Living in Florida Pros and Cons Revealed 2024

The Pros and Cons of Living in Florida

Here are 2 different pros and con lists of what it’s really like to live in Florida full-time. Why 2 lists?

  1. The first one is the what we think it will be like to live in Florida when we move there for the pros (the perception), usually based on many 1 week vacation visits.
  2. The second is how many of us will see living in Florida after actually moving to the Sunshine State, and living there long enough to learn the cons or downsides and the “honeymoon” ends (the reality).

The 1rst is a typical Florida pros and cons list written by someone trying to decide if they should move or not (aka the perception).

The Pros/Advantages (Some Perceived) of Moving to Florida (Before We Move)

  • In Florida it’s warm and sunny all the time. After all, they do call it the Sunshine State.
  • Florida has lots of beaches, I love going to the beach.
  • Florida has golf courses everywhere.
  • Florida has lots of theme parks. Disney, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens and more, wow.
  • Florida doesn’t have a personal state income tax. More money stays in my pocket and one less tax return to to hassle with.
  • I always have a great time while vacationing in Florida, it must be a great place to live.
  • In Florida, you can grow oranges and grapefruit in your own yard.
  • I won’t have to shovel snow anymore.
  • Florida has palm trees. I love when I see the palm trees as I drive into Florida.
  • I can swim all year, I’m going to get a home with a pool!
  • Did I say it’s warm and sunny all the time yet?
  • In Florida, I can bike, play golf, tennis, etc. year-round.
  • They don’t like shutdowns or mandates in Florida (currently), I can be free (this can be a pro or con depending upon your perspective).
  • In Florida, my home will increase in value every day.
  • There are real estate tax breaks available for residents that own their home.

The Perceived Cons or Disadvantages (Before We Move)

  • I’m drawing a blank. “Can’t think of a single negative except hurricanes, but everyone (everyone = the real estate agents and others who will make $$$$$$’s if you move to Florida, and $0 if you don’t) I talk to from down there, says they’re rare. Take it with a grain of salt. Moving TO Florida is what I have to do. This living in Florida pros and cons list sure made it clear to me. I’m calling the Realtor right now to sell the house and I’m going to start packing. I’m moving to Florida, wa hoo!”

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The 2nd Pro Con List: Here’s a typical Florida Pros and Con list from someone who’s lived in Florida for a while and the honeymoon is over because they know what living in Florida is really like (for them).

The Reality of the Pros/Advantages and Cons/Disadvantages of Living in Florida

The Pros

  • The weather during the winter is fantastic.

The Cons

  • It’s hot and humid all the time except during about 3 months during the winter, they should call it the swamp state.
  • I hate going to the beach. It’s hot, humid, like laying on sandpaper, the saltwater and sun are aging my skin. No wonder everybody looks old here.
  • The heat and humidity on the golf course 9 months out of the year have taken the fun out of it for me. The jack up the prices for the 3 months that are playable.
  • I’ve been to the theme parks so many times they bore me now. Wait hours in the hot humid lines for rides that last a couple of minutes. Large rude crowds, overpriced bad food. I hate when the family comes down and wants me to go there with them, again.
  • Did I mention it’s hot and humid all the time?
  • Because of no state income tax, the fees for a driver license, car registration, etc are higher. Pay by the hour to park at a recreation area that would be free back home? Less services, longer lines and hold times, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • When I move out of Florida I’m never going on vacation there again.
  • I’m so sick of eating the oranges in my yard. The ones that fall on the ground attract lots of bees and other insects. I got stung trying to clean them up.
  • I hate have to drag things in and out because of storms and cleaning up the house and yard after them.
  • When the real estate market turns into a buyers market, my house is worth less every day. It’s going down faster than it went up.
  • Everything costs more here in Florida.
  • Wildfires are common and the smoke blowing across interstates and other roads leading to crashes is not uncommon.
  • I’m so sick of paying people to maintain those palm trees in my yard.
  • I traded shoveling snow occasionally, for having to cut grass twice a week 52 weeks a year or paying $$$$’s for someone to do it.
  • My retirement community is in the middle of no where. What was I thinking.
  • Florida is surrounded by water. Way does my water and sewer bill cost a fortune every month?
  • Pool water is 92 degrees for months when I need it the most. I don’t want to take a hot bath in the sun when it’s 94 degrees outside with 95% humidity!
  • Did I say it’s hot and humid all the time yet?
  • That air conditioner never seems to shut off 9 months a year.
  • When real estate prices shoot up, my taxes go up faster than my retirement/wage income does. I’m losing ground.
  • When the weather finally becomes nice enough to be outdoors, the state’s population triples and the traffic is even worse than usual, you can’t find a place to park, the lines at the grocery store or to get into a restaurant are ridiculous, etc.
  • No one wears a mask and everything is open (currently). This of course can be a pro or con depending upon your perspective)
  • The hurricanes that tear houses apart, cut all the trees in half, flood homes and leave you without electricity and AC for weeks when the heat index is 100 every day.
  • The mosquitos, fire ants, large flying roaches, snakes, alligators and more can really creep some people out.
  • It seems more and more, tornadoes like to visit the state and destroy things outside of the 6 month hurricane season when the weather is supposed to be nicer.
  • Every year during winter when the weather is terrific, there are more and more snowbirds and tourist that make it difficult to drive, shop, eat out, park, go to the beach, etc.
  • For some reason, Florida seems to attract some really strange people and when you read about some of the crimes they commit it really makes you wonder.

And then there’s this… Note: video takes about 3 seconds to start.

Here’s 2 more lists for you

  1. 20 Reasons you SHOULD move to Florida
  2. 20 Reasons you SHOULD NOT move to Florida

20 Reasons Why You SHOULD Move to Florida

The following can also answer questions such as “what are the advantages of living in Florida” or “why do people move to Florida?”

In no particular order…

      1. If you don’t like winter sports or cold weather, Florida is one of the best places to be in the US weather-wise, from about December to the end of March, for warm weather.
      2. Almost everyone loves living in Florida the first few months or years.
      3. Almost everyone you know who doesn’t live in Florida will envy you, especially after they have to shovel snow.
      4. After the winter “season” and the snowbirds leave Florida, the price of a round of golf drops considerably.
      5. You can golf, bike, ride your motorcycle, swim or do any other outdoor activity that doesn’t involve snow or cold temperatures, all year long.
      6. You can grow oranges and grapefruits in your yard.
      7. You can wear shorts and flip flops anywhere in Florida all year long and fit right in.
      8. You can go to the beach for a day from just about anywhere you live in Florida.
      9. Florida has some of the cleanest air because it’s just a thin sliver of land with two massive bodies of water on each side that provide air flows that constantly blows the pollution from the state, out to sea.
      10. You can get a break on your real estate taxes just because you live in Florida.
      11. Florida residents are often offered “Florida resident only” special discounts on theme park admission.
      12. You can buy a home on a waterway where you can keep your massive boat right in your backyard and leave right from there and motor to the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean.
      13. You can grow a palm trees right in your yard
      14. You won’t have to pay for heat during the winter in much of Florida.
      15. You won’t have to fill out a personal state income tax form every year.
      16. Because the roads don’t freeze and thaw, you’ll hit far less car rattling potholes.
      17. You can get a tan without even trying.
      18. You can buy beer at almost every gas station, convenience and grocery store in the state.
      19. You don’t have to worry about having your car inspected for every year and Florida did away with emissions inspections and testing years ago.
      20. While living in Florida, you’ll meet people from all over the US and the world because nobody that lives in Florida was actually born there (OK, that’s only about 95% true).

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fire ants in Florida

20 Reasons Why You Should NOT Move to Florida

The following 20 reason will also answer the question “why do so many people move out of Florida?”

  1. Florida is hotter and more humid than where you moved from, and it doesn’t end when summer does.
  2. While almost everyone loves living in Florida the first few months or years, a very high percentage of people eventually find Florida was a big enough mistake to go through the huge expense and hassle of another long distance move, just to get out. Chances are much higher than you think, that this will happen to you also.
  3. When a hurricane or tropical storm is heading toward your new Florida home, you’ll envy the people back home who don’t even know it’s happening because they’re at a picnic.
  4. You won’t play as much golf in Florida as you thought because of the aforementioned heat and humidity most of the year will take the pleasure out of it. When the weather finally turns cooler in the winter, golf becomes too expensive, crowded and slow due to a huge influx of snowbirds and tourist, to want to play often.
  5. Trying to do anything outdoors in Florida most of the year involves sweating profusely and may also involve fighting off swarms of mosquitoes, biting flies, biting fire ants, etc.
  6. You won’t have to shovel snow in Florida, but your yard will require a constant fight to keep it from returning to the overgrown jungle it was meant to be.
  7. No matter how much someone weighs, their physical conditioning or their age, wearing a speedo or bikini is acceptable daily dress in Florida, even if you’re hours from the beach.
  8. As a resident of the “Sunshine State” you’ll learn that there aren’t really as many old people in Florida as you thought, it’s just that many younger people look that way due to sun damage.
  9. Water at Florida’s beaches isn’t always as clean as it looks and the beaches can be closed because of high bacteria counts.
  10. When Florida real estate prices shoot up, so will your real estate taxes.
  11. The more often you go to Florida’s theme parks, the less of an enjoyable escape they’ll become.
  12. If your dream is to move to Florida and buy a boat, you’ll learn that the two best days in a boat owners life is the day they buy their boat, and the day they sell it.
  13. You’ll learn that those palm trees you just had to have in your yard, will require a lot of dirty sweaty work to keep them looking like they do at the Florida welcome center.
  14. The house or condo you buy in Florida will be worth more, then less, then more, then less and so on, than you paid.
  15. To make up for a lack of a state income tax, things like car registration in Florida, a drivers license as well as other fees and sales taxes will probably cost a lot more than where you moved from.
  16. With over 20 million residents and 100+ million tourist a year, driving and parking just about anywhere in Florida can be maddening. It’s even worse in the winter months.
  17. To avoid the Florida sun’s damaging rays, you have to wear a huge hat and dress like it’s winter or constantly grease yourself up with sunblock. Can you say “premature wrinkling”.
  18. Drivers can buy beer at almost every gas station, convenience, grocery an corner store in the state, and many do. Then some DWD (drink while driving).
  19. There are no annual car inspections for safety violations in Florida. After you see cars losing parts while they’re passing you doing 100 mph on the interstate, you’ll know why you have to sit in traffic jams so often due to an “accident”.
  20. Some climate scientist say Florida will be underwater in the future. Learn how to swim.

florida pros and cons

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Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.

_____

84 thoughts on “Living in Florida Pros and Cons Revealed 2024”

  1. I would like to move into Florida I live in Ottawa Ontario but I would like to move into Florida.

  2. I am a renter in Florida. My family has been here since before WWII. I have moved back and forth from other states. I actually like the hot and humid weather. I have seen my apartment rent nearly double in 6-7 years, and I feel that I have been lucky. There are no limits to how high landlords can raise rent in Florida. People from expensive states are flocking here. To them, the rents are a bargain. Local people, however, are being priced out of the state. I see Florida becoming an enclave for affluent Blue State migrants, kind of like a big Cayman Islands or Martha’s Vineyard. Within the last two years, in a two-mile radius of my apartment, at least five huge complexes have been built. Hundreds of new units appearing at the same time, in the same location. The problem is that all of them are “luxury” complexes with prices aimed at NY-NJ, California people. The older complexes, in turn, have jacked up their prices accordingly, citing “market value.” This trend, I think, will continue as more and more people move here. To qualify for a lease, you must earn three times the monthly rent. Qualifying was easy just a few years ago. Now, with the astronomical (to locals) rent increases, you must make a ton of money to get a lease. I know a couple working retail who with a combined income of $3000/month, don’t quite make enough–they live in their car and briefly stay in hotels to relieve the stress. I know a single mother who managed a dollar store. She couldn’t afford her rent increase, but couldn’t qualify for a lease elsewhere. She had to leave Florida. Another guy works 40 hours/week at Walmart. He too cannot qualify for a lease. He lives in a camper in the woods. Each year, we wait to see how much the rent will be raised–will it be $300, $600, or $1000/month? Who knows? Landlords tell us to either move to cheaper states or get roommates, The NY-NJ-Cali people are often distant and sometimes rude. I don’t think they mean to be. They are just acting as they did at home. A lot of Floridians, especially the young, are resentful, and you hear, “Don’t New York My Florida.” To be honest, I can’t blame the migrants for coming here. Compared to SF, LA, NYC, the real estate is cheaper. So, I am afraid that Florida is in transition. It is being “gentrified” and Governor DeSantis (who I generally like) is promoting this policy. I have to accept reality. Everything changes. Good things don’t last forever, so I will reluctantly have to bail. I like Florida. I just can’t afford it here anymore. I have seen this situation in other parts of the world. People are flocking to Lisbon, Portugal, driving up rents there, forcing locals out. I hear complaints from Mexico about Americans driving up prices for housing there. I’ve read about Australians flocking to Queensland and the same thing happening. My beloved Florida, as I see it, is part of this global trend. People with money get to live where they want to. The rest of us have to move on. That’s life. I just wonder where the “servants” of the new Floridians will live. Maybe 8 to an apartment like the Eastern Europeans who come to work service jobs in Key West? One caveat. If another Hurricane Andrew hits, as another commenter noted, many migrants will beat a quick path elsewhere. With my luck, they’ll probably head to where I moved, driving me out of my adopted home as well.

  3. I enjoyed reading all of the comments good and bad. I lived in FL during the 80s and 90s and had some really great times. It was different back then. The vibe then was different. The Jacksonville area was inexpensive and there were a lot of places to eat and party. Ponte Vedra is a great area, pricey but really nice. St. Johns County was rural for the most part. Florida is HOT and HUMID. I moved to Atlanta in 2006 and love it here. There are many retirees in my apartment community that have sold their homes to live a convenient lifestyle. They like the convenience of having elevators and parking garages and a lifestyle that is hassle free. I believe Atlanta is much more sophisticated than Jacksonville. I do not recall anything sophisticated about Jacksonville now that I am thinking about it. Fort Lauderdale was a great place and Boca Raton years ago. From what I am reading, the populations in the S. FL area have exploded so I cannot really comment on it today.

    I live near a Marta station in Atlanta so getting around is easy if you do not want the expense of a car. I can walk to Target, Walmart, Publix, Walgreens, the mall and a lot of restaurants. We have a lot of outdoor concerts in the parks and most you can bring your own food and drink. We are 5 hours from a beach (if driving) and near the mountains, NC, TN. I do not miss FL at all. Northwest GA is located and a much higher elevation than FL. I do not think it is that hot and humid here. Only for a couple of months but nothing like HOT and HUMID FL. We have longer spring and fall seasons and winter is short. We go back to Jacksonville frequently to visit my folks. After a few days into the trip, I am ready to get back to the ATL. I tell my husband to “get me out of here and back to GA.

    I was reading an article on Jacksonville in Reddit. Someone said the average woman weighs 400lbs and has an attitude like a supermodel. I had to laugh reading this. Based on my observations living there, this was pretty close to the truth. LOL. If you are considering moving to FL, take a look at the Carolinas first or the Atlanta area, there are beaches (short day trip) and mountains, hiking, snow skiing, water skiing, lakes and waterfalls. North GA looks a lot like PA (Blue Ridge Mountains) but much warmer. People here are nice. There is a lot of diverse cultures and foods. I met my current husband in a Thai restaurant in 2011 and we are still happily married.

  4. Some things to consider when contemplating a move to Florida:

    It would be easier for you to acclimate to the weather if you move in late fall or very early spring (February). I know that schedule can be a problem if you have kids…

    If you still have young school age children, things would go smoothest if you can transfer from your job where you are now to a Florida branch. With the huge influx of people moving here in 2022, jobs are tough to find, especially if you’ve just moved here. I had a similar problem when we moved to Colorado in the mid 90’s, few employers took me seriously as they expected me to move back to where I came from and their pay rate was crap too. Florida is not the worst state in the US, but it’s no utopia either, every place has pros and cons.

    It’s easier to move if you’re close to or at retirement age, assuming you’ve had a chance to save some money so that you’ll have a buffer until you get things figured out. Currently (2022) AARP has a really good back to work program for people of 50 and they help with job placement. In that age group, it is very possible to find part time jobs at least.

    There are plenty of older homes available without HOAs, buy one of those if you don’t like HOAs (I don’t). Florida’s larger cities have the most jobs, but also the highest expenses (including homes), more crime and traffic plus policies tend to lean more Democratic.

    I don’t have bugs in my home on an ongoing basis. Take your food trash out every evening and you can avoid a lot of insect problems. I do perimeter insecticide twice a year and have no problems. It is easier and less costly to maintain a cement block or brick home in Florida due to moisture. Be aware sometimes wood framed houses are sheathed in stucco too (not just cement block). We have many types of termites here, plus some wood eating ants which is something to keep in mind when house hunting. Note that homeowners insurance has doubled over the past 2 plus years for most people and they are getting very picky about what they will cover (for instance no tree branches hanging over the home, house has to qualify for wind mitigation and needs to pass an inspection for it if you have a chance at anything resembling a decent price on your homeowners insurance).

    There is still a lot of nature in Florida for now, with all of the good and bad. If you’re from New York City or other areas where they have a lot of theater and cultural things, there will be less of that in Florida (though those things do exist, but more in the larger cities). If you enjoy nature stuff, Florida can be an awesome place (just watch out for the critters). Most of the best places are not where the tourists are and quite a few are still free. If you are a senior, check on senior passes for Federal and state parks.

    If you move to Florida, but most of your family will remain in another state and you’re close with them, think about moving long and hard. If you are a close family, you will miss them and it will be hard to enjoy your new digs, It is harder for most people to make new friends as they age since they tend not get out as much. You can make new friends, but you need to get out to accomplish that.

    Best of luck to everyone, no matter what you decide.

    • Hello Enlev,
      Thanks for sharing your your thoughts on the pros and cons of living in Florida. You’ve obviously lived in Florida for awhile, so your take on living in Florida is more realistic that those who have only visited the state as tourist who often believe their current state of residence offers only negatives and Florida is utopia.

      However, the Florida Move Guide explains the many reasons why buying an older home in Florida to save money can be a huge mistake. That’s based upon helping 1000’s of people buy, and sell, as they move into and out of Florida. The book also explains why the cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is spiraling out of control. It’s an issue with no solution on the horizon that will continue to get worse and make Florida homes even harder to afford while pushing more people from the state because they can’t afford it any longer.
      _____
      Ron Stack “The Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

      _____

  5. South Florida sucks for real. Lived there 45 years. Great if you like crowded and sweating 24/7. And lots of crime.

  6. “I won’t be happy until I sell my house and move to anywhere in FLORIDA!” This is what I’ve heard over the last 5 years. What has happened since then is that more people have flooded into every inch of the State than ever before. New construction is booming, housing costs are sky high, taxes are getting just as high as where you relocated from and traffic is a mess. Ah! Home sweet home Florida. That real estate broker who sold you your home is now calling you a year later to see if you’re interested in selling due to that huge equity jump. How smart were you to time it all so perfectly? Brokers/Agents realize that after the initial “honeymoon stage” ends, many will feel differently over packing up and going “all in” and made the biggest mistake of their lives. But how will I explain this to my family and friends who I tortured with online “Beach pics with the corona bottle in front of my wiggling toes”? Equity! The perfect answer to why you are selling out after the short stint in “Paradise Acres”. You can’t go back home so, “Off to the Carolinas!” Yes, I will feel much better because, “I honestly miss the seasons” Don’t be fooled into believing that a little snow is worse than Extreme heat, Extreme humidity, Cockroaches (excuse me; palmetto bugs), Lizards, Crazy Snakes, Alligators, Red Army Ants, Spiders , Termites, Rats, Iguanas, Millipedes and Centipedes and many, many more. Don’t be a cliche’! Rent a place for a few months and get a true feel for the “Real Florida”. P.S. Don’t even bother if you need a career; a job is all you’ll find.

    • Yes no careers here just service industry. MS degree doesn’t mean a thing, in fact it is a detriment. Fun spot for a few years and then one day you realize it’s never going to change
      Oh did I mention it has the Worst food in the county?

  7. I’m literally in tears right now. My husband is set to fly to FL next week to meet with a realtor and tour the Palm Coast area. We are in our early 60s, we left Seattle when we retired and moved to Colorado to be close to our son. He relocated for work about 9 months after we moved here. We don’t want to stay. We are tired of the snow and cold, we don’t know anyone, we don’t like the lack of culture and diversity. Denver is only an hour away for all those things, but with young dogs, we just can’t go to Denver at the drop of a hat. We don’t like hiking, skiing, you can only look at so many mountains and trees before it gets boring/routine.

    So where do we move? We’ve only vacationed in FL in the winter and thought that we could tolerate the oppressive climate for 4-5 months a year, but it sounds like the weather is almost always awful. I’ve never done well in the heat/humidity – I sweat a LOT. We lived for years in DC and I never really got used to it. After reading this article, we won’t be following our neighbors to the Palm Coast. The search continues… The Carolinas? Scottsdale? Can’t afford CA and can’t stand the politics there.

    I’m heartbroken…. the hunt continues.

    • HOA’S are insane!. Everything has become HOA’S. Most $1000.00 a month or more. HOA’S in Florida have more power in Florida then the Supreme Court! In the Sarasota wealthy area’s they allow you to do 2 things. Walk in your house and walk out!
      Oh, a most are maintenance free now and that is a extra $600 a month for no yard. Snobby older people and nobody talks to their neighbors.
      I’m never see anyone on the beach behind my house. Because nobody that lives on the beach goes out there, including myself.
      Too hot and too much trouble to use your boat. Too much traffic to drive to all these wonderful places Florida has to offer.
      Forget about service in Florida. It’s not their career.
      The servers come and go every week and if you asked questions in Florida the answer will be “I don’t Know.” None of your friends will work in Florida and you should be able to drink like your in college! People driving drunk everywhere because Floridans view Public Transportation as embarrassing and a sign of low class. Even the school buses ride around empty which causes traffic jams at each school everywhere.
      Not going to bother talking about the bugs,mosquitoes,snakes..humid, hot climate. That would take all day. Did I mention people are not friendly and because of the older,older,older crowd they become bitter and hateful. If you have any kind of incident the Police or anyone will side with the elderly.
      No cheap places to dine on the beaches. Just had a 28 dollar hamburger and 18$ margarita today. No hotdogs or food stands everywhere like Jersey.
      Sorry, I’ll just say it…If your not wealthy you will be miserable unless you move to small town in the North Panhandle in the state and most of those are bad news now.
      I think everyone should stay 2 months before moving to Florida.

      • move to brooksville fl it isway cheaper then sarasota and every one in brooksville fl likes every one else and if one ofyou diesthere arealotmoresinglewomen in brooksville then men so if youarea wideo livinginsaradsota you areloaded buthave no husband andyouareold andyour kids do notwantyouand therearea lotof old men in brooksvillethatare still alive andtheirwifehasdied at 80

        • Just a note, Brooksville Florida is not recommended by this website because both property and violent crime are far higher than the national average. As a result, some less expensive homes can be found there because people generally move from such areas if they can afford to, and avoid moving to them if in the first place if they are aware of the facts.
          _____
          Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

          • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

          _____

    • I moved to brooksville Florida back in 2011 it was ok for awhile. I can’t disrespect good Florida people that was born there most farmers I knew would help a person out but the Yankees is another story brooksville is a redneck town that is growing slowly only if the drug addicts would leave if you do decide to move to Florida I’d be real careful who you trust even old people are shady it’s all about money and drugs in Florida even old people are hooked on the crap.

    • Holy crap! DO NOT move to Palm Coast!

  8. Currently live in Ohio most of my life and hate the Winters. Husband and I have been looking to move to either Gulf Breeze or Navarre area the past year and been down several times and working with local Realtor but home prices are too high for what you get not to mention having to update them and HOA’s are a negative for me. I HATE the traffic on Hwy 98 and crowds. I would prefer to live in Milton Fl area or Garcon Pointe as you’d have some space between you and your neighbor and housing prices are a little better. My husband want to be close to beach to swim/paddle board most days or be in Holley By The Sea neighborhood so he can use rec center. Were in our late 50’s and I dont want to regret moving here. He’s able to work from home, id need to find a new job and having a mortage again my husband thinks its no big deal. Hes just worried about being live somewhere to get to beach within 20 – 25 minutes to bike, swim, workout. I want to be away from the masses and raise a few chickens. Were looking to move before late spring any advice?

    • Hello Marie,
      Your question seems to be more marital advice, and if you knew me, I’d be the last person you’d be asking for that. Dear Abby I am not. I do have a few thoughts however…

      Buy 2 homes, one that will make you happy and one that will work for him, but agree to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together. Just kidding.

      This is just an observation after almost 40 years of selling homes, mostly to couples because that’s who makes up most of the residential market.
      When the wife wants to buy here, but the husband wants to buy there, the home they buy is less likely to have to be resold in a short period of time, if they buy where the wife wants. If they move where hubby wants, sometimes we have to sell it again because of divorce. The moral? Happy wife, happy life.

      Of course, the ideal situation would be to agree to keep looking, learning and discussing, until a home and location that is ideal for both presents itself, whenever that may be (your agent will just love that idea).

      If you don’t absolutely have to find a place right now, and winter in Ohio is the issue, perhaps renting a seasonal rental 1-3 months every winter in a different location may help you discover the ideal place.

      Sometimes when people pressure themselves to find the perfect place right now, it can make doing so next to impossible. Often, after people “give up” and just enjoy themselves, the perfect solution walks up and bites them in the arse.
      Good luck you two.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

      _____

    • Rent first, some apartments are an eyesore—->>dont believe the pix, layout, design on websites, they’re unrealistic in FL. Check all places yourself before making decisions. Do not hurry, so you won’t regret. See if you can tolerate bugs, heat, sun, wrinkles, humidity. Unfriendly fake locals. “Upgraded apartment” is a lie unless it’s 3,000.00 a month. House repair claims means increased policy. A brief heavy rain bring floods in some area. Open Lizards Zoo along sidewalk. Guard/stand by the delivery truck during loading and unloading— moving thieves(guys) are very common(one example). Already thinking of moving out after being here only a month. Get a place where out-of-state folks are; preferably newer development. Roads are narrower and parking is a problem. Etc……….

    • Don’t do it! If your husband insists – leave him to rot in Florida. This is hell!!!!!

  9. I was seriously thinking about moving to the Palm Coast, from Santa Fe NM. The mask mandates and Democrat governor… is maddening! I hate the heat… so I’ve been struggling with the decision. I think I’ll wait it out here on my 10 private acres..I don’t think I would like to live in a subdivision … almost gives me the creeps…. Thanks to everyone that gave advice!! Grass is not always greener…..

  10. Think you want to move to Florida, think again.
    Health care is from the middle ages. Need medication, doctors here won’t write a prescription for anything stronger than aspirin, the state threatens them against prescribing most pills. Heed the warning stay away !
    In 5 years, haven’t found one good doctor. All they know how to do is tell you to get a blood test, go to therapy, or refer you to a specialist. One of my gp’s did an ekg and told me I had a stroke or heart attack. Three days later the cardiologist looked at the same chart and stated ” she read it wrong.”
    Another go who I pleaded with for two months to make a referral to a neurosurgeon totally ignored my request. After finding a surgeon who would see me without a referral, an Mri revealed a crushed disk in the l section of my spine.
    Stay away !
    Dentists are the same. Every tooth that was worked on is either sore or in worse shape after the work. Had a filling on a front tooth for years, it started to show a dark line between the tooth and filling. Had it fixed, fell off after 2 years. Lost another filling that was in place for years. Different dentist said it was to big to be filled pulled it and attached a one tooth Bridge. Cost, $2800.00. Results: Pain and headache everyday.
    Other cons, expenses for yardwork and maintenance high.
    Heat and humidity ruin everything including your car.
    Have a pool, high maintenance costs
    Traffic very high along coastal areas, roads can’t handle it,
    Home insurance among some of the highest in the country
    Property taxes getting out of control
    Crime on the rise
    Low paying jobs
    Do your research if you think you want to move here
    Me,, when the housing slows down I’ll be on the first train back to georgia

    Property taxes

    • I am glad you wrote this post , I am thinking of moving back to Florida from New York , but I think I’ll
      Look elsewhere.

  11. Apologies to the author. I read your book before moving to FL but unfortunately did not heed the warning. I have now lived in the NW part of FL for 10 years. It does not get better. My advice would be Do not move here if you still want to work. There are no good jobs and if you find one your coworkers will bully or berate you until you resign. The medical care is beyond substandard. Not sure why older adults move here. And on a lighter note, good luck getting a decent haircut. I have seriously thought about returning to my home state just for a haircut. I now own a home but can hardly wait to sell it and go somewhere with the basics of living. Particularly since my neighbors told me I better not build a fence or they would be a nightmare for me. Ahhh… friendly Florida.

    • Ahhh….gotta love NW Florida. Never, ever, in all my years have I ever encountered so many rude people as I have in the NW panhandle. It’s not even the young ones, it’s the middle aged and elderly. Just downright rude. And it’s the “native Floridians” who are the rudest. Please and Thank you isn’t in their vocabulary, nor is excuse me, may I, or I’m sorry. The IQ of the “locals” is very low…..most cashiers can’t count change, people can’t follow simple directions. It’s very hard to adjust to being surrounded by so much stupidity and negativity. No one here is happy. It’s a s***hole. And the worst part is, these people think they are normal!

  12. We moved here December 2015. Found a bottom floor condo rental in Tampa January 2016. It was a good price for the location but I had to do A LOT of work to clean it (prior renter was a chain smoker). It was 1100 sq. ft. with original, OLD, barely working kitchen appliances. Water was included. 2 beds, 2 baths, length of apt. screened lanai, and we lived right next to the pool and laundry room outbuilding. Our screened lanai overlooked the mangroves and it was a small thoroughfare into Tampa Bay where boats went by often. We had our own dock to put a boat, but we only flew our kayaks there. Sunsets were glorious. Rent was $1,100.00. Life was good. Quiet and peaceful. Lived through the drama of hurricane Irma there.
    Rent was raised to $1,200.00 our third year and we had to leave a year later. 2019 ~ Luckily I found a place in Bellair. 940 sq. ft., old hotel-like complex, tiny elevator to get furniture up to 2nd floor. Freshly painted, 1 bed, 1 bath. Included water, wifi, basic cable; nice! $1,125.00 Bedroom was huge. Kitchen was a serious upgrade. The huge fridge actually worked, AND, had an ice maker. Woohoo!
    *downside = batpoop crazy landlord woman
    During the raging pandemic March 2020 she informed us that she was selling the condo and that we had 30 days to move. Of course she was wrong. And 10 days after putting it up for sale she sent us that info, in which I corrected her. If sold we had 60 days in which to vacate. Soon thereafter her deal fell through. Miraculously! After a few showings, with strangers touching things within our dwelling we told them we were no longer letting in-person viewings to take place. We also reiterated that we would be remaining through to the end of our lease. (end of May 2020) All the while trying to find another place to rent, with as little contact as possible, and something that would not need exorbitant cash to make happen. Our jobs were all gone in 2020. And zero unemployment benefits.
    Up the road in Clearwater an apartment complex had movers move you in for free. (several hours of help, then charge an hourly fee) We didn’t mind. It was cheaper and way easier than doing it all ourselves. Ran us about $250.00.
    So now we live in a 700 sq. ft. apartment. Paying $1,110.00
    1 bed, 1 bath, 1 tiny screened in catch-all. Pay water. (it’s at least $120.00 per month, just the 2 of us, who conserve) Pay wifi only, no TV cable. ($60.00) Duke Energy (non-stop airco year round) This is also the first place that they demand renters insurance on top of the rest. (it’s not much money, but cannot be avoided) So, the smallest place costs us the most. And the second floor stairs are at the very end, left or right. We’re smack dab in the middle of the second floor which is nice and quiet for any foot traffic, but a pain when coming & going. I imagine when moving from here my things will get whittled down to nothing because it’s so difficult to maneuver and keep schlepping around. At 700 sq. ft. I still have boxes taking up 1/3 of my living room space. Weber grill (sadly) untouched for 3 years now, in the catch-all screened porch area. Bikes and decor, gardening gear, all gathering dust/dirt and moisture damage I’m sure.
    I am working pretty consistently at a local funeral home. No great income. Just enough to cover rent each month. Still no luck with full time work anywhere. Never outside unless walking to shops up the corner. No more beach trips. Sun hates me now. I am pale, growing old. [today I turned 56] Have made zero friends here in the almost 6 years living here. Finding no one of substance. *or, attention span longer than a few minutes
    It’s the weirdest place I have ever lived.
    {have lived in MS, Vegas, NJ, PA, and Aruba}
    This is the poorest I have ever been. And the loneliest. I hope I get out with my life! Just not so sure where to go. Out of the south preferably.

    Too bloody hot and humid to even think!
    I long for fresh, cool air. You know, the kind where you can actually open your windows in your home.
    And the traffic is INSANE!

    Better have LOTS & LOTS of money to live comfortably here. Otherwise it is nothing but struggle.

    Working towards my escape plan.

    Good Luck

  13. I want to thank everybody that voiced their opinion about having lived or are currently living in Florida.
    Husband and I have been thinking off moving to the Tampa area after enjoyed 2 vacations there 10 hears ago. (;
    After reading all the comments we have decided against it and will keep Florida as a vacation destination.
    My neighbors moved to Winter haven a few days ago. They are driving cross country right now. (From Oregon).
    Again….thanks to all for the enlightenment! Lol.
    Best wishes for everybody!
    Mona.

    • My entire family left Florida. We lived there since 1984 and I was the first to leave in 1998. My family followed with the last two leaving after two of the homes they owned worth 1.2 million were over sinkholes requiring filled cement to save them and then losing half the investment. HOT does not cover it. Heat stroke does. Horrible mosquitos and roach problems and the crime has gone through the roof. We are Hawaiian and Florida was our home away from home. We all moved up North now. NC, MI, WA, and NY. Never going back.

  14. Hello, I have lived in Florida for 27 years, born and raised. I am SO OVER IT. The heat and humidity makes everything unenjoyable. Walk my trash to the curb and have to take another shower. The insects, all in your mouth and nose crawling up to your brain. Lovebug season HA good luck trying to keep the paint on your car. The traffic… GOOD LUCK trying to get anywhere. Road rage is horrible, people cant drive for s**t. The people are rude, homeless at every corner, crime sucks. I can go on and on, anyone who wants to move here needs to rethink. I am probably going to be moving to Colorado in the near future, I’d rather my toes fall off from frost bite then spend another F’ing summer in this s**t state….

  15. Too many people are moving to FL. School systems can’t handle the influx. Too much traffic and road rage. Wait until a hurricane comes and all the new “Floridians” will be running!

  16. I live in Tampa Florida and I despise it. Quality of life has consistently diminished over the past 10-15 years as a result of the influx of foreign transplants. Housing costs are astronomical for what you get. Crime is on the rise. Traffic is problematic. Summer lasts waaayyyyy too long resulting in having to stay indoors a large part of the time. Public school systems are inferior. Wish I had never moved here.

  17. I’ve lived in Florida for 25 years , trying to move out but the money is low . Florida is a huge lie . They do report chamber of commerce weather . It’s BS . It’s ALWAYS cloudy. It’s always rainy . Ever wonder why there’s so many tanning salons here ,and not only do they do quite well Florida is the biggest tanning salon use than any state in the country. that’s why everyone is orange . I’ve a pool , not heated , now I know why everyone had a heated pool here in the ” sunshine” state , the pool stays cold . The average high temp here is 80-85 degrees ,the humidity is what’s high , you need high heat to heat a pool. Humidity does not heat pools. Total waisted money to buy a pool here . Just never gets used . It’s to cloudy , stormy .
    Florida is flat and ridiculously boring . Drive 100 miles and it looks the same . Nothing here is sexy , exotic , or adventureous . They’ve Disney here ..but come on , not a child . Been there done that , and well….just ” c’mon people “. REALLY .?! THE FOOD IS AWFUL ,WRENCHING AND NO IMAGINATION . People dress like clowns no self respect for themselves or others .
    I can go on and on ..but I’ve waisted to much of my time . I know because I live here ..others I know that have moved here feel the same .it’s a GREAT BIG LIE.
    COME ON OUT , YOU’LL SEE . IT REALLY IS A SOUR STATE .
    ENJOY!

  18. We are looking to move to Jacksonville or Callahan from Idaho. Both my husband’s job and mine are transferrable so that is not the problem. When comparing the two states we actually found that Florida will be cheaper to live in than Idaho since housing is crazy in Idaho. You can get a house for over $350,000 with about the same fees as Florida. The education system sucks here in Idaho, gas is almost $4 a gallon, and good luck on affordable produce. We love waterways and exploring. Heat and humidity do not bother us. Also, some of my family is already living there and the rest will be moving there from California.

  19. Why I DO NOT want the Florida that you believe YOU want.
    1. I’m not willing to uproot my entire life and remove myself from my entire family and friends just to trade them in for a fantasy life of sunshine dreams and unicorns. Florida has more than its share of crime, gangs, drugs and homelessness. It’s the same as many other places; just with more boats and convenience gas marts. You WILL miss your family and lifelong friends.
    2. Florida’s geographical location is in that ‘bullseye zone” for storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic every June 1-Nov 30. It has been more than a decade since the State of Florida has been decimated by high Cat hurricanes. Newer residents have no idea what life is like when one of these “Monsters” come through town. Long time residents basically hold their breath during this time or snow bird it to the Carolinas.
    3. I’ve been to Disney and realize that the yearly resident dream pass will render itself useless after a season or two. Mickey and Minnie are simple house pests anyway. Once a resident, you will find yourself avoiding large tourist crowds, as you proudly coin yourself as a “resident”
    4. Gated type community living is rampant in Florida. To me, this is not far off from living in a glorified correctional facility. The strict rules of these communities limit the freedoms and privileges of its residents in the name of “maintaining a specific standard” “If I want to paint my door green, I’ll paint my door green”. Also, many quickly learn to over-use the Hawaiian born word “lanai” and repeat it often as they are impressed that they now have one. Not to worry, most of you will enjoy your neighbors lanai as well. Conversations, echoing from their beautiful lanai will be an earshot away from your new private paradise. The idea of paying those reasonable HOA fees are justified when purchasing that new dream home, but the value will truly be measured over time. As rates drastically rise, due to the increases needed for services and repairs, residents feel the real squeeze in their wallets, as they quickly reach golden year status on that fixed income.. Time to uproot again!
    5. Wild pigs, wild coyote packs and more species of snakes, frogs and lizards than you ever imagined! Honorable mention goes out to that friendly 10 foot Gatorsaurus Rex you named when it was a cute little pond swimmer, “WHO’S MORE AFRAID OF YOU, THAN YOU ARE OF IT”. Don’t forget to look under your car before taking that afternoon ride to that signature beach. Not to worry, many of the snakes in Florida are harmless, unless of course you step on one. Did you know that alligators do not have a brain and will eat anything when hungry? This makes it very difficult to have pets. Also, small children need to be restricted from playing in the yard near any water or tall grass (remember those cute little snakes?)………… Still thinking about those “Wild Pigs?” I almost forget a to mention the insects disguised as alien roaches. Ah, just forget it. I want to leave something for the imagination.
    6. Thousands are currently choosing Florida as the “Relocation State”, and believe they have found out life’s secret formula, just as you have. Soon, over-population issues will bring you right back to the conditions you fled up there in that that over-taxed, snow-covered unbearable place, that you couldn’t wait to leave. You remember that place right? That place where you left your family and friends and now get upset because they haven’t traveled thousands of miles to gawk at your new beginnings? Besides, we all saw it already on. FB. Residents constantly complain that the tourists are ruining everything. You know, those “tourists’ disguised as residents?
    7. “Swamp Hot” is never enjoyable. Waking up at 4 am to get a round of golf “in” before that oppressive sun rises doesn’t appeal to me “at all”. The last time I played, I felt “rushed” by the other golfers, who obviously employ the technique of “speed golf” during the hot months in order to check a box to validate their existence in paradise; not too enjoyable for me. On the plus side, one can play later in the day for a discount. The only problem is that it may conflict with dinner time (which starts @ 4pm)
    8. The idea of owning a golf cart to get around is so novel and appealing, until you are stuck driving behind the block watchers, who are out on community patrol, writing down the license plates of every car that is present in their community and reporting drivers labeled “speed demons”, who recklessly race over the speed bumps at 15 mph. You’ll find your license plate listed on the community bulletin board at that clubhouse you are no longer impressed by.
    9. I prefer having more than 2 seasons other than “unbearably oppressive” and “not too humid”. A proper comfortable “Fall” season is something I look forward to. I maintain winter just fine and am not afraid of snowfall. I truly believe that a big reason some move to Florida is to prod people up North when it is snowing on them. It’s partially true. No, really, it is. I’ve been party to thousands of conversations where people attribute their relocation 100% because of “not wanting to shovel snow” HERE’S A NEWSFLASH “You can hire a snow removal service”…. and still keep your family and friends close.
    10. Increasing Taxes, Water pollution, Sink Holes, Invasive Species, Congestion and Lack of Efficient Transportation are major concerns right now in the State of Florida. It appears to me that the idyllic concept of a Florida retirement doesn’t have the appeal it offered 25 years ago.

    There are many beautiful and wonderful places to retire, that offer so many “grass is greener”opportunities. On that note, I think I’ll stay put.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You can always tell the difference between people who…
      1) “Know” Florida because they visited as a tourist but haven’t lived there yet (that’s how I was before I moved, I thought I knew Florida because I had visited dozens of times).
      2) Have just moved to Florida and are still enjoying the honeymoon period (this is when we are most infectious spreading the paradise myth).
      3) People who have lived in Florida long enough to know what it’s really like.

      Before the move to Florida, the pro con list of living to Florida is all pros
      During the honeymoon period, it’s still mostly all pros
      After people have lived in Florida for a number of years, the list can be all, or mostly all, cons/negatives for many. When they reach this point they either leave the state, or remain and become one of the many grumpy old people in Florida. Of course this doesn’t happen to everyone, just ask a real estate agent “everybody happy in paradise!”
      Thanks again Frank.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
  20. The truth is many Floridians do not want transplants from other states so they will make you believe it is a horrible place.

    IME this is true. You can sort of tell the “fake” complaints. There’s a lot of resentment towards transplants, snowbirds (mostly New Yorkers). They complain about the transplants and snowbirds who complain about everything else. They don’t like the crowds, the traffic, they’re getting priced out, etc. I hear more people complain about the snowbirds than the other way. That said, don’t come here and drive like a Nyer, don’t blow your horn, don’t complain about the pizza or bagels (rolls eyes), or how slow service is. Don’t cozy up to anyone too easy. There’s a lot of fake people who will act like a friend. Like everywhere, Florida has it’s high points and low. Love it or hate it.

  21. Moved to southwest FL a few years ago.
    Pros: Weather, cleaner air, fresh seafood, beach, palm trees, blue skies, family here.
    Cons: Rains EVERY day in summer and I have to haul the cushions in and out from the wicker sectional every day.
    You can’t sit in the grass unless you want to be eaten alive by fire ants and sit in scratchy crab grass a.k.a. St.
    Augustine grass. Watch out for gators and snakes if you hike. NO swimming in fresh water ponds/lakes in Florida.
    Half the summer, boating and beach subjected to red tide that chokes you.
    Have to wear 50 spf sunblock all the time or you will get skin cancer and premature wrinkling.
    Haven’t made any friends my age. People unfriendly northerners and ALL 75 to 80 and up. (I’m early 60s).
    Tons of foreigners and people from far northern states who are “snowbirds”. “Season” causes crowding beyond
    belief at restaurants, stores, medical, traffic, beach, etc. Prices go up during season too – even groceries.
    H.O.A. fees in 99% of neighborhoods so you can have the privilege of having to go through gates to visit anyone
    and having to “call in” anyone who visits. The old people ride around in subdivisions on golf carts blocking cars.
    Zero architectural interest/imagination in “developer” communities (99% of real estate) – all cookie cutter houses 8
    feet apart with nasty elderly neighbors and h.o.a. boards. You could walk in wrong house if you have a few drinks.
    Horrible medical situation. Impossible to get an M.D. to see you when you’re sick, even though you are an
    “established patient”. They’ll have nurses see you instead. Most M.D.’s (and lots of D.O.s) either foreign
    immigrants or foreign trained. Florida ranked 48th among states. Very “corporate” feel to medical care (not in
    a good way). Tons of “concierge” doctors springing up so the wealthy don’t have this problem. I did find a great
    dentist.
    No locally elected prosecutors – traveling lawyers farmed out from Tallahassee attorney general. Tons of traffic
    police generate revenue (likely from lack of state income tax). Bored fish patrol with attitude harasses boaters.
    Lower wages and most employers want cheaper 20 somethings. The mature, experienced and/or educated need
    not apply to most positions.
    Most people are into golf (I’m not).
    You’ll have to spend around $5000 to treat your home’s water (FL water is actually yellow to green and nasty).
    Don’t get me wrong. I am a friendly, outgoing, fun loving, educated person. It was a shock moving here.
    It’s mostly the unfriendly nature and extreme old age of the people that gets to me. I think the pros outweigh the
    other stuff (maybe not the medical). Husband absolutely loves it here (he has a rewarding full time job). I’m
    hoping more of our old friends move here eventually or that I somehow meet more people my own age.

    • Update. It has now been close to 5 years of living in SW Florida year round. I’m liking it less and less. The overcrowding is getting much worse since the pandemic. Sons may never afford a house here and they’ve had to move around due to rents literally doubling and more. The housing and rent markets have become a greed fest here. A dated dump of a house goes for half a million plus (with no pool on a postage stamp lot jammed up next to neighbors). I recently walked through a Lennar model (mega corporate builder of cookie cutter, overpriced, less than ideally constructed homes with no options to truly customize) in a subdivision where homes are on top of each other that costs $2 million because it is “on the water”, lol – a swampy large man-made pond, not the beach. The subdivision is newer and has a lovely club house, etc. – for which you will pay a fortune in H.O.A. fees and follow extremely strict rules or pay dearly and immediately should you rebel in the slightest. Summers get more oppressive each year I live here with the constant rain every day. My face is aging at an accelerated rate even though I wear sunblock. The sun is just that intense here. My hair never used to be this frizzy either and I have to wear it up due to heat and humidity. The maintenance of our new house is expensive and annoying. I wipe down the shower every day or mold and mildew will immediately infest the grout. The tile roof costs over $700+/year to clean or it gets black mold – and you pray that the guy won’t break the tile stepping on it wrong (he won’t tell you if he does, btw). Next is the hundreds for pressure washing the gutters and soffits. We also need to pay landscapers to weed eat and trim trees and edge even though hubby enjoys riding around on his tractor to cut the grass. The water treatment system needs salt and filters and maintenance (which hubby has to do because we can’t find anyone to do it). The pool’s basic maintenance costs $125/month plus we’ve already had to replace the chlorinator (cost over $2000) and I recently replaced the local pool supply company that was “servicing” our pool when it got a scale line due to neglect/incompetence and had no chlorine when we checked it ourselves. The quality of service in this area is sinful and a lack of honesty and accountability is prevalent. It’s the old supply and demand law and if you don’t like it then someone else is waiting to take your place. We have to power wash the lanai and pool area to remove mold around the inside of the pool cage also. We also have to pay an annual H.O.A. fee even though the deed restrictions are not enforced and some residents are truly awful slobs. The pond (we built in an older subdivision on an acre with a pond – a freak find in Florida) is a constant source of aggravation to me – calls to nuisance gator control and removal of invasive weeds and you can’t walk around it because you can’t treat for weeds or insects within 10 feet of the pond, so chiggers and no-see-ums are an issue too and weeds need to be pulled by hand until the needed filtering plants can propagate enough to survive. Hoping it will be more manageable when they finally become established. Still haven’t met anyone my age to hang with. Tried volunteering at a charity store, but the paid employees called me a “gringo” and the paid manager (no college education) lectured me on “the mission” when I was volunteering with a smile on my face – as in for free! I couldn’t take the ignorance, so I had to stop volunteering. Medical care is still frightening. Decent dentists don’t take dental insurance, so I have to pay up front and pray to get reimbursed by insurance – currently appealing (had to send written mailed letter) to insurance company over a flippin’ filling! Just came home from box hardware store where a rude young “born and raised in Florida” guy tried to cut in line in front of me and when I told him to mind his manners, he got smart and asked me where I’m from. I said Florida (we aren’t snowbirds, which is what he was implying in order to imply some sort of privilege and injustice imparted on him, lol). I should have said obviously not Florida because where I come from (the Midwest) we have manners and don’t cut in line and then get mouthy with our elders when they don’t let us get away with it. Florida is NOT the south, like wonderful South Carolina, where I’ve had the pleasure to live years ago and gentility actually existed. At this point, I think the cons are surpassing the pros. Fox News keeps telling North-easterners to move here and they are – in droves. This past season, you could not get through a traffic light without it changing at least twice. Forget about spontaneous dinners out at a restaurant. Went down to “Artis” Naples for my birthday and they made my husband take my purse back to the car in the pouring rain because some idiot woman taking tickets decided it was “oversized” (it’s not) – after making us show proof of vaccination to get in at all to watch a 75 year old man pretend to be Mick Jagger for the audience of 75 to 85 year olds. Are we having fun yet??? I honestly think this place sucks at this point, but husband goes to work each day in his high powered career and gets to travel and loves it here because it never freezes and has palm trees. I’m really really trying to find ways to enjoy each day and keep positive, but I really really have to work at it here since closing my business and leaving my friends for “paradise”. The palms and birds aren’t exotic to me anymore, but I still enjoy their beauty. I’ve guess I’ve grown accustomed to the tropical scenery. Husband is supposed to retire in a few years, so I’m hanging in there for now. If you are extremely wealthy, I’m sure you will find Southwest Florida a great place to be a snowbird in as long as you don’t mind crowded living, but you will still need to go back up north if you get sick or want to enjoy summers without oppressive heat and humidity and rain every day. My advice – think twice before you move here. Seriously.

  22. UNDECIDED ABOUT RELOCATING
    My husband and I are retired and living in coastal Maine for almost 20 years. We have been considering relocating to Florida to be closer to my son who lives there. Many of these posts have been so helpful because I’ve been struggling with the heat and humidity issue- and now the crime and poor health care issues. We have no crime where we live now — maybe a few petty thefts, but nothing serious. Our real estate taxes are very low as are our auto and homeowner’s insurance. Although we have a high sales tax, everything else is quite reasonable and our weather on the coast is no worse than in Pennsylvania (where we used to live). Although we get snow, we don’t have to contend with hurricanes, alligators, snakes, etc.

    We lived in the mountains of central Mexico for a few years and I found the 70-80 degree weather with NO humidity oppressive. Eventually, I longed to be able to breath some cold, fresh air. That makes me wonder how I could survive in Florida. My son tells me winters in Florida are wonderful. lol But what about the rest of the year? The more I read on this site, the more doubtful I am about relocating to Florida because as real estate prices climb in our area, we may never be able to afford to move back again if we leave. It is also impossible for us to “try” living in Florida for a period of time because we have 7 dogs, which brings me to another issue . . . where to find a home where we can have our dogs that isn’t located in the swampy boondocks?

    I also thought medical care in Florida would be much better than here in Maine, but I’ve read that this isn’t true at all. We don’t have the biggest and best hospitals, but it is easy to obtain good medical care and we are treated very personally – not like a number. So now I’m wondering, what’s the point of moving. Thanks for all your posts. They have really been helpful and have given me a lot to think about. One thing is for sure, I won’t be jumping into any decision quickly.

    • 3/27/21
      New Englander that returned from Florida and glad to be back. Florida became too expensive, congested traffic at all hours, hard to find medical providers, lots of crime and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Houses now are way overpriced. With 7 dogs it would be a monumental challenge to find housing. Auto, homeowners insurance are increasing with homeowners expected to increase by double digits. I’ve been looking in Maine for retirement and spent lots of time in the mid-coast area before going to Florida.

    • It doesn’t say the date on your post so maybe you’ve already made your decision. I would say if you found a wonderful, lovely, unbelievably fabulous 70-80 degree weather with no humidity oppressive, you would detest Florida. The humidity cuts down on your sense of being able to breath. I used to live in southern Alabama and Georgia. At 95 degrees in the shade, the humidity makes it unbearable and you will leave that shade tree to dash into an air conditioned house with wringing wet clothes. It usually rains every day in Florida for a little while in the middle of the day — just to help create that wonderful ambience of humidity. I now live in west texas. The heat is hot in the summer but with very low humidity, it’s amazing how many things you can do outside even in the 100’s.

    • Medical care in Florida is the worst. If you have a legitimate need for pain pills or muscle relaxers don’t come here. These Dr’s are scared to death to write scripts.
      Also the quality of the doctors is sub standard. If you do come here make sure your teeth are in good shape. Or bring lots of money

    • I have been living on the east coast of Florida for the past 5 years. My 4 kids love it (they are all teens/young adults now and are very involved in tennis and fishing. They do not want to return to cold Illinois because they can’t do these things all year round.) However, I second the idea of Florida being terrible for medical care. We have a great need for medical care since my husband has Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease but have not found even satisfactory care where we live. Trying to move closer to Gainesville now so he can eventually have his surgery there at the hospital. Mayo’s in Jacksonville or the major hospital in Gainesville by the college (sorry, can’t think of the exact name at the moment!) are very good. Other than that, good luck with medical care in Florida. As far as the humidity, our entire family has adjusted to the humidity here. I will say that it was rough the first year. I think it is better on the east coast than on the gulf. Also, there is red tide which is the main reason we are on the east coast. Don’t regret that part at all.

    • I work in medicine and the shortage of physicians in Florida is becoming a serious issue. Up to 1 year wait to establish as a new patient. New residents are disappointed who move here.

  23. About living in Sarasota Florida…

    * People who live there think they’re better than people who live in Bradenton.
    * All the affordable restaurants are chains.
    * It’s so humid year-round, your clothes get mildew just hanging in the closet, and you have to power wash the mold off your roof every three years, or when the HOA threatens to fine you if you don’t, whichever occurs first.
    * There are no native Floridians.
    * People drive 50 miles one-way to fly out of Tampa, because fares are usually $50 cheaper, then pay $150 to park there for a week.
    * Every new subdivision has a model called “The Tuscany”, which bears no resemblance to anything in Italy.
    * According to the ads for those subdivisions, everyone who lives there spends their evenings in their pool cage, standing around in formal dress, sipping expensive wine and looking bored with it all.
    * If you like White Castle hamburgers, know that the only place you’ll find them is in the freezer section at Publix.
    * Owning a pool is a dream come true, until you find out that the monthly maintenance costs more than your house payment.
    * Walt Disney World is conveniently just an hour-and-a-half away, but a single-park 1-day ticket costs more than one year of pool maintenance.
    * The Welcome Wagon Hostess is an alligator who surprises you by showing up in your front yard and eating your dog.
    * The population breakdown is:
    – 20% whose primary concern is where they’re sitting at the opera,
    – 20% who bemoan that Ford no longer makes the Crown Vic,
    – 20% are yuppies with large trust accounts running red lights in their Bimmers,
    – 20% who put a “Salt Life” sticker on the rear window of their SUV, hoping it gives the impression that they own a boat, and
    – 20% who eventually grow weary of it all, and move to the Carolinas.

    • Love this. I’m now 69. I lost my husband 5 years ago (and about lost my mind). He was 62 and was supposed to get a heart transplant – went through all the tests and was approved. Then, at the last minute, we were told his legs were too blocked and they couldn’t do the procedure. I was to just take him home to die. This was in Gainesville. We travelled there thinking we were at the best hospital/dr. available. After 2 years of his passing (we lived in Oviedo for many years), I sold my house and went from bad to worse. I moved to Las Cruces, NM – talk about awful. No, there’s no humidity or rain, just coyotes, wolves, snakes, bugs the size of baseballs and I was constantly scared my dog was going to be eaten or attacked. I lasted there one year (all during covid) and found the last lot in a development in DeLand, FL, to buy and moved back. The week I arrived, my son told me he was moving to NC because he couldn’t afford anything in FL. I am now stuck here without my 2 grandchildren. I just can’t seem to make any good decisions. The development I live in is very nice and most of the people are very nice; however, the weather is just unbearable, especially this year. I can’t go out and plant anything or walk the dog unless it’s early in the morning. I can’t do anything unless it’s in the house in the a/c. The housing is so expensive and, if there is a home available to buy, it needs a lot of work. I want to sell my house and move (dreaded) but where? I’m sorry for venting, but if you are thinking of moving to Florida, don’t, it’s not what you think it’s going to be.

  24. To live in Florida half of the year would be great! I think many more people will be making the decision to move there as the pandemic eases (and many are because of the pandemic too). Prices are expected to rise given the shortage, so even if you don’t like the weather after a while, you should be able to sell at a nice price. It’s such a beautiful place, and there’s no 5 feet of snow and wicked cold temps.

    • Hello Gord,
      On 10/25/20 you wrote “I think many more people will be making the decision to move there as the pandemic eases (and many are because of the pandemic too). Prices are expected to rise given the shortage, so even if you don’t like the weather after a while, you should be able to sell at a nice price.”

      My response: Respectfully, what happens if/when the pandemic worsens in Florida, where there are a lot of older residents? Will people start moving form Florida? Here’s one of the headlines in the Orlando newspaper on 10/25/20, the same day you wrote your comment, Florida is on the verge of a resurgence. Do you know what would happen to Florida home prices if less move in, and even more than normal move out every day?

      You also wrote “It’s such a beautiful place, and there’s no 5 feet of snow and wicked cold temps.”

      My response: Who gets 5 feet of snow anymore? Really, because I have relatives with snowmobiles in PA that have to trailer them farther away each year just to use them. They would love 5 foot of snow. Also, today, 10/26/20, just one day after your comment, the same Orlando newspaper says this about yet another hurricane (that could totally destroy 1000’s of homes) threatens Florida. I’ve been through both multiple times, I’ll take a snowstorm over a hurricane any time.

      If we compare only the pros of Florida, to only the negatives of another place, Florida will always win but that’s true for any state. Thanks for commenting and have a great day.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
    • Congratulations, you’re now paying more in taxes for the same house. When the bubble pops, that $150,000 gain , maybe more, will disappear. In the mean time the cash you’re going to pay for higher taxes is gone forever. Hope you’re not retired on a fixed income. If you are, I hear the grocery stores in Florida are hiring baggers. Ah, paradise.

  25. Well, looks like I’ve already gotten a wakeup call from deciding to relocate to Florida from northeast Ohio. A Disabled Veteran on an extremely tight budget, looking for peace of mind, I found a house with plenty of space between me and my neighbors, but its not move in ready. Just like the previous comments, I haven’t found a house in my budget that doesn’t need a lot of work. But I don’t mind putting in sweat equity for a unique house that I hope will make me happier than living in Blaaahio!
    As an avid botanical gardener, I’m looking forward to creating a tropical paradise in my my new home knowing in advance that I’ll need to get up super early in the morning as well as invest in an artic hat lest I want my head to explode from the migraines that the heat and humidity will no doubt cause!
    And yup, my auto insurance is going up which I wasn’t prepared for. Property taxes are similar, though. So, if I stick to not indulging in the luxury of Netflix and streaming services the like then I’ll have enough money to keep food in my and my cat’s belly!
    I’m not originally from Ohio, I’m from DaBronx, NYC, but knowing the high cost of living is out of reach and my arthritic body is no longer tolerant of the cold weather, moving back to NYC was out of the question. Plus, apartment living? Where am I gonna put my kayaks?
    I really wanted to move to the mountains of North Carolina for the gorgeous landscape, change of seasons and low cost of living, but none of the real estate agents were eager to help me find my new, forever home. Giving myself the choice between the mountains or the beach and nothing working out in the Carolinas or Georgia, destiny would have me moving to Florida instead.
    The comments on here have me worried about enjoying the next chapter of my life, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be satisfied with the universe’s decision to choose Florida as my new home!
    Fingers crossed that I don’t get taken out by an alligator on my first day kayaking if the mosquitoes or the bacteria in the water don’t have their way with me first!

  26. I have been living here ( Tampa area) for four years. I do love living here, however the cost of renting an apt/house is allot considering what the average hourly pay rate is. Its not fun living in such a beautiful place if all you do is work for a house to put your stuff in. I have been renting a house in a less then desirable town for the past two years. My street is great, working people like myself, no problems, but is you drive 4 blocks away its very run down and allot of crime.

    I don’t have school age children, but the school system where I live has a rating of a 2 , so if you are moving with children that’s something to consider. There are so many people here, especially from Jan-April. I will be leaving Florida next year when my lease is up, not because I hate it, because I can buy a house with land in a southern state (no snow) for allot less and not be on top of my neighbor.

    If you are thinking of moving here do allot of research!

  27. 11/10/19 Good Luck. I just came back to the Northeast and even though it’s on the chilly side – the air is fresh, no biting ants, snakes, gators, no traffic congestion and some of the “Best in Healthcare” available in New England unlike Florida which was recently listed 48th in healthcare from the bottom. Got here and in 2 days was able to see a top doc in Boston, after years of Central Florida docs telling me was only a pulled muscle – which it wasn’t. My vehicle insurance premium went down even with a new vehicle – And – very little in the way of traffic congestion – even Boston was easier to drive than Central Florida highways. Took me close to 2 years to sell 1st realtor did not do squat so had to list with someone else. Lost lots of money with the 1st realtor. If you’re older there is little in the way of services. Sad state of affairs in Florida – glad to be out of there

    • Florida is ok to visit but not to live, I am so done with it . It’s loud bike weeks and big trucks are on my nerves , the law isn’t enforced here in Daytona at all, also they care more for the tourist than the residents . People are rude here . It is so hot and humid to enjoy. The motor bikes and motorcycles race down A1A and no one pulss them over.

  28. While on the face it may seem like a good move one would be wise to research further The general rule of thumb is you must become a resident of Florida in order to benefit from these so called breaks – meaning you would probably have to live here at least 6 months+ a few days to be a resident. States are beginning to pursue those who try to escape taxes. A 3 time/year visit probably would not qualify being a resident. Also, keep in mind Florida is rated very poorly with respect to healthcare (being 48th on the list – easily researched on the internet); lots of traffic congestion on the highways & getting worse; the heat & humidity seem to be getting worse as well. Probably the best thing to do is start a list with all the pros & cons; list all your expenses. Sometimes with moving the benefit doesn’t outweigh the cost and many folks are leaving & returning to the North.

    • Healthcare is rated low in Florida because there are waaaay to many Medicare dependent. The docs can barely make any money on you all. In fact, “we” lose about $12 for each diabetic patient “we” see who is on Medicare and without a GAP policy. That may not be your problem but it is “our” problem. A lot of “us” are closing our practices to Medicare patients and may are leaving. SO you get docs who work here for some other reason (they are foreign trained (A LOT), end of career or just out of residency). The good ones leave. I am glad I got out of clinical medicine because frankly, medicine isn’t what it was even 10 years ago. I say to people all the time, you should be raising Cain via AARP or any organization to Congress to pay us well and many problems will disappear.

      PS; I’ve had nothing but great care here. A hospital in the DC area almost killed be and would have it wasn’t for my wife and daughter.

  29. Very similar situation. So many “want something for nothings” out there – Central Florida – even realtors who are more interested in their almighty commission instead of actually representing their client or doing what their client has instructed them to. Despicable, unethical & unprofessional!!!! Then the buyers – whining and complaining – that the seller won’t help them out – I’m not talking about a little bit – they want the whole enchilada – AND – my realtor wasn’t supposed to be showing house to someone who was not “lender pre approved” – seems realtors cannot comprehend the meaning of “lender pre approved”. Just fed up having lost 10’s of thousands because of 1 realtor. It’s no surprise that Florida is notorious for being known as corrupt.

  30. Ponte Vedra is beautiful, great schools, good employment, and great weather, I think it’s a definite improvement then living in NY and paying 25,000 a year in taxes, kids have nothing to do unless u pay thousands for summer camp or the other option is all your kids friends are sent away to sleep away camp from the second school is out till the day school begins. I do not agree that the whole state of Florida is horrible, St. John’s county is the healthiest county in Florida where people live longer and have good healthcare. If u can’t stand summer weather it’s not the state for you, u need to do your research and stop with all this negative bull, just get out of the state stop complaining and be happy again

  31. Hello Sam,
    You wrote: “These are facts!” and “Rent is definitely less expensive In general for Florida”

    I disagree, most of what you wrote is just your opinion, which is different than readily available facts. For example, on rent in Florida…
    As of April 30th 2019, this is where rent in Florida stands compared to the national average…
    Nation 1 BR / $951 2 BR / $1,180
    Florida 1 BR / $970 2 BR / $1,209
    So the fact is rent in Florida will be higher for most people than where they moved from (source https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/national-rent-data/)
    You may not be aware of the fact that Florida also has a higher crime rate overall than most states. Areas in Florida with higher crime rates are usually where lower rent prices can be found, because most people won’t move there if they’re aware of it, and people who can afford to move, do so. Supply vs demand = lower rent prices.
    Cooling that apartment (high crime area or not) will also cost you more because utilities in Florida are higher than the national average. The overall cost of living is also higher in Florida.

    You also wrote: “The truth is many Floridians do not want transplants from other states so they will make you believe it is a horrible place.”
    If you read through the 1000’s of comments on this site, you’ll notice that the overwhelming majority of them that are negative about FL, were actually written by people who moved from other US states, not native Floridians.

    “Don’t move to the tourist areas and it will be good financially”
    Where do you expect people to move that aren’t tourist areas? The only place they build homes are along the coast and around Orlando. And that’s exactly where Florida’s annual 110,000,000+ (and growing) tourist flock to. You can avoid tourist in FL if you live in the middle of nowhere with a 2+ hour round trip to a real grocery store (not the local run down filthy dollar store) and where the only thing to do for entertainment is sit outside and sweat while getting attacked by swarms of the state bird, the mosquito.

    There’s a reason that population researchers at a Florida university documented over 10,000,000 people who moved out of Florida. That number grows by about 30,000 or more a month, and it’s not native Floridians that are leaving. It’s the people who moved to Florida for “paradise” and eventually discovered that the place wasn’t where they could live permanently, like they had thought before the move. The heat (and humidity) is usually just one of the basket of reasons.

    Oh, you were right about one thing, groceries were slightly lower overall in FL than the national average in 2018. Thank you for the comment and have a nice day Sam.
    _____
    Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

    • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

    _____

  32. Hello Anthony,
    Florida’s humidity is worst because it starts earlier in the year and last far longer than in North Carolina. FL is 500 miles closer to the equator, the sun is stronger, it’s a long skinny state surrounded by large bodies of hot water (the Gulf gets over 90 degrees, how refreshing) which the sun evaporates to create that humidity. Sometimes lasts all year long. It has that huge swamp called the everglades.

    The Florida Move Guide says that when the Florida “honeymoon” ends, of those that can afford to move again, out of Florida, many actually move to North Carolina. There’s even a term for them, we call them “half backs” because they move half way back to where they originally moved from.
    _____
    Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

    • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

    _____

  33. This feedback is so great. My family and I were seriously considering a move to Florida from NY as we currently live in one of the most expensive counties in NY and our taxes are through the roof. Winters are getting longer (especially with three small kids at home, constant viruses etc). I am curious of the following… Are these issues on this post and comments still current? I’m not sure when this was written I see some recent comments in 2018. Does it factor in a move from a state that is a lot more expensive? I keep seeing that prices are high but to me they are very low comparing to NY. I see a lot of complaints mostly of the weather, is there an area thats not muggy and unbearable 9 months out of year? Somewhere more north like Jacksonville? Is there an area one should look closer at for young kids, schools, safety, and not wanting to be in a retirement community? I have been researching school digger and there seem to be lots of districts that rate very high but I read a lot of comments about schools being terrible on here? Are the schools only compared to other Florida schools and not national. Would someone with a young family be seriously disappointed living in Florida? I have been visiting Florida every year since I was a born and have seen the changes and never considered a move here until this year. The beauty of the maintained roads, structures, homes, public parks and places and beaches seems like it has only improved making it more attractive to Northerners. Especially compared to our airports, bridges, tunnels, roads and parks etc that get so much wear and tear from the weather and make taxes seem like you pay a lot for little. Any help is appreciated! I have been looking at Tampa, Sarasota, Jacksonville/ St Aug and looking for best areas for school, safety, quality of life.

    • I have lived in Florida for four years from Missouri and have enjoyed it, you will notice a large contrast for school aged kids in school system
      and child care options from other states and lack of job opportunity. I also think that there is a different sense of community here which may bring a negative to those considering a move here, socialization is different because of people coming in and out of the state and much older population.

    • Sonya, Comparing the highly taxed area, with the higher cost of living in NY on paper looks like a “downsize”, but in reality, it’s NOT. Florida, for many, is basically a minimum wage State where opportunities for younger people to find jobs that offer decent wages are far and few between. The level of life that you can experience in an area that has opportunities for better wages creates the situation for more comfort. In the past, many relocated into Florida for less expensive housin and everything else had price parody. Since the recent population increase that Florida has experienced, the demand is far exceeding the supply and prices are becoming unrealistic. Land developers and real estate brokers are licking their chops every time another “northerner” is blinded by the “Florida is paradise” mentality. They rely on keeping this myth alive to keep their wallets full

    • Moved from CT 20 years ago. Public schools are, for the most part, much worse than what you’re used to. Tampa has some really good schools (in South Tampa – 33606 and 33629) but you will pay MUCH more to be in the “Plant High School” district. If you can afford it, private schools are often a much better option. Consider the climate. You never “get used to” the high humidity. You learn to live with it. It’s somewhat of a culture shock moving here–some many people dress and act like they’re going to the beach–even when they go to school, the grocery store or just walk around.

      Taxes are much lower and we have never used the heat here in Tampa except for a two week “cold snap” back in 2009. AC is on constantly from April – November. December – March is heavenly. Pinellas county has much more to offer than Hillsborough but Tampa is where most people work. I’m a teacher in Tampa and can easily tell students from “up North”. They are so much better prepared.

      Hope this helps!

  34. Aftert living here in Florida for over 2 years, I can honesly say the ONLY THING here is there is no snow. If you are planning on moving down here you better make sure you “DONT HAVE TO WORK OR LOOK FOR A JOB”!!!!!!!! If you are over 40, you dont speak spanish, you better have plenty of money before you come down or you won’t stand a chance in hell. The humidity is overwhelming and the people are arrogant. So again, if you have family here and a lot of money and don’t have to work, all exits are open to you, if not and you have a little money and can’t get a job, believe me,you will lose every penny you have. Good luck to you!!!!

  35. I agree. Do not move here if you have children and no money. You can’t even afford to rent. We love the beaches and weather and that’s about it. Everything else that you think you will always get to do that you typically do on vacation starts getting too expensive. A lot of rich people with stay at home moms are moving down here every week and it’s getting annoying to not even be able to make it on two incomes with college degrees.

    • Nothing affordable about Florida – like you say: Rents way too high (even in crime ridden areas), employers do not appreciate someone who worked hard for a college degree – they suck the life out of employees – FLORIDA “IS NOT” an employee friendly state and if you don’t speak Spanish you’ll have a tough time getting any job. Traffic is worse than anywhere (Chicago, New York, Boston, etc.) – can take 2 hours (sometimes to drive 10 miles); everything is expensive – so nothing to do – every place charges a hefty admission + parking + expensive food unlike the northeast and elsewhere in the U.S. Schools are not the best and certainly not the safest by any means.
      So much for Florida………………….adios

      • I agree 100% about the employers not appreciating someone with a college degree! I am an RN with a master’s degree and even I had a tough time finding jobs that I wanted to do outside of working on the floor. It’s as if your degree means nothing to them. And it probably doesn’t. There’s a surplus of RNs of nearly 50000, so why would they want to pay someone with a graduate degree when they can higher someone right out of school for less. It’s really sad. I grew up in New England and moved to Florida because my family moved there. Spent 11 years and I am finally out!

        Florida:
        Too hot
        Too flat
        Too tough to get a job
        Real Estate is getting higher and higher priced and you get no land
        Oh, did I mention too hot?

        Don’t get me wrong, there are some great things about Florida, but not enough to keep me there. It’s a great place to visit, but living there is the worst. At least where I was living (Tampa Bay area).

    • We’ve lived in Florida in two places over the last 11 years, not because we wanted to but because of employment. Needed to sell our first house above Orlando, FL. Had it on the market for a year, no lookers. Had to sell at a loss because of the economy and job relocation. The I-4 Interstate is being reconstructed and there will be high tolls in the future to travel (no tolls now in 2019). Various people moving here are bringing their political ideas which didn’t work in their states with them to Florida and trying to change the infrastructure for Florida. May I say it is actually not for everyone but if you like crowds, bad drivers, high auto insurance, lots of noise, no empathy for others, and some cultures who do not want to accept you for who you are then, come on down…..you could be the next Floridian if the price is right!

      • Agree with Bye bye Birdie. Selling can be a nightmare – it seems realtors (not all) are only in it for themselves instead of watching out for and protecting the interests of the seller (or buyer). While Florida purports to have a great job market, most of these jobs are at minimum wage or slightly above. The I-4 project is a nightmare. You are correct in saying that it is not for everyone – crowds, overwhelming number of bad drivers, excessively high auto insurance, absolutely no empathy for others (too many live in their stepford like communities or behind closed doors) and cultures that want you to change to their way of thinking, etc. Housing has become UNAFFORDABLE in the Orlando area or buyers want sellers to provide their closing costs on top of lowball offers.

  36. Amazing site! Recently retired I moved down here from NJ about 4 months ago after selling my home. I am renting to see how i like living in Florida.
    I stayed on the west coast for 2 months and now residing in Delray beach. It did not take me long to realize that living in Florida is no Bargain. First off the humidity is crazy,Lizards,Geicos, Roaches,ants, and the constant rain is like living in jurassic park.
    Homes are dated here and way over priced. Very rare to find a used home that doesn’t need work. If you are buying new the developers are drooling from the mouth on all the extras they will get out of you for a home that is now over $100,000 more when you walk in.
    I just don’t see the attraction of living in Florida unless you live on the water. And for that privilege you will pay big time!! Otherwise you are relegated to a cookie cutter community where all the houses look the same with no personality,and your stuck playing golf at 7:00am everyday because its too hot! Golf everyday?? My body can’t handle it.
    Yes, real estate taxes are less than Jersey, But when you add in the HOA fees which could be anywhere from $350 a month to literally $1,250 a month Its just as expensive if not more to live here. Home owners insurance is double what i paid in Jersey, as is auto. Traffic congestion is crazy even in off season, and looking for parking in down Delray or Boca takes the thrill out of going out.

    I did my homework..I am heading back to Jersey. I found beautiful place in Brick New Jersey right on the water. Home is reasonably priced. Taxes are the same as my taxes and HOA fees combined would be in Florida. I can now have a life i could only dream of in Florida. Next year a boat, close to family, change of seasons, close to NYC.
    Life is good.

    • You’re right Florida IS NOT INEXPENSIVE. There are so many hidden fees that people are not aware of. Your vehicle insurance will increase substantially, homeowner’s insurance will increase substantially, HOA fees are ridiculous and HOAs will TELL THE HOMEOWNER what to do – lawn only so high, house color-must be approved by HOA, brown spot in lawn – homeowners will get a nasty HOA letter, cracks in driveway – another nasty letter. Fortunately, no HOA for me – and I am selling & going back North. If anything, it’s more expensive to live in Florida than NJ and the Tri-state area as well as New England. A/C will cost you plenty as will water. Utilities have a monopoly in most every area. Communities are typically STEPFORD type – no originality -everything (like you mention) cookie cutter and almost everyone stays in their houses. The heat & humidity are horrendous. The traffic it’s worse than driving 87/287 in NJ, I84/684, I80 and Boston. Took a trip north a couple of months ago – took 90 minutes from CT/RI border to Boston; here (central Florida) it takes 90 minutes for 20 miles. Now on the coasts there is toxic algae – very unhealthy and is killing fish and mammals. Looking for a job – Good Luck – employers ARE NOT employee friendly and the wages are some of the worst in the country. Medical is not highly rated either – can take days to even to talk to someone on phone to make appt – offices DO NOT ANSWER and if you leave a message it can take days for them to return calls. Lots of physicians use non-network anesthesiologists/radiologists if surgery is necessary; if you’re on Medicare – those same providers do not accept Medicare assignment. And if by chance you have to cancel a surgery you generally have to do that at least 5 days before otherwise you will be charged $200+. Nothing is inexpensive in Florida and it is well known for corruption.

    • OMG
      I really appreciated your comments. Thank you. My husband and I live and own a modest home (in our mid-late 60’s) in Connecticut and despite the fiscal crisis I love it here dearly. But my husband has been hammering me for easily 10 years to move to Florida and I despise it there. I cannot even stand vacationing in Florida , let alone living there for REST of my LIFE! This full court press is coupled with threats that we can’t afford to live here. I have only barely managed to keep us here, and yes it’s expensive, but I am starting to think that, THATS a relative term, as you detailed so well in your comment; Florida VS New Jersey!!! Now with the recent election for a new governor, he is putting on the full court press again. His son and daughter-in-law and 2 grandkids (previous marriage) moved there 10 or so years ago and that is really what’s driving this for him. His other son and our daughter are still in Connecticut. But I digress. I have done the research and I too suspect that it’s NOT the economic and climatic Utopia that he thinks it is, He subscribes to the “EVERYTHING is cheaper and better in Florida” point of view! He has swallowed that entire myth, hook, line and sinker. With all of the people piling down there, it has to be an overcrowded mess and getting worse all of the time, and with that has to come all sorts of other issues. I have always suspected that if we moved there, he will start to hate it too, but we will be stuck there. Congratulations to you for moving back to NJ. We lived in Bay Head for a short while for his job, about 20 years ago so I am familiar with Brick. Gorgeous area! And NO PERPETUALLY UGLY HALF DEAD LOOKING PALM TREES, And yes, the change of seasons…….

      • Hi Archer, I feel your pain. As with your husband we are all programmed to believe Florida is the place to retire. It’s not the same mind set as it was for our parents when they retired. Look, there are plenty of people who love living in Florida, But its not the utopia its being marketed as.
        All the used homes are dated and need work! At one point i gave up on a home and looked at reasonably priced condos on the water in the 600k range. $1,250 a month HOA FEES! Add taxes, Insurance,Thats $26,000 a year for living in an apt with a community pool not including a mortgage.
        Just for fun i looked to make reservations at restaurants or tee times at least a week out in the winter months. Guess what? All the good time slots are booked! The trade off..Summer? Its so hot that you literally stay in the house. Simple outdoor tasks become a burden.Golf is not enjoyable.
        Can’t get near the beaches.You take a walk when the sun goes down and the bugs bite like hell!
        Yes, the Jersey Shore can be crowded as well in the summer time, But there are so many choices within a 30 minute drive it is just less overwhelming. And i guess having found a place on the water as opposed to FL. i enjoy staying in my backyard even more.

      • Everything in FLORIDA “IS NOT CHEAPER & BETTER” at all. Connecticut is an absolutely wonderful state that offers far more than Florida does for seniors (everything here is expensive – you can count on it). Overcrowded is an understatement – in some subdivisions houses are 20 ft from each other and be sure to know you’ll have an HOA fee to pay EVERY MONTH and they are relentless when it comes to keeping lawns mowed, cracks in driveways repaired, color of house, etc. Finding a non-HOA community is difficult. Insurance is costly (and bound to increase after all the storm damage) – both for home (hurricane deductibles out of your pocket) and vehicles. Finding a medical provider and getting an appt is almost impossible – even if you were a previous client – at a minimum it takes a month if you’re lucky – and 9 times out of 10 you’ll see a P.A. to consult with then have to come back to actually see the doctor. Truly New England has some of the best in medical care – doctors, hospitals, etc. – many which conduct research which is severely lacking here. You’ll be much happier staying in Connecticut – it’s close to so much – you can be to many different places within a couple of hours, give or take. Here it takes an hour or more to drive 10 miles if you’re lucky. Hopefully, will be returning soon.

      • don’t move here. I moved here from Chicago 19 years ago and the weather is horrible. It is really hot and humid. I am stuck. My husband has worked for the same company and we can’t move until retirement.

    • I am so happy to see your post being that I am a 3rd generation New Jersey girl! I love living in Morris County NJ (Mendham/Chester) and love the Jersey shore. I grew up in Livingston and we spent our summers in Belmar. Most all of my Irish, Catholic family now lives in Spring Lake/Belmar area (which as you may know has become astronomical in price!). I have three children, oldest turning 25 and is on the autistic spectrum, so we are still working on his life pursuits (the covid lockdown stagnated this pursuit for the past 1.5 years, ugghh). My oldest daughter is 23, studying for mcats so will hopefully be off to medical school in a year and the youngest, 20 is still at college (VT) Go Hokies! I love the change of seasons and feel that there is no place more beautiful in the Fall and Spring then the rolling hills of the Mendham/Chester area. Of course the cost of real estate and our taxes are extremely high and now we do not have children in the school system. The politics are a grave concern as well, which of course is why my husband brought up moving to Florida. I told him I cannot stand the heat and humidity. At least growing up down the Jersey shore, after spending all day swimming in the ocean many times it would get cooler at night, especially on the boards. I greatly appreciate you sharing the facts regarding hidden prices, because initially it appears as though you can get more in terms of real estate and taxes are lower etc., but you have to figure in all the other costs. We moved once for my husband’s work to Virginia Beach and rented and had to deal with the HOA sending letters, because there were a few weeds in the driveway, or the ladder was visible on the side of the house – seriously – I will not live with that scenario, ever! I’m a Jersey girl. I love that we have 5 acres and woods behind us and no letters inspecting our yard etc. You can easily get to Shop Rite, drive the country roads, go to Morristown in 20 minutes and NYC in about 1 hour. We have deer in the front yard, occasional coyote run through the backyard and even a black bear, all which I can deal with, even with my black Lab wagging his tail to get outside and investigate it all! I could not deal with the humidity, alligators, bugs, lizards, etc. I plan on sharing your information with my husband! My cousin who grew up in Madison, NJ lives in Brick and has a pool on one person income (husband sadly passed). She really likes it there! I wish you all the best!

  37. Suggest you make an extended visit and “rent” before even thinking about purchasing. Housing IS NOT CHEAP and any purchaser needs to have a home inspection done as some homes are built rather shoddily. Lots of scams and crime and Florida is NOT RATED AS ONE OF the better places to live. Over 55+ communities have many restrictions and some consider to be oppressive. HOA’s generally have considerable restrictions (height of grass, color of house, brown spots in lawn, cracks in driveway) and if it’s a gated community the county generally will not pick up debris left from a hurricane. Non-HOA communities can be found. Keep in mind that any home on either coast can be subject to hurricanes and insurance will be expensive as well. Folks are still waiting for repairs to their homes from September 2017 hurricanes. In any populated area in Florida traffic is a nightmare and congested beyond belief. Florida is no longer as “cheap” as some may think. The weather is oppressively hot & humid April/May to October/November – where one does not even want to be outside (even in the shade). Another thing to consider is access to medical providers – it’s a challenge to get an appointment and find someone. Many folks are moving out of Florida due to many factors.

  38. To many losers live here.
    There is HIGH CRIME EVERYWHERE and the police and/or sheriffs dept. couldn’t care less, until there’s a murder.

    If you want to sell drugs on a small time scale, then set up shop in Lee county. Lehigh Acres to be exact. I have a drug dealing POS living next door and these deputies won’t do squat.
    When I walk around, I conceal/carry a 9mm.

    I’m losing my patience with some of these jerks in this State, as well as the up and rising jerks in this country. Next time I move, it’s to foreign lands!

    • I spend a lot of time and energy researching, writing, formatting, etc to publish the best places lists on this site. Crime rates are the first quality of life factor I look at when considering a town. All of our best towns have crime rates lower than the national average. Most have crime rates far lower, making them among the safest places to live in the US. So you moved to a place in Florida that has had a high crime rate for years, and then you complain about crime?

      Admit it. You moved to Lehigh Acres because it was cheaper to buy or rent. What you didn’t do was check our best affordable places to live in Florida before you moved to the state. So you live out in the middle of nowhere, where there is nothing to do but sweat, get bit by mosquitoes and worry about becoming a crime victim. I do appreciate your comment however because it may help others from the same fate when seeking “paradise”.

      Here’s just a few more thoughts on what you wrote:
      1) There are “jerks” in other countries too.
      2) Many other countries have crime problems far worse than where you now live and are complaining about. Especially the cheap places. And law enforcement in many cheap overseas places is…
      3) In many other countries it would be illegal to own or carry a weapon for self defense. So you may end up with more crime, no real law enforcement and defenseless.

      Bottom line? Florida has one of the highest overall crime rates in the US. There are much better places to live in the US according to actual quality of life factors (like crime rates, quality of healthcare, cost of living, etc) than Florida. You may want to look into those places before you look overseas. If you want to stay in Florida, consider the places on our best places lists and crime will be likely be among the least of your concerns. Good luck selling that “bargain” in Lehigh Acres Florida.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

      _____

    • As a young adult who has spent most of his life in Florida, I can offer my perspective. I may be biased in that I have never liked it here, but on account of my family squandering their money like so many other types of people who are attracted to FL, I have been stuck here living paycheck-to-paycheck my entire adult life.

      Employers do not care about you, there is no sense of community or social contract, if one does not have a substance abuse problem one is considered “posh” or “uptight,” and weather-wise, at least ten months out of the years makes one feel as if one is wrapped up in a jock strap. I can imagine why a lot of Boomer divorcees and swinger’s couples thought the scene here was fun back in the 80s, but whatever energy there was at that time is gone. The full-time crowd is overwhelmingly comprised of seniors; that is, at least anyone who has any money. Younger adults typically live in shared housing well into their thirties, and you will not see many of them out shopping or up and about, enjoying the scene, seeing as every penny in their pocket goes toward rent, car payments and groceries.

  39. Sue, Thank you for your post. It is very helpful. We are retired, living in upstate NY. I love my property…the nature, privacy and beautiful home. We have owned the property for 14 years/ house for 4 years. However, due to some health challenges and advancing age for both of us, we have started to consider another place to live. Your comments have given me some things to consider.

    • Your home sounds lovely. We are aging and having to make changes too. Consider condos perhaps. We can no longer do the work our home requires. It is not easy to find a place as nice as this one. I am researching possible places looking at cost, crime, medical facilities. We love Hawaii but medical care is questionable, it’s very expensive, and I say this living in CA. We were thinking a condo on the beach in Hawaii, but they are so expensive it’s horrifying. So Florida where we could actually afford a condo on the beach or home nearby. All this info is very helpful. Life without snow is our first criteria. We love beaches. But quality medical facilities are also a top criteria. Ten places in Florida are named as having good facilities that take medicare patients, I forget the website. Florida does not abound in good health care facilities. Neither does Hawaii or CA. Maybe we should consider moving abroad…

  40. I moved to Florida to get away, I should of not done that. Its too expensive. I had no debt until I moved here. Its time to go home.

    • I hear you! I hope to make it out alive.
      And SOON! Some of the hardest years of my life trying to stay afloat. Plus poor quality of life.
      Best wishes your way.

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