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Old 04-10-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Portsmouth, NH
1 posts, read 2,756 times
Reputation: 10

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My two sisters and I are considering relocating to SW Florida from Southern NH. We are all looking to rent for the time being, and I have been doing some research on apartment prices. There seems to be an immense amount of beautiful places in the Fort Myers area for several hundred dollars a month less than what we would pay in New England. I assumed this was due to the real estate issues in FL right now (which I don't even slightly understand). But my sister is convinced that these apartments, most of which I have seen on Craigslist, are only cheap because they are in dirty, unsafe areas.

I have been to Fort Myers a couple of times but don't really know the area well enough to determine which areas are "nasty" and which are not. From my research, I've been able to gather that Lehigh is somewhere to avoid, and that South Ft. Myers is nicer. Is my sister right- are these prices too good to be true- or is New England just outrageously expensive?

I have also gotten the impression from reading some of the comments on this forum that many people who live in Fort Myers hate it there because of the crime, traffic, and overcrowding. My sisters and I don't especially feel the need to live in a city. We just want to live somewhere close to the Gulf that doesn't feel like the boondocks. Are there any smaller towns anywhere along the gulf coast that have decent restaurants, shopping, beaches etc, and where we won't be the youngest people by three generations (like it was when I went to Naples)? Any info I can get would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:56 AM
 
3,842 posts, read 9,588,404 times
Reputation: 3194
First, what is going to be your employment?

The housing mess is SWFL is greatly intensified due to the lack of a job market in the area. For several years it was based on construction. Now, it is mostly retail/min wage jobs; very little in the terms of professional unless you are in the medical field.

The area thrives on the money of snowbirders & retirees. That is the primary base that moves to the area.

Crime & traffic is really not the big issue working people have with FM. It is the housing, demographics & lack of decent paying jobs.

NE has always been expensive & it always will be expensive.

But its going to be a REALLY tough road for you in SWFL if you move here without wages that cover cost of living.

S FM is the area to focus on for apts.

Honestly, you may want to look further north in FL; as in Sarasota & Tampa Bay area.

We were in our early 30s & felt like we aged 50 years whenever we were in Fort Myers (we lived in Punta Gorda...DO NOT move there is you are under 50!!)
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:16 AM
 
35 posts, read 131,251 times
Reputation: 24
I second checking out the Tampa Bay area - better jobs, younger demographic, more to do, etc.

While the prices of rentals have always been much less than the prices in NE, they have come down dramatically in the last few years due to the housing mess. When I moved here in 2004, basic 2BR apartments/duplexes were $800-900/mo. You can now rent a brand new house for $700-800 in Cape Coral. You can rent a new house with a pool on a canal for $1K in Cape Coral. Keep in mind that due to supply/demand, it's a buyer's/renter's market and it's all negotiatable.

Traffic is bad during the winter when the snowbirds are here, but once you learn what times and what routes to take, it's tolerable. I wouldn't worry about crime unless you're in a shady area (downtown Ft. Myers).
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:11 PM
 
Location: fort myers, florida
172 posts, read 884,055 times
Reputation: 59
Careful saying downtown Fort Myers is shady. It's not. Outside of downtown is shady. There's some pretty sweet apartments downtown that are relatively affordable and there is a fair amount of younger people (mid-20s to early 30s) living downtown.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Fort Myers FL/ Ottawa ON
1,210 posts, read 2,926,059 times
Reputation: 486
Default Shady Parts, Downtown

Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post
Careful saying downtown Fort Myers is shady. It's not. Outside of downtown is shady. There's some pretty sweet apartments downtown that are relatively affordable and there is a fair amount of younger people (mid-20s to early 30s) living downtown.
Any opinion about the small area between the river and Terry Park? Shady? Vulnerable to crime? How vulnerable is a 1920 wood house to a hurricane?
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers Florida
128 posts, read 594,871 times
Reputation: 61
I'm sorry but I don't think I would want to live in that area it has gone down the sewer drain like the rest of central and east Fort Myers. If going east you really have to be east of the interstate before you can even get out of your locked car. You may want to look on the other side of the river in North Fort Myers if you want to be near the river and still affordable but alot safer.
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