Definitely leaving Florida

bruggirl100(z9 FL)August 30, 2005

I have struggled financially here ever since I broke my arm and had to spend all my savings two years ago. It got worse after my BF and I broke up. I have come to the conclusion that unless you have two incomes, want a roommate (which I don't), or have a master's degree and a great income, you don't belong here. My house payments are comparatively low, below $600 a month, and still, it's too much.

I can't make it on one income. I made more in SC 12 years ago than I'm offered here for comparable work. Being born and raised in the true south, I don't relate to the northern mentality with the bosses down here. I'm tired of working two jobs, being exhausted all the time, and then getting fired from one of the jobs because I can't do the work, because I'm tired all the time. The emotional toll is just too much, along with the blow after blow to my self-esteem and self-worth.

It's all too much. I can sell my house here, and with the money I make, buy a home in S. Georgia and pay cash for it. No mortgage payment, no hurricanes, no outrageous taxes and insurance costs.

I know many people won't understand, but I've been here eight years, and have seen so many people come down here from the north with high hopes, and then leave because they couldn't make it financially here. One of my neighbors, a retired couple on a fixed income, is moving next week due to rising insurance and taxes. They've been here 5 years, and were planning on dying here. Add me to the list. Hopefully, my house isn't foreclosed on before I can sell it.

It's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun, especially in the last three years. I'll be having a plant sale in the next couple of weeks here in North Port. I'll let you now when. Everything in pots will have to go. Might even sell some "u dig" stuff if I can't find a buyer who wants to take care of the yard. Can't take tropicals to Georgia.

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AmberSky(9b FL)

I will be sorry to see you go, but I hope that you find what you are looking for, and enjoy the place you find.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 9:13PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

I know exactly where you're coming from. My husband and I are making it on his income alone since I hurt my hands and back and had to have all the surgeries. We've been looking on the real estate websites. With our home ins. doubling and probably going up again after Katrina, we'll never make it. We're just hanging in till some matters are resolved and then we'll look where to go next.

It stinks because we love it here.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 9:56PM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

Yes, it stinks. I love Florida, but it's gotten to be a place for the upper middle class and wealthy, and I'm neither.

It will break my heart to walk away from what I thought would be my home for the rest of my life, but I don't really have a choice.

What has happened to the economy in this state in the past eight years is abominable. Wages are stagnant, and costs are skyrocketing. I'd hate to be a small business person in this town right now, because both Wal-Mart and Home Depot are near completion. There will be a lot of closings, including my neighborhood grocery stores. I will be forced to shop at Wal-Mart, or drive 10 miles to the Publix on the other side of town, which I will, because I refuse to shop at the place that will put my best friend's produce store out of business.

The insurance on my 13 year old car is more than the car is worth, and that's basic coverage.

Homeowner's insurance is unbelievable. In S. Georgia, I will pay less than $400 a year on a $60,000 3/2 house on 1 acre. here I would pay over $1000 a year on a house that is only taxed on $28,000.

It's just all too sad. Paradise for the rich has turned into financial prison for the rest of us.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 11:33PM
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AmberSky(9b FL)

I understand. It's very frustrating. It's very frustrating to those of us who's family settled the state, to find ourselves crowded out, displaced, or priced out of the land that our family has held for generations.

So as you find a place that you like, please do warn your new neighbors of how horrible, expensive, and dangerous Florida is. Development is destroying the very thing that people come here to experiance, and the more people that come, the more expensive and less satisfying it all is. We are getting loved to death.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:09PM
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tab64(9b FL-Orlando)

I can feel for you. When I first moved back to FL after living in PA. It was a culture shock for me first of all. The pay really did suck. When I lived in PA it seemed there was more on a local level when it came to helping people out. I had to get use to traveling in traffic to go everywhere. I was use to having everything within walking distance. We all know it the great layout some FL cities have. "We can not have any roads that intersect more than 2 streets". The first years were hard until I decided to move to another city within the state, then it got better. With the price of gas it will soon cost an extra couple hundred dollars a month, in a state were the only thing in walking distance is going to the mail box.

Your comment about Wal Mart is why I will not shop there. I see what it did to many people I know that had small businesses, it was sad. If you thought your were safe selling tires, groceries, medication, furniture, cars or gas you soon found out you were not. Not one store or even two put them everywhere.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:45PM
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fuzzy(6b northern AR)

Bruggirl, I am glad for you- proud of you, even. It's often hard to admit that you're in a bad financial situation, but it's ten times harder to find the courage to make the huge changes necessary to alter it.

Florida is pricing many of us out of the state; I fear there'll be more of us following you in your footsteps soon.

Kudos. Here's to you finding a perfect little garden cottage in small-town Georgia, and making a new and better life for yourself. Peace, financial security, and joy to you rather than stress, unpaid bills, and strife!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 3:09PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

What they forget as they are building those luxury condos, homes, townhouses and hotels is that they are going to need people to cook, clean and fix their stuff for them. But we will all be priced out of the state! There'll be no one to ring up your items in WalMart if we can't afford a place to live.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 5:30PM
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Irma_StPete(z9 FL)

Bruggirl, it sounds like you know what you are doing. You may be on the leading edge of the migration that the Baby Boomer Generation in much of Florida will have to join when we retire. So, go now and get the best price for your new digs that you can ... we're a comin' later and raisin' the market! (Maybe you can invest now, with your new house as collateral, in property to sell us when we arrive ... and have the last laugh!) Good luck!. Irma

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 6:07PM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

Hey! I've got a plan! Let's all leave together and start a gardening community in S. Georgia! Wouldn't that be a pretty place.?

I'll be buying up acreage for you to live on when you come. I promise I won't cheat you on the price! LOL

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 6:15PM
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Irma_StPete(z9 FL)


    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 12:43PM
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I am from small town South Georgia, and I envy you. If we weren't tied to this area by work, we'd leave, to South Georgia, or just about anywhere else without such rapid growth.

It's not that I have anything against Florida. I love it in many ways. It's just that I have this natural and very deep aversion to living where so many other people want to live. It's like when I hear of the prices of places in Manhattan or San Fransciso. Sure, those are beautiful cities, but there's something obscene about paying what people must pay to live in them. Of course it's not that bad here, yet, but the prices of houses have doubled in our neighborhood in the past four years. Houses aren't worth what people are paying for them

There are many wonderful places to live in South Georgia, and the gardening is easier. Again, I love Central Florida, and there are lots of neat plants that will grow here. But I was once at a gardening lecture, and the speaker, who was a horticulturalist and extension agent, said that Central Florida was the most difficult place to garden in the country. And I believe her. In Ga you'll be able to grow all those wonderful plants that really don't do well south of zone 8.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 9:15AM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

Burggirl, my husband and I are joining your club! We're moving too. We put the house on the market 1 Aug and then reduced the price 1 Sept. We can't leave fast enought. Too many signs pointing for us to leave. -Lack of decent jobs - HUGE lack of decent pay - Hurricanes, hurricanes, hurricanes and then the new neighbors turned out to be real jerks! It's time to move on. After five years with three hurricanes and two tropical storms I'm done trying to keep my gardens growing. Pardise is going to be where we make it, and sadly it's not going to be in Florida any longer.

Good Luck to you too Burggirl....I'm sure things will be looking better for you this time next year!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 8:51PM
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bihai(zone 9)

I understand where you are coming from. And we live in NORTH FL, not Central or South! Its the same up here in Gainesville, believe me. Possibly even worse, because the huge landholders here (the University of FL, and many other public entities) do not pay their share of taxes.
We lived in the same house since we moved here in 1992...a 3 story 85 year old brick colonial in the Historic District that we paid $169,000 for. We decided to sell it and move out into the country a bit in 2003. We sold it for $315,000. The people who bought it from US were (we did not know at the time)house speculators. They bought our house, never moved into it,but did a lot to "alter" the interior (for the worse), tore up the yard (They dug up all of the landscaping and left it out on the curb, my neighbors went and got tons of free plants) and then put the house back on the market....for $450,000!

I was glad that they didn't get it. It stayed on the market forever before someone finally bought it for just over $400,000! We couldn't believe it! We felt we were getting a huge amount when we got $315K for it, but we felt it was fair because we had done a lot to in in 11 years and it was in much better condition than when WE bought it.! We know it wasn't worth $400,000 or we would have asked that for it!

Meanwhile, in our NEW house, when we moved out here the first year our property taxes were about $4200. After one year, they DOUBLED to over $8000! We were stunned. And that's WITH a Homestead Exemption!

So its not just Central and SOuth FL....Northern FL is JUST AS BAD.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 7:44PM
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fuzzy(6b northern AR)

Just got notice last week- our property taxes are doubling next year. GRRRRRRR.... this was not in the new-baby budget...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 12:32PM
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Help please from all you that have lived or are looking in Georgia. My husband has just retired. We spent the last 2 weeks looking at real estate in Florida. Och!!! your property taxes are high !!!
We looked at Waycross and Valdosta, you got a lot more house for your money there and tha property taxes aren't as high. Question, were are you all looking in Georgia and will 2 nice yankees from Arizona be able to make friends?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:03PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

FWIW Mickey - you might want to start a new topic on this - people will miss your question buried in this thread.

That said, I had some friends who bought a very lovely house in Waycross - in the late 80s/early 90s, for a song (something like 40k for a 3bedroom/2bath, w/fireplace) in a very lovely neighborhood.They lived there for a number of years during husband's tenure as a church music director.I visited them there several times & really enjoyed it.Waycross is kinda centrally-located to both in FL & GA - it has a lotta railroad history.

My friend (originally from Memphis) was glad to leave, tho - telling me she was unhappy about the racial segregation there.They live near Atlanta now.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 11:42AM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

Mickey, move to the Bainbridge area, and I'll be your friend. It's only 40 minutes from Tallahassee.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:28PM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

Fuzzy, how could your property taxes double? Are you not homesteaded? I thought they could only go up 3% a year if you were.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:29PM
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fuzzy(6b northern AR)

...comes from just buying the house this year, I believe. They reassessed.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:34PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

I got hit with that, too, when we moved here 4 yrs. ago. Taxes went up over $300 the next year and then they explained the reassessed thing to me. Some counties have made it a law that the real estate agents must disclose this little fact to you before you buy.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 10:22AM
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bruggirl100(z9 FL)

I hope Sarasota doesn't reassess anytime soon! I'll be in dire trouble!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:16PM
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I agree that places are getting too expensive in Florida. I live in Gainesville, too. The University of FL does seem to own a lot of land here. The good thing is, our city commission isn't letting Walmart build another place so easily. They tried two locations and failed at getting permission for both places. The choice of jobs isn't that good either. I've been unemployed after my last job (they closed the place due to financial reasons) for over six months now. I got a degree in horticulture and no responses. Don't mean to sound angry but I am sort of ticked off at not being able to get a job. I'm going after horticulturist certification certification now. I sympathize with anyone who has no job or is dealing money issues. It's not fun. I can understand how small businesses couldn't compete with a store like Walmart or Home Depot.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 11:57PM
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pnsgrits(8bFL Pensacola)

Hi Everyone...I believe the whole state is going to the rich. I live in Pensacola and housing after Ivan is
almost non-existant or so expensive the folks making $8=$10
an hour can buy nor can they after the $700/$800 mo. apts.
Escambia County gives seniors over 65 another $25,000 added
to their homestead exemption if you have lived in your house 10 years. Everyone should check this out where you are and as if you are a widow or disabled. Our housing prices here have gone up 65% in the last five years. A
man across the street from me has a 1200 sf 3b/3b no yard house for sale at $433,000. My postman just retired and moved to West Virginia because of low taxes and some areas
free natural gas comes with your house, so you could have
a HUGE heated GREENHOUSE WITH HOTTUB. Maybe thats a idea.
The more information we pass along the better off we all
will be.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 9:55PM
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minibim(FL z10)

Honestly, I don't care where people live, choose where your happy or move on. Deep down it makes me happy anytime someone says they don't like Florida or they're leaving Florida - that's not meant disrespectfully of the person, just that it's one less person living here, so to speak....
Most of the times blaming "Florida" is just an excuse for other problems in your own life though.

I have to comment on the last 2 posts though.
In very general terms a "college town" isn't known for great jobs or great wages. They are very transient towns, with an abundance of cheap labor(college kids) available. Unless you are going to work for U of F itself, I can't see a horticultural degree being in extreme demand around Gainesville itself. Furthermore that is kind of a specialized degree that you are probably going to need to be willing to re-locate to where a job is, not wait for it to come to you. How this situation is a "Florida" problem is beyond me.

The panhandle of Florida has been hit with 3? 4? hurricanes now? Did you really expect housing costs, especially rentals to stay affordable? It is a supply and demand issue that occurs ANYWHERE a massive natural disaster occurs. What does "Florida" have to do with it aside from Florida being the location of the disasters?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 8:20AM
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Irma_StPete(z9 FL)

I've been thinking about Georgia for my future, but I read an article mentioning some recent state level political #*@blankety-blank going down there ... that would bother me greatly. Politics, government ... can't assume that would be as-good-as or better, elsewhere.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 12:44PM
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I'm glad I lived there when I did (from 1982-2002). I arrived on the scene in north Florida before it was "found", and then watched the rapid change of the 90's take place. I agree that real estate has gone wild. It would be difficult for me to move back, but luckily I have no intention to.

Still, Florida will always have a place in my heart.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 6:39PM
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Honestly, I don't care where people live, choose where your happy or move on. Deep down it makes me happy anytime someone says they don't like Florida or they're leaving Florida - that's not meant disrespectfully of the person, just that it's one less person living here, so to speak....
Most of the times blaming "Florida" is just an excuse for other problems in your own life though.

Goodness! How angry you are! Maybe YOU have problems in your life that are making you spew out at people.

Nobody is blaming "Florida", just the economics of supply and demand in a state that is growing too rapidly, and getting too expensive for most of us. Frankly, I get your attitude from a lot of the "nouveau riche" down here, and it makes me sick. Those who have money want all of us who don't gone, and I can't wait to see how hard it gets for them when we do all leave. Without people to do their bidding, how will they survive? All the money in the world won't buy you service if no one is there to provide it.

I think one day the world will be taken over by Wal-Mart, then where will we be?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 1:29AM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

Wally World... oh my...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 5:40PM
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npwtsb(southEast fla)

I've lived in most of the main parts of America and
think that the economics of Florida are not great,
unless you are wealthy.
There is great deal of unfairness in the property taxes - go to the Florida state web site and the property assment. page and i saw a huge disparage in my community. I live in a gated community where all the houses look alike. The values of the houses are the same (these are very cookie cutter - unfortunately : )... but the property taxes are different; Even if they are purchased in the same year... very strange... and it's not the homestead exemptn either.
(That's another problem - many snowbirds live in my community, like my neighbor who is only here 4 weeks/year and yet she's claimed this as a primary residence...)
This is typical of Florida, esp. South Fla - there are a lot of exemptions being offered - and it's very unfair...
Plus, Florida's pay is dismal - opportunities are low -
10 years ago, there were tons and tons of opportunity, and now, I've noticed more and more people settling for low-paying jobs just so they can continue working. Education is not valued here as much as in other parts of the country and so on.....

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 12:59PM
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gesteiger(SE FLORIDA)

We have lived here all our life, South Fl. That is. I love the tropical environment. There is no where like the Keys two hours away. I have come to the comclusion this town has lost its personality and its everyone for themself. Cant stand traffic,rude people,and all this rush rush rush. After all that I'm ready to move to The mid to north central florida where life is a little sweeter,slower with personality. I dont even Know or talk to everyone on my street after 40 years thats sad. Its not a long street either. Sad to go but fairwell,goodby,goodluck, I'M OUT OF HERE TOO. Plants grow everywhere!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 1:10PM
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Apparently I'm hooked on Florida. Financially it's been really hard and my corporate career seems to be on the downturn but I can stand the thought of leaving here.
Jobs have been a series of 2-year gigs since moving here 8 years ago. Before moving here I had the same job for 10 years and the one before that for 5. I don't know if it's the economy, my age (50), or what. I'm baffled. Baffled and jobless. Not a good combination.
Definitely time for a career change... but not a move out of state.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 12:14PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

Gesteiger, it's the same way here in central Fl. Traffic is a nightmare. I got hit in a Wally world parking lot, my son got rear-ended making a turn, and then he was run off the road last week by someone going twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road. He blew out a tire getting out of the way and this was only a few blocks from home.

There is going to be a big town meeting with Citizens Ins. here in Pasco on March 1st. I'll be there. Maybe they will fix this mess.

I have a friend who just moved from here back to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The prices there are very low and so are taxes and ins. Does anyone know about the area???

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 10:40AM
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mistiaggie(z9A Tx)

I grew up in Ft. Worth. Prices are very low compared to here. My parents house is in the low $100's, close to a good 5A school (my school! ;) ) and a house like that 3/2 with a good yard would be $400+ here. There is lots of growth in the DFW area, good houses. Just have to deal with drought, Texas heat and tornados in the spring.

Other areas to consider are the Austin area and San Antonio. Also, an area that is slowly growing is Tyler. Still has a small town atmosphere, but I hear it is growing by leaps and bounds, so now is probably a good time to get in.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 12:20PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

Thanks mistiaggie. I'll check it out.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

My brother and his wife are thinking of moving to Texas. For what they could sell their house for, they could pay cash for two homes there - use one as a rental, and live in the other. Lowering their cost of living plus adding extra income... it's smart. They're both teachers, so they can get work anywhere.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 11:31AM
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Just an update. A few setbacks, but Bruggie is finally getting some things accomplished toward moving. She always said it would be after the first of the year, but it looks like around the first part of summer now, which isn't bad, considering all that has to be done around here.

I'm thinking of going with her. There really isn't anything holding me here, except my job, and I can find another job.

It would be an adventure, for sure! I've never been to Georgia, much less lived there. She assures me it's very friendly.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 5:42PM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

Good luck to you and bruggirl, seatofmypants!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 4:32PM
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lyam(z9 Tampa FL)

I just found the coversations part of the forum when I read Irenes thread about her pain. I miss little detail like that from time to time.

This is a sad thread. All this talk of people leaving. My mom has talked about leaving Florida, and returning to Alabama. Even though I was born in Alabama an spent half my life there, off an on, I feel like this is my home, and Alabama my second home. All my friends are here. I know the seasons, and the way the weather works. I don't mind change, but I would miss a lot here.

I know what you mean about the True South bruggirl (if you're still reading this). I've always told people here that Florida is as far south as you can go an not be in The South.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:23PM
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