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edwards1tea Jul 14th, 2012 05:22 AM

Relocation to Florida...need help!
We are planning to relocate to Florida from Ohio and are not sure where we want to go. Myself, my husband, and my 4 yr old son will be moving. Of course schools are very important to me. I'd like to know where in Florida are hurricanes less prevalent? If at all possible I'd like to live coastal if its not too expensive, at least near a beach. Crime rate is also important to me and therefore I want to live in an area where crime is relatively low. I dont really want to live in a major tourists city, but am willing to live in possibly a suburb of one. How is the Daytona Beach area? Does that area at all fit the description of what I am looking for? I am currently in the domestic violence arena as far as work goes, I would like to remain in that area if at all possible, but I am also open to other opportunities. My husbands options are also open. My four year old currently attends a Christian school and I would like for him to keep that up wherever we move. Looking forward to warmer climates and talking my dad into moving because of his health. Any help from you would be appreciated.

LoveMyLab Jul 14th, 2012 07:10 AM

Given the current state of the economy, what do you have lined up in terms of employment?

RoamsAround Jul 14th, 2012 07:15 AM

Florida is a big state with many great areas to live. You indicated a desire to "live coastal if its not too expensive, at least near a beach" but you didn't give us any indication of what "not too expensive" means to you. You should know that coastal areas are going to have some of the "highest cost" living areas in the state and while you can find housing in most price ranges what you get for your housing dollar will be all relative. Dayton Beach is a very populated area and as a result is one of the more expenses locals to live. So it all comes down to what does "not too expensive" mean to you and what type of housing will fit your needs and budget.

Finding a job in your chosen field will be dependent on many factors, not the least of which is the state of the current economy. The current "published" unemployment rate is about 8.6% (not trying to start a political discussion but the "real" unemployment rate is probably higher) so you might be better off trying to secure a position first then looking for a place to live rather than relocating first then trying to find a job near your new home.

If you check the government statistics you'll find the crime rate in Florida is not that much different than in Ohio. Like everywhere else violent crimes are higher in the inner city areas while suburban areas are safe. If you use common sense when choosing the neighborhood where you want to live that you did/do in Ohio when you get to Florida you should be just fine.

Most communities have "Christian Schools" so finding a school for your 4YO shouldn't be much of a challenge assuming you don't live "way out in the boonies".

It's really difficult to tell you which areas of Florida are less prone to the effects of a hurricane. Any coastal area can experience a storm and since the state is relatively narrow (between the east and west coasts) any storm that strikes one coast can easily reach the opposite coast. Quite honestly, there question is not WILL an certain area be affected by a hurricane but rather WHEN it will be hit. The only person who can answer that question is Mother Nature.

Good luck with your research.

Jaya Jul 14th, 2012 07:15 AM

Did you just pick Florida out of a hat? It's a large state and it seems like you should have a better idea of what is best for you and your family. Do you have a job prospect down there? There has to be something in your plans that would narrow down where you want to live there.

It seems impulsive to just decide to move to another state without any further thought being put into it.

Also, Florida is not just warmer, the summers months are very hot and very humid. You will likely spend a lot of time indoors with air conditioning.

Maybe do a job search for yourself FIRST and see where you could get a job and then start thinking of cities.

Have you been to Florida? How do you know you will like it? Wherever you think you want to move to, you should visit there for a week or so first and see if you even like the area.

Good luck.

AAFrequentFlyer Jul 14th, 2012 08:18 AM

I agree with just about all the replies, but that said,

If you're set on moving down here I would recommend the gulf coast, Sarasota area specifically.

Best beaches (Siesta Key beach, considered #1 beach in US), wonderful cultural city, great school system, public transportation and since I've moved here in 95 we had no hurricanes. One or two tropical storms but nothing dangerous.

The east coast is more likely to be hit by hurricanes.

Good luck on whatever you decide, but I would take all the above replies very seriously.

Summers very hot and humid, but coming from a Chicago guy, better than winters up north. Employment very limited unless you're a professional as in medical, law, restaurant/hotel service plus few other industries.

Hardly any manufacturing positions available.

Graziella5b Jul 14th, 2012 08:37 AM

We live in Miami Beach, but I would recommend where our son and family lives
that is Jupiter. In particular Abacoa. This is a lovely community with a good school
Covinently located. They are very happy there. Good luck
Btw I found people in Jupiter much more polite than in Miami.

NewbE Jul 14th, 2012 09:24 AM

I agree that the Gulf Coast is your best bet, but of course living right on the coast will be more expensive, and in more ways than one: insurance, taxes, and maintenance are all higher at the beach, in addition to initial cost of buying.

I suggest Tampa. Excellent public schools and health care, a diverse population, and within a short drive to the beach. (Actually, if you live on Davis Islands, you can walk to a beach.)

Good luck!

nytraveler Jul 14th, 2012 10:01 AM

I think the key thing you need to do is determine where there are job opportunities. If you say "domestic violence" I would assume that is pubic employment - and many states are limiting or freezing those jobs. Definitely do a search on job availability before anything else.

Also - i f you haven;t been to FL in the summer you might want to check it out. Our family members that retired there come north every summer - since you can;t leave the house between June and September. And while heating costs will be less than Ohio, the cost of AC can be staggering - esp if your residence isn't properly insulated.

As for hurricanes - they can land any place in the state - there are no rules. If you're going to live there you need to be sure whatever residence you decide on is safe under those conditions, that you can get (and afford) flood insurance and that you allow for the cost of having your own generator when necessary.

Once you sort that out you can decide where you want to live.

As to prices - my only experience of Ohio is Cincinnati - where I know housing prices are rock bottom. So you should probably assume where you live in FL - esp if anywhere near the water - will be significantly higher.

Ackislander Jul 14th, 2012 12:25 PM

All good advice above.

There is a lot of cheap housing in some parts of Florida because it was abandoned by former owners who thought prices would only go up but were wrong. Some of it, in places like Port Charlotte, were abandoned long before the 2007/08 price collapse. But do you want to raise your child in a neighborhood with abandoned houses? Rent before you buy, investigate before you rent, investigate even more thoroughly before you buy. Most Florida housing is in associations that may severely restrict what you can do with your property, and you must avoid buying into an association that does not have strong reserves to cover expenses if owners default. All this is doubly true for condos, another whole kettle of fish.

I have lived in Florida several times since the 1950's, BAC (before air conditioning), and I can tell you that the money you save on heating, you will spend on air conditioning. One of the two best pieces of advice you got above was to visit for at least a couple of weeks in August or early September.

The other critical piece of advice is to have a job before you come or to retrain into a field with high demand. Many foreclosures took place because people lost the jobs they depended on to supplement their retirement incomes when the economy tanked.

I personally like the West Coast and have lived in Tampa and spent winters in Naples. Tampa can have frost, Sarasota can be cooler than you might expect when you think "Florida in the winter", but it is a nice city and a heck of a lot warmer than Ohio.

The best thing about Florida is the lack of those endless overcast skies that cover the Columbus area both summer and winter. The skies may be dramatic with thunderstorms, but when the daily storm passes, they will be blue with gorgeous sunsets.

Go for it, but go for it with your eyes open.

edwards1tea Jul 14th, 2012 07:42 PM

Ackislander thank you for the advice. About where out west do you like best? In need of a warmer climate for my dads health. Hoping that we can all be near each other with the move. We have family in Las Vegas, and have considered that option as well.

edwards1tea Jul 14th, 2012 07:51 PM

Thanks to everyone else as well. I appreciate all replies. Personally no I have never been to Florida, but our move is medically necessary and I am willing to make the attempt.

As for what cheap is to me, I think its hard to say exactly when I am not sure what job prospects are there for me as well. I am currently scanning the housing market there. With a college degree, my prayer is that I will be able to land something preferably in what I have been doing now. Sorry, when I say domestic violence, that is public service in the City Prosecutors Office where I live. However, my options are open. I am trying to research as much as I can as well as visit when I narrow down some areas. I have taken many things into consideration and I figure it is worth a try at least. This move wouldn't take place until summer 2013, to give me time to research and visit. I dont want to make a move that I might regret.

Do any of you have thoughts on the Orlando area?

tomfuller Jul 14th, 2012 08:46 PM

One of the largest employers in the Orlando area is Disney and contractors/vendors that supply to Disney World.
My DIL's grandparents work most of the summer at the park. They have a home near Orlando but most of time they are not working they travel around the US.
At the time my mother died, my parents were living in a trailer park near the airport in Melbourne. After 7 months, I moved dad to live near me in Oregon.
When I retired, I chose to move west instead of to Florida.
My parents first retirement home was Tempe AZ until the cost of living got too high.

Orlando_Vic Jul 15th, 2012 04:34 AM

" I'd like to know where in Florida are hurricanes less prevalent?"
They are less prevalent in the NE part of the state (St. Johns, Duval and Nassau Counties). The most prevalent areas are the SE counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Roughly from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West.

Vic's travels:

bumper Jul 15th, 2012 05:03 AM

I live in the Ft. Lauderdale area, but I would suggest you check out Jacksonville. It is a beautiful city with lovely beaches. Florida is not inexpensive so do as others have suggested and research the costs, especially insurance and housing. One expense you won't have in Florida Is income taxes. Good luck in your decision.

NewbE Jul 15th, 2012 11:16 AM

<since you can;t leave the house between June and September.>

This is a gross overstatement, but is truer in Orlando and other central parts of the state than it is nearer the coast. We live in Tampa and had dinner outdoors last night, as we do regularly. And we were not on the beach. IME summers here are much better than in, say, DC.

Parts of the desert southwest--namely, Phoenix and Las Vegas--are indeed beastly hot in the summer. Residents of Phoenix do in fact avoid the outdoors during the worst of the summer heat. But we found Tucson and south of Tucson pretty bearable in summer--a dry heat and all that. So I guess my point is that all warm climates are not alike.

Jaya Jul 15th, 2012 02:10 PM

Depending on what your father's health issues are, proximity to good doctors and hospitals may be an important consideration!

321go Jul 15th, 2012 02:39 PM

Agree with Orlando Vic that NE Florida has had fewer hurricanes than other parts of the state, but any part of Florida can be hit by one. And yes, that means inland, too - I'm sure Vic can tell you some Hurricane Charley stories!

Almost all Florida cities and counties have and continue to cut their budgets; jobs in the government sector can be hard to come by.

Christian schools are numerous throughout the state.

One thing to remember about Daytona Beach is that the city hosts many, many events with large crowds. One of my friends chose New Smyrna Beach which is just south of Daytona to avoid all that.

This list from the Orlando Sentinel will give you an idea of the types of companies you'll find in Orlando: I'll second what Jaya says about health issues and being near good hospitals. Orlando would be good for that.

nytraveler Jul 15th, 2012 05:25 PM

Perhaps the heat is worse for people originally form the north - all I know is my family members come back to NY or Boston from June to Sept. IMHO is hot and humid enough here. I've been to Orlando in late April and found it unbearable - but I hate hot weather. (My iseal summer day is a high in the low 70s and low humidity - plenty warm enough for a dip in the north atlantic.)

Samsaf Jul 15th, 2012 05:37 PM

Since you are moving to Florida for medical reasons, it might be of interest to you that there is a Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida (NE coast of Florida). Most places in Florida are within a short (1-2 hours) drive to a beach.

Cranachin Jul 15th, 2012 10:08 PM

An area not being hit by a hurricane in the past is meaningless in regard to the future. The Pensacola area did not have a direct hit by a hurricane between 1926 and 1995 (although it was "brushed" by hurricanes that made landfall elsewhere, which was bad enough). In 1995 it had TWO hurricane strikes, then 1 each in 2004 and 2005. Of course, you have to worry about tropical storms anywhere in Florida as well (wind speed is less than a hurricane).

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