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Thread summary:

Moving to Florida: Tampa, traffic, housing, cost of living, downtown.

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Old 08-09-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Living in the San Diego area
1,040 posts, read 1,895,902 times
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Hi everyone,

I am not sure if I should move back to Florida or not and would appreciate any input anyone (who lives there) would care to give me (I am also considering Texas and other no-income tax states).

I am leaning toward the Tampa / St. Petersburg area. Miami is a no-no (i've been there - armed guards at convenience stores - no thanks). Jacksonville is too cold during the winters LOL and somewhat too rainy. Orlando - maybe but too muggy in the summers and terrible congested traffic wise.

I lived in Melbourne, Florida for about ten years until 1999 when I moved to Canada (I hate living up here).

Anyway here are some of my considerations:

I don't care about so-called professional jobs of any sort whatsoever. I am self-employed as a window cleaner and making the money I want. I will get rid of everything and move down (if I do this) so I will have to start over to make enough to buy a truck to go back into window cleaning but I don't mind dishwashing or whatever I can get to make money. I am single and no bills or other ongoing responsibilities (such as child support, etc.). I am 50 years old (or is it 49 ) but look younger than that.

My goal is to eventually make a living over the Internet so again...the local economy or lack thereof doesn't matter to me with the exception of one thing...there must be lots and lots of rich people there. Those are the one's that pay the best for window cleaning (my occupation for now - until I can make enough over the Internet to make a living over it). Well off retired folks pay well too.

And I am in all honesty one of the best window cleaners around that I know .

I cannot stand winters!! I hate them with a passion. I don't mind heat though Texas or Arizona heat in the summers is too hot even for me. Orlando is a bit muggy in the summer months and overly congested for my tastes but I am willing to settle there too. I prefer being by the ocean and nice breezes. Melbourne is a bit small but if I remember right there are enclaves of rich folks there too.

I must be able to go door to door in rich folk neighborhoods. So if a city is full of gated only communities it will be difficult for me to establish an initial clientele. Someone told me that there are lots of such gated communities in Tampa but I would like to know from someone that lives there, if that is indeed the case.

I know Florida has lots and lots of mosquitoes and insects and creepy crawly things but I don't care. I'll take such things any day compared to mounds and mounds of snow (i.e. in Canada or the upper USA).

I have lived in my vehicle for about 4 years now and may do that in Florida too (yes...it's doable and perfectly so if you know how to do it). So...yet another consideration...the cost of housing in an area...matters little to me in the long run as long as I can get a room or even space on the ground somewhere for no more than about $60 a week or so - I'm good to go (until I save enough to afford my own 1 bedroom "apartment" inside a UPS sized box truck LOL).

I've heard Tampa is beautiful, dumpy, run down, lacking in this or that or a great place to live on the various forums here. I just don't know.

I can't stand being around a bunch of homeless, drunks, vagabonds, panhandlers, and the like. Where I am in Canada it's overrun with them (Edmonton, Alberta). Most are on social welfare of some kind or another and just don't want to work. They hassle me a lot in the inner city where I have "lived". One time I had to threaten to defend myself with a crow bar against three of them who threatened to beat me up (fortunately I did not have to use it).

Oh...I forgot...I don't care about a hip hopping night life, bar life, and other such things. I find things to do that interest me wherever I am and have not been to a bar or such for...I can't even remember when the last time I went to one was.

Any input on whether I should move to Tampa or not based on my criteria above would be much appreciated.

Sorry if I come accross like a hard nose or something in what I said but I am trying to keep this short. I am a nice guy who just wants out of the bitter Canadian winters mostly and am missing what I had in Florida.

Edmonton is absolutely full of very good paying jobs but I would rather be a dishwasher where there is a better quality of life (i.e. NO SNOW and COLD) than a corporate CEO otherwise.

Carlos

PS. By the way I don't smoke, do drugs (including marijuana), curse, I am clean cut looking, don't get into trouble with the law, or otherwise. I am the best tenant you could have (if anyone has a room for $60 or less per week available ).

PSS. Yes...I have lived indoors during winters and I still HATE winters. I feel all cooped up and unable to get out and about.

Last edited by carlos123; 08-09-2008 at 04:00 PM.. Reason: Added another sentence....
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,827,938 times
Reputation: 701
http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x311/1HOTWGN/stallworth.jpg (broken link)
Life in the panhandle

That's why We're here...
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Living in the San Diego area
1,040 posts, read 1,895,902 times
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Beautiful pictures! Thanks for reminding me.

Now if I could find beaches like that in a State with no income tax, low crime rate, low homeless and panhandler population, lots of rich folks who need window cleaning, low cost of living, and great weather...that would be great!

Barring that ideal I'll settle for something less. Still wondering if Tampa is best. Anyone got any comments on what I said in my first post?

Carlos
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:52 PM
 
25,449 posts, read 10,446,991 times
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I find Tampa to be an older, run-down city. The people [most of them] are totally unfriendly, and the traffic is horridness! The crime in Tampa is terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE!! Everyday there are multiple reports about crime in Tampa. While I'm sure there are nice neighborhoods in Tampa, they even have problems. EXAMPLE: In 2007, Mayor Pam Ioreo's house was robbed, and they believe that it was random, not targeted. Tampa in general is just too big, too crime-ridden, and too run-down.

I'm from Orlando, some neighborhoods of Orlando are nice, while others are very crime-ridden. The traffic is also horridness. The best advice I can give you is just do some research on Orlando, visit the Orlando forum here on City-Data.

St. Pete is a business town for me. What I mean by that is that it is to busy, to many businesses. There are beaches, but I find St. Pete to have little to no culture.

Might I also suggest Sarasota? Sarasota is a wonderful city. It has culture, arts, entertainment, and it's just a generally nice city. Sarasota has a variety of ages. Sarasota also has the Asolo, Van Wazel, and GWIZ, Selby Gardens, Mote Marine and more for entertainment and Sarasota has PLENTY of beaches. Sarasota also has a great downtown district (for shopping) and the Farmer's Market on Main Street every Saturday. I find a lot of friendly people in Sarasota, the roads are generally clean and not a whole lot of traffic. Sarasota also has a no-homeless policy. You will see no homeless people on the streets, the police will take them away, and if you litter, it's a $500 fine.

For a guy of your description (don't smoke, do drugs (including marijuana), curse, are clean cut looking, don't get into trouble with the law, needs to go door to door in rich folk neighborhoods, etc.) Sarasota would be your best choice. Look into it, and if you want to find more out about Sarasota, I would visit the Sarasota forum here on City-Data.

Good Luck to you!
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,827,938 times
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lots of rich folks AND low cost of living??
good luck with that!
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:51 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,100 times
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hello Carlos
I am realtor here in tampaBay and moved her efrom europe 14 y ago
it is wide open area and zillion communitites to chose from. there are mobile home grounds where i know people live paying 190 per month..
most communities do not have gates, and we get all the time people leving their brochures on the doors, like for yard work,or window cleaning. pls note
everybody is cutting expencies ,peopla are massivly without work loosing their homes... how much wuold they spend on window cleaning expenditure is question? but there are buildings where u can get maybe job. in your serch clik on mobile homes grounds and se eif you can find anything to rent for the beggining.
good luck
oliska53
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Living in the San Diego area
1,040 posts, read 1,895,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLISKA53 View Post
hello Carlos
I am realtor here in tampaBay and moved her efrom europe 14 y ago
it is wide open area and zillion communitites to chose from. there are mobile home grounds where i know people live paying 190 per month..
most communities do not have gates, and we get all the time people leving their brochures on the doors, like for yard work,or window cleaning.
That sounds great Oliska! Thanks for the heads up.

Quote:
pls note
everybody is cutting expencies ,peopla are massivly without work loosing their homes... how much wuold they spend on window cleaning expenditure is question?
Hmmm...things may be tougher than I thought. I live in an area (Alberta oil patch) that is very wealthy, lots of money, lots of work, most businesses can't find enough employees to fill their needs. I guess I have gotten used to that.

I figure...actually I hope...that there are enough rich folks around in Florida somewhere...where paying for window cleaning will be a drop in the bucket for them. Where they will still be willing to pay for it. I mean even in bad economic times the rich still want clean windows to look out of...don't they?

I charge $3 a window pane up here and make about $30-50 per hour (depending on the complexity and difficulty of the job). Mostly do rich, residential homes, and condo units. Some commercial if it's profitable enough otherwise I don't bother.

The nice part of my lifestyle is that I don't need a full time income. I am single, have been living in my truck here and will live in my truck in Florida eventually, so my expenses are pretty low. No children, mortgage, or other obligations.

Quote:
but there are buildings where u can get maybe job. in your serch clik on mobile homes grounds and se eif you can find anything to rent for the beggining.
good luck
oliska53
Excellent suggestion Oliska. Thanks very much!!

Carlos
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Living in the San Diego area
1,040 posts, read 1,895,902 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by On-da-Beach View Post
lots of rich folks AND low cost of living??
good luck with that!
Incidentally I meant for things like food, internet service, clothing, public transportation, state taxes, and gym memberships type of thing. Not housing or education or other things that most people look for.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:41 PM
 
154 posts, read 479,689 times
Reputation: 117
[quote=Suncoast Guy;4799356]
The crime in Tampa is terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE!! Everyday there are multiple reports about crime in Tampa. While I'm sure there are nice neighborhoods in Tampa, they even have problems. EXAMPLE: In 2007, Mayor Pam Ioreo's house was robbed, and they believe that it was random, not targeted. Tampa in general is just too big, too crime-ridden, and too run-down.

I'm from Orlando, some neighborhoods of Orlando are nice, while others are very crime-ridden. The traffic is also horridness. The best advice I can give you is just do some research on Orlando, visit the Orlando forum here on City-Data. [End Quote]
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

The latest (2007) crime statistics available through the state of Florida website (2007 Crime in Florida Data) do not seem to reflect the statements above.
Orange county for a population similar to Hillsborough county has a much higher rate of violent crime in all categories (murder, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault).
37% higher rate of murder in Orange county, 43% higher rate of roberry, for example
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:06 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,926 posts, read 10,316,968 times
Reputation: 5212
If you're looking for wealth in quantities in Florida below the freeze line and not in Miami, I'd suggest Palm Beach. Tampa Bay has some millionaires (don't think we have any billionaires, yet). Not trying to steer you away, just commenting on the OP.
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