It was barely 5 a.m... The light from the e-mail notification had woken me up.
It was from Steve Sjuggerud. I wasn't working for him at the time. I knew him only as an interesting guy who liked cool guitar stuff.
I woke up my wife to explain the e-mail to her. "Steve wants me to give working with him in Florida a try. I'd get to do research and learn about the world, and I'd share those findings with Steve's readers."
She just wanted to sleep. But that didn't stop her from processing what I said next.
"I think I need to do this," I told her.
"I understand," she said, before rolling back over.
With that, I became a living example of the real estate story Steve's been telling for the last decade. We moved from the high-cost, high-tax Bay Area in California, to the low-cost, low-tax North Florida.
The crazy part is that the trends Steve spotted a decade ago are still fully in place today.
Let me explain...
Making the move to Florida was a bigger deal than it sounds. That's because my wife was the top earner in our household. In fact, we were living entirely on her income.
I'd been working for a tech company in California. The company had made a number of missteps. I was frustrated. And when pay negotiations failed to bear fruit, I walked.
I went back to school and was busy studying statistics and sociology... And that's when Steve and I got back in touch.
Now, Steve and I had only about 10 hours of one-on-one conversation before that. But that was all I needed. And apparently, it was all he needed too.
It might sound like this career move was a gamble for everyone involved. But for me, it wasn't a gamble.
Anybody who has met Steve in person knows why. He's one of the most genuine people I know. He's trustworthy. And he'd never ask someone to make a major change unless he was sure it'd work out for them.
So, I saw it as a low-risk, high-return opportunity. And you better believe when one of those crops up, I do my best to take advantage of it.
Still, we needed to see our new potential home before making the decision. So, Steve flew us out for a tour...
He knew that it was my wife, not me, who would need to see this wasn't totally nuts. After all, if things worked out, she'd be the one leaving her work at Google to join me in Florida.
Steve made his most compelling case while we rode bikes through the beautiful paths of the small island he lives on. "I really believe this area offers the highest quality of life for the lowest cost in the U.S."
My wife and I understood exactly what he meant. And we ended up taking the plunge and moving across the country.
We're not the only ones, either. Florida is the fifth fastest-growing state in terms of population. This is a long-term trend – and COVID-19 has only accelerated it...
Regular people living in ultra-high-cost cities are starting to think to themselves, "Do I really need to be here?" And it turns out, for a lot of them, the answer is "no." More folks are realizing that places like Florida and Texas are simply a much better value.
Steve was exactly right. You won't find a better quality of life for less money anywhere else in the U.S. I'm living proof.
My experience is also a great example of why the story in Florida real estate isn't over yet...
We didn't make the move a decade ago. It was just a few years back. The opportunity we took advantage of is still available.
Housing is still cheap... taxes are still zero... and the Florida sunshine keeps shining.
I don't expect you to pack up and move, of course. But if you're considering it, don't think that you've missed the opportunity.
"We've seen the U.S. housing market boom for the last decade," Steve writes. And importantly, it's not over yet. That's because we're still not seeing the key signal that typically flashes before a fall in prices... Get the details here.
"The same rules I apply to stock investments also work for real estate deals," Steve explains. These rules help you get in when the tide is rising. And fortunately, the trend is in our favor today with housing... Learn more here.
People think you've got to do private deals to be a real estate investor. But the reality is much different...
HIGHS AND LOWS
NEW HIGHS OF NOTE LAST WEEK
Fair Isaac (FICO)... analytics software
Roku (ROKU)... streaming devices
Comcast (CMCSA)... cable TV
T-Mobile (TMUS)... telecom
Palo Alto Networks (PANW)... cybersecurity
Target (TGT)... big-box retailer
L Brands (LB)... clothing retailer
Crocs (CROX)... ugly shoes
Starbucks (SBUX)... coffee "World Dominator"
Southern Copper (SCCO)... copper
NEW LOWS OF NOTE LAST WEEK
Not many... It's a bull market, you know!