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Any advice for a Midwesterner considering relocation to Florida? I'm looking at a job near Ft Lauderdale presently.

Any of you transplants from similar areas and how do you like it?
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I am a Pittsburgher living two hours north of Ft. Lauderdale. We have two seasons: hot and wet and warm and less wet. If you are a huge fan of changing seasons, that might bug you. It's very flat here, too. I miss rolling hills. Hurricanes are like tornadoes that last for days, except you can see them coming.

I have almost six years here and no plans to move.

Good luck, and feel free to ask any specifics.

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Hi Jennlee222!

Any advice for a Midwesterner considering relocation to Florida? I'm looking at a job near Ft Lauderdale presently.

Any of you transplants from similar areas and how do you like it?

I'm what I call a "sunbird"--here in north Broward County (same as you'll be) eight months a year, and in upper New York state for four months. I think it's beautiful here from October through end of May, but the summers are hot, humid and challenging. However, air conditioning is abundant (and cold!), so the most uncomfortable period is simply getting from your home to your car and your car to your place of employment, and back again.

I LOVE Ft. Lauderdale! There are so many wonderful places to live, tons of great restaurants, beautiful beaches, and lots of nice folk. Where you choose to live will depend, in large part, whether you're single, married, or have children. If you can afford to live oceanfront, I highly recommend it, although if you have children, you'll want to look further inland, where you can buy larger homes with a back yard and maybe a pool. If you've been contemplating becoming a homeowner, there's no time like the present. Prices are relatively low, and although they're turning the corner, there are still deals to be had.

One thing if you do decide to buy--make sure that you apply for a Homestead exemption. That will keep your property taxes from rising more than 3% per year in most situations.

If you love outdoor sports, there's an abundance of tennis courts and public golf courses. You will never be wanting of a game. And if you don't play, it's a great time to learn.

Good luck with your decision, and let us know if you have any other questions about our fair state. And just'll never freeze in winter again!


Barbara Eisner Bayer
PRO Home Fool
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Thanks for all the great info, Barbara!

I have heard about the heat and humidity in the summer. I have heard it described as unbearable, but also likened to our winters here in that you grin and bear it and move from one climate-controlled space to another with as little gap in between :-)

I am finding as I get older that I like heat better than I used to. However, I am a redhead with fair skin and freckles. While I enjoy sunny places and feel much better emotionally and physically when it is sunny outside, I generally am not someone to be lying on beaches a lot.

How many months is it pretty unbearable to be out in the elements? July/Aug? June? Sept? Here I pretty much dislike Dec/Jan/Feb/March with Nov and April being marginally OK. So I was thinking it might be a bit of an even exchange, with maybe a bit of a bonus on the Fl side as far as the heat/cold tradeoff.

I had a friend who recently moved back to the midwest from San Antonio Texas because he didn't really like it there. Some things he mentioned included the bugs.

Do you have lots of bugs in homes and such? Palmetto bugs, spiders, ants? Are they hard to deal with?

I am single without kids, but I'm 40, so won't be out hitting the nightclubs much. The job is actually in Miramar, so would want to be not too terrible of a commute away. I am definitely a house person rather than an apartment.

I hear a lot about the Florida housing market. Are there lots of foreclosures in this area, or is it different because of the location? I'd be wondering if I should try to buy soon or just rent and see how I like it. I've also heard it is very expensive and difficult to get homeowners insurance.

What are property taxes generally like? For example, on my 3/2 "starter" grade development home in the midwest, I pay about $5000 in property taxes annually (which to me seems high, but the calculators I've tried say housing costs are about 25% higher there than here, but my insurance only costs like $600 annually).

The midpoint of the job range that I'm looking at is around $85K. Is that a good income for life in the area?

Sorry for the long post!
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Thanks, Finsternis!

I might miss hills as well, but I'm not sure it's a deal-breaker for me. I lived in the mountains out West for a few years and wasn't really into that.

The hurricanes do make me pause some - esp since I've never experienced them. Have you had to evacuate? I've been through some close-ish tornadoes, but really that's only a few hours versus days!

I've been to a few areas in Florida over the years, most recently spending vacations in the panhandle/gulf coast, and the culture there seems pretty different from the south Fl culture.

I've heard that this area of S Fl is very urban culture-wise. I've only ever lived in small or medium cities and so wonder if it'll be culture shock to be in a really urban type area.

Thanks for the info.
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