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Old 12-09-2013, 11:44 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,234 times
Reputation: 19

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Hi everyone!
So as the title states I'm tired of Florida lol! I've lived here most my life and have always disliked it. I'm considering a move but I'm just not sure. I've narrowed it down to either Iowa or one of the Carolinas... so I thought I'd share a list of what I dislike aboit FL and what I'm lookimg for and maybe you guys can help me out.

I'm 26, African American and I have a cute mixed 4 year old. Work wise, I have clerical experience, paralegal experince, medical billing amd coding and I'm am HHA.

Hate about florida:
1. The unbearable heat ALL YEAR! Christmas never feels like christmas
2. The humidity sucks
3. The people are so stuck up and rude
4. The schools are terrible
5. Way too "city"
6. Jobs don't pay very well
7. Housing costs are crazy
8. Cost of living in general sucks

What I'd like:
1. All four seasons
2. Good schools
3. Friendly people
4. Rural environment
5. Decent paying job (that allows me to actually pay my bills without worry)
6. Cheap cost of living
7. Cheap housing

Oh and lots of single guys wouldn't hurt either lol!
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 976,807 times
Reputation: 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
Hi everyone!
So as the title states I'm tired of Florida lol! I've lived here most my life and have always disliked it. I'm considering a move but I'm just not sure. I've narrowed it down to either Iowa or one of the Carolinas... so I thought I'd share a list of what I dislike aboit FL and what I'm lookimg for and maybe you guys can help me out.

I'm 26, African American and I have a cute mixed 4 year old. Work wise, I have clerical experience, paralegal experince, medical billing amd coding and I'm am HHA.

Hate about florida:
1. The unbearable heat ALL YEAR! Christmas never feels like christmas
2. The humidity sucks
The summer heat and humidity can be awful, but the good news is that it eventually ends. The really bad stuff is usually only for a couple weeks in late July/early August. But you may miss that come winter. Winter can be brutal, especially for someone who's lived in Florida all their life. All that snow is pretty, but then the temperature plummets and the wind starts to blow, and you may start to wonder what you've gotten yourself into. Consider yourself warned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
3. The people are so stuck up and rude
YMMV. Read a few of the other threads in the forums and you'll see some people telling you that Iowans are incredibly stuck up and standoffish, and others who will tell you that they're the kindest, warmest people on God's green earth. Like anywhere, you can find wonderful, friendly people here, and you can also find huge jerks. As a general rule Iowans and other Midwesterners are polite ("Iowa/Minnesota Nice", etc), but by Southern standards we come off as kind of cold and distant. But once you manage to get past that initial distance, you've probably got a friend for life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
4. The schools are terrible
Not generally a problem here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
5. Way too "city"
Also not a problem. In fact, you'll likely end up missing the city at some point if it's what you're used to. Fortunately Chicago and the Twin Cities are only a few hours away, so you can get your city fix on a weekend and come home before it starts to wear on you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
6. Jobs don't pay very well
7. Housing costs are crazy
8. Cost of living in general sucks
I can't speak to how well jobs pay, but housing costs and CoL in general are pretty reasonable, although I hear a lot of complaints about property tax, especially in Des Moines. The CoL is one of my big motivating factors to try and move back from the west coast, hopefully later this year. I compare housing prices and other factors in Des Moines to here in San Francisco and I either laugh or weep openly. Usually both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
What I'd like:
1. All four seasons
Sure, sometimes all within a few days of each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
2. Good schools
Depends where you are, but I would pit almost any given Iowa school against just about any other big city public school in the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
3. Friendly people
See above. If you're in a smaller town or more rural area it may take a while to break into the existing social structure, but stick with it and you'll be able to make it work.
You mentioned being African American, so keep in mind that you're talking about moving to a state that's about 95% white. Chances are that you will stick out some, though that may not be a bad thing . Out and out racism is very rare, but you will likely be subjected to Stuff White People Say To Black People every now and again. Just be patient; we mean well. Obviously cities like Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, etc. are a little more diverse and this won't be as much of a thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
4. Rural environment
HELL YES LET'S DO THIS
CORN FOR DAYS, SON

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
5. Decent paying job (that allows me to actually pay my bills without worry)
6. Cheap cost of living
7. Cheap housing
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
Oh and lots of single guys wouldn't hurt either lol!
You will be a new fish in what's probably a much smaller pond than what you're used to. The odds will be good, but the goods may be a little odd.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,825,664 times
Reputation: 9693
Nomoreflheat, I'm certainly not going to discourage you because I like Des Moines and wasn't thrilled about the time I spent rehabbing a relative's trailer in Tampa. I do love the beach and visiting FL for short periods, but it wasn't a good fit for me in terms of relocation for many of the reasons you mentioned.

That said, I hope you'll come visit during the winter, in between snow storms, and try some some outdoor activities and see how your 4-year-old reacts. If you find yourself wanting to hole up in your hotel room by the heater for the rest of the day after a little sledding, you may want to consider NC/SC.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:29 PM
 
18 posts, read 59,099 times
Reputation: 57
I think Iowa may be an excellent choice. It really will depend on whether or not you can tolerate the cold weather and living in smaller towns/cities (I assume you are from a large city based on your post). Obviously, there are exceptions, but Iowa schools are among the best in the nation, there are four seasons, housing is much lower, unemployment is low, etc. My wife has not had any problems finding work in the medical field, for example.

I don't think being African-American is anything to worry about in Iowa, especially in Iowa City and also some of the other larger towns. Iowa City is about 20 percent minority, and that number is increasing yearly. My wife and I are a biracial couple and have never experienced any issues. Of course, smaller towns may be different and I cannot speak for them.

Should you decide to move to a larger city, obtaining a temporary job should not be a problem while you look for something that pays more. Just based on my experiences, it took me about 2 years to really feel at home here. That would have been true no matter where I moved though--no matter the problems at home, it still is home and it took me about two years before Iowa truly felt like home to me. The cold whether would be difficult to adjust to, and your first winter may be rough. However, adjusting is definitely possible, as evidenced by my wife who moved to Iowa in the dead of winter from a warm country. And it definitely is not cold here all year round.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:57 PM
 
231 posts, read 268,652 times
Reputation: 212
Hi I just moved from south Florida recently. I live in Ankeny which is a connected suburb of Des Moines, Iowa's largest city. I'm just going to warn you the winter feels worse than you think. Serious wind chill combined with flat terrain, dew point and humidity can make things more dry than you are used too(wife is black and son is mixed their skin needs constant baby oiling/lotion or its an eczema fest)), and it gets humid here during summer too. The midwest is the most volatile climate region too, so there will be days where all those things I said may be false, except the wind there is a reason they build turbines here. I35 going north through central iowa was rough yesterday morning thanks to icy/snowy/cold conditions. Probably 10 cars involved in accidents or so. Plenty of skidding to go around.

I have family in North Carolina and it has a much more moderate and comfortable 4 season climate than Iowa. Plus you still have access to the beach. Hurricanes would be the biggest weather issue there, but you would be coming from Florida, so that wouldn't actually be scary to you. I'm not sure about cost of living/economy, but it certainly has a greater variety of cities/regions and a more diverse job market.

Iowa may be more affordable than Florida, but the standard of living is better in Florida in some ways. A 1000 dollar apartment in SF blows a central iowa one out of the water. Also since the area is not as crowded as Florida, there is much less competition that benefits the consumer. There are some things that you will love (gas in the 2.80s today) about the cost of living and somethings you will not like (not as many good free/cheap places to take kids which will bother you in winter). You have to entertain yourself here at times. In Florida it's easy to go somewhere when you are bored and weather won't stop you 95% of the time.

The people here are way, way friendlier than Florida, but you may feel out of place at times. In my experience so far nearly everybody in my area is a native Iowan and the ones that aren't relocated for a job, have 0 ties here, and before that job offer had not ever considered Iowa a place they would go. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is strange moving to an area with a very homogeneous culture/society compared to Florida. North Carolina has many more people like you that moved because North Carolina appeals to them, not to mention more black people if you want cultural diversity.

It is also much safer. I didn't see a police officer or police car my first 2 weeks here. I have seen a couple since then. One was pulling some DMACC student that went through a stop sign and another was driving out of ISU. I have yet to see a bad area that compares to Florida and I've been around downtown Des Moines, down Fleur (supposed to be bad area here), and Martin Luther King Parkway is somewhere I wouldn't mind living.

Central Iowa is a place in transition. it is growing, things are being built, new kinds of people are starting to make there way here. Des Moines is taking its first steps to becoming a major city. North Carolina is much more established I could probably guess what Raleigh and Charlotte will be like in 15-20 years. I don't think I can do the same here.

Ask some more specific questions if you want. I wont have "new eyes" for long.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,852,864 times
Reputation: 1449
^^ as the person above suggests and it is what I always heard too, housing costs in Florida are relatively cheap (assuming you're not talking about a place like Naples) ....especially compared to Iowa.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:13 PM
 
231 posts, read 268,652 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by capitalcityguy View Post
^^ as the person above suggests and it is what I always heard too, housing costs in Florida are relatively cheap (assuming you're not talking about a place like Naples) ....especially compared to Iowa.
I don't know much about buying and the housing market in Iowa, but when it comes to rentals I was surprised. You get so much more bang for your buck in Florida. I was expecting quality to price ratio similar to Oklahoma (off the charts btw, i guess weather drives down price) Lol no. The upper Midwest is a different ball game I guess. A 1200-1500 a month apartment in Iowa compares to places I've seen in the 900s and you often don't get amenities such as pools and a clubhouse which are commonplace in FL.

It's not all bad though. It's cheaper to move into a place in Iowa. In FL it is common practice to pay last months rent, this months rent, an application fee, and sometimes an additional security deposit of a few hundred or so. This does not exist in central iowa. You pay rent and the security deposit plus application. Some places offer less rent with long term lease commitments.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,234 times
Reputation: 19
Thanks for all the help and honest opinions everyone!
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:13 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,234 times
Reputation: 19
As far as the housing, I've been looking and it seems like 800 bucks can get you a nice 2 or 3 bedroom. Where I live (south fl) 800 dollars will get you a run down 1 bedroom in a scary part of town lol!

How's the job situation? I don't know if I'll be able to find a job before going....
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:45 PM
 
18 posts, read 59,099 times
Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomoreflheat View Post
How's the job situation? I don't know if I'll be able to find a job before going....
Finding a low wage position is not difficult at all, although again I can only speak for where I live. When I moved here, I worked at a near minimum wage job, which I obtained within my first week in Iowa. I worked there for about 6 weeks while I looked for and then found found something better. My wife has also easily found work in the medical field. With that said, it may be easy or hard to find a job, depending on the type of work you are looking for and the pay. In summary, I think jobs here tend to pay a little less than where I am from, but are easier to find. The cost of living is also a little cheaper here.
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