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I'm Kim, 28, a married mom of 3 dds (ages 6, 4 and 16 months). We are currently renting in MA. We don't like the city we are living in at all, but the rent is cheap. Most of our family is in CT (currently almost a 2 hour drive from us), but some is in MA and NH. In 3-4 years we will be ready to buy a home. It would be nice to be closer to our CT family, but I think it would be even nicer to be WARM! I am so tired of these New England winters! I lived in Jacksonville FL (Atlantic Beach) for about 9 months when I was 18 and I LOVED it there....living by the beach was just awesome...but I'm not sure if it would be the best place to raise a family.
I am looking for someplace warm, with great schools (most important factor), preferably near a beach (30 min or less drive would be great, though living ON the beach would be my dream), and near a bass fishing lake (DH is obsessed lol). And we would be looking to spend $200K or less for a 3+ bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1500+ sq ft home. In the northeast, that criteria for a home is pretty impossible....but I've noticed from looking online that the houses are a lot cheaper in parts of the south (I know that wages must be lower too). I don't know if a place like this exsists, but I can hope!
I've been looking at Oviedo, FL, Raleigh, NC and Summerville, SC....but looking online is A LOT different than actually looking at the area in person. So I would like to gather some info from people who actually live in the south.
I know that 3-4 years is a long time away, and a lot could change between now and then (and I am driving DH nuts looking at houses online all the time) but where can we live that would fit my criteria? Thanks a bunch!
I grew up very close to Oviedo,FL - I actually went to school in Oviedo. It is a nice place to raise a family and there is a lot of affordable housing there now that the housing bubble has burst in FL. However, after living in FL for the first 28 years of my life I will say you only have 2 seasons there - summer and not summer... lol I it VERY hot in the summer. I moved out of FL almost 7 years ago and haven't missed it at all. We just moved to SC this past fall and so far I love it here. The weather is awesome and there are actually 4 seasons that aren't too extreme. It's been a bit cooler than normal this winter, but having spent the past 6 winters in WI, it hasn't really bothered me too much. If you are looking for good weather, seasons, and the water (ocean and lakes) I would definitely look at both North and South Carolina. As for the home criteria you have, I am not really sure. I know in the area of SC that I live in you could get a lot for that kind of money - but, we are in the extreme NW part of the state, so a good 4 hours from the beach...lots of lakes though - and the mountains too. When looking at homes closer to the beach, you need to take into account hurricanes and the cost of insurance for homes close to the coast. I know in FL it's nearly impossible to get homeowners insurance because of all the recent hurricanes. State Farm is actually canceling thousands of policies and is not writting new ones. Oh, and before this gets too long, since you mentioned Oviedo, it's about a 40 - 45 minute drive to the coast, but you then have to go either north or south a bit to get to a beach since the Kennedy Space Center and National Seashore are directly to the east. New Smyrna Beach and Daytona are to the north, and Cocoa Beach is to the south. Have fun researching new places to live - how exciting
Can definitely get that size of house for that price here in TX. Depends on exactly where, and metro areas are more expensive, but we're hoping to get one in about those same standards for under 100k to give you an idea.
In studying demographics some (we've moved a lot, though always within the state), TX and GA seem to have the lowest cost of living.
I was in a Cheerleading Competition at Oviedo High School when I was in 9th grade... teeheheee a loonnnnngggg time ago. I live in Gainesville, Florida -- which is 2 hours north of Orlando. I can tell you that it is pretty darn cold -- and it has been for a couple of months now.... My dad lives in Miami -- and he says its been chilly there, too... granted "chilly" to us is probably 60s.... BUT -- know that Orlando has been in the 30s for the past couple of months!! And Gainesville has been in the teens and 20s some, too... BOOOOOO
Thank you SOOO much Mom2*Lauryn*Jacob* for my beautiful siggy!!!