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Old 05-04-2016, 12:47 PM
 
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I lived in Cape Coral and worked in Ft. Myers in the early-mid 90s. I've been back a couple of times, but more or less just passing through. My wife and I are thinking about renting a condo in FL for a month or two next year, and not surprisingly, first place I thought of was Lee County. The area still seems pretty affordable and of course the weather in SW FL is great in my book! Very curious in how the area has changed in the the time since I lived there.

I did drive through on my way to Naples a while back and didn't recognize I-75! It was two lanes each way back then! I know the population has grown alot. How is the traffic now in season? Is it brutal to get to/from Cape Coral to the airport, does traffic routinely back up to cross the bridges (though the mid-point wasn't even there when I was a resident!). Are the less desirable areas in the county pretty much the same as they were 20-22 years ago? Interested in what you locals have to say. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:33 PM
 
Location: New England
3,793 posts, read 7,514,542 times
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First and foremost the crime is unreal. We can't go one day without hearing about a shooting or stabbing or drive by or assault. It's affordable because it's better to live in Estero south rather than Estero North. Are there pockets these crimes occur? Sure but innocent people are becoming victims. Two were shot and killed simply driving on a main rd by stray bullets.

Cape Coral is just a lot of cookie cutter houses with half empty strip malls. Traffic in season in all of SWFL is horrendous and it's gotten to the point where it's horrendous out of season too. I lived in San Carlos early to mid 90's and wouldn't now. I've been in Naples since 83 and it's gotten to the point that even we are leaving in 5 months for NC because we just don't want to deal with the people, traffic, heat and humidity anymore. Home prices are on the rise and have already reached unaffordable levels for first time buyers. Rent is some of the highest in the state (NDN just had an article out a few days ago on it). IMO this is not the time to be living in SWFL that time passed about 15 years ago and it's gone down hill from there. Even Naples is having crime issues ( attempted child abductiond and stranger danger issues)
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
374 posts, read 760,460 times
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I have been a condo owner/4 weeks a year vacationer since 2009. Of course I don't see a majority of the day to day issues of crime. That said I have seen the difference between 2009 and now. 2009, I thought to myself...why the hell did I buy here? Just in my association alone we had Over 60% of the units in foreclosure. The units that did have people were renters. One a prostutute. One had a Megan's Law sexual predator. Others who looked like the lowest of the low.

2009- to approximately 2012... As the forclosures sold, many new owners are mostly second home owners, snow birds, and a few investors. The scum of the earth residents were eventually thrown out as the units they resided in also finalized the foreclosure process and they were given the pink slip to get out.

I am very much happy with and feel secure in our South Ft. Myers location. Our association is solid and strong with very few renters. The HOA has been putting a ton of money into the neighborhood with new roofs, new siding and a security system.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral
390 posts, read 568,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
First and foremost the crime is unreal. We can't go one day without hearing about a shooting or stabbing or drive by or assault. It's affordable because it's better to live in Estero south rather than Estero North. Are there pockets these crimes occur? Sure but innocent people are becoming victims. Two were shot and killed simply driving on a main rd by stray bullets.

Cape Coral is just a lot of cookie cutter houses with half empty strip malls. Traffic in season in all of SWFL is horrendous and it's gotten to the point where it's horrendous out of season too. I lived in San Carlos early to mid 90's and wouldn't now. I've been in Naples since 83 and it's gotten to the point that even we are leaving in 5 months for NC because we just don't want to deal with the people, traffic, heat and humidity anymore. Home prices are on the rise and have already reached unaffordable levels for first time buyers. Rent is some of the highest in the state (NDN just had an article out a few days ago on it). IMO this is not the time to be living in SWFL that time passed about 15 years ago and it's gone down hill from there. Even Naples is having crime issues ( attempted child abductiond and stranger danger issues)
Other than that, Sweetbottoms has no opinion one way or the other.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:13 PM
 
179 posts, read 314,000 times
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The high crime areas are limited to a few pockets, for the most part. Sure, there are the occasional anecdotal stories of an innocent person being hurt, but the best way to find out is with actual crime stats. Actual stats will show you that Cape Coral is among some of the lowest in violent crime. Ft. Myers is more problematic. If you look at the stats within the relatively small city limits area, the crime rate is high. But, out in the Lee County part of Ft. Myers (including parts such as "South Ft. Myers"), you'll find it to be pretty safe.

As for traffic, if you're from NYC, Boston, Wash, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, etc., you'll think the traffic in SWFL is quite mild, even in the busy season. If you're from Hinckley, MN or Jackson, NH etc., you might feel like traffic in SWFL is bad.
As for the economy, Forbes recently rated the SWFL cities of Naples, Cape Coral, and North Port among the nation's best cities for future job growth. Forbes Welcome

Forbes also ranked Cape Coral as the 8th best place in the nation to retire. Four cities from FL made that list, and Cape Coral was the highest ranked of the FL cities. Forbes Welcome

You will always get disgruntled naysayers in any area of the country, but on the whole, SWFL isn't a bad place to be. Heck, I have my own pet peeves on the area. I wish that more residents of Cape Coral would plant more trees so that some areas don't look like a "desert". It is getting better in that regard, but could still do better. On the whole, not a bad place to be.

Best luck on your trip down, and have fun!

Last edited by Living the Florida Dream; 05-04-2016 at 10:22 PM..
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:58 AM
 
12,016 posts, read 11,480,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
First and foremost the crime is unreal. We can't go one day without hearing about a shooting or stabbing or drive by or assault.
You are talking abut the news, it's not like your neighbor is telling you that they got stabbed or robbed. Bad things happen everywhere. Crazy people are everywhere.

As far as traffic, it's the end of snowbird season now and I have an older neighbor who is a resident here who is ready to leave to the North Carolina hills for the summer. The traffic is a little heavy in winter, but nothing compared to places that have real heavy traffic and congestion.

I don't know how it's changed, I've only lived here a few months, but I love it here.

There are about a million in population in the Lee and neighboring counties so bad things are bound to happen. Good things happen too, Hertz has moved it's worldwide headquarters here and developers are working on making Fort Myers more of a vacation destination, while fighting with residents who don't want it.

In other news, Lake Okeechoobee runoff turned the ocean water brown, people are looking into solutions but the water should clear by itself in time.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:02 AM
 
Location: New England
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Originally Posted by LifeIsGood01 View Post
You are talking abut the news, it's not like your neighbor is telling you that they got stabbed or robbed. Bad things happen everywhere. Crazy people are everywhere.

As far as traffic, it's the end of snowbird season now and I have an older neighbor who is a resident here who is ready to leave to the North Carolina hills for the summer. The traffic is a little heavy in winter, but nothing compared to places that have real heavy traffic and congestion.

I don't know how it's changed, I've only lived here a few months, but I love it here.

There are about a million in population in the Lee and neighboring counties so bad things are bound to happen. Good things happen too, Hertz has moved it's worldwide headquarters here and developers are working on making Fort Myers more of a vacation destination, while fighting with residents who don't want it.

In other news, Lake Okeechoobee runoff turned the ocean water brown, people are looking into solutions but the water should clear by itself in time.
A little heavier? My daughters school is 2.8 miles from my house and in season it takes me 20 mins to get her to school. Off season I can be there in about 8. Being you've only been here a few months I'd gather to say you still have rose colored glasses on and have no idea what season/ off season was vs. what it is now. Particularly in the time frame the OP is used to.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:03 AM
 
Location: New England
3,793 posts, read 7,514,542 times
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Originally Posted by NoSnow4me View Post
Other than that, Sweetbottoms has no opinion one way or the other.
Oh I'm sorry was I too thorough? As someone who's been here over 30 years I thought I'd give an actual opinion on how it was vs how it is. Compared to the usually"I've been here 5 years and it's great"
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:03 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
14,617 posts, read 8,802,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Living the Florida Dream View Post
The high crime areas are limited to a few pockets, for the most part. Sure, there are the occasional anecdotal stories of an innocent person being hurt, but the best way to find out is with actual crime stats. Actual stats will show you that Cape Coral is among some of the lowest in violent crime. Ft. Myers is more problematic. If you look at the stats within the relatively small city limits area, the crime rate is high. But, out in the Lee County part of Ft. Myers (including parts such as "South Ft. Myers"), you'll find it to be pretty safe.




You will always get disgruntled naysayers in any area of the country, but on the whole, SWFL isn't a bad place to be. Heck, I have my own pet peeves on the area. I wish that more residents of Cape Coral would plant more trees so that some areas don't look like a "desert". It is getting better in that regard, but could still do better. On the whole, not a bad place to be.

Best luck on your trip down, and have fun!


Yes, Cape Coral plant some trees! I have to chuckle when I hear people talk about the "high crime". For a city of its size Cape Coral is a very safe city. Fort Myers' crime is mostly in the Dunbar area. It's gotten to where when I hear there's a shooting in Fort Myers 9 times out of 10 it is in Dunbar. But that's the same in any city.


Rents have gotten very high, the traffic on Daniel's Pkwy during season is enough to make you want to move to a small town and then when we have Spring training with TWO baseball teams you may as well add an thirty minutes to possibly an hour to any trip you have to make.


But as much as hate the months of July-Sept there are a lot worse places to live.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Cape Coral
390 posts, read 568,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
Oh I'm sorry was I too thorough? As someone who's been here over 30 years I thought I'd give an actual opinion on how it was vs how it is. Compared to the usually"I've been here 5 years and it's great"
I'm just ribbing you. Your rants about the area in general are pretty harsh. There's plenty of bad around here, but I've managed to stay clear of it. I didn't hang out on East Colfax in Denver before I came here, so I didn't get shot at there and haven't gotten shot at here because I don't hang out on MLK. I think the snooty old snowbird NIMBYs that freak out whenever any progress comes around are a larger scale social issue.

I happen to really like Cape Coral, but I live in the peaceful NW, which has a small town rural atmosphere for now. I don't think I'd like living in the dense south part, so maybe I'd be a little more on board with your criticism of CC if I did.
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