I was talking to my friend on the phone last night. I met her at a park near my house past spring. She was with her daughter and I was with mine. She came up to me and asked if her daughter could play with my Ju Ju & Soapy. I said, "Of course" and we've been friends since.
She moved from California with her only daughter after divorcing her then-husband. She is a single mom and has been struggling to be on her feet. She came to FL to live with her father and step-mom to star a new life which isn't going so well for her.
Anyway, she told me last night that there is 95% chance that she is moving back (btw, when you say 95%, do you call it a "chance?" It sounds to more like a definite plan!) to Minnesota where she is originally from. Her mother and all her relatives are there. She's been staying with her dad, but she's been wanting to move out and get her own place. But then, with the economy we're in and the money she makes wouldn't allow her to do it.
I kinda said, "But rent here isn't that bad and it wouldn't make that much of difference from Minnesota, no?" Her answer was a big "OH NO, IT DOES".
Me: Really? How much?
Friend T: I only paid $46 a month for daycare there. The rent was $420.
Me: What????? Really? I mean I thought $1000 for two bedrooms is cheap.
Friend: If you're used to living in Florida.
Me: But you lived in California before Florida. California is expensive.
Friend: Yeah, but I had a husband then..
I am not making fun of Minnesota, I am just amazed how cheap that state is to live!! Wait, if I remember, this house in Iowa was really cheap (I'm talking about a house Julia Roberts rents after running away from her psycho husband in Sleeping with Enemy. She only paid $600 for that beautiful house. A huge house. Well, it was in early 90's. Does that count?).
When I say to people that I moved from Hawaii, they all say, "Aww such a beautiful place. Why did you move? But I heard it's expensive to live there..."
I had never realized how high the cost of living was when I lived in Hawaii because I was so used to the lifestyle. I thought that's how it is everywhere until I moved to Florida four years ago. People were right about "Hawaii is expensive" theory and statement. Florida is cheap compare to Hawaii, maybe not a lot when you buy produce, but dairy products, it does get expensive in Hawaii.
When we moved back to the island 2 1/2 years ago, we realized that it was the most expensive time to live in Hawaii. The housing market was booming and many people wanted to live in the beautiful islands. The rent was expensive and food shopping was expensive. We got used to Florida's lifestyle then (cost of living wise), so I kept saying, "oh my god, it's expensive," everytime I went to grocery shopping.
But I guess you'd get used to it again, learn to adjust and start to feel comfortable again with Hawaii's way of life. It was unfortunate that JT got sick and had to move back to Florida because I truly miss Hawaii. I so long for the day when we can move back there someday..
Here is the comparison between three states I resided for the past four years.
-If you are in Hawaii, you'd pay about $1200 - $1900 for two bedrooms now for a decent place, depends on where you live (although I hear from my family and friends that market is slowing down and rent is falling.)
- When we were in NJ last year for nine months, we paid $2400 for two bedroom townhouse. Yup, absolutely RIDICULOUS. But that's what we did and many people do. We could buy a house for paying that much. NJ is beautiful, but expensive - I didn't see any difference living in Hawaii or NJ.
- Florida's housing market is horrible. It's great for people who rent because it's very cheap now. You can rent nice 2 bedrooms for $900 - $1200.
The condo we own here in SRQ, we bought it three years ago for $210k as an investment when the market was super HOT! Now look what happened in FL. It's one of the three worst states in housing market. Funny how things pun out. Now we're living in it and JT and I don't even want to know how much our place is worth because we know we won't be able to sell it for a loooooooong time. JT paid off our mortgage this summer because he was already losing money and he knew that we're not going to be able to flip it anymore. Oh my goodnees, so many people are filing for foreclosures here in FL. It's really sad..
So, the question to you everyone:
How much are you guys paying for your rent/mortgages? I'm sure it depends where you live, but what would be the average for 2 bedrooms? I know living in NYC, LA, Chicago or SF can be very expensive... But what about other states? Can you beat Minnesota's $420?
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