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Old 02-23-2014, 08:13 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,165 times
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My family has been discussing relocated from my area outside of Pittsburgh Pa for several years. We have been to Florida several times and love the gulf coast area. I realize our situations there have been more touristy than actually living there so I was hoping to get some input. My husband and I are in our early 30s and we have 2 children who are 11 and 9 so good schools are important to me. We would love to live in an area with several family oriented things to do. I have checked the job market and it seems every place I look has several offering for things we are qualified in, is any place in particular very bad in this aspect? Is there something that is going to cost a ton of money that might surprise me? What areas would you avoid safety wise? It seems the areas I have looked are around this area have pretty affordable housing, anyplace lower than others or higher to avoid? I think our income lever is pretty on par for the area, we make about $80k a year combined. Thank a lot for any suggestions you have!
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,532,875 times
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You posted the same question in the Port Charlotte Punta Gorda forum. I answered your question there.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:45 AM
 
93 posts, read 175,332 times
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Coming from a mid-thirties couple with 2 children (10, and 3 respectively) we decided to move to North Port for all the above reasons. Schools are really a crap shoot in all areas of Florida. If I could do it again, I would not focus so much on the schools and consider the Florida Virtual School from the get-go so it opens up a LOT of areas to live in.

We love North Port for its accessibility to many many things. We are "close" to a lot of different beaches, close to ALL amenities and different cultural activities are a short drive. (like the art district in Sarasota, lots of museums and family things to do in the Tampa area for day trips ect.)

Some things to consider: make sure employment is secured before moving down.
cost of living is very very reasonable in my opinion...we came from York PA, but are orig from Baltimore...so those areas are what we are comparing it to.

There are a lot of areas on well and septic, instead of city water and sewer. The well and "local" water took some getting used to. We rented a house for our first 2 years living here and I honestly cried when I realized the water (well) had a slight shade of yellow/green and smelled like sulfur. The house we bought and live in now has a water system and softener (also well) but it is still slightly discolored and not 100% odorless. That was my biggest issue moving here, but there is no way I would let that stop me from moving.

What do you both do as careers? I might be able to give some insight and input on where you might be looking for employment.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,317,633 times
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I think it really depends on what type of things you enjoy and your budget for housing. For instance, if you live more than like 25 minutes from the beach and that's something you enjoy, you probably wont make it there as often as you may like to.

I too, have a 9 year old (as well as children a little older). My 9 year old goes to Vineland Elementary in Charlotte county. If I had a choice I would stick to Sarasota county schools.


There are lots of activities for kids in North Port. My little one is involved in gymnastics. We've done baseball, North Port Youth Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, Dance, rowing and probably a few other things I have forgotten. My older girl likes to go to the skate park and bike park in North Port. All of these activities are either in North Port or within a reasonable distance.

The average age in North Port is 40, so it's lower compared to nearby Venice where it's in the late 60's. Although Venice is closer to the beaches and I like the schools better there. So, I think there's going to have to be some give and take.

Here is a blog I wrote about some of the local schools: //www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...y-schools.html Take a look at some of the links and comments on this blog and it should get you going in the right direction.

Hmmm...ton of money, well flood insurance, possibly, if you are required to hold it. 90% of North Port does not require flood insurance, currently, so the cost of obtaining it is much less. There are lot of things to consider when looking at homes and factoring in insurance rates.

Another thing might get expensive is air conditioning in the summer. Generally, the newer/more insulated your home is the cheaper your bill will be. We keep ours at 80 but I'm a native Floridian and the heat doesn't bother me much. I know when we have guests from the north they think it's pretty hot.

As far as price wise, in general, you're going to find higher prices in Sarasota and then probably lower in Venice, then North Port then Port Charlotte. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like Casey Key, for example, located in the Nokomis area, south of Sarasota and north of Venice. That key has one of the highest priced properties around. Most of the barrier islands are pretty expensive. Pretty much every city has it's better area and an area that not the best.

What areas did you visit when you were here? What areas did you find appealing? SW FL has a lot of towns to chose from. You might want to make a few trips down here to do more investigating or possibly consider renting for a short time while you do some more research.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:02 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylittletyguy View Post
Coming from a mid-thirties couple with 2 children (10, and 3 respectively) we decided to move to North Port for all the above reasons. Schools are really a crap shoot in all areas of Florida. If I could do it again, I would not focus so much on the schools and consider the Florida Virtual School from the get-go so it opens up a LOT of areas to live in.

We love North Port for its accessibility to many many things. We are "close" to a lot of different beaches, close to ALL amenities and different cultural activities are a short drive. (like the art district in Sarasota, lots of museums and family things to do in the Tampa area for day trips ect.)

Some things to consider: make sure employment is secured before moving down.
cost of living is very very reasonable in my opinion...we came from York PA, but are orig from Baltimore...so those areas are what we are comparing it to.

There are a lot of areas on well and septic, instead of city water and sewer. The well and "local" water took some getting used to. We rented a house for our first 2 years living here and I honestly cried when I realized the water (well) had a slight shade of yellow/green and smelled like sulfur. The house we bought and live in now has a water system and softener (also well) but it is still slightly discolored and not 100% odorless. That was my biggest issue moving here, but there is no way I would let that stop me from moving.

What do you both do as careers? I might be able to give some insight and input on where you might be looking for employment.

When I was researching home for sale a lot of the ones I like were in North Port. We would make sure employment is secured before we came down, we are at least a year off so haven applied or anything yet, I have just checked the listing and found several things I would be qualified for, I think my husband might have a tougher time. I currently work for a title company but I'm also a paralegal. I could also do anything mortgage company/bank related or admin work. My husband does construction/carpentry.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:09 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,165 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
I think it really depends on what type of things you enjoy and your budget for housing. For instance, if you live more than like 25 minutes from the beach and that's something you enjoy, you probably wont make it there as often as you may like to.

I too, have a 9 year old (as well as children a little older). My 9 year old goes to Vineland Elementary in Charlotte county. If I had a choice I would stick to Sarasota county schools.


There are lots of activities for kids in North Port. My little one is involved in gymnastics. We've done baseball, North Port Youth Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, Dance, rowing and probably a few other things I have forgotten. My older girl likes to go to the skate park and bike park in North Port. All of these activities are either in North Port or within a reasonable distance.

The average age in North Port is 40, so it's lower compared to nearby Venice where it's in the late 60's. Although Venice is closer to the beaches and I like the schools better there. So, I think there's going to have to be some give and take.

Here is a blog I wrote about some of the local schools: //www.city-data.com/blogs/blog1...y-schools.html Take a look at some of the links and comments on this blog and it should get you going in the right direction.

Hmmm...ton of money, well flood insurance, possibly, if you are required to hold it. 90% of North Port does not require flood insurance, currently, so the cost of obtaining it is much less. There are lot of things to consider when looking at homes and factoring in insurance rates.

Another thing might get expensive is air conditioning in the summer. Generally, the newer/more insulated your home is the cheaper your bill will be. We keep ours at 80 but I'm a native Floridian and the heat doesn't bother me much. I know when we have guests from the north they think it's pretty hot.

As far as price wise, in general, you're going to find higher prices in Sarasota and then probably lower in Venice, then North Port then Port Charlotte. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, like Casey Key, for example, located in the Nokomis area, south of Sarasota and north of Venice. That key has one of the highest priced properties around. Most of the barrier islands are pretty expensive. Pretty much every city has it's better area and an area that not the best.

What areas did you visit when you were here? What areas did you find appealing? SW FL has a lot of towns to chose from. You might want to make a few trips down here to do more investigating or possibly consider renting for a short time while you do some more research.

Thank for your imput, North Port is one area I have been looking at. I have thought about the air conditioning costs but I'm sure it cant beat our winter heating bills lol. Right now I'm paying $300-$400 a month for heating and its cold here 6 months a year. The it is really hot for 3 months so we have high air conditioning bills then as well. We have been to Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota and Siesta Key along with several places on the east coast which we did not care for. Honestly anything on the gulf side seemed great to us. We love the beach and the weather. The closer to the beach the better but I think even if we are half an hour away its better than the distance we are now. I have come down several times in July and loved the heat. My husband is originally from Houston TX so he is also used to the warmer climate. We are just doing the research now but hope to move in a year or so. I know everyone talks about the slow job market but it looks much better than where I live now. Here you cant even get minimum wage jobs. We are lucky to have the jobs we do, so that is something to think about as well. My job might let me relocate and work from home. I think my husband would have a tougher time finding something in construction.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,317,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeaemixter View Post
Thank for your imput, North Port is one area I have been looking at. I have thought about the air conditioning costs but I'm sure it cant beat our winter heating bills lol. Right now I'm paying $300-$400 a month for heating and its cold here 6 months a year. The it is really hot for 3 months so we have high air conditioning bills then as well. We have been to Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota and Siesta Key along with several places on the east coast which we did not care for. Honestly anything on the gulf side seemed great to us. We love the beach and the weather. The closer to the beach the better but I think even if we are half an hour away its better than the distance we are now. I have come down several times in July and loved the heat. My husband is originally from Houston TX so he is also used to the warmer climate. We are just doing the research now but hope to move in a year or so. I know everyone talks about the slow job market but it looks much better than where I live now. Here you cant even get minimum wage jobs. We are lucky to have the jobs we do, so that is something to think about as well. My job might let me relocate and work from home. I think my husband would have a tougher time finding something in construction.
Yikes! No, our power bill, at the most, runs up to $180 a month in the summer for a home that's over 2000 sq ft but newer.

There are lots of title companies in the area as well as attorneys who do title work out of their office. I would call around but I don't think it would be too hard.

I think you'd be surprised, it might be easier to find a job in that field then you think. Does he have a specific trade? tile work, carpentry, painting, etc or can he do most things relating to construction? I deal with many investors/flippers and it's very hard to find workers who show up, don't do drugs/drink or get in trouble with the law and do quality work. You might want to try some of the local larger or mid range builders like Adams Homes, DM Dean, Windermere Homes, etc. My husband is in the construction field and does building automation for Tampa Bay Trane. You might also want to try All Phase Electric out of Tampa but covers the whole west coast of FL, if he does electrical.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:43 AM
 
93 posts, read 175,332 times
Reputation: 50
We have a pool that runs every day and the most expensive electric bill we have ever had in this house is $170 and that's running the AC almost constantly. We have a 2200 sq ft house under air.

I have a friend that is a paralegal, she is currently out of work, but it is also because she is super picky about pay. She has been a paralegal for decades and refuses to work at the capacity as one for less then $18/$20 an hour. She got plenty of job offers for between $13-$15 an hour.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:49 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,165 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
Yikes! No, our power bill, at the most, runs up to $180 a month in the summer for a home that's over 2000 sq ft but newer.

There are lots of title companies in the area as well as attorneys who do title work out of their office. I would call around but I don't think it would be too hard.

I think you'd be surprised, it might be easier to find a job in that field then you think. Does he have a specific trade? tile work, carpentry, painting, etc or can he do most things relating to construction? I deal with many investors/flippers and it's very hard to find workers who show up, don't do drugs/drink or get in trouble with the law and do quality work. You might want to try some of the local larger or mid range builders like Adams Homes, DM Dean, Windermere Homes, etc. My husband is in the construction field and does building automation for Tampa Bay Trane. You might also want to try All Phase Electric out of Tampa but covers the whole west coast of FL, if he does electrical.
Her is pretty versatile on the work he can do. Right now he works for a small locally owned business that sells windows, floors, doors kitchen cabinets that sort of thing and he goes and installs them. He has done lots of other work in the field as well and right now has a few people under him. He ha a great work ethic and never turns down more hours or opportunities so I think anyone who hired him would be pleased.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:52 AM
 
15 posts, read 18,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylittletyguy View Post
We have a pool that runs every day and the most expensive electric bill we have ever had in this house is $170 and that's running the AC almost constantly. We have a 2200 sq ft house under air.

I have a friend that is a paralegal, she is currently out of work, but it is also because she is super picky about pay. She has been a paralegal for decades and refuses to work at the capacity as one for less then $18/$20 an hour. She got plenty of job offers for between $13-$15 an hour.
My electric bill is around $140-$150 a month here as is just to keep up with the extreme cold of winter and extreme heat of summer so that wouldn't shock me at all. And my house is smaller than yours. That pay seems about right to what I have seem in my research. I am honestly ok with taking a small pay cut to move, our quality of life seems like it would vastly improve. Any I wouldn't have to spend several thousand a year to go to Florida on vacation lol.
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