can officially join the ranks of all the other idiots who moved here 10 years ago and presently bitch about how much things have changed and how much better it was before all of these damn people moved here.
...or join the ranks of U-Hauls heading back northward from Port Charlotte and Port St. Lucie.
Some of what you say is true, but my guess is that you've never been to Port St. Lucie. Those "ranks of U-Hauls" are moving in, not out. If anyone is moving out, it's because they're willing to take their profit in exchange for colder weather, as you appear to be doing. That's a move I can't quite understand, but different strokes...
...However, back to Port St. Lucie -- as I said, few people are moving out. The one thing I'm sure of is that no one is moving out because there home was blown/washed away. Uh, we're 10 miles from the ocean...
...Yes, some of the things you say are true, but I'm not quite sure I get your point. It's too late for many of your warnings. It's been too late for decades. My guess is that the folks who are moving here now like it the way it is now, and couldn't care less whether the few natives left like to see their white legs on the beach.
Finally, you don't have to "flee the state with glee" to find much of the old Florida. Just move a little inland in many parts of the state. We're moving to Okeechobee. And, it's not because anything in Port St. Lucie chased us out; it's because we're retired and finally have some time to play with 5 acres of landscaping, etc.
Folks, Florida has changed. I'm "almost" a native because I've been here 34 years. My best friend is a native. We've seen the changes, mostly along the coasts and in the theme park areas. They're not better or worse, they're just different than it used to be.
thank you for your advice..i'm seriously thinking of moving to flordia, but not for the beaches and mickey mouse parks..i'm starting my life over after a bad 22 yrs...i don't mean to or even intend to step on any toes...i just want to live my life, work my job, no matter what the pay is...it can't be any worse then i have it now...try working as an aide in a nursing home..killing your back, getting beat up and **** on and everything else..for 6.00 an hr..so any amount of money for a job that maybe won't kill my back while i go back to school to better my life...will be good...yes i prefer to stay a safe distance from the water...hurricanes...any other advice...my son-in-law has a job waiting in tampa...i have family in clearwater and jennings..so we will see how i do...thank you again...libby
i read your reply and like what you said...i would love to find a small out of the way town to live in..i was raised in the country all my life, would love to find some where to rent a house..but i will live where ever i have to, to be able to survive...if you have any advice for a soon to be newcomer, please let me know...thank you
Last edited by Marka; 05-16-2006 at 02:20 AM..
It's probably better for your health if you do move out of the state. You sound awfully unhappy and quite bitter????? Not healthy to carry that around.
lmao. Interesting reply from a northeasterner who doesn't live here. LM1 is just telling ya how it is. A little friendy advice from a native. Take it or leave it, whatever. It's good honest feedback for someone looking into moving here. If you don't want to take the advice, fine... but it's no reason to put the person down.
I am not trying to put anyone down.
Seriously, living unhappy, anywhere, is unhealthy. The beautiful thing is having options.
I DO APPRECIATE opinions/advice from others :>)
However, I don't see how comments like, "We don’t like seeing your white legs on the beach. Work on your tan in a booth before coming out in public." as constructive advice. Sounds kinda mean spirited :>(
Last edited by Lisa Allen; 05-15-2006 at 02:25 PM..
the only natives in florida would be the indians ,the great thing about this country is we are free to move where we choose,I hate the attitude where just because someone lives somewhere it is their state,it isn't we are all just borrowing it. Oh I hope I still have my tan legs when I move down . I love florida the way it is except for the northern end around lake city...too redneck for me.I made the mistake moving to south carolina from pennsylvania..sight unseen on the word of my sister saying how nice it was,ummm too many rednecks here too,not for me.
Don’t ask a realtor who’s trying to sell you on a house about the state of the Florida housing market… .
As a Realtor, I can tell you that your typical Realtor does not give info simply for the sake of the next sale. We rely on the same info that Economists use to make predictions on the nations/states economy in addition to our own market data. With respect to FL, there are many reasons the market is booming & will continue to boom (however anything could happen, there are instabilities happening on a national scale). This is a well known fact amongst all Realtors, several of whom I know are investing in FL .
Originally Posted by LM1
We don’t like seeing your white legs on the beach. Work on your tan in a booth before coming out in public.
How unfortunate that you have to withstand the sight of white legs, lol! Unfortunately much of the world doesn’t have the luxury of basking in the sun for a quick tan, nor the leisure of a sun booth. I suppose this is just one of the many ‘problems’ of dealing with other people.
Originally Posted by LM1
In due time, your house will completely blow/wash away. If it doesn’t happen this season, then IT WILL happen some random year down the line. It is neither mystery nor tragedy when it occurs.
As a person whom grew up in a hurricane clad state, I have to disagree. Some of what you say is true but exaggerated. There are many homes/buildings in HI and FL dating back to the 50’s and older when there almost weren’t any building codes. Now homes are being built with disasters in mind and do very well. There are disasters all over the world, yet every last building hasn’t been washed/blown away. From one human to antoher, just because disasters are a reality of this world, certainly does not mean that this is not a tragedy. A little callous, don’t you think…
Originally Posted by LM1
Yeah, that’s where we used to hunt and ride horses. Needless to say, we’re not too happy to see you living there. Your in-ground swimming pool used to be my tree-fort when I was a little kid. I used to pick up real Indian arrowheads where your driveway now sits. The only people who hate transplants more than Native Floridians are maybe Native Hawaiians... Understand this…
It appears that there are issues extending way beyond “ten things to know”. The same issues that half the world has; prejudice, racism, or serious bitterness towards change.
With respect to “Native Hawaiians”, their land/leadership was stolen at gun point. Ironically, the ones that are most hostile and angry with newcomers, are not even of Hawaiian blood. There are estimated to be some 1-10% “Hawaiians” left in Hawaii, the man of my life & my 3 children being a few. The purer the blood, the kinder, more humbl and gentle natured, it seems. The land being stolen at gunpoint hundreds of years ago, several “white man” generations ago is undisputedly wrong. The government, till this day, hording land from native Americans and Hawaiians, again this is wrong. Industry & development coming in with no regard to life & nature, disturbing to say the least.
To be angry because someone builds their home on land where you used to play is silly, in my honest opinion. One of the many “laws of nature” is that there will forever be migration and integration. People are forever moving- trying to find environments which they can live & adapt. The tragedy is when people can’t come to live with, respect and tolerate each other & the land around them; or, when people become too greedy & push others around. The reality is that despite deeds to land, the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth as does every other plant, animal and species. Mankinds downfall is that we are selfish, greedy, intolerant and too ignorant for our own good.
It’s really too bad, if we were to simply channel all of that hatred and anger, we really could make changes for the better. We could push for a cleaner environment, cleaner technology and development; Communities that work for the masses, not only the minority$; end globalization; minimize war; eliminate or reduce the gap between the “classes”, respect all spectrums of society (someone has to take out the trash); If we continue the way we are we will continue to see more pollution, violence, hatred, greed, war & ignorance. It’s not that difficult to do, it all begins with you, how you treat your neighbor, act in your community, the way you treat the land & your willingness to be informed & speak up for the best interest.
LM1, I hope you take this as positive incentive. Otherwise, I’ve heard the Southpole is uninhabited. Lol! I’m just joking, I hope you find sanctity wherever you plan on going
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