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Old 02-03-2021, 01:09 PM   #21
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Sinkholes are most likely in west central Florida, due to the limestone. But they are not an issue in all of west central Florida, nor in most of the state.
Correct, plus there are sites which show exactly where the sinkholes have happened, although don't have the sites at my fingertips.
Around us in Northern Tampa, there only have been a couple and not in our complex.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:40 PM   #22
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I moved to South FL from Boston solely for the weather - my Mom and one friend were already in the neighborhood so I had some familiarity. Yes, the summers and hurricane season aren't fun, but I prefer being able to walk outside in a T shirt and shorts almost daily.

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Old 02-03-2021, 08:04 PM   #23
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We spend about half the year in Florida, half in N. Michigan. I love it here in FL during the winter, as I can be much more active than I could back in MI at this time of year. We kayak, fish, hike, bike, and do all sorts of other things outside here during the winter. Heck, I don't even mind doing house and yard projects here in FL during the winter, when the weather is not good enough to go kayaking. Back home in MI, I would be looking out the window, doing a lot of reading, and shoveling snow, as some others have said. After quite a few winters of doing this, I would be very unhappy now if I had to spend a winter up north again. There are some things I don't especially like about FL.........traffic and too many people, for one thing. But I am willing to put up with that to enjoy the other positive aspects of being here. I have no plans to live here year-round, though..........I think the summer heat and humidity would be very hard to take.
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Old 02-04-2021, 03:48 AM   #24
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It was an opportunity. Things I like:


Climate (sure it get hot but not at hot as the mid Atlantic and when "cold" can still do stuff unlike up north)
Taxes/Nitpicky rules are less than many places. Not that it's much cheaper (Insurance and other costs offset most of the "tax savings" but complying with annoying nanny stuff irritates me (car inspections, personal property tax, income tax).
I like the open feeling (getting a bit more crowded but still lots of open spaces out side the metro areas). Even living in the most densely packed county, I don't feel it like I do elsewhere... hard to quantify but with the open spaces and lots of water/beaches etc it feels different than other "crowded" places to me.
Tons do to from hiking to theater and a great arts and food/drink scene.

People are usually pretty nice.Tampa International Airport

Things I do not like:
No mountains.
4 hrs just to get out of the state when taking road trips (Tampa Bay area)
I-4 (Just avoid it)
Tourists (love/hate as they help fund our state but I wish they'd take a minute to plan their routes before they put their car in drive)
Snowbird traffic (love/hate but I wish they'd stay off the roads during rush hour and not shop on weekends-at least till I'm FIREd. Miss them now as our economy and especially small business need them!)

Generally, I really love my chosen home state of 20 years. No mountains is probably the thing I miss the most and if my portfolio grows big enough that I'm looking to "blow that dough", I'll be looking in eastern TN for a second home to visit frequently.
I always wondered where Floridians went on vacation. When traveling the North Georgia Mountains, NW SC, Western NC and East Tennessee, every third car we see has a Florida license plate.

It seems that it's universal that people that live in Florida yearn for mountains and a change of scenery and terrain.

Many homes in the area are owned by people from Florida or they rent homes short term there.

But after Christmas, they're back to the great Florida weather until April at least.
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:03 AM   #25
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My wife and I moved to St. Pete in April 2019 and never regretted it for one moment. Yes, very long, humid summers, but if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen. Obviously if you are one of those people who sweats a lot or just hates the feel of being sweaty, best not to come. Just as i would be nuts to move to Alaska. Florida is not for everyone, no place of extremes is. Property is cheap, no state tax, low property tax if you get homesteader status, which is not hard to get. Traffic has gotten much heavier and that is pretty much my main gripe about living here. But, I may never see snow again, and that is how I planned it, and how I like it.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:16 PM   #26
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You can be outside doing things pretty much all year long. The summers are hot but that is the best time to escape and travel to the North.
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Old 02-06-2021, 04:37 AM   #27
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My wife and I moved to St. Pete in April 2019 and never regretted it for one moment. Yes, very long, humid summers, but if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen. Obviously if you are one of those people who sweats a lot or just hates the feel of being sweaty, best not to come. Just as i would be nuts to move to Alaska. Florida is not for everyone, no place of extremes is. Property is cheap, no state tax, low property tax if you get homesteader status, which is not hard to get. Traffic has gotten much heavier and that is pretty much my main gripe about living here. But, I may never see snow again, and that is how I planned it, and how I like it.
Exactly.
We still go outside at anytime during the summer months irrespective of the heat and carry on.
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Old 02-06-2021, 01:21 PM   #28
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There are some things I don't especially like about FL.........traffic and too many people, for one thing. But I am willing to put up with that to enjoy the other positive aspects of being here. I have no plans to live here year-round, though..........I think the summer heat and humidity would be very hard to take.
This gave me a chuckle. Just think how happy the permanent residents feel once the snowbirds are gone.


Cheers!
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Old 02-06-2021, 01:27 PM   #29
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This gave me a chuckle. Just think how happy the permanent residents feel once the snowbirds are gone.


Cheers!
One reason we chose to live in a non snowbird area.
The thinking was if we can't wait until the snowbirds leave, then how would we really enjoy the fall and winter seasons in the first place?
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:25 PM   #30
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We looked at FL because one of our top priorities was to avoid cold weather and snow. We found winter NOT to be all that (consistently) warm and summer to be unbelievably hot. I could have most of that back in the midwest, though you trade extreme summer heat for extreme winter cold. Take your pick. I guess the other thing was that unless you live on the coast, FL is just about as uninteresting as the prairies of the midwest (FL doesn't even have corn!) It's flat, featureless and generally unappealing to us.

We were blessed with not requiring a LCOL area (which, generally FL is in comparison to, say CA or HI.) So, we looked at those two states and found CA a lot closer to our liking - but it is still CA and I'll say no more. So HI was just about as close to perfect weather as one could ask for. ALL the bad stuff about living in HI is true (high costs, traffic, politics, tourists, hurricanes, etc.). Still, it's been worth it and has the bonus of (arguably) the most beautiful and diverse natural scenery in the USA. Could we not afford HI, I suppose we would go to FL, primarily to escape the cold. YMMV
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:06 PM   #31
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We looked at FL because one of our top priorities was to avoid cold weather and snow. We found winter NOT to be all that (consistently) warm and summer to be unbelievably hot. I could have most of that back in the midwest, though you trade extreme summer heat for extreme winter cold. Take your pick. I guess the other thing was that unless you live on the coast, FL is just about as uninteresting as the prairies of the midwest (FL doesn't even have corn!) It's flat, featureless and generally unappealing to us.

We were blessed with not requiring a LCOL area (which, generally FL is in comparison to, say CA or HI.) So, we looked at those two states and found CA a lot closer to our liking - but it is still CA and I'll say no more. So HI was just about as close to perfect weather as one could ask for. ALL the bad stuff about living in HI is true (high costs, traffic, politics, tourists, hurricanes, etc.). Still, it's been worth it and has the bonus of (arguably) the most beautiful and diverse natural scenery in the USA. Could we not afford HI, I suppose we would go to FL, primarily to escape the cold. YMMV
Thanks for this perspective. I have been frustrated with CA taxes but have realized that once I reach retirement, CA taxes wonít be so bad. I donít have bad weather to escape from, it was 70 degrees and sunny the past couple days. In the possible chance my company moves to Florida and they pay me to move Iíll like go but rent for a few years and keep my CA home to return during retirement.
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:26 PM   #32
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Thank you everyone for your responses so far. In response to some questions, I would prefer to snowbird, but not sure we have the resources for a place in NJ and FL.
We are looking along the atlantic coast - definitely have to be near the beach. Can't afford ON the beach, but 15 minute drive would work.
We are presently looking along the Palm coast - in the area north of Daytona down to St. Lucie.
Can anyone speak to the differences between the area we're looking at vs the gulf vs. southern florida?
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:54 AM   #33
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- in the area north of Daytona down to St. Lucie.
Noseeums. Ugh.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:44 AM   #34
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Look at a sinkhole map and if you end up in a high risk zone, add it to your home policy and have high quality insurance.

Look at a historical hurricane path map to get a sense of higher risk areas. Pay attention to the hurricane evacuation zone number of the specific neighborhood. Lower ranked areas will be higher risk and will evacuate for smaller storms. Consider elevation of land and the floor that your living space is on. Maybe get a whole house generator. Or rent and itís someone elseís problem, though this entails risk of market running away from you.

When I drive around and see how the locals setup, I see what I call the perfect Cracker home. The land around the home is markedly elevated. The garage is large for parking, storage including a fishing boat on a trailer. It is on county land with county taxes with no gate, HOA or condo fees. It has a simple metal roof with solar panels.

Security is 10 ten
neighbors in trucks swarming anyone in the neighborhood that makes them uncomfortable, with intimidating hardware. It is an uncomfortable drive from any high crime neighborhoods. Might be lonely though for a retiree moving in with no local contacts and no other way to network.

Fort Myers has many such neighborhoods 10 minutes from the airport and Whole Foods, so you donít need to be in the sticks.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:25 PM   #35
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Security is 10 ten
neighbors in trucks swarming anyone in the neighborhood that makes them uncomfortable, with intimidating hardware. It is an uncomfortable drive from any high crime neighborhoods. Might be lonely though for a retiree moving in with no local contacts and no other way to network.

Fort Myers has many such neighborhoods 10 minutes from the airport and Whole Foods, so you donít need to be in the sticks.
Heh, heh, bring your own truck and similar "hardware" and I'm guessing you'll fit right in. Throw a barbecue with plenty of Bud, Miller and PBR and it'll happen quicker. YMMV
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:14 PM   #36
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Just a few comments. I lived in Palm Beach County with my parents for 7 years during the 1970's, and now live several counties north of PBC (due to PBC's extreme crowding in the intervening 40 years). So I have some Florida experience to draw on.

"Winter" in our coastal county consists of January. It can get down into the low 40s at night, but frost is rare indeed. After two years, we have yet to turn on the heat, because a concrete block house insulates rather well. We use an electric blanket on those few nights. I am told that farther north, Jacksonville and environs, has considerably longer chilly spells. That being said, we are now experiencing a brief Spring, with all the plants and grass greening up and the birds having loud disputes in the trees. Soon it will be summer, for seven months.

Summer, if one is near the ocean, doesn't reach the high 90's/triple digits you and I are familiar with from the midwest (you) and Maryland (me). It is, instead, a steady diet of 88-92 degrees F. and equal humidity. It's not for everyone, that's for sure. And the center of the state does get hotter than the East Coast, which is why, back in the day, the area where The Villages now sits was considered unfit for anybody but cattle.

Where we are, the bad thing about summer is not so much the heat, as the constant hurricane watch. It is definitely something to think about.

Florida "scenery" is, as you noted, about as boring as it comes (except right on the coast, of course). Very flat. Natural vegetation consists mainly of scrub: scrub pine in the northern counties; palmetto scrub farther south. Dull green everywhere you look. Not that I ever did live anyplace that was famous for scenery, unless you count the Yorkshire Moors.

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We looked at FL because one of our top priorities was to avoid cold weather and snow. We found winter NOT to be all that (consistently) warm and summer to be unbelievably hot. I could have most of that back in the midwest, though you trade extreme summer heat for extreme winter cold. Take your pick. I guess the other thing was that unless you live on the coast, FL is just about as uninteresting as the prairies of the midwest (FL doesn't even have corn!) It's flat, featureless and generally unappealing to us.

We were blessed with not requiring a LCOL area (which, generally FL is in comparison to, say CA or HI.) So, we looked at those two states and found CA a lot closer to our liking - but it is still CA and I'll say no more. So HI was just about as close to perfect weather as one could ask for. ALL the bad stuff about living in HI is true (high costs, traffic, politics, tourists, hurricanes, etc.). Still, it's been worth it and has the bonus of (arguably) the most beautiful and diverse natural scenery in the USA. Could we not afford HI, I suppose we would go to FL, primarily to escape the cold. YMMV
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:03 PM   #37
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Just a few comments. I lived in Palm Beach County with my parents for 7 years during the 1970's, and now live several counties north of PBC (due to PBC's extreme crowding in the intervening 40 years). So I have some Florida experience to draw on.

"Winter" in our coastal county consists of January. It can get down into the low 40s at night, but frost is rare indeed. After two years, we have yet to turn on the heat, because a concrete block house insulates rather well. We use an electric blanket on those few nights. I am told that farther north, Jacksonville and environs, has considerably longer chilly spells. That being said, we are now experiencing a brief Spring, with all the plants and grass greening up and the birds having loud disputes in the trees. Soon it will be summer, for seven months.

Summer, if one is near the ocean, doesn't reach the high 90's/triple digits you and I are familiar with from the midwest (you) and Maryland (me). It is, instead, a steady diet of 88-92 degrees F. and equal humidity. It's not for everyone, that's for sure. And the center of the state does get hotter than the East Coast, which is why, back in the day, the area where The Villages now sits was considered unfit for anybody but cattle.

Where we are, the bad thing about summer is not so much the heat, as the constant hurricane watch. It is definitely something to think about.

Florida "scenery" is, as you noted, about as boring as it comes (except right on the coast, of course). Very flat. Natural vegetation consists mainly of scrub: scrub pine in the northern counties; palmetto scrub farther south. Dull green everywhere you look. Not that I ever did live anyplace that was famous for scenery, unless you count the Yorkshire Moors.
Can't speak for winter in Palm Beach area. I'm guessing it wouldn't be too bad. I did spend a month one week in late January about half way between Apalachicola and Gainesville, not too far from the Suwannee River. Not figuring on needing "winter gear" I had a light jacket - which worked until the last day when I woke up to 22 degrees F. I realize that was unusual so YMMV.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:10 PM   #38
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We are way south of there....Florida is a heck of a long state. There is no one "Florida," except for Florida Man and Woman, who are indeed everywhere.

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Can't speak for winter in Palm Beach area. I'm guessing it wouldn't be too bad. I did spend a month one week in late January about half way between Apalachicola and Gainesville, not too far from the Suwannee River. Not figuring on needing "winter gear" I had a light jacket - which worked until the last day when I woke up to 22 degrees F. I realize that was unusual so YMMV.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:15 PM   #39
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Can't speak for winter in Palm Beach area. I'm guessing it wouldn't be too bad. I did spend a month one week in late January about half way between Apalachicola and Gainesville, not too far from the Suwannee River. Not figuring on needing "winter gear" I had a light jacket - which worked until the last day when I woke up to 22 degrees F. I realize that was unusual so YMMV.
The first winter after I moved to Gainesville, we came out after a night of drinking (we were young!) to find that our cars were completely frosted over. I didn't think much of it, pulled my ice scraper out of the back seat, and cleared my windows. Scads of people came up to me, begging to borrow my scraper, and some asked "Thank you, but WHY do you have that?" I confusedly replied something like "Obviously, you need it. Why DON'T you have it?"
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:32 PM   #40
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The first winter after I moved to Gainesville, we came out after a night of drinking (we were young!) to find that our cars were completely frosted over. I didn't think much of it, pulled my ice scraper out of the back seat, and cleared my windows. Scads of people came up to me, begging to borrow my scraper, and some asked "Thank you, but WHY do you have that?" I confusedly replied something like "Obviously, you need it. Why DON'T you have it?"
Next thing you know, they'll be asking to borrow your snowblower!
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