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Moving to Ft. Myers

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Drj
Austin
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Moving to Ft. Myers

I am considering moving to Ft. Myers and would appreciate any information about the quality of life there. I am interested in any info on crime stats, quality of schools, housing costs, the job market (eg. IT), good parts of town vs areas to avoid, commute times, property taxes..

Thanks for your comments and impressions.

Midwest
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1,831 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

I've visited Ft. Myers Beach many times, so I look at the area through the eyes of a visitor. Here's the Ft. Myers (NOT Ft. Myers Beach) Chamber's website for more info. www.fortmyers.org.

Summerland Key...
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2. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Drj: I lived in Lee County for six years, so I can probably help. Keep in mind that Fort Myers proper is a fairly small city with only 50,000 people. Lee County has half a million people and very distinct areas in which to live and play, all within a comfortable commute to Fort Myers, which has the lion's share of job opportunities, particularly in your field.

If you tell me what you want as far as housing and lifestyle, I can offer some more specific information.

Ft Myers Florida
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3. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Housing prices are going up at an alarming rate. Hard to find a nice home under $300,000. Lee High Acres and Cape Coral are both more affordable than Ft Myers. We own 2 properties in Ft Myers, one on the beach and one being built near the Lee hospital. I can`t believe the demand and price increases I am seeing. The area is booming.

Naples, Fl
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4. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Excellent advice, see if you can afford a home in SW Florida even before looking for the Job. Here in Naples it is so outragously expensive practially no one (who is working still) can afford to live here. My Neighbor's home wich is 2300 sf just sold for $565,000. School teachers, cops, nurses are becoming hard to find due to the housing issue (sure there are many openings but where are they going to live?) So just think what is going to happen to schools, crime and healthcare. Most likey same situation for IT.

Florida
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5. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Heres a good investment you can make. Don't move here...let me tell you why. It's a nice place to visit but you have to have tons of money and tons of patience to make it it without going crazy. You think Fort Myers and you probably think sun, palm trees and fun fun fun. Although true, let me add this to the list-old people. Enough said-bad drivers and they are EVERYWHERE! The traffic is horrible and during the Winter this is the place to be if you are a snow bird. It's the scariest time of year-SEASON! Oh yeah, I live right outside of Fort Myers-a place called Lehigh. Do you know how many sexual offenders were released and now live in my town-23...23 just in my town which isn't nearly as big as Fort Myers. Just last week my neighbors got their cd player stolen from their car. You want to make some money? Buy a plot of land here in Lehigh-it's growing so fast it'll make a person's head spin. A plot usually runs 30,000 plus so hurry before that price jumps. Sit on that lot for 5 years or more and you can get double for it-easy. Schooling here? Terrible. My sister is a teacher at a school here-the Gateway charter school, believe me I've seen the kids that go to highschool. There are kids in my sister's 7th grade math class who are 16-years-old. Yep, they will be driving themselves to the 8th grade. But hey if you have lots of money then come on down.

Drj
Austin
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6. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Thanks to all for the posts. Plesae do keep them coming. They have been very helpful.

In doing my own research, looks like Lee county has good schools and affordable housing. Is this impression correct? How is crime in that area? I read that the air quality is also good.

One of my major reasons for wanting to move is desire for a change in life-style; where I am in a warm/good air quality environment, with relatively low crime, with affordable housing, good schools and diverse cultures. I also need to be close to a beach/water.

Any suggestions for others places in Florida to consider besides Ft. Myers? Again, thanks for your comments and impressions.

Summerland Key...
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7. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Low crime? Yes. Affordable housing? Not so much anymore. A few years ago you could by a three-bedroom house with a pool for less than $100,000 in Cape Coral. I don't think that's true anymore. Rents are still reasonable, but real estate has gone a little mad. Good schools? I don't have kids, so I can't really judge. The public schools are unable to keep up with the incredible growth, so they're either overcrowded or villages of portable classrooms (or both). Clean air? Yes, although as more and more pine hammocks are replaced with high-priced townhouses and parking lots, that might change. The traffic at least half the year is absolutely unbearable on major thoroughfares. The water is pretty clean, and the beach is close if you pick your residence well.

As far as Florida coastal communities go, I think Fort Myers is a pretty good choice. It's changing quickly, and I certainly don't like it as much as I did six years ago, but it's still less developed than much of either coast. (Except for the Nature Coast further up on the Gulf side, but even that's starting to boom.) The jury is still out on whether the county is managing growth properly. There are two communities -- Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres -- that were platted in the 1950s or '60s, and buildout on those alone will add about half a million people. Since they weren't planned with enough greenspace, public space or commercial/industrial space, it puts even more pressure on Fort Myers and south Fort Myers. Then consider how quickly developers are carving up what used to be farms or forests in eastern and southern Lee, and you're talking about a pretty dense, people-heavy county.

ft myers fl
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8. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

DRJ,

My family and my husband's family has been here several generations.We decided to stay here because of a good quality of life. Yes, land values are mind boggling at times but I think it's harder for us natives to grasp because we have lived here for such a long time. People will still move to Florida and prices will continue to rise so property will continue to be a good investment. I won't dispute the traffic concerns as I drive these roads everyday for my sales job - covering most of Lee County. You just learn during "season" to not go to the beaches after 10am, etc. As with any city, there are better areas than others - and I don't believe crime is such a problem. I think major crimes have actually gone down. And the schools are good! We have something called school choice so you are not locked into your "neighborhood" school. If your child wants to pursue the arts or the sciences, there are different schools that tailor their programs to those studies.

I would suggest two things: Contact the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce for real statistical information and come here for a preliminary visit. We live near downtown Fort Myers near the river and fish when we can. We are not wealthy, but we are smart.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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498 posts
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9. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Hi!

I've lived in Fort Myers for seven years. Originally from a small town in MA, I moved to Orlando. Housing prices are good there but crime is high.

Crime is very low for the population of Lee County. However, housing prices are astronomical. We are renting and can't find an affordable house. Workers here are not paid enough to afford the lifestyle. This is because the bulk of the population are retirees that have sold their Northern homes and made a profit.

I have a five-year-old and think the school system is better than the schools up North.

Bear this is mind, there is a reason that everyone is coming here. Fort Myers is simply paradise!

Here is a great site for comparing Fort Myers with where you live now: …msn.com/pickaplace/comparecities.aspx

Hope this helps!

FL
4 posts
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10. Re: Moving to Ft. Myers

Beware: the whole Gulf Coast is changing. All those sick of the bustle of the Miami/Lauderdale/West Palm are are coming over, and in a couple of years what was once quiet stretches of mangrove coastline will just be eyesore strip malls and swanky eateries. In ten years it will be solid city from Naples all the way to Tampa. Keep that in mind for long tern planning.

Schools are about average, job market suffers from low wages (as does all of western FL), crime stats are actually higher than the national average. Housing costs? Unless you're independently wealthy, forget buying a house. The last 3 years have seen INSANE increases in housing costs.