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Florida - Population Growth
Old 03-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #1
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Florida - Population Growth

In 1950, the population of Florida was 2.7 million. Today the population is nearly 20 million.
Now, Florida still has some of the fastest growing population centers, the most well known, "The Villages" @ 114,000 from a few thousand in 1990.

The article is about 6 "city" centers (really city metros), but the ups and downs of Florida's growth is a fascinating story of real estate, going back to the great Florida land boom (1920-1925) where fortunes and dreams were created and lost.

Over all, current growth could be a factor in making a relocation decision. Positves and negatives to be considered. The article:
Florida has 6 of the nation’s fastest-growing cities

Some personal thoughts, based on some of our experiences:

We 'snowbirded' near The Villages from 1991 and watched a general 'boom' even through the 2008 economy.

Cape Coral - A fascinating story of boom-bust-boom, from the 1980s to today. Friends bought there for $500K in 2000, and watched the value go to $700K in 2006, and down to $270K in 2008 and back to $600K today. The story of how Cape Coral "grew" is fascinating... roads, canals, land reclamation... boom sales that went to give-aways and then back from the '50's to today.

Greater Leesburg area - 40 mi. north of Orlando... In 2012, we seriously considered buying a 2500s.f. 6year old home, for $150K... which originally sold for $297K when it was built. Current value is about $235K.

The article features growth... my only cautionary thought is that some of the current boom is based on the relative increase in financial markets over the past 6-7 years, and how much of the growth is in second homes. There has been substantial pressure on state and local infrastructure to accomodate this growth, as well as upward pressure to support that growth in many retirement communities. Paying for The Villages growth and infrastructure is an ongoing adventure in law.

None of this should be considered as a negative for anyone who is considering relocation, but to encourage due diligence in selecting a locale, a community, or a home. Making long term decisions requires more than a great view, a modern kitchen or the instant "love affair". In Florida, the real estate laws are extremely complex, especially for senior communities. Well worth the time to get good advice before the fact.

Just one view... YMMV
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:07 AM   #2
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The Fastest-Growing U.S. City Is a Senior Community - Bloomberg Business
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:20 AM   #3
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That was me on the porch... blue shirt, back to the camera... and my golf cart... 5th from the left.

For anyone considering the Villages, this article provides a thoughtful overview... both positive and negative.
"50 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home in The Villages"

50 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home in The Villages
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:18 AM   #4
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The Villages isn't the place for me, but it sounds wonderful for those retirees who prefer a lot of social interaction!

I always thought that Florida real estate would go through the roof when Baby Boomers started to retire. My thinking was that half would move to Florida, since it has been such a retirement mecca through the years. The possibility of the recent real estate bust never occurred to me. So much for MY crystal ball. I'm glad to hear that real estate is recovering in Florida, for the sake of property owners there.

At one time, I tried to persuade Frank to consider a trip to Cape Coral to see if that might be a good place for us to retire. But, he just has no interest in retiring to Florida for some reason. We'll probably stay here.


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That was me on the porch... blue shirt, back to the camera... and my golf cart... 5th from the left.
How cool!!! What a coincidence.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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At one time, I tried to persuade Frank to consider a trip to Cape Coral to see if that might be a good place for us to retire. But, he just has no interest in retiring to Florida for some reason. We'll probably stay here.
You seem very happy being where you are. As long as crime doesn't get too bad and as long as you have a TV that has the Weather Channel so you can see if there are any hurricanes approaching then I don't see a reason for you to leave. A lot of people like Florida but it's not for everyone.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for the write ups.

Not for me. Actually a nightmare. Brings out all my fears about living in FL.

I watched my parents and mil/fil move to east and west coasts in the early 80s. Nice when they moved there, wow has it changed.

My parents place you did drive through 5 miles of orchards and pastures to get to the community. Today 12 lanes of concrete right up to the development.

DW would have loved to locate there before now she's getting afraid. Much as the villages sounds comfy the sound, light pollution aspects mentioned in the 50 things to know. No way!
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:42 AM   #7
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You seem very happy being where you are. As long as crime doesn't get too bad and as long as you have a TV that has the Weather Channel so you can see if there are any hurricanes approaching then I don't see a reason for you to leave. A lot of people like Florida but it's not for everyone.
I even have a hand crank weather radio! So, I guess I am all set. The hurricane possibilities in New Orleans don't bother me nearly much any more as they once did; how soon we forget. If the crime continues to worsen, we might eventually have no choice but to leave. We plan to play it by ear for a while. You're right, we are very happy here.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:10 PM   #8
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I live right off of a road that intersects with Rt 41 (Tamiami Dr) in Bonita Springs (SW FL). The in-season traffic at the intersection has gotten so bad that my usual path out of my neighborhood involves going around the back of a shopping center, since I can't make a left out of my neighborhood onto the main road. There's no light and a massive amount of cars going by at all times of the day. Night is better since old people tend not to drive at night. But I saw a news story about the intersection a couple of weeks ago. They said 100,000 cars go through it every day during the 6 months season, and there are no plans to improve the situation. So it's just going to get worse. I'm right between the Fort Myers/Cape Coral and the Naples regions, and even in my short amount of time here have seen the population boom. I guess it's good for my home value, but not for my blood pressure.

Being relatively close to a couple of major roads, we hear sirens a lot. My buddy likes to comment every time he hears one, "another condo just became available." Or sometimes it a trailer park lot. I think there's some truth to that.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:33 PM   #9
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I considered Florida as a future retirement spot about 12 years ago, but the humidity, rain, traffic, and crowds were too much for me to handle. Although I've never been there, I don't think I'd like The Villages from what I've heard.



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Old 03-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #10
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I live right off of a road that intersects with Rt 41 (Tamiami Dr) in Bonita Springs (SW FL). The in-season traffic at the intersection has gotten so bad that my usual path out of my neighborhood involves going around the back of a shopping center, since I can't make a left out of my neighborhood onto the main road. There's no light and a massive amount of cars going by at all times of the day.
Harley I know that intersection and it was bad in '82, '94, much worse in '05. I can't imagine what it would be like today! So much growth!
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:14 PM   #11
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I was just on a company sales outing to Tampa, we went to a Yankee game and another night went out to dinner in Tampa. We stayed in st Pete. Both nights we sat in traffic jams for 45 minutes. Also you guys in Florida have huge traffic intersections. They say jersey is the most densely populated state but the traffic in Florida is much worse then jersey. I think a lot of folks here take trains to work. You guys have a problem. Now I know why folks don't attend sporting events down there. You could be close in distance to the game but it is going to take you forever to get there.


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Old 03-30-2015, 05:39 AM   #12
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This may be a sign folks should consider spending their winter breaks elsewhere. . Maybe this means we should start building a list of reasons why Florida is not a desirable location, along the lines of what REWahoo did for Texas.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:46 AM   #13
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Ever wonder where Floridians go on vacation?

It's the mountains of North Georgia, Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. You wouldn't believe how many Florida license plates you'll see there. Life's easier, quieter and so much more inexpensive for the most part in the mountains.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:09 AM   #14
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I moved to Florida in 1981, left in 1986, then bought a winter place in early 2012. The growth, traffic, etc. are pretty amazing. For the most part, we can avoid it, and if we do get stuck in it, we are ER, so no big worries.


Has been interesting watching Zillow. Our original house is on quite the roller coaster.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:54 AM   #15
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We've lived on the Florida East Coast since 2008 and experienced the real estate bust and now it's picking up again. Then I read articles like this one from Think Progress and it's a bit scary. Especially statements like this:
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...Harold Wanless, chair of University of Miami’s geological sciences department, told National Geographic in 2013, “I cannot envision southeastern Florida having many people at the end of this century.” In 2014, he said, “Miami, as we know it today, is doomed. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.”
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:58 AM   #16
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I used to work in Florida near Naples every winter (late 1980s and 90s) and was astounded at the changes between each trip. It quickly became a nightmare just to drive from the hotel to the work site. I can't imagine what it is like now.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:58 AM   #17
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Ever wonder where Floridians go on vacation?

It's the mountains of North Georgia, Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. You wouldn't believe how many Florida license plates you'll see there. Life's easier, quieter and so much more inexpensive for the most part in the mountains.
I have friends in the Asheville NC area. They call it Halfback City. So many northerners moved to FL, then decided they were too far from their families, so they moved halfway back.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:08 AM   #18
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We've lived on the Florida East Coast since 2008 and experienced the real estate bust and now it's picking up again. Then I read articles like this one from Think Progress and it's a bit scary. Especially statements like this:
I'm not getting into the climate change debate, but I do want to call BS on one statement.

Quote:
astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to remind us that, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
Science is wrong at least as often as it is right. And it's constantly changing. I don't think the laws of physics change just because current scientific opinion does. What a useless comment.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:49 AM   #19
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Science is wrong at least as often as it is right. And it's constantly changing. I don't think the laws of physics change just because current scientific opinion does. What a useless comment.
There are many problems with science, not the least of which is that scientists are people, and, as such, are subject to all of the irrationality, politics, etc. for which humans are famous...

Having said that, if someone comes up with more data, a better model, etc., then eventually minds are changed. Non-scientists will often not change their minds even in the face of same.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:09 AM   #20
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There are many problems with science, not the least of which is that scientists are people, and, as such, are subject to all of the irrationality, politics, etc. for which humans are famous...

Having said that, if someone comes up with more data, a better model, etc., then eventually minds are changed. Non-scientists will often not change their minds even in the face of same.
True dat. I just get annoyed at pompous scientists, especially the ones that love the TV camera
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