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Old 06-11-2012, 08:11 PM
 
45 posts, read 74,764 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello everyone,

I'm currently a senior in college majoring in communications (University of Michigan) and my girlfriend is also a senior in college majoring in nursing. We both are very interested in changing up our lives and moving to Florida because we both LOVE warm weather, the beach, fishing, and boating and Michigan is not really conducive to that much of the year.

Our questions lie on where exactly to go. There seems like so many different areas and options to think about and it is almost overwhelming. Since I am a communications major I am really looking to work in PR/Marketing and my girlfriend will need to find a job as an RN. We have both worked really hard in school and also internships and on the job training so we are hoping that we don't have a really hard time finding jobs. My ultimate goal however is to start my own real estate investing business specializing in investing in multifamily apartment buildings.

We have looked a little bit at Punta Gorda because I have hear good things about it from different people but I do have some questions. Since we will both need to find jobs in PR and nursing (hopefully sooner rather than later ) I was wondering if the Punta Gorda area would offer the best opportunities for us? We have also considered the Tampa/St. Pete area as well but I know I really like Punta Gorda. The only concern I have though is that since the general Punta Gorda area is much smaller than Tampa/St. Pete will there be as many opportunities for us?

Like I mentioned, we need to be able to find jobs and I also want to be in a good area for investing in apartment buildings.

Does anyone have any advice for us as to where you would suggest that we look and live that would match up well with what we are looking for?

Our final concern is that we find a nice, safe area to start our lives. Since we would be coming from Michigan, we are not familiar with where the good and bad areas are. I have looked at some crime statistics and Punta Gorda's stats seem much better than other cities. Any advice or insight into this topic would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks to everyone in advance!
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:34 AM
 
1,264 posts, read 1,347,065 times
Reputation: 309
Punta Gorda is small and primarily SFH and condos, not what you're looking for.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:35 AM
 
94 posts, read 142,080 times
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I am an RN, with 30 years of experience. I am not sure what the payscale is like in Michigan, but I took a 37% paycut moving to Florida from Maryland. Plus the benefits cost more.

But in saying that, I love the weather, the people are so much nicer and I am glad I moved here!
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,961 posts, read 8,461,358 times
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Punta Gorda does not have a lot of apartment buildings. Punta Gorda does not have a lot of jobs. You will be much better off in a larger city such as Ft Myers, Sarasota, or Tampa/St. Pete. Punta Gorda has mostly single family homes, condos and mobile home parks.

Here is the web site to the City of Punta Gorda: City of Punta Gorda Florida

It is a very nice city with a lot to do, but doesn't seem to fit what you are looking for.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:38 AM
 
45 posts, read 74,764 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks everyone for the help!

I thought that you might say those things about Punta Gorda because I knew that it was a smaller city.

Quote:
I am an RN, with 30 years of experience. I am not sure what the payscale is like in Michigan, but I took a 37% paycut moving to Florida from Maryland. Plus the benefits cost more.
We are a little concerned about this fact too. We have heard this same exact thing that nurses in Florida usually make less than many other parts of the country and I'm not sure really why that is. A new RN here in Michigan (with CRNA experience) would start out aproximately in the mid 20's per hour. At least that is what I am told.

Quote:
It is a very nice city with a lot to do, but doesn't seem to fit what you are looking for
Thanks for the information. Is Port Charlotte any different or is it pretty much the same as Punta Gorda as far as what we are looking for?
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,961 posts, read 8,461,358 times
Reputation: 1854
Port Charlotte is just over the bridge from Punta Gorda. They are both in Charlotte County. Charlotte County unemployment rate is very high and jobs are hard to find. There are also not very many apartments buildings in this entire area of Charlotte County. There are more single family homes and condos. If you want to invest in apartment buildings there are duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and similar multi-family properties to choose from in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. You can use the MLS site and search for Income property if you want to get an idea of what is available here.
Florida Homes for Sale direct from MLS

Here are some multi-family listings in Punta Gorda.
Any thoughts on our situation?-punta-gorda-units.jpg

Below are the hospitals in the area if you want to check for Nursing jobs. Most are per diem and/or part time for nursing to start out. But I have known of out of town nurses and nusring assisants getting jobs here. One of my buyers got a job at Charlotte Regional last year and moved here. Hospitals are not the only places you can look for jobs here. There are many nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and doctors offices. Job sites are: www.indeed.com, www.yoursun.net, www.employflorida.com, www.jobfocus.com, www.simplyhired.com, www.craigslist.com.

Hospitals Charlotte County, FL
Charlotte Regional Medical Center - http://www.charlotteregional.com/default.aspx
Fawcett Memorial Hospital - http://www.fawcetthospital.com/
Peace River Regional Medical Center - http://www.peaceriverregional.com/default.aspx
Englewood Community Hospital - http://englewoodcommhospital.com/home/index.dot

Hospitals Sarasota County, FL
Venice Regional Medical Center - http://www.veniceregional.com/default.aspx
Sarasota Memorial Hospital - http://www.smh.com/
Doctors Hospital of Sarasota - http://www.doctorsofsarasota.com/
Sarasota Memorial Emergency Room and Health Care Center at North Port - http://www.smh.com/p.aspx?p=28

I live in Port Charlotte and love all of Charlotte County because there is so much to do and it is a short drive to Ft Myers and Sarasota or even Tampa is only 1 1/2 hours. We also drive to Orlando and come back the same day. My favorite places are Punta Gorda and the parks, Englewood Beach and Boca Grande. There are events and activities throughout the year here - boating, fishing, biking, beaches, tennis, golf, sports park, mall, theaters, restaurants, and more.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
3,107 posts, read 4,523,951 times
Reputation: 1076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetlady View Post
I am an RN, with 30 years of experience. I am not sure what the payscale is like in Michigan, but I took a 37% paycut moving to Florida from Maryland. Plus the benefits cost more.

But in saying that, I love the weather, the people are so much nicer and I am glad I moved here!
My wife is a physical therapist (full time at a local retirement village) and is making about 35% more here than she did in MI. Not sure about nurses, but I know a LOT of places here use travelers to fill healthcare positions (3-6 month contract) and the pay is usually quite higher than a full time position would pay (no benefits though). The hospital in Punta Gorda where she used to work uses a lot of travelers.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:05 AM
 
45 posts, read 74,764 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks TamRE and Harbor Hopper.

TamRE: I see what you mean about not as many apartment buildings being available in Charlotte County. Just from what you are describing it seems like a much less populated county than say Pinellas County and because of that there are fewer opportunities. The area sounds very nice, but like you said I don't think it is quite right for us in this stage of our lives because there isn't as much going on as the bigger cities.

Harbor Hopper:Thanks for the information. My girlfriend is in contact with HCA West Florida about potential career opportunities and we saw one nursing position offered that starts at $21.50 an hour which is very close to what they start at here in Michigan. Our cost of living here in Michigan is low in comparison to some other cities (Boston, NYC, Philly, etc...) so I guess any difference in pay wouldn't be that much of a shock for our systems because we are used to a little bit lower rate of pay than some of these other cities.
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