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Old 12-10-2011, 10:05 AM
 
9 posts, read 13,173 times
Reputation: 20

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This past summer the company that my husband has been working for (for 20 years) was sold. They were told that the entire IT personnel would end up being laid off. We've been wanting to move to a warmer climate and felt like this would be the time to move. We spent five days in July exploring the Tampa area. We really liked the area. Reading a lot of negative things worrys me that we may be looking too much on the bright side.

My husbands job is semi-secure at the moment. It looks like he may have untill the end of 2012. It's hard to tell right now. He is currently flying to Tampa for a final interview at a very large company in St. Petersburg. The salary offer is about 10K more than he makes now.

Why we want to move to Florida- (please correct me if you think I am sugar coating some of these things)

1- Weather- We live in Southern Maine and hate the cold, Snow, Ice dangerous winter driving. Honestly, I like it 80+ degrees

2- house prices- There are more options in FL at better prices. A fixer in a desirable area here is around 200K plus. A move in ready house with 2000K square feet would be close to 350K+. You are able to get a move in ready house for around 250K but, you would be 60 or so minutes from Portland.

3- Outdoor enjoyment- parks, beaches, pool in our yard etc.

4- Sports- Professional baseball, football, hockey teams nearby

5- cruise ports nearby- we are avid cruisers (i'm also in the developing stages of a cruise planning business)

6- no state income tax- Maine has an 8.5% state income tax.

7- heating costs- heating costs in Maine range from 1500-3000 a year

8- No snow removal costs- plows, snowblowers etc. It's around 30+ to have your driveway plowed. Sometimes they need to come more than once and charge 30+ each time. We have a snow blower but, the time and energy when it's cold and before or after work is no fun.

9- Driving in the snow/Ice. In Maine the Mantra is "you live in Maine, get used to it" Employers expect you to make it to work in any weather condition. Blizzards, Ice storms, Nor'Easters. Driving 25-40 miles each way on secondary roads is an unbeilevable danger.

10- Amuesment parks- not an everyday thing but, a nice perk to be near Busch gardens and Orlando

11- Location- we would be able to get a home in a nice community within 30-40 minutes from my husbands work that is alos close to stores, restaurants, parks, water access



Things that are on the Con side for Florida-

1- Traffic - 19 through Clearwater/Palm Harbor scared the crap out of me. My hubby was of with it but, I would try to avoid this road. It would take me a while to get used to the traffic. Some roads seem very dangerous.

2- bugs, spiders and snakes- I'm not a fan but, they like warm weather like we do. I would get our house sprayed. This obviously adds a cost not needed in Maine. It doesn't seem high though.

3- Flood zones and insurance- This can add more costs depending on where we are. Since we are leaning towards Safety Harbor it seems like we would need flood insurance and would be in a area that would require evacuation

4- Sinkholes and insurance- This can add mores costs and concern

5- car insurance- from what I've heard it's much higher in FL than Maine. Added costs, we have three cars and two are sports cars

6-crime- obviously the population is much higher than here so the crime would be much higher. It does seem like it could even be higher than normal?

7- CDD and HOA- I've learned all about CDDs but, compairing the tax and CDD fees on a 2000 sq foot home in a desirable area to a similar home here the tax burden is around the same. The mil rates in desirable areas in Maine are very high. FL also has the Homestead Exemptions and Save our homes cap

8- Schools- It seems like the schools in Florida get mixed reviews. We are trying to start a family. We would be open to private or home schooling if needed. Obviously this adds cost or a lifestyle change.


I think that's about it. Please let me know if you think we have a good grasp on some pros and cons. Any comments and feedback is much appreciated. I like to research and exhast all possibilites. I want to be as prepared as possible.

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,136,427 times
Reputation: 1492
Care to make a cliff notes version of all that?

Tampa is a great place to live, especially considering you live in MAINE now. LoL... if your husband has a job lined up, there is no reason NOT to move here. The IT job market here sucks, so lining up a job ahead of time is a must.

Crime is not an issue unless you put yourself in a bad area of town. Simply driving through an area and looking at the homes and the people who live in there should tell you enough. First impressions are almost always true.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:57 PM
 
15,199 posts, read 31,165,544 times
Reputation: 18364
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazynip View Post
Care to make a cliff notes version of all that?

Tampa is a great place to live, especially considering you live in MAINE now. LoL... if your husband has a job lined up, there is no reason NOT to move here. The IT job market here sucks, so lining up a job ahead of time is a must.

Crime is not an issue unless you put yourself in a bad area of town. Simply driving through an area and looking at the homes and the people who live in there should tell you enough. First impressions are almost always true.
What Crazy said ^^^..... Yes, the greater Tampa Bay area is a great place to live - there is something for everyone here, and as a Fl native myself, feel it is the best part of Florida to live. If your hubby gets that nice job in St. Pete you are set. There are a lot of beautiful neighborhoods to live in the area, as has been answered in some of your other posts. Cost of living here is overall pretty reasonable, IMO, and the quality of life is high. Get into a good neighborhood and all should be well.

Don't worry!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 3,794,037 times
Reputation: 3505
My car insurance was only a few dollars more per year than in NC. Sinkholes aren't as common in Tampa and St. Petersburg as they are in some of the surrounding counties, but they can happen. We don't have state income tax here, but property taxes and home owners insurance are a lot higher than what I paid in NC. I don't know about Maine property taxes so it could be cheaper here. St. Petersburg has some of the nicer parts of the bay area, but I agree with most of your cons and could add several of my own. There is also a confederate flag the size of Rhode Island that you probably didn't see if you flew here on your visit.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach Fl
161 posts, read 347,366 times
Reputation: 163
My question is how are you going to get 3 cars to Florida? LOL Seriously though, you are looking at about 1500 to transfer the 3 cars.
My car insurance actually went down when we moved here from Ky.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: N.H Gods Country
2,359 posts, read 4,493,040 times
Reputation: 1973
If you have definate employment down there i say go for it. You'll never know unless you try. We went down for ten years but are back in N.H. now. The colder weather isn't the only thing you'll be leaving behind. There's a quality of life you get in New England that you'll never find in Florida. Good Luck

Last edited by Ken E; 12-10-2011 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:04 PM
 
29 posts, read 40,684 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_liking_FL View Post
There is also a confederate flag the size of Rhode Island that you probably didn't see if you flew here on your visit.
Oh my GOD! That's definitely a deal-breaker for me!!!

Just kidding, I'm still moving there and most of CherryCoke's pros and cons are the same for me.

I think it comes down to the area you choose, doing your homework ahead of time, and keeping a positive attitude & open mind.

To the current residents of the area, if I've spent years in and out of Pensacola and love it, shouldn't I love the Tampa area more now that I'm a family man with 3 kids?
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
229 posts, read 519,845 times
Reputation: 396
Sounds like you have a pretty realistic picture in your head of what you are possibly moving to. If you have no kids, I say go now. I have three kids and now a mother-in-law that will have to be cared for wherever we would choose to go- and that makes it so much harder. I'm jealous! I hope it works out for you.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 3,794,037 times
Reputation: 3505
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgbuckl View Post
Oh my GOD! That's definitely a deal-breaker for me!!!

Just kidding, I'm still moving there and most of CherryCoke's pros and cons are the same for me.

I think it comes down to the area you choose, doing your homework ahead of time, and keeping a positive attitude & open mind.

To the current residents of the area, if I've spent years in and out of Pensacola and love it, shouldn't I love the Tampa area more now that I'm a family man with 3 kids?
The flag wasn't a deal breaker for me either, obviously. I came here with a positive attitude, open mind and very low expectations. My expectations should have been lower. At least I still have a positive attitude and open mind.
I don't know enough about Pensacola to answer your question.

Last edited by Not_liking_FL; 12-10-2011 at 06:47 PM..
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:36 PM
 
Location: FL
1,716 posts, read 2,626,412 times
Reputation: 1852
A few things I see:
#1 on the pro list- you're going to get plenty of 90+ degree days
#7 that same heating cost is going to be converted to cooling cost and from what I hear the water bills are getting pretty bad in Pinellas these days, factor that in.

Cons
#1 You can get to St. Pete via Bayside Bridge and 275, 19 isn't the only route.
#4 Sinkholes are more of a Dunedin problem in that immediete area.

I don't think you can go wrong with Safety Harbor and the schools and crime shouldn't be a problem.
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