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Old 10-24-2017, 04:36 PM   #1
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The reality of moving to FL?

Hi everyone,

It is possible that my wife and I could take an opportunity to relocate to South Florida. I have found myself "between jobs" and she has the ability to work remotely. In addition, I may have to ability to take a gig covering a south Florida area.

We would need to relocate the boat and find a place to keep her there. There wouldn't be an increase in annual income and that worries me some. We could start by living onboard, but I don't think I could do that for more than a few months.

Like many, we have always "dreamed" of pulling up stakes and going south, but now that it is a real possibility, it is kinda scary. I have lived in NC for my entire life and don't know what to expect in such a life-altering relocation.

Do y'all have any pointers or advice that can help us decide?

Thanks,
Tom-
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:10 PM   #2
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We loved it down there. But the total cost of living for equivalent location is going to be higher. Ann would move back to Boca in a heartbeat.

Like anything else, it is a very personal decision, a lot of the things we liked about other people can't stand.. the wild diversity, the helter skelter craziness, the summer weather.
Only thing we really didn't like is the traffic and the quality and consistency of the driving skills, which gets worse the further south you go.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:45 PM   #3
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West coast is significantly cheaper than the East Coast. No state income tax in FL. Year round boat insurance is higher. If you don't have to live on the water, think you could find West Coast housing that would be comparable to NC. I live in Fort Myers. If West Coast is an option, PM me for more information. I will be there in a couple of weeks or so if you want to come down and check out the area.

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Old 10-24-2017, 06:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
Hi everyone,

It is possible that my wife and I could take an opportunity to relocate to South Florida. I have found myself "between jobs" and she has the ability to work remotely. In addition, I may have to ability to take a gig covering a south Florida area.

We would need to relocate the boat and find a place to keep her there. There wouldn't be an increase in annual income and that worries me some. We could start by living onboard, but I don't think I could do that for more than a few months.

Like many, we have always "dreamed" of pulling up stakes and going south, but now that it is a real possibility, it is kinda scary. I have lived in NC for my entire life and don't know what to expect in such a life-altering relocation.

Do y'all have any pointers or advice that can help us decide?

Thanks,
Tom-
Like any relocation, I'd suggest a trip down for at least a few days. Maybe even talk to a real estate agent, making it clear you're no where close to buying but would like to see what areas and what levels of houses you could get equivalent to what you have. We use to do this with potential new hires in NC.

How far South is your opportunity? A lot of difference between Jupiter and Miami and both are South Florida.

I show a 26% difference in cost of living between Cary, NC and Fort Lauderdale, FL. However, all those calculations take a broad range of items into effect, some of which may not impact you. For instance, they take average commute to work and you might have a short commute. In your specific case the biggest chunks came in house cost or apartment rent. Only way to check that is knowing what house you live in now and what you'd want there. One thing not on these standard calculations is marina slip. We know Fort Lauderdale is much higher. Move a bit up the coast not as bad.

Here's a tool, but use it with great caution.

Cost of Living Calculator - Cost of Living Comparison Index Tool

We used this and other tools occasionally on relocations.

After cost, look at enjoyment. Area. Well, I'd say honestly, Cary has as much big city feel as South Florida. Didn't 20 years ago. Then it was escaping from Raleigh. Last time I was there was about 10 years ago and I was shocked. Hobbies are important and outside interests. Then favored climates. Then recreation. Thoughts about potential retirement. There's a reason people retire to South Florida. Now I'll toss one negative. You live close to one of the top teaching hospitals in the country and to another very good one. We do not have equal in Fort Lauderdale. If I was diagnosed with a serious illness, I'd probably go from here to Duke for a second opinion. Depending on condition, then I might get treatment there or perhaps at Shands (U of FL).

Then look at the opportunity in front of you. Do you think you'd enjoy it as much or more than now? Is it secure. Worst thing in the world is relocating for a job that quickly disappears. In your profession, what would other opportunities be like? For instance, in many jobs they'd be great, but if you were a lawyer, I'd warn you that every lawyer in the NE has tried to get a job here. Kids graduate law school and here they come.

I'm just tossing the type considerations out, trying to get you to think. I'll be glad publicly or privately to answer any questions I can. I moved here from the Lake Norman area and love it here beyond anything I dreamed, but like comparing any two places there are pluses and minuses. I think NYC is wonderful but you need to make 235% of what you do in NC to break even.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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We live in Orlando, been here almost 30 years, boat is in key largo. This has been a rough year weather wise, but we love it. If you don't have to live on the waterfront, commute to the boat, housing can be reasonable.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
West coast is significantly cheaper than the East Coast. No state income tax in FL. Year round boat insurance is higher. If you don't have to live on the water, think you could find West Coast housing that would be comparable to NC.

Ted
I was interpreting South Florida as Miami/Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Guess we need to get his meaning and even more precisely where the job would be.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:16 PM   #7
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No income tax, but there is a 6% sales tax. You would likely have to state register the boat in Florida. A friend of ours just did this and you should still be okay as long as you have your papers in order and can show it was registered in another state. If it has not been registered in another state i believe there was some risk of having to pay the FL sales tax...
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
Hi everyone,

It is possible that my wife and I could take an opportunity to relocate to South Florida. I have found myself "between jobs" and she has the ability to work remotely. In addition, I may have to ability to take a gig covering a south Florida area.

We would need to relocate the boat and find a place to keep her there. There wouldn't be an increase in annual income and that worries me some. We could start by living onboard, but I don't think I could do that for more than a few months.

Like many, we have always "dreamed" of pulling up stakes and going south, but now that it is a real possibility, it is kinda scary. I have lived in NC for my entire life and don't know what to expect in such a life-altering relocation.

Do y'all have any pointers or advice that can help us decide?
We lived in Vero Beach and it is considered South Florida. It is about as far south on the east coast as we could be tolerate. Wonderful town, great place to live until the rest of southeast Florida moves north and encompasses it, and very cultured with great art museums and galleries. Southeast FL and southwest FL are somewhat different and I consider the west coast preferable to the east coast for a retirement lifestyle although we ended up moving to north FL. We found Punta Gorda to be a great little town on the west coast.

My advice is to avoid south of West Palm Beach on the east coast. It is a nice place to vacation but a horrible place to live unless you are a 1 percenter.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:38 PM   #9
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We lived in Vero Beach and it is considered South Florida. It is about as far south on the east coast as we could be tolerate. Wonderful town, great place to live until the rest of southeast Florida moves north and encompasses it, and very cultured with great art museums and galleries. Southeast FL and southwest FL are somewhat different and I consider the west coast preferable to the east coast for a retirement lifestyle although we ended up moving to north FL. We found Punta Gorda to be a great little town on the west coast.

My advice is to avoid south of West Palm Beach on the east coast. It is a nice place to vacation but a horrible place to live unless you are a 1 percenter.
I suggested the Jupiter area if it fits with his job. As to your final comment, there are plenty of people happy in South Florida who don't have wealth. Go a bit away from the water and some very reasonable homes in areas like Plantation. There are nice homes, more than adequate for a couple, in Plantation and Sunrise, under $200k. Even West Boca Raton isn't bad. A lot of homes under $200k. Go to Realtor.com and pick a city and set an upper price and you'll be surprised what you'll see. I didn't know there was any Boca west of I-95, but there is. West to Coral Springs, an area many have moved south to. Even areas like Delray Beach are less.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:27 PM   #10
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I did my time in S FL, some 55 years. Lake worth in the 60's, Jupiter Island in the 70's, Ft. Lauderdale in the 80's, Boynton Beach in the 90's, until 5 years ago. High school in WPB, College in Boca. Both parents born in Miami, and no, I'm not Latin.
It's a complex area. B&B has the housing pretty much spot on.
Biggest positives: clearly the ocean, the lack of cold, the prox to Bahamas, the low taxes., the prevailing wind (from SE)
Biggest negs: the people (quality and quantity), the traffic, the housing cost, the car insurance cost, flat, flat land, strip malls, the control of life by corporations, not residents.

Lots of other details in the equation; gotta pin down the exact locale. We are headed back to FL, but not S FL. I actually enjoy driving around Miami, etc on business, but got real tired of any commuting effort.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:41 PM   #11
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Why not Jacksonville?
300 miles of Saint Johns River
ICW
Good beaches
Jags football
Semi-pro baseball (Jumbo Shrimp)
ABA Basketball (Giants)
Soccer (Armada)
Golf
University of North Florida baseball, basketball, soccer
Jacksonville University baseball, basketball, soccer
Multiple entertainment venues (check JAXEVENTS)
International Airport
Closer to Cary N.C.
Check out Ortega Marina (8 miles south of downtown)
Beaches or Palm Cove Marina's at the intersection of the river and ICW
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:01 PM   #12
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To narrow the discussion down...
The job possibility is in Miami Beach area. It is event production. There are lots of events and event companies there. Would I be able to get one if this one sucked? I canít know that for sure.
I donít hate traffic as much as most people do.
Slip rental prices are the scariest thing as does insurance.

How is the boating in general? What can you do on an average weekend? Are there anchorages? Are there places to go with transient docks to visit towns?
If we bought a home, 200k would be about the price range.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:11 PM   #13
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Why not Jacksonville?
Because he said his opportunity was in South Florida.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:13 PM   #14
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The boating is fantastic both stateside and a few hours away in the islands. But beware the weekends as the boat driving takes on the character of the land driving.

200k might be a just little rough, I'll defer to the locals to comment more specifically on that.

There's traffic and then there's Miami traffic. It's not just the density it's the complete randomness of the driving, in some perverse way it is better if it's denser and slower because the it contains the crazies.. which come in all ages, origins and ethnicities . I have driven all sorts of places around the world, and there is nothing quite like Miami.

One other thing nice about the Miami area is it's proximity to the USA; just a few hours drive away.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:22 PM   #15
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One other thing nice about the Miami area is it's proximity to the USA; just a few hours drive away.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:25 PM   #16
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I donít hate traffic as much as most people do.
You will after you take a drive from your $200K home to Miami Beach during rush hour.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:32 PM   #17
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I lived in Miami for 70 years and we have nice drivers and little traffic. Paradise for sure but I love the city life but cab hop on the boat and be in the Keys or Bahamas in a few hours. Co e on down we need more people.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:33 PM   #18
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To narrow the discussion down...
The job possibility is in Miami Beach area. It is event production. There are lots of events and event companies there. Would I be able to get one if this one sucked? I canít know that for sure.
I donít hate traffic as much as most people do.
Slip rental prices are the scariest thing as does insurance.

How is the boating in general? What can you do on an average weekend? Are there anchorages? Are there places to go with transient docks to visit towns?
If we bought a home, 200k would be about the price range.
Boating is incredible. Do the ICW if you like and every town has something. Go south to the Keys. Go north through the Okeechobee or south and around and you'll be on the West Coast. Or go 50 nm to Bimini, Bahamas. Have a bit longer and explore all the Bahamas. No where else I know with so many islands so close.

In addition to boating, there are always many things going on during the weekends. None as good as boating. However, it's a tourist area and that means a lot of fine restaurants and a lot of things to do.

There is a lot of event production in South Florida. People like to come here for events.

Depending on where your office is, you can live north and close to the roads south. The selection of single family homes in that price range is better in Broward County. Still there are some in Miami/Dade. You'd have to decide if you liked the area though. I would definitely not buy too quickly, until you really know the area. Rent or live on the boat but you don't want to pick a neighborhood you'll not like. You need time to explore.

Slip rentals are something which is high and no real alternative to that unless you want your boat a couple of hours away and I don't see that. Now, before Irma, there were some more reasonable slips south of Miami, but doubt there are now, places like Marathon.

Boat insurance will be more, but with some searching not as much as you might think. Not as much an issue as the slip.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:37 PM   #19
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!!!
there is some funny stuff in here. all true!

Two years ago, on a job in W. Miami. I stop in a Columbian restaurant. In Kendal, not very close to Little Havana. 20 something waitress, didn't speak enough english (maybe even ANY English) to describe what I wanted.

This is not a fresh off the boat guest. This is 3rd generation in Miami that doesn't speak English at home, school, or anywhere else.

Don't get me wrong. I love that! Authentic ethic food. Bahamian food in Buena Vista near downtowm Miami. Exactly the same as in Freeport Bahamas.
Its a great mix.

OK, reality check. 200k to work with; working in MB; get a condo, non-waterfront, forget the single fam house anywhere in the area of interest.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:40 PM   #20
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My usual answer to a question like this is: " go away, we're full!"

But if you are headed to Miami, then welcome new tax payer!
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