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CG RYAN

Moving back to FL. Miami or Jacksonville?

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Hey Guys. I will most likely be getting transferred back to FL (from TX) in the near future and am looking for opinions from you all. I am from the Tampa area originally and understand that each part of FL can be VERY different. That said, my options for location are Jacksonville or Miami. I have vacationed to both places and realize the difference but wanted to get some advice from the locals. My primary concern is finding good schools for my 3 children (5,8,10) and a safe area to live for the next 4-5 years. Ideally I would love to find a house that I can keep my boat (31 Contender) at and also be close to good offshore fishing. I'm all ears and would love to hear some feedback. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, CG RYAN said:

Ideally I would love to find a house that I can keep my boat (31 Contender) at and also be close to good offshore fishing. I'm all ears and would love to hear some feedback. Thanks.

Miami schools are limited; however, if you live up near Weston or West Lauderdale they are better.

 

31 Contender - 

Advantages Miami - 3-5 miles to gulf stream - Jacksonville - I've heard as far as 20-30

Miami-Keys 2 hours to Marathon/Islamorada 

Biscayane bay - 1 hour to most ramps - lots of fun times at sandbars when not fishing

Miami - 2 hours to Bimini but lots of $$ for gas 

Personally, if I was moving back to Florida, I'd sell the Contender and get another bay boat if you want consistent fishing as you can be in Flamingo or Chokoloskee within 2 hours on any given day and not have to worry about the offshore weather, etc.

Miami offshore fishing is a nightmare with everyone crowding the reefs, etc.  At least with a Pathy, you can find some places to hide in Flamingo or Chokoloskee on any given day and get away from the crowds...the kids will enjoy a day looking for trout etc. and it won't cost you $$$ for gas and the BS at the ramps in Miami  - is a total SH&^%$TTT FEST on any given weekend.

I've owned offshore boats - and this was 20 years ago - 23 Dusky, I'd never own another...the reefs are fished hard...at least you can find solitude in the backcountry of the 10K's....

 

I don't know Jacksonville at all, but, even there, I'd say a bay boat would be my choice as the open waters of the NE are rough and running is long to fishing....but, this is only what I've heard....I'll leave it to the locals to comment with authority.

 

DC

 

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Ryan

 

Being an LEO in South Florida for nearly 40 years, and being raised on a cattle ranch in the County below Jacksonville (Clay County). I would stay away from South Florida. Parts of Jacksonville are bad, but only a few minutes drive puts you in the country where people still wave at you with all four fingers and thumb. If I could leave now, I would move out of the tri-county area (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) immediately. 

 

Bubba

PS: Sent you a PM!

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Hey Ryan, I grew up in central Palm Beach Co. and moved to Jacksonville in '91. I get anxious when I get to the county line in Palm Beach, and absolutely dislike it down there anymore. Hate is a strong word, but what it was and what it currently is are two different things. Not bashing it....but I could never move back. I currently live at the very bottom of Duval Co. (Jacksonville) with St. Johns Co, being about a mile from my house. All the public schools near me in Duval are A rated, and St. Johns Co. is known for their public shools as being some of the best in the state. I live on an acre in a non-HOA neighborhood and have plenty of room for my rig (23'). It's slower here than down south and people while kind on both ends of the state, are more "southern" here. It's just easier....As for fishing, offshore is great in both places, but you're going to make a haul leaving from here compared to down south. 50+ miles compared to 5-10 miles. Jacksonville is Navy friendly with several bases (where would you be, NAS Jax. or Mayport?). My buddy just moved back from VA and is based out of NAS Jax., and bought a house down in St. Augustine. He's on this forum as @Black Pearl and may have some insight for you.

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Ryan,

I moved to Miami 20 years ago from Pensacola. The water down here is unsurpassed by anything in the U.S.A. The fishing opportunities are nearly endless and you have one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world at your fingertips for diving and snorkeling. The weather is outstanding for boating year round, without the need for cold-water survival gear. And that concludes all the good things I have to say about Miami-Dade. Housing costs are among the highest in the country. A 4 bedroom home in a decent neighborhood will cost you $500,000+. The tri-county area is overcrowded and the situation grows worse by the day. The public transportation infrastructure is very nearly non-existent. The ONE-WAY commute time to work on the local roads is 40+ minutes for the average worker. The quality of the public schools ranges from tolerable to piss-poor, depending on which schools your children attend. The cost of housing is tied directly to the schools associated with a particular neighborhood. With private schools costing $16,000-$22000 per year per student, the premium you will have to pay for a house in a good school district will be closely aligned with the cost of sending your children to a private school. With your 3 children to put through school, private schools will get very expensive unless you happen to be Catholic and have access to their school system.The dominant language spoken by the locals is Spanish, followed by Creole, followed by English. This makes communication somewhat difficult but everyone seems to get by as best they can. Looking toward the future, unless your children speak fluent Spanish, they will be unable to find a job here in Miami. After graduating from college, my daughter and most of her friends, moved away from the area to find work. My daughter's lack of fluency in Spanish and Creole made her unemployable locally in her graduate field (Social Work). High local housing costs make it very difficult for a young single person to afford a safe place to live given the meager starting salaries which prevail in the area. There is an overabundance of cheap (off-the-books) labor, which keeps base pay rates at a 3rd world level. Subsequently, many of the young adults who chose to stay here are living in their parent's homes.

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2 hours ago, hawg said:

Ryan,

I moved to Miami 20 years ago from Pensacola. The water down here is unsurpassed by anything in the U.S.A. The fishing opportunities are nearly endless and you have one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world at your fingertips for diving and snorkeling. The weather is outstanding for boating year round, without the need for cold-water survival gear. And that concludes all the good things I have to say about Miami-Dade. Housing costs are among the highest in the country. A 4 bedroom home in a decent neighborhood will cost you $500,000+. The tri-county area is overcrowded and the situation grows worse by the day. The public transportation infrastructure is very nearly non-existent. The ONE-WAY commute time to work on the local roads is 40+ minutes for the average worker. The quality of the public schools ranges from tolerable to piss-poor, depending on which schools your children attend. The cost of housing is tied directly to the schools associated with a particular neighborhood. With private schools costing $16,000-$22000 per year per student, the premium you will have to pay for a house in a good school district will be closely aligned with the cost of sending your children to a private school. With your 3 children to put through school, private schools will get very expensive unless you happen to be Catholic and have access to their school system.The dominant language spoken by the locals is Spanish, followed by Creole, followed by English. This makes communication somewhat difficult but everyone seems to get by as best they can. Looking toward the future, unless your children speak fluent Spanish, they will be unable to find a job here in Miami. After graduating from college, my daughter and most of her friends, moved away from the area to find work. My daughter's lack of fluency in Spanish and Creole made her unemployable locally in her graduate field (Social Work). High local housing costs make it very difficult for a young single person to afford a safe place to live given the meager starting salaries which prevail in the area. There is an overabundance of cheap (off-the-books) labor, which keeps base pay rates at a 3rd world level. Subsequently, many of the young adults who chose to stay here are living in their parent's homes.

Couldn't have said it better. Jacksonville area all day. You could always drive down when you have the time to fish for a couple of days.

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I spent the first 30 years of my life in south Florida . I have a son in Miami Springs a sister in Davie a sister in Miami Lakes and my Mother is in the same house in Hialeah since it was new in 1955 . If it wasn’t for Flamingo and Family I would never go to south Florida again . We go down there one or two times a year I would never move back . But we still have four family members down there that like it . I guess it’s  a Ginger or Mary Ann type question .  We all like different things and different places that’s one of the things that makes life so great . 

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I agree with SkinnyH2O. I was born and raised just south of Miami but moved to New England 20 years ago. The fishing down there is world class. You can catch sailfish, bonefish and redfish all in the same weekend. The area is extremely overcrowded and traffic and crime are a major problem. I would not want to raise a family there.

I can’t speak much on Jacksonville since I have only passed through it. 

Good luck!

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Like Chuck says....We are the number one district in the state of Florida if your considering public school. Fishing is darn good too.  Good inlet and easy access.

 

To quote the local paper:

St. Johns County is known for its sandy beaches, historical heritage and more recently — its excellent schools.

Tens of thousands of families have flocked to the county over the last decade, many of them fueled by a desire to be in the No. 1-ranked school district in the state. 

Full article

https://www.staugustine.com/news/20190817/st-johns-county-schools-district-adapts-to-continued-growth

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Not enough money in the world for me to move to Miami and that coming from a 5rh generation native, both mine and my wife's families have been in South FL generations. We keep moving north to get away, currently in the Panhandle, next move is out of FL, done with the people.

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I was stationed in JAX for 15 years and moved to Homestead when I retired. We live in the Redlands (Agricultural Area/Unincorporated Miami-Dade) on acreage and love it. But we really moved down here to fish. Hands down the best inshore & offshore fishing in the country, I don’t care what anybody says... between Flamingo, Biscayne, the Keys, and the Gulfstream a couple miles from land it doesn’t get any better. 

For everything else... JAX. 

It really depends how much you love fishing and what you’re willing to put up with day-to-day to be down here. I would never live anywhere else in S Florida other than where we live, except the Keys but it’s too expensive. Put it this way, when the Florida Bay grass die off got really bad and the Red Tide was creeping down from the north we had a serious discussion and came to the conclusion that if the water gets ruined we’re outta here.   

Also when looking at houses online in Miami you really need to look at taxes and insurance, it’s an eye opener compared to when we lived in JAX. I’m currently bracing myself for next years premiums and tax bill. it’s a couple of pretty big checks to write every year if your house is paid for. If financing and with escrow it’s obviously considerable monthly bump as well. We’ll probably pay about $9K for tax and insurance on a $500K house in 2020.

Do you know what station would you be assigned to? Traffic is also something that can be a life changer down here. There’s no traffic in Jax relative to this place. We lived in Mandarin, basically the southern border of Duval and my wife worked in the center of downtown Jax and made it to work in 25 minutes. The only place with worse traffic that I’ve seen is L.A., Atlanta coming in a close second to Miami. 

OK here we go... Not sure of you’re ethnicity but if you’re not Hispanic you will be a minority in most parts of Miami-Dade County. it’s a fact that some people aren’t cool with. Even out here where we live it’s mostly Hispanic and you’ll mostly hear Spanish out in public. You’ll hear from people that you need to know Spanish but I assure you that’s not the case. My wife was born and raised in Atlanta, knows zero Spanish and she works in a senior leadership role and a CPA in a Fortune 500 company down here, I’m under cover Cuban (full blood dad and white mom) so I look white and we have absolutely no trouble functioning in any part of S Florida. I personally like it but it’s a personal thing and everyone’s different. 

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Been in Ft Laud my whole life and will say , if I did not have access to the fish camp and a really nice job , with the best boss I have ever had ... I would be so far out of South FL it would be a no brainer .

Moonshine still up in the Smokies would be where you might start looking for me .

🇺🇸🏴‍☠️

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The fishing down south is the best. I was born and raised in Miami and it is nothing like it was growing up. Moved to Broward in 87 and been in law enforcement up here for 28+ years and Broward has drastically changed. I love the fishing here but once my affairs are in order after I do my 30 I’m out of here and leaving crazy in the rear view mirror.

I can’t change people and culture but I can change my fishing style to adapt to where I end up.

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Do not, I repeat Do not go to Miami. Yes the fishing can be a big draw, but you don't wanna live there. I was born in Miami and lived there 30 years, yes as Muddy says it was a great place way back then, but now its a mess. I left Miami 15ish years ago for Tampa and never looked back. Go to Jax, the fishing is great there and your family will be much more happy.

Jason p, lives in the only part of Dade County that is livable, however that is way to far of a drive to CG Station Miami.

 

Good luck.

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St Johns County is just south of Jax (basically a suburb of it now) and seems to be where everyone else in the world is moving for the schools The new planted neighborhoods likely won't allow your big boat, but there is still some of the older areas without homeowners associations.

I was born in Jax, moved to St Johns area in HS until  about 5 years ago and and now live in S Augustine....If you can swing a little drive, Id highly suggest checking out St Augustine.  Its a 30-45 min drive, yet a world away from Jax. 

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