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Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Old Jun 18th 2020, 7:03 am
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Default Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Two questions about Florida;

My partner is terrified of shootings in the U.S. despite holding birthright citizenship and being keen to move out there. I am persistently reassuring her it is fine in the right areas, areas we have looked at include, Naples, Marco Island, Port St Lucie and Clearwater.

Any advice for safe, "happy" areas?

Also wondering whether to buy or rent for the first 6 months. What is recommended at first?

Many thanks
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 7:46 am
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

I recommend renting until you really decide you like the area.

Sorry, don't know anything about Florida safety.

Rene
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

As with any major urban area in the US, there are parts of it that you wouldn't want to live in, and parts that you would. Some research is required, but there are sites such as moving.com and city-data.com that can give you raw statistics.

The reality is that, unless you associate yourself with drugs or other illicit behaviors, or live in a high crime neighborhood, you are very unlikely to come across someone who actively wants to hurt you with a gun.

I would always recommend that you rent in area before you buy, US leases are usually year long though.

What visa would you be moving on? CR1?
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

It's a lot safer now than it was, say 20-30 years ago. Not saying this to start a stoush but just be careful about accepting uncritically the slant of some news bulletins or people who know someone who has a cousin in the US etc. Civilservant is correct in what he says as is Noorah101. I feel safer in Florida than I do in Continental Europe. I lived in Florida 20-something years and I can never recall ever hearing a gunshot, let alone seeing a gun, unless it was on the side of a police officer or for sale at an outdoors shop.

I did see someone with a gun out on the street once in Memphis, Tennessee, and there was a bullet hole in a (nice!) hotel room I stayed in - the bathroom window - in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both in the late 1990s.

What are you going to be doing? Not sure why you would want to live in any of the four places you listed, unless you are going to retire. St Lucie is an old citrus farming town that is somewhat depressed, and of late has soaked up retirees fleeing high prices in Miami and elsewhere. Some people find Naples attractive, but for me it has always encapsulated Florida strip-mall culture at its worst. I have some, significantly older relatives who talked about retiring there for a very long time, but ultimately never did and stayed in Miami.




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Old Jun 18th 2020, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

and there was a bullet hole in a (nice!) hotel room I stayed in
Almost every back roads stop sign here has at least one bullet hole in it... for some reason that's seen as 'fun' to do. I prefer shooting at those people silhouettes myself, but that's because I don't imagine getting attacked by a stop sign at any point in the future
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Some people find Naples attractive, but for me it has always encapsulated Florida strip-mall culture at its worst.
Couldn't agree more. My grandparents lived there, my parents/brother and I could never see the appeal and would only visit if we really had to. My grandparents loved it though, so different folks for different strokes and all that.

OP, have you visited all of the areas you're looking at? Also, any kids, are schools a consideration?
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Almost every back roads stop sign here has at least one bullet hole in it... for some reason that's seen as 'fun' to do. I prefer shooting at those people silhouettes myself, but that's because I don't imagine getting attacked by a stop sign at any point in the future
Which reminds me of another point - there are two sorts of area in the US where you hear gunfire on a regular basis - poor urban areas, and rural areas. The former is extremely concerning for the residents and police, the latter is not a big deal for anyone, neither for most residents or the sheriff. I hear gunfire most days, and from several different directions, and I'm not in the least bit concerned by it - my neighbours' son has some sort of rifle that he'll go out in to the yard and fire sometimes, and someone about half a mile away through the trees apparently has a number of firearms, including a machine gun (though it cold be a bumpstock). I heard gunfire from several different directions, sometimes pistols, sometimes rifles, and sometimes shotguns.

To answer the original question more directly though, gun crime in the US is largely confined to certain geographies and certain demographics, which mostly overlap, but that means that even when gun violence strays outside of rough areas it still remains mostly confined to gangs, drug dealers, and other criminal elements settling scores. Honestly, for most Americans the risk of being shot or attacked is no different from living in the UK, and it might even be less as criminals know that if they break into an occupied home there is a good chance the homeowner will shoot them!

Then there is the oft-quoted statisitic that 80% of people who are murdered are killed by a family member or friend, and about two-thirds of those are killed by their spouse/ partner.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 18th 2020 at 1:41 pm.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Which reminds me of another point - there are two sorts of area in the US where you hear gunfire on a regular basis - poor urban areas, and rural areas. The former is extremely concerning for the residents and police, the latter is not a big deal for anyone, neither for most residents or the sheriff. I hear gunfire most days, and from several different directions, and I'm not in the least bit concerned by it - my neighbours' son has some sort of rifle that he'll go out in to the yard and fire sometimes, and someone about half a mile away through the trees apparently has a number of firearms, including a machine gun. I heard gunfire from several different directions, sometimes pistols, sometimes rifles, and sometimes shotguns.

To answer the original question more directly though, gun crime in the US is largely confined to certain geographies and certain demographics, which mostly overlap, but that means that even when gun violence strays outside of rough areas it still remains mostly confined to gangs, drug dealers, and other criminal elements settling scores. Honestly, for most Americans the risk of being shot or attacked is no different from living in the UK, and it might even be less as criminals know that if they break into an occupied home there is a good chance the homeowner will shoot them!

Then there is the oft-quoted statisitic that 80% of people who are murdered are killed by a family member or friend, and about two-thirds of those are killed by their spouse/ partner.
Yeah. I hear it fairly regularly in rural Australia. People shooting kangaroos and such.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Definitely rent first.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

We have lived here in N Florida for 20 years, can't ever recall hearing gunshots unless at a range.
Research, some areas have poverty issues, leading to higher crime, possible gun shots.
Have you actually ever visited the areas selected?
Take a trip when you can, as mentioned most leases are 12 months.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Originally Posted by excpomea View Post
.... as mentioned most leases are 12 months.
Which reminds me, cheaper and/or older apartment complexes seem to be magnets for trouble of all sorts, even in parts of town less known for crime and violence, at least in NC, and I would assume in FL too.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

I've lived in Saint Petersburg, FL for the last 3 years, and have never felt unsafe. In fact, I do feel safer here than I did back in the UK! I am aware that there are areas to avoid, especially after dark.

My wife keeps an eye on the neighbourhood reports, and there is the occasional theft from an unlocked car.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

Justin Webb was the BBC's White House correspondent during the Obama years and one of the things he frequently spoke about was his surprise (and many other Brits) at the relative "peacefulness" of American life. Though this is 10 years old, and probably a bit dated, some of his comments might be worth showing your spouse.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | America's 'safety catch'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/therepor...and_crime.html

"This report I find mystifying - and, I have to report, so do other Brits I have met here on the slopes. Talking to a chap originally from south London but living now in New Jersey, we agreed (before seeing this piece) that one of the great pleasures of living in the US is that the underlying sense of low-level violence and nastiness so much in evidence in big English cities - and in small market towns as well - just does not exist here, or to be more precise does not exist outside certain areas. Most Americans can avoid it. In the UK, you cannot."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/therepor...webb#jump_more

"Now back in the UK I find myself utterly at sea - I say hello to people I pass in the street. They lunge on, muttering insults. We'll get used to it. But we will never forget the kindness of America. In Swindon buying a car the other day (yes, life has changed) the conversation turned to a familiar theme but one that endlessly fascinates me - the relative peaceableness of the American life, guns and all. Too many Brits seriously think that America is violent. It isn't. Most America lives are free of violence and the threat of it in a way no life in Swindon can be. Why that's true is a subject all of its own (religion, gun ownership, moral fibre, space, social cohesiveness?) and one worthy of a future study."
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

The Stoneman Douglas shooting was in Parkland.... a very nice 'safe' affluent area. There was also a shooting 2 weeks ago at the mall in my neighborhood, Aventura, also a typically nice affluent city! Think there is risk everywhere.
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Old Jun 18th 2020, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Safest place in Florida, Rent or Buy

It sounds as if the most dangerous thing in Florida is the governor’s attitude towards Covid.
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