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Old 01-18-2013, 11:24 AM
 
100 posts, read 137,221 times
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I'm from N. Cali and currently living in Socal(hate it). I'll be moving within the next couple of months and would like to get an idea of which places in Florida are most affordable and offer a nice mix of the quite life but still have attractions within a reasonable driving distance. I'm not at all concerned with clubbing or anything of that nature. Plano/Dallas seems like the best fit for me from what I've read so far, but I'm also considering Florida. Plano/Florida are my top two picks based upon my love for golf and my desire to make it a career. I'm in my mid twenties and will be looking for employment after I move. I'll have about 6 months worth of savings and am confident I'll be able to find a job within a few months. Thanks in advance for any tips.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 317,271 times
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It depends on what you want most. Jobs in Florida are exceptionally difficult to get but in Texas, at least in Houston, and probably Dallas, it shouldn't be a problem. Of course Dallas and Houston have all the problems associated with big cities--crime, pollution, and traffic nightmares.

On the other hand Florida, at least in the Cape Coral area, is a great place for peace and quite while having a lot of outdoor activities close at hand. Also, I find the cost of living quite a bit lower here than in Texas and the weather is a lot better.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
4,678 posts, read 8,802,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdantes View Post
I'm from N. Cali and currently living in Socal(hate it). I'll be moving within the next couple of months and would like to get an idea of which places in Florida are most affordable and offer a nice mix of the quite life but still have attractions within a reasonable driving distance. I'm not at all concerned with clubbing or anything of that nature. Plano/Dallas seems like the best fit for me from what I've read so far, but I'm also considering Florida. Plano/Florida are my top two picks based upon my love for golf and my desire to make it a career. I'm in my mid twenties and will be looking for employment after I move. I'll have about 6 months worth of savings and am confident I'll be able to find a job within a few months. Thanks in advance for any tips.
There are no cities (unfortunately) in Florida that compare in affordability, economically, or quality of life to Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
It depends on what you want most. Jobs in Florida are exceptionally difficult to get but in Texas, at least in Houston, and probably Dallas, it shouldn't be a problem. Of course Dallas and Houston have all the problems associated with big cities--crime, pollution, and traffic nightmares.

On the other hand Florida, at least in the Cape Coral area, is a great place for peace and quite while having a lot of outdoor activities close at hand. Also, I find the cost of living quite a bit lower here than in Texas and the weather is a lot better.
The unemployment rates in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are well below the national average. The cost of living in Texas is 3rd lowest, only Tennessee and Oklahoma offer a cheaper lifestyle.

Texas hasn't had one city listed in the top 25 for "Most Dangerous Cities" Obviously the Houston and Dallas metro areas (both being over 7 million each) have crime, but the crime rate is much lower than Miami and Orlando. I'd also add that our city and state planners have planned our road systems very well here. Houston's traffic flows pretty well compared to cities of similar size, and our pollution is confined here in Houston to one side of town (Baytown) where the refineries are.

OP, I understand that you're young and want to have fun, but I know that you'd have a more successful relocation to Houston or Dallas as opposed to Florida. Houston is Florida-like, we have hot weather, palm trees, latino's, and beaches too! Although, Florida has Texas beaches beat by a mile.

Take my word for it, I'm a native to Florida and would love to move back right now, but there's no current future in it.

Oh, and everytime I go to Dallas, I stay in Plano. It's a suburban cowtown, but it's nice.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:22 PM
 
1,979 posts, read 1,903,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdantes View Post
I'm from N. Cali and currently living in Socal(hate it). I'll be moving within the next couple of months and would like to get an idea of which places in Florida are most affordable and offer a nice mix of the quite life but still have attractions within a reasonable driving distance. I'm not at all concerned with clubbing or anything of that nature. Plano/Dallas seems like the best fit for me from what I've read so far, but I'm also considering Florida. Plano/Florida are my top two picks based upon my love for golf and my desire to make it a career. I'm in my mid twenties and will be looking for employment after I move. I'll have about 6 months worth of savings and am confident I'll be able to find a job within a few months. Thanks in advance for any tips.

Dallas has a good economy and is a great place to build/build upon a career for someone you age. While there is a good nightlife here and golf weather most of the year, bear in mind there are no beaches, mountains, deserts, etc. nearby. Galveston is your closest beach, although there are alot of lakes in DFW. This is one of the better destinations if one is young and single, no doubt. I will let the Floridians handle the Florida pros/cons, but this economy is well rounded now (as opposed to when I came here), and very business-friendly.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 317,271 times
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Having lived in Houston and Galveston most of my life, and now about 8 months in Cape Coral, I will give you my perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRyan23 View Post
There are no cities (unfortunately) in Florida that compare in affordability, economically, or quality of life to Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio.
Houston is plagued with pollution--8th worst in the nation after a number of California cities. It's not just the refineries, it's the other industries and the massive traffic causing the problems.

Traffic is a nightmare since the majority of Houstonians live in the suburbs and many commute downtown for work, plus no public transportation to speak of. Also, Houston now has a 26 lane freeway--can you imagine 26 lanes! Many of the other freeways have 10 or more lanes so if there is one wreck traffic is backed up for miles.

Houston does have affordable housing but so does SWF--especially if you want a pool and to be on the water.

Real estate taxes in Houston are 3-4 times as high as in Cape Coral, home insurance is about the same, car insurance is cheaper in Florida, and while gas may be a few cents cheaper in Houston, you will probably be driving distances that are 75% less in this area. Also, clothing expense is cheaper here since you don't need winter clothes. Groceries are cheaper by maybe 10% in Houston.

Weather in SWF is a lot better than Houston. Houston in the summer is at least 10 degrees hotter than here and in the winter Houston is cold, wet, and dreary while it is sunny and warm for the most part in SWF.

Houston used to be known as the murder capital of the USA. That has decreased a lot in recent years but crime is still an issue. Cape Coral is one of the safest places in the states.

I lived in Galveston for several years, on Tiki Island, and it was great but it does not compare in any way to Florida beaches, scenery, and water.

Houston does have a big Latino population, in fact the "white" population of Houston proper is only around 30%--once you get into the suburbs then it is just the reverse.

Houston isn't all bad, in fact it has a lot of advantages. If you cannot get a job in Houston then you just can't get a job! I never had trouble getting a job even when the local economy was in the dumps. By contrast, getting a job in SWF is almost impossible for most people. If you don't have a job lined up or you don't have $$$, then this probably isn't the place for you.

Also, Houston is far better than SWF for arts, entertainment, professional sports, and restaurants. SWF is better for outdoor sports like boating, golf, or fishing although Houston has it's share of these activities.

This is getting pretty long so I will stop it here by saying that the two area can't really be compared too well since SWF is a better retirement-vacation-relaxing environment while Houston is better for jobs-business-entertainment.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:27 PM
 
100 posts, read 137,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Traffic is a nightmare since the majority of Houstonians live in the suburbs and many commute downtown for work, plus no public transportation to speak of. Also, Houston now has a 26 lane freeway--can you imagine 26 lanes!.
You would think with that many lanes, traffic would NEVER back up lol.

I have looked at and considered Houston, northern Texas seems more attractive to me. From what I've read Houston has a higher crime rate than places like Plano and surrounding areas.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
4,678 posts, read 8,802,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Having lived in Houston and Galveston most of my life, and now about 8 months in Cape Coral, I will give you my perspective.

Houston is plagued with pollution--8th worst in the nation after a number of California cities. It's not just the refineries, it's the other industries and the massive traffic causing the problems.
I appreciate your perspective, but I don't agree with it. I'm almost opposite of you, I was born and raised in Florida and spent most of my life in the Tampa Bay area. I also spent about a decade in Tennessee. Aside from Baytown and Pasadena, I haven't noticed any more pollution issues than I did in Tampa or Nashville.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Traffic is a nightmare since the majority of Houstonians live in the suburbs and many commute downtown for work, plus no public transportation to speak of. Also, Houston now has a 26 lane freeway--can you imagine 26 lanes! Many of the other freeways have 10 or more lanes so if there is one wreck traffic is backed up for miles.
Again, I disagree. When I moved to Houston 3 years, I made the mistake of living in Northwest side of town and having to drive I-45 South from the 1960 area downtown everyday for work. My commute was never more than 45 minutes, and that was at rush hour. I enjoy that unlike other major cities, motorists have access to feeder roads, which come in very handy when there's a major accident on the freeway. As for the 26 lane freeway, that's only one stretch, I-10 West to Katy, and it's actually kind of nice. If the road was 6 lanes, it would be a nightmare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Houston does have affordable housing but so does SWF--especially if you want a pool and to be on the water.

Real estate taxes in Houston are 3-4 times as high as in Cape Coral, home insurance is about the same, car insurance is cheaper in Florida, and while gas may be a few cents cheaper in Houston, you will probably be driving distances that are 75% less in this area. Also, clothing expense is cheaper here since you don't need winter clothes. Groceries are cheaper by maybe 10% in Houston.
My family moved to the city of LaBelle in Hendry County back in 2002, my brother in-law had a job at the airport down there and we all tagged along. We lived there for a year. When we lived there, South West Florida was very expensive. I assume that the cost has gone down because it was the hardest hit area in the country. Real estate taxes are high in Texas, but you get about 10 times the house in Texas that you get in Florida for the price, even with the poor housing market.

When my ex-wife and I were planning a relocation from Tennessee 3 years ago, we decided it would be Texas or Florida, While doing insurance quotes, my quote for Lakeland, FL was $310/mo for two cars with full coverage. I currently pay $120/mo. for two cars with full coverage in Houston.

Did you really make the argument that clothing is cheaper because of the lack of need for winter clothing? I've only had to wear a jacket a handful of times since I've lived here, and I've been here for 3 years! Lets not forget, while you're talking about cheaper things, you're also failing to mention the 8% unemployment rate in Ft. Myers, the 8.5% unemployment rate for Lee County, the 8.5% unemployment rate in Charlotte, the 11.8% unemployment rate in Hendry, and the 8% rate in Collier. None of which include the people that have just given up the search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Weather in SWF is a lot better than Houston. Houston in the summer is at least 10 degrees hotter than here and in the winter Houston is cold, wet, and dreary while it is sunny and warm for the most part in SWF.
Via the Climate-Zone.com

Average Highs/Lows

Houston - January - 62/40
Ft. Myers - January - 64/53

Houston - July - 93/72
Ft. Myers - July - 91/74

It has been mostly cool and sunny all winter with the exception of about 5-6 rainy, dreary days. I can remember living in LaBelle and going to Ft. Myers and it was so hot that I thought I was in hell, although I'll admit that Houston gets horrible during the summer months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Houston used to be known as the murder capital of the USA. That has decreased a lot in recent years but crime is still an issue. Cape Coral is one of the safest places in the states.
Houston has NEVER been known as the murder capital, in fact, if you check FBI statistics, Houston hasn't even been listed in the top 25. I'll give you this though, after Katrina, it's gotten worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
I lived in Galveston for several years, on Tiki Island, and it was great but it does not compare in any way to Florida beaches, scenery, and water.
I can say, we finally agree on something. Galveston and Texas beaches in general have nothing on Florida. Although, aside from Jacksonville and Miami, I can't think of many, if any beaches in Florida are composed of a city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Houston does have a big Latino population, in fact the "white" population of Houston proper is only around 30%--once you get into the suburbs then it is just the reverse.
Harris County is 33% white, non-latino.
Montgomery County is 70% white, non-latino.
Fort Bend County is 35% white, non-latino.
Galveston County is 58% white, non-latino.

On the flip side, in SW Florida...

Lee County is 70% white, non-latino.
Charlotte County is 86% white, non-latino.
Hendry County is 35% white, non-latino.
Collier County is 66% white, non-latino.

I'm not sure what the point of the Latino population is, I believe the OP is from Southern California, so I'm sure that he'd be okay with the Latino population, if that's what you were getting at?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Houston isn't all bad, in fact it has a lot of advantages. If you cannot get a job in Houston then you just can't get a job! I never had trouble getting a job even when the local economy was in the dumps. By contrast, getting a job in SWF is almost impossible for most people. If you don't have a job lined up or you don't have $$$, then this probably isn't the place for you.

Also, Houston is far better than SWF for arts, entertainment, professional sports, and restaurants. SWF is better for outdoor sports like boating, golf, or fishing although Houston has it's share of these activities.

This is getting pretty long so I will stop it here by saying that the two area can't really be compared too well since SWF is a better retirement-vacation-relaxing environment while Houston is better for jobs-business-entertainment.
We can agree there as well! The OP is in his mid-20's and is looking for entertainment and not so much a retirement place. I will concede this though, If I had an unlimited amount of money and could live anywhere I wanted to, I'd relocate back to Florida in a minute, I believe.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
4,678 posts, read 8,802,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirdantes View Post
You would think with that many lanes, traffic would NEVER back up lol.

I have looked at and considered Houston, northern Texas seems more attractive to me. From what I've read Houston has a higher crime rate than places like Plano and surrounding areas.
Plano is a suburb of Dallas. Houston has plenty of suburbs as well, some of the nicer ones including The Woodlands and Katy.

It's not exactly fair to say Houston has a higher crime rate than Dallas. Houston, for example, is a larger city than Dallas, more populated, and is more spread out. I'd also add that neither city is ever listed in the top 25 for most dangerous cities and usually when you look on a list, of the most dangerous cities, they both usually rank between 50-100 and usually not very many places apart, usually less that 5.

West Plano is beautiful, East Plano is a little less nice. You should atleast give Katy and/or The Woodlands a shot.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 317,271 times
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I don't know about pollution in Tampa or Nashville, but in Cape coral it is non-existent--maybe because of the the proximity to the ocean, the lack of industry, or fewer cars.

Housing has always been affordable in Houston but Cape Coral was hit so hard that the prices went to rock bottom. I wanted a waterfront home with pool--almost unheard of in Houston--and the price here was much lower than anything comparable in the Houston area. Tiki Island and Bayou Vista were about the only places something was available but the insurance rates and taxes were at least three times higher than here. If you just want a "regular" house, I don't think there would be much difference in price between the two cities.

My car insurance is just about the same here as in Texas, about what you are paying, but my coverage is much higher here.

Maybe global warming is causing the weather to change in Houston? When I lived there I had summer and winter clothes--it often got below freezing in the winter--we quit trying to keep tropical plants because they all died.

"...1981, the year the city was dubbed the murder capital of the United States when it
tallied 701 homicides."
Houston Chronicle

Houston is great for making a living, but Cape Coral is great for living.

Last edited by xoomer; 01-20-2013 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 317,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRyan23 View Post

West Plano is beautiful, East Plano is a little less nice. You should atleast give Katy and/or The Woodlands a shot.
I wouldn't live in Katy because of the traffic--plus you are facing the sun in the morning and evening when going to, and coming from, work--if you work in town.

The Woodlands or Kingwood are both nice and reasonably priced places to live--lots of bargains in Kingwood the last time I looked.
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