Author Topic: Moving to Florida  (Read 14351 times)

dafoe1999

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Moving to Florida
« on: April 27, 2014, 12:57:44 PM »
What are the best places to live in Florida? I like to buy a cheap house , so I can take the sale of my house I own now and pay off my new mortgage within 5 -10 years. I have about 35-40k in equity in the house I own now.

plantingourpennies

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 01:32:34 PM »
Welcome!  Cheaper houses are further inland as a rule, as a homes in smaller towns and cities.  Beyond that, it depends what kind of lifestyle you want to live.  North FL tends to be more similar to "the south" and south tends to be more like NY/South America on the east coast, and like the midwest on the west coast.  Are you a rural or city person?  Artsy?  Surfer?  There are a bunch of Floridians on the forums, so if you have questions on a specific location, I'm sure someone would be able to help. 

chasesfish

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 02:20:29 PM »
I agree with the first responder, need more information.  I will say in general, inland areas and the areas north of I-4 tend to have lower cost real estate.  Some of the area also resembles southern Alabama in term of the people you'd live around.

Vitai Slade

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 03:28:53 PM »
I live in Jacksonville, FL and the houses are SUPER cheap here. I'm talking less than $100k for a lot of them. (Just make sure you don't buy into the ghetto. Go southside Jax for the best areas. Stay away for Springfield and surrounding areas). I bought my place brand new from the builder at $124,900. 3 bed 2 bath 1438 sq. feet with 2 car garage. Not a bad deal. There's the beach here too, if you like that sorta thing. Other than that though, there's not a whole heck of a lot going on in Jax as far as nightlife, etc. We have the Jacksonville Memorial Arena for concerts and the Jacksonville Jaguars football stadium. It's not a bad place to live, but not really the best either.

rubor

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 05:32:02 PM »
I used to live in Tallahassee. It's feels like a southern city, more like you're in Georgia or Alabama, which can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for. Housing is surprisingly expensive there, probably because of the university and government. Cocoa Beach/space coast is nice and it seems like there is good housing available.

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 08:56:21 AM »
Used to live in Pensacola, and have a few friends who are still there.  Homes are reasonably priced, and the overall culture is FLA (frickin' lower Alabama).  No desire to live there again, but if you like being on or near the water, the beaches are excellent. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 09:24:06 AM »
Just steer clear of Florida Man, he's always getting in to some kind of wacky trouble.


FastStache

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 10:54:50 AM »
What area are you looking at? I've lived in south Florida and Central Florida, and have enjoyed both areas.

No income taxes, nice weather if you can stand the heat, reasonable property taxes and houses are price slightly above average but affordable.

dafoe1999

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 10:30:13 PM »
I was looking at places to live in the Tampa area. Cheap housing in an area with very little crime and nice neighborhoods. Looking for a house in the low 100's so I can pay it off quickly

rayt168

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 07:10:27 AM »
I live in the Tampa area.  Although I am not familiar with every neighborhood, your description may be difficult to find.  If you are live in the more rural areas, that might be possible.  Depending on your work, the commute might be a good hour one way.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 07:16:19 AM »
I was looking at places to live in the Tampa area. Cheap housing in an area with very little crime and nice neighborhoods. Looking for a house in the low 100's so I can pay it off quickly

Check out Pasco county... lower property tax too. I have a 'nothing north of 54' rule, but that's just me.

If I were to move to Tampa proper again, I'd focus on Seminole Heights. LOVE the Arts and Crafts fixer uppers and the growing artsy community there.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 07:18:07 AM »
Look at Safety Harbor too. There are older/smaller homes there still in the low 100's. And I love the downtown area. Very cool.

rebel100

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 08:07:13 AM »
There is plenty of very affordable housing in and around Tampa.  The Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties make up the greater Tampa area and are rather resonable in general, Moving further north is cheaper still with Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, and Sumpter counties being essentially rural.  I live east of Tampa by 45 minutes or so, This is along the I4 corridor that spans the state east to west from Daytona Beach to Tampa.  It's pretty convenient to live along I4 and work at a larger city like Tampa or Orlando.  If you look there are plenty of fixer uppers in decent neighborhoods to be had for less than 100K,  Move to 100-150 and you can find ready to go homes in decent neighborhoods.

Pangolin

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 08:50:31 AM »
I was looking at places to live in the Tampa area. Cheap housing in an area with very little crime and nice neighborhoods. Looking for a house in the low 100's so I can pay it off quickly

Check out Temple Terrace, in the northeast corner of Tampa.

dafoe1999

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 06:19:03 PM »
Thank you all for responding to this post. Now to look for IT jobs. Which, so far is, a daunting task.

apoclater

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2014, 07:16:16 PM »
Just to be devil's advocate and give you the other side of Tampa, here are my thoughts after living here for a couple years. These are some things I really wish people had told me about living in Tampa before I moved here.

Firstly, if you're used to the midwest or east coast Tampa Bay area is going to look "rough".  It's a lot of crappy strip malls, junky beach resorts, and constant traffic jams.  People's houses generally have a lot of lawn ornaments and the grass (if there is any) is poorly maintained.   The only areas remotely walkable in the city of Tampa are going to be select parts of downtown, select parts of Hyde Park/SoHo, and select parts of USF's campus.  The culture of Tampa is 100% driving, and bike lanes are scarce.  I forget where I read it, but Tampa also has one of the highest number of bike accidents.

Second, the climate is beautiful October through April.  Once April hits, be prepared for 90-98 degrees daily with 100% humidity, and you're going feel this through at least mid to late September.  Spring/fall/winter are for enjoying while summer is for enduring. 

Third, the job market is awful here.   Your options are limited if you want to be in anything remotely interesting or well-paying in IT.

Fourth, culture is nearly nonexistent here.  Yes, there is Gasparilla.  Yes, we do have an MLB and NFL team.  There is a great art museum that houses some of Dali's best works in St Pete.  But that's about it.  All of the festivals, traditions, iconic sightseeing, music, etc that you find in other cities are nearly nonexistent here.  It is a very OLD area.  I was talking to an organizer of a music festival geared toward younger people and he said that it sold extremely poorly, when in comparison Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, and other sell out within a couple days. 

Fifth, and most importantly, is the lack of community here.  It seems like everyone is a transplant from the east coast or Ohio.  It's also a "flyover" city.  People move in for a couple years and move back home. 

Dont' get me wrong, there are real positives about living here - beaches year round, beautiful people, and cost of living is lower than average for a city.  These are just some things I wish I knew before living here.  They might not bother you.

TokyoLotus

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 07:24:18 PM »
Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach! Smack in the middle of Disney world and Miami and there is something for every age.

dafoe1999

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2014, 07:46:45 PM »
So what location has the best of everything? Low housing costs, jobs, low crime, nice neighborhoods and nice neighbors?

apoclater

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2014, 08:40:27 PM »
So what location has the best of everything? Low housing costs, jobs, low crime, nice neighborhoods and nice neighbors?

You're going to have to trade-off on something.  Nowhere is going to have it all.  With low crime generally comes higher housing costs.  Lower housing costs are generally associated with a scarce job market and the neighborhoods and neighbors might not be the "nicest".

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2014, 10:31:51 AM »
Just to be devil's advocate and give you the other side of Tampa, here are my thoughts after living here for a couple years. These are some things I really wish people had told me about living in Tampa before I moved here.

Firstly, if you're used to the midwest or east coast Tampa Bay area is going to look "rough".  It's a lot of crappy strip malls, junky beach resorts, and constant traffic jams.  People's houses generally have a lot of lawn ornaments and the grass (if there is any) is poorly maintained.   The only areas remotely walkable in the city of Tampa are going to be select parts of downtown, select parts of Hyde Park/SoHo, and select parts of USF's campus.  The culture of Tampa is 100% driving, and bike lanes are scarce.  I forget where I read it, but Tampa also has one of the highest number of bike accidents.

Second, the climate is beautiful October through April.  Once April hits, be prepared for 90-98 degrees daily with 100% humidity, and you're going feel this through at least mid to late September.  Spring/fall/winter are for enjoying while summer is for enduring. 

Third, the job market is awful here.   Your options are limited if you want to be in anything remotely interesting or well-paying in IT.

Fourth, culture is nearly nonexistent here.  Yes, there is Gasparilla.  Yes, we do have an MLB and NFL team.  There is a great art museum that houses some of Dali's best works in St Pete.  But that's about it.  All of the festivals, traditions, iconic sightseeing, music, etc that you find in other cities are nearly nonexistent here.  It is a very OLD area.  I was talking to an organizer of a music festival geared toward younger people and he said that it sold extremely poorly, when in comparison Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, and other sell out within a couple days. 

Fifth, and most importantly, is the lack of community here.  It seems like everyone is a transplant from the east coast or Ohio.  It's also a "flyover" city.  People move in for a couple years and move back home. 

Dont' get me wrong, there are real positives about living here - beaches year round, beautiful people, and cost of living is lower than average for a city.  These are just some things I wish I knew before living here.  They might not bother you.

Someone didn't find the Skipper Dome or Jannus Landing while living here!  There are a continual stream of festivals... 2 weeks ago it was the Cajun Festival at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, Dunedin Wines the Blues, Caribbean Festival at the Vinoy. We have an arts district, Ybor City, rich Cuban heritage, Florida Cracker, Greek. In addition to pro football and pro baseball we have pro hockey too. In Orlando there is pro basketball. Also, the Yankees have their summer camp in Tampa. We have the Suncoast Bike Trail which covers over 166 city and wilderness miles. My favorite portion is to begin in Tarpon Springs, (home of Greek sponge docks/restaurants), bike to Dunedin, have lunch at one of the outdoor bistros and bike back, total round trip around 18 miles. We have a symphony. Various opera companies visit every year at both Ruth Ekerd and Tampa Performing Arts. We have beaches that every year make the most beautiful beach list... Fort DeSoto, Honeymoon Island, Caldesi Island. One of the worlds most amazing bookstores is in St. Pete... Haslam's where it is rumored Jack Kerouacs ghost haunts the stacks. I attend Shakespeare in the Park performances every season at Demen's Landing... every year something interesting and thought provoking. There is also a thriving middle eastern and vietnamese community..with their specialty groceries and restaurants. I could go on.

Cool Communities--Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Seminole Heights, Ballast Point. I'm certain I've left out others. Cool Communities but only if you are rich or anti-Mustachian--Hyde Park, SOHO, Beallair.

IT jobs. There are a lot of software companies headquartered in the Tampa Bay area. Yes, the pay is lower than other Metro hubs, but the cost of living is considerably lower. There are quite a few EHR software companies and other HIT cos as well.


apoclater

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2014, 08:32:09 PM »
Just to be devil's advocate and give you the other side of Tampa, here are my thoughts after living here for a couple years. These are some things I really wish people had told me about living in Tampa before I moved here.

Firstly, if you're used to the midwest or east coast Tampa Bay area is going to look "rough".  It's a lot of crappy strip malls, junky beach resorts, and constant traffic jams.  People's houses generally have a lot of lawn ornaments and the grass (if there is any) is poorly maintained.   The only areas remotely walkable in the city of Tampa are going to be select parts of downtown, select parts of Hyde Park/SoHo, and select parts of USF's campus.  The culture of Tampa is 100% driving, and bike lanes are scarce.  I forget where I read it, but Tampa also has one of the highest number of bike accidents.

Second, the climate is beautiful October through April.  Once April hits, be prepared for 90-98 degrees daily with 100% humidity, and you're going feel this through at least mid to late September.  Spring/fall/winter are for enjoying while summer is for enduring. 

Third, the job market is awful here.   Your options are limited if you want to be in anything remotely interesting or well-paying in IT.

Fourth, culture is nearly nonexistent here.  Yes, there is Gasparilla.  Yes, we do have an MLB and NFL team.  There is a great art museum that houses some of Dali's best works in St Pete.  But that's about it.  All of the festivals, traditions, iconic sightseeing, music, etc that you find in other cities are nearly nonexistent here.  It is a very OLD area.  I was talking to an organizer of a music festival geared toward younger people and he said that it sold extremely poorly, when in comparison Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, and other sell out within a couple days. 

Fifth, and most importantly, is the lack of community here.  It seems like everyone is a transplant from the east coast or Ohio.  It's also a "flyover" city.  People move in for a couple years and move back home. 

Dont' get me wrong, there are real positives about living here - beaches year round, beautiful people, and cost of living is lower than average for a city.  These are just some things I wish I knew before living here.  They might not bother you.

Someone didn't find the Skipper Dome or Jannus Landing while living here!  There are a continual stream of festivals... 2 weeks ago it was the Cajun Festival at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, Dunedin Wines the Blues, Caribbean Festival at the Vinoy. We have an arts district, Ybor City, rich Cuban heritage, Florida Cracker, Greek. In addition to pro football and pro baseball we have pro hockey too. In Orlando there is pro basketball. Also, the Yankees have their summer camp in Tampa. We have the Suncoast Bike Trail which covers over 166 city and wilderness miles. My favorite portion is to begin in Tarpon Springs, (home of Greek sponge docks/restaurants), bike to Dunedin, have lunch at one of the outdoor bistros and bike back, total round trip around 18 miles. We have a symphony. Various opera companies visit every year at both Ruth Ekerd and Tampa Performing Arts. We have beaches that every year make the most beautiful beach list... Fort DeSoto, Honeymoon Island, Caldesi Island. One of the worlds most amazing bookstores is in St. Pete... Haslam's where it is rumored Jack Kerouacs ghost haunts the stacks. I attend Shakespeare in the Park performances every season at Demen's Landing... every year something interesting and thought provoking. There is also a thriving middle eastern and vietnamese community..with their specialty groceries and restaurants. I could go on.

Cool Communities--Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Seminole Heights, Ballast Point. I'm certain I've left out others. Cool Communities but only if you are rich or anti-Mustachian--Hyde Park, SOHO, Beallair.

IT jobs. There are a lot of software companies headquartered in the Tampa Bay area. Yes, the pay is lower than other Metro hubs, but the cost of living is considerably lower. There are quite a few EHR software companies and other HIT cos as well.

I think you've done a good job listing some of the great places and things to do in the Tampa area.  I haven't hated living in Tampa, and I've spent considerable time in many of the places you mentioned and many more you haven't. 

That being said, Tampa is not exactly a rip-roaring time for a 20-something or younger couple, even if you're living in South Tampa or in Old Northeast in St Pete.  This  area's population is quite old and the lack of quality jobs (there was ONE Fortune 500 company in Tampa last time I checked) prevent the brain-drain of college students leaving after finishing school.  In fact, Tampa was ranked as the worst city for young professionals by Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/09/cities-professionals-young-forbeslife-cx_mw_0709tampa.html

All I'm saying is do your research before you decide to move here, I'm not trying to personally attack anyone for their choice in living here.  There are pros and cons to any city.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 08:36:21 PM by apoclater »

Bateaux

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2014, 12:08:17 AM »
I'm considering making to the move to Florida.   Looking between Cedar Key and Crystal River.   Very rural and very little crime.  Looking for waterfront gulf acess property and some is very reasonable.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2014, 05:03:03 AM »
Just to be devil's advocate and give you the other side of Tampa, here are my thoughts after living here for a couple years. These are some things I really wish people had told me about living in Tampa before I moved here.

Firstly, if you're used to the midwest or east coast Tampa Bay area is going to look "rough".  It's a lot of crappy strip malls, junky beach resorts, and constant traffic jams.  People's houses generally have a lot of lawn ornaments and the grass (if there is any) is poorly maintained.   The only areas remotely walkable in the city of Tampa are going to be select parts of downtown, select parts of Hyde Park/SoHo, and select parts of USF's campus.  The culture of Tampa is 100% driving, and bike lanes are scarce.  I forget where I read it, but Tampa also has one of the highest number of bike accidents.

Second, the climate is beautiful October through April.  Once April hits, be prepared for 90-98 degrees daily with 100% humidity, and you're going feel this through at least mid to late September.  Spring/fall/winter are for enjoying while summer is for enduring. 

Third, the job market is awful here.   Your options are limited if you want to be in anything remotely interesting or well-paying in IT.

Fourth, culture is nearly nonexistent here.  Yes, there is Gasparilla.  Yes, we do have an MLB and NFL team.  There is a great art museum that houses some of Dali's best works in St Pete.  But that's about it.  All of the festivals, traditions, iconic sightseeing, music, etc that you find in other cities are nearly nonexistent here.  It is a very OLD area.  I was talking to an organizer of a music festival geared toward younger people and he said that it sold extremely poorly, when in comparison Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, and other sell out within a couple days. 

Fifth, and most importantly, is the lack of community here.  It seems like everyone is a transplant from the east coast or Ohio.  It's also a "flyover" city.  People move in for a couple years and move back home. 

Dont' get me wrong, there are real positives about living here - beaches year round, beautiful people, and cost of living is lower than average for a city.  These are just some things I wish I knew before living here.  They might not bother you.

Someone didn't find the Skipper Dome or Jannus Landing while living here!  There are a continual stream of festivals... 2 weeks ago it was the Cajun Festival at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, Dunedin Wines the Blues, Caribbean Festival at the Vinoy. We have an arts district, Ybor City, rich Cuban heritage, Florida Cracker, Greek. In addition to pro football and pro baseball we have pro hockey too. In Orlando there is pro basketball. Also, the Yankees have their summer camp in Tampa. We have the Suncoast Bike Trail which covers over 166 city and wilderness miles. My favorite portion is to begin in Tarpon Springs, (home of Greek sponge docks/restaurants), bike to Dunedin, have lunch at one of the outdoor bistros and bike back, total round trip around 18 miles. We have a symphony. Various opera companies visit every year at both Ruth Ekerd and Tampa Performing Arts. We have beaches that every year make the most beautiful beach list... Fort DeSoto, Honeymoon Island, Caldesi Island. One of the worlds most amazing bookstores is in St. Pete... Haslam's where it is rumored Jack Kerouacs ghost haunts the stacks. I attend Shakespeare in the Park performances every season at Demen's Landing... every year something interesting and thought provoking. There is also a thriving middle eastern and vietnamese community..with their specialty groceries and restaurants. I could go on.

Cool Communities--Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Seminole Heights, Ballast Point. I'm certain I've left out others. Cool Communities but only if you are rich or anti-Mustachian--Hyde Park, SOHO, Beallair.

IT jobs. There are a lot of software companies headquartered in the Tampa Bay area. Yes, the pay is lower than other Metro hubs, but the cost of living is considerably lower. There are quite a few EHR software companies and other HIT cos as well.

I think you've done a good job listing some of the great places and things to do in the Tampa area.  I haven't hated living in Tampa, and I've spent considerable time in many of the places you mentioned and many more you haven't. 

That being said, Tampa is not exactly a rip-roaring time for a 20-something or younger couple, even if you're living in South Tampa or in Old Northeast in St Pete.  This  area's population is quite old and the lack of quality jobs (there was ONE Fortune 500 company in Tampa last time I checked) prevent the brain-drain of college students leaving after finishing school.  In fact, Tampa was ranked as the worst city for young professionals by Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/09/cities-professionals-young-forbeslife-cx_mw_0709tampa.html

All I'm saying is do your research before you decide to move here, I'm not trying to personally attack anyone for their choice in living here.  There are pros and cons to any city.

Haha! Must be why my daughter moved first to Miami and then Los Angeles straight out of college and my son is actively planning a move to Austin.  I agree, Tampa would not be top of my list in my twenties/thirties.

HSH Princess Grace

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2014, 11:09:35 AM »
Most people move OUT of Florida to become more mustachian.  Other than the big cities (NY, SF, etc.) I can't think of a worse place to try to be frugal.  Floridians are very status conscious and not accepting of alternative life styles the way they are outwest.  We have cities here (like Cape Coral for instance) who want to throw citizens in jail for refusing to use (and pay for) city water.  So much for anyones' ideas about going off the grid to save a few bucks.  I agree with the previous posters that the northern areas are more tolerable and if I were relocating within Florida I would focus on the Jacksonville area.  Still, if you are serious about the MMM life Florida is NOT the place to be.

jwilliams0215

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2014, 12:54:33 PM »
Born and raised Tampa native (30 now). Agree with many of the points, notably: very much a driving only town (biking is limited and dangerous in areas and there is a lack of public transit options), entertainment options are acceptable but have been improving (many more festivals as mentioned above, concerts as well). You can be mustachian-lite here (transportation as the main culprit for complete mustachian). No state income taxes and cost of living is low (I was able to get my house paid off in 6 years, albeit with the help of roommates at the time). Plenty of parks to explore for entertainment and there numerous beaches are readily available both for little to no cost. Definitely should visit in the peak of the summer to see if you don't mind the heat.

dragoncar

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2015, 12:51:40 PM »
Reviving this thread because my wife suddenly wants to move to Florida (from the SF Bay Area).  On the one hand, that's Insta-retirement for me.  On the other hand, "I have a doubt." 

My question is really: is Florida living sustainable?  Being a place that basically requires air conditioning, I'm worried about things like energy costs, climate change, etc.  we have problems here in CA too (earthquakes, drought) but since I grew up here I feel like I have a good handle on the risk calculations.

We'd probably be in the fll/Mia area because I'd still want to be near potential job opportunities and more metropolitan culture.  When we are both retired, we might spend summers with Camilo in a cooler part of the world.

What other questions should I be asking?  I'd love to live closer to the water, but that increases weather risk right?  Does it therefore make sense to rent in general?  In other words, how does the rent v buy calculation take into account those risks (I understand insurance is state run and can potentially go insolvent).

Seriously, how big are the spiders?

Thoughts on condo vs house?  How well do condos age
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 01:01:00 PM by dragoncar »

Wilson Hall

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2015, 01:54:06 PM »
Reviving this thread because my wife suddenly wants to move to Florida (from the SF Bay Area).  On the one hand, that's Insta-retirement for me.  On the other hand, "I have a doubt." 

My question is really: is Florida living sustainable?  Being a place that basically requires air conditioning, I'm worried about things like energy costs, climate change, etc.  we have problems here in CA too (earthquakes, drought) but since I grew up here I feel like I have a good handle on the risk calculations.

We'd probably be in the fll/Mia area because I'd still want to be near potential job opportunities and more metropolitan culture.  When we are both retired, we might spend summers with Camilo in a cooler part of the world.

What other questions should I be asking?  I'd love to live closer to the water, but that increases weather risk right?  Does it therefore make sense to rent in general?  In other words, how does the rent v buy calculation take into account those risks (I understand insurance is state run and can potentially go insolvent).

Seriously, how big are the spiders?

Thoughts on condo vs house?  How well do condos age

Hi Dragoncar,

Moving from SF to Florida...that WILL be an adjustment, particularly in terms of culture and weather. You're right that FIRE should be a snap, though!

There has been great advice here, especially from OldDogNewTrick: some of the communities outside Tampa, such as Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, are downright charming if that's what you're looking for. But it sounds like you'll want someplace more happening.

Have you considered Sarasota? It has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the southeastern US, an artsy culture, and more of a Midwestern laid-back sensibility than FLL/Miami-Dade. Somebody else posted that most of Florida is anti-Mustachian: if you do relocate to the SE coast, you will witness keeping-up-with-the-Joneses on steroids.

Other posters will have to comment on renting vs. buying in south Florida. The market blew up horribly in 2007-08, and seems to have rebounded in some areas but not others. As far as air conditioning goes, yes, you will need it, but your COL will be so much lower than in CA that you'll barely notice.

And spiders? It's the palmetto bugs you have to watch out for:

http://wildflowers.jdcc.edu/Palmetto_Bug.html

dandarc

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2015, 02:11:17 PM »
I used to live in Tallahassee. It's feels like a southern city, more like you're in Georgia or Alabama, which can be good or bad depending on what you're looking for. Housing is surprisingly expensive there, probably because of the university and government. Cocoa Beach/space coast is nice and it seems like there is good housing available.
I like it here in Tallahassee.  Moved in 2008 for a job.  Seems you do have to put some effort into finding things to do outside of work, but there is a lot to do once you start looking.  I disagree that housing is expensive.  It certainly can be expensive, but there are lots of affordable areas too.  I will say rents have always seemed a bit high here to me - maybe I should get into some rental properties.

NathanP

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2015, 02:25:02 PM »
Most people move OUT of Florida to become more mustachian.  Other than the big cities (NY, SF, etc.) I can't think of a worse place to try to be frugal.  Floridians are very status conscious and not accepting of alternative life styles the way they are outwest.  We have cities here (like Cape Coral for instance) who want to throw citizens in jail for refusing to use (and pay for) city water.  So much for anyones' ideas about going off the grid to save a few bucks.  I agree with the previous posters that the northern areas are more tolerable and if I were relocating within Florida I would focus on the Jacksonville area.  Still, if you are serious about the MMM life Florida is NOT the place to be.

I would strongly disagree with this statement. After finishing my degree I accepted a job opportunity along the Space Coast (Atlantic ocean east of Orlando) and lived there for 7 years. In this area of Florida you have a good mix of golf playing socialites/retirees, average Joes, and lower income, blue collar workers..and also some beach bums. When you factor in the lack of state income tax, cheap year round fresh vegetables and fruits, no need for any winter heating, etc. you end up with a very low cost of living.

Sure, some areas of Miami and West Palm Beach are full of the truly wealthy and those that merely appear to be. This is definitely not the norm.

Another poster brought up the concern that living in Florida may not be sustainable. I would also disagree with this statement as coastal Florida typically has a nice breeze and one can survive the summer without air conditioning. With a well insulated home, my electric bills never topped $100 a month and throughout the fall/winter/spring were around $30. Is living in the Midwest or North East sustainable? Can you survive a winter if your heating source fails?


UnleashHell

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2015, 02:28:37 PM »
Looking for somewhere to live - avoid anywhere that needs flood insurance - especially after this week.

Someone mentioned Pasco county earlier and south of the 54 - not a bad call - thats where I am and its booming - but house prices are all over the shop - higher where the schools are good. Townhouses are still very cheap per sq ft even in those areas. I'd suggest getting the job first and then renting nearby to get a feel for the place.

Sarasota - awesome beaches!! near the beach = insurance costs.

Also look out for HOA fees and CCD fee - some are reasonable - some not so much. Plenty of info within facebook groups once you narrow the location down.

AC is necessary. Just got my last electric bill in. including electric stove as well - 200 for the month (1,600 sqft) thats pretty much the high point for the summer though - way cheaper in winter.

FLBiker

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2015, 02:56:02 PM »
If you're looking near Tampa, I second the recommendation for Temple Terrace.  It's got houses in the low 100s, low crime (east of 56th) and I can bike to work (@ USF) in ~30 minutes.

I agree with folks that say Tampa isn't bike friendly, but it can be done.  I tend to ignore bike lanes (which are on big roads) and stick to back streets.  And I don't see why Florida is difficult for Mustachians.  It's relatively cheap, no state income tax, and you can grow veggies year-round.  Re: AC, I was worried, but we've got a 1800 sqft house and our electric bill tends to peak at around $80 in the summer.  We set our AC at 79.  Our house was built in 1964, it's block w/ plaster walls, and I think the thermal mass helps.  We don't have much shade, and we haven't upgraded the windows.

I also agree with the advice to stay away from flood zones.  We get tons of rain every summer, and you want property that drains.

Culturally Florida is hit and miss, but there are some great things -- we've got a good network of community gardens, a great Buddhist group, decent theater (though my favorites are in St. Pete and Sarasota) and good live music.  That said, I quit drinking ~10 years ago and don't care about nightlife, so I can't speak to that.

Seminole Heights is also cool.

I grew up in St. Louis and Boston, and I initially didn't like Tampa / FL, but I've really come to like it.  Things you can't control (like weather) are great (if you like sunshine and don't mind heat) and you can find people / activities / cultural things.  It took me a while to find stuff, though.

Finally, one great (and cheap) summer activity is cold springs.  There are loads of them!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 02:58:15 PM by FLBiker »

Daisy

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2015, 03:06:56 PM »
As a South Florida resident, I'll take a stab at this...

Reviving this thread because my wife suddenly wants to move to Florida (from the SF Bay Area).  On the one hand, that's Insta-retirement for me.  On the other hand, "I have a doubt." 

My question is really: is Florida living sustainable?  Being a place that basically requires air conditioning, I'm worried about things like energy costs, climate change, etc.  we have problems here in CA too (earthquakes, drought) but since I grew up here I feel like I have a good handle on the risk calculations.

Energy costs - I cringe when I hear what people have to spend on heating their homes in colder climates. I barely use the A/C in the non-summer months. We do get some warm days in the fall/spring and winter, but especially in winter you should be able to get by without using much AC.

Admittedly, I think I use much less electricity that others around here (by verbal comparison), but I've lived in both houses and now a condo and spend less than $100 a month even in the summer with AC. I'm away at work during the hottest times though. My condo neighbors, on the other hand, spend about $300 a month, they have told me. I-Just-Don't-Understand. Mine comes out to about $50-60 in the summer and $30-40 other times.

We'd probably be in the fll/Mia area because I'd still want to be near potential job opportunities and more metropolitan culture.  When we are both retired, we might spend summers with Camilo in a cooler part of the world.

That's my neck of the woods. As almost anywhere else, you can find a wide range of prices, mostly dependent on how far away you are from the water. But you can even find some decent places not too far from the beach if you are smart about it. There are expensive places in the suburbs as well.

If you are looking for a more international/metropolitan vibe, then the southeast Florida area is your best bet in Florida. The downtown Miami Brickell area is becoming much more "urban" than it was in the past. You could potentially go car free if you live there (higher costs though), but if you want to venture anywhere else (and most people do), then you need access to a car. It will be interesting to see how this area continues to grow and how the transportation options change.

I recently met an early retired couple that moved to Miami specifically because they love the international vibe. They have a tiny apartment but they are very active in the cycling community. They said they've been all over and loved the vibe in Miami. Although many others hate the vibe in Miami. Different strokes...

What other questions should I be asking?  I'd love to live closer to the water, but that increases weather risk right?  Does it therefore make sense to rent in general?  In other words, how does the rent v buy calculation take into account those risks (I understand insurance is state run and can potentially go insolvent).

I haven't made a comparison, but as in most HCOL areas, renting may be best. I own and continually wonder if I should have rented instead of buying my current condo. Insurance is expensive.

Seriously, how big are the spiders?

Huge.

Actually I think roaches are worse than spiders...haven't really had a huge spider experience in my life living here.

Thoughts on condo vs house?  How well do condos age

Well condos can be a pain, as in anywhere, but you can at least bundle up your insurance costs with the rest of the building instead of shouldering it on your own in a house.

Also, and I'm no real estate expert just an observational note, I think the real estate market in South Florida is controlled a lot by the large number of international buyers that like to buy a place here as a second home and don't want to get bogged down with house maintenance. So it seems like condos are becoming more popular and can fetch high prices due to the high demand. Although condo prices were hit in 2008, they seem to be just as expensive as homes at times. I haven't really done any research on this, just observational.

Edit: Although there are a lot of expensive activities, it is pretty easy to find a lot of low cost or free activities, especially in the touristy areas. In Miami Beach, for example, free outdoor movies and broadcasts of live symphonies are shown once or twice a week in the fall and winter months. There are other such free things, which I think are supported by the tourist tax dollars and help to attract more tourists.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 03:59:53 PM by Daisy »

Potterquilter

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2015, 03:12:06 PM »
I live in The Villages florida. I love it. 55+ community with lots of stuff to do, Forbes just rated it #1 small town in America.

My neighbors live here on SS alone and do it.


http://www.thevillages.com/lifestyle/lifestyle.htm

we do see alligators everyday.

Potterquilter

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2015, 06:16:42 PM »
Things to consider before moving to Florida

Sinkholes. We have sinkhole insurance but the deductible is high. The fancy name is catastrophic ground collapse. You can find sinkhole maps for areas you are interested in
We are required to have hurricane insurance from our mortgage company. We also have flood insurance but it is cheap because we are not in a danger zone. We live on the edge of wetlands though.

Florida has lots of old people. Even the ones who can't see or hear are driving around. Sometimes in RV's bigger than your house.  There is no car inspection so imagine some of the stuff you see on the roads.

Generally Florida schools do not get a high rating. Of course there are excellent schools as well as poor ones, do your homework.

I find that although I live with a lot of northerners, there are lots of white republican Christians. Be prepared to see lots of anti abortion billboards and many people tell me to have a blessed day or tell me they are praying for me.  I am an atheist so I just nod and move on.

The mortgage crisis hit here particularly hard. Be very careful where you buy. Some areas have not recovered.

It is very easy to get a concealed carry permit here. Good or bad depending on how you look at it.

You can shield your assets from bankruptcy and lawsuits easily which is why so many rich people live here

In January, February and March it is very crowded. Many people own seasonal residences and it is common for people to have at least some company escaping from the cold.

There is no state income tax.  Property taxes are much lower than in NY.

The roads rarely have potholes. Road maintenance is minimal. Unlike Pennsylvania where I swear every time I go through that state there is roadwork being done for miles. NY is not much better m

I can only remember a few days in three years when the sun did not come out. Adversely, this time of year the weather forecast is likely to be a variation of "afternoon thunderstorms likely", "threat of severe thunderstorms in some areas". And so on.

It can get hot and humid.  Lawn mowing, bike riding, walking etc should be done with caution from mid morning until evening.  The pavement is scorching for animal paws so extra care needs to be taken to exercise them.

There are lots of service jobs. Lots of construction jobs but I notice lots of them are Hispanic non English speaking. And like Texas and California there is a large illegal immigrant population.

IT jobs may or may not be available but of course you would have to look in your specific expertise.

You can wear T shirts, shorts and flip flops most of the year,

Our utility bills are lower than they were up north. You can survive without air conditioning but it,would be tough, especially to sleep.

The sun is really strong here.  You need to always be hydrated and protect your skin.

You never have to drive in or shovel snow.

From the hilly areas of Clermont, to the party town of Key West, to the gulf coast, central Florida or the Atlantic coast, you can find a nice place to live here.  I think the job is the bigger challenge.   


Daisy

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2015, 10:32:34 AM »
I think the sinkhole problem is more in central Florida. I don't hear about it much in South Florida.

I've seen videos of whole homes devoured by a sinkhole. Scary stuff.

UnleashHell

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2015, 11:38:57 AM »
Sinkholes are scary. Sadly they also make for great news which is why the very sinkholes make the news while the number of people dying in car crashes  don’t register in the mind the same way . A man died here in a sinkhole a couple of years ago – in USA today they spoke with a professor at USF who track such things. He could recall all of 2 other deaths by sinkhole in 40 years – both caused when drilling for water.

By contrast , in 2010 there were 2,445 deaths in traffic accidents in Florida. 487 of those were pedestrians and 83 cyclists  (http://vehicle-fatalities.findthedata.com/l/10/Florida)

Sinkholes are scary but in reality not something to worry about in the scheme of things.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2015, 12:44:34 PM »
Native Floridian here to chime in!

Consider what you want - so Tampa Bay.
I've lived in the "Bay Area" my whole life and here are a few things to consider
-houses in the low 100's tend to be in dicey areas if you wanna stay in Tampa
-Flooding, I think just the past month has proven the Tampa does not have a sustainable drainage plan. You'll need to pay for flood insurance
-terrible public transport and not bike friendly

Now, if you are willing to get a Mustachian car consider some communities further inland with better homes and biking communities
-Brandon (terrible traffic but cheaper, well priced homes, attracts plenty of lower income DINKS)
-Lakeland (mid-point between Orlando and Tampa, great community but in the dreaded Polk County)
-Temple Terrace (college kid central, crime issues but does have some nice condo communities and bike transportation)
-Plant City (close to I-4, growing community that is still pretty country, decent home prices)

As for IT jobs be prepared to take a cut. Almost every professional career down here has low pay (compared to the national scale). But there is plenty of economic growth on the I-4 corridor that need IT professionals. My husband never went longer than a week without a job.

jwilliams0215

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2015, 01:16:12 PM »
Nothing too much new to add here, but I'm a bit pleasantly surprised by the presence around the Tampa area (per this thread). I haven't met too many like-minded mustachian individuals in the area, at least those who aren't doing it out of necessity :) We have managed to move and get down to 1 car between my wife and I, but it is much more difficult in this area. At least Uber is inexpensive for the one-off needs.

 I tried to organize a meetup in the area last year, to no avail, let me know maybe if the group is grown and there is any interest, I'll get another effort started!

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2015, 01:53:07 PM »
Nothing too much new to add here, but I'm a bit pleasantly surprised by the presence around the Tampa area (per this thread). I haven't met too many like-minded mustachian individuals in the area, at least those who aren't doing it out of necessity :) We have managed to move and get down to 1 car between my wife and I, but it is much more difficult in this area. At least Uber is inexpensive for the one-off needs.

 I tried to organize a meetup in the area last year, to no avail, let me know maybe if the group is grown and there is any interest, I'll get another effort started!

Not to get off thread even more but I think there is enough presence to arrange a Tampa Bay Mustache Meet Up. If you have Facebook are you on the Southeastern Mustachian group?

Potterquilter

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2015, 03:00:27 PM »
I think the sinkhole problem is more in central Florida. I don't hear about it much in South Florida.

I've seen videos of whole homes devoured by a sinkhole. Scary stuff.

Sinkholes can occur anywhere. Here was an article about a big one in Tampa last year if anyone is interested

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2014/0721/Sinkhole-in-Florida-In-Sinkhole-Alley-another-massive-one-swallows-a-street-video

No matter where you live there could be floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and so on. Just do your homework the best you can.

jwilliams0215

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2015, 07:27:43 PM »
I think the sinkhole problem is more in central Florida. I don't hear about it much in South Florida.

I've seen videos of whole homes devoured by a sinkhole. Scary stuff.

Sinkholes can occur anywhere. Here was an article about a big one in Tampa last year if anyone is interested

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2014/0721/Sinkhole-in-Florida-In-Sinkhole-Alley-another-massive-one-swallows-a-street-video

No matter where you live there could be floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and so on. Just do your homework the best you can.

No, sure didn't. Thank you for mentioning, glad to be part of the group! Well... acceptance pending :)

MacGyverIt

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2015, 01:37:09 PM »
Seriously, how big are the spiders?

It isn't the spiders so much as the flying cockroaches. No, I'm not joking. I've got tons of family all over the state and there are prehistoric looking, huge cockroaches that can fly right into your face.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2015, 03:36:14 AM »
Seriously, how big are the spiders?

It isn't the spiders so much as the flying cockroaches. No, I'm not joking. I've got tons of family all over the state and there are prehistoric looking, huge cockroaches that can fly right into your face.

FWIW, I've lived here for nine years now and have never seen one of these giant palmetto bugs/cockroaches.  We do have some freaking huge spiders, though.  Their bodies are about as big as my pinkie fingers and legs at least that long again.  Luckily they build their webs out of the walkways and don't bother me (and are usually only there fall/winter), so I don't worry about them all that much. 

Having a bug service come regularly, though... that's kindof a necessity here.  =)

Potterquilter

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2015, 04:10:30 AM »
No one has mentioned love bug season. For a few weeks every spring and fall these pesky little bugs are everywhere. They make a mess of a pwindshield. Then they go away.

I have only seen palmetto bugs In a foreclosure we looked at as a possible investment but it was overpriced.   I have see no several black snakes and one rat snake a great blue heron was eating, both non poisonous.  There are snakes up north too.

Badfish

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Re: Moving to Florida
« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2015, 05:44:35 AM »


Thanks for the info about the facebook group! I've sent a request too. I am excited to see all of the Tampa Bay people here! I live in the downtown St Pete area. It's a great area with a high walk score. Lots to see and do within walking distance. Pretty good mix of ages here from 20's to 80's in our complex.

While all of Tampa Bay is nice, I am partial to St. Pete.  I feel the  traffic isn't as crazy here. Lots of roads without too many traffic jams. A lot of the neighborhoods here though are pretty mixed with nice houses and run down houses on the same street. It seems there is a huge sellers market going on right now. We sold our place for 50 percent higher than we paid for it after only 4 years.

I also like the north county area ( Clearwater, Dunedin) . Lots of nice beaches and neighborhoods but the traffic can get quite heavy there if you are commuting.