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Old 05-19-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Plano,Wylie, Ft Worth TX
52 posts, read 67,959 times
Reputation: 27

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I have been lurking for a while but now that moving is becoming a reality I have to take the plunge and you all if our family would fit in FL.

We have been living in TX(Plano) for 12 years and my husband loves it (me not so much). However, the Summers are brutal and there is NO escape to the heat, meaning you just have to stay indoors from 11am until 7pm unless you want to fry in the sun. Would LOVE to be able to go to the beach, lake, to escape from the heat but here is almost impossible. I know from reading these forums that Florida is hot too but at least the ocean is there.

My husband tells me that our kids were born here and we should stay in their birth state so they don't feel left out in another state but he is open to moving since he works from the computer, we can live almost anywhere that doesn't have too many or expensive taxes.

He says we can move to Austin and we'd have Lake Travis right there and Galveston a few hours away if we want to go on vacation. He says jobs are scarce in Florida and what if in the future he needs to find a job? even though his company is doing terrific right now. He also worries so much (me too) about the pedophile statistics from FL and the usual complains(mostly from the forums) that there are too many older people and traffic, etc.

Please help me, I know only we can make this decision but would love to hear any input from you all. I'm absolutely torn about what to do; he has a cousin living in Orlando in Seminole county, and he likes it a lot. he has two kids and he says there are ton of outdoorsy activities he does with them.

You can skip the following details if it's too much reading:

Here are some details since I've seen some threads where people ask for a lot of details.

Who we are:

-Parents mid 30's both professional. Husband has his own online business in the IT field and mom stays home (I have a bachelor's in psychology and could pursue the masters depending on this move).

- Kids: 3 kids ages 10 , 4 and 1. the 10 year-old very talented plays the piano and is in gifted and talented classes in public school. the little ones love to run, play and sing, not yet into sports or activities.

-One pet snake (corn snake) been with us for 4 years and will stay with us. No other pets.

- family income 150K per year.

What we like:

-#1 the beach!

-Museums, hiking, fishing, swimming. We absolutely love science, we are very nerdy.

-We would love a place with excellent schools and extra curricular activities that my children can participate in.( Soccer, piano, dance etc)
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:30 PM
 
515 posts, read 1,278,368 times
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First, understand that the beach is not a cure all for the heat. It's every bit as hot and oppressive here in the summers as it is in Texas (probably more so here). Unless you live close to the beach, packing up and taking a family to the beach, dealing with parking, crowds, tourists, etc., can be a chore and will get old. There are probably more residential pools in Florida than in any other state, and that's how most residents here deal with the heat. But I'm sure you can easily build a pool in Texas.

Florida's public schools aren't the greatest, although there are good schools scattered about in almost every county. There are a lot of outdoor activities in Florida, but Florida isn't the only state where there are lots of outdoor activities. I definitely wouldn't move here just for the beach. You probably won't be happy.

I wouldn't be concerned about the sex offender statistics. They are literally everywhere, in all parts of the country. As long as you teach your kids proper safety--which you should do no matter where you live--it is highly unlikely that they will ever be targeted. But that said, the crime on average down here in Florida is higher than the national average and probably higher in most places than it is in Plano.

Your cousin is right about the traffic. There's a lot here. I don't have much of a problem with the older people, but tourists are a different story. They're all in rental cars and don't know where they're going, so that adds a lot to traffic problems. The older people don't help matters. Florida gets a big influx of people in the winter when the snowbirds come down from up north, then gets another large influx in the summer from vacationers. If you live in a place like Orlando, you're going to deal with tourists all the time.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,607 posts, read 6,574,309 times
Reputation: 2401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Occifer View Post
First, understand that the beach is not a cure all for the heat. It's every bit as hot and oppressive here in the summers as it is in Texas (probably more so here). Unless you live close to the beach, packing up and taking a family to the beach, dealing with parking, crowds, tourists, etc., can be a chore and will get old. There are probably more residential pools in Florida than in any other state, and that's how most residents here deal with the heat. But I'm sure you can easily build a pool in Texas.

Florida's public schools aren't the greatest, although there are good schools scattered about in almost every county. There are a lot of outdoor activities in Florida, but Florida isn't the only state where there are lots of outdoor activities. I definitely wouldn't move here just for the beach. You probably won't be happy.

I wouldn't be concerned about the sex offender statistics. They are literally everywhere, in all parts of the country. As long as you teach your kids proper safety--which you should do no matter where you live--it is highly unlikely that they will ever be targeted. But that said, the crime on average down here in Florida is higher than the national average and probably higher in most places than it is in Plano.

Your cousin is right about the traffic. There's a lot here. I don't have much of a problem with the older people, but tourists are a different story. They're all in rental cars and don't know where they're going, so that adds a lot to traffic problems. The older people don't help matters. Florida gets a big influx of people in the winter when the snowbirds come down from up north, then gets another large influx in the summer from vacationers. If you live in a place like Orlando, you're going to deal with tourists all the time.
Dallas heat is way worse than Florida heat and in downtown (or most parts of) Orlando you never see a single solitary tourist.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:05 PM
 
Location: US
24,059 posts, read 24,221,144 times
Reputation: 19149
These areas are very nice and maybe what you are looking for...

-Wellington (West Palm Beach Area)
-Palm Beach Gardens (West Palm Beach Area)
-Boca Raton (between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale)
-Weston (Fort Lauderdale Area)
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:07 AM
 
24,350 posts, read 38,314,082 times
Reputation: 25579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Occifer View Post

Florida's public schools aren't the greatest, although there are good schools scattered about in almost every county. There are a lot of outdoor activities in Florida, but Florida isn't the only state where there are lots of outdoor activities. I definitely wouldn't move here just for the beach. You probably won't be happy.
You're working with very outdated information. Florida is now ranked sixth overall for it's public schools.
Education Week: Quality Counts 2013 - State Report Cards
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:16 AM
 
24,350 posts, read 38,314,082 times
Reputation: 25579
Central Florida will be every bit as unpleasant as Plano as it's no where near a beach unless you don't mind driving an hour or more to/from every time. The coastal areas are the place to be for ocean breezes which make the heat seem more tolerable as well as of course easy beach access. If you have family in Central Florida I would recommend Brevard County which is within an hour drive yet on the coast. Brevard has one of the top school districts in the state and would recommend the communities of Satellite Beach, Indialantic and Melbourne Beach which are coastal and have the highest ranked schools. Satellite Beach offers top ranked schools and all grade levels stay in-town versus the other two where upper level grades have to bus to other towns (but still have top ranked schools).
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Plano,Wylie, Ft Worth TX
52 posts, read 67,959 times
Reputation: 27
good morning everyone! well we don't have to live really close to his cousin so it's ok if we are a couple of hours drive from them, we are friendly but like to keep to ourselves and live and let live as they say. I'll read more of the places suggested.
My husband traveled to WPB a few years ago(2001) and he loved it, however he stayed only for 3 months and he was by himself.

Here in Plano there almost record breaking heat last Summer "the most consecutive days over 100 degrees" and people were bummed because they didn't break the record for one day, WTH I'm sorry but I was losing my mind at the time I couldn't care less about breaking a record.

What I DO like about Plano: I feel safe, I wouldn't go out alone after certain hours though that's just common sense. However I do feel the city is safe; I've seen a surge of people in the last few years, tons of people from the Northeast, California and even Canada. so it's getting more crowded by the minute since Plano was in the list of top places to live (hate those lists)
that's about it, I think the green areas and nature department per se is severely lacking. yes you have your waterparks, and bike trails but I just don't think is enough for me.

in any case thank you so much for answering I will be looking at some of cities suggested, this decision has been so stressful since the whole weight of it is on my shoulders.

Oh by the way has anyone lived before in Austin? This is where hubby thinks we should go if we were to move, the one thing that scares me is that is further South from Dallas and therefore hotter **shudders**
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Plano,Wylie, Ft Worth TX
52 posts, read 67,959 times
Reputation: 27
Kyle those are great statistics, I didn't know Florida surpassed so many states , including TX. I always see such negative comments about Florida Education but it seems to be changing for the better.
I'll check out Satellite beach online.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Plano,Wylie, Ft Worth TX
52 posts, read 67,959 times
Reputation: 27
bmw I think my husband would like Wellington if we move he would like to stay close to WPB.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:15 PM
 
515 posts, read 1,278,368 times
Reputation: 562
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
You're working with very outdated information. Florida is now ranked sixth overall for it's public schools.
Education Week: Quality Counts 2013 - State Report Cards
And then there's this...

Florida Graduation Rate Improving, Still Among The Nation’s Lowest | StateImpact Florida

Interesting how the state "ranked" sixth overall for its public schools has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. Something's wrong there. If Florida's schools are really that good overall then more of our students would be successfully graduating. It's pretty difficult to manipulate the graduation rate. Students either graduate or they don't. On the other hand, the methodologies that Education Week uses to come up with the different rankings in the different categories aren't spelled out that clearly. If you know exactly what's being used to come up with their ratings, it's not too hard to manipulate those things to make your score appear higher than it really should be.

There are some excellent public schools in Florida, but there are also some bad ones. There can even be a huge disparity within a particular school district when it comes to how good the schools are. The problem in Florida is that there isn't much consistency in school quality.

It's misleading for someone thinking about moving to Florida to see those Education Week rankings and assume that all the public schools in Florida are good just because of the national ranking. I think anyone who has lived here for some time and has had kids in public schools would agree with that.
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