Thursday, June 13

Some Florida residents departing state in search of affordability

You’ve likely heard about the migration to Florida from places like New York and California. But what about the Florida residents leaving and moving to places like Georgia and the Carolinas?

The topic came up during WPTV’s Town Hall that was held Tuesday night. Some experts believe the migration out of the state, due to problems like soaring insurance costs, the housing market and general cost of living, will damage South Florida’s infrastructure.

Leanne McClaren said it was time to leave Florida, departing the Sunshine State for South Carolina after her husband received a job offer. She was in search of a more comfortable life than what Florida was providing.

“It was a very hard decision,” she said. “It’s definitely a lot more affordable there. … That was the main reason, the expenses.”

According to a new Redfin report, more than a quarter of homebuyers are looking to move to different parts of the country in search of lifestyle and affordability.

Real estate agent Holly Meyer Lucas said Floridians are also on the move.

“I think moving up north has become the move of last resort for a lot of people out of a culmination of a lot of frustrations,” she said. “People are moving in (to Florida) from California, New York, Illinois and then they are leaving to the Carolinas, Georgia.”

She said there is a risk of this type of migration out of the state, as people head to smaller towns.

“In terms of (Florida’s) infrastructure, nurses, teachers, if they can’t find a home here that they afford, leaving our area eliminates those jobs, and people to fill those roles, and who is going to backfill them,” she questioned.

Meyer Lucas said there are different sets of people leaving, including those cashing out of their homes to buy something better elsewhere and those who can’t afford rent and other things anymore.

“There comes a time when the insurance costs and the mortgage costs and the lack of housing just makes the burden too great for some people,” Meyer Lucas said. “It’s people here that are able to cash out of their homes here because the housing market has been on fire, so they can take that cash and leverage it to buy something great elsewhere, and then it is people who can’t afford to rent here. The rental prices are through the roof.”

In a twist of events, it turns out there is no place like home for the McClarens. She’s heading back to Florida.

It’s something Meyer Lucas expects to see often for those who do leave sunny South Florida.

“I really would say to really really think about it before you do it,” McClaren said. “Because I kind of did it on a whim. Because ultimately, at this point in time, buying my house back would be double.”

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