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View Full Version : Moving to Florida - Not Sure I'm Ready



Julie Moriarty
08-17-2014, 9:28 AM
I've been talking about it for years - I want to move to warmer climates so I can enjoy more of the year outside. The other day my SO gets one of those job offers you can't refuse, and accepts. And suddenly I find myself saddened at the thought of leaving my home.

I designed it in 1986 and did a lot of the work on the build. And I've never stopped working on it all these years. For the last three years I've been working to finally make it what I want. Now, when I see the house, I just love it. A few more things and the major projects will be done. It's been almost a complete renovation and it looks better than when it was new.

Now I will be leaving it to someone else. And I don't want to.

Has anyone else had these kinds of feelings leaving your home?

Frederick Skelly
08-17-2014, 10:02 AM
Julie,
I havent been through it myself, but Ive had close friends who have and Ive watched them wrestle with it. I know its tough for sure, especially after putting so much of yourself into the place. At the same time, there are some positives. Florida has a lot to offer and youll likely have many new adventures. Id try to think about those too.

Ill bet some of our retired friends on SMC have gone through this too and can offer their experiences to help a bit.

Anyway, hang in there.
Fred

Keith Outten
08-17-2014, 11:08 AM
Julie,

You will need to adjust to the storm threat that you may not have considered in your current location. Hurricanes are a regular occurrence and you have to be ready for the big storms.....little things like keeping all of your important documents in a small case so you can grab it and go when the big winds blow.
.

Chuck Wintle
08-17-2014, 11:19 AM
I've been talking about it for years - I want to move to warmer climates so I can enjoy more of the year outside. The other day my SO gets one of those job offers you can't refuse, and accepts. And suddenly I find myself saddened at the thought of leaving my home.

I designed it in 1986 and did a lot of the work on the build. And I've never stopped working on it all these years. For the last three years I've been working to finally make it what I want. Now, when I see the house, I just love it. A few more things and the major projects will be done. It's been almost a complete renovation and it looks better than when it was new.

Now I will be leaving it to someone else. And I don't want to.

Has anyone else had these kinds of feelings leaving your home?

Houses can be built and rebuilt as necessary. IMHO I would concentrate on taking what you love most about your current home and putting this into your new home in Florida. Often when change is desired and then, when it finally happens its only the emotional hurdle that needs to be crossed.

Mike Henderson
08-17-2014, 12:14 PM
Where are you going in Florida? I lived there for 17 years on the west coast of FL. Most of the storms hit the east coast but it's possible to get one on the west coast. Never had one while I was living there.

A few not-so-good things about FL. It's HOT most of the year, perhaps 9 months out of the year - and very high humidity. By "hot" I mean that you can't go outside for more than 15 minutes without being dripping from sweat. You live in air-conditioning. You go from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car, to your air conditioned shopping, etc. Although you'd think that given the sunshine and the hot weather (lots of expensive air conditioning) that FL would be a paradise for solar installations but the power company has influenced the legislature and they have laws that discourage installation of solar. So check out the cost of electricity for whatever home you think of purchasing. Make the sellers give you a copy of their last 12 months of bills.

Home construction is not always the best there. The "standard" older house is single story concrete block, often will very little insulation - drywall put on laths attached to the concrete block with little or nothing behind the drywall (maybe a vapor barrier), especially on the older homes. In general, I found that the quality of the trades were not as good as in other parts of the country that I lived in - general construction, drywall finishing, tile work, electrical, plumbing, etc. Too many workers were satisfied to do a mediocre job, or didn't know how to do a better job. But maybe they were pushed to do cheap work by the people who lived there. Many of the people who retire there are on a very tight budget and low cost is their primary driver. This is true for all aspects of their lives, including restaurants, where low cost meals are the most important thing, not taste.

Bugs are a problem, as you can imagine in that climate. They have a bug that's called a "no-see-em". It's very tiny and comes out about sundown. It bites and will attack your exposed legs (and everyone wears shorts). So just about the time it's starting to cool off a bit, the bugs drive you inside. Roaches are all over. You really need to have your home treated on a regular basis.

Good luck on your move. I hope it's a good move for you.

Mike

Shawn Pixley
08-17-2014, 1:17 PM
Julie,

I feel for you. 17 years ago my current employer made an offer to me that required my family and me to relocate from Seattle to Southern California. In Seattle we had a nice craftsman style house that we had renivated. It was close to downtown and in a nice area. We could have lived in that house for the rest of our lives.

Nonetheless, we relocated selling our house and buying a new house in SoCal. We sold the house to a nice couple (both Architects) and moved away. Leaving the house was difficult. It took some time for us to adjust to our lives in SoCal. There were times when my family almost moved back to Seattle. Ultimately, it worked itself out. Now, I couldn't get them to leave our house here.

I went back a few years later and drove past my old house. The owners had painted over the period correct four color exterior paint scheme, painting only a dull green. The landscaping the we had installed (japanese maples, magnolias, lillies, and dahlas) were all removes with only a blank grass lawn. It made me very sad.

i sympathize with where you are at. My advice is to to leave, and view the new location as an adventure. I would also advise against viewing your old house if/when you return. This will nit be easy and you may have some bad days. Those will leave with the passage of time.

Brian Elfert
08-17-2014, 1:28 PM
A few not-so-good things about FL. It's HOT most of the year, perhaps 9 months out of the year. By "hot" I mean that you can't go outside for more than 15 minutes without being dripping from sweat. You live in air-conditioning. You go from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car, to your air conditioned shopping, etc. Although you'd think that given the sunshine and the hot weather (lots of expensive air conditioning) that FL would be a paradise for solar installations but the power company has influenced the legislature and they have laws that discourage installation of solar. So check out the cost of electricity for whatever home you think of purchasing. Make the sellers give you a copy of their last 12 months of bills.

Home construction is not always the best there. The "standard" older house is single story concrete block, often will very little insulation - drywall put on laths attached to the concrete block with little or nothing behind the drywall (maybe a vapor barrier), especially on the older homes. In general, I found that the quality of the trades were not as good as in other parts of the country that I lived in - general construction, drywall finishing, tile work, electrical, plumbing, etc. Too many workers were satisfied to do a mediocre job, or didn't know how to do a better job. But maybe they were pushed to do cheap work by the people who lived there. Many of the people who retire there are on a very tight budget and low cost is their primary driver. This is true for all aspects of their lives, including restaurants, where low cost meals are the most important thing, not taste.

My friend retired down to Orlando, and he says the same thing about the heat. He goes from one air conditioned place to another during the hottest times of year. He has one of those concrete block houses from the 1970s and he has had some workmanship issues with it.

I was in Florida with my motorhome in late December 2010 and it got down to 27 degrees one night. I stayed in Atlanta for a night that same trip and it got cold enough to freeze some pipes. (No damage as they are PEX. I winterized the system in Chattanooga, TN before I went any further north.) It didn't help that being one of the worst winters in recent history. I drove from Minnesota to Florida with my motorhome. It had snowed two feet a few weeks before and I had to shovel more than a foot of snow off the roof of the motorhome before I could leave.

Mel Fulks
08-17-2014, 2:04 PM
Interesting perspective, Shawn. But I dare say it was because they were architects that the house was changed. It's kinda
a "my understanding and vision are better than yours" thing ...unless the the designated exception (Frank L.Wright) designed it. The sad truth is houses stay the same for lack of money ,or because of intelligent thrift ; not because the designer was
a genius. I would bet that you have been involved in jobs to fix historic buildings ruined by changing styles and abundant wealth more times than
those ruined by neglect.

Andrew Joiner
08-17-2014, 3:04 PM
I've been talking about it for years - I want to move to warmer climates so I can enjoy more of the year outside. The other day my SO gets one of those job offers you can't refuse, and accepts.

I'd concentrate on the positive parts, Julie. I bet with your talents you can adapt to Florida's downsides. Instead of focusing on what your giving up,look at the move as an exciting adventure.

Howard Garner
08-17-2014, 4:21 PM
Why not join the "half back" movement?
Many become dissatisfied with Florida and are moving to western North Carolina or the upstate of South Carolina.
We do have 4 seasons, but the winters are mild.

Howard Garner
A "Damn Yankee" (moved south and refuse to move back north)
Pickens, SC

Moses Yoder
08-17-2014, 8:19 PM
I am going to die in this house. There is too much stuff to move. On the other hand, given enough time, moving could be a good thing; I could start over given the experience I gained here and make something better.

Pat Barry
08-17-2014, 8:25 PM
Where are you going in Florida? I lived there for 17 years on the west coast of FL. Most of the storms hit the east coast but it's possible to get one on the west coast. Never had one while I was living there.

A few not-so-good things about FL. It's HOT most of the year, perhaps 9 months out of the year - and very high humidity. By "hot" I mean that you can't go outside for more than 15 minutes without being dripping from sweat. You live in air-conditioning. You go from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car, to your air conditioned shopping, etc. Although you'd think that given the sunshine and the hot weather (lots of expensive air conditioning) that FL would be a paradise for solar installations but the power company has influenced the legislature and they have laws that discourage installation of solar. So check out the cost of electricity for whatever home you think of purchasing. Make the sellers give you a copy of their last 12 months of bills.

Home construction is not always the best there. The "standard" older house is single story concrete block, often will very little insulation - drywall put on laths attached to the concrete block with little or nothing behind the drywall (maybe a vapor barrier), especially on the older homes. In general, I found that the quality of the trades were not as good as in other parts of the country that I lived in - general construction, drywall finishing, tile work, electrical, plumbing, etc. Too many workers were satisfied to do a mediocre job, or didn't know how to do a better job. But maybe they were pushed to do cheap work by the people who lived there. Many of the people who retire there are on a very tight budget and low cost is their primary driver. This is true for all aspects of their lives, including restaurants, where low cost meals are the most important thing, not taste.

Bugs are a problem, as you can imagine in that climate. They have a bug that's called a "no-see-em". It's very tiny and comes out about sundown. It bites and will attack your exposed legs (and everyone wears shorts). So just about the time it's starting to cool off a bit, the bugs drive you inside. Roaches are all over. You really need to have your home treated on a regular basis.

Good luck on your move. I hope it's a good move for you.

Mike
How can a place like this be part of the USA. Sounds more like a third world country (except for the AC). Deal me out.
Seriously, my bride hates FLA. Even hates to visit it anymore. I actually love the heat and humidity - I can't take the 20 below, wind chills and snow. I like it down there.

Jim Matthews
08-17-2014, 9:04 PM
Why not join the "half back" movement?
Many become dissatisfied with Florida and are moving to western North Carolina or the upstate of South Carolina.
We do have 4 seasons, but the winters are mild.

Howard Garner
A "Damn Yankee" (moved south and refuse to move back north)
Pickens, SC

Shhh. You'll give away the secret.
Don't mention the good food,
excellent manners or stable infrastructure, either.

In my opinion (based on limited World travel),
Charleston, SC is one of the ten great cities on the planet.

Ted Calver
08-17-2014, 9:40 PM
I guess you are not in the financial position to be able to keep it as a rental? Mobility seems to be one of the ways to get ahead these days and who knows how long the Florida job might last. Be nice to have that place to return to. I moved my family 14 times during my military career....every one of them was painful.

Shawn Pixley
08-17-2014, 10:03 PM
Mel,

Interesting. Oddly enough I am an architect as well. Early in my career I specialized in historic preservation. The two architects who bought the house from us worked for the military. They are probably fine people. Miltary architecture is generally not highly praised. The neighborhood was mostly 1920 arts an crafts houses that had been well kept up and / or restored. Our house was prized as the best renovation one year. Afterwards...???

...but it was their house and they could do what they wanted with it. I gave them the plans for the second story remodel and exterior rear porch. I really wanted to build it.

Shawn Pixley
08-17-2014, 10:07 PM
Although you'd think that given the sunshine and the hot weather (lots of expensive air conditioning) that FL would be a paradise for solar installations but the power company has influenced the legislature and they have laws that discourage installation of solar. So check out the cost of electricity for whatever home you think of purchasing. Make the sellers give you a copy of their last 12 months of bills.

Mike

Florida recently lost a suit that restricted the use of sell back electricty to the grid from solar installations.

Dana Decker
08-17-2014, 11:04 PM
its is hot here and the mosquitoes are bad but the worse thing is all the Northerners relocating here:)


295057

Mike Henderson
08-18-2014, 1:10 AM
Florida recently lost a suit that restricted the use of sell back electricity to the grid from solar installations.
I went and goggled for news of that suit but can't find anything. Can you provide a pointer, please?

Mike

Rick Potter
08-18-2014, 3:59 AM
As Ted said, if you are in a position to rent your current house, it would give you a back up plan.

I worked with several people who did just that, and were glad they did.

Rick Potter

Julie Moriarty
08-18-2014, 7:49 AM
Thanks for the support, and warnings! I have a fairly good idea what I'm getting into moving down there. My dad retired to West Palm Beach (where my SO's job is) in 1984 and we visited him 1-2 weeks every year until he passed in 1997. We've been there in the spring and in the dead of summer. I'm no stranger to the heat... or the no-see-ums. :mad:

One time we cruised up the ICW and did an overnight at Peck Lake. My son and I took the inflatable to the shore to explore the marine life in the mangroves. As we were leaving, we ran into a swarm of no-see-ums. :eek: They were ferocious! The water was too shallow to put the outboard down so I rowed furiously until we were deep enough to motor out and I raced back to the boat. I thought we lost them. It was hot that night and my dad decided to sleep in the cockpit. I got up early the next morning and saw him sleeping there. There were drops of blood all over his white pillow case. He said he was serving up breakfast for the no-see-ums. I HATE them!

And I know about screening in your patio or giving up being outside in the evening. My dad had a pool & patio that was screened in with a special anti-no-see-um screen. We were able to enjoy many evenings chatting out there. Step outside the screening and you got attacked. I describe a no-see-um as a gnat with the teeth and appetite of a piranha.

As to the house, I was looking forward to next spring when the new flowers and other things I planted this year will bloom. The yard is the best it's ever looked. What's really hard is I have a few last projects I need to finish (because they are half-done now) and doing that knowing I'll will never enjoy it is hard. The past weekend we laid paver base, sand and set about 1/3 of the flagstone needed to finish. Those pieces are from 20-50 pounds each and the heavy ones wipe me out for a good 5 minutes. Yesterday I had help but today everyone goes to work so I'm solo. I'm dreading it but it has to be done.

I just hope the new owners appreciate what we've done half as much as we do. Two homes is out of the question.

Julie Moriarty
08-18-2014, 11:58 AM
I was so tired from three days of hard labor that after posting the above I plopped down on the couch and turned on the tube. The only time I do that is when I'm sick.

So what comes on the TV? Sinkholes. And what state are almost all the sinkholes in? Florida. Channel surfing, I hear some weather person say Florida hasn't been hit with a hurricane in 8 years. More channel surfing and I see someone sketch the Bermuda Triangle and one point seems to be touching West Palm Beach.

Should I take this as an omen? :rolleyes:

Julie Moriarty
08-18-2014, 12:34 PM
I went and goggled for news of that suit but can't find anything. Can you provide a pointer, please?

Mike

I did some research and found this:
http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2012/12/putting-fpl-on-spot-letter-you-wont.html

http://www.solarsouthwestflorida.com/tag/fpl/

http://www.fpl.com/residential/savings/net_metering/index.shtml

http://www.fpl.com/rates/pdf/electric_tariff_section10.pdf

I only scanned the information but it looks like there is some controversy over the way it's being handled. I did find that all the applications for solar rebates from FPL are taken.

ray hampton
08-18-2014, 12:42 PM
I may be wrong but the Keys are in Florida and the Keys reported about 400 waterspouts per year , Is hurricanes a straight-line wind or a swirling wind like a waterspout, you will learn to like the climate in Florida if you try

Chris Padilla
08-18-2014, 1:30 PM
Florida...a nice place to visit.... :) However, I'm from Colorado and I don't deal well with the humidity levels from Kansas on moving east. Colorado on moving west is fine. :) :)

Bill McNiel
08-18-2014, 8:18 PM
Julie,
Yes, I fully empathise with your situation. I have been working on the Barn (my home) since 1981 (I have done all the work myself. 90% of it by myself). Six years ago my wife and I bought a house on the creek in town that we planned to move to when I "retired". As it turns out we love the Barn and all the personal spaces (her office, 500 SF sewing loft, the shop, etc) that we have refused to move, continue to work on the Barn and rent out the Creek House. There are definately some major economic impacts (no mortage on the Barn which has a market value in excess of one million which would fund a remodle on the Creek House, travel and a very comfortable retirement) but the Barn has our hearts.

It sounds like you want to move but your home wants you to stay. A tough situation to say the least. My heart goes out to you but you do have all our respect for what you have accomplished. Bon chance!

Belinda Williamson
08-19-2014, 2:59 PM
Julie,

I have been in your situation, sort of. I remodeled a house including gutting the kitchen, dividing a large laundry room into a laundry room and powder room, and several other smaller projects. Just about the time I had it juuust right, my husband decided he wanted to be with someone else (to phrase things in a nice way), and so we divorced. I think I honestly missed the house more than the husband. I chose to look at what was to come as a blank canvas and a new project, and as other saids, take the things I learned from the last remodel, both good and bad, and use them.

As for moving to Florida to spend more time outdoors, you may be a little disappointed. Florida, Georgia extended . . . High for Friday 101 with a heat index around 107 probably. Bugs, bugs, and more bugs. When it is cool enough to actually enjoy the outdoors, the sand gnats (AKA no-see-ums) are swarming - which you have already experienced. Mosquitoes year round. Bugs you can't even describe. Large flying roaches, but we call them Palmetto Bugs because that sounds so much nicer and this is the South, after all (Technically FLA is not part of the South). Get your hurricane kit together and your storage of supplies together first thing. On the positive side, you can go to the beach almost year round, and play golf year round. You can have a lovely vegetable and/or flower garden. Lots of birds and butterflies. You'll get to use your pressure washer frequently due to the humidity.

Welcome to the area, we're glad to have you. :)

Malcolm Schweizer
08-20-2014, 8:50 AM
I moved to a tropical island 14 years ago and am so glad I did. There were sacrifices to make- no malls (not nescessarily bad), hard to get wood and tools, milk $8 a gallon... But the reward is I wake up every morning and have coffee outside overlooking the harbor and watch sailboats and cruise ships come and go. I go diving, sailing, or some adventure all the time that some people save all their lives for. My point is not to brag, but rather that you have to make sacrifices in order to reap the rewards. What are you able to put up with in order to get what you want? Those folks up north warning you of hurricanes and bugs are forgetting that they sacrifice through cold winters and lack of water sports to live away from the things they warn of. In return they also have better access to spruce and cedar, which I envy, but I have local mahogany and lignum vitae that they may envy. In the end you have to enjoy the good and deal with the bad, no matter where you live.

W. Palm Beach is nice and you will love it. You will find a lot of tropical woods from S America are available once you find the right lumber yards. One thing- you need a BMW, Mercedes, or Porche or you just won't fit in there. (Haha- please don't be that person).

As as for me, I love my island life (swats mosquito).

Julie Moriarty
08-20-2014, 10:05 AM
Thinking of moving south some time waaaaaaay into the future, we spent a week in late June traveling from Amelia Island to Jacksonville and then to Savannah and Charleston. Amelia Island was for a trip my SO won, Jacksonville to meet up with a couple we know who live on their sailboat and Savannah and Charleston to see if they should go on the list of possible places to move to, when that time comes.

The first thing that hit me about Savannah was how amazingly nice, and polite, the people in Savannah were. Living in Chicago all my life, this was so alien to me I had to pinch myself. The Historic District is gorgeous! Charleston was like halfway between Chicago and Savannah in lot of ways. Both made "the list".

But this was so far off in the future I looked at the time there as just a vacation. A young guy who used to work in my design team before I retired moved from Chicago to the Tampa area and found a job fairly quickly after they got there. He said he couldn't even get a reply from resumes sent while living in Chicago, but once they moved there, that all changed. So I figured we'd have to move before my SO found work in the new place and that meant a lot of time to hunt for a new place. I was wrong.

I've been trying to complete all the outdoor projects that need completing while the weather holds up and those last few areas that needed work are now beginning to look really beautiful. Now my muscles are so sore it's hard to sleep at night. I'll go postal if the new owners don't take care of this place! Maybe I should go into a corner and meditate. :rolleyes:

ray hampton
08-20-2014, 12:11 PM
My son home is in Florida , if you see me standing on 1-75 hitchhiking will you keep going , DO not pick me up

Myk Rian
08-22-2014, 3:00 PM
Florida...a nice place to visit.... :) However, I'm from Colorado and I don't deal well with the humidity levels from Kansas on moving east. Colorado on moving west is fine. :) :)

Our daughter is in Littleton. Nice to get snow 1 day and have it melt the next. Not like here in Michigan where it snows one day,and stays until May.

Chris Padilla
08-22-2014, 4:36 PM
Our daughter is in Littleton. Nice to get snow 1 day and have it melt the next. Not like here in Michigan where it snows one day,and stays until May.

Shhhhhhhhh, Myk! That is the big secret living on a mountain top (~1 mile altitude) is the extreme weather changes. Ask folks from Flagstaff, AZ! Colorado has more sunny days than Florida!

295401
This is quite appropriate for Colorado as well!