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Old 04-23-2013, 08:47 AM
 
28 posts, read 38,971 times
Reputation: 30

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So you hear so much about the low cost of living in FL. I am relocating with the family and am finding the cost of homes are very similar between FL and MA. In fact, it looks like FL may actually be more expensive. We pay $11.61 per $1,000 of the appraised value in MA. My 4 bedroom 3 bath home 3300 sq ft would sell for approx $575,000. Taxes are only $5700 and insurance only $800. A similar home in Palm Harbor is about $500,000, but taxes, insurance and HOA put the monthly payment higher than here in MA.

Are there other areas of cost of living that are cheaper down in FL - i.e. gas, food, etc.? I'm surprised there's so little of a gap on housing.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
693 posts, read 1,019,185 times
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This is sort of a fallacy for people who buy homes in your price range. The low COL is reflective if you by a typical house in Florida which is at best around 200k. Once you get to 400, 500, 600k the homes seem to catch up to each other in most places. For example, I can find homes for 550-650k in Northern Virginia that fit what we are looking for, the same "fit for what we are looking for" is around 400-500k in Florida. However, it is possible to buy a home for 120k albiet small but still a perfectly functional home in Florida whereas no such home for 120k exists in Northern Virginia or MA.

In order to feel the effects of the low COL in Florida you must live according to what the COL calculator estimates for a housing payment.

For example, Ashburn VA has a overall COL of 148 and Palm Harbor 96. Almost all categories are the same except housing which Ashburn is 252 and Palm Harbor is 93. 100 being hte US national avg. The average home cost in Ashburn is 418k and in Palm Harbor is 140K.

If you buy at 140k you will see the COL difference of 148 to 96.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,323,153 times
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People underestimate the difference between taxes and insurance on property as well.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:59 AM
 
29 posts, read 37,860 times
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The myth that Florida is really cheap is just a myth. You can live cheaply here, but gas, food, and other services are at least as expensive as anywhere else. It may have been cheap in the 1970s, but I've been here since the 1990s, and it has never really been that cheap. A family member just sold a house outside NYC (3/2, with a 2/1 apartment upstairs) for ~250. taxes were about 11k yearly, but I remember thinking that the price was surprisingly low, for all the talk of florida housing being so cheap.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:35 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,950,255 times
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Quote:
The myth that Florida is really cheap is just a myth
Very true.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:07 PM
 
15,951 posts, read 33,668,717 times
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The term "cheap" is relative, it all depends what you are comparing it to, and what type of lifestyle you want here. Also, different cities, counties and towns will cost more or less. Lots of variables to keep in mind.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:29 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 2,068,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dijos View Post
The myth that Florida is really cheap is just a myth.
People that make this statement are usually naive investors, horrible shoppers, or just can't do math.

As you become wealthier, the disparity between Florida and the more expensive states INCREASES. That's why people with good jobs and/or wealth move here. That's why I moved here.

There is no comparison between a $500k home in Florida and one in Massachusetts. In Florida, that kind of money wiill get you a very nice house on a big lot, probably waterfront. I don't see anyone getting a Boston house with views of Massachusetts Bay with that kind of money.

MA state taxes: 5.3% income tax, plus 12% tax on capital gains
FL state taxes: 0% and 0%

If you are in the market for a $500k house, I am sure that this number matters.

We could go down the list of costs for electricity, gasoline, entertainment, etc. between the two states. All are cheaper for Florida, some significantly.

Even for auto insurance, Florida is significantly cheaper. Don't listen to the naive fools in this forum that claim otherwise: they just don't know how to shop. Proof: The most and least expensive states for car insurance in 2013 | Insure.com

For some people, home insurance costs might be higher in Florida. That said, it still comes nowhere near the tens of thousands of dollars per year in savings from the other sources.

I suppose if you were homeless (like I suspect a number of the people on this forum typing at the library computers actually are), these figures would be equal for both states.

Note: MA has a program capping property taxes that is similar to FL's SOH Amendment. Comparing property taxes between the two becomes a moot point, as property tax determination is more of a "moving/transaction tax" than a tax based on real property value. That's why my 80 year old neighbors pay about 25% of what I pay for property taxes for a similar house.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Sandy beaches...
430 posts, read 415,398 times
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I don't know how they got those ranking numbers for car insurance comparison between Texas and Florida with Texas being higher. I moved here from Dallas last year and the cheapest auto insurance I got in Florida here was doubled what I paid in Texas (some quotes even came in tripled). This is for me and wife only and both having a clean driving record and good credit.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:31 PM
 
48 posts, read 107,053 times
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I live in Palm Harbor and pay $3300 in taxes on a home that was valued at $475,000 in 2007. Current market value is around $385,000.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:46 PM
 
Location: North of South, South of North
8,704 posts, read 9,540,077 times
Reputation: 5122
Well in MA, you have to pay state income taxes. Here you do not. That is HUGE for a lot of people. If you live in similar proximity to the city in MA, as in Tampa Bay...you will most likely pay more for the house and property taxes in MA than here.

Add it all up and the savings a MUCH MUCH more than what more you may pay for insurance here.

I just do not think some people really understand just how expensive it is in some other locations.

Having said that, there are also places that are less expensive than here.....so YMMV.
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