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Old 05-09-2007, 12:09 PM
 
148 posts, read 604,745 times
Reputation: 84

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Had considered Gainesville a year and a half ago and visited several times.

I used to love it when I was younger...now I dislike it. It is too university oriented with not much else to appeal to a 50 plus person who is used to big cities. For someone who wants a smaller city, it may be okay.

They have a lot of artificial gated communities that many scurry to to "escape crime on the east side". These gated communities usually charge high annual fees. Many of the older, traditional neighborhoods on the west side have a lot of students, which can be the loud partying scene. The area I find charming is the historical Duck Pond area, but it is on the east side and not sure of the crime in that area. Gainesville's crime statistics are pretty high (unless it has improved), they have a problem with homelessness (and I don't think they are very compassinate about them). The taxes on homes are very high (think highest in Florida). Much of downtown is dumpy and depressing (a little revitalization, but more hype than sunstance).

The food scene is unimpressive.

It's a big rip-off.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:18 PM
 
3,842 posts, read 10,512,087 times
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[quote=OREGONRAIN;691274]I agree with the post about Asheville, every publication was plugging that town for some time, and people started moving there, now it is way way overpriced. [quote]

About 5 years ago my folks found Asheville, NC & fell in love with the place. They were hoping to retire there. Well, needless to say the RE market bottomed out in Ohio in the past few years & now they can't get enough for their house there in order to pay full cash for a home in Asheville. Even if they could, Asheville prices have about doubled in the past 2 yrs. They are not about to take out a mortgage for retirement.

Let's keep in mind that these authors are also looking to sell their book & advice. Personally, I like the way they rank info & the criteria they use. If you read the book from last years rankings, you'd say "Huh??" for more than a few places they found as the best to live. A lot of times, it is based on affordability & education possibilities w/ Sterlings. Obviously, Gainesville did something to move up. But like said, moving requires more than going on a website or reading a book. Lots of homework, research & thought has to go into it! I know last year they ranked Panama City Beach in the top 100. I wondered about that one but the authors do spend a lot of time explaining the critieria & scores for each city.

Overall, it is just interesting but probably not something to base a decision on 100%
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:20 PM
 
1,333 posts, read 2,200,722 times
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My perspective is perhaps skewed after spending many years in Miami but Gainesville is like paradise to me.

* Housing costs one half of South Florida.

* Traffic is nothing like South Florida. Newberry and Archer Road can get congested around rush hour but still nothing like South Florida. The rest of the day driving is a breeze around town compared to what I was used to in South Florida.

* Lots of big box shopping and a huge 1 million square foot mall. All the chain restaurants you could want. 90 minutes to Jacksonville and a couple hours to Orlando or Tampa if you need big city shopping or fancy restaurants. I don't care for fancy restaurants so the lack of that in Gainesville isn't an issue for me.

* Lots of arts, sports, and cultural events at the University.

* Very nice climate for Florida. The seasons actually change in Gainesville. We have decidious trees that will change color in the Fall. Summer is only really really bad for 3 months. Spring and Fall is gorgeous with temps in the low 80's and 70's. Winter is mild with high temps mostly in the 60's and 70's and lows in the 30's and 40's with the occasional cold snap below freezing.

* A couple hours to either the gulf or the Atlantic and lots of state parks and gorgeous springs within an hour drive.

* Educated people that speak english. No sign of the 3rd world invasion we are seeing in South and now Central Florida. If you don't like students, don't hang around the University. The northwest part of town is mostly famalies and older people.

* Pretty much the least likely spot of the state for hurricanes to hit. Any storms that do come along are pretty weak because of the land interaction and are tropical storm strength. The worst most of Gainesville got in 2004 with all the hurricanes was some 40-50 mph wind gusts. Insurance rates which are small fractions of South Florida.

* Gainesville crime? LOL After living in Miami, Gainesville has no crime. I live on the northwest part of town and have no reason to go into the eastern ghettos or downtown. Most crime is drug related or domestic and nothing compared to Liberty City or Overtown in Miami. Just like any city, don't venture into places you have no business going and you have no problems. But I certainly don't feel the "anyone can rob or shoot me" mentality I felt when I was living in Miami even in the nice areas.

There are downsides. Employment is one. Other than the University, Shands, and retail and small service businesses, there isn't much industry here. Salaries are lower because of the students. Housing is higher than other counties like Marion because of the high income jobs at the University and Shands.
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:28 PM
 
33 posts, read 158,328 times
Reputation: 37
I agree with logybogy.

I lived in Chicago,Jax,Miami. My wife and I enjoyed bigger cities at first but now with 3 kids, we definitely appreciate Gainesville. Low crime and relatively good schools. UF is the 3rd largest university in the country and with that comes many perks like cultural activities,concerts,plays. Shands teaching hospitals offer world class healthcare. Short drives to both coasts and 3 major metros. Gainesville's job market is not the greatest but is improving especially in the area of biotech. THe city and county commissioners have been labelled anti-growth which is not entirely true although some of their decisions have been puzzling. Lots of infill urbanist development going on around the university. Cost of living is a little high here , say, vs Ocala to the south.

Other facts about Gainesville:

1. Alachua county, as most university locales, has a large liberal/democrat presence.
2. If you are looking for upscale shopping you will still likely need to drive to JAx or Orlando.
3. GAinesville's traffic can get bad during rush hour mostly because of the layout of it's grid system,lack of alternate routes. Still, not bad at all compared to big city commutes.
4. If you love biking,running then this is your town.
Lots of outdoor activities around here. I live about 43 miles from the GUlf and enjoy fishing out there.

As stated before, if you are young and single and looking for a very active nightlife then this might not be the place for you. If you have exhausted the big city life and are now married and have kids then this may be HEAVEN for you.
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Old 05-20-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Naples
672 posts, read 905,628 times
Reputation: 63
I lived in Gainesville back in the 70s when I was a young 20 something. A friend, who was in college there at the time, talked me into it. Has it changed that much? Other than unversity sponsored activities, there was nothing to do there back then. I thought it was BORING as a 21 year old coming from NYC. The pace was a snail's crawl and drove me crazy.

There were no jobs other than school related. Why they would name this the top place in the COUNTRY is beyond me.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Tampa
3,982 posts, read 10,462,106 times
Reputation: 1200
was in Gainesville this weekend

was surprised how nice it is. VERY green in some parts

just 2 main roads, archer and the university one.

seems much bigger than it is...
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:49 AM
 
33 posts, read 158,328 times
Reputation: 37
Other Gainesville accolades include:


top ten cities in the USA for outdoor activities (Sperling’s Best Places, 2005)

most technologically advanced city in florida (Popular Science, 2005)

tree city USA/tree city USA growth award (National Arbor Day Foundation, 2005)

silver-level bicycle-friendly community award (League of American Bicyclists, 2004 & 2005)

top 15 places to reinvent your life (AARP Magazine, 2003)

gold well city USA award (Wellness Councils of America, 2003)
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:06 PM
 
1,333 posts, read 2,200,722 times
Reputation: 2178
Quote:
I lived in Gainesville back in the 70s when I was a young 20 something. A friend, who was in college there at the time, talked me into it. Has it changed that much? Other than unversity sponsored activities, there was nothing to do there back then. I thought it was BORING as a 21 year old coming from NYC. The pace was a snail's crawl and drove me crazy.

There were no jobs other than school related. Why they would name this the top place in the COUNTRY is beyond me.
Gainesville would be completely unrecognizable if you haven't been there since the 1970's....like pretty much any county in Florida. If you are back in Florida, take a trip and look around.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:10 PM
 
1,333 posts, read 2,200,722 times
Reputation: 2178
Quote:
was in Gainesville this weekend

was surprised how nice it is. VERY green in some parts

just 2 main roads, archer and the university one.

seems much bigger than it is...
Gainesville is very dense for a city of its size. You have city. Then the city stops and you have rural areas with farms and forests. It reminds me of many european cities in that there is not the endless sprawl you see that goes on and on and on.
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:46 PM
 
5 posts, read 24,566 times
Reputation: 17
Does anyone have a link directly to the article?
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