DAVENPORT/KISSIMMEE – It’s been a year since the pandemic rocked our world and you are still in your square-foot-challenged, high rise apartment overlooking something you don’t really want to see in a city you no longer want to be in.
Many of your friends and family members have taken the chance or opportunity – depends on which side of moving south you find yourself – to move to a state with tropical-like temperatures, a smaller population (less people to give you COVID) and more bang for your buck in housing. You feel like you are missing out on something since the mass exodus of people moving to warmer climates is literally growing as you read this blog. Think about it: About 1,000 people A DAY are moving to Florida.
Those you know who have moved, sing the praises of their new lifestyles in just-constructed model homes. According to a study released in October, Tampa, South Florida and Orlando are three of the top five destinations in the country people have moved to during the pandemic.
So, now you have to decide should I stay, or should I go?
Consider these facts when making that decision!
- Higher, more condensed population in the north equals greater chance of getting COVID: The case to go screams crowded elevators, densely populated residential buildings with extremely small living spaces for premium dollars and sharing common laundry facilities with neighbors who, could possibly, be COVID-19 positive.
- Housing costs are less in the south: Reasons to go are green space, more than affordable single-family homes with current low interest mortgage rates in tax-friendly states that boasts low cost of living with tons of amenities. The average rent on a one-bedroom 20-plus-year-old apartment in Manhattan is $3,600 compared to the same with relatively new construction in Celebration, Florida at $1,600.
- Aesthetically pleasing in the south: The reasons to move are everywhere you look. Palm trees, beautifully sodded, green, lush lawns, in loads of new neighborhoods complete with playgrounds and clubhouses with swimming pools that entertain children – big and small – for hours. All of this in an ideal climate where no one worries about shoveling snow wearing Michelin-man jackets with gloves, hats and mittens that take 15 minutes to don.
- Let’s talk about the weather. In the south, the kiddos can play outside and participate in sports and other activities 12 months a year. The northern weather isn’t conducive to being outdoors many months eliminating benefiting from fresh air and open areas. All of this goes without even mentioning the fact that adults can benefit from enjoying themselves outside – all year round.
- Positive career moves in the south: Internet job searches tell of plenty of job opportunities at brick-and-mortar stores or distribution centers like Amazon and Walmart. Compare the minimum wage differences: This year, in New York it goes to $12.50 from $11.80 and in Florida from $8.56 to $10. The pay may be considerably lower at all levels of your career, but the cost of living, as mentioned earlier, is less in the south.
- And, if your parents haven’t already relocated to Florida and you are worried about leaving them up north … STOP! Just bring them along too! They will love the warm weather.
Obviously, what boils down to what is best for you and your family. But, if you decide to move, what is your next step?
Next blog: You’ve made the decision to move – where do you go?
(If moving to the south is the final decision, be practical – remember to check for travel restrictions. This means the local government where you are moving – as well as any state you must drive through to get to your destination.)