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Old 11-13-2008, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Dallas
434 posts, read 1,398,031 times
Reputation: 92

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I recently visitted and stayed in Palm Beach, FL. I had a chance to visit friends and family from west palm down to Ft. Lauderdale.
All I heard was doom and gloom I expected to see run down buildings, unkept landscaping and torn up roads and infrastructure.
I am happy to report that was not the case at all. I saw buildings and homes with fresh new paint, newly planted palm trees lined streets, semi completed or new construction on roadways(a good sign of improvement), people/ drivers being friendly on the road and in public areas. People out in restaurants eating out.

What gives? I thought florida's economy was completely in the toilet from what I hear and read, but that is not what I saw. I know things aren't great now with the current state of the economy but I am impressed to see SFL showing its bright side which means to me that people are focussed on the positives over there and trying to build on them.

Am I completely wrong? is what I saw in Ft Lauderdale and the palm beach not the norm?

Don't get me wrong I know there are bad parts but I was expected the ok to good parts to show signs of economic slow down.
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Old 11-13-2008, 04:16 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
8,678 posts, read 12,696,215 times
Reputation: 9192
The problem is that economic agents in the region overbuilt with respect to the financial capacity to maintain these real assets over time.

The main problems are mortgage payments, insurance payments, tax payments, and physical maintenance.

When the government was basically giving away money, it seemed like a good idea to build out to the max. But now the realization has set in that it requires real income, from productive work, to maintain all this.

This is the source of the doom and gloom: we have the infrastructure (at least housing and highways), do we have the means to maintain it, to sustain adequate incomes and increase them?

Also worth mentioning is that the coastal strip of the region is certainly wealthier and has better incomes than the middle swathe of Palm Beach and Broward Counties, but a significant portion of the wealth and incomes come from outside the region.

At any rate, as you already suggested, southeast Florida does not represent all of Florida, it is by some measures the wealthiest region of the state.

In short, if you travel down the coast from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, arguably you saw the best of what Florida has to offer.

Will this be maintained going forward? This will increasingly depend on real income from real work, and less and less so on artificial money supply which has been drying up.

Last edited by bale002; 11-13-2008 at 05:35 AM..
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,555 posts, read 3,949,734 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosscountry View Post
. . . I am happy to report that was not the case at all. I saw buildings and homes with fresh new paint, newly planted palm trees lined streets, semi completed or new construction on roadways(a good sign of improvement), people/ drivers being friendly on the road and in public areas. People out in restaurants eating out. What gives?
What gives is that you're encountering "opinions" that are obviously indicative of something other than "simply reporting the truth/being honest", despite claims to the contrary. What's really going on in those cases is difficult to say without knowing more about the persons uttering the opinions, but it's something other than reporting facts. I'd love to be able to spend some time in person with some of those folks and give a bit more insight into what may be really going on.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Maryville
132 posts, read 347,486 times
Reputation: 38
Tungsten Udder,
So what is your opinion of moving from TN to Florida? Job Market, Cost of living, etc... My wife and I are seriously thinking about it but honestly comments here have dampened for me that desire.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,555 posts, read 3,949,734 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochmoigh View Post
Tungsten Udder,
So what is your opinion of moving from TN to Florida? Job Market, Cost of living, etc... My wife and I are seriously thinking about it but honestly comments here have dampened for me that desire.
Well, most importantly, I'm of the opinion that comments here shouldn't dampen or heighten your desire to move anywhere. You don't really know anything about the people who are posting here--including me. You don't know their stories, it's difficult to discern much about their personalities from posts, etc. Unless you're already familiar with what people are making claims about--in which case you hardly need their help, you wouldn't be able to tell how accurate and/or honest they're being. There are far better ways to research facts than going by hearsay.

Besides that, I don't know much about Tennessee other than what I can easily look up online. Housing sure doesn't look any cheaper there to me. I did look at it in a couple areas briefly, and based on what I found online, I've found much better deals in Florida, including South(east) Florida, which is where I'm moving. On the other hand, out of 10 properties I looked at in South Florida a few days ago, 5 of them already have contracts--even places that needed a lot of work. So obviously I'm not the only person who thinks it's a good time to buy there, and that's how the market starts to turn around . . . but only time will tell if that was just an anomaly or a sign of a trend.

I don't know about property taxes, homeowner's insurance, vehicle insurance, etc. in Tennessee. I also do not know the price of gas, groceries, etc. there. Compared to where I'm living now (the Metro New York City area) South Florida definitely has a lower cost of living. The only thing we noticed being more expensive there on this last trip was gasoline--but it wasn't much more expensive, only about 20-25 cents per gallon. A few more dollars for a fill-up doesn't mean much when housing, property taxes, auto insurance, etc. are all so much less.

I personally wouldn't move most places without either my wife or I first having a job there (in our case, my wife has an open-ended transfer in Miami). However, I have moved without a job before, and in general I'd feel safer doing it when moving to a bigger city--the bigger the city the more kinds of opportunities should be available there, unless one's vocation is something very specific that's only done in particular locations.

But in our current economy, with current unemployment rates, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable moving anywhere without first having a job set up. I at least wouldn't do it without having a lot of money saved up, being able to live cheaply and temporarily in the new place while job hunting, and having a good "fall-back" plan. It could turn out that you can't find a job making sufficient income to keep paying your bills before you run out of money, and then what would you do?

I'd initiate a long-distance job search first, and if that didn't seem to be working, I'd get a job with more a more flexible schedule where I'm currently living so that I could focus on making regular trips to the place I want to move in order to do regular in-person job searches there instead. While doing that, I'd be careful to give the impression that I was already living there full time. Those trips will also give you an opportunity to get to know different areas/neighborhoods much better (and from your own experience rather than the opinions of strangers) so you'd have a better idea exactly where you'd like to look for housing.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Maryville
132 posts, read 347,486 times
Reputation: 38
Thanks for the input. We were going to try and have jobs lined up. Some of the housing in SFL is priced at great deals. The taxes/insurance will be more in FL, my wife just got back and she is not sure I would like it down there. I ahve been a couple times and feel like I can adapt. I ask on this board to get input from all vantages. We have friends and family down there so we have eyes on the ground so to speak. A lot will depend on how our home sells in TN.
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