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Old 10-18-2012, 10:32 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
491 posts, read 224,989 times
Reputation: 606

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My husband has a job offer in Ft. Myers and we are in the process of deciding if we should accept it or not. For the past 8 years we have been living in Palm Springs, CA - there are things we like and don't like about this area. But my husband's contract will be coming to an end here soon so one of the places we're considering is the offer in Ft. Myers.

This new job will only be for 3 years so we're not looking to buy, just rent. We're open to condo's, houses, town homes...whatever is nice but not too crazy expensive. We prefer newer/nicer areas near shopping/restaurants. We are both working professionals in our 30's, no kids but we have a couple of crazy cats, lol.

I'm concerned about what I'm reading about Ft. Myers, that maybe it might not be the safest area? Or am I totally off on that? I've read good things about Naples but would a drive from Naples to Ft. Myers really be 40 minutes? Is there a quicker way? Are there better areas in between the two cities? What are the differences between all the cities in that area (Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Naples)?

We're excited to start a new chapter in our lives but we're also really nervous because Florida is so foreign to us so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:59 AM
 
1,299 posts, read 2,010,467 times
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As long as you stay out of Cape Coral you'll be fine.
Weather is great. It's a big change from Cali, (lived there 30 yrs).
But you get used to it quick. If you stay out of gated communities and condos were the people have nothing to do but complain about their neighbors it is ok.
Unless you like living like that. Renting a house here is very cheep compared to Cali, and the best way to go if you are here short term.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:11 AM
Status: "Praying for my country" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: North Central Florida
5,615 posts, read 6,527,281 times
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What area of Fort Myers will he be working? North end, south?, downtown? Can make a difference as to commute times from different directions of the outlying areas. Also, are there any other concerns, like proximity to boating/fishing, golfing, etc.? Not to be nosey, but just trying be as helpful as possible.

There can be some nasty parts of Ft Myers. Generally, the southern parts and areas out toward the coastline and the islands are the better place to be. Avoid North Ft Myers, and Lehigh Acres, and the eastern areas of Ft Myers proper. Bonita Springs is pretty nice, and located nicely between Naples and Ft Myers.

Never been to Palm Springs, but I'm betting that Naples is likely a closer fit to what you are accustomed too in surroundings. Yes, every bit of 40 minute commute, and probably more depending on where you start and end.

Since you arent buying I would include Cape Coral as a rather nice place to rent in. The city politics and other problems make it a bit more problematic for long term ownership. U turns and dead ends, and simply navigating the city can be VERY challenging for a newcomer to the Cape.

Crime is currently not one of the bigger concerns in Cape Coral. It is in many parts of Fort Myers however. But it's not like Ft Myers is the wild west either. "They only come out at night" is a good way to characterize Ft Myers.

Keep in mind the preceeding is MHO only, and others may hopefully elaborate further. Happy hunting.

YC.......
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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Palm Springs is the Dessert (Yes I know it is mis-spelled), Hoter'n Hell and dry
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
40,073 posts, read 19,418,994 times
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I lived in Vista Ca and now live in Fort Myers.....I love it here. I live in a gated community and feel very safe! It is like living in a park. My community is every bit as beautiful as Balboa Park In San Diego.

I was originally from the north east and never adapted to the desert enviornment so only stayed in CA for 4 years....then I tried the NE again...but at my age...the cold was too much!

I just love SWFlorida and think Ft Myers is near perfect. The high crime rate statistics are not descriptive of the quality of life. It is an unfortunate aspect of life in the inner city. It appears to be gang based.....it is not indicative of quality of life issues.

Unlike an earlier poster I would highly recommend the gated communities....some of which have condo's ..... I believe are rentable. I would suggest you contact a realtor who specializes in rentals and leases.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
491 posts, read 224,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtcare View Post
What area of Fort Myers will he be working? North end, south?, downtown?
My husband works in TV so the job is w/ your CBS station there, WINK. The studio is located on Palm Beach Blvd...not sure if that's downtown, north or south.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtcare View Post
Generally, the southern parts and areas out toward the coastline and the islands are the better place to be. Avoid North Ft Myers, and Lehigh Acres, and the eastern areas of Ft Myers proper. Bonita Springs is pretty nice, and located nicely between Naples and Ft Myers.
We've looked at a couple high rise options online that have water views...haven't figured out the pros/cons to living in something like that yet. Its hard to judge w/o seeing the neighborhood. I just know I don't want junky neighborhoods.

What is Bonita Springs like? Is it out in the boonies, lol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtcare View Post
Never been to Palm Springs, but I'm betting that Naples is likely a closer fit to what you are accustomed too in surroundings.
Palm Springs valley is actually a string of cities that are all different; you've got some that are nicer than others. You could be in one area where there's very high end shops and you'll often see celebs out and about. But a 20 minute drive south will be completely the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elston View Post
I lived in Vista Ca and now live in Fort Myers.....I love it here.
Did you have a hard time adjusting to the flattness of Florida? Was it hard to leave the hills and mountains of CA? That's what I think we'll miss the most. I love the ocean though so at least there's that, right?

Other cities across the country I've lived in -
Denver: Loved it!
Colorado Springs: Beautiful, loved it!
Salt Lake City: Stunning mountains but didn't like it as much as Colorado.
Houston: Loved the excitement of the big city, lots to do but not my ideal spot.
Boise: Hated it! It was more of a farming town - potatoe state and all - and I got tired of smelling cows and farms everyday. Poorly designed city, not enough jobs, I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. And after living in Denver and Salt Lake, the tiny mountains of Boise just don't compare. Plus, it was very brown there - not as much greenery as I would like.
Seattle: My favorite city of all time - yeah its gloomy but I like it...is that weird? lol. It has the perfect combination of what I like, mountains, big city, water and greenery - its just the place for me and I hope to return someday.
Palm Springs: Beautiful moutains, lots of palm trees but not enough rain - too deserty - think Vegas desert. From Nov. to Mar. its great weather but during the summers it gets up to 115-120 and during July/Aug when Monsoon season sets in, its humid w/ those high temps...its brutal! Lots of snowbirds here too so I know all about that. Its just too small here but I do like its close proximity to LA and San Diego.

So I've mainly stayed in the west, except for the couple years I lived in Houston (so I'm not totally unfamiliar to humidity). It was alright there, I guess...I wouldn't want to move back though. How do you think Ft. Myers compares to Texas/Houston?
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
40,073 posts, read 19,418,994 times
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So far I have really had no problem adjusting to Florida....it is flat, and inland it isnt as pretty as other places I have live.....New England....but I love driving around Ft Myers.....so many really beautiful neighborhoods.....and the streets are well maintained and beautifully landscaped......but it is flat. I could never have lived in Palm Springs....I had friends out there and I really didnt like it after the first couple of visits....isolated and I really missed rain and mist and fog......I just didnt take to desert. Interesting but inhospitable.

I couldnt adjust to Palm Springs or desert communities and the number of people in San Diego ..... traffic, patio yards...etc Not for me.I love Florida. It may not be for everyone but it is near perfect for me.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:21 PM
Status: "Praying for my country" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: North Central Florida
5,615 posts, read 6,527,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.In.California View Post
My husband works in TV so the job is w/ your CBS station there, WINK. The studio is located on Palm Beach Blvd...not sure if that's downtown, north or south.

The WINK studio is actually to the east of the downtown area by a few blocks, on the north end of town. Directly across the street from a pretty new high rise that you may have looked into already. The high rises there are on the river front. The neighborhood directly behind the studios are kinda well kept, but much older. I would consider it a "sketchy" area, again, my opinion. The Edison bridge a couple blocks west of the studios take one directly to and from North Ft myers on the other side of the river. Definatley a "sketchy" area, although like many other places, it has it's nice parts as well.


We've looked at a couple high rise options online that have water views...haven't figured out the pros/cons to living in something like that yet. Its hard to judge w/o seeing the neighborhood. I just know I don't want junky neighborhoods.

What is Bonita Springs like? Is it out in the boonies, lol?


Not really the boonies, but on the southern edge of Lee county. Smaller town feel, and going south into Collier county, is pretty homogenous with what many call north Naples. The eastern side of Bonita, along Three Oaks Dr (turns into Livingston Rd once over the border into Collier county) you'll find plenty of newer developed gated communities. Definatley the high rent district, but since you're coming from southern CA, our high rent might be more in line with your low rent, speaking strictly in terms of dollar figures, I couldnt say for certain however. I'm a transplant here from MI.


Palm Springs valley is actually a string of cities that are all different; you've got some that are nicer than others. You could be in one area where there's very high end shops and you'll often see celebs out and about. But a 20 minute drive south will be completely the opposite.

The area with the high end shops, that's Naples. The other areas completley opposite would be Golden Gate, and East Naples. They're the Collier county equivalent of Lehigh Acres and East Fort Myers in Lee county.

Did you have a hard time adjusting to the flattness of Florida? Was it hard to leave the hills and mountains of CA? That's what I think we'll miss the most. I love the ocean though so at least there's that, right?

No problems with the flatness, but water doesnt drain very well around here. Lots of Mosquitoes, and other annoying pests, but the county does a pretty decent job at controlling them. No Ocean, we got the Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic is the other side of the state, about two hours east.

Palm Springs: Beautiful moutains, lots of palm trees but not enough rain - too deserty - think Vegas desert. From Nov. to Mar. its great weather but during the summers it gets up to 115-120 and during July/Aug when Monsoon season sets in, its humid w/ those high temps...its brutal! Lots of snowbirds here too so I know all about that. Its just too small here but I do like its close proximity to LA and San Diego.

Rainy season here is typically end of May to end of Sept. Very humid the entire time, but the temps usually stay in the 89-96 range, so perhaps a bit cooler than you're used to. Plenty miserable enough, though.

So I've mainly stayed in the west, except for the couple years I lived in Houston (so I'm not totally unfamiliar to humidity). It was alright there, I guess...I wouldn't want to move back though. How do you think Ft. Myers compares to Texas/Houston?
Fort Myers will absolutely have a very small town feel compared to Houston. Ft Myers is not a very "big" city by any means. A small downtown, central core of older homes, and rings of "suburban development" added over the years. Cape Coral across the river from FM is a relatively new city, the oldest buildings being about 50 yrs, and is, I believe, the 10th largest city in FL, by land area. It is a unique experience all in itself.


YC.......
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 317,271 times
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Default Houston vs. Ft. Myers/Cape Coral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.In.California View Post
How do you think Ft. Myers compares to Texas/Houston?
I moved from Houston to Cape Coral a few months ago so I can give you my perspective on the differences. The people are polite here but not nearly as friendly as in Texas. If you go to a doctor here he won't ask about you any questions about you as a person--he will just ask about your health issues. Speaking of doctors, they are on every corner, as are pharmacies--you will never be more than a few minutes away from a pharmacy. One other thing regarding the population, it is quite older than you find in Houston.

The heat and humidity here is similar to Houston but not as oppressive. Also, there are definite "wet" and "dry" seasons here. In Houston you may or may not get rain, but here you will get it every afternoon during the 4-5 months of the rainy season.

Driving has it's problems here with so many out of state people and so many senior citizens, but it is nothing compared to the mess in Houston. You won't experience the nightmare traffic jams here and the distances are considerably shorter than in Houston. However, as someone mentioned, at least in Cape Coral, the canal system can make driving interesting.

The beaches here are a lot nicer than you find in Galveston, and they are a lot closer. The only thing I don't like is that Florida apparently isn't an open beach state so it can sometimes be difficult to find an entrance to the beach and the parking can be hard to find and you usually have to pay for parking.

The crime rate is exceptionally low in Cape Coral but higher in Ft. Myers--but is seems to be confined to certain areas. There are probably more murders in Houston in a week than in all the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area in a year so you should be a lot safer here.

Although I live in Cape Coral most of what I mentioned goes for Ft. Myers as well. Personally, I prefer Cape Coral but I don't really know that much about the different areas in Ft. Myers. Overall, I find this area a much better place to live than Houston in almost every way.

Last edited by xoomer; 10-26-2012 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:45 PM
 
15 posts, read 31,937 times
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Default Move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.In.California View Post
My husband has a job offer in Ft. Myers and we are in the process of deciding if we should accept it or not. For the past 8 years we have been living in Palm Springs, CA - there are things we like and don't like about this area. But my husband's contract will be coming to an end here soon so one of the places we're considering is the offer in Ft. Myers.

This new job will only be for 3 years so we're not looking to buy, just rent. We're open to condo's, houses, town homes...whatever is nice but not too crazy expensive. We prefer newer/nicer areas near shopping/restaurants. We are both working professionals in our 30's, no kids but we have a couple of crazy cats, lol.

I'm concerned about what I'm reading about Ft. Myers, that maybe it might not be the safest area? Or am I totally off on that? I've read good things about Naples but would a drive from Naples to Ft. Myers really be 40 minutes? Is there a quicker way? Are there better areas in between the two cities? What are the differences between all the cities in that area (Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Naples)?

We're excited to start a new chapter in our lives but we're also really nervous because Florida is so foreign to us so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I would suggest Estero. Clean and safe.
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