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Old 01-11-2011, 11:19 AM
 
28 posts, read 46,187 times
Reputation: 21

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Thank you in advance for any information!

My husband and I are looking at a move to the SW Florida area. My parents relocated to sw Cape Coral in June. We will be making our first visit in March, and if we like it, are looking at a move in June when our kids get out of school. I don't know whether to look at cape coral, ft. myers, or some other area that is nice and close by! I want to go armed with information though.

My wishes:

I would like to be within 30 min from my parents, and no more than 15 min from the beaches. Family friendly, we have a large family! Neighborhood feel...does this exist there? I actually want to be part of a neighborhood, not the whole subdivision is its own little world thing. My kids walk to school, the park, the pool, etc. now. I would love for them to have this ability in FL as well.

Good schools! We currently live in a college town with the top schools in our state and don't want to sacrifice education. How do I find out the school grades and what on earth does school choice mean? Could I move across the street from the best schools and my kids not be allowed to go there?
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Florida Space Coast
2,335 posts, read 4,426,680 times
Reputation: 1537
Price range and jobs will determine more than anything else. Cape coral (just about any part) is more than 15 mins to any beach. As far as schools check out greatschools.org for starters. An alternative for being close to the beach is owning a pool or a boat. Sw cape is only 2miles to sanibeel by boat. The public schools especially in the sw all seem to score very high. I almost moved there and my choices were oasis, gulf, and trafalgar. If I wasn't able to get any as my choice then I was going to go private (cape coral christian academy). But again income may matter for some to afford private school. If money was not an issue I would consider sanibel.

As far as neighborhood feel , there has. Been lots of transients so it's hard (not impossible to get that.)
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,572 posts, read 49,142,538 times
Reputation: 13470
No one is going to like this but scores do not even remotely tell the story. It depends on how low you set the bar. If you are coming from an area of good schools you will immediately see how different the schools are in Lee County. No amount of websites and rankings will change that. I raised most of my children in Massachusetts, had my youngest in the Lee County schools for five weeks, and moved away, the schools are so bad.

There was a woman from NYC that was on City-Data. She wanted to move to a "nice" area of south Florida. I warned her about the schools. She moved down and the kids were two grade levels behind her children. She lasted five months and moved back to NYC.

Kev, seriously. Would you really move your children from Mass to Cape Coral? I'm sure your wife would never allow that. It may look great on paper but the reality is a different thing. And I wonder if having several investment properties in the area has clouded your judgment.

The truth is the area is a retiree haven. There is not a huge emphasis on the schools. Further, there are not really any "family" neighborhoods. Lee County, for the most part, is made up of self-contained communities that have a lot of retirees, vacation homes and snowbirds.

I'm going to get a lot of investors, homeowners and Florida natives - who have never attended other schools - upset. But with your strong emphasis on schools and a family feel, I am not sure how you would do in that area. We moved away to have better schools and raise our child in a better environment.

We have a lot of family in the area and we would love to move back so that we are not so alone, but we are good parents and our daughter's welfare comes first.

If you simply must go, Cape Coral is the best choice. There are decent areas in Fort Myers, but the crime level is spotty. Cape Coral is a much safer community.

School Choice? Oh, don't even get me started. Read the "sticky" on the first page of this forum. It will explain what that really is, and it is not great. Basically, you will lose control over what schools your children attend. Good luck.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Florida Space Coast
2,335 posts, read 4,426,680 times
Reputation: 1537
My wife and I were not in agreement on where to move. I loved new hampshire she hated it. She loves mass, I don't care for it. With me it's mostly the people from mass. I grew up here and left for a reason, swore I would never move back. So when it came time for a relo we could have moved anywhere in the country. Because we already owned some properties in cape coral ,we were familiar with it, plus my parents live there and her parents had a 2nd home in naples, close cousins that were in tampa it seemed a logical choice.

Contrary to your opinions the people we spoke with regarding those 4 schools, not one had anything but very good things to say.

Again if we were down there our life would be rather untypical as most, my normal life has always been how most spend vacations.

Regardless I let my wife be the decision maker 100% on this and said It didn't matter where we lived as long as we are all together. And we make it down there every 60 days or so...... more during the summer. And our plans (for now) is to slowly make improvements to our future retirement property.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:11 PM
 
28 posts, read 46,187 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you so much for your responses. Is there an area that is a little further away that is better? Sarasota?? I did read the first post and thought I must have misinterpreted school choice...to be honest it reminds me of the busing and desegregation of schools in the 60's. What goes on here seriously?! I looked briefly at some of the charter schools.

I live in PA and we are happy here...we have a great life and our only reason for moving would be to being close to family. Quite the decision.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:34 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,572 posts, read 49,142,538 times
Reputation: 13470
Quote:
Originally Posted by svalsechi View Post
Thank you so much for your responses. Is there an area that is a little further away that is better? Sarasota?? I did read the first post and thought I must have misinterpreted school choice...to be honest it reminds me of the busing and desegregation of schools in the 60's. What goes on here seriously?! I looked briefly at some of the charter schools.

I live in PA and we are happy here...we have a great life and our only reason for moving would be to being close to family. Quite the decision.
We deal with the same issue as you, it seems. I don't have much of a family and my husband's family is welcoming and tight-knit. We agonize over it a lot. But we live in a university town, too, with a good school system due to that and the nearby national laboratory.

Sarasota is suppose to have an excellent school system. I have a friend on here, "SoFLGal," that is a Realtor in the area and she is quite pleased with the schools. Sarasota is a lovely area. Lots of cultural offerings and spectacular beaches.

And yes, School Choice comes from desegregation. The court order ran out in the early part of the last decade, but they decided to carry on. They claim that the majority of parents like School Choice, but I've never met anyone that did. I've followed the money and they get a lot of funding for transportation and that may be why they hold on. I didn't research it very well. There may be more money kicking around, too. But the most heart-wrenching aspect to come out of School Choice is that the kids spend an inordinate amount of time on buses. It is craziness.

Any school system that sticks kids on buses for that long doesn't care about its students, in my opinion.
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