Mar 1, 2011

America's Most Miserable Cities, 2011

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.....

Imagine my surprise when I read an article about America's Most Miserable Cities, 2011 and I saw that Miami, Florida was listed as the # 2 most Miserable City in the US.  Never in a million years would I have expected to see this....and topping that list is California with 4 of the worst sad because I love California and winters in Florida can't be beat...

Florida and California have ample sunshine in common, but also massive housing problems that have millions of residents stuck with underwater mortgages. The two states are home to 16 of the top 20 metros in terms of home foreclosure rates in 2010. The metro area with the most foreclosure filings (171,704) and fifth-highest rate (7.1%) last year is Miami, which ranks No. 2 on our list of Most Miserable Cities....being Realtors we see this all day long.  Prices have dropped almost to the bottom and for those trying to rough.  You'll be lucky if you can break even in today's market.

The good weather and lack of a state income tax are the only things that kept Miami out of the top spot. In addition to housing problems (prices are down 50% over three years), corruption is off the charts, with 404 government officials convicted of crimes this decade in South Florida. Factor in violent crime rates among the worst in the country and long commutes, and it's easy to understand why Miami has steadily moved up our list, from No. 9 in 2009 to No. 6 last year to the runner-up spot this year.

This trend does not only reflect Florida but most of the USA....

America's Five Most Miserable Cities

No. 1: Stockton, Calif.

Unemployment has averaged 14.3% the past three years, which is third worst in the country among the 200 largest metro areas. The housing market collapsed as well, with home prices down 58% over the same time. All the California cities on the list are struggling with the inherent problems the state is facing, including high sales and income taxes and service cuts to help close massive budget shortfalls.
No. 2: Miami, Fla.

The sun and lack of a state income tax are the only things keeping Miami out of the top spot. Foreclosures hit one in 14 homes last year. Corruption is also off the charts, with 404 government officials convicted of crimes this decade in South Florida.  To top it all Florida is not the friendliest state either.  If one were to judge the rest of the USA by the people of Florida then that would make for a sad nation.

No. 3: Merced, Calif.

The economic downturn and busted housing market hit Merced harder than any other area in the country. Average unemployment of 16.2% since 2008 is the highest in the U.S., as is the city's 64% drop in median home prices.

No. 4: Modesto, Calif.

The median home was valued at $275,000 in 2006; today it is $95,000. And don't leave your car on the street in Modesto, where 3,712 vehicles were stolen in 2009, making for the second-highest auto theft rate in the country. It ranked first in four of the previous five years.

No. 5: Sacramento, Calif.

No state taxes $50,000 of income like California, with a rate of 9.55% for that middle-class tax bracket. Sacramento is a one-team sports town, and that team has been awful in recent years. The NBA's Kings have won just 26% of their games the past two-plus seasons.

This all being said I still like California and Florida.  The time I lived in California was very special and the memories I carry of that place and of the life I had there will forever be a part of me that I hold close to my heart.  Florida is also home and it is where I met Arvid.....

Times are tough right now not only here in Florida and California but everywhere...but remember what they say tough times never last, but tough people do....

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.......