Moving to Florida Pros Cons of moving and living in Florida Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:56:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Florida’s Most Walkable Towns Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:16:03 +0000 Walkable Cities Promote Better Health

Studies show that people who live the longest healthiest lives have one thing in common, they get plenty of exercise every day, and downtown fernandina beachthey don’t even own exercise equipment. They don’t belong to a gym either. They do live in communities where walking almost everywhere they want to go is just a natural part of their every day life. If they need to go to the store, they walk there. To visit friends, they walk.

So these people are getting the required daily exercise for excellent health that doctors are always preaching about, without even having to think about it. If you live in the typical American suburb, this is impossible to do, so you usually must buy exercise equipment (that usually just collects dust) or you join a gym (and then never go). If you’re going to move to Florida, or anywhere really, why not choose a community where you could live without having to use your car? It would be better for the planet and your waistline.

We have identified towns in Florida where you can get your daily exercise, naturally, by walking or biking instead of driving everywhere, and hopefully you’ll live a longer healthier life like the people in those studies. Our criteria was simple. The town must have a good mix of residential and commercial properties, so that residents can safely walk almost every where they need to go on a daily basis. The town also must be safe. Unfortunately, Florida’s violent crime rate is higher than in most our states. Regularly walking in towns with high crime rates is not something that I would suggest my family and friends do. So I don’t want you to do that either. High crime rates disqualified many possible walkable towns and cities from making this list.

Florida’s Most Walkable Towns and Crime

The Florida towns and cities that may be walkable, but did not make my list because of higher crime rates are: Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach, Key West, Pensacola and St Augustine. If you’re a business person in one of these towns that believes this is unfair because only part of the town has a crime problem, I understand your perspective. You have a business interest in people relocating to your town. BUT, look at it from a buyers perspective. If there are multiple towns that offer similar benefits, but some have lower crime rates and some higher, why should anyone move to a town with a higher crime rate? Especially if they’re going to be out there walking around every day.

#1 Dunedin, Florida

This great little area just north of Tampa and St Petersburg has made just about every positive list we’ve put out lately. The data for this area is just so positive compared to other places in Florida, including affordability. However, in a small town like this with fewer properties for sale, it wouldn’t take much of an increase in interest to boost prices. Dunedin is a small safe friendly town with a sense of community, which is rare in the extremely transient state of Florida. This area has received numerous awards from national publications such as “Best Walkable Small Town” and “#1 Best Beach in America”. This pedestrian and pet friendly town should be at the top of your list if you want to live in one of Florida’s most walkable towns.

 See a Video of Dunedin Florida

#2 Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park’s “Park Ave” forms the heart of this walkable town just north of Orlando, as it’s really like it’s downtown “Main Street”. Rollings College is located is also located here, so Winter Park has that sought after college town feel. Winter park is close enough to Orlando for occasion trips or commuting for work, but it’s far enough away to escape the major cities crime and traffic gridlock. The cost of living is about average for Florida, so it’s not cheap. If a walkable town with a college feel close to the theme parks and other amenities of Orlando sounds attractive to you, Winter Park is certainly worth consideration.

See a video of Winter Park Florida

#3 Fernandina Beach, Florida

When a town has “beach” right in the name and it’s being called out for having a wonderful walkable downtown, you know it’s something special. What more could you want in a place to live in Florida than to be by the beach, with a thriving walkable down town, and just a short driven to big city amenities? This great little place in Florida is just over the border from Georgia, so road trips back home for holidays are less of a hassle. The cost of living is about average for the sunshine state so it’s not cheap, but I think it’s a bargain compared to what you have to pay to live in many other similar locations in Florida. If you’re driving to Florida to scout out new places to live and are looking for a great downtown, why not spend the first night here ?

See a video of Fernandina Beach Florida

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Best Places to live in Florida for Golfers Sat, 11 Oct 2014 18:17:49 +0000 Love golf so much you’re thinking of moving to Florida so you can play all year long? florida golf course

Here’s some of what you should know before you move to Florida because you love golf:

  • Florida’s weather is usually amazing during the winter, perfect for playing golf. The price you pay for that great 3 months of warmth if you live in Florida full time? Up to 9 months of hot humid weather the rest of the year. Be prepared to sweat profusely even if you’re just sitting in a cart in the shade for most of the year.
  • Florida is the most traveled to vacation destination in the world, especially during the winter. Because of supply and demand, the greens fees are of course the highest when the weather is nice. Expect to pay top dollar to play golf anywhere in Florida during the winter.
  • Because many of those 100 million annual visitors to Florida flock to the state during the winter, expect the golf courses to be packed. The parking lots will be packed, the clubhouse crowded, standing in long lines is the norm. You’ll wait to tee off, and to make every shot after that, from the 1rst hole to the 18th. Plan on being there all day with most of your time spent waiting. Paying top buck to to be frustrated waiting makes you thankful for alcohol.
  • There’s a growing trend in Florida toward banning all alcohol on the course due to liability.
  • Because the courses get so crowed during the winter, there’s a trend toward previously public courses going private or semi private. Semi-private courses so only members can play when the weather is nice during the winter to lessen the overcrowding, but they will allow the public to play when the weather is so hot and humid it makes playing almost unbearable. They do chop the rates for the mad dogs and Englishmen willing to play during the rest of the year, to help pay to keep the grass from dying out until next winter.

Of course you can become a member somewhere and avoid the worst crowding during the winter. Just as golfers descend on Florida for the winter, Floridians who can afford it leave for cooler golf courses in northern states when the weather gets too hot for them in the sunshine state. Now that I’ve read you the reality riot act, lets move onto the best places to live in Florida for golfers.

#1 Naples, Florida

Not only does Naples have more golf courses than anywhere else in Florida, it also rates high in any quality of life factor that’s measured. One problem many areas with lots of golf opportunities in Florida have, is they suffer from overall high crime rates. Sure, the links and your neighborhood may be safe but what happens when you leave that bubble? You don’t have to worry about that in Naples. It’s one of the safest towns in all of Florida. Its a small town but there’s no lack of amenities. The schools are better and job opportunities more plentiful than most of Florida. Naples has nice beaches right on the warm clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico too.

There is a price to pay to live in a golf paradise by the beach. Naples has a very high cost of living. The real estate here is some of the highest priced in Florida. If you can afford the cost of admission to this town, it should be at the top of the list of places to consider in Florida if you’re a golf enthusiast.

Naples Florida Video


#2 Boca Raton

Boca Raton has almost as many golf courses as Naples and it’s crime rate is almost as low, and it’s location on the Atlantic means you have access to beaches as well. Where Boca excels is in it’s proximity to big city amenities, it’s not that far to Miami by way of I-95. Boca has excellent schools compared to most of Florida. Employment possibilities are very good and get better with commuting.

Boca Raton has all of what people move to Florida for, and less of what you don’t want like crime. While not quite as costly as Naples, it would be a struggle for most people to live in this golfers paradise by the shore.

Boca Raton Video


#3 Bonita Springs

Located just north of Naples our #1 choice, Bonita Springs has 21 Golf courses and is located right on the Gulf Coast. In fact, Bonita made our best Florida beach town list for 2015. The area is safer and ranks higher than average for Florida overall in all quality of life factors. Most people will find Bonita Springs affordable compared with most of Florida, but it offers the golfer more courses to explore.

Considering all this area has to offer in addition to golf, this may be the most affordable chunk of paradise in Florida with a high quality of life.

Bonita Springs Video


#4 Sarasota

Sarasota ranks #5 in number of courses in Florida but Sarasota is much more affordable than the first 2 picks, although it’s still not among the most affordable places to live in Florida. Sarasota is known as Florida’s center of art and culture, and Siesta Key Beach has been named as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Sarasota’s schools overall are better than average and it’s job prospects are about average for the state. Sarasota’s overall crime rate is high, but I choose it anyway because I feel most of the crime occurs in well defined areas that can easily be avoided. I’ve also personally spent lots of time in Sarasota and never felt concerned or threatened. Sarasota has a lot to offer the golfer, on and off the course. If you are looking anywhere along Florida’s Gulf coast, you must take a look at Sarasota.

Sarasota Video


#5 Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is about an hour south of Sarasota and almost an hour north of Naples, but is far different than either. Punta Gorda is very affordable compared to the above towns. Just about anyone can find a way to live here. Punta Gorda has a small town feel to it. Its not right on the coast, but it’s right on a river near the coast and Gulf beaches. There is a large riverfront park and enclosed pier with shops and restaurants and the site of many annual festivals. There are lots of golf courses to choose from for the area’s size.

Punta Gorda has a good education system and decent job prospects. Together with Rotonda, about a half hour away, the area offers homes on golf courses that are more affordable than in most of Florida. If you’re an avid golfer looking for more affordable Florida options, this would be the area to look at.

Punta Gorda Video

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