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Thread summary:

Single mom wanting to leave Florida for New Jersey, dislike Florida high cost of living, terrible traffic, bad job market

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Old 10-11-2007, 09:55 AM
 
145 posts, read 403,318 times
Reputation: 54

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I’ve been watching this website for the past 3 months now, but today I felt compelled to post something. I currently live in Lake Mary, Florida. And I hate it. Cost of living is very high here and living has become unbearable. I decided last year it’s time to move and since my daughter’s father lives in Somerset NJ, I figured it would better to go where I’ll have a support system. I noticed that there are tons of moving to Jersey posts so I’m going to list the reasons I hate FL, then what I’m looking for in NJ and see if anyone can help me.

I hate FL because
1.With my bachelors in education, I was unable to secure a teaching job because the county is on freeze. So I work as a clerk for $13 hourly or about $27,000 yearly. I am a single mother – that’s just not enough.
2.Most apartments here go on income and I make too much for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, but not enough for a 3. So I have to go to unsubsidized complexes, where I pay $890 for a 2bdr, 735 sq ft with no washer/dryer hookups.
4. Traffic is horrible, driving is horrible, you have to get on the expressway to go anywhere and they are raising the tolls AGAIN!
5.The job market here stinks. I’m either overqualified or don’t have enough experience, everything here is sales or telemarketing.

What I’m looking for in NJ...
1.A nice area. My daughter is six years old, I would like to live in an area where I feel safe walking with her alone. I know every city has its bad parts, there are places here I wouldn’t go alone in the middle of the day, but safety is my number one concern.
2.Somewhere equidistant between Somerset and Montclair, as I will be going to school there 1 year after I move
3.Good school systems – my daughter will attend public school.
4.My biggest thing is I'm scared. I've never been there, aside from a long ago high school field trip and I don't know anything about it. My funds don't allow me to take looksee trips, so I can only go by my online research and advice from my daughter's father. I understand cost-of-living is high, but I think it's lower then what I pay here because the pay level is so low in comparsion. And some posts make it seem like you're going to get mugged, shot, stabbed, killed or beaten to death just by walking out your front door....so yeah I'm a little scared to leave the "safety" of my Florida home.

I'm looking for honest, open-minded suggestions of possible locations, websites, expereinces, anything that will give me a little more guidance as I look.

That’s about all I need to know right now. Thanks in advance!

Julie
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:24 AM
 
34 posts, read 175,087 times
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Your biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is going to be rent. For two bedrooms I doubt you can get anything decent in a safe area for less than $1500.
But I don't know anything about how assistance or subsidies work up here, so maybe you can get help.
Can your child's father help you until you get settled?
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:47 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,102,485 times
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Originally Posted by LynW676 View Post
Your biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is going to be rent. For two bedrooms I doubt you can get anything decent in a safe area for less than $1500.
Agreed. And given that the starting salary for teachers in most towns is around $40k, that's an extra $1,000/month gross, which equates to around $700 net. That's gone just in the higher rent. Of course, you've got the two months of summer to make some extra cash, which might put you ahead somewhat.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:56 AM
 
145 posts, read 403,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynW676 View Post
Your biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is going to be rent. For two bedrooms I doubt you can get anything decent in a safe area for less than $1500.

Can your child's father help you until you get settled?
I was actually planning on getting a one-bedroom, because I've noticed how high the rent is in most areas. Looking online it's looks like private renters offer better prices than complexes, but they also mention heat is not included...I've never lived anywhere without central air and heat...I'm guessing they have the heaters that stick out the window?

My ex is planning on covering our moving expenses, but as he's now married I doubt he'll be able to put us up for even a few days.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:07 PM
 
145 posts, read 403,318 times
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Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
That's gone just in the higher rent. Of course, you've got the two months of summer to make some extra cash, which might put you ahead somewhat.
I wasn't planning until moving until early next year, since I'll get a fairly decent tax return. So right now I have about six months to save my money. My lease is up in December, so I'm just going to transfer what I usually pay for rent, electric, cable,etc. into my savings account and move back in with the parentals for three or four months
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:20 PM
 
Location: GA
2,736 posts, read 9,340,870 times
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Even if OP gets a job teaching, she'll need to be off during the summer to care for her daughter, unless she can find inexpensive daycare. Teaching jobs in NJ are hard to come by unless it's in a field where there's a demand or you know someone.

As for apts, if you rent in someone's home, you will probably have to pay for your utilities (no heaters in windows, maybe AC though). Don't be afraid; much of NJ is safe. You'll be fine. Can your ex help find a place for you to settle down? He may be able to do some of the legwork. It's not likely you'll get subsidized, but it can't hurt to apply for help.

I understand your frustrations, but realize that moving to NJ may not solve your problems. There's traffic here also, and the job market can be tough too. You might start by looking for a few towns midway between those two points, then come back here with your list and ask more questions. If you narrow down the area, people could give you some guidance. Best of luck to you!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,256 posts, read 15,791,470 times
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I understand your desire to move - as you've seen in other posts I'm from Orlando and moving up north for similar reasons. Florida is just becoming a really expensive state and the pay isn't moving anywhere near the cost of living. There's a lot to consider when making such a drastic move, I'm waiting for next summer simply because I don't have money to run out and buy winter clothes right now. And I'd rather get acclimated to the city before going through winter.

I'm pretty scared of big city living to, but I know my options will be better once I leave. I've always lived in FL and as much as I love it, FL just ain't loving me back. I look it at this way, if I hate it I can always move agaiIt's only permanent when ya die!

PM and maybe we can continue our search together. I'm currently planning on moving to South or Central Jersey to be near family, so maybe we can help each other. You know us Southerner's gots to stick togetha!
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Toms River, NJ
1,106 posts, read 4,365,171 times
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Don't be scared, when I visit my brother in Florida it seems much more dangerous than here in NJ and all the roads in Florida feel like highways...however, we do have our share of traffic.

lynW676 is correct. Apts are high and subsidies are few. However IF, and that's a big IF, you get a teaching position the starting salaries are in the low to mid 40's. It is very political. If you teach math and science then you have a little headstart. I suggest working on getting your NJ Certification now.

Also, depending where you work, summer teaching positions can pay nicely. I work in Elizabeth and summer school pays $36/hr usually for 4 hours per day 5 days per week for 6 weeks. Definitely worth the daycare.

I would say that any town where you would rent will have a better school than anything in Florida (sorry but FL just isn't known for their public education).

Finally, be prepared that if you don't have a teaching position when you arrive, if you can, become a substitute for one or two districts. Substitutes often get hired as teachers if the principals get to know you.

Good luck. I'm a single mom and I switched careers 2 years ago to become a teacher. It is possible to raise a child in NJ on a teachers salary...and there is so much that is fun to do here. I look forward to weekends with my daughter. Last weekend was the zoo and next weekend is apple and pumpkin picking, the following weekend is a halloween party...I just haven't decided about this weekend yet.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:41 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brookdaleresident View Post
Even if OP gets a job teaching, she'll need to be off during the summer to care for her daughter, unless she can find inexpensive daycare. Teaching jobs in NJ are hard to come by unless it's in a field where there's a demand or you know someone.

As for apts, if you rent in someone's home, you will probably have to pay for your utilities (no heaters in windows, maybe AC though). Don't be afraid; much of NJ is safe. You'll be fine. Can your ex help find a place for you to settle down? He may be able to do some of the legwork. It's not likely you'll get subsidized, but it can't hurt to apply for help.

I understand your frustrations, but realize that moving to NJ may not solve your problems. There's traffic here also, and the job market can be tough too. You might start by looking for a few towns midway between those two points, then come back here with your list and ask more questions. If you narrow down the area, people could give you some guidance. Best of luck to you!
Agreed. Teaching jobs are much harder to come by here than in Florida. I would definitely be sure I have a job first if I were you. School districts want to see you certified in your state up here. I am a teacher in PA, and it took years of subbing to find a job.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:28 PM
 
34 posts, read 90,222 times
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I was born and raised in NJ, moved to Florida, biggest mistake of my life!! Have to work 2 jobs to keep roof over my head. The heat never stops, and the rudiest people. I moved to the Charlotte area of North Carolina. LOVE IT!! They are crying for teachers there, beautiful place to live, lots to do for kids. Great schools and small towns, Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson very nice. Unless NJ is a have to, check out NC
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