I moved here with my wife in 2005 after I retired! We rented in the Temple Terrace area for 7 months while a house we bought was being built! We didn't buy a 3,000, or 5,000 sq foot house for hundreds of thousands of dollars, We bought a $100,000 house, 1300 sq. ft.,3/2/2, 35 minutes north of Tampa in a newer neighborhood!
Our first year here was a little tough getting used to, it is hot in the summer, but I loved watching the blizzards up north on TV! And as you get older, the heat feels better then the cold!
We paid $3,000. a year that first year on homeowners tax, and insurance, still less then what we paid in Ct.! Today with the bad economy, we pay $1,400. a year because everything has gone down. Its tough on people who work, but great for retirees! Our house is worth $75,000. today, but we're not selling, so its all paper, and the lower net worth of our house makes our bills lower!
The lower prices make it good for the new people who want to come here to retire, there are some great deals!
Retiring here is good, but I wouldn't come here to work, the good paying jobs are few, and far apart! If you live on a budget, this is a very cheap place to live, but again, not if your younger, and still working!
I would say to those unhappy here on the Gulf coast of Florida, that life is so short to be unhappy about where you live, move to where you'll be happy, I did, and someday, if I choose, I'll move again! You'll get nowhere just complaining on a site like this!
To those looking for a place to retire, I've driven across the country 3 times in my life, been in every one of the lower 48 states, for me, this is the best area to retire! The housing is cheap, much cheaper then up north, living expences are less then up north, and you've got so much to do from all the sports-pro & college, theater, museums, beaches, boating, fishing, casinos, cruises, Disney, Bush Gardens, and others!!! Or you can do just nothing, and enjoy the weather while your friends and relatives are shoveling snow!!
The mistake I saw down here over the last 5 years is people living-buying over their means, I could have bought a house 3 times bigger, and 3 times more expensive, but we chose to buy only what we needed! There were lots of stories of people living in 3,000-5,000 sq ft. houses with almost no furniture in their houses, cause they couldn't afford it! The more house you buy, the more you'll pay in taxes, insurance, and electricity, so buy what you need, and can afford!
Is there anything better then seeing palm trees in peoples yards dressed up in Christmas lights?!!!