Where would you pick to live if it could be anywhere in the US? Not too many people get or MAKE the opportunity to pick where they want to live. Interestingly, I grew up in a family where they did just that in 1978! Let's start at the beginning. In 1977, we were living in a charming RI town. My father's job became to find another job. Months of interviewing lead him to an opportunity in NJ, but shortly after arriving, he got an opportunity in Miami, Florida. Since this had originally been their goal to live in a warmer climate, they took the opportunity to move to Florida.
Once we moved to Florida, my parents set out to look at almost the whole state on each coast. They checked out every town and were huge information junkies (before the Internet ages!) They talked to tons of people, realtors and traversed a lot of streets to check out towns.
Their final choice in mid 1978 was Naples, FL. Hard to believe but it was a pretty sleepy town at that time with such a very seasonal population that a majority of the stores CLOSED for the summer. The major things that attracted them was the temperatures, excellent zoning that dramatically limited the NEON signs and the size of the town.
So, they moved us one last time to Naples, FL. My dad had a great background in accounting and business financials. My mom had run a small business. They both got their Real Estate licenses. She sold more residential and he became a business broker.
POPULATION TRENDS (000) Excludes Visitors
Year Full Time
Naples, FL has changed so dramatically, it's almost hard to recognize some places at this point. The swamp lands between Naples High School and what was the original Coastland Mall are now a major road. The interstate didn't even come by Naples. it ended in Tampa in the early 80's. When I-75 first did reach Naples in 1984 it actually felt like you were coming to the end of the world, as the interstate became grass with the ending the final exit to Pine Ridge Rd. Now, this week, they've finished construction on a 3rd lane north and southbound through Collier County.
While many facts, buildings, homes,
roads, stores and figures have changed, my parents are still thrilled to be living in Naples, FL. It's hard to beat an average daily temperature of 74 degrees. It's even harder to beat a nice day at the beach late December 2009!
So, my question to you: Where would you pick to live if it could be anywhere in the US?