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Moving to Florida, seems cheaper than SoCal. Need some advice.

Moving to Florida, seems cheaper than SoCal. Need some advice.

Old Jul 27th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Moving to Florida, seems cheaper than SoCal. Need some advice.

I was recently thinking about moving to Southern California but it's just way too expensive.
I currently live in NYC and even by those standards, SoCal seems $$. Florida is my other option. I'd like to live in Florida for 1-2 years. Can anyone suggest an area? Rent should be fairly reasonable. Somewhere away from the hustle and bustle. Somewhere made up mostly up residential areas. I'd like to be very close/short driving distance away from a nice, not too overcrowded beach.
Also, I'm an Asian American and feel it would be nice if the neighborhood was also somewhat diverse.
I realize that fodors is not a "moving" site but would still appreciate any suggestions you have to offer.
I will be planning a trip to Southern California and Florida. It would be nice to have a list of areas on hand to check out.
So far I've visited Orlando, Daytona, and Merritt Island and still haven't really found what I was looking for. Please help.
Thanks again.
queenkatez is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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I'm a little floored about your impressions of California being expensive compared to NYC. Housing costs are quite a bit less in southern CA, and if you're near the coast your heating/AC costs are substantially less. You like to cook? The quality of produce is miles ahead of that available in NYC, and it's available year-round, much of it grown within 100 miles. I find restaurants cheaper in southern CA and a much better deal for the money. Entertainment is plentiful; the arts are alive and well in this part of the country, despite anything the Manhattan arts community may tell you (more 99-seat playhouses in LA than NY and the boroughs, I'm told). The major fly in the budget ointment is transportation cost; living here, a car is just about required (distances are large), and gasoline is expensive. But you take the sour with the sweet.

Diversity? California is the US epicenter of the Pacific Rim, and all the countries of Asia are well-represented. Why else would my recycle bins in Long Beach have printing in English, Spanish and Indonesian? And everyone's cool with it here (well, in my neighborhood, anyway). You do have to come visit. It will be a culture shock, but not an unpleasant one. And if you're young and brave, this is the time to do it!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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I agreee with rjw. From what you describe, Ca. sounds like a better option. And specifically Long Beach is a good starting point.

I think most of the diversity you'll find in Fla. is Latin/Spanish vs Calif & other western states that have more Asians. Coconut Grove which is I guess a suburb of Miami was historically diverse with an artistic/bohemian flavor. I think it's changed with development but might be worth looking into.

I think you're wish list is somewhat unrealistic. Anything near a beach will be relatively more expensive and if it's primarily residential--even more expensive. Less expensive areas tend to be those less established which will also mean less diversity, perhaps not near a beach and perhaps further north which won't have warm weather all year.

I have a friend who relocated from NYC to the Tampa area some 10 years ago. She is happy but finds the summers very hot and sticky, the winters are not as warm as you would think (I've visited her in Feb and it wasn't beach weather).

There have been other threads here on relocating to Fla. Several for potential retirees but also one from a younger single woman. Why not try a text search. I think it had some info that might be helpful to you.

I don't know it personally so don't know about diversity, but Vero Beach might be an area to check.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Florida and California are to way different states!! Florida's demigraphics are a bit different (but still pretty Diverse depending on which part) But I think california is has more to offer both culturally and physically(scenery etc) and economically(Jobs, industries)- even though the market might be a little tight right now. If you are used to living in NYC you are not going to have a problem affording anything in SO Cal - there are so many commuinities to choose from.
But if all you really care about is beaches - florida might be your choice.

What kind of work do you do? - this will probably dictate where you can live. not many of floridas beach comunities offer much in the way of jobs (except hospitality) Tampa or jacksonville might be a decent place to find work

Florida is HOT and HUMID especially in the summer - so. california is comfortable all year round. Beaches in Florida especially the west cost are very swimmable.

It sounds like you need to do some traveling before you make any descions, you may want to consider Hawaii, is is awesome best beaches in the country.You might want to see if you can get a job in any of these places before you move
dgruzew is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Here's the thread I was talking about http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34496651
mclaurie is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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I'm floored by someone thinking that Southern California housing is more expensive than NYC. There was an article in the Times a couple of weeks ago reporting that the average east side co-op is now about $1.5 million (naturally that includes all size apartments - a 1-bedroom would be less).

Perhaps you're comparing apples and oranges. There are certainly residential areas in the outer boroughs or NY suburbs that cost less - but any nice residential areas near a beach in Southern California would be the equivalent of prime Manhattan real estate - not the burbs.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2004, 08:44 PM
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If you're still interested in Florida, have a look at Ft. Walton Beach in the Panhandle. It's something of a military town, on the small side (Okaloosa County has less than 200,000 people) and you can find a long term rental close to the beach that's relatively affordable as long as you don't venture over to the Destin side of the county. Between the Air Force and various parks authorities, there's a ton of undeveloped beachfront land, much of which is open for public use.

Apartment building with its own beach walkover:


There's a decent sized Asian population for a town that size, though commercial areas are more Filipino Strip Mall than Historic Chinatown.

Job market is rather hourglass-shaped. Lots of high tech military contracting jobs and related tech jobs because of Air Force R&D. Lots of tourism related service industry jobs. But general white collar jobs can be hard to get.

That far north, you do get definite seasons. There will be two weeks in January where the temperature struggles to get over 45F, with mid 50s common for January and early February.

catling is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2004, 01:30 AM
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Don't forget to compare state income tax rates, and if you plan on purchasing a house or condo, local real estate taxes. Florida has NO state income tax (which is why so many people retire there). California has quite high property taxes, esp compare to Florida, but then again they have better schools and voting machines which work. . .
Cicerone is offline  
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