Shrugging to Florida

Posted by Bethesda-gal 1 year, 11 months ago to Ask the Gulch
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We've had it with the leftist area we live in and are working towards relocating to Florida panhandle in the near future. Any suggestions / insights ?


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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 1 year, 11 months ago
    Last August during a family reunion at Compass Lake, me dino paid a visit to Dobrien's parents, who are really nice folks.
    I was surprised when Dobrien's father told me there are bears about.
    Bears? Though I lived in Dothan, AL, I practically grew up at Compass Lake summer after summer and was pretty good at water skiing way back when.
    Little dino often explored Compass Lake woods that looked like an old Tarzan movie all alone with a short-eared mixed breed Cocker Spaniel.
    Bears? Maybe they weren't there during the 50s and 60s, but I swam with alligators around. Even went speargun fishing with a face mask and a snorkel..
    Old dino now living beside a very large woods near Birmingham, these days I have this to think about~
    http://yellowhammernews.com/faithandc...
    There were no coyotes or armadillos that I knew of in Florida and Alabama when I was a kid. Now they are all over the place, having crossed the Mississippi.
    During the 80s, I was quite surprised at Compass Lake when a brother's attacking dog caused an armadillo to jump five feet high. That's when I learned armadillo armor is nothing like a turtle's.
    A few years ago in the dirt road boonies of Alabama, I once saw a road kill armadillo with its legs up in the and a small beer bottle stuck in its mouth.
    I wonder what shape the car driver's was in.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 year, 11 months ago
    Too bad you didn't shrug there in 2009. You could've bought a mansion for the price of a trailer.

    I'm from FL, and can not believe the buildup in the last 30 years. Just amazing. I like it there, except for the traffic and humidity.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
      How does the panhandle compare with other areas? Is it still more rural?
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 year, 11 months ago
        Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida.25 miles north of Panama City. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,746. Its county seat is Marianna. Lots of woods and lakes. I spotted a very rare black panther there. It is nothing like the peninsula.
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      • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 year, 11 months ago
        Panhandle is more like the adjacent states, except for the water access. The middle of the state is pretty empty (except Orlando), if you are looking for "rural". The Northwest is pretty rural in general. I prefer the area on the east coast around, or south of Sebastian Inlet. Killer fishing at the inlet. Things are cheap there (or they were not long ago.
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  • Posted by handyman 1 year, 11 months ago
    Before you make a final commitment to FL, check out western NC. It would not be too much of a detour on your way to or from FL. Hendersonville is particularly attractive to many retirees. It has four seasons - winters are short, spring and fall quite long and the summers mild compared to FL. There are a few Objectivists here about, too. Happy travels.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Our first criteria is to have no state income tax. I do not believe NC is on that list, unfortunately.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
        Why focus exclusively on income taxes versus other taxes like sales taxes, property taxes and estate taxes? Don't you want your total taxes for your particular circumstances to be minimized?
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          There are no children so I don’t care about estate taxes. Income is the largest impact to our finances, real property next and we’re factoring that in as well but I do t know of any place that has zero real property tax.
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          • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
            Not zero, but watch out for some states with low or zero income tax that have high property taxes to "compensate". It sounds like you want a place with less emphasis on public schools, with relatively lower property taxes. Some towns host country-club like quasi-private schools funded by property taxes as public schools. People move there for the schools at someone else's expense then move on; those who stay without using the schools are shafted.

            As for estate taxes you have to leave it to someone (hopefully not the state). A nonprofit (like ARI) you want to support could avoid the loss to those taxes.

            Let us know what you find.
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      • Posted by dukem 1 year, 11 months ago
        New Mexico has no state income tax and is one of the poorest and most leftist states. I just moved here for other reasons. I had considered western North Carolina, and recommend Hendersonville (right) vs. Asheville (left) due to recent migration changes.
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        • Posted by stsara 1 year, 11 months ago
          I have lived in NM for over 20 years and I pay PIT, that is, personal income tax every year. I wish you were correct about no income tax in NM. You are correct about the poverty level, alas. We do have a republican governor, though.
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      • Posted by handyman 1 year, 11 months ago
        That is currently true. But NC is gradually moving to lower income taxes while increasing sales taxes. Not sure if it will ever get completely reversed.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          Thanks. That is something we can keep in mind. And our desire to flee Maryland might also be a reaction to the UBER SATURATION of Leftists who live in this area who I JUST CAN"T STAND anymore. So it's also a desire to minimize the Leftists who are so tortured by Trump being president.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
        Tennessee is next door to NC and has no income tax, but no coast. If mountain scenery is equally attractive to you then TN might be a viable option. I have not lived there but have relatives who love living in Nashville, so much that they moved back there after employment in NC did not work out to their satisfaction. I trust their opinion but I want warmer winter than either NC or TN- and I can tolerate long hot summers better than most.
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        • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
          You mention that TN has no coast. Are you thinking of coastline as a route of escape?
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          • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
            It was an assumption that Bethesda-gal wanted coast since she was looking at the panhandle of Fl on the gulf.
            But yes, that is a possibility.
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            • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
              I suspect that living close to a coast doesnt gain you much. Living on the boonies in some mountainous area probably allows for more escaping if necessary.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                That's fine except you are still subject to the same regime that may be trying to enslave you. Neighbors do snitch on neighbors when offered enough incentive. Better to leave completely if possible.
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                • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
                  True about the snitches. Best to leave, but where is the issue.
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                  • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                    Still looking, but the islands in the Carib are pretty welcoming to yachting folk. Lots of variety there, too.
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                    • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
                      I read in a prepper article that one should have citizenship in countryA, assets in countryB, and actually reside in country C. For max safety for yourself and your assetd
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                    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                      Oh, don't believe that everyone doesn't know everyone's business in the islands ! Just listen to Jimmy Buffet's "Coconut Telegraph" song to know what it can be like. I lived in the Bahamas for a couple of years with my parents when I was in middle school and remember it well. As for wanting to live near a coast, I guess it is just habit, living always within a couple of hours of the beach even if I rarely go there. But it feels more comfortable somehow not being so landlocked. I don't pretend it's logical.
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                      • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                        What people can discern from observation is far less than the CIA, NSA, etc learns from invasive meddling. Either could be dangerous to one who flaunts obvious desirable assets. Having been close to the coast most of my life, I understand - it's logical to me;^)
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 1 year, 11 months ago
    Bethesda-gal,
    I live in South Georgia but we have an ocean front Home in Navarre, Florida, which is on the panhandle, about 30 miles east of Pensacola, Florida. We are there right now! We love it here, and I would love to retire here.
    As a lady born and raised in the Deep South, I love the small town and deeply southern atmosphere of Navarre. It might be worth it for you to give it a look.
    And you’re right- the panhandle is totally different from the rest of Florida!
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Thanks Mama ! We are taking a scouting trip down to the area end of next month. Any tips, or by any chance, any realtors you recommend ? And with ocean front property, is insurance one of the biggest expenses associated with living down there (since there is no FL income tax) ?
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 1 year, 11 months ago
        Our realtor was Amin Delawalla. You can google him. He was a hardworking man who made it work with a difficult seller. Good luck! The gulf coast is gorgeous. Also the panhanle might have been responsible for us dodging a bullet named President Hillary
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 1 year, 11 months ago
        Yes, if you are gulf front, the insurance is a killer. You have to have homeowners, wind, flood, yes r. Also the taxes. Even if we owed nothing on this house, we would not be able to pay insurance and taxes upon retirement. But moving a bit inland would make it work.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          Yikes, that sounds even more dire than I thought it might be. But I appreciate knowing that it is something we will have to factor in. And yes, getting out of our very liberal county is a big incentive to going to Northern FL !
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  • Posted by editormichael 1 year, 11 months ago
    Never would I say a word against Florida. Some of my best friends live in Florida. But would I want my sister to live there?
    OK, seriously, one thing I will say against Florida: Humidity.
    OK, two things: Hurricanes.
    Instead, I highly recommend Free State West.
    Free State West is, for now, Cochise County, the southeastern corner of Arizona.
    Like the other 57 states, Arizona has rotten politicians, miserably mis-educated voters, but it also has a heritage of freedom missing from most other states.
    This county also has some gorgeous scenery, the nicest people I have met anywhere in these United States, and a really intriguing history, including being the home of the 10th Cavalry.
    And weather.
    Yes, we do have weather.
    It's been rather chilly, even downright cold, these last few days, but, after living in, visiting, or working in more than three-dozen states, I love this area most.
    And, even more important, if we can get even just a few dozen serious lovers of liberty to join us, we could effect some changes here, could make our area a home for advocates of freedom and an example to, first, the rest of Arizona, then to the rest of the Southwest, then perhaps to each of these United States.
    Please look at www.freestatewest.com and/or our Facebook page, facebook.com/freestatewest1
    And feel free to ask me any questions, too. Thank you.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Ah, see, that is where we part ways - I LOVE humidity! I've lived in DC suburbs, N.O. and the Bahamas. Humidity is my element. :)
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      • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
        And "free state" migration is a gimmick that will solve nothing. It reeks of the 19th century utopian commune mentality. You need a region that sensibly best fits your overall needs, recognizing that that is a different matter than reversing the decline of the country.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 1 year, 11 months ago
    I live in the Tampa Bay area. Mostly conservative. Relatively small tourist invasion compared to east coast. T.B. is the west coat of the east coast and is on the Gulf of Mexico. Not as good if you 're a surfer.. But mild waves and warm water year 'round.
    More rural and very friendly folks.. Even so, Clearwater beach is ranked in the top 10 every year. Good Luck!
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 year, 11 months ago
    We need a LOT of conservatives to move to FL to counter the influx of Democrats, Illegals, and soon to be Ex con voters...
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    • Posted by editormichael 1 year, 11 months ago
      Sorry, but conservatives are part of the problem.
      Conservatives advocate more government, just as do so-called liberals, just differently oriented more government.
      What Florida needs, and what every state needs, is libertarians: supporters of freedom, advocates of rational approaches to government.
      Isn't Trump considered a conservative victory?
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      • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
        I disagree. It depends on exactly how you define your terms. Personally I define Trump as "anti-establishment" and it is the Establishment of BOTH Democrats and Republicans who need to be DRAINED for this country to survive. I am anti-establishment, which to me means smaller government and bring all governance closer to the communities which they are supposed to represent.
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        • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
          Being "anti" anything isn't enough. What are you for? Ayn Rand advocated reason, egoism, individual rights, and a government limited to protecting the rights of the individual through objective law. Donald Trump isn't any of that.
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          • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
            Trump is our last best chance to kick over the tables of the Establishment of both sides who have their special interests they serve. Trump seeks to serve American citizens, by all indications at this point. I remain hopeful I will not see any change to that, as I believe no other person alive has what it takes to return the balance of power to citizens from the clutches of government. Being “anti” is plenty if it’s anti the right things.
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            • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
              Trump is the last gasp of an anti-intellectual pragmatist against the intellectual establishment. If the fundamental ideas of that establishment are not challenged and changed there will be no political overthrow of statism.

              Trump has his own statist and collectivist premises, but not as consistently as the progressive left; he is more like the "liberals" of the 1960s, though less intellectual. They, like the progressives of today, also sought and seek to "serve the people" -- the question is how and for what, by what standards.

              Trump is living proof of why being "anti" is not enough. His collectivist-statist premises can be expected to lead to more damage despite whatever else good he does in superficially holding back some of the worst of the recent decline under Obama and Congress.

              He has already reneged on his campaign promises to reverse the Obama National Monument decrees hurting people in rural areas, has significantly and deliberately raised taxes on many individuals with his "tax cuts", has failed to repeal Obamacare as he openly supports more government spending and intervention in medical care, and is threatening spending increases on "infrastructure" as a euphemism for massive government spending and intervention in the economy in general on top of the exploding spending and borrowing.

              He has no understanding of American political individualism. His "populist" emotional ideas are so quirky and unpredictable that nothing he does would be surprising. What little he has done to oppose the far left in the courts and a small part of the regulations will not last and will more quickly come to a halt if he can't control his loutish big mouth and the Democrats take over Congress.

              He is not Hillary, but whatever he does that happens to slow the statism is nothing but buying time against an inevitably more statist and collectivist future if the trend is not reversed by rejection of the collectivist premises that have been spreading across the country.
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              • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                I find your criticisms of Tdump’s performance to date naive and myopic. There is no one else who could have done as much as fast, let alone at all. Trump is a deal maker who has a set of balls and so cannot be bullied but does have e perish e and instincts for what he can do. Nothing is perfect but Trump is the perfect man for the times. He is a fighter. But he’s not stupid or unrealistic.
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                • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
                  It is not naive and myopic to see what Trump is and what he is not. Trump idolatry following a 'man on the white horse' is naive and dangerous. The conservative movement does not understand that the course of a nation depends on its dominant ideas, and that the ideas required are those of the philosophy of reason and individualism, and neither does Trump understand it. "Instincts" and "deals" are no match for the dominant intellectuals whose false premises of altruism, collectivism and statism have been setting the direction of the country contrary to its original American individualist sense of life for over a century.

                  Trump and his "populist" support are a blip on the radar screen as a minority of the country desperately thrashes in a temporary backlash within a continuing downward trend caused by acceptance of an anti-American philosophy originally spread from Europe. They don't know what direction to go in, only "not the current swamp", with no idea how and why it became what it is.

                  A swaggering man who doesn't know the difference between truth and falsehood in his life of the non-stop sales pitch and "deals" for anything is not the kind of leadership that is required to save this country. No one else makes him do that and no one else made him support a government "replacement" for Obamacare, punitive tax increases against his perceived enemies, an anti-private property rights and Federal lands policy, or his other attacks on individualism and freedom. He is not "perfect for the times".

                  Whatever time Trump buys in some realms because he is not a radical left ideological progressive, he is not reversing the decline of this country, nor as a range of the moment Pragmatist with statist premises himself does he know the right direction. It is not enough to be against something, you must know what you are for and work to achieve it intellectually. People are lashing out against the results of collectivism around the globe, only to pursue another variant of it.

                  You can try to find a better area of the country to live in with less emphasis on high taxes and controls because there are still differences across the nation, but they are temporary differences within a uniform downward trend exploited and pushed by Washington politics, but not caused by it. Leftist policies are expanding everywhere because of the spread and increasing acceptance of leftist ideas and their widely accepted false philosophic premises.
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                  • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                    P.S.
                    We ( the nation, the world) is at such a brink that there is no time for any high minded ideals to try to win the day with arguments. We are far beyond that. Someone like Trump must pull us back from the brink with his actions and then he can turn over the reigns to the next guy (or gal like Nikki Haley) who can put forth all the arguments they like to win over peoples’ minds.
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                  • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                    I’ll reply to your very long-winded response by asking: What better even slightly better alternative do you suggest who could right our nation’s ship than Donald Trump?
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
                      Taking the time to rationally explain something to you is not "long winded". Donald Trump is not "righting the ship" and is not capable of it. However bad the alternative of Hillary was it does not follow that Trump is a savior and beyond criticism of his fundamental flaws. It is not "naive and myopic" to reject the Trump idolatry.

                      The necessity of defending reason and individualism is not a "high minded ideal" for which there "is no time", it is all that will turn the contrary around. There are no shortcuts.
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                      • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                        Unless you can put forth a better alternative than Trump than you are being unrealistic, which we have no time to indulge in because this is a zero-sum game: if Trump hadn't won, someone else who was an establishment politician selling out to their special interest groups would have. (very slight possibility Cruz might have governed according to the Constitution, but he's not a deal-maker like Trump and so would have been ineffective.) Trump is the incredibly correct mix of skill sets needed with not caving to public opinion. I will enthusiastically support the re-election of Trump and hope he drains the swamp completely enough, and tears down the lies of political correctness sufficiently that reality is resurrected. Then there will be the space for a Founding Father to be president again. Although it might take much longer for our electorate to become as educated as it needs to be.
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                        • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
                          Reality doesn't go away just because you don't have a better alternative at the moment. Trump is what he is, not the Savior. Trump idolatry is not saving us from his emotional thinking following the same statist premises in his own way. Your adulations sound like "Mr. Thompson will save us."

                          We have no time or personality cults and no time to not to engage in spreading the proper ideas required.
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                          • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                            Reality doesn't go away, but different priorities rise to take precedence. You sound like you want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I'd far rather have Donald Trump as president than anyone else that I can think of at the moment, on either side of the aisle. Work on spreading ideas all you like but it won't make a jot of difference if we don't have someone (Trump) out in front cutting the opposition (enemy?) down to size.
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                            • Posted by RevJay4 1 year, 11 months ago
                              Trump has only been in office for just under a year. To expect his policies to completely reverse 8+ years, maybe decades, of leftist/establishment crap in that period of time is unrealistic. What he has done is nothing short of amazing.
                              Think Patton in WWII. That's kinda how I look at Trump and his actions. No PC, what ya see is what ya get. Idolatry not involved, just waiting for the next step in thwarting the leftist/establishment agenda. The swamp was not filled in a day, and it will take a long time to be drained. Trump is getting the denizens to show their true colors, little by little. Luvin' it.
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  • Posted by Peggy 1 year, 11 months ago
    Why the panhandle? History proves Jax is better for hurricane protection based on the contour of the coast line. And we will take ALL conservative comers.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Oh, personal story, but do not desire to go further down-state. So it’s either panhandle or elsewhere.
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      • Posted by Peggy 1 year, 11 months ago
        Jax is NORTH EAST. The Panhandle is NORTH WEST. It would not be down state. The coast of Florida is indented in this area which you can see on a map. That indentations towards the west is what saves us from horrible hurricane damage most of the time.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          I'll have to look into that more closely. Perhaps it would help with the property insurance rates. Thanks !
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          • Posted by Peggy 1 year, 11 months ago
            Not sure about the property insurance rates. They boosted ours a few years ago due to the rest of the state taking such a hit. That was about 8 years ago when hurricane force 1 winds came through here. Also, I do believe the insurance rates are handled individually, by the state insurance commissions.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
    While the Florida panhandle is nice, the area just north of Melbourne where I live is much better. I like to tell people that I live in the best house in the best neighborhood in the best county in the best state in the best country in the world. Prices have gone up considerably this year, up to around $140 per square foot. I pay about $2900 in property taxes on my $350 K house. The homestead exemption limits the assessed value to increase by no more than 3% per year, so my house is only being assessed at $240 K instead of its true value. Thus I would expect a new buyer to be paying about $4500 in property taxes.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      You're a great salesperson J !! But the peninsula is not for me. (long story) Do you know anything about any area of the panhandle ?
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
        Before I went into chemical engineering, I paid part of my way through college by working in real estate a few summers in high school and college. If you have ever seen those postcards that say "This house just listed or sold in your neighborhood!", you can blame me for that. My Century 21 broker/boss wanted to move up to the top-selling Century 21 broker in the country from #5 in New Jersey and came up with the idea of real estate farming. Before computers were personal, it was my job to set up a computer database and oversee the sending of postcards to 20,000 homes and condos per month. The automation of mass production from that enterprise moved me into chemical engineering.

        Regarding the Florida panhandle, I don't know much beyond the usual tourist destinations (Destin, Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach). Look into Santa Rosa Beach perhaps? Pace is a great place to be a chemical engineer in that part of Florida.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          Thanks jbrenner. Neither my husband nor I are chemical engineers :) But we'll be sure to add Santa Rosa Beach to our list to investigate. Some place with an authentic small town feel, if such a thing exists, would be great to find.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
        I lived in Pensacola for 18 months (about 2004) and its one of the least interesting places I have ever lived. If there was a good restaurant in Pensacola we couldn't find it. (Yes, you could drive 40-60 miles one way for an overpriced tourist dinner.) The best part of being there was being close to fresh farms across the state line in Alabama. I'd be bored silly living there. We we lucky in one way though. A hurricane came through and we could legally break our lease since the landlord refused to make adequate repairs. Never been so glad to leave a place.
        I had property in Tampa in the 80s and JB is correct, the property taxes are far too high unless you have had a homestead exemption for years.
        However, if I was looking to live in Florida and cost of housing wasn't a big issue, I'd choose the eastern seaboard, not the Gulf Coast. Mossies and sand flies and humidity are less of a problem with Atlantic Ocean breezes than the lower speeds off the Gulf in many parts of the panhandle. The Gulf is ugly compared to the Atlantic, too, imo. Maybe you should look at the area near St Augustine, too?
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 1 year, 11 months ago
          I have to disagree with you about the eastern coast. The east coast of Fl is a beautiful beach. Where we are is like the Caribbean. My opinion
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          • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
            Pensacola doesn't have aqua blue water like most of the Caribbean. Its milky grey-blue water. No comparison to the Caribbean, at least not compared to places I have been (Bahamas (Nassau, Abaco), St Martin, St Croix, Jamaica, Honduras Bay Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Curacao, Montserrat, Saba.)
            It is similar to the gulf at Merida, Mexico.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 1 year, 11 months ago
          Freedom has a good point, and Navarre makes Pensacola look like fun. I love it here, but I come here to let go and relax, and back to Georgia to work and stress out. Pensacola does have a couple of good restaurants now . :). All depends on what you want. Hey, the Gulch was pretty dull! Except for the people, which is all that matters in the end.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
            If the people from the Gulch were in Pensacola I'd be there in a heartbeat- and as soon as all of us arrived there would be massive demand for all that Pensacola lacks ;^)
            Unfortunately, it has a large component of military and retired military. imo, there would be lots of resistance to the basic elements (that the Gulch brings) of the free market and individual self reliance by that federal bureaucracy and those dependent on it.
            Frankly, there is no place in the US where the Gulch would be tolerated since no one in the Gulch would be paying taxes for services not requested or delivered.
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            • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
              I think there isnt a place in the USA where Gulchers could do anything except hide in plain sight. Might be the only way to go , and its not that hard to do.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                I haven't found such a place. As for hiding in plain sight, you can as long as you continue to pay taxes at gunpoint which defeats the purpose and violates John Galt's primary principles. Not to mention putting up with thousands of meddling repugnant laws.
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                • Posted by term2 1 year, 11 months ago
                  I look at the hiding in plain sight as a lower cost approach to freedom. It means living in a less populated area where you can produce most of your food (without paying taxes on it), trade with other like-minded people without taxation on that, and in general living quietly without attracting attention.
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            • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
              Oh, I'd beg to differ that military and retired military don't exhibit and value self-reliance.
              Like any philosophy, unless you are a constituency of 1, there will always be some measure of compromise. It is just a matter of finding a place that operates within ones comfort zone before reaching the tipping (or shrugging) point.
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        • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
          Well, with any luck for us, the area has changed significantly in the last 13 years. I know the area that we are living in has. I'm curious to know what drew you to move there in the first place ?
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          • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
            I was looking for a place near the coast with mild weather and some friends had positive things to say about Pensacola- but they had only been there as tourists. Day to day life there is extremely boring compared to some other smaller coastal towns, e.g., Wilmington, NC.
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            • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
              What do you think makes it boring versus not boring ? Do you mean like bars, restaurants, local theater, or something else? Because my husband and I don’t really go out a lot here, where there are many options.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 11 months ago
                No cultural attraction/events (dramatic theatre, concerts, museum,etc) no decent restaurants not requiring a 3 hour drive in heavy traffic, no unique grocery (e.g. Trader Joes, Aldi), no decent baked goods, no farmers market. (Not enough demand from residents for any of the above as most appeared to be satisfied with Piggly Wiggly and the latest propaganda from wHollyweird.) It wasn't designed by Howard Rourke either. It's possible it has changed in 13 years, but it is still full of humidity, mozzies, and sand flies compared to the east coast.
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                • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
                  I have a feeling it has changed significantly in the last 13 years. There is a Whole Foods in Tallahassee (a bit far) but there is also a Whole Foods in Destin, right in the panhandle. And a bunch of other organic-y kind of food stores, according to google maps, anyway. And there is a Trader Joes in Panama City. As to the other cultural stuff, that isn't anything that effects my daily life so I'm not too worried on that front. Just grocery and restaurants. I guess eating well is a good thing to be concerned about. :)
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    • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
      How is your area affected by hurricanes? Is there a lot of traffic and congestion where you are?
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
        Traffic is no issue. We have easy access to I-95 and some of the nice aspects of a small city, but none of the negative aspects of city living.

        Our area does get hurricanes, but doesn't ever seem to get a direct hit. In 2004, a couple of hurricanes hit an hour south of us. Last year, Matthew stayed just off shore. This year Irma was kind of scary, but only hit us with 105 mph winds. About 10 years ago, Tropical Storm Fay dumped 27 inches of rain in 2 days, and the water drained as quickly as it fell. I live just far enough inland (~5 miles) to not get any serious flooding or wind damage. My wife and I are getting hurricane shutters installed in a couple of weeks, after 20 years living here; prior to now, I have used styrofoam mounted with Tapcon screws and double sided foam tape; the styrofoam is unconventional, but works adequately. This area was picked by NASA as the southeasternmost place to launch from with minimal hurricane risk. We get sideswiped a fair amount, but never any serious damage. Usually the hurricane prep (a couple hundred dollars a year) and the post-hurricane repairs cost about the same. The cost of living through hurricane season is about the same as living through the snow and ice season up north.

        Taxes are low, and life is affordable in this part of Florida.

        There is no state or local income tax in Florida. Sales tax is 6%, with most counties (including mine) having a 0.5% sales tax add-on.
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        • Posted by ewv 1 year, 11 months ago
          You don't have much traffic even with the flood of international tourists anxious to see the famous JB Labs?

          Are you in the small city or outside it with a decent amount of land around the house and in the surroundings?

          Why is that area better than the panhandle?

          What kind of hurricane shutters are you getting? We have been using heavy plywood on frames locked to steel posts for storm/security window covers, but it is too much to deal with.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago
            My labs aren't that famous ... yet. Those "tourists" are my apprentices (and good ones who pay me well, too!).

            I live in a small suburb of Melbourne called Suntree/Viera. Most homes here are around 2000-2500 sq. ft. with lots that take around 35 minutes to cut with a push mower (maybe 0.3 acre).

            The panhandle gets colder than most people realize. At times like this, the panhandle will have nights that get down into the 20's pretty regularly. When one gets halfway down the Florida peninsula, you might get a freeze 0 to 3 mornings per year, but the high temperatures will not reach 60oF but one day per year. The Melbourne area is the coolest in the summer in Florida (90-93 pretty consistently for 4 months, but almost never 95), but somewhat warmer in the winter because of its ocean proximity. Today, for instance, people are talking about it being cold, but the temp is around 65. It feels good to me!
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  • Posted by Beatlemicah 1 year, 11 months ago
    A couple of years ago I retired and left San Diego to move to Cape Coral, FL. That's in the Fort Myers area. Houses were cheap (and still are, comparatively). I enjoy living in Florida, though it is a little boring after the big city life. The wildlife is beautiful, and seeing the occasional alligator is fun. I got used to the humidity. For me the only downside is the bugs. All the ants bite and sting. The bigger ones leave scars. Avoid them. Now I'm moving to Pennsylvania near NYC just to be close to my sons who live and work there. If not for my kids, I would stay in Florida, and relocate to Lakeland, FL area (between Tampa and Orlando.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Thanks Beatle ! You might consider retaining your FL home (and residency) for tax purposes, and to vacation in during the most bitter parts of the winter. I'm betting you're reasonably comfortable in your Cape Coral home while I can guarantee your sons are freezing their...ears off in PA, as we are here in Maryland. PA during the summer should be lovely, but hold on to that FL house ! :)
      Can I ask you - what would make you want to relocate from Cape Coral to Lakeland ??
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      • Posted by Beatlemicah 1 year, 11 months ago
        Lakeland, FL area is about 30 minutes to Tampa driving west, and about 30 minutes to Orlando driving East. Those Cities have younger people and fewer retirees. It's a way to be near the action, (concerts, Disney World, etc.) yet live in a more relaxed setting. Also when my 22 year old twin sons visit Cape Coral, they say it's all older retired people and there's no one their age to date or hang out with. In Fort Myers and Cape Coral, the retirees mostly just drink alcohol for recreation. Fort Myers beach is nice with old people on the beach (I'm old myself). I'm originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, so I'm no stranger to the snow life, but I like your idea of a winter vacation home in Florida.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 1 year, 11 months ago
    Back in 07 I left Florida due to low pay and liberal policies. I went to Texas, started out in the Lubbock area and really liked it there but was offered more pay in the Houston area. Houston is fairly balanced with those outside the inner city area very conservative.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Yes, Thank you for this information. Texas is on our short list too. I’m just not sure if I’d feel less at home there, than I might in northern FL. But this is all part of what we have to find out.
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  • Posted by editormichael 1 year, 11 months ago
    states with walloping tax rates at the highest income levels:

    California: 13.3 percent (no surprise)
    Oregon: 9.9 percent
    Minnesota: 9.85 percent
    Iowa: 8.98 percent
    New Jersey: 8.97 percent
    Vermont: 8.95 percent
    District of Columbia: 8.95 percent
    New York: 8.82 percent
    Hawaii: 8.25 percent
    Wisconsin: 7.65 percent
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  • Posted by sma1670 1 year, 11 months ago
    The Destin area is booming, property values are high and getting higher. For a more suburban, bang for your buck area, Niceville is beautiful. Pensacola is growing more urban but there seems to be more popping up around it everyday. I live/work in the santa Rosa beach area (next to destin) it's glorious but expensive. Home that were $500,000 two years ago are worth more than $800,000 now. All very conservative areas... many are vocally pro-trump.
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  • Posted by Abaco 1 year, 11 months ago
    Excellent move, from what I know. That is one of the few areas on my short list of viable American spots to shrug to.
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    • Posted by 1 year, 11 months ago
      Thanks Abaco. If you have any particular information to pass along I'd love to know it. From your 'handle' I assume you're a fan of the Bahamas. I lived there in my teen years when my dad was with the U.S. embassy. I loved it there too, but don't think island life full time is for me.
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