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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 77
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

Hi, My husband and I want to relocate from Massachusetts to maybe SW Florida but very open. Hoping to be along the coast rather than inland. The problem I'm finding is there doesn't seem to be any towns. Coming from Mass, we have towns with a center, library, post office, maybe a common. This is where town activities would be held, band concerts, parades etc. You would see friends and have a sense of community. Does that exist in Florida? Any place in Florida? Getting discouraged. Would we be better off in North or South Carolina?

 

Would appreciate your thoughts.

 

Elaine

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,636
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

Yes, we have towns in SW Florida!  Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Dunedin, Venice, Osprey.

 

Punta Gorda and Venice are two you might enjoy and have that small town feeling.

 

Find what section of SW Florida you are interested in, then look up the county and t will list the towns within..................then you could write to the Chamber of Commerce for more information.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,331
Registered: ‎02-05-2011

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

I know exactly what you are saying @elainemasey.  I am from Massachusetts and most towns have some sort of center which you don't seem to find in all states.  Having a center even if it is small, gives you a state of place and belonging.  Massachusetts is a great state even beyond it's centers.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,128
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

[ Edited ]

Naples is on the SW coast and is gorgeous!  It has a very nice main street....downtown area. Check it out online.

 

Delray Beach is on the east coast and it has a beautiful downtown with a cultural and arts center but it can get crowded.  They also have craft shows (which I happen to love) in their downtown area.

 

There are towns along the Fl coast that are not just one big development and suburban sprawl.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,327
Registered: ‎05-09-2016

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

Lakewood Ranch in the Bradenton/Sarasota area might be of interest to you. Depending on whether or not it's "season", you'd be roughly an hour from the beach. 

 

https://lakewoodranch.com 

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,162
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

Dunedin, FL is a town I'd be interested in.  Great downtown area with paved, biking trail running through town. Spring training for Toronto Bluejays is close to downtown area. Fishing and boating. We'd ride our bikes to Honeymoon Island Beach. It's one town north of Clearwater. Close to Tampa and not far from Orlando. I promise I don't work for the city. 

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 77
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

Thank you. We did visit Venice yesterday and Punta Gorda today and felt a bit more encouraged.

 

Dunedin has been recommended a couple of times so we will visit this week.

 

We did visit Lakewood Ranch - too big and busy- houses on top of each other (seems to be  typical in FL)  They talk abou a town center, farmers markets and activities on the green, but it's made up a bunch of individual communities, not connected to the town center. Sprawling and growing- no town feel.

Wellen Park wasn't much better.


I've been told Naples and Cape Coral are to big - May try to get there this week while we are here.

 

We have thought about the East Coast. We lived in Ft Lauderdale for a bit and know we don't want that. Would consider Delray, Jupiter- it's been years since we've been north of Palm Beach.

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,731
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

[ Edited ]

@elainemasey wrote:

Thank you. We did visit Venice yesterday and Punta Gorda today and felt a bit more encouraged.

 

Dunedin has been recommended a couple of times so we will visit this week.

 

We did visit Lakewood Ranch - too big and busy- houses on top of each other (seems to be  typical in FL)  They talk abou a town center, farmers markets and activities on the green, but it's made up a bunch of individual communities, not connected to the town center. Sprawling and growing- no town feel.

Wellen Park wasn't much better.


I've been told Naples and Cape Coral are to big - May try to get there this week while we are here.

 

We have thought about the East Coast. We lived in Ft Lauderdale for a bit and know we don't want that. Would consider Delray, Jupiter- it's been years since we've been north of Palm Beach.

 

 


@elainemasey @Find out what your homeowners insurance will be for the places and area you choose. My friend just got her bill for this new year. $9000. This is a single family home with pool. It's not large. It's in Dade County in an upscale development. If she puts in impact glass and storm doors she says the insurance will drop by $1400. She's not right near the beaches. 

Florida towns don't really have a town community feel to them in the way you describe.

 

Dunedin is beautiful. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,014
Registered: ‎06-11-2011

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

@elainemasey  One important consideration is you don't want to chose an area that is constantly battered by hurricane weather.

 

I have friends and family in Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch (what you wrote about LR is true!)  But fortunately the hurricanes don't hit there, which is a big plus (perhaps because of being SW rather than SE?)  Anyway, and this goes along with @Mindy D  's point about the cost of homeowners  insurance, I hope you will take this into account when choosing a locale.  Good luck finding what you are looking for.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 885
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Wanting to move to Florida- question/ disappointed

[ Edited ]

You might like Mt. Dora for a small town feel but it's in central Florida, north of Orlando, in the center of the state, not near the beach.  But there are lakes if being near water is important.  

 

There really isn't anything comparable to Mass here in Florida, sorry.  Most of the coast is becoming one big urban sprawl.  Personally, I would avoid the panhandle, always getting hammered with hurricanes.

 

I live in Naples, in the poor part, meaning not on the beach and not in the City of Naples proper.   The beaches are beautiful, it's green in the winter, hotter then the hinges on the gates of Hell in the summer, the humidity will suffocate you.  Housing is expensive, wages are low.  Hurricane Irma in 2017 was a direct hit and I was without power for two weeks.  Hurricane season, June 1 - Nov. 30, makes me anxious.  The only decent weather is between New Year's and Easter.  Gee, what's not to love.  My goal is to move out of Florida in a few years, I just have to figure out where to move that doesn't have hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, mudslides, earthquakes, volcanos and hail storms.

 

Edited to add hail storms to my list of natural disasters to avoid.