Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Blue

What is Florida like as a place to live?

109 posts in this topic

Hello everyone -- I currently live in Southern California, and love many things about it -- the smoke-free restaurants and bars, the weather, good for allergies, and the overall environment. However... the high cost of living and high number of obnoxious people are very grating, and I've considered a move to Florida, most likely in the Miami/South Florida area, but Tampa and Orlando aren't out of the question. I have a few questions..

1) What are people like? Are they friendly.. reserved... outgoing... annoying... welcoming... what are people generally like?

2) How tough it is to be a newcomer -- will you be welcomed or looked down upon, etc.

3) What is the job market like, particularly in PR/marketing/advertising?

4) What is the housing market like? Our median price here approaches $600K.. I would guess it's still quite a bit better there?

5) What is it like for allergies? Grasses are my worst allergies... California has been pretty good for that.

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hmm..okay, here we go:

1) I wouldn't say people are overly friendly, but they aren't mean. Around Orlando, most people are nice because tourism (especially Disney) really spreads its wings all over the city. There is a high expectation for service. As a melting pot, Florida has all kinds of people, from Cubans, to Brits, to natives, to trash. Everything. Its actually very similar in that way to SoCal in my experience (though maybe a bit nicer to further North you head in Florida).

2) I'm sure you would do just fine. Everyone is from somewhere else in Florida

3) Can't answer this specifically, but I do think its booming in those fields.

4) The Miami market is expensive, overpriced. Its very hard to get a deal there. Orlando, there are still deals to be had, however prices have risen sharply in the last 5 years. Can't really speak for Tampa/JAX.

5) I don't think allergies are bad in Florida. In fact I didn't know I had them until I came up to Boston for college!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am from Miami so I will answer the questions based on the only area in Florida I really know.

1) In Miami the people are not friendly. As a matter of fact most people say we are worse than New Yorkers. It is a liberal city which is nice, and people mind their business.

2)You will be fine in Miami

3)The job market is good in Miami especially in P.R. and marketing, we have alot of marketing agencies that cater to overseas markets.

4)The Miami market is expensive. A 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house on a zero lot(no land) in a decent nieghborhood will run you 550k-750k easy

5) I have allergies and they are not a problem. In Miami it is a sub tropical environment so that means coconut trees and reptiles. In other words little pollen little fur.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The people are nicer in north Florida, and the prices are lower up there as well, lol. But the weather might be a little nicer in south Florida.

BTW, Welcome to the Florida Forums!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jacksonville is very nice,except hard to find women,but otherwise fairly friendly people....lived in upstate NY so much,much better...Actually I am from Bosnia originaly and never felt as foreigner,most people here are from somewhere else anyways.

Real estate market in Jax is great at this time,still lots of descent and cheap houses but you can find nice,regular house from $180,000 to 200-300K in more spacious house,usually few years old to 500-6000K for luxury houses and of course super rich milion and plus....this is growing area,something is getting built every day.

So I recommend Jax,since it is city that is booming right now,still afordable and close to other cities too.

Every time you move from one climate or area to another you can expect "allergies" or problems till you get use to area and enviroment..usually it take year or two,depending on person....I move from Europe to NY and then Florida so I know,use to experience problems for first year or so,and I got neigbours from Guam that had simillar issues .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and the welcome! KendallKid -- wow, that doesn't sound a lot cheaper than San Diego -- although it's getting totally absurd here. I saw an 800 square foot house (about 1/2 mile from the water) listed for $550,000... and I'd say it's tough to find a new 2,000 square foot home for under $700,000 unless you go WAY inland.

Is there a big difference between different parts of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area, or are prices pretty consistent?

What part of Florida is experiencing the best job situation -- I know Orlando is growing fast, but is there a lot of growth in jobs other than in tourism??

It seems like South Florida, being sub-tropical, would be better for allergies than Northern Florida -- what is predominant vegetation like in the various parts of the state? I presume northern Florida is heavily forested with pines, similar to Alabama, Georgia, etc.. what is the rest of the state like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing.. I was kind of surprised to find a few comments that people aren't that friendly, it seems particularly in South Florida. I always kind of envisioned Florida as a very friendly place, almost an extension of Southern hospitality with a little different flavor.

Of course, based on this board so far, I find people very friendly! :)

One other slightly unusual question... how "casual" is Florida? In other words.. what is business dress like -- is it a suit and tie place, or is it more of a golf shirt and khaki environment? Also, how casual are people -- are they kind of laid back, or is there a rigid feel to the people? I hope these questions kind of make sense.. and thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


well here people treat you different depending on where you're from,unfortunatly for us non cubans that means you don't get the hospitality,and if you're not from a hispanic orgin they treat you even worse.get used to the term gringo.

as for job market tampa,broward,and miami are experiencing lots of job growth.but in miami most jobs are construction related

the diff. b/t miami is that its a mini version of new york with lots of beaches and poor people(except for certain areas),while broward is more white and blue collar ,and west palm is just you're all out rich people with huge mansions especially in the jupiter area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

about the laid back thing i really wouldn't know how to expain it because i've never been to cali so what we i consider laid back may not be what you consider laid back.

depending on where you work,depends on what you wear and also where you live, in coral gables were i live its more of the polo,abercombie-fitch,lacoste type fashion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not originally from SoCal, and actually, I don't find people all that laid back here. I find them non-intense when it comes to urgency, work ethic, etc., which I actually struggle with, since I'm fairly intense in that way. But I also think I'm fairly laid-back in that I don't get offended easily, I'm open-minded to new ideas, and dress casually -- in other words, I'm far more comfortable in a golf shirt or dress shirt with khaki or dress pants than I am in a suit and tie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In South Florida, a lot of people put their guard up in public and that comes off as hostile. It is something that mirrors the northeastern US as well as Latin America. We're probably not any ruder than southern Californians. ;) Language is a serious issue of contention, and that erects barriers as well.

In my workplace the dress code is business casual... usually a polo shirt/dress shirt and pants. You'll find more suits and ties downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I would not characterize Miami as exactly an American city. It is interesting and fun to visit, but the language/cultural issues are serious. I would move to Ft Lauderdale or W Palm if you prefer Northeasterners. For a more midwestern experience in FL, move to Tampa or maybe Orlando. For more Deep South try the panhandle. For a bigger, more Southern city, move to Jacksonville. FL, for better or worse, is a microcosm of the United States.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and we have quite a lot of California refugees here in Jacksonville. Fidelity National Financial, a Fortune 400 Company, relocated here from Santa Barbara not too long ago b/c of the poor business climate in CA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well here people treat you different depending on where you're from,unfortunatly for us non cubans that means you don't get the hospitality,and if you're not from a hispanic orgin they treat you even worse.get used to the term gringo.

as for job market tampa,broward,and miami are experiencing lots of job growth.but in miami most jobs are construction related

the diff. b/t miami is that its a mini version of new york with lots of beaches and poor people(except for certain areas),while broward is more white and blue collar ,and west palm is just you're all out rich people with huge mansions especially in the jupiter area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I disagree. There are plenty of places in Miami that don't have poor people, north miami,aventura, kendall, coral gables. Sure like any big city you have your downtrodden areas but its not like its county wide. You have poor areas in broward too. The dress downtown is Suit and Tie. And the housing prices I quoted you where way inland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


There aren't that many midwesterners in Orlando...its mostly Northeasterners, Puerto Ricans, and Brits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orlando is great. It's right in the middle of everything. Short distance from either coast, and has all the tourism aspects. It's a clean city and the growth is insane right now. New condos are popping up all over and the job market is fantastic. I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above posters on costs, business climate, and friendliness. North Florida is more Southern, and the Southern gentility is more apparent there, but I've never found the Tampa or Orlando areas unfriendly.

As for allergies, if you know your allergies it's easy to know what your problems will be. If you mostly have grass problems then Florida is not a terrible location. I have grass and tree allergies. My grass allergies are terrible in the midwest; my tree allergies are far worse here in Florida. Oak, maple, elm, and azalea are the most common allergies here, and they can be quite bad in the season, oak in particular since it's widely planted. In south Florida, you have an entirely different circumstance. Many people suffer allergies to tamarind and mahogany, which you'd never actually find out about until you moved down there. Generally, though, you'll have much less problems south of the frost line. If you're concerned about moving to Miami-Fort Lauderdale for other reasons, consider Fort Myers instead, which has the same climate. Okeechobee's nice, but the job market... uh, no.

As for casual... if you are ambitious you will feel more comfortable here than in SoCal, but it is still okay here to wear a golf shirt and chinos to work five days a week instead of a suit and tie. Jacksonville trends more suit-and-tie than the rest of the state. Tallahasee, too, I'd imagine.

I've lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Jax, Tampa, Orlando, and Sebring. Of these, I cannot believe that Fort Lauderdale/Miami would be any form of improvement over SoCal. That great Eagles song, Paradise? They were talking about LA, but they might as well have been talking about Miami or Fort Lauderdale or Palm Beach.

I did not like Orlando and will leave it to the Orlando residents here to sell their city, which they do a fine job of. I think Jacksonville is a great place to live and is still the least expensive major metro in the state. It has a terrific business climate.

Tampa is a terrific place to live as well, especially if you'd like to get a place in the city. The South Tampa area is still affordable if you're selling out of the SoCal market, and you can snap up a very nice place in a great neighborhood here. This will be easier to do here than in Jax or Lauderdale/Miami. If you are discriminating and are willing to spend some time looking, you can find similarly nice places in St. Pete, but as a rule I find Pinellas County to be utterly traffic choked and undesirable. That's just a personal opinion.

I think one of the posters said, prepare to be a little wetter. Ain't that the truth. Take a long vacation out here in July before you commit to moving... But if you do come, welcome. I think you'll enjoy. I try to leave Florida every few years, but I always end up coming back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I would not characterize Miami as exactly an American city.  It is interesting and fun to visit, but the language/cultural issues are serious.  I would move to Ft Lauderdale or W Palm if you prefer Northeasterners.  For a more midwestern experience in FL, move to Tampa or maybe Orlando.  For more Deep South try the panhandle.  For a bigger, more Southern city, move to Jacksonville.  FL, for better or worse, is a microcosm of the United States.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, I would characterize Miami as exactly an American city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Dale. Since when is multi-culturalism NOT American. When I was in school we learned that the U.S. was the great melting pot with people from all over. I'd like to know when that changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the "tossed salad" analogy, lol. A melting pot would melt us all into one bland race, but a tossed salad keeps our ethnic identities to ourselves but mixes together! lol

Those analogies can get really corny....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Waccamatt and Dale: You must have gone to public schools where the diversity myth has supplanted Christianity as an article of faith. "Diversity" was not the founding principle of America, it was freedom. The founders were actually remarkably homogenous and the country, as late as 1960 was 90% white. This is not to disparage non-whites but to point out historical fact. It was not until the late 1960s that the laws were changed which prevented non-Europeans from immigrating in large numbers to the US. So, a city (such as Miami) being overwhelmed by Spanish speaking peoples is clearly not in the American tradition - this is why I said what I said about Miami.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I'm not arguing that the Founding Fathers were PC nuts. But I would quibble with your calculus of a city evolving away from relative homogeneity as being 'not exactly American'. L.A. is arguably more racially diverse than is Miami. Is L.A. not exactly American ? Where do we draw the line ?

Sheesh, I can't believe I'm arguing like a liberal. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, LA is more and more like a Mexican city. They are about to elect a Mexican-American mayor too. Vast swathes of the city are populated by Mexicans and people of Mexican descent will soon be a majority. I would say that when a city ceases to reflect the demographics of the rest of the country you can say it is not exactly an "American" city anymore. I dont know why this makes you upset. Many people in New Orleans are happy to say that their city is not American, but French.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.