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Old 12-20-2009, 07:19 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,162,406 times
Reputation: 1669

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet4624 View Post
To those of us further inland, it's still astonishing how expensive it is to live there. The saying goes, "The millionaires are mad because the billionaires are forcing them out."

Also, Key West isn't a place that I think I would be comfortable raising kids. Plenty of obsessive sexual and substance abuse behavior happening. Like Mardi Gras, only worse.

Good luck!
Whoah! Many comments I have to make about this post.

First of all, most people who live in the Keys are working class or middle class. There are plenty of well-off people, but there certainly aren't many billionaires. Housing prices have fallen quite a bit since their early-2007 peak, and rents are still considerably less expensive than the mortgage payments would be on a similar home. The cost of living is expensive, but not prohibitively so. Given that the OP is from Long Island, he shouldn't be in for much sticker shock. It's the people who expect a huge house with a big yard at Atlanta prices who end up hating the Keys and complaining about how bad it is for families. Some people learn, however, that you don't need a huge house to raise a normal family.

I attended Keys public schools and have family members and friends working in them to this day. Though there are trouble-makers in the schools, there are also good kids who are involved in extracurricular activities and who end up going to very good colleges and universities. Some of us, believe it or not, went to law school, medical school, or business school. The schools are what you make of them. While some of my classmates were skipping class and getting in trouble, I actually went to class and learned (plenty!), and when I went away to college in Boston, I was just as prepared for the workload as many of my peers who went to schools in wealthy suburban areas in the Northeast.

Key West is the best place in the Keys to have a family, in my opinion. Not only are the schools pretty well-regarded, but there is are solid baseball, soccer, and football clubs as well as public parks and beaches no more than a few minutes drive from anywhere on the island. The best part of Key West is the unique sense of place and the strong sense of community - many people have lived on the island for generations. You simply do not find that further up the Keys, which are far more transient, isolated, and compared to Key West and Miami.... boring. Key West has a great downtown area, a wonderful restaurant scene, some good theaters, and decent shopping... and all of that has gotten better over the years.

DM me if you have any further questions, and best of luck with your move!
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:54 AM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,674,164 times
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Very curious...have the ENTIRE Keys ever been under water at the same time due to a Hurricane ? What is the highest point above sea level for any Key ? Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Sound Beach
2,157 posts, read 6,456,505 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007.5 View Post
Very curious...have the ENTIRE Keys ever been under water at the same time due to a Hurricane ? What is the highest point above sea level for any Key ? Thanks.
I believe it is the cemetary on Key West...about 17 ft above sea level.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Sound Beach
2,157 posts, read 6,456,505 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisp444 View Post
Whoah! Many comments I have to make about this post.

First of all, most people who live in the Keys are working class or middle class. There are plenty of well-off people, but there certainly aren't many billionaires. Housing prices have fallen quite a bit since their early-2007 peak, and rents are still considerably less expensive than the mortgage payments would be on a similar home. The cost of living is expensive, but not prohibitively so. Given that the OP is from Long Island, he shouldn't be in for much sticker shock. It's the people who expect a huge house with a big yard at Atlanta prices who end up hating the Keys and complaining about how bad it is for families. Some people learn, however, that you don't need a huge house to raise a normal family.

I attended Keys public schools and have family members and friends working in them to this day. Though there are trouble-makers in the schools, there are also good kids who are involved in extracurricular activities and who end up going to very good colleges and universities. Some of us, believe it or not, went to law school, medical school, or business school. The schools are what you make of them. While some of my classmates were skipping class and getting in trouble, I actually went to class and learned (plenty!), and when I went away to college in Boston, I was just as prepared for the workload as many of my peers who went to schools in wealthy suburban areas in the Northeast.

Key West is the best place in the Keys to have a family, in my opinion. Not only are the schools pretty well-regarded, but there is are solid baseball, soccer, and football clubs as well as public parks and beaches no more than a few minutes drive from anywhere on the island. The best part of Key West is the unique sense of place and the strong sense of community - many people have lived on the island for generations. You simply do not find that further up the Keys, which are far more transient, isolated, and compared to Key West and Miami.... boring. Key West has a great downtown area, a wonderful restaurant scene, some good theaters, and decent shopping... and all of that has gotten better over the years.

DM me if you have any further questions, and best of luck with your move!
Thank you for a post with substance! I probably will have some questions which I will fire your way. Much appreciated!
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,271 posts, read 14,909,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strel View Post
BTW you will not be impressed with the beaches.
Ditto. I'll never forget when I lived in NH and the travel agent told me about the beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys! Huh? No offense to anyone who lives there, but what beaches? However, if you like boating, the water is very clear and the sunsets are often spectacular.

It would be unfair to comment on the people, since I haven't been to the Keys since 1994. However, what was really nice for vacationers was that Key West was a big party place with great entertainment. I'm guessing that hasn't changed much.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:43 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,162,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justNancy View Post
Ditto. I'll never forget when I lived in NH and the travel agent told me about the beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys! Huh? No offense to anyone who lives there, but what beaches? However, if you like boating, the water is very clear and the sunsets are often spectacular.

It would be unfair to comment on the people, since I haven't been to the Keys since 1994. However, what was really nice for vacationers was that Key West was a big party place with great entertainment. I'm guessing that hasn't changed much.
(All of the pictures were taken by me)









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Old 12-22-2009, 04:43 PM
 
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,271 posts, read 14,909,524 times
Reputation: 7867
Where were those pics taken? Very nice! I just remember a lot of dead coral in the water and no surf whatsoever. However, I did mention that the views were pretty & the water is very clear. Not trying to start an argument.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:03 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,162,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justNancy View Post
Where were those pics taken? Very nice! I just remember a lot of dead coral in the water and no surf whatsoever. However, I did mention that the views were pretty & the water is very clear. Not trying to start an argument.
They were taken at Bahia Honda State Park.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Key West, Florida
132 posts, read 318,337 times
Reputation: 152
If you work for the government, particularly the military, you should be alright in Key West. Unless you're wealthy, that's about the only way to have some kind of stability down here. Plus, the military offers base housing, at least to non-reserve, and ships it's people out when a hurricane is immanent.

The national economy is down, but the Keys housing market has heeded to it begrudgingly, and only as much as it has to keep business going. It's still too damn expensive. From what I've learned from others in Key West, the schools are nothing special, unless you value the presence of more baseball and football fields than there are libraries. In other words, athletics take priority over education apparently, even if nobody admits it. Fishing and boating is the official chosen pass time.

The sometimes racy nightlife and events are mostly relegated to a single street, Duval, on one end of town. And it's usually fairly tame, compared to the billy club craziness of a place like Bourbon St. at Marti Gras.

There is a strong family atmosphere, but primarily among the long established population, or certain ethnic groups. Everyone else is just kind of doing there own thing. It's not really the same as it used to be, for anyone who hasn't been to Key West in 10-20 years, and you either like/love it here, or you don't. But I would not suggest moving to Key West proper to raise a family, but rather somewhere up the Keys, possibly 20 miles or so. If you work in Boca Chica even 30 miles, which would be Big Pine. It's quieter, maybe too sedate, but most likely cheaper.

Bahia Honda State Park is a nice little getaway from it all.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Sound Beach
2,157 posts, read 6,456,505 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by LateNight View Post
If you work for the government, particularly the military, you should be alright in Key West. Unless you're wealthy, that's about the only way to have some kind of stability down here. Plus, the military offers base housing, at least to non-reserve, and ships it's people out when a hurricane is immanent.

The national economy is down, but the Keys housing market has heeded to it begrudgingly, and only as much as it has to keep business going. It's still too damn expensive. From what I've learned from others in Key West, the schools are nothing special, unless you value the presence of more baseball and football fields than there are libraries. In other words, athletics take priority over education apparently, even if nobody admits it. Fishing and boating is the official chosen pass time.

The sometimes racy nightlife and events are mostly relegated to a single street, Duval, on one end of town. And it's usually fairly tame, compared to the billy club craziness of a place like Bourbon St. at Marti Gras.

There is a strong family atmosphere, but primarily among the long established population, or certain ethnic groups. Everyone else is just kind of doing there own thing. It's not really the same as it used to be, for anyone who hasn't been to Key West in 10-20 years, and you either like/love it here, or you don't. But I would not suggest moving to Key West proper to raise a family, but rather somewhere up the Keys, possibly 20 miles or so. If you work in Boca Chica even 30 miles, which would be Big Pine. It's quieter, maybe too sedate, but most likely cheaper.

Bahia Honda State Park is a nice little getaway from it all.
Good stuff...thanks!

I am govt...and Navy reserve. I'd be working on White St. We got the sense of the family atmosphere after spending a few weeks in KW last year. We got out in the evening after the cruise ships left and took our kids to the park and asked ourselves...do we want these people as our neighbors? Overall I felt like we did.
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