Making a big change

Old Aug 9th, 2012, 08:03 AM
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Making a big change

Hello forum! I read a topic on here from almost 4 years ago that a gentleman had posted about wanting to move his family to Florida. I read the responses and was happy to hear all the information however I am interested to hear how dynamics have changed since then! Here is what I am asking: My husband (who is a certified medical assistant), myself (stay at home mom, aspiring photographer) and our two kids, ages 3 and newborn are planning to make the move to Florida in the next 6 months. Of coarse having a stable job is the most important part of having a successful move but where do we look for this job? We would like to move to an area that has a lower crime rate, community growth and awareness, decent schools for our children when they are ready and if possible within 30 mins or closer to the beach. We currently live in KY and are looking for comparable cost of living area's and rate of pay. My husband and I were married in Daytona Beach about 4 years ago and have visited there on MANY occasions and although we agree we love Daytona we do not want to live a touristy city. We are also looking for a house to rent, or rent to own. I know this is a lot of information but I would like to hear the most accurate responses that I can get. We are a very fun loving family with plenty of energy so a "retirement" community is also not an option. Hopefully some will see this and have some wonderful suggestions. Thanks in advance for your time.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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A big question is what research have you done,and what are your priorities specifically - saying lower crime (lower than what?) awareness?? (of what??) You are asking for what everyone wants. Need to have refined questions and what are the deal breakers.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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That's a tall order!

It could be an expensive place to live, but Jupiter, FLA, was recently cited as a great town close to the beach.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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I have recommended Tampa before on this board--I'm biased, because I live here, lol. But my primary reason is that the public schools in Hillsborough County are excellent. You will hear that "Florida public schools are awful," and many are, but not all. In Tampa, the Gorrie-Wilson-Plant school district in South Tampa is the best. The exurbs of Tampa, such as Brandon and Fish Hawk, have good schools, too, but they tend to be overcrowded. On the other hand, South Tampa has some of the most expensive real estate in the Tampa Bay area--all depends on the neighborhood.

Tampa is 15-45 minutes from the beach, depending on which beach you favor. It's an old port city, not touristy, culturally diverse, with a wide range of older and newer homes from which to choose.

Not many places in Florida within 30 minutes of the beach will have living costs comparable to where you live now; communities in the center of the state, Polk County, for example, will. Lakeland is really nice, near Tampa, and way less expensive.

Perhaps you could look into these places and let us know your evolving thoughts...
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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It must be based upon how much information you have about Florida and specifically what u want to know .
By the way this is general about Florida :

Much of Florida is situated on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. Its geography is marked by a coastline, by the omnipresence of water and the threat of hurricanes. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, encompassing approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), and is the only state to border both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and its terrain is characterized by sedimentary soils. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.[7] Its symbolic animals like the American alligator, Florida panther and the manatee, can be found in the Everglades, one of the most famous national parks in the world.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Agree that you need to look at relocation web sites rather than just get advice here.

The cost of living in Kentucky is very low in comparison to many places - so I think you will have trouble finding comparative costs near the coast. But - incomes might be higher as well.

Like many places - school qualityin FL is VERY mixed and to me - job and schooling would take precedence over proximity to the coast (which will tend to drive up living costs and force you into housing compromises). Also do look into the way property taxes are calculated in FL - which I understand is different from many other areas (length of stay in the area is included as a factor rather than just property valuation).
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Try www.city-data.com for information about various cities and some great relocation forums. You have a tall order to fill, but with some research you might find the right thing. Low cost of living may be your biggest problem (after finding a job, of course).
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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I've been visiting the Melbourne, FL area for 30 years, and I've watched the area just south of there, Palm Bay, FL grow every year. There are a lot of young families there and the cost of housing seems quite reasonable to me, but I am from the Northeast US. I have several cousins who've raised families there on fairly low wages. It wouldn't have occurred to me to recommend it, but just yesterday I saw it listed in Kiplinger's as a 'best' city. This was for retirees, but I'm quite sure that there are a lot of families there too.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Re: nyt's point, property taxes in FL are quite high because there is no state income tax, so be prepared for sticker shock in that area. If you're renting of course, you don't have to worry about it.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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We spent 6 years in Highlands County in central Florida. House prices are low right now. You'd be a couple hours from the beach but it's not touristy. Cattle and orange groves and lots of both. Sebring, Lake Placid, Avon Park are the 3 largest town, Lake Placid is charming. We were too homesick for the Keys where we lived for many years so last year we sold out home at a huge loss and moved back to the Keys. Lots of tourists here but we don't care!
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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I worked Florida for years and if I moved there I'd move to the Panhandle if I wanted to be near the beach. If not, I'd move to Gainesville or Tallahassee. For better or worse, northern Florida is more like Georgia or Alabama = "southern". Central Florida is a bit more mixed, and south Florida is faster paced like the north. I know that's a VAST generalization, but I find it's true. Since you are coming from KY, you may like a slower pace than a hectic pace. I also found the high concentration of snowbirds on the west coast a bit frustrating. That's a different kind of slower paced. A lot depends on what you are looking for. Rural/slower = north Florida. More urban/faster paced = south Florida.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for all the current replies! When I mention comparable cost of living I mean we understand that rental housing can be slightly higher or lower compared to what we pay now $850 in rent and utilities and rate of pay could be slightly higher or lower to what we are used to here (between the two of us $32,000 - $34,000 per year) We are looking for a rent to own option and as for importance, cost of living and rate of pay is obviously the highest on the list but shortly after that is a good school with as low as crime rate that can be afforded in our budget. We do want to be close to the beach but understand that this may have to be sacrificed. To some extent. And although my husband is a Certified Medical Assistant he also has an Associates in Business, Wildlife and Forestry Conservation Degree, Personal Trainer Certifications, several years experience in Flooring and Construction. I will say that living on the gulf side may not be an option as neither of us really care for that side. I haven't done much research as I am unclear where to begin. All I know really is that we desire to move to Florida, preferably in the area much like Daytona when its not being over run with tourists. HA. We live in a medium sized city right now. Lexington, KY and to be honest we have a "middle type" of income area that we live in so we are prepared to sacrifice in a few ways. Thanks again for all the responses any advice would be great and any directions you can point me in for research is also very appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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My advice is for your husband to look for work, move where he can get a job, rent for a while, see if you like the area, explore on weekends and then move again if you don't like it. There are WAY too many variables to figure out what YOU would like. Find a job. Go from there.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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Stephanie, check out the Space Coast. I'm not sure why, but it has long had less expensive real estate than other parts of Florida. The previously mentioned Palm Bay, Indialantic, Rockledge, Melbourne, etc. On the Atlantic and a couple of hours south of Daytona, it's worth investigating.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Well I'm not a Floridian - but I find the idea of a family sized apartment at $850 a month shockingly low - but perhaps the situation there is bad enough that there are thing at that price - but I wouldn;t think anywher near the coast. And schools might be an issue.
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Old Aug 9th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Thanks Suki I will be looking for information on several of those places as I have heard some of these options more than once. nytraveler, you would be surprised. I have to assume based on your name that you reside in NY? Which is where everything is more expensive. Relatively speaking in many of the area's that I have been told about here and that have been mentioned are with in this price range and some even better. I looked at a place not long ago from the Ormondo Beach Area (which is close to lots of the placed mentioned here) for a larger single family home than what we have now for less than what we pay now! I don't necessarily think that "its bad enough" any particular place, we just have a knack for finding "good deals". But in order to do that you have to be willing to ask questions and be informed which is what I am trying to do here. So any and all info is appreciated.
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Old Aug 11th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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"Well I'm not a Floridian - but I find the idea of a family sized apartment at $850 a month shockingly low "

You need to get out of NY more often
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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Florida real estate has been hit very hard in the past few years. Nearly every city has had high percentages of lower real estate prices. Of course this has affected the rental properties as well. I would think of all places to find less expensive houseing it would certainly be florida. I would also worry about finding a job first that would be my priority then take it from there as to where to live. My family live in Jacksonville. I find the people a lot more friendly to seniors in the entire state of Florida then the East coast. I will say that much for Florida. I would move there in a heartbeat if my husband and I were retired.
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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diann24, rental prices in Florida have risen over the last few years, as people who can't qualify for a mortgage loan, and people who have lost their homes, and people who don't want to buy in a falling market, move into the rental market.

$850 will not buy a family-sized apartment in the better parts of Tampa, I can say that with some certainty.
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Old Aug 13th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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I said that I'm not from Florida - and recognize apartments in NYC are much more expensive. But here a family apartment - 3 bedrooms, LR, dinette and kitchen - in the suburbs (NOT Manhattan or nearby Brooklyn or Queens) will be at least $2000 per month. to rent a very modest house in a safe area will be over $3000.

I'm not suggesting FL would be anything like that - but in a decent area with good schools and near the ocean won;t be free either.
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