I'm a transplanted northerner now living in GA, in Coweta County about 40 minutes to an hour southwest of Atlanta, depending on traffic. My partner and I moved here because we could get just SOOOOO much more house for the money. We're both NY'ers, but moved here together from Baltimore. We sold our 1800 s.f. townhome (with no garage) there for just slightly less than the cost of a gorgeous 3100 s.f. bungalow-style ranch we had built with all the interior bells and whistles and a POOL! Some things seem to cost a little more, but most cost less. We could NOT have afforded this house in Maryland, where it would have cost about $600,000-800,000.00, depending on location. If we could have, we'd have built closer to Atlanta proper, but the farther south we went, the farther our dollar went!
We've found everyone to be gracious and welcoming, if not always entirely sincere. That's ok, though -- it beats the alternative and insincerity doesn't exist just in GA!
GA has more counties than any other state, and the infrastructures and state funding vary from county to county. I don't know if you have kids, but the educational systems might be something you'd want to check out if so. I actually looked into that a little even though we don't have kids because of its impact on resale down the road.
Anyway, we love our home, I love the weather, and it is DEFINITELY less expensive than most parts of Florida. (I used to live in Florida also, and looked into housing costs when we were first talking about leaving Maryland.) I'd really prefer that GA weren't such an enthusiastically red state
, but we went into that with our eyes open. That might not present any obstacle for you though, I don't know!
If you have any specific questions that you think I might be able to answer, just let me know! Best of everything to you with this decision.....I say go for it!!