want to leave florida for ?

mspamJuly 24, 2006

I moved to Florida (near Tampa) about 2 years ago (semi retiring). Now I'm finding I do not like the "environment" I find myself in -- heat, sand, fire ants, sinkholes, alligators, and hurricanes, not to mention the rising cost of living. I have read that this is a fairly common experience for others also.

I'm considering moving north, but not as far as my hometown of Chicago. Maybe Knoxville or Nashville TN or Asheville NC.

Any comments, recommendations?

TIA, Pam

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gypsyrose

Pam, I have lurked here for a long time, but this is my first post. (By the way, my name is also Pam!) I was born and raised in Tampa, Fla, and now live in Dade City, 35 mi. n.e. I have wanted to leave here for years, but not possible to do so just yet, hubby has several years before retirement, but I found PARADISE in Asheville, NC., and we bought a cute smaller house in an established in-town neighborhood last year. I don't know anything about the other towns you mentioned, but Asheville is like a place I have always dreamed of - gorgeous scenery and architecture, a VIBRANT downtown, an electic mix of people with a live-and-let-live philosophy, and best of all great weather and NOT TOO MANY BUGS! We get up to our house for long weekends, and I go stay by myself for a month or so at a time to get out of the Fla heat, but someday we intend to get up there for good! I wanted to buy before the prices go crazy, because the secret is out about that place and people are coming in droves!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 6:40PM
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leel

There's a name for people like you--halfbacks. Those are folks who go down south, don't like it, and move back halfway to the north. Ergo, halfbacks

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 11:39AM
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mspam

leel,
Okay, that makes sense. What do you call people who move south, don't like it, and stay and complain?
Pam

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 1:02PM
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lilyhead

Pam, We lived in Valrico, outside Tampa for 5 years, with a transfer, we ended up outside Charlotte, NC. The move was torture, and I vowed to return. Each time I did, I found more and more not to like. We considered the North Gulf coast of Fl... until the hurricane weather changes seemed valid and very unfavorable for a move without repeated evacuations and worries about life and property. Friends live outside Asheville, Fairview, NC. Each time we visit the appeal grows. Just think, no alligators, season changes, and the mountains and waterfalls all around. It is truely a wonderful site. Take youe time to find just the right spot..... we are looking too. Lily

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 3:07PM
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mspam

Lily,
Thanks for your comments.
I think the alligator issue is what clinched it for me. I love being near water. I never realized what an issue this is until I moved to Florida. Recently I went walking (alone) in a nature preserve and found myself afraid of approaching the water (to enter a viewing blind). I don't like that feeling and I don't want to give up nature hikes.
And I really miss the fall season.
Pam

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:16PM
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joyfulguy

In a discussion some time ago about moving to some place that people had visited and liked, the suggestion was made that before they put roots down too deeply, it would be a good idea to go there and rent for at least a year, perhaps more, to get a feel for the place, the seasons (if they have them), etc.

That might give a person a whole different point of view about living there for an extended period.

I said a while ago that I thought that it would be a good idea to have a place in a dying village in Saskatchewan that I could buy for, maybe, $35,000. (some say - I haven't checked it) to spend the summer there.

And a place in Arizona, to spend the winter.

I'd like to find someone to trade off, in order to have both places utilized efficiently - spend the winters in Saskatchewan, and the summers in Arizona ...

... anyone know where I might find such a person?

If you do, let me know, please.

Actually, I've thought of the Saskatchewan option, but decided against it, as I would never see my kids, who live in London and Toronto, Ontario.

But if someone might be interested in spending the winters in Southern Ontario, maybe we could talk.

Trouble is ... there's all of that medical insurance that I'd need while resident in the U.S. And about 4 days from now, I'm nearer 80 than 75, so it's getting rather expensive.

Life do have its problems!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 5:31PM
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mspam

joyfulguy,
>>someone might be interested in spending the winters in Southern OntarioI think you will have a difficult time finding anyone as most of us are looking for a warm climate for winter.
Doesn't hurt (or cost anything) to ask though.
Good luck.
Pam

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:39AM
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hilltopviews

A lot of "halfbacks" (I've never heard that one before)find the North Georgia area to be idea for relocating from Fla..
The cost of living plus the mountains are the attraction, I believe.
Based on what I've read in other retirement post, our property taxes and cost of living is unbelievable.
We have 5+ acres, three BR, three baths_property taxes are under $2000. We are in a county setting and have to take garbage to landfill_but its worth it, to prevent higher taxes.
Sssss, don't spread it around. We do have fireants, tho. lol

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:21AM
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joyfulguy

I'm sure that "fire ants" resist being "fired", but ...

... think they could be "downsized"?

Move their job offshore!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 6:13PM
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rosajoe_gw

I was born in GA, close to Savannah GA, but my Mother's family lives in Fl, Tampa and St. Augustine. I have always had 1 foot in each state. I guess that makes me a halfbred!!(lol)
After hi school graduation I moved to Miami, then to Jacksonville, now we live in Longwood close to Orlando.
I know how things were before Mickey and it is unblievable how fast things are changing in Florida. It is getting so crowded and expensive to live here.
So, we are moving back to GA, close to Savannah. It is a small town and we are buying a new home 2000 square feet on 1/2 acre, 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 bath for $158,000.
My children live here and the 2 grandchildren so this is hard for me.
It's only 4 1/2 hours away, so they can still visit often, but we live 2 miles apart now and we love for them to visit.
Alas, the cost of living here is not going to get cheaper, and as retirees we live on a fixed income. I am concerned that if we don't move away we will be in a financial bind later. And I am ready for a change of seasons too.
We will have alligators in both places, but the area in GA seems to have more rattlesnakes, they have a 'rattlesnake roundup' each year (it's fun to go!!) to keep the snakes under control. Lot's of farm land and the snakes kill the animals, probably the poeple too!!
Good luck to all of the movers!!!
Rosa

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 2:23PM
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mspam

Rosa,
Thanks for your posting. Interesting to hear the many reasons people make the decision to move. I understand that it will be hard for you to be further away from the grandkids. But that also means that their visits will be even more special.
Pam

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 9:55AM
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rosajoe_gw

Pam
Thank you so much. It is a tug of war for my heart. Amtrack runs from Orlando to about 30 miles from where we will be moving and it is not that expensive. We just will not be able to call them and say,'want to go to the movies?'
With the Internet and e-mail we will stay in touch and I will NEVER loose them, and I am looking forward to a change of seasons, and my mother is getting older, so one minute I am happy and the next I am sad. I never tell them I am sad, I don't want them to be, and everything works out for the best!
Rosa

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 5:38PM
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starose

Hi Mspam,
We lived in Central Florida for 17 years and sold out last year and moved to Central GA. We also found that Florida was getting much too expensive and we couldn't see how we would ever afford to live there once we were fully retired.
The hurricanes and evacuations were playing on our nerves. The cost of living in Georgia and other Southern states is much cheaper. We're semi-retired and find that it has cost us at least $10,000 less this year to live in Geargia, than it cost in Florida. We downsized to a smaller house, from 2,000 sq. ft to 1,450 sq.ft. The taxes and real estate cost much less in GA. The people are very friendly. We enjoy having the 4 seasons again, without snow!
Take your time and look around the South and I'm sure you will find your niche. There is so much to choose from here; mountains, ocean, flat land, country, big city, small town ......... Good luck with your search.
starose

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 2:17AM
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mspam

starose,
Thanks for posting. It really helps me to hear from others who have moved from Florida or plan to.

I don't want to knock Florida, I know it is paradise to many. I'm just not one of those people -- different strokes for different folks.

I did not realize before how much effect hurricanes would have on me (and alligators too).
Pam

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 12:48PM
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tnmthi

Pam,

Everyone has their own idea about what area works...or doesn't..we have seen a fair number of folks from FL moving to the St Marys GA area trying to escape cost of living in FL.
I have lived in both NC and TN...both have tons to offer..like anywhere...it's often what each of us makes it to be!
Go stay for a weekend or 2 and see how you feel...you'll find the place that feels right!

Vi

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 9:17PM
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mspam

Vi,
Thanks for posting. I'm in Knoxville right now doing just that -- checking out the area.
Pam

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:36AM
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janengland

Mspam writes ..."Okay, that makes sense. What do you call people who move south, don't like it, and stay and complain"

We call them Northerners. (Sorry, I couldn't resist). I've lived in Fla. several years, and love it. I also repect the wishes of those who are smart enough to acknowledge that it's just not for them.
What I have a problem with is the number of people who move down here and then constantly yap about how much cheaper, nicer, cleaner,etc etc. their old home up North was. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 6:41PM
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mspam

janengland,
You are right, constant complainers are no fun and I sure want to avoid being one.
Florida is a wonderful place. It just doesn't suit me PERSONALLY as a permanent residence, just as other states would not suit the Floridians who love it here. Different strokes for different folks.
Pam

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 6:49PM
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JerriEllijay

Pam, I'm originally from Brandon, FL and moved to Atlanta in 2003. Then moved up to the North Georgia Mnts (Ellijay) in 2000. We are getting a LOT of half-backers here. Property Taxes are about 80 cents per $1000 in value so a $200k house would have $1600 in taxes. Values are rising fast because of the demand for retirement, vacation homes. But, depending on what you want you can still get a lot of land for the money. We have very little traffic, and folks are friendly. We don't however have a mall, Starbuck's, 7-11 on every corner. It;s a different way of life, and if I could get used to these darn cold winters (remember I'm from Florida)it would be perfect.

jerri

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 4:58PM
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mab222

Have you heard of www.FloridaHalfbacks.com? It's a website for Floridians looking for real estate, cabin rentals, and things to do in the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and more!

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida Halfbacks

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 5:29PM
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mspam

gypsyrose,

In July 2006 you wrote: >>but I found PARADISE in Asheville, NC.I'm wondering if you still feel that way? I'm still in Florida thanks to the lousy real estate market but Asheville looks better all the time, especially the climate because of the elevation.
Pam

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:17AM
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bill_h

if anyone wants to move all the way north, got a condo in mich. i would love to trade for a condo in fla! yea like anyone would choose to live in mich!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 11:12PM
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mspam

bill_h,

Where in Michigan?
Actually, if I was given a choice of either Florida or Chicago I would choose Chicago. But Michigan may be just TOO far north.
Pam

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:37AM
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Jonesy

If I were you I would check out housing prices in the mid west. I live in Kansas and my nephews from back east were amazed at the prices of homes here. I bought a new home 1 1/2 year ago for $164,000. It has 1,440 square feet upstairs and the same down. Most of the outside stuff is taken care of for us at $83 a month. when I hear what houses are going for on the east and west coast, I am appalled. How do people afford to own a home. I met one lady who sold her home in California for $450,000, came here and got a house equal to what she had out there for less than half of the price of the Calif home. They have the left over money to enjoy life. I wouldn't necessarily buy in Kansas, but I think the prices are about the same in Ok, Ark and Mo.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 7:15PM
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mspam

jonesy,

Thanks for your input. I do love the midwest but not sure I want to trade hurricane anxiety for tornado alley. :-))
Pam

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Jonesy

LOL, I have lived here for 57 years and have yet to see one or been damage in anyway. But wouldn't trade the 4 seasons we have here for any other type of living. I would rather live in a more hilly part of the midwest, but am quite satisfied with my little piece of the world. Well, on second thought, I just might trade the summer for another spring or fall. LOL

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 4:39PM
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bill_h

pam, i`am in trenton mi. truthfully its a nice community, but fla. is home, all my family is there. and i hate mich. any time the temps drop below 80.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:06PM
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coastgal

I have been quietly lurking and reading the threads, but had to jump in and post on this one. I am originally from NC and loved it there, but we found it too expensive to buy retirement land there. We found a gorgeous piece of property on a high bank of the Illinois River in Havana, IL. There is a large nature preserve across the river that will never be developed and ruin our view. Bald eagles fish in the river in front of our land. The little town of Havana is so quaint, there are even cobblestone streets in the downtown area! It is my dream land and I can't wait to build a house up there. The only drawback to the area is that duck hunting season is a big deal and for that part of the year, there are a lot of hunters and duck blinds. I really don't have anything against hunters, I just don't want to see any beautiful ducks get shot. I love reading about everyone else's "perfect place". I had a sister who retired to Florida a few years ago. That was the year of the 3 big hurricanes to hit the coast. She moved away the next year. Ha ha.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:18AM
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patti43

I've lived in Florida 28 years and I wouldn't live anyplace else. But, like everything else, you have to live where you are comfortable and happy. Florida is both to me. We live smack dab in the middle of the state--no ocean/gulf views--although we have lived where we had those before. Central Florida is great for us, but I don't fault those who don't care for the Florida weather. We should all feel content with where we live.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:18PM
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mustangs81

Mspam, You still here i.e. in Florida?

You can't be a wimp and live in Florida. I have lived in West Palm Beach or Tampa my entire life and my job has taken me to 46 states. While I love to travel to other states and counties, I wouldn't live anywhere else. Sorry but I have to laugh about the preoccupation with alligators. I haven't encountered an alligator and I have water skied and boated a lot.

We have a farm house in Western NC and love to take long weekends there but it gets boring real fast.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:57PM
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patti43

When we lived on the Suwannee River, there were often alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the river when a bunch of us would be at a sandbar playing in the water. They never bothered us and we didn't bother them. Didn't feed them either! Wild alligators are really afraid of people. It's when people think they have to feed them they become a nuisance. When that happens they have to shoot the 'gator. That's sad!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 9:55PM
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joyfulguy

If any of you Southerners may be full off hot air ...

... we could use some in southern Ontario at this time of year!

Come on up ... the water's fine! Well ... you'd need skates at this time of year!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:02AM
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mab222

We live in Florida and have a home in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I absolutely HATE the Florida summers. Hot, humid, bugs, weather forecasters scaring us about hurricanes 1000 miles away -and of course we are all in the "cone of uncertainty." But the great thing about Florida is the winter and spring. Sunshine almost every day and the most moderate climate you could imagine. It is quite heavenly if you can put up with the traffic. We are considered to be Florida "Halfbacks" because we originally lived in Ohio, moved to Florida, and now prefer to be "halfway back" in North Carolina - at least for the summer.

Here is a link that might be useful: North Carolina Real Estate and Rentals

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:35PM
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mariend

I am sure every state has good and bad. Our winters here (ND) have been so mild, it is scary. Yes we have had to get use to tornados, but in CA we have earthquakes etc.
As to retirement, I prefer the Northern states. I love Mountana, Northern MI, etc and it so close to Canada, we can just pop up there and enjoy ourselves.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Jonesy

We are fighting having a coal plant built here in Kansas for power for other states. There was an editorial in the paper a few days ago about trees and plant life dying near Asheville because of coal plants. Air pollution was also mentioned. I don't know if there is any truth to it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 10:08PM
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dyhgarden

We live just outside of Chapel Hill, NC in the Triangle area. There are counties outside of Wake and Orange where the property taxes are lower, but you can easily get to all that Raleigh and Chapel Hill have to offer.

Good medical care, major universities (UNC-CH, Duke, NC State), art/cultural events, good groceries (health food or not), good farmers markets, beautiful seasons; you can visit Asheville (4 hours away) in the mountains or Wilmington (2 hours away) on the coast for easy weekend getaways.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:16AM
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jemdandy

Favored locations for Floridians moving north are NC and TN. Places to condider in NC are Ashville, Black Mountain, Hendersonville, and Franklin. Elevation is the key to summer night cooling. 2000 ft appears about right. Higher than that increases the winter cold and potential for January ice storms. Lower elevations are hot and humid. One needs to be far enough inland from the Alantic Ocean to blunt hurricanes, and Asheville is just far enough.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 5:09PM
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