#1 – Weather
It is hot here. For about 4 months out of the year it is uncomfortably hot. We spent almost $400 on electricity for 1 month last summer just to keep our house comfortable.
Not only is it hot, but it’s also really, really humid all year round. So if that’s a deal-breaker for you and you just can’t stand the humidity, Florida is not the place for you. Look at the map right here:
Even though there is a lot of warning about hurricanes, they are still pretty unpredictable. They bring a lot of rain and wind. Our home is in a flood zone and after we moved into it in September, there were 3 inches of water in our yard for over 4 weeks. I had to just let the grass get tall and wide because I didn’t want the lawnmower to leave big ruts in the grass. Even though there is quite a bit of warning with hurricanes, places still run out of bottled water and generators and other supplies. You need to stay prepared.
We live close to a bayou which is filled with brackish water(salt and fresh mixed). During a storm (or sometimes just a really high tide) the water comes up into the intersection near our house. We then have to avoid this area because the saltwater is very corrosive to the metal on the underside of vehicles.
Lightning! The Tampa Bay area is “the lightning capital of the world”. Because there is so much lightning, there is some mitigation. But you have to think that if we have so much more lightning then the odds of getting struck go up quite a bit.
#2 – Power Outages
The main reason these happen is from branches falling on power lines. Whenever that happens, the whole system trips for safety reasons. That means you’ve gotta wait for the city to come out, remove the power lines, and make sure it’s safe before they turn ’em back on.
There was a storm a few months ago, and the power at our house was out for 22 hours. We live in an older area of town, and the trees behind our house are right under the power line.
A wise person might ask, why don’t they just cut down all the trees? They won’t cut down the trees because Florida is very protective of its trees. Especially hardwood trees, because they help hold the ground together.
It’s true! They help hold the ground together. And that takes us to number three…
#3 – Erosion
The ground is kind of disappearing, and I’m not just talking about sinkholes, where it just suddenly drops out from underneath you. Although we do have those too. What I’m talking about is just the gradual erosion of all the ground around a house.
I experienced this recently when I was building a shed. I dug some holes for the concrete footers, and then it rained the next day. After the rain, so much of the ground underneath where I had dug the holes was just gone.
Honestly, I don’t know how it didn’t just sink in when I stood on the ground.
I actually went ahead and still built the shed there. Check back with me in a few years, and we’ll see if it’s still there.
#4 – People
There is some anti-outsider sentiment in Florida, especially since it’s growing so fast. I have clients moving here from the Northeast, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
Those are just my CURRENT clients.
People are moving from every state in the US and from countries all over the world. Many locals feel like they’re being invaded. It affects their traffic. It affects their housing market. It affects their restaurants, all these kinds of things. So you will occasionally get like an anti outsider vibe from Floridians.
#5 – Weeds
I moved here from Colorado, not too long ago, but I’m not talking about that kind of weed.
I’m talking about the weeds in your yard. The weeds in your yard are gonna grow like crazy. They’re gonna try to take over your yard almost everyday of the year. I actually think our growing season is 11 months here.
What does that mean for you?
If you’re gonna move here, you’re gonna be mowing a lot or you’re gonna be paying a company to come mow a lot. Either way, it really is kind of a hassle.
#6 – Termites and Water Damage
This is really common with houses around here. People often say, “it’s not if, but when you get termite damage”, and there are a few different types of termites here.
We have subterranean termites that come from the ground. Then there are the swarming termites that fly in the air and these affect structures very differently.
But even if you’re thinking about just building a wooden shed outside, you have to think about these kinds of things because there are a lot of bugs you’ve gotta prevent your property from getting damaged.
#7 – Vacationers & Snowbirds
If you don’t like visitors then Florida is not the place for you! There is a constant stream of vacationers and snowbirds.
By living here, you’re gonna experience people looking outta place all the time.
Maybe they’re stopping at a weird place on the road, or they’re asking a confusing question at a restaurant.
If that kind of thing bothers you, then Florida might not be for you.
#8 – Mosquitos
Easily my least favorite thing about Florida. There are so many mosquitoes, and I get bit like crazy. It seems like nobody else around me is getting bit. And I suddenly have 30 bites on my ankles! This happens to me a lot.
So there are certain times of the year where I avoid going outside, or I avoid going to certain parks because I know they’re a little more muggy and they’re gonna have more mosquitoes.
Of course, there are ways to keep them away: bug spray, bracelets, and those little ThermaCell things that release some kind of gas to keep them away. I have tried all those things. They don’t really work for me, and they might not be enough to protect you from mosquitoes either.
All right. We gave mosquitoes their own number. I’m gonna put the rest of the wildlife as number nine.
#9 – Wildlife
I started to include mosquitos here but I decided they deserve their own section.
There is some wildlife that you could see every day and others that you will rarely see. I’ll break them down here.
Ants (in your house)
There’s A LOT of wildlife here. It’s not just mosquitoes. It’s lizards too. There are lizards everywhere. I was showing a house not too long ago, and in the listing notes it said “please make sure you close doors very quickly because the owner is deathly afraid of lizards.”
That might sound confusing to you, but there are tons of lizards here. Sometimes when I’m walking down the sidewalk, it feels like every step I take, one runs away from me. They are very scared of people. They don’t want to get caught. But their sprint away can be startling.
Cockroaches are another one that you will see a lot. Of course, you can spray for these, but as they say, cockroaches would survive a nuclear bomb. These suckers are tough and they are hard to catch. Most times that I try to catch one( and brutally drown it in boiling water) it gets away and I end up squishing it against the wall. Then I have to clean the guts off the wall—not what I call fun.
#10 – GPS
You will need to use your GPS here! There is a lot of water here and that usually keeps roads from being very straight. Canals, bays, lakes, rivers, and bayous all interrupt the flow of roads. Your GPS will help you get around this stuff.
Toll roads – make sure you set your GPS to avoid toll roads. They are mostly the kind of toll roads that take a picture of your license plate and just mail you a bill. So you may not even realize that you are about to get on a toll road.
#11 – Allergies
There is always something blooming or pollinating or causing some kind of allergy down here.
Like I said before, with such a long growing season, there’s just always something that could irritate your allergies.
If you already suffer from allergies, it might be worse down here.
#12 – No Masks
Sometimes people down here refuse to wear masks. You’ll even go into restaurants where people aren’t even being told to. If that’s something that’s important to you, as it’s important to so many people right now, it might not be the right time for you to move to Florida.
Floridians have a real rebellious streak.
I saw this in my father-in-law one time when I was riding in the car with him to a park. My little daughter was in the backseat, and he ran a stop sign. I said, “Hey, you ran that stop sign, and this was a four way stop. There were other cars there.” And his response when I told him he ran the stop sign was like “Oh, well, I pay my taxes.”
That is not an uncommon type of response for a local here.
If that kind of rebellious spirit is something that really bothers you, Florida’s probably not the place for you.
I hope you found this information useful! I wanted to approach the topic a little differently and talk about what I actually end up recommending to people when they’re thinking about moving here.
There are PLENTY of great reasons to move to Florida though. If you want to hear about them you can watch my Youtube video Why People Are Moving To Florida.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Call, or text me at (727) 677-5337. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.