Moving from Michigan to Florida...any advice would be apprciated!

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Moving from Michigan to Florida...any advice would be apprciated!

This is a discussion on Moving from Michigan to Florida...any advice would be apprciated! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By Roadyy

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    05-20-2013, 11:24 AM
Moving from Michigan to Florida...any advice would be apprciated!

Hi Gang!

My husband & I are planning to move to Florida in the fall of 2015. We don't know Florida at all, but are drawn to the Ocala area because of it's reputation for being horse country. We're flying down in December to check it out. We know some of the negatives (hot summers, bugs, alligators, snakes), but what else can you tell us about keeping horses in Florida? We have 11 acres here in Michigan and it supports our four horses mid-May through mid-October without having to supplement with hay (as long as we get enough rain). How many months can we expect our horses to graze in Florida? How about hay? We've seen that hay is very expensive compared to Michigan and that you feed different types of hay. What are your opinions in that regards? Peanut? Coastal? Orchard? We don't like a rich hay with lots of alfalfa, we feed a very grassy hay. We will be buying a small farm (5-10 acres) and will only be bringing 3 horses with us. We endurance raced for many years, but trail ride for pleasure now. We would like to get into some other activities like team penning and extreme cowboy events. What areas do you recommend? We're thinking anywhere between Gainesville and the Villages. Your thoughts? We're really looking forward to a longer riding season and no more winter! We can't wait!
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    05-20-2013, 11:50 AM
Green Broke
Unless you will have jobs waiting for you, you might consider putting the truck in Park, a few hundred miles before you get to Florida ---- like somewhere in Middle TN or East TN

First and foremost, you need to check what homeowners insurance will be. Since all the big storms in these last ten years, a few of the "A" rated insurance companies have pulled out of Florida.

IF you can get HO coverage, it's most likely going to be thru the roof in terms of price and very little coverage in return. The same might hold true for auto coverage and if you have jewelery, expensive saddles, etc that need to be put on an Inland Marine policy.

C.O.L.A. Is a LOT higher in Florida than Tennessee. When you fly down, compare prices on the items you buy weekly for yourselves and your horses. Compare gas prices.

I retired from the OH/PA border so I completely understand why you might want to get out of Michigan but honestly with all due respect to life-long Florida residents, a transplant that's lived in Florida with horses for more than three years, needs to come in and say why they think life in FL is better and cheaper than life in TN

That all being said, if you mind is truly made up on moving to Florida, you really do need to be sure you can get homeowner coverage at a reasonable cost, with a quality company, in the area you want to settle:)
    05-20-2013, 01:05 PM
Green Broke
There is no more room in Florida. The no vacancy sign is hanging. There are no homes on the market right now. The door is locked. We raised the bridge and filled the moat with alligators, bull sharks and snake heads.

Seriously though, I have lived here in the Panama City area of northwest Fl since '03. I don't know how much different things are in the Ocala area, but unless you find a property that has top soil brought in then you are dealing with a sand based territory. Bermuda and Bahia are the predominant grasses to grow for longevity in this climate. 10 acres will not carry 3 horses here without the above mentioned top soil transplant because the grass tends to be patchy rather than thick in this sand. I have seen some amazing grass pastures here, but willing to bet there was a huge bill attached to get it. Look on Craig's list for the Ocala area to see what the hay prices are there.

There are still decent insurance companies here after all of the waves of claims from the hurricanes a few years back. Property taxes are crazy and the vehicle tags are even more so.

You say you aren't planning on being here until '15 then I would focus on what was stated earlier and make a list of your everyday/weekly/ monthly usages and research online here to compare the differences.

I agree with witw and would have chosen Tn. Not only for the prices, but also for the scenery. They have mountains and we only have flat sandy trails for the most part.

I would think that your desires in horse disciplines would be found in other inward southern states too. So don't remove yourself from looking at other locations too.
walkinthewalk likes this.
    05-20-2013, 03:43 PM
Make sure you bring your cowboy boots for stomping palmetto bugs (out of this world giant roaches).
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