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Old 01-07-2007, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,956,136 times
Reputation: 2861

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Hello all,
I'm new here, just found this forum today.
I'm a western NY firefighter who just spent 9 days down there visiting Ft. Myers, Tampa, and Leesburg.
I ended up just buying a home in Leesburg in a nice gated active adult community, and I am very happy. We close in about a month.

I find this forum, and all of a sudden I read so much negitive things about your state.....I'm somewhat surprised.

Now I know there are big differences in what you find by where you go, but I was impressed with what I found in Leesburg.....I think I will very much like it there. There is good and bad everywhere, but after 48 years outside of Buffalo NY, I think it will be an upgrade.

Some of you can sure dampen a new buyer's mood.....

Frank D.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Fiji
647 posts, read 1,852,722 times
Reputation: 418
Frank, it's different for those of us who've lived there in the day to day life. My family is from Fla. and I've lived there myself and I can tell you that I'm very glad to be out of there. So many yankees come down here thinking that it's some kind of paradise, then they get here and realize that they actually have to work, and pay bills, etc..... and deal with all the other "stuff" that I won't go into right now (because I'd make a lot of folks mad if I said what I really think about what has happened to Fla). Under the right circumstances, making the move here can be good and can be successful, however, for many, many folks, it just doesn't live up to the "dream" or fantasy that they've built up in their mind. Lots of folk come here on vacation and think they know how life is, but it ain't the same thang.

I do the same things in Tennessee that I did in Fla., we have much the same weather most of the year, and I get paid a lot more for my job, and it's just a better way of life for me and my family. Now, again, my perspective is different since I've been around Fla. for much of my life and have lived the life down there, so it's not as big of a deal. I've never experienced a winter up north, but I've always wondered if weather was really a good reason to move here. Yeah, we have milder winters, but so what? I'm in Tennessee now and I haven't seen snow in 4 years..

But, yeah, I guess any place is what you make it to be and largely determined by your attitude going in. But, everytime I go back to visit a few times per year, I just shake my head in disgust at what has become of the old neighborhood, creeks, pine forests, etc. that we used to grow up with that are now just concrete, strip malls, condos, and construction.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:30 PM
 
26 posts, read 114,533 times
Reputation: 22
I can understand where you are coming from. I've been on this forum on and off for two days now, reading everything I can about Florida. All I hear is how I'm going to get run off the road by a bad driver, then mugged by a robber and when they are done taking all my money i'll be raped by the state property tax and high home insurance. Not to mention my house will be blown away by a hurricane or infested with bugs. This is how it SEEMS.

I'm looking at a very nice town called Brandon if not a small suburb of this called Valrico. They are 30 min within Tampa even during rush hour and yet Brandon seems like a nice city in and of itself. From what i've seen I can find a nice house in the 200k range, which coming from Milwaukee is a nice change of pase. I go to Florida every April and I also had a 3 week vacation in June 2 years ago. The weather is hot, but I can deal with hot. Overall I really like it there.

I've had a few very helpful people on this site that have private messaged me and gave me the facts on Florida. There are good and bad everywhere, and Florida is the same way, but I'm ready to try it out.

Oh, and for those of you that think YOUR property taxes are bad... HAHAHAH Move to Milwaukee. On my 170k house I just paid $4,000 dollars, yes 4g's!! But, at the same time, I only pay 600 bucks for my home owners insurance so I guess it all equals out.

~Lee
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:32 PM
 
Location: St Pete -- formally LI, NY
628 posts, read 1,677,290 times
Reputation: 231
Frank first of all welcome to the forum and good luck in the future.

There are plenty of happy people in Florida even with the issues you are reading about on this forum. Problem is most people who are happy donít bother to take the time to express it. While on the other hand those who are unhappy, disgruntled, discontented, dissatisfied, displeased, irritated, angry, and or plain old annoyed will look to tell the world Ė itís the same old story.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Fiji
647 posts, read 1,852,722 times
Reputation: 418
I'm just trying to be real with ya'll about this Florida perspective. I've seen it myself with folks who move down for a while thinking it's agonna be like some kind of extended vacation.......and they end up disappointed when they go through the day to day grind of work, home life, etc. and don't have time to do the stuff that they had imagined like hanging out at the beach all day, and stuff like that.

My property taxes are so much lower in Tennessee that it's laughable......btw, I have 2400 square feet.

I was fine when I lived there, but I decided to move on and I've also been happy with that as well. Tennessee has been good for me for the past several years. Depending on your circumstances, Florida can be good or bad. It depends. If your determined to make it work, then it likely will. I'm just saying that I don't see what the big deal about Florida is. It's just like any ole other place for us, but again, my roots and family are there and I've spent a lot of my life there, so I didn't have much to compare it to (like being up north).
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:05 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 6,349,758 times
Reputation: 588
Frank welcome to Florida good to have a IAFF brother. Some of us don't sell realestate and post the good with the bad, Storms are a part of Florida life. insurance is a big change for us. As a firefighter you know the good and the bad about upstate NY. If I was moving there I would like to know as much about an area as I can. Florida is a nice state. I have been here all my life. I'm not moving or disgruntled. I have no clue what it is like in a snow storm. It seem like it would not be that bad. I could start a fire to keep warm. But I can tell you about hurricanes just as you can tell me about Ice storms. so don't let this forum ruin your new buyer's mood you will like it. Just don't think is paradise but it is very nice.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:14 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,656 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by leepoffaith View Post
I can understand where you are coming from. I've been on this forum on and off for two days now, reading everything I can about Florida. All I hear is how I'm going to get run off the road by a bad driver, then mugged by a robber and when they are done taking all my money i'll be raped by the state property tax and high home insurance. Not to mention my house will be blown away by a hurricane or infested with bugs. This is how it SEEMS.

I'm looking at a very nice town called Brandon if not a small suburb of this called Valrico. They are 30 min within Tampa even during rush hour and yet Brandon seems like a nice city in and of itself. From what i've seen I can find a nice house in the 200k range, which coming from Milwaukee is a nice change of pase. I go to Florida every April and I also had a 3 week vacation in June 2 years ago. The weather is hot, but I can deal with hot. Overall I really like it there.

I've had a few very helpful people on this site that have private messaged me and gave me the facts on Florida. There are good and bad everywhere, and Florida is the same way, but I'm ready to try it out.

Oh, and for those of you that think YOUR property taxes are bad... HAHAHAH Move to Milwaukee. On my 170k house I just paid $4,000 dollars, yes 4g's!! But, at the same time, I only pay 600 bucks for my home owners insurance so I guess it all equals out.

~Lee

We have friends in Brandon and are looking in the same areas. What price range are you looking in? We have found some really awesome houses so far!!
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,683 posts, read 7,584,586 times
Reputation: 834
Frank, there are MANY happy people living in Florida who love it and have no desire to move elsewhere. The only reason I would ever move is if the issues with insurance don't get addressed. If it continues to go up then we will have no choice but to move elsewhere when we retire as we couldn't afford it on our retirement income.

ALL the other issues so many complain about happen most other places to an extent. For me, other nationalities just are not an issue. Saying people are unfriendly is preposterous - I have the most friendly neighbors in the world and I've only lived in this area of town for 2 years. I don't experience road rage. I've driven in Washington, DC, NYC, BOSTON, San Francisco and Atlanta - Orlando traffic is a walk in the park compared to those places. Yes, crime is up suddenly, but it happens in the same bad areas that have been there for years.

The only issue most people have to complain about IMHO is the fact that housing, taxes and insurance have risen so dramatically over the last few years that it has priced alot of middle income people out of the housing market. Then with the investors turning so many of the apartments into condos - rents have gone up on the few apartments left. So I can understand why there is alot of frustration in this area and don't blame people for moving to places where they can afford a home.

Yes, there is development. If you are looking for small town Orlando/Florida that existed 30 years ago, you will be disappointed. I think that's a good thing. I've lived here for 20 years and seen the downtown area go from boarded up storefronts to upscale stores/condos. The older neighborhoods near downtown were dumps in the 80's. I only WISH I could have seen into the future and picked up a few of these cheap properties. You should see them today.

If you want a rural lifestyle, then you won't find it in much of south and central Florida today. Please look in the Panhandle or go to TN or some parts of Georgia or SC.

Regarding the insurance issue, I just heard on the news last night that insurance is a growing problem for the coastal areas of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. I'm sure it must be for Louisiana and Mississippi as well - it's not limited to Florida.

Sorry for the rambling, but just wanted you to hear some positive things. Many on this board have left or are looking to move and naturally they don't think Florida is a good choice to live. The ones who love Florida don't feel the need to 'warn' others and vent their frustrations and disappointment.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:07 AM
 
Location: chicago, il
91 posts, read 114,415 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by leepoffaith View Post
Oh, and for those of you that think YOUR property taxes are bad... HAHAHAH Move to Milwaukee. On my 170k house I just paid $4,000 dollars, yes 4g's!! But, at the same time, I only pay 600 bucks for my home owners insurance so I guess it all equals out. ~Lee
or try DU PAGE COUNTY, ILLINOIS!!! (about twice as expensive as fort lauderdale, and 1.25 times more expensive than miami-dade.)
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:41 AM
 
26 posts, read 114,533 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanshine View Post
We have friends in Brandon and are looking in the same areas. What price range are you looking in? We have found some really awesome houses so far!!
Well, I won't be moving until June, and I even may rent a few months once I get out there. The way that the housing market is going down there you should be able to get a very nice, almost new if not new house for 200k. I've found a few nice houses in Valrico as well as Brandon. I've never actually been to the town, but from what I read and the people i've talked to it's a very nice town.

I'm going down during the beginning of April to take a look at it myself and make a final decision. If I like it in that area I will be moving. I keep thinking on and off about my decision because moving will be a huge change for me, but the way I look at it is that if I don't like it I can always move back to Wisconsin after a few years.
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