Moving to Florida http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com Pros Cons of moving and living in Florida Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:32:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Safest Towns to Live in Florida http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/safest-towns-live-florida/ http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/safest-towns-live-florida/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 19:17:06 +0000 http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/?p=2564 Florida’s High Crime Rate

Ranking all states by crime rate, with #1 having the best crime rate and #50 having the worst, Florida is ranked #45, according to USA.com. So if you’re moving from any of the 44 states with less crime, you’re moving to a state with a higher crime rate. Why is this important? Because I’ve talked with 1000’s of buyers since first becoming licensed in the real estate business in 1986, and not one buyer even said they wanted to move to an area with a high crime rate. In fact, many were moving precisely because they wanted to move their family to a safer area.

So why would anybody from those 44 states with a lower crime rate, ever move to a state with a higher crime rate like Florida, if they wouldn’t do that in there home state? Because in their home state they know where most of the crime happens and where the safer areas are. Also, most people aren’t aware just how high Florida’s crime rate is.

Florida Crime Myths and Mythinformation

Lets take 3 Florida towns that many people may be considering a move to, Sarasota, Gainesville and St Augustine. Each of these towns has a substantially higher crime rate than the Florida Florida as a whole, and Florida has more crime than 44 other states.

Lets take a hypothetical situation where a buyer from out of state is looking at places to live in one of these 3 towns. The out of state buyer has not researched crime rates or is there because of a “faulty” best place list. While looking at a home, the out of state buyer asks the agent, “is this in a safe area?”

Here’s just 2 possible answers:

  1. “Yes this is a safe area. I live here. My kids go to the schools here and we’ve never had a problem”.
  2. “Florida has a higher crime rate than the US average, and this town has a higher rate than the Florida average.”

Answer #2 states facts, but probably would not result in a sale and commission for the agent, a worse outcome for her, but this answer may lead to the buyer looking at homes in safer towns and a possible better outcome for them.

Answer #1 is what I call a mythinformation. It may be factual in that the agent may indeed live in that area, her kids may go to the schools and they may not ever have had a problem, but what if the towns crime rate is among the highest in the US?

  • If you were the out of state buyer, which answer would help you make the best decision for your family?
  • Which kind of answer do you think you’re more likely to get?
  • If an out of state buyer purchases a home in a higher crime town based upon an agent’s “safe” answer, can the buyer sue the agent (and real estate company) if he or a member of his family becomes a victim of a crime, after moving in?

How We Choose Our “Best Places”

A buyer can protect themselves and their family by learning a towns crime rate before they even consider looking there. All of our 2015 choices for any best place 2015 list, will be at least as safe as the Florida average crime rate. Most of our choices are far safer than the Florida’s average crime rate and are among the safest you’ll find in Florida. As a buyer in your home town, you wouldn’t want to move to a high crime area. We’re sure that’s the case when you move to Florida too. You’ll probably want a place that’s at least as safe, if not safer, than where you’re moving from.

And Guess What, There are Safer Places to Live in Florida

Even though Florida has a high average crime rate, there still are a few very low crime rate places left. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for either. We’ve identified beach towns, small towns, affordable towns, walkable towns, towns near golf, all with lower crime rates. There are safe alternatives to Sarasota, Gainsville, St Augustine and all the other towns with high crime rates. If two places are similar, why choose the one with a much higher crime rate?

Florida Crime Rate FAQ’s

Q) “I live in New York City, how bad can crime in Florida cities be”, or “all big towns have high issues”

A) Mythinformation! Today, New York City has a lower rate of crime than all of Florida’s major cities like Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, St Petersburg and Miami. New York City has a lower crime rate than Sarasota, Gainesville and St Augustine and lots of other Florida towns. So yes, Florida cities are worse than New York, and no, not all large cities in the US have terrible crime rates.

Q) You’re site’s best places lists now disqualifies towns because of high crime rates. “I’m trying to sell homes in a safe area in a town with a high crime rate, it’s unfair not to choose a town because part of it has a crime problem.

A) It’s unfair to towns with low crime rates, and to buyers, to rate places as if crime rates don’t matter, because they do. There are homes for sale for $1 in Detroit? Why don’t they sell? You show me a town with crime rate that is going up, and I’ll show you a town where real estate prices are going to head south.

Buyers, I strongly urge you to check the crime rate of any area before even looking there. You’ll make better decisions if you use facts and statistics over Mythinformation. You can find crimes rates listed on many websites online. You can learn the rate of where you now live, and anywhere you are thinking of moving, for comparison at USA.com (not a government run site). At the top of the site there’s a search box. You can put a town name in and hit search. When the town info comes up, click the “crime rate” tab. Hey, check our picks to see the low crime rate for yourself.

Want to make sure moving to Florida is right for your family?

The Safest Places to Live in Florida

The Best Safe Places to Live Near the Beach in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places to Retire in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places to Live in Florida in 2015

The Best Safe Places for Golfers to Live in 2015

The Best Places to Live Cheap and Safe in Florida in 2015

The Most Walkable Safe Towns in Florida

The Best Safe Small Towns in Florida

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Best Places to Retire in Florida 2015 http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/best-places-retire-florida-2015/ http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/best-places-retire-florida-2015/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:03:05 +0000 http://www.stateoffloridaliving.com/?p=2504 These are the best places to retire to in Florida if you’re planning to move here in 2015. We believe we’ve used the same priorities that most retirees would in choosing a place to move to for retirement. This year we’ve given a high priority to access to amenities such as shopping, restaurants, pubs, entertainment, and recreation.

A very low crime rate was another high priority because the last thing you want in a retirement location is to be stressed out about your personal safety when trying to enjoy those amenities. We have included places that are affordable, and places that have a higher cost of living. We’re also going to let you in on a little secret. There are fantastic towns to retire in Florida where you would need to be able to pay a million bucks to buy a home, but you could rent a place in that very safe upscale town for a little over $1000.

I do need to point something out that you should be aware of. When I first moved to Florida 20 years ago, Florida cities and towns claimed most of Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Retire” list. The list that Money just put out right before I wrote this post, does not include any Florida towns. Money Magazine was a pioneer with best places lists, in fact I used their best places to live in Florida list, when I moved two decades ago. A lot has changed in 20 years, and when you compare Florida’s crime rates, quality of health care, cost of living, etc., Florida doesn’t fair as well as it did decades ago when our grandparents moved to Florida. Bankrate.com’s excellent recent best places to retire list ranked Florida poorly also.

There’s two main reasons many new retirees still move to Florida. We all loved visiting Florida while on vacation. Unfortunately, living in Florida and being a tourist here are completely different, especially if you’ll reside in Florida twelve months a year. Retirees move to Florida for the “warm” weather. The reality is that most people who move out of Florida name weather as one of the main reasons. Before you make that final decision to move to Florida you may want to learn more about what living in Florida is really like.

 

The Best Places to Retire in Florida 2015

 

Florida’s West Coast- Punta Gorda

Punta Gorda is a safe small town with a large waterfront park on a river. There is also a large covered pier filled with restaurants, shops and pubs where lots of fun events and festivals are held. If you have a boat or are thinking of getting one, then this is a perfect place to look because there are a ton of homes with canals in the backyard that lead out to the river and then the Gulf of Mexico.

The official median home price for Punta Gorda is high but that’s because there are so many waterfront homes with Gulf access. Most retirees will be able to afford a nice non-waterfront condo or home here. Beautiful sandy beaches on the Gulf are just a short drive away. Englewood Florida, about a half hour north is another good choice but they roll the sidewalks up early there. These towns are worth looking into, especially if boating or fishing is something you’ll be pursuing during retirement.

Watch a Video of Punta Gorda, Florida

Florida’s East Coast, Upscale- Palm Beach

Yes, the Palm Beach, Florida where “the Donald” has a home. While you would have to spend in the neighborhood of a million bucks to buy a home here, you may find a decent place to rent in this town for about $1200 a month. This is one of the safest most beautiful places on the beach you’ll find in Florida, and just about anything you could want to buy or do is nearby.

While we don’t recommend West Palm Beach because of the crime rate, North Palm Beach is also a good choice. You can get a home there for about 1/3 the cost of Palm Beach, although rentals are only slightly less.

Video of Palm Beach, Florida

 

Florida’s East Coast- Indian Harbor Beach

Indian Harbor Beach is located on Florida’s east coast about half way between Jacksonville and Miami, not far off I-95. This is one of the few areas in Florida where it’s still affordable to buy an “island” lifestyle. Condos in Indian Harbor start under $100,000 at the time of this writing and single detached 3-bedroom 2-bath homes start under $200,000. Rentals start under $1000. Not bad for an area in Florida that is safe and you’ll likely be able to walk or bike to the beach from your home.

Indian Harbor Beach is almost due east from Orlando, and day trips to the theme parks from here are possible. Next door satellite beach is also a good bet. One caveat, barrier Islands may become the first causalities and possibly unaffordable overnight, if or when insurers raise rates because of sea level rise or in response to losses from the next major hurricane.

Indian Harbor Video (There wasn’t any good “tour” videos but found this one of baby sea turtles on the beach)

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