From the Midwest to the Sunshine State: “Take 2” on a South Florida Move 

Feb 8, 2024

Moving is never easy – especially when you, your husband, and your four kids are heading from the Midwest to South Florida.

“We’re originally from Indiana,” Karen Means says. “My husband got a new job and we wound up relocating to Tampa.” But that was just the first step. “We knew that Tampa was temporary, based on the structure of my husband’s job. Coming here [to Wellington], we knew this would be more of a permanent stop. We just wanted to make sure we were finding the right place to raise our family.”

Looking for a place to call (forever) home

As the Means family searched for a new hometown, Karen tapped Suburban Jungle and their Strategist Melissa Schneider. Like Karen, Melissa and her family had made a long-distance move – in their case, from New York to Boca Raton.

“Karen and her family had specific needs, from top-notch schools across all levels to being close to shopping and amenities. We aimed to find a community that met these criteria and provided a sense of belonging,” Melissa says. “And Wellington was at the top of their list early on.” Karen agrees.

“The schools were our number one top priority,” she says. “We needed everything to be good across the board. With four kids, we couldn’t just lean on good elementary schools or a strong high school. We need everything!”

Finding A+ schools – and an A+ community – in Wellington

The schools, though, were just one piece of Karen’s moving puzzle. After visiting Wellington, she says, the family loved the strong sense of community and abundance of family-oriented events. This, she says, also played a critical role in their decision-making.

“They have a lot of community events…It seemed more small-town oriented, which reminded us of home,” Karen says. “It felt like a good fit, right away.” They’ve even leaned into equestrian events and activities, despite the family not being avid riders. “Wellington is known for its equestrian scene,” she says. “And it’s been a lot of fun to check that out, too!” 

Creating those connections and digging in like a local, Melissa says, is key as families are exploring South Florida. “It’s more than just the house,” Melissa says. “It’s about finding a community where the entire family can thrive.” 

Adjusting to a new life in Wellington has been a journey of discovery for the Means family. From attending unique local events like the Vanilla Ice charity concert to exploring the equestrian scene, they have embraced the unique experiences happening in Wellington – and their house quickly became a hub for neighborhood activity. 

“We’ve become the neighborhood street hub house for kids, which has been fun,” Karen says. “It’s helped us all get acclimated to life here – and it’s been great!” 

Looking back and ahead

As the family continues to settle into Wellington life, Karen is quick to offer some hard-won advice to others in similar situations – people making long-distance moves or, even, finding a more permanent community nearby. Number one, she says, is to stay positive and be open to new experiences – especially the unexpected ones.

“Put yourself out there and see what happens,” she says. “If you commit to getting out there, you’ll quickly find yourself part of a community.” 

Looking for a place to call “home?” Suburban Jungle has you covered. Schedule a free Suburbs Strategy session now.

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