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Old 12-06-2013, 03:07 PM
 
28 posts, read 39,054 times
Reputation: 30

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This forum was extremely helpful in providing information related to a possible relocation. Now that we have been down here 6 months, I wanted to provide others with some feedback. First off, we were originally from the area and lived here 20 years and moved away to MA for 20 years and now we relo'd back.

For those relo'ing and are in professional careers and families. I'll separate into the positives and negatives:

Positives
  • love the weather
  • everyone is much friendlier for the most part
  • easy access to the beach
  • longer days, more sunlight
  • greater access to public activities - i.e. parks, bike trails, beaches
  • because of longer days, warmer weather, and access to recreational facilities - i feel we are healthier and more active
  • school systems academically are equivalent, maybe a bit lower, but not horribly (we moved from a 10 rated system in MA to a 9 rated system in Pinellas). more homework and more focused on grades in FL, but overall, a good education.
  • home prices (more home for the money). only is a plus if you have a great deal of equity when moving down.
Negatives
  • definitely less community based
  • school system structure is a mess. we live in a neighborhood and maybe out of our 6 neighbors - 2 go to the local public school, 2 go to private, and 2 go to magnet programs. you lose the neighborhood feel. high school even gets worse.
  • very long traffic lights and traffic was worse than expected
  • children sports - seasons tend to overlap and most kids down here tend to focus on one sport and sense they overlap, they don't have the ability to do multi-sports.
  • home insurance, car insurance, and HOA's (much higher than MA)
Looking back after 6 months, did we make the right decsion - I would say yes. As parents, we are moreso yes, but the kids are still getting over the hump of missing friendships. But it's coming along. So for those considering a move, who also have the opportunity to make a similar salary and career, I say go for it.

Good luck!!!!
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:09 PM
 
23,078 posts, read 34,433,495 times
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^^^ Excellent post and I think you nailed some of the positives quite well including the perceived massive fall-off in school quality, which as you've discovered isn't the case in apple-to-apple comparisons. I would say not all neighborhoods are like yours in terms of being "less community based" as many are quite close knit, including a few I know of in Safety Harbor.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,444 posts, read 4,686,679 times
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I would add that salaries are somewhat lower than the north, especially in administrative and professional/technical fields.

RM
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
693 posts, read 1,021,747 times
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Great post OP, thanks for providing your insight.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Any Beach/FL
26,341 posts, read 14,816,736 times
Reputation: 10838
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
^^^ Excellent post and I think you nailed some of the positives quite well including the perceived massive fall-off in school quality, which as you've discovered isn't the case in apple-to-apple comparisons. I would say not all neighborhoods are like yours in terms of being "less community based" as many are quite close knit, including a few I know of in Safety Harbor.
Ihave moved several times from Northdale to St Pete -Clearwater etc, and as far as community --all depends on age, and status. If you are not an old retired golfer ($$) or live where all the kids play soccer, in the same neighborhood, you are out of luck for the most part. The mid-western feel is here- Closed doors and windows -hi as you pass by- and live your life, we shall live ours. IF you are of a certain age group or have a family -you NEED to find the same people in the neighborhood you want to live in.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Sandy beaches...
431 posts, read 418,399 times
Reputation: 837
We have been here for a year and half now moving here last summer from Dallas area. Our perspective is pretty much the same except for cost of living as it was a bit less where we moved from.

Positives
- we feel definitely much happier in general, I think it has to do with the more sunshine days and being near the beach with the swaying palms. We're rarely inside and it still feels like vacation when we're not working. Just look at the winter weather around the nation lately and we're so thankful to be here and enjoying the warm weather in shorts.
- Our kids have adopted the area and made friends quickly. Funny enough, the common bond seems to be that a lot of people came from elsewhere, we even made friends with people who moved here from Dallas area recently as well.
- If you live away from families, being here is more incentive for them to visit (tho some may lump this in the negative column :-). We've had more friends and family visits since we've moved here than I can recall. They'll "swing by" even when vacationing in Orlando.
- no car inspection and emission check - just one less thing to worry about and one less thing for cops to give you a ticket for

Negatives
- for me, job opportunities in IT is less and salary is generally less as well. Not to say it doesn't exist but is just less in general. But I already knew that coming here and brought my job with me.
- food prices is higher in general
- smaller homes and higher cost compared to Dallas, it was slim picking to find a 4BR/3BA within our price range in good schools area

All in all, the positives way outweigh the negatives. This was definitely the best move for us.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 14,219,011 times
Reputation: 6043
The wages are lower than the north, however: No state income tax, no heating oil bills in the winter, homes are much cheaper, the roads a better, you can go to a beach and not step on used syringes and other trash, electricity is cheaper, its less densely populated, just to name a few of the positives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonR View Post
I would add that salaries are somewhat lower than the north, especially in administrative and professional/technical fields.

RM
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,453 posts, read 4,806,983 times
Reputation: 12332
I'm not picking on any one poster in particular but...

'wages are lower in FL than in the north' is a meaningless statement. First off, everything is 'north' of Florida. Second, everyplace north of Florida is not homogenous. Salaries in CT are not the same as salaries in TN - yet both are 'north'. Third, 'salaries' is also meaningless because you are not speaking about a specific industry - which salaries? nurses? truck drivers? teachers?

We've been looking hard at the salary for my hubby's field - IT, with some specific skill sets and specific training that he's had. Uniformly, the salary he's paid here in KY is 20K less than what is offered in the Tampa area that we are looking at. KY doesn't pay high for IT professionals - it is one of the reasons we have been looking at moving - he's not being paid what he's worth and is about at the top of the ladder in his field. And he makes 70K now. FL seems to be paying 90K and sometimes more for what he knows and what certifications he has.

Now, comparing that to cost of living changes we'll probably be looking at a 10K increase overall in take home pay if he gets a 90K job - mostly because insurance is way higher and some increase in property taxes.

Doing your homework on what you're worth and what jobs are open is more important than any blanket statement about salaries. Thankfully the IT field in the Tampa area needs professionals like hubby. Right now he's working on a possible job for 110K that would allow him to telecommute from home 2/3 per week so long as he's willing to do some travelling within FL. Cross your fingers because that would be a great opportunity!
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