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Has Anyone recently migrated to Florida?
Old 10-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Has Anyone recently migrated to Florida?

Has anyone recently migrated to Florida? I am curious---
How do you find the TOWN?
How do you search for apartment/condo or house?
I have been living in St. Louis for the past 36yrs, and am curious how to explore relocation?
Any good suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks
Raj Singh
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:14 PM   #2
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Bought retirement condo in 2011 @Madeira Beach, just moved here to homestead it in July.

Start research here: Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:50 PM   #3
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We have a home in New Smyrna Beach, on the Space Coast.

When we started looking for homes we drove from Daytona to Ft Lauderdale and picked the 3 communities that felt the best. Then we found a local agent in those towns to start emailing listings to us. Then, every so often we scheduled a trip there to look. The whole process took about a year, including negotiating to buy a short sale house (that took over 6 months alone).
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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Once you find a town or region, consider extended stays (a few weeks to a month) at various times during the year before you buy.

Florida is very diverse. The Miami area is different than just West Palm Beach up the road. Meanwhile, West PB is very different than Tampa region across the peninsula. The panhandle is like a different state. Inland can include rural isolation, or frantic tourism.

Do NOT just visit in January and call it a success. You must also check out July/August, especially inland or down south.

I lived in the WPB area for a few years and saw many people come to their dream home based on a stay during the winter. They freaked out the following summer. Don't let this be you. Also, rent so you stay where people live. Don't just hang out in a tourist area. Being a resident and mixing with tourists isn't for everyone either.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:29 PM   #5
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We made our move from the St. Louis area to Punt Gorda this year. We started looking about two years ago and included south Texas in our search also. We started out by taking vacations in various areas and watching the weather and home prices.

We also had friends that had made the move and asked them many questions. We then narrowed the search down to South Florida. We sold our house and rented for a few months in the summer. Then we just narrowed it down to the area we chose, for us it was low crime, good weather, close to a airport and other amenities.

We bought a house in July, so far we are happy, but it is different than St. Louis.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Moved to Bonita Springs last year. Sort of. Snowbirding, with FL residence. In our case is was pretty simple. Got invited down to visit some friends, liked it. Tried to rent a place for the winters, but for some reason nobody wants to rent to people with 4 dogs. We found a nice fixer upper, bought it cheap, spent last winter fixing it up.

I had been to other (Atlantic Coast) parts of FL before, and didn't really like them. But I liked the Gulf Coast, the price was right, we like to work on houses, and MD winters were really bringing DW down. So we figured it was worth a try, and if it didn't work out we'd at least make our money back and have enjoyed a number of warm winters.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:40 PM   #7
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We bought our future retirement (3Q 2017) home in Cocoa Beach Fl in 2013 after visiting several times during different seasons and we have friends who already live in the area. It has everything that we want and is close enough to all of the major things that our future visitors would like.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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You might also find some useful tips in
florida - Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad - Threads Tagged with florida

There are also a bunch of blogs from Dr Google.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:18 PM   #9
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Not Florida alone, but here are our favorite relocation research sites (no particular order):

Best Places to Live | Compare cost of living, crime, cities, schools and more. Sperling's BestPlaces
Find Your Spot | Find Your Spot
City-Data.com - Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more
Neighborhood Search for Home Buyers and Real Estate Investment - NeighborhoodScout

They're helpful to narrow down your choices, but ultimately you have to go visit to get a real feel for the new location. Once you pick your ultimate new locations, ideally you'd visit more than once (different seasons) or even rent there before buying to be sure. Best of luck...

Note: city-data also has an active forum, a great resource to compare notes with others, including natives/locals in the cities your considering
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:32 PM   #10
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We recently bought a condo in Florida that will become our legal residence. We will also spend parts of the year in other homes, so we won't be in Florida during the summer.

Believe it or not, we found the area through a magazine ad for a large real estate development/club. We have been a number of places in Florida and never liked most because of the congestion and traffic. This place is low density, but still has some cultural amenities. There are many nice condos and houses to choose from and some really nice shops and restaurants.

We visited a few times and went under contract on our place the second visit. We searched some online and then I discovered an old friend had a place there and was referred to a great agent who made a huge difference. We looked at a lot of places and are very happy with our choice.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:02 AM   #11
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I'm not moving to florida but I'm the process of visiting different locations in the US to evaluate them for possible long term/retirement destinations. We (wife and I) are planning to spend anywhere from 1-12 months in each place.

We developed an initial list based on our travels, what friends/relatives have recommended, and research from internet sites/media/books/etc. We then evaluated these candidates against our criteria and broke them into tiers. Our top tier has just a few places and can be considered our short list.

I think the best thing to do would be to vacation at your short list prior to FIRE (and make sure to visit at different times of the year). However, due to various reasons we were not able to do this.

In terms of a housing search, our strategy is to arrange short term housing before we leave for the destination. You can do this either by staying at a hotel or booking at various sites like VRBO and airbnb. If our stay is going to be several months or more, we'll arrange for longer term housing once we arrive and can see places in person. Arranging housing has been somewhat challenging for us due to our dog.

We haven't decided if we'll be long term renters or if we'll buy a place (likely a condo) once we choose a final destination. However, we definitely won't buy until we've rented for at least 6 months.

For internet research, I second Midpack's recommendation for city-data.com. In addition to summary pages with basic statistics on each city the forums are incredibly useful for getting more detailed information from people who are living or have lived in the location you are considering. There are many threads that discuss neighborhoods to live, compare two cities, and any other issue that might concern you (even dating).
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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I loved living in Florida. Hope to have a place again there someday in retirement. Dreaming about The Villages. Seems ideal for me and my DH. It is not for everyone, but certainly is popular.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:36 PM   #13
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I loved living in Florida. Hope to have a place again there someday in retirement. Dreaming about The Villages. Seems ideal for me and my DH. It is not for everyone, but certainly is popular.
Mother in law lives in The Villages. One of my least favorite places. :-)
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:28 AM   #14
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I moved from Massachusetts to Lake County FL in 1991. We lived there for 5 years and then moved closer to Orlando. (Seminole and Orange County). We downsized last year and purchased our villa home in Viera,FL which is in Brevard County. We love where we are living now. Friendly people, gated community, retirees....
Florida is a huge state! I would suggest vacationing in areas that you think you want to live. I have friends who live in the Villages and love it but we couldn't see ourselves living in that environment. Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2014, 09:58 AM   #15
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Anyone have experience in the Jacksonville, Florida area?
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Old 11-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #16
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I need to rent in The Villages at different times a year before deciding. Lived in the panhandle twice and enjoyed it very much.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:04 PM   #17
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I suggest renting in different sections in the villages as there is an older section across the highway and then the newer areas. Also, rent a villa vs a house to see what you like. I know someone who lives in the villages and they bought a house and now getting older are going to a villa soon. Good luck!
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:33 PM   #18
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We left Jacksonville in 1996. It wasn't all that pleasant an experience; the beaches were nice communities though. Obviously a lot of things can change in 18 years.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:42 AM   #19
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Anyone have experience in the Jacksonville, Florida area?
I've lived in Jax since 1980. Want can I help you with?


There is always something to do here, particularly if you like the beach....
Jacksonville is the largest city in the US being spread out maybe 90 miles across in places. Mayo Clinic ...Jaguars pro football...Cruise ships leaving twice a week...sailing...bass fishing on the St Johns river....kayaking...'mountain biking' at Hannah park...


I love it her obviously
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:31 AM   #20
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Anyone have experience in the Jacksonville, Florida area?
I've lived in Jax since around '98 or so, but I was a kid. Still young, still live in Jacksonville. I'm travelling now, but I'm always excited to go back. I've yet to find another city with everything I like spread out just how I like it. Reasonably priced cost of living too. Kitesurfer covered most of it. We also have minor league baseball, rugby, arena football, TPC golf, and I believe some other sports you can watch if you like to go out. A wonderful hurricane shield, good, cheap starter colleges, just generally a good city

I'm with him
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