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Old 04-29-2006, 06:01 PM
38 posts, read 217,493 times
Reputation: 54


I am looking to move to the Gainesville-Alachua area this fall and was hoping to get thoughts and input from anyone familiar with this area.

I am particularly interested to know about the people there, growth potential, weather trends, etc. How much time does it take to drive to some beautiful Fla beaches? Is the water merky there? Are there as many bugs, snakes, spiders and gators as the southern parts of Fla? And have you been to the springs?

Thanks so much for all of your comments!
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:39 AM
28 posts, read 196,456 times
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We have 6, 1 acer lots in Suwannee county Just West of Alachua, It is our escape from south Florida where we live full time. I do spend a lot of time up that way. The people are very country Good ol Boys, But we find them honest and friendly. Our nieghbors up there are all really nice people. We often talk about moving up there full time, but we are moving to New Mexico when our house sells. We are going to hold on to these lots. Overall we like the people up there.
The area is growing like all of Florida. I feel there is good potential in the High Springs area. High Springs is a nice town with a good attitude. Check it out!
The weather is cooler than S. Florida. Very nice, often drier. The air always seems clean and crisp. Much better air than we have in Sarasota. You can see the stars good at night compared to where we live. Our property is just off the Santa Fe River . Our well water is The Best! right out of the Aquifer. 72 degree year round. We bring the water home to drink. Nature is awsome up there. All kinds of birds and critters. On our property there are all kinds of bugs , snakes and giant spiders. Where our house is we do not have near as many cause we are surrounded by people. They spray for bugs here. Up there everything is wild compared to here. Great farms and veggies of all kinds local grown YUM! Gators are every where in Florida If there is a water hole, there is probably a gater close by.
We love the springs over the years we have been to most in the state. Our favorites are right up by where we have our property . Ichetucknee River is awosome, We tube right down to our property. Check out park web site. (Ichetucknee). Most springs on the river are crystal clear and a pleasure to swim in. We love it up there. Probably close beach would be East coast Jacksonville area. It is a little over 3 hour drive from our house in Sarasota. We are about 1 mile away from beautiful beaches here.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:40 AM
28 posts, read 196,456 times
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O h yea.... comming from Alaska....are you sure you want to move to Florida?
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:19 PM
38 posts, read 217,493 times
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Thank you so much rootseye! I really enjoyed that. Sounds like a great part of Florida. When you say big spiders, how big do you mean? like, 1 inch or 3 inches? I grew up in Hawaii where they have all kinds of spiders, big little, harry colorful, jumping and running. There are even huge centepedes everywhere, but these are critters that I don't miss. I know bugs are a part of the tropics, though, so I'll learn to live with them.

Everyone talks about the springs down there. They are beautiful and sound like lots of fun. Don't you worry about getting eaten by gators??

I'm sure I want to move to Florida from Alaska. Trust me. I'm from a tropical place so like the weather and the mild seasons (with respect to summer). The hurricanes scare me a little but I've had my fair share in Hawaii and know what to expect and how to prepare. At least you get a warning with hurricanes. The same can't be said for quakes, and I would hate to have a dissaster in the middle of winter. If the quake didn't kill you, surely the exposure would (many die each year from exposure).

Anchorage, Alaska is on the major quake line of the west coast. It is home to several of the largest quakes in recorded history. The last major one was an 8.2 just a few years ago several hundred miles from Anchorage. Let me tell you, it was felt by the entire Anchorage and MatSu region. Many believe the next major dissaster quake will be upon us soon. We have small ones almost weekly.

Alaska is a very harsh place to live year round. I'm only 27 so it's pretty boring for me. There isn't a theme park or major attraction for thousands of miles (and the airline costs are enormous). There's only outdoor sports or okay malls. I'm really not into the Alaska outdoors much as I don't really enjoy bears and huge mosquitos. It is beautiful and I do like to get out because it's the only source of fun, but I prefer the tropics. Extremely high cost of living makes Alaska even less exciting. Then you have 6-7 month winters with normal temps at -40F -20F 0F and 10F being "warm". We get about 4 hours of gloomy cloudy day hours during the winter and up. If you never knew depression, you'd know it here.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:57 PM
38 posts, read 217,493 times
Reputation: 54
I am a Realtor - But there is a pretty good variety of work here, if you don't mind the cold. There are good paying slope/oil jobs and transportaion jobs. It's the people working for $12 and under that really struggle financially here. It's just to expensive. Even with a good paying job, it's just difficult to get ahead.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:01 AM
Location: Johnson's Neck-O'Neil, FL
121 posts, read 785,903 times
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See my comments on Gainesville elsewhere on this board. I echo Rootseye. The outlying areas of G'ville can be very sweet small towns. Gainesville has great sports, culture, and academics. It is 75% college town and 25% a central Florida town. Lots of transplants from S FL and New York. If you can get a good job there its great, or if you are a struggling student its great. If you are looking for entry level or slightly above entry level income don't go to Gainesville because there are graduate students taking all those jobs etc.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:06 PM
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Default Summary on info on Gainesville

Some of the posters on the various threads on Gainesville complained that the housing prices are astronomical and it was hard to find a decent place to live without almost spending 250-300 thousand dollars. Here on Long Island (LI) by comparison the avarage house in, say, Mineola costs about $470,000; in Garden City (also in Long Island--the cost is $700,000!). Property tax stand at between $6 to $12,000 depending on size, year etc of the house.
I know people here on LI who pay as much as $3,000 on car insurance (complete coverage) compared to $800 in Gainesville (a figure that someone quoted for their car/2006 model). Crime levels are very low in Mineola, Garden City and many other LI towns though there are pockets
of crime too in certain areas of Hempstead and Valley Stream (some of whose areas are only 5-10 minutes from Queens/N.Y.city) to give just some examples. But these are all small towns--what I can't understand is why Gainesville has such a horrendous crime rate (property crime, rapes etc)
despite not being near a big city? I understand that the east side of Gainesville accounts for almost 40% of the crime in that city--this leaves 60 percent an accounted for--yet from what I have read somewhere Northwest and southwest are the good areas--where then is the rest of the crime coming from?
Someone wrote that (is this a partial answer to the above question?):
There are
"65,000 college age students, courtesy of UF and SFCC. This city is geared towards young people. Most new restaurants locate on "their" side of town. And restaurants are always packed. If you're into skanky clothing, then shop at our mall. If you like rowdy, tacky nightclubs, come to our downtown. And try to avoid the plethora of vagrants hanging out there. They will come up to outdoor cafe tables and beg. One homeless person recently murdered another one--supposedly over a box of raisins."
How extensive is this problem of vagrants and does it discourage family people with children from going for walks in the downtown area supposedly designed for pedestrians?
Also, I have read elsewhere where some people have written that:
One caution about the college towns in any place, not just upstate NY but also Florida and some of the other states: avoid buying in an area where a lot of college students live off-campus. As one person wrote, come Thur-Sat nights, the drinking, vandalism, and even violence in such areas can be shocking (the universities are what make the crime rate in some small towns skew upwards--is this what is happening in Gainesville?). Some small towns have better-behaved students than others, but (as someone wrote) you won't want your family subjected to this if you can avoid it. Live a bit further away from the student area if you can.

Gainesville is generally presented by many posters as being a very nice town, with everything centered around UF. It is great for a college adventure.
One person wrote: Gainesville has good schools and wonderful hospitals. There are a lot of recreational activities--bike trails, many hiking trails, nature parks, lakes, etc. There are also museums and the performing arts center etc etc. Thre is also less congestion than south and central Florida
except on the days when the Gators play their home games. It also has a beautiful winter--from November through mid-March, culminating with a glorious burst of springtime color--azaleas and redbud trees (May to September are the very hot months though it is coolish at night).
Others have rated it better than Ocala or even Jacksonville which is more conservative and run by (as one person put it) the mega church. Gainesville is definitely very liberal compared to Jacksonville which is very conservative.
Gainesville is relatively hurricane free though there are some occasional power failures. I am not sure what the rate of homeowners' insurance is--perhaps around $1,000 a year (compared to Jacksonville where it is much higher) and the property tax in ganiesville I am told are calculated at a rate $30 for every $1,000 of the appraised price of the house--thus for a house whose value is $200,000 the property tax is $6,000--this is quite high if my information is correct as property tax in LI is would not be this high for a house valued at $200,000--if such a house can be found in the first place!
One person complained about the utility rates being very high--yet I found on a salary and cost of living comparison calculator online that one is far better off living in Gainesville than in any of the small towns scattered all over LI as far as cost of living, how far your salary will go, utility bills, grocery bills, houses, etc etc are concerned Gainesville though "outperformed" them in crime!

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Old 01-23-2007, 04:20 PM
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 37,434,568 times
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That was a great post, Kolo! You had me curious about such a high rate of taxation and the chart I looked at says that it was 14.83 per thousand during the last census. (2000) So it's even cheaper in comparison to NY then we thought.
By the way, welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:49 PM
317 posts, read 1,229,339 times
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Rootseye - enjoyed your posts. Thank you.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:41 PM
168 posts, read 762,924 times
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Smile My repost from another thread - long!

alaska to florida, this post is from a georgia thread where a 25 year old student wanted to know about UF and gainesville - so it's kind of from that "student" perspective. perhaps you can glean a bit of info for yourself from it. i've edited it somewhat - taken out some specific college type references.
i lived in gainesville florida from 1986 to 2003. i have my degree from the university of florida, class of 1978. so i've lived there in different "eras."

and while i've not attended UG, i've been to athens a few times as a visitor.

of the two, i think i am glad i chose gainesville as both a student and a resident. but any city is what you make of it. in gainesville, you can have a separation of town and gown if you want or you can become involved in city/county politics and run for office - other students have. or you can become involved with civic or cultural groups, of which there are plenty. it's up to you.

on campus, there is a world class performing arts center (i used to work there; programming is incredibly diverse and amazing and students get a discount on shows), adjoined by the harn art museum (fully equipped with its own donated monet) next the museum of natural history and the new butterfly rain forest. you can also attend student plays at the constans theater on campus or attend concerts at university auditorium (which was completed in the 1920s - it's gothically beautiful) or catch someone like tom petty in the odome (the sports facililty).

there's lake alice with the alligators (don't feed them) and the gorgeous baughman, a "chapel-like" contemplative building with beautiful lake views.

you can easily walk from university and 13th street (the main entrance to campus) to university and main (gainesville downtown) where you'll find the hippodrome state theatre (which also shows films in addition to professional stage plays) and union station with restaurants/starbucks.

concerts are held in the square downtown; in winter a temporary ice rink is installed. there are festivals all year long - downtown arts festival, spring arts festival, fifth avenue festival, hoggtowne medieval faire. you can become involved in the gainesville community theater, which just opened a brand spanking new theater. there's also the acrosstown repertory theater.

there are many active and passive parks. san felasco state park is good for a casual hike, paynes prairie, ditto. can't miss the devil's millhopper, an ancient sinkhole turned into a state park. but there's also ring park for a walk, palm point on newnans lake to the east of the city, morningside nature park. boulware springs trail head for the rail trail that goes to hawthorne and back. there's the hogtown greenway to traverse. the kanapaha botanical gardens also host their own festival each year.

popular things to do are driving to cedar key for dinner or for a lazy saturday or sunday brunch. cedar key is on the gulf. it hosts a seafood festival and an art festival. you can also head to the atlantic and go surfing at crescent beach or drive up A1A to anastasia beach or south to flagler beach.

i've driven to disneyworld in the morning, spent the day and drove back in the late evening. it's exhausting, but that's the way i've always done it.

the weather is florida weather - north central florida weather. no sea breeze. it can be hot with high humidity. but you can also see a change of season. shadows get long in autumn, leaves fall, it gets cold (cold snaps, and then it can warm up - then again, i've been there when it's been 17 degrees; also been there when it iced up; also been there when it snowed - twice; great thing is it's still florida not ohio with the tough winters...). in spring the dogwoods and azaleas bloom like crazy; april is a good month. summer it's hot and for the newby, it can be really hot.

but there's this invention called 'air conditioning'.....and gainesville's buildings use all too much of it. most buildings are cold. i'm someone who actually will go 'ahhhhh' when i step outside of one of those too cold buildings.

you can research gainesville online - go to the respective city and county web sites; their chamber of commerce sites; their visitors/tourism sites. check out their newspapers online.


also, the springs are crystal clear - go tubing on the ichetucknee for a lazy sunday afternoon.

if there are any other questions you might have, just ask me. i'm currently in oregon and hope to be back in gainesville...soon.
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