Recommendation? Where to live in Florida?

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by cj65, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Wifey and I are looking to move to Florida. I am a native Californian, and I work in the Landscape/Horticulture/Irrigation industry. Our reasons for moving are triggered by a need to care for Wifey’s sister who is disabled from birth. We are looking to acquire a single story home where it is safer for a legally blind woman to live. Our home will sell quickly in CA and I am sure my work background will land me something or maybe I will just start another landscape contracting business that focuses on high end weather and web based irrigation controllers. Wifey may be able to continue her current employment as she works from home now or may need to find a different job. We are pretty serious about the move and I have enlisted a head hunter to help me land employment ASAP.

    I don’t mind humidity or heat. I absolutely love snakes so that is a plus, but I don’t want the last house I will ever live in to be torn off its foundation due to a hurricane. Our initial looksies shows that Orlando/Tampa are busy hubs with more employment opportunities. Anyone that has knowledge about the best areas or even areas to avoid in Florida, please help a brother out.
    benchwarmer380 likes this.
  2. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    I would say Tampa/Orlando down would be good for your work-mostly coastal areas. The further south you go the longer the summer like weather, and corresponding plant growth season. If you were to build with a hurricane in mind, you would have no problem withstanding one. Keep away from stick frame construction. Most concrete construction will withstand up to a 4(no storm surge).
    The further north you go the more southern US (the South)it becomes
    Just a couple thoughts
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
    cj65 likes this.
  3. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Ok, I get that construction matters. We will most likely purchase a home already built, and if we end up further south, then make sure we have concrete construction. Caveat, research storm surge, ensure safe elevation. Excellent stuff here. Thank you Peter.:thumbsup:
  4. Piso Mojado

    Piso Mojado Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Don't buy a home on a flood plain. Don't build a home on a flood plain. Those homes and lots are cheaper, and with good reason. Don't fall for it!

    Concrete is the way to go, but you will find very few concrete homes for sale. If you can afford to build your own, think about stainless steel rebar (if you're really flush) or at least galvanized. I was shocked when I first saw a bermed home in our Illinois tornado belt, but I came to like the idea. Too bad, but I very much doubt it would work in Florida. The soil is too wet.

    You need good home life and high boredom tolerance to live in Florida, but fishing helps. Watch out for the other drivers. Illinois governors and mayors go to prison when they leave office, in Florida they go to prison before taking office. It's their career training.

    Don't forget to visit Gatorama.
    greatscoot, cj65 and taldesta like this.
  5. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Thanks PM. Maybe we CAN look at having our house built. I can do the landscape, in fact I prefer that. I like this prospect a lot. I am 55 and boredom is juuusssst fine for me. I have had enough excitement for a couple of lifetimes. Some of it was fun, some of it required restraining orders for harpy type women. Wifey and I are pretty boring ourselves. We are hitting the hay around 8 PM and wake up at 5:30ish. Then we work too much.
    We would be willing to pay extra for boring as a home feature.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  6. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    As far as natural disasters go, hurricanes are of lesser risk than many. Hurricanes usually have plenty of advanced notice. If you have a set of shutters that go up quickly, you can always just put them up and go on a small vacation until the danger passes. Sept. can be a stressful month with storms lining up and all headed west-like dodging bullets, but usually successful. A generator is a must. Power can be out for some time and it is hot here.
    I have very sub-standard housing, but so far(30 years) it has lasted with only some roof damage(when we were hit by 2 storms about a month apart) and a lot of yard clean up.
    You could buy and be perfectly fine, but you could build to make hurricanes almost a non event. When one come you just hit the button that closes the shutters on your solid, well constructed home and when the power goes out your whole house generator automatically comes on.
    I differ with the previous poster about boredom, but maybe Florida doesn't have the activities he likes. There are however numerous outdoor activities and entertainment venues. No snow skiing or mountain climbing, but we do have airports to get you there.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  7. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Great info. People freak out about earthquakes in CA. I have been through some real shakers. Wood frame houses roll with it and end up with plaster cracks at the windows and doors. No big deal. I always try to avoid high rise areas regardless of earthquakes. I have never liked city/urban environments. I can’t understand what is appealing about it.
  8. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    I live in Melbourne Fl. And have for many years.
    It's within driving distance of Orlando if u need to commute, and far less crowded.
    As far as hurricanes I've never had to flee in the 20 years I've been here.
    Lost power for 2 to 3 days a couple times.
    cj65 likes this.
  9. The Amazing Virginian

    The Amazing Virginian Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    I mostly grew up in Florida and have lived or spent a lot of time all over the state . . . lived in Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Pete, Melbourne . . . spent a lot of time in Orlando, Pensacola, Gainesville and Jacksonville. I have two sisters who still live there - one has a sweet house literally directly on the beach on the Atlantic Ocean. That's probably not for you - LOL!

    It's hot and humid everywhere - especially humid for someone from Cali (I lived in LA and Sunnyvale for a few years). Hurricanes hit everywhere, but the farther inland you go the less chance of having your house "torn off its foundation" - extremely unlikely even just a mile or two inland. Five miles or more inland and that is just not going to happen, period. Roof torn off (or severely damaged)? That can happen almost anywhere in FL, but still not as common as you might think. If someone is just really frightened of a hurricane destroying their home, then they should settle somewhere inland like Orlando or Gainesville where no hurricane will ever do that (but some tornado might :p).

    It really all comes down to the kind of lifestyle you want. In Florida, the further north you go the further South you get. Meaning, north Florida is much closer culturally to "The South" of Bama, Georgia, etc., while Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade in SoFla are almost like being in NY, NJ or Taxachusetts. The west coast (Tampa/St. Pete, Sarasota, Clearwater, etc.) is much more oriented like the midwest. I know it sounds weird, but it seems to be true: folks tend to either come down I-95 from the northeast and settle on the east coast, or come down I-75 from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, etc., and settle on the west coast.

    If you want more of a youth oriented or "exciting" lifestyle, head to Miami. Want a lot of peace and quiet and slower lifestyle: the panhandle. Frankly, paychecks tend to be a LOT lower in Fla than in Cali. And not as many good paying jobs. Lotsa low paying service industry jobs catering to the elderly population. But Landscape/Horticulture/Irrigation sounds like it could work out just about anywhere. Don't know if golf courses use those kind of folks, but Fla has WAY more golf courses per capita than anywhere on planet Earth.

    Just reading your posts here, I think you might do better in central florida or the gulf coast from Clearwater north to the panhandle. If you are set on the eastern side, maybe concentrate on the area between Sebastian and New Smyrna Beach.

    Good luck!
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  10. The Amazing Virginian

    The Amazing Virginian Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    One of my favorite parts of Florida! Back in the 1980s I lived in The Brittany Apartments off E Eau Gallie, just a few hundred yards from the ocean. A sweet spot for a young single guy back then. My sister lives on the Atlantic on A1A, further south, a few miles north of Sebastian but technically in Melbourne. You are living the life!
    cj65 likes this.
  11. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    This is the kind of info I was hoping to get. I knew I could count on my BFF’s. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Thanks guys. I just heard that Orange County CA is having record breaking home sales at record breaking prices. The time to sell is yesterday here. Ventura county is a great county. There are things I will miss about CA, but many I won’t. I don’t want to get political about it. We are doing this for the right reasons and there are many benefits all within the whole process. Wifey and I truly enjoy helping others and in this case it is her sister. If I was to stay in CA, I do love Ventura county. I really don’t want to move from CA to CA. It would have to be a real move. I have a lot more to research now. Truly thanks all for the great info. :)
  12. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    As an ex-Californian who's only visited Florida all I can say is I preferred the Gulf Coast. Jacksonville was interesting but I really liked Pensacola. Orlando I found too flat. It kind of freaked me out.
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  13. Silent H

    Silent H

    Feb 1, 2018
    I moved from NY to the panhandle for work a little over a year ago. It's very different from where my cousin lived near Orlando. Frankly, I don't see many people taking pride in their landscaping around here. I can't wait to leave the panhandle and never come back.
    cj65 likes this.
  14. Centermass

    Centermass Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    I was born in Orlando, but my family moved to Tampa during my early years. I moved to Pasco County (yes, the Live PD one) just north of Tampa around ‘84 following my parents’ divorce, and have lived around here most of my life. My brother, who was old enough to choose who he wanted to live with went to Pinellas County with dad, and he still lives in Clearwater to this day, but did live in Melbourne on the east coast for a few years.

    As a kid, Pasco was fairly rural, and some of it still is... for now. In fact, when we moved here from Reaganomics yuppieville suburban Tampa, I thought I’d hate it, but I grew to love the simplicity and neighborliness, dirt roads and the woods and lakes. Low relative property costs since the late 90’s real estate bubble were a huge draw for those wishing to build inexpensively and move just a short distance north from the long-established and crowded Tampa proper to areas like Wesley Chapel, Lutz, Odessa, and Trinity which are just up the main arteries of I75/I275, US41, Dale Mabry Highway and US19.

    We’re gettin busier and more suburban by the day. Roads which used to be two lanes are now four or six, and morning traffic, which used to only consist of rock trucks and school buses has become mostly commuter. I still like it here, but it’s been amazing to see such growth in such a short time. Everything you could possibly want is nearby (except any semblance of mountains or serious topography other than flat land. Unless you go north county, and even then it’s just “hilly”). My wife is from up north and while she certainly prefers the weather, she hates the fast expansion.
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  15. navman

    navman Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    Not Homestead........
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  16. gunsil

    gunsil Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2013
    My sister is a professor at UFL Gainesville. I have visited her and it's not a bad area at all. Northern FL so it isn't as crazy hot as way south FL and being a university town there are a lot more "tolerant" folks in the area. 1.5 hours or less to either coast and normally less hurricane damage than in the southern coastal areas. Plenty of snakes and gators, it is still very FL.
    cj65 likes this.
  17. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    And we have plenty of mosquitos. Most of Florida is post 1950s suburbia. Endless sprawl, with similar streets and houses separated by endless numbers of shopping centers, all sporting the same old chain stores and restaurants. The base economy is agriculture, which covers most of the inland areas with the exception of Orlando. With tourism and medical facilities bridging in most of the rest. Huge citrus and sugar operations around Clewiston, a lot of cattle ranches towards the center and north as well.

    The shores towns are dominated by tourist and retirees. With endless piles of medical facilities. If you enjoy the outdoors, avoid south Florida, the options are few and far between. for 3/4 of the year, being outdoors Requires dealing with constant rain storms, high humidity and temperatures in the 90s....did I mention mosquito. Boating and fishing are good.

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  18. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Thanks again all you Floridians! It is getting real. Tomorrow I am accepting an offer from my best customer which is my previous employer and I will be doing the same stuff as I do here on the west coast. That makes me happy. I am a creature of habit and I like working alone, in the field, and I like installing crap.
    I will stock up on skeeter repellant. Tomorrow, I will be discussing best location/s for where my employer wants me centralized. I am freaking out as to how much stuff we have here to get rid of. We need to do at least 2 garage sales. One to remove crap so we can then make room to go through and sort what to keep and what to get rid of. I have a lot of plants that I am very fond of, but, they are not worth the money to transport. They will go, hopefully to good homes.
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  19. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    vaya con Dios, amigo.
    cj65 likes this.
  20. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    I will migrate west once a year for the annual Yuma dove hunt. I don’t plan on missing that event, never.....
    Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise of course.
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