Re: Living in Florida
Agree with MarioG. On the west coast in FL, in general the further north you go, the more reasonable the home prices. An exception might be the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area, which was hit hard by Charley in 2004 and then again by the bottom falling out of the real estate market in a middle class area.
In terms of jobs and working, most FL west coast communities are geared to tourism and 2nd homes, and so businesses (and employment opportunities) tend to be small and geared in that direction. The largest employers are in the Tampa area, which is commutable from St. Pete/Clearwater/Pinellas County (on the west side of Tampa Bay), and also from points north in Pasco County. The sand beaches also end in Pasco, if you are a beach person. So northern Pinellas and southern Pasco Counties might be places to focus a search, as a start.
All the water is skinny around here, and shoals abound - so a shoal draft or centerboard/swing keel is almost a necessity. FWIW.
Joe in SPB
Looking for a shoal draft pocket cruiser