The Reality of Living Near the Fantasy…Part Eight
The Cost of Living.
I think the scariest thing when you first graduate High School and College is getting your first place. My first place I got a roommate in which I think I kicked in $200 for my share of the rent in an upper apartment, affordable right? Craig and I marry and we rent our first place which was around $350 for a 2 bedroom lower floor apartment. As time grew, as well as our family, we would bounce to duplexes and then land on buying our first home. One income, one baby, and we were able to afford out first 3 bedroom home for around $80,000 which came to be like a $750 house payment including our taxes. THAT is Wisconsin prices for you… allowing many to have the dream of having a home at all.
Now as the years have piled up, we sold, we rented again and have just kept renting because we enjoy changing it up. When we headed to Florida in 2011, our first home rental was for $1175 which was 3 bedrooms with a pool and fairly decent yard- no utilities or lawn/pool care included. It was affordable for our start here. We would move to a nicer suburb where our rent jumped another $700 for an additional bedroom and more square footage. The extra space was great, but with more space, comes more too cool. Our electric bill was ungodly during the summer months- we found ourselves with more rent, electric bills that were out of control, and a water bill that we had to make peace with since we now ran a hot tub that came with our pool. Yes, we barely run the heat here, but it does happen on occasion. Even with budget billing, we were on the high end. It’s stuff you don’t really think about until you get the bill.
Just some numbers….the cost of living in Central Florida is 112% of the National average, cost of housing is 122%, cost of transportation is 128% and utilities is 102%. (According to bestplaces.net)
I honestly don’t know how the younger ones can afford a life here. I know for a fact that my kids can’t afford to live on their own, and even if they did together, they would probably need at least 2 more roommates. There aren’t a huge amount of apartments here that are in the affordable range- the oldest ones are usually taken or in a really rough area, which means you are left with the brand news ones being built. Brand new 2 bedroom apartments out by me will cost you $1500 and higher. People are flocking to live here, so they don’t need to keep the prices cheap.
Several of my kid’s friends have two or more jobs to just afford their bills. Can you imagine? To live in this area filled with non-stop fun and action just to work yourself to the bone and be teased by things you can never do? Jobs don’t pay high here, the median income in most areas is around $40,000 for each household. So keep that in mind if you want to come here, then find work, then a home, and so on and still be able to afford the extras of park passes and merchandise, festivals and fairs, concerts, gas to get too all the fun stuff, and so on. It CAN be done, it’s just not cheap.
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