Hey, NJ: Before you move to Florida consider these things
New Jersey is once again the "most moved out of state" in the country according to United Van Lines.
You may be planning your winter getaway in the Sunshine State. I go there every year in late March for a fishing trip and winter break getaway.
I go to Key West, which is not really Florida. It's like its own county. It even has the nickname "The Conch Republic." It's a total fantasy and really just made for vacation, unless you're uber-rich.
The cost of moving to Florida
This brings us to the topic of real estate prices just about anywhere in Florida. Home prices are about 10% above the national average.
Unless you're way out in the boondocks of Central Florida you're probably going to get sticker shock from the prices of housing there. If you think car insurance rates are high in New Jersey, car insurance rates are about 62% above the national average.
The wildlife of Florida
We haven't even touched on the things nature has in store for you when you live there. Here in New Jersey, we have annoying mosquitos, ticks, wasps and flies.
Florida has giant bugs that laugh at those little nuisances. Have you ever seen a palmetto bug? It's a big cockroach with wings, and Florida has tons of them. Their other name is the Florida Woods Cockroach. Eh, no worries, you'll just get some bug spray!
How do you feel about alligators? Last year an 85-year-old woman walking her dog was eaten by one of them.
The climate of Florida
Yeah, but you'll be more careful, I know. Many of us remember Superstorm Sandy. Parts of our coastline were devastated, and New Jersey experienced great property damage and loss of life.
Imagine the fear of that several times a year ... every year. It's one of the reasons homeowner's insurance rates are three and a half times the national average.
You can trade possible lower property taxes for much higher insurance rates on your home.
We haven't talked about the weather yet. We all love the warm weather Florida offers while we're freezing up here in Jersey, but unless you have the money to have two residences and can go back and forth in winter and summer, you're gonna hate summers there.
Unbearable doesn't even come close to accurately describing the heat in the Sunshine State in summer.
If you take the change of seasons for granted here, after living in Florida for a year or two, you won't.
Culture shock of Florida
We haven't even touched on the fact that it's tough to find the kind of food you're so used to enjoying here in Jersey. Plus, I have yet to mention the number one thing we often take for granted, family and friends.
All of those familiar faces and places you've grown accustomed to are a thousand miles away. Yeah, you can hop on a cheap flight, but it's not the same and you don't really get to realize that until you miss it.
It's awfully tempting to take your retirement savings or pension and head to the Sunshine State for your golden years or even to raise a family.
Yeah, you might think giving the crooked politicians and overreaching state government of NJ the middle finger in your rearview mirror as you head south to Florida will feel great, but there's a lot to think about before you pull the trigger.
Oh, and speaking of which, it's a lot easier to get a gun in Florida, too. Which you may need to fend off the alligators!
LOOK: Here's where people in every state are moving to most
Gallery Credit: Amanda Silvestri
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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