Thinking about moving to Florida

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeKle, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,253

    After a horrible season due to the drought and heat around here,I am seriously considering relocating to St.Johns County/St. Augustine FL. I have a client who lives in St. Petersburg and has rental property up here.He is always telling me I'd be a millionaire if I moved down there and started mowing! I vacationed in St. Augustine area a few times and fell in love with the area,but I have no idea what the industry is like. Ive heard some horror stories about it being so competitive, Many guys are out in the street fighting over accounts and areas!!Even heard one guy set anothers truck and trailer on fire!! I seriously doubt it is like that everywhere in FL. Also dont know what kind of welcome I'd get being an outsider coming into their turf? I would probably have to get a regular job somewhere for a little while until I build up enough clients,I dont look foward to that,but to never have to deal with brutal cold winters anymore,and sitting on a beach in Jan. would be worth it!!! Any of you FL guys have any advice for me?
  2. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    I hope it not central or south, it out of control down here.
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I have not met many wealthy LCO's from Florida on Lawnsite. Most of what I hear is about competition and illegal labor. But I'm sure there are some large outfits down there. No doubt you would need the have the skills to run several crews, and have a full lawn care service and knowledge as well as landscaping to get into the money. Just my guess. Helps to be very fluent in Spanish. The weather is punishingly hot most of the year they claim. You will have to learn your native Southern grasses and know how to care for each.

    I'm just guessing by what I've read, very saturated market, lower prices per sq ft than the North although the season is longer.
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Be prepared to make half of what you charged for the same size property up north. Oh, and be prepared to have that amount underbid by retirees working for "beer money" or something to keep them out of the house. Just remember that 1/3 to 1/2 of your pay will be in "sunshine", which, by the way, you will learn to hate.
  5. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,163

    It's a pipe dream....

    First off Florida has a worse drought season than up north ever has, each year. It almost never rains at all from October through April. No rain means no grass to mow.

    Rates are lower down there. Just like the guy above me said. Some people claim to charge normal rates and get it, but most people down there know they can get service for cheap and they pay cheap.

    Florida grass is different and harder to cut. The grass is real thick and really bogs down the mowers. Due to the sandy soil be prepared to sharpen blades every day instead of once a month or whatever you do now.

    Also make sure you love to trim bushes and palm trees. Shrubbery grows crazy fast down there, expect to have to do a trim on the bushes once a month. Palms get trimmed each year, and in between you have to pick up the crap that falls out of the palms when your there to mow.

    The heat and humidity there is brutal. Far worse than anywhere up north.

    Florida has many good points - no state income tax, Disney World, boaters paradise, reasonably warm winters - but once there you find that Florida also doesn't have many things you might be used to - such as the changing seasons, hills or mountains places to swim and boat without either sharks or alligators, etc.... -

    I moved there, and moved back here 2 years later.
  6. LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,136

    You can also expect high property taxes, and forget about homeowners insurance! its probably 400% more then you currently pay
  7. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,949

    dont forget in keywest last week in oct is fantasy feast in which at nite time 80% of people walk around naked, there version of Marti graw and believe me ANYTHING GOES down there.
  8. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,163

    Key West is full of Hippes and gays. Scarey place to go visit if your not one of those two groups!

    Cape Coral lawncare...... that is where I lived, Cape Coral! I lived right on Coronado Parkway, a few turns from the " Yacht club " Bought our house - it was my first house, always rented before that - on a direct access canal with 2 car garage, pool, and beautiful yard for 150,000$ in 1999. Taxes were around 2000$ per year, and insurance was around 1500$ per year for homeowners and flood. We sold the house and moved back here in 2001 for a bit more than we paid for it. I heard that a year or two, our old house was on the market for something close to 650,000$ due to the out of control prices lots on the water were selling for. It was insane. Now I hear that it is too expensive to live there anymore, that the town is in decline and in big trouble. My father moved away in 2000, but moved back a year ago, were going there to visit him after Christmas.... It will be interesting to see my old house ( 5410 Coronado Parkway ) I hear it is in shambles.
  9. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    i refuse to trim palm trees. pay is low here . mexicans starting to have an impact .
  10. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014

    MikeKle, don't do it. Have enough competitors here already. :dizzy:

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