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Old 12-05-2008, 07:00 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,659 times
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I currently live in South Carolina and I am thinking about moving to the keys, to the Marathon area. I have visited there several times but I would like to know more about what it is like to live there. I am a registered nurse. I love to fish and dive. I think I would like to live there but am wondering about the ecconomics of the Keys and if it is financially possible. What is the cost of living like there. LIke groceries, rent gasoline, general living expenses. Any information about living in the keys would be greatly appreciated.
Airanda
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,806,660 times
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Gasoline is the same price as the Miami area, sometimes cheaper. Your biggest expense will be housing, until the real estate crash works its way through the inventory. Pay is the same as on the mainland but not many opportunities for a nurse. There is mariner's hospital, but that's not a big place. Before moving here you need to secure a job, not easy in this economy. Do not come here without a job lined up, it is an expensive place with few good paying options. Also remember that in the summer you will have to evacuate for hurricanes at least once in a normal year. You should have at least 10,000.00 saved up to burn if you want to come here and take a chance that you can make it.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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Hi: I live n Marathon Moderator cut: .. . The hospital is Fishermen's in Marathon and they are always hiring. The biggest expense will be housing but that has really come down lately. I think you have the ideal job for the Keys it should pay well and will be in demand. Gas is slightly higher but you really don't need to drive far, Marathon is only 7 miles long. Food is high and I try to stock up when I get to Florida Cit because the Walmart there is really reasonable.Kelly

Last edited by Keeper; 01-12-2009 at 05:20 PM.. Reason: realtor soliciting
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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cnn.com has a cost of living calculator tool that you may find helpful.

cost of living comparisons
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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My husband and I currently live in Ohio and we are thinking of moving...our major considerations so far have been Virginia and South Carolina. However, we are young and thought the Keys might be a good lifestyle for us. So, if you don't mind I might just add on to this thread!

What is life like down there? I've read that the ocean has a moderating effect on the temperatures so it keeps it cooler in the day and warmer at night. Is that accurate? What prices are we talking about in terms of cost of living? Obviously pretty high...but I'm curious with the market the way it is right now. Are they in need of teachers down there? What is the average salary for educators? That is the career both of us have chosen. My husband is elementary and I am finishing up this year for Middle School Ed. When the weather turns nasty, is it difficult to get out and seek a safer area? In terms of crime...what can you compare it to and what types of crime are typical? I'm sure in terms of shopping and dining there is quite a variety so that is not a big concern of mine. Are there many churches down there, so we could find one that we like? Lastly, and it's a phobia of mine (lol) but what kind of "pests/critters" can we expect to see? We have a pomeranian and he's quite the bug catcher...but again, I just want to know, that way there is no shock if we would decide to make our home down there.

I'm sorry for all the questions and maybe it is not the lifestyle most people would pursue, but we like to consider all our options. After a lot of research already, we ruled out the west coast (way to expensive) and basically anything up to Indiana. We really want to be close to the mountains or ocean and just want information on different places. I think it is critical to be thorough and consider all options before ruling anything out.

Sorry to tag along a bit on the thread!
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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Schools: If you have any questions about the Monroe County School District, I would be glad to try to answer. I know several people who are teachers down there, including relatives of mine. I can tell you that with the budget cuts it is a bit harder to get a job as an elementary teacher, but due to the higher turnover of middle school and high school-level teachers, getting those jobs seem to be a bit easier. Many people assume that education down there is sub-par, but the statistics reflect that Monroe County schools actually outperform most other Florida school districts. Educators start at $40,000 (plus benefits). I saw the salary schedule about a year ago and at the time, Monroe County had the distinction of having one of the highest entry-level salaries in the state.

Crime: varies from area to area, but overall the Keys are a safe and peaceful place. Violent crime is generally low and non-violent crime is generally about average, but due to some issues such as petty theft, drug sales, and alcohol-related disturbances, non-violent crime is higher than average in some neighborhoods.

Shopping/Dining: compared to a big city, there is less shopping in dining. However, in Key West, there is an excellent restaurant scene with a good amount of shops. Outside of Key West, shopping and dining is much more limited.

Churches: there is a good mix of Catholics and Protestants in the Keys, and churches to reflect that. There are a few temples, too.

"Bugs and Pests": honestly, there are a LOT of these, but you become accustomed to them. There are "bugs and pests" throughout Florida. Expect to see lizards, ants, iguanas, and chickens on a daily basis. During humid, muggy nights and days you may very well see mosquitos and once in a while at night you will see raccoons. I have only seen an alligator roaming free in the Keys a few times; they are not common in the developed areas.

If you're going and adventurous, I say "go for it." If you want to live in a busy place with a lot of shopping/dining options, I would strongly suggest Key West. If you want to live in in the islands but still in a suburb/exurb (close to Miami), I would recommend Key Largo or Tavernier. Anything between the Upper Keys and Key West is much more quiet, and kind of boring for a young person. However, if you prefer the beach and boat to people, stores, and restaurants, you may want to take a look at some of the Lower and Middle Keys.

Hope that helps!

-Cris P-
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:45 AM
 
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That has been the most helpful post I have received from anyone on any of the forum that I have posted! Thank you so much for your honest answers! I truly appreciate your help! If you have any other information you feel would be beneficial for someone considering a move there, I would gladly take it!

OH...can you comment on rent prices? Obviously the closer the the beach=more expensive...but in general...could two teachers afford living there?
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:17 AM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,506,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspink View Post
That has been the most helpful post I have received from anyone on any of the forum that I have posted! Thank you so much for your honest answers! I truly appreciate your help! If you have any other information you feel would be beneficial for someone considering a move there, I would gladly take it!

OH...can you comment on rent prices? Obviously the closer the the beach=more expensive...but in general...could two teachers afford living there?
I'm glad I can be of help. I will say that even since the real estate "bubble" has burst, monthly mortgage payments (to buy) are still much higher than rents. My parents live in a nice neighborhood on a street of well-kept $400,000-$600,000 detached, single-family homes (with a few duplexes/two-family homes thrown into the mix) yet one of the smaller homes (2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms) down the street currently was rented for just $1500/month. If you and your husband each earn $40,000/year, you could easily afford a similar home. One bedroom apartments in Key West and other areas can be had for $900-$1500 (the higher end having ocean views, ameneties like a pool, etc.) You guys could definitely afford to rent.

Many landlords do not have an "income requirement" down there; they tend to rely on your credit history, references, etc. However, I have heard of a few landlords using the good old NYC "40 times the monthly rent rule" - this means that it requires a combined income of $60,000 to rent a $1500/month apartment. With an expected combined income of $80,000, you will be presumed to be able to afford rent of up to $2000/month. I assure you that this will get you a very nice apartment/home in a good neighborhood, maybe even with water views.

Last edited by Marlin331; 01-20-2009 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:31 PM
 
414 posts, read 891,647 times
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Well that is good to hear. Our credit is good too, so that shouldn't be a problem. We would also have "summer jobs" to supplement our income and both of us would be willing to do coaching at the schools we work at which is also an increase to the salary (though not by much) as it is in Ohio.

Thank you again. It is just so good to get honest and helpful information. When people are willing to give advice it is very beneficial...you can really get a feel for a different environment.

Can you comment at all on what happens when the weather turns bad...evacuations etc. Is it difficult to get off the islands or are people pretty smart and leave early? I am just curious. I have visited Florida many times and realize people have things to protect their homes, condos etc from hurricanes, but how easy is it to get out? It's a different story here in Ohio...we have to worry about tornadoes so I know the routines for those, but I have never been in the situation of what to do in a different type of storm.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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I grew up down there and had to evacuate for hurricanes several times. It's not that hard to get out (surprisingly few people actually heed evacuation orders; even when a hurricane is STRONG the majority of people stay), but returning can be a pain if a strong hurricane actually does hit due to traffic backups. Hurricanes aren't fun, but they of a regular part of living in a hurricane-prone area and you get accustomed to preparing for them.
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