Florida Living

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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searchher
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Florida Living

Post by searchher » Tue May 22, 2018 12:03 pm

Our family of 3 (in our mid 30's with a child almost 5 years old) is considering moving from the north east to Florida but need some help zoning in on specific areas.

We appreciate the convenience that comes with living in a city, but don't need it to be too large. We like being able to get to movie theatre's, Whole Foods, restaurants, and gyms without too much hassle. But we also would love to be able to access water very easily (long evening walk to a beach), or to have a house with a pool and a water view with a dock perhaps. Crime & security is of utmost important, as well as a strong public education system. Good health care and proximity to a relatively major airport are also important, as one of us has to travel quite a bit for my job. We work in healthcare (one in pediatric care, one in consulting).

Research has drawn us to areas such as Sarasota. But we're totally open to any part (along the west or east coast), including Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Cape Coral, etc.

We'd greatly appreciate suggestions from anyone who lives in these areas or who have conducted similar research in the past!

tech_arch
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Re: Florida Living

Post by tech_arch » Tue May 22, 2018 12:37 pm

I grew up in Broward county (Ft Lauderdale), lived in Tampa, and have friends in Cape Coral. These are all very different areas. I'll try to address your points one by one.

* City life: All of your locations probably have what you mentioned, though I'd be surprised if Cape Coral had a Whole Foods
* Pool/beach/dock: Doable in all locations. Cape Coral might require a short drive over to Sanibel or Captiva.
* Crime and security: Varies by neighborhood. This is true of all cities, though I suspect Cape Coral is probably the quietest of the ones you listed
* Public schools: Varies too much by school. I've been reliably told that Florida schools in general are not as good as those in the NE, especially NJ and NY
* Airport: Tampa is probably the closest for Cape Coral, and probably a bit over an hour away. Of those locations listed, Ft Lauderdale is your best bet, but Tampa makes Orlando (MCO) 1.5 hours away. Ft Lauderdale also gives you access to Miami Int'l
* Healthcare industry: No idea

Homeowner's insurance will likely be more expensive on the east coast, due to the increased risk of hurricanes. West coast has nicer beaches (especially Clearwater!)

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Pajamas
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Pajamas » Tue May 22, 2018 2:08 pm

Any of the larger coastal cities will have areas that meet your requirements. Even Orlando is not unreasonably far from beaches. Given your criteria, maybe decide based on where you fly to on a regular basis and which city's airport will best meet your needs.

Publix is highly-rated and might make you think twice about shopping at Whole Foods. You can barely drive a mile in populated areas in Florida without seeing one.

Beach
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Beach » Tue May 22, 2018 2:11 pm

tech_arch wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:37 pm
Homeowner's insurance will likely be more expensive on the east coast, due to the increased risk of hurricanes. West coast has nicer beaches (especially Clearwater!)
I would disagree on this point. Hurricanes hit both costs pretty equally, you living in a flood zone or close to the ocean is where the rates will go up.

Gill
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Gill » Tue May 22, 2018 2:12 pm

the "...long evening walk to a beach" could be the deal breaker in most of Florida. Such housing begins in the seven figures in this part of the state.
Gill

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englishgirl
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Re: Florida Living

Post by englishgirl » Tue May 22, 2018 2:18 pm

West Palm Beach is not a bad option considering what you are looking for.
Sarah

Gill
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Gill » Tue May 22, 2018 2:57 pm

tech_arch wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:37 pm
* Airport: Tampa is probably the closest for Cape Coral, and probably a bit over an hour away.
No, Tampa airport is 135 miles from Cape Coral. Fort Myers Airport (RSW) is only 15 miles.
Gill

tampaite
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Re: Florida Living

Post by tampaite » Tue May 22, 2018 3:12 pm

searchher wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:03 pm
Our family of 3 (in our mid 30's with a child almost 5 years old) is considering moving from the north east to Florida but need some help zoning in on specific areas.
You haven't provided the important details.

what's your budget to buy a home? or will you be renting? are you self-employed or will you need to job hunt?

radiowave
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Re: Florida Living

Post by radiowave » Tue May 22, 2018 3:18 pm

Take a look at Pinellas County, just west of Tampa and right on the Gulf. Anything north of Clearwater is more residential.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page

tech_arch
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Re: Florida Living

Post by tech_arch » Tue May 22, 2018 3:29 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:57 pm

No, Tampa airport is 135 miles from Cape Coral. Fort Myers Airport (RSW) is only 15 miles.
Gill
Would you classify that as a "relatively major" airport, though? I thought it was more of a regional airport.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Florida Living

Post by TallBoy29er » Tue May 22, 2018 3:34 pm

I don't know about a number of the specifics (schools, crime), but some areas outside of Jacksonville, like Ponte Vedra, may check your boxes of airport, shopping, and restaurants. Worth a look anyhow.

smitcat
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Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Tue May 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:12 pm
the "...long evening walk to a beach" could be the deal breaker in most of Florida. Such housing begins in the seven figures in this part of the state.
Gill
There are a number of places that are a short walk to the beach much less than 7 figure....

"But we also would love to be able to access water very easily (long evening walk to a beach), or to have a house with a pool and a water view with a dock perhaps"

And numerous places where you can have a dock on a canal with a pool for much less than 7 figures.

bob60014
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Re: Florida Living

Post by bob60014 » Tue May 22, 2018 3:41 pm

Take a look at City-Data, research your cities and stop by their forum section. Sometimes they get off topic but some good info can be obtained.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Florida.html

Captain_Video
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Location: Florida's Space Coast

Re: Florida Living

Post by Captain_Video » Tue May 22, 2018 3:44 pm

<t>Look into the Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach (Space Coast) area of east central Florida. <br/>
- Family friendly area with good schools public and private<br/>
-All the convenience of a bigger city without the congestion (yet). Not much public transportation so you will need a car.<br/>
-Low crime rate.<br/>
-Plenty of restaurants, gyms, malls, etc. but no Whole Foods or Costco; need to go to Orlando for that. Have to make do with Publix which is a top <br/>
rated supermarket chain. Do have an Aldi too.<br/>
-Has Melbourne Airport (MLB) with American and Delta flights to Atlanta and Charlotte. Also it is an easy one hour drive to Orlando airport (MCO).<br/>
-Plenty of affordable housing on the barrier island that is within 10 min walk to the beach. (I walk to the beach every evening) . <br/>
More expensive housing is right on the beach or right along the Banana and Indian Rivers and canals. Most houses have pools. Most riverfront and <br/>
canalfront houses have docks.<br/>
-About a one hour drive to all the Orlando shopping malls, attractions, restaurants and resorts.<br/>
-Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa all within about a three hour drive.<br/>
-Good healthcare available. Health First and Steward Medical are two of the largest groups.</t>

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TeamArgo
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Re: Florida Living

Post by TeamArgo » Tue May 22, 2018 3:55 pm

St. Johns County, especially northern St. Johns would tick a lot of those boxes. The county schools are top rated in Florida. Easy beach access. City amenities (Whole Foods, Costco, Ikea) available in southern Jacksonville, and small town atmosphere in the St. Augustine area.
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

kelvan80
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Re: Florida Living

Post by kelvan80 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:02 pm

I was going to say St. John's county as well. We just moved here in December and love the location, schools, proximity to water. Good high schools are Bartram Trail High School and Nease High School although there are programs that the kids can apply to for more specific fields of study.

Gill
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Gill » Tue May 22, 2018 4:07 pm

tech_arch wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:29 pm
Gill wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:57 pm

No, Tampa airport is 135 miles from Cape Coral. Fort Myers Airport (RSW) is only 15 miles.
Gill
Would you classify that as a "relatively major" airport, though? I thought it was more of a regional airport.
Certainly would call it a major international airport. Almost nine million passengers last year with flights to Europe, Canada and all of the Eastern US.
Gill

Texanbybirth
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 pm

I second the Melbourne and St Augustine suggestions. There's nothing like Gulf Shore beaches, but for livability I'd choose the Atlantic side. (We have family on that side, so I'm biased.) I'd move to either one in a heartbeat.

(Don't look at Orlando for "easy access" to beaches. It's not an easy or fun drive most of the time.)

Miriam2
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Miriam2 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:44 pm

searchher wrote: Our family of 3 (in our mid 30's with a child almost 5 years old) is considering moving from the north east to Florida but need some help zoning in on specific areas.
We appreciate the convenience that comes with living in a city, but don't need it to be too large. We like being able to get to movie theatre's, Whole Foods, restaurants, and gyms without too much hassle.
What do you consider "too much hassle?" :?: Traffic congestion, poor road planning? Learning new traffic etiquette? For example, we do not use turn signals, it gives information to the enemy.
But we also would love to be able to access water very easily (long evening walk to a beach)
"To" a beach or "on" a beach? The "to" a beach is do-able, since property near the beach is expensive, you can live farther away and have a "long" evening walk to a beach (** see advice below regarding Florida insects that will walk with you).
. . . or to have a house with a pool and a water view with a dock perhaps.
Be prepared for large invasive iguanas living on your dock, eating all your flowers in your lovely garden, swimming in your pool, and pooping on your patio. A screened-in pool patio will help keep this in check. Remember, the only predators for large iguanas are large alligators and large Burmese pythons.
Crime & security is of utmost importance . . .
Cross Florida off your list.
. . . as well as a strong public education system.
Cross Florida off your list.
Good health care and proximity to a relatively major airport are also important, as one of us has to travel quite a bit for my job. We work in healthcare (one in pediatric care, one in consulting).
This is do-able, but do you have a job lined up? Won't this seal the location?
Research has drawn us to areas such as Sarasota.
An hour or more from the nearest "major" airport.
But we're totally open to any part (along the west or east coast), including Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Cape Coral, etc.
No "major" airports near Naples or Cape Coral. If you move to Fort Lauderdale, you can come to our South Florida Boglehead local chapter meetings 8-)
We'd greatly appreciate suggestions from anyone who lives in these areas or who have conducted similar research in the past!
Good suggestion from fellow Boglehead Livesoft:
livesoft wrote: Buy some alligator repellent, fire ant repellent, python repellent, brown recluse repellent, rattlesnake repellent, cottonmouth repellent, mosquito repellent, etc. Oh, you mentioned beaches, so add shark repellent, jellyfish repellent, too. Presumably you already have tick repellent coming from CT. Get your shots for Dengue fever, St Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus. Don't forget about malaria and some of those other diseases, too.
Relocating to Florida - Need some advice

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midareff
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Re: Florida Living

Post by midareff » Tue May 22, 2018 5:03 pm

After 50+ years living in Miami we have looked several times up and down both coasts. We greatly prefer anywhere from the Naples to Fort Myers/Cape Coral up through Tarpon Springs areas. I would tend to avoid Tampa based on size and like all of the west coast better than the east. It should not be too difficult to get the respective zip codes for areas you may like additional information and then search Zillow and get demographics from them or online. I suspect you might like to avoid the real quiet areas we prefer as retirees.

PoppyA
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Re: Florida Living

Post by PoppyA » Tue May 22, 2018 8:17 pm

Orlando, Tampa, Pinellas county, & ft. Lauderdale are traffic NIGHTMARES!

On the gulf side Sarasota is a nice place.

On the Atlantic, I agree with the space coast. It is fairly quiet, close to the brand spanking new “medical city” just out side of Orlando and has easy, quick asset to the Orlando Airport.
"La Bella Luna"

smitcat
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Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Tue May 22, 2018 9:12 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:44 pm
searchher wrote: Our family of 3 (in our mid 30's with a child almost 5 years old) is considering moving from the north east to Florida but need some help zoning in on specific areas.
We appreciate the convenience that comes with living in a city, but don't need it to be too large. We like being able to get to movie theatre's, Whole Foods, restaurants, and gyms without too much hassle.
What do you consider "too much hassle?" :?: Traffic congestion, poor road planning? Learning new traffic etiquette? For example, we do not use turn signals, it gives information to the enemy.
But we also would love to be able to access water very easily (long evening walk to a beach)
"To" a beach or "on" a beach? The "to" a beach is do-able, since property near the beach is expensive, you can live farther away and have a "long" evening walk to a beach (** see advice below regarding Florida insects that will walk with you).
. . . or to have a house with a pool and a water view with a dock perhaps.
Be prepared for large invasive iguanas living on your dock, eating all your flowers in your lovely garden, swimming in your pool, and pooping on your patio. A screened-in pool patio will help keep this in check. Remember, the only predators for large iguanas are large alligators and large Burmese pythons.
Crime & security is of utmost importance . . .
Cross Florida off your list.
. . . as well as a strong public education system.
Cross Florida off your list.
Good health care and proximity to a relatively major airport are also important, as one of us has to travel quite a bit for my job. We work in healthcare (one in pediatric care, one in consulting).
This is do-able, but do you have a job lined up? Won't this seal the location?
Research has drawn us to areas such as Sarasota.
An hour or more from the nearest "major" airport.
But we're totally open to any part (along the west or east coast), including Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Cape Coral, etc.
No "major" airports near Naples or Cape Coral. If you move to Fort Lauderdale, you can come to our South Florida Boglehead local chapter meetings 8-)
We'd greatly appreciate suggestions from anyone who lives in these areas or who have conducted similar research in the past!
Good suggestion from fellow Boglehead Livesoft:
livesoft wrote: Buy some alligator repellent, fire ant repellent, python repellent, brown recluse repellent, rattlesnake repellent, cottonmouth repellent, mosquito repellent, etc. Oh, you mentioned beaches, so add shark repellent, jellyfish repellent, too. Presumably you already have tick repellent coming from CT. Get your shots for Dengue fever, St Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus. Don't forget about malaria and some of those other diseases, too.
Relocating to Florida - Need some advice
"
Crime & security is of utmost importance . . .
Cross Florida off your list."
Crime as a state statistic has no real value - crime is more of a neighborhood sttatistic rather than a state, county or even city statistic. Please reaserch the exact neighborhoods that you are interested in rather than a statewide number.

"
. . . as well as a strong public education system.
Cross Florida off your list."
This also should be looked at as a very local stastistic - also can be solve with private school if that becomes a viable trade in cost vs benefit.

If you need shark repellent I can recomend one - but the facts are you are more lilkely to get struck by lightning.

renue74
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Re: Florida Living

Post by renue74 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:39 pm

My dad retired to St. Augustine 28 years ago. I used to visit him every summer and watched that area grow.

It's a great area and I love to go back to enjoy. The drive to St. Augustine down to Flagler area on A1A reminds me of the "older" Florida.

My dad was retired military and we used to go to the Jax Naval Air Station to the commissary monthly. St. Augustine is about 40 minutes to Jax airport...a super nice and quiet hub. Easy in, easy out....not a lot of traffic or hassle.

There are tons of historic things to do. State parks, walking, biking, etc. Great restaurants and being on the intercoastal waterway.

Even the "touristy" part of downtown is wonderful and depending on the time of year, not very crowded.

LarryAllen
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Re: Florida Living

Post by LarryAllen » Tue May 22, 2018 10:10 pm

St. Johns area of Jax is pretty nice with all kinds of new development. It's on my radar.

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tennisplyr
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Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Florida Living

Post by tennisplyr » Wed May 23, 2018 6:35 am

The west coast is great, less crowded, less expensive, slightly younger, great gulf coast beaches, lots of tennis. We've snowbirded here for several years and moved here from NY last year and love it. Sunny virtually every day, lots to do but we are retired. Tampa seems like a place worth exploring for younger folks.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am

Wherever you're thinking, plan a week's vacation there during the summer. My wife and I were thinking Ft Myers to retire. We went there for a week. We crossed all of Florida off our list.

My mom has lived in Orlando for 10 years and just sold her place to move back to Massachusetts. She got tired of arriving home to find that someone had yet again broken into her house. From what she said, when it snows, she can simply stay inside.

I will say that neither she or my sister who also lives in Orlando have ever seen an alligator. During our trip to Ft Myers, we saw maybe 25 of them in a nearby fresh water lake. It answered my question why the lake wasn't surrounded by houses and docks and boats like they would be anywhere in the Northeast.

We decided that anywhere that alligators can live is off our list. Virginia is the farthest north we've seen without alligators (and they can be just on the southern ocean border).
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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tennisplyr
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Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Florida Living

Post by tennisplyr » Wed May 23, 2018 10:58 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am
Wherever you're thinking, plan a week's vacation there during the summer. My wife and I were thinking Ft Myers to retire. We went there for a week. We crossed all of Florida off our list.

My mom has lived in Orlando for 10 years and just sold her place to move back to Massachusetts. She got tired of arriving home to find that someone had yet again broken into her house. From what she said, when it snows, she can simply stay inside.

I will say that neither she or my sister who also lives in Orlando have ever seen an alligator. During our trip to Ft Myers, we saw maybe 25 of them in a nearby fresh water lake. It answered my question why the lake wasn't surrounded by houses and docks and boats like they would be anywhere in the Northeast.

We decided that anywhere that alligators can live is off our list. Virginia is the farthest north we've seen without alligators (and they can be just on the southern ocean border).
Alligators, manatee, dolphin, sandhill cranes, rabbits, egrets, turtles, osprey, eagles, doves...
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

renue74
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Re: Florida Living

Post by renue74 » Wed May 23, 2018 11:06 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am
Wherever you're thinking, plan a week's vacation there during the summer. My wife and I were thinking Ft Myers to retire. We went there for a week. We crossed all of Florida off our list.

My mom has lived in Orlando for 10 years and just sold her place to move back to Massachusetts. She got tired of arriving home to find that someone had yet again broken into her house. From what she said, when it snows, she can simply stay inside.

I will say that neither she or my sister who also lives in Orlando have ever seen an alligator. During our trip to Ft Myers, we saw maybe 25 of them in a nearby fresh water lake. It answered my question why the lake wasn't surrounded by houses and docks and boats like they would be anywhere in the Northeast.

We decided that anywhere that alligators can live is off our list. Virginia is the farthest north we've seen without alligators (and they can be just on the southern ocean border).
That's sorta like saying I'm not going to live on the lake because water moccasin snakes are on the shoreline. You should be more afraid of snake/wasp/bee attacks than gators.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/17/health/a ... index.html

Beach
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Beach » Wed May 23, 2018 11:09 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am
We decided that anywhere that alligators can live is off our list. Virginia is the farthest north we've seen without alligators (and they can be just on the southern ocean border).
No offense, but being scared of Alligators is about the most ridiculous reason to avoid Florida. They aren't aggressive or hostile towards people in the wild, I've crossed several on the golf courses during my 35 years of living in Jacksonville.

Be scared of crazy Florida people, humidity, heat, traffic, lousy schooling, crime, etc.

mouses
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Re: Florida Living

Post by mouses » Wed May 23, 2018 11:13 am

Take a look at the flood zone classification, and assume that will get worse fairly quickly.

Everything I've heard about Florida makes me think it's the armpit of the country. Probably any place else near the water would be better.

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Pajamas
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Pajamas » Wed May 23, 2018 11:25 am

Beach wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:09 am

No offense, but being scared of Alligators is about the most ridiculous reason to avoid Florida. They aren't aggressive or hostile towards people in the wild, I've crossed several on the golf courses during my 35 years of living in Jacksonville.
They are scary looking and the occasional human death by alligator is always in the headlines, same as for sharks or bears. They do like to snack on dogs and cats, though.

Lightning causes many more deaths in Florida than alligators do.

smitcat
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Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Wed May 23, 2018 11:29 am

Pajamas wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:25 am
Beach wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 11:09 am

No offense, but being scared of Alligators is about the most ridiculous reason to avoid Florida. They aren't aggressive or hostile towards people in the wild, I've crossed several on the golf courses during my 35 years of living in Jacksonville.
They are scary looking and the occasional human death by alligator is always in the headlines, same as for sharks or bears. They do like to snack on dogs and cats, though.

Lightning causes many more deaths in Florida than alligators do.
Many more deaths caused by spider bites per year (7) then Alligators. And more than 3 times the number of alligator deaths by both cows and dogs.
Best to try and avoid areas with cows then.....

smitcat
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Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Wed May 23, 2018 12:39 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am
Wherever you're thinking, plan a week's vacation there during the summer. My wife and I were thinking Ft Myers to retire. We went there for a week. We crossed all of Florida off our list.

My mom has lived in Orlando for 10 years and just sold her place to move back to Massachusetts. She got tired of arriving home to find that someone had yet again broken into her house. From what she said, when it snows, she can simply stay inside.

I will say that neither she or my sister who also lives in Orlando have ever seen an alligator. During our trip to Ft Myers, we saw maybe 25 of them in a nearby fresh water lake. It answered my question why the lake wasn't surrounded by houses and docks and boats like they would be anywhere in the Northeast.

We decided that anywhere that alligators can live is off our list. Virginia is the farthest north we've seen without alligators (and they can be just on the southern ocean border).

I think you will find that violent crime is a very local thing and not by state or even county.
Violent crimes in Orlando are 941/100,000 but just a short distance away in Kissimmee its 656.
In Springfield Ma. the number is 1073 but just a short distance away in West Springfield it is 707.
I find this in every state I have visited and the message is to choose your neighborhood for crime rates and not rely on the state or county average.

texasdiver
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Re: Florida Living

Post by texasdiver » Wed May 23, 2018 11:38 pm

The Tampa Bay area is ranked as the #1 most susceptible city to hurricane damage in the entire US. Ahead of New Orleans even:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... te-change/

I've lived through hurricanes in TX. They are serious business. I would not invest a dime in any Atlantic or Gulf Coast property that is anywhere even remotely near possible storm surge from a major storm. That eliminates a lot of coastal property. I let other people buy it and go do VRBO rentals on the coast when I want the beach.

Cash
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Re: Florida Living

Post by Cash » Thu May 24, 2018 6:04 am

smitcat wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:39 pm
Violent crimes in Orlando are 941/100,000
And most of that is contained within a specific part of Orlando that most people never see.

smitcat
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Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Thu May 24, 2018 7:46 am

Cash wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 6:04 am
smitcat wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:39 pm
Violent crimes in Orlando are 941/100,000
And most of that is contained within a specific part of Orlando that most people never see.
Yes agreed - I currently live in the Northeast in an area that is crime free but is a few miles away from some higher crime areas. Conversely I grew up in a heavy crime area which was very near low crime neighborhoods. The best dramatic differences can often be found in University towns where one side is very low crime and the other high.
Point is it is a very local event - and that is why it is very worthwhile investigating before you move.

JBTX
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Re: Florida Living

Post by JBTX » Thu May 24, 2018 9:29 am

Not listed but you may check out Gainesville. FL. Medium size town but has university of Florida which is biggest and arguably best state school in Florida. The result you have some amenities and culture in an otherwise moderate sized town. I think the school system is OK/good maybe not great but they do have some private schools if desired. It is often rated in best places to live in the US rankings. University has medical school so between Shands medical center and other hospitals health care very good.

Only downsides are traffic in the relative small center around university can get pretty bad with lots of lights and bad student drivers, and crime is moderate, which one policeman told me decades ago was due to proximity of a couple of state prisons and when they are let out Gainesville is closet urban area with lots of targets (students)

Check out Haile Plantation for homes.

Airports: small airport in gville that mostly connects through Atlanta, otherwise Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa each approx 1.5-2hrs away. Gainesville approx 1.5 hrs away from beaches on both coasts.

dowse
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by dowse » Thu May 24, 2018 4:39 pm

Consider Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island near Jacksonville. Seems to meet most of your criteria. Very laid back atmosphere. Very friendly people. Quaint, historic downtown with great restaurant scene. Great access to beaches. Scenic area. Less expensive than some of the other areas being considered. Don't know about public schools. Mayo clinic in Jacksonville. Relatively uncrowded airport.

SteveJ2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by SteveJ2 » Thu May 24, 2018 6:40 pm

I am also originally from the Northeast and lived in the Tampa area for over 5 years. As other people mentioned, many things are neighborhood dependent. But from my experience, you can reasonably expect to get all of those things except for the schools. Overall property taxes are much lower, but the schools are not nearly as good (from what I saw; I don't profess full expertise but would be worth investigating more). I loved my time in Florida, for all of the reasons that you mentioned as well as the low cost of living. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of a middle class economy to stay for the long term and make major career advancement. That being said, I would go back if there was a viable work opportunity there. Perhaps the savings in property/state taxes as well as housing would be enough to supplement schools with additional tutoring and learning opportunities.

ETadvisor
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:37 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by ETadvisor » Thu May 24, 2018 6:57 pm

searchher wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:03 pm
Our family of 3 (in our mid 30's with a child almost 5 years old) is considering moving from the north east to Florida but need some help zoning in on specific areas.

We appreciate the convenience that comes with living in a city, but don't need it to be too large. We like being able to get to movie theatre's, Whole Foods, restaurants, and gyms without too much hassle. But we also would love to be able to access water very easily (long evening walk to a beach), or to have a house with a pool and a water view with a dock perhaps. Crime & security is of utmost important, as well as a strong public education system. Good health care and proximity to a relatively major airport are also important, as one of us has to travel quite a bit for my job. We work in healthcare (one in pediatric care, one in consulting).

Research has drawn us to areas such as Sarasota. But we're totally open to any part (along the west or east coast), including Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Cape Coral, etc.

We'd greatly appreciate suggestions from anyone who lives in these areas or who have conducted similar research in the past!
I would start and end with the public school system. With that you get low crime and all the other things a young family desire for living. CAVEAT - Cost of living is higher

Here is a list of 10 cities with the best school systems in FL. I can attest to accuracy of this list for the cities in NE & SE FL as I have resided there.

1) Ponte Vedra Beach
2) St Johns
3) Weston
4) Niceville
5) Valparaiso
6) Elgin Air Force Base
7) Osprey
8) Nokomis
9) Southwest Ranches
10) Parkland

Source: neighborhoodscout

209south
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:58 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by 209south » Thu May 24, 2018 7:06 pm

I live in the northeast but have a beachfront condo in Jupiter, FL, 20 minutes north of Palm Beach. You have a number of attractive areas on your list, but should add Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter. These are not bargain-spots but offer a very high quality of living, with a broad array of housing options, good public education, low crime, great beach access, etc. 15-30 minutes from Palm Beach airport.

GuyInFL
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by GuyInFL » Thu May 24, 2018 8:18 pm

4) Niceville
5) Valparaiso
6) Eglin Air Force Base
VPS airport can go most anywhere with a hop through ATL or 20+ direct connections.
https://www.flyvps.com/route-map-3/

Crime is low as well.

Puckman1035
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 11:15 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by Puckman1035 » Sat May 26, 2018 12:18 am

First of all, good luck with your search for a life in Florida for you and your family! (2 thumbs up!)

First thing to realize in Florida is anything can happen here. I mean this as a positive thing as my then 17 year old daughter (now 21+) and I have found immense opportunities for success and getting ahead or achieving goals or learning just by talking with people. Ran into my future boss and employer when we flew down 5 years ago to tour colleges all over the state. Offered a spectacular job just by the luck of running into him in a store and talking together for 20 minutes Offered a managerial position while “being an outsider” of the company. Needless to say, it didn’t take long to move down, buy a house and jump in with both feet! All these years later, still with the company with some very nice raises and I’ve met a LOT of nice people from all over the country and outside the country as well (U.K., Germany, Poland, Russia, etc. My daughter is 21, going to be a senior at University Of Florida (biology major, wants to be a dentist, and just smoked her DATs!). She went to University of South Florida in Tampa for 2 years and loved it there too! School system here is excellent, but, let’s face it. We all know that starts at home first. I’m sure you’re good parents and already instill that education is important and school is important to your 5 year old (how you play with them, read books, show that YOU take an active approach to learning by reading books, magazines, etc while they’re watching, etc.

That being said, rule 2 here in Florida is YOU must be ADAPTABLE. If you’re a black/white type of type of person, or everything must be etched in stone 10 Commandment style, forget Florida. Many many different cultures, traditions, driving habits, etc here b/c the people are from all over. Florida isn’t 3rd in the country population-wise b/c nobody moves here! ;).

3). You must LEARN the ways of Florida. Unlearn what you have learned about wherever you’re from (Michigan, NY, Ohio, etc.). The state doesn’t adapt to you. You adapt to the state. Yeah, I’m sure you didn’t have gators from wherever you live in the NE. But you know what? You do here. Get used to it. (The sooner the better). Bugs? They’re here too. So what. On the flip side, we don’t have a deer population thicker than our inhabitants (think WV, western PA, eastern Ohio). Your wife like fuschias or certain flowers/plants/ that thrived up north in zone 3 or 4? Forget about it! Time for lantana (keep away from doggies & cats), cacti, orchids, etc.

Moving along —. East coast= developed and concrete. Thicker population of NY, NJ, CT, DE etc b/c of I-95 (great if you’re a Yankees fan or a Mets fan). West Coast FL more mid-western “rub” (OH, Michiganders, IN, etc) due to where I-75 goes. West coast= more nature, scenery, floral/fauna, etc.

School systems vary greatly throughout the state. But again, much of that starts at home. (Daughter is 4.0 with great DAT scores but attended small backwards town school for much of her life). Low crime easily found around the state, but nothing is “pure”. Leave your car unlocked at a movie theater with keys in it, it’ll probably be gone when you get out of Avengers 2.5 hours later. Ditto if leaving a kayak on top of vehicle. That small-town “Mayberry mentality” doesn’t really work anywhere anymore in the US. (If it’s like that where you live, you’re very fortunate. Go to the corner drugstore and get you an ice cream soda fountain for a nickel. ;). )

Traffic depends on area. During “season” (when Snowbirds are here from late October to Easter-ish/Mother’s Day) traffic sucks. Around Orlando, it’s always bad 24/7/365-366 because of The Mouse. March, I think, is the worst. Spring training baseball during March brings in people from all over to cheer on their teams in the Grapefruit League on top of already driving-challenged out-of-staters. On the bright side, if you like baseball, you can catch a game or two every day of the month in any of the many cities that host a MLB team. The ballparks are smaller, more intimate, and great for pictures and autographs with your or your kids’ favorite players or coaches. See what I’m getting at here? It’s another unwritten rule of Florida.... IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. 2 sides to a coin. Walk/live the edge of it. This goes with many things hear and in life. Yeah, those large iguanas down south may eat the zinnias and flowers you plant, but how cool to take in a reptile chilling in the sun doing its thing?

Beaches are more of “drive to get there, then spend a few hours there.” Enjoy the surf and sand, bring a change of clothes for dinner out with the wife and small child unit. You’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets you’ll ever see in your life almost on a daily basis. The nature, scenery, flora and fauna on the west coast and in SW FL are fantastic if that’s your thing (it is mine). That’s something Bogleheads can’t really put a price on.... inner peace and happiness is worth the extra price of home insurance (that no state income taxes help offset).

The weather? Yeah, there’s a bigger risk of hurricanes which doesn’t exactly put chocolate syrup on my ice cream, but, you know, weather is unpredictable pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Look at Sandy with NY and Boston a few years ago. Tornados galore in the Midwest. Remember that funky thing called a “dericho” a few years ago in 2012 or 2013 that nobody ever heard of? Yeah, like that. Weather patterns are always changing and you just never know. It’s not exactly a fun day in the park for all those on the Big Island at the moment.

Summing it up, I live in Bradenton, work in Venice, travel between Venice and Tampa to have fun (golf, beaches, TB Lightning, spring training, restaurants GALORE, museums, shows, zoos —Tampa Bay Lowry zoo... take the Munchkin there and do the “Aldabra experience” with the big tortoises. Take a ton of pics! — enjoy the herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills... Mote Aquarium, Clearwater Aquarium, I volunteer for sea turtle patrol from mid-April to October to help study loggerheads’ nesting habits, etc. Just soooooo much to do and see it’s unreal. Yeah, it’s not money in the bank, but it’s peace and contentment in your heart.

It all depends on what you’re looking for, and every area of Florida has something to offer... some more, some less. Perhaps if I was in another area of FL besides SW FL I wouldn’t be drinking the bubbly good times as much as I am now. It’s all In your perspective.

Good luck with your search and best wishes to your family if you decide to pull the trigger and move to the Sunshine State!

Puckman1035
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 11:15 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by Puckman1035 » Sat May 26, 2018 1:16 pm

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-esta ... -moving-to


Hmmm 9 out of 25 of the top spots are in Florida. 36% of the spots are in America’s favorite peninsula. :beer #3 Sarasota (I concur), 12 is Tampa. Cheers!

four7s
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:37 am

Re: Florida Living

Post by four7s » Sat May 26, 2018 2:21 pm

Our first home was three blocks from the beach in St. Augustine Beach and cost $38,500 in early '80s. Times have changed but the one thing I wouldn't compromise on is this: If ocean walks and beach access are tops on the list then pay what the market is asking. People from around the globe will want what you own when the time comes to sell and your investment will hold up and increase. Homes not near the ocean can be bargains as many older retirees pass away and their heirs just want to sell the property quickly. Living close to the ocean is a luxury in itself and worth the extra money if you can swing it. Just remember that if you choose a home "only 45 minutes" to the beach there will come a time that the 45 minutes is really 1 1/2 hours with traffic and too much hassle. The poster who said 'you should adapt to Florida' is 100% correct.

It has been 20 years since we left our house by the sea and I can tell you I miss the air, the sounds of the waves, and the oceans influence every day.
Simply put, You're young. Go for it.

Five
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 3:35 pm

Re: Florida Living

Post by Five » Sat May 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Choosing to live in Florida is a personal decision that everyone or every family has to make for themselves. Some find that they really want to live in a large city in a specific part of the United States, like NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, or
Houston. They like the weather, culture, educational opportunities, and social lifestyle that a large city affords. For example, many people love NYC---the museums, various restaurants/cafes/delis, the unparalleled nightlife (Broadway, Times Square), the numerous educational opportunities (colleges, medical schools, law schools, and grad schools as well as business schools and research opportunities are top notch and geographically in proximity to each other in some instances), and the business/professional opportunities are unlike any in any other part of the United States. For others, NYC is a fun place to visit but that is all. Same with Florida....many people I know would not move there just because of the unbearable humidity 4 months out of the year. They would rather deal with the northern and midwestern snow falls than the humidity---after all, it is easier to bundle up and drive slower than to constantly sweat everytime you leave your house or car! Florida also has wildlife and weather that is foreign to many from the north or Midwest---snakes, fire ants, insects, lizards and gators (which can be just as readily found in residential areas just as much as in large ponds and lakes.....the saying "you have to be careful and assume that a gator may be present in any body of water in Florida" exists for a reason. I know of a nice upper middle class neighborhood that has gators in their residential areas water spots....just the way it is. Florida has more hurricanes and tropical storms than many other parts of the country. Living in Florida means that you have to know and accept these tropical weather patterns do occur and make the best of them when they do occur. Hurricanes and tornadoes and tropical rain storms do not occur in Columbus, Ann Arbor, or Pittsburgh.
Florida is actually a very diverse state with many diverse people--- many cities and geographical areas differ greatly from each other. Miami is vastly different from Sarasota which is different from Gainesville and Jupiter. The weather is beautiful during some of the seasons in Florida....the "snowbirds" come for a reason. The beaches and coasts are also beautiful....people vacation in Florida for a reason. I think that generally speaking, the colleges and universities offer a very good education for a lot less than many of the schools up north and in the west.
Everyone has to make their own decisions.....as the saying goes, "one man' meat is another man's poison" exists for a reason. Some love Florida while others do not find it appealing except for vacationing. Nothing wrong with that....that is why vanilla ice cream is no the only flavor offered to everyone.

User avatar
teacher
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: California

Re: Florida Living

Post by teacher » Sat May 26, 2018 3:14 pm

Probably the least important of of your criterion, but here are the Whole Foods locations in Florida:
https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... :1,lf_ui:4
(click on the map)

We visited Orlando one summer and found the weather extreme; hot, humid and punctuated by a tornado which damaged our hotel, followed by a hurricane approaching the coast as we headed for the airport. My niece lived in Palm Beach, but the tropical storms and hurricanes every couple years made her a nervous wreck, so she moved to Greenville, South Carolina.

I would visit likely choices during different seasons, primarily summer and winter, to see which location fits you best in terms of weather.

smitcat
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Sat May 26, 2018 4:05 pm

teacher wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:14 pm
Probably the least important of of your criterion, but here are the Whole Foods locations in Florida:
https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... :1,lf_ui:4
(click on the map)

We visited Orlando one summer and found the weather extreme; hot, humid and punctuated by a tornado which damaged our hotel, followed by a hurricane approaching the coast as we headed for the airport. My niece lived in Palm Beach, but the tropical storms and hurricanes every couple years made her a nervous wreck, so she moved to Greenville, South Carolina.

I would visit likely choices during different seasons, primarily summer and winter, to see which location fits you best in terms of weather.

For what its worth and for folks researching these things there are many parts of S Carolina that are more prone to Hurricanes then Fla.
Here is the link to the maps that can give you the mean time between both average and severe Hurricane occurrences...
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/climo/images/r ... jrhurr.jpg

smitcat
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Sat May 26, 2018 4:12 pm

These maps show where tornadoes have never hit the zip code since 1950 as well as where tornadoes have hit …..

https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news ... p-20140826

smitcat
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Florida Living

Post by smitcat » Sat May 26, 2018 4:17 pm

Five wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 2:59 pm
Choosing to live in Florida is a personal decision that everyone or every family has to make for themselves. Some find that they really want to live in a large city in a specific part of the United States, like NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, or
Houston. They like the weather, culture, educational opportunities, and social lifestyle that a large city affords. For example, many people love NYC---the museums, various restaurants/cafes/delis, the unparalleled nightlife (Broadway, Times Square), the numerous educational opportunities (colleges, medical schools, law schools, and grad schools as well as business schools and research opportunities are top notch and geographically in proximity to each other in some instances), and the business/professional opportunities are unlike any in any other part of the United States. For others, NYC is a fun place to visit but that is all. Same with Florida....many people I know would not move there just because of the unbearable humidity 4 months out of the year. They would rather deal with the northern and midwestern snow falls than the humidity---after all, it is easier to bundle up and drive slower than to constantly sweat everytime you leave your house or car! Florida also has wildlife and weather that is foreign to many from the north or Midwest---snakes, fire ants, insects, lizards and gators (which can be just as readily found in residential areas just as much as in large ponds and lakes.....the saying "you have to be careful and assume that a gator may be present in any body of water in Florida" exists for a reason. I know of a nice upper middle class neighborhood that has gators in their residential areas water spots....just the way it is. Florida has more hurricanes and tropical storms than many other parts of the country. Living in Florida means that you have to know and accept these tropical weather patterns do occur and make the best of them when they do occur. Hurricanes and tornadoes and tropical rain storms do not occur in Columbus, Ann Arbor, or Pittsburgh.
Florida is actually a very diverse state with many diverse people--- many cities and geographical areas differ greatly from each other. Miami is vastly different from Sarasota which is different from Gainesville and Jupiter. The weather is beautiful during some of the seasons in Florida....the "snowbirds" come for a reason. The beaches and coasts are also beautiful....people vacation in Florida for a reason. I think that generally speaking, the colleges and universities offer a very good education for a lot less than many of the schools up north and in the west.
Everyone has to make their own decisions.....as the saying goes, "one man' meat is another man's poison" exists for a reason. Some love Florida while others do not find it appealing except for vacationing. Nothing wrong with that....that is why vanilla ice cream is no the only flavor offered to everyone.
"the saying "you have to be careful and assume that a gator may be present in any body of water in Florida" exists for a reason."
Many more deaths are caused by spider bites per year (7) then Alligators. And more than 3 times the number of alligator deaths by both cows and dogs.
As I posted above .... it would be much more advantageous to worry about dogs and cows , they are much more likely to cause death than an alligator.

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