(Closed) Living in Florida- what is is like? Pros? Cons? Tampa? Ft. Lauderdale anyone?

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 46
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I am in New Port Richey, about 45 minutes from Tampa. I wouldnt necessarily recommend it. I will be moving to Tampa in the summer for school. I’d rather live in St. Pete. Ft. Lauderdale is nice also-though I’ve only passed through on the way to the cruise terminal. 

Post # 48
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

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californiabride2013:  I wouldn’t live in Clearwater. The neighborhoods are more spotty than St. Petersburg. You could check out Palm Harbour or Seminole where you get more house for your money and there are better neighborhoods than Clearwater.

It really just depends on what you are looking for. If you want more city or residential? What do you want to do? What do you like? I can’t really give you any advice unless you elaborate on why you want to move and what you are hoping to gain from it.

Post # 49
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948 posts
Busy bee

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californiabride2013:  Clearwater is beautiful but I wouldnt live there. St. Pete has more going on so I would pick St. pete over Clearwater 

Post # 50
Member
912 posts
Busy bee

If you’re from California, Florida might be a surprise to you (possibly in a bad way). I was born and raised in Florida, and then moved to California as a teen, and California is so much more diverse and open that going back to Florida would be a terrible thing for me. I hate humidity (shade does NOT help cool down with how humid it is) and I don’t like everything being so flat. I do love the beaches and the Caribbean influence in the food, but that’s about it. 

Post # 51
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4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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californiabride2013:  I’d do St. Pete over Clearwater. I mean Clearwater has the beach, but that beach is super touristy and there isn’t a whole lot else there. 

Post # 53
Member
12 posts
Newbee

I live in Tampa and mostly like it. I’m originally from New York. 

Pros: Warmer winters, evening temps can get to around freezing occasionally, but usually not morenthan 5-10 days a year. No snow shovelling, or driving in ice. Housing is relatively inexpensive 2 bedroom apartments are around 800-1200/month depending on area. A nice newer home is around 150k in the burbs. Best areas to live in in Tampa are Hyde Park or Seminole heights areas. Nice surrounding towns with less than 30 minute commute into Tampa are Brandon, Riverview, Westly Chapel, Land O Lakes, Oldsmar. There are a good amount of jobs available, especially in hospitality/ service, retail, insurance, medical fields, call centers, banking, and insurance. Good nightlife is available in downtown St Pete and Ybor City. Lots of shopping, many malls, and few other shopping areas. No state income tax and relatively low property tax and sales tax (7.5%).

Cons:

Its really, really hot for about 4 months of the year, June-Septemeber temperatures are usually in the mid to upper 90s with very high humidity. I’ve never had worse hair in my life, ive always had smooth silky hair untl i moved to Florida 12 years ago. Now my hair is wavy and frizzy, no matter what I do. (Might not matter to some people, but it puts a damper on things for me). There are no decent beaches to be found in Tampa itself. The nicer beaches in this area are in st Pete and surrounding coastal towns. Here in Tampa there is a beach called picnic island park (next to an industrial area with factory looking buildings and MacDill afb) and “the redneck riviera” which is literally a beach that runs along a highway/ bridge off of the shoulder of the highway. Jobs don’t pay well compared to other areas of the country. A lot of people live in relative poverty here and while housing is less expensive things like food, gas, auto insurance, healthcare cost, clothing, etc are on par with what you’d pay most other places in the country (except for maybe large cities like new York or LA). This area is also very much the bible belt, take that how you will, especially noticeable in surrounding towns. This is not a pedestrian friendly area by any means. Public transportation is poor, at best, and only readily available in more urban areas. Traffic, especially in I4/275 corridor is a nightmare for commenting. The educational system here is also severely lacking. Florida public schools are low quality compared to many other states. Teachers are paid extremely poorly as well. There is also room for improvement in the culture department, with only a few museums and while the area in a melting pot of cultures there is not much celebration if diversity other than Latino cultural influences.

Post # 54
Member
12 posts
Newbee

Also, as far as living in St Pete, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you like directly in downtown. Many areas there are very rundown and dangerous, with a lot of drug activity and robberies. If your interested in pinellas county I’d recommend any of the beach communities like Indian rocks beach, st Pete beach, etc. If you look at a map you’ll see chain islands of the coast on the west side of pinellas county. Clearwater is an alright place to live as are Dunedin, oldsmar, Tarpon, some parts of pinellas park, and  town and country.

Post # 55
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

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californiabride2013:  I think you should look in Gulfport, which is a little town inbetween St. Pete and St. Pete Beach. Otherwise, It still seems like you would like Downtown St. Pete. The rent is really not that expensive, depending on where you move. They are also building a new apartment, new condos and two new apartment buildings have just been opened. 

St. pete is close to the beach, and activites such as kayaking and paddle boarding. You can also attend concerts at Jannus or the State theater. The nightlife and restaurant scene is amazing at the moment and only getting better!

Also, I wouldn’t be too worried about what the PP said about robberies and drug activity. It’s a city, so there are some good areas and some bad areas. With the way the city has been expanding, it is fastly being gentrified. Honestly, I feel safer in St. Pete than I do in a lot of other cities! Maybe I’m a little baised ha

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by bluelinebride.
Post # 56
Member
948 posts
Busy bee

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californiabride2013:  have you considered merritt island or satalitte beach (sp?) st. Augustine? Those are nice to outside of the st. Pete area and offer those things….

Post # 57
Member
3848 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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californiabride2013:   I lived in Dunedin, FL for a while – just north of Clearwater.  I thought it was lovely, the people were very nice.  They were mostly Canadians who had moved down.  

Post # 59
Member
12 posts
Newbee

I like aspects of both NY and fl, generally I’d have to say I prefer fl. Tampa is geographically a large city, covering a wide area. There are few areas to live in downtown, per say. Though housing can be found in ybor and channel side. I forgot to mention Davis island, also a nice place to live, and about 3 minutes by car to downtown. Downtown in tampa is mostly a commercial and business area, so its not really a nightlife spot though there are some bars and restaurants. 

Tampa, like a lot of other fities is spotty in areas youd want to live, ie nice for a few blocks and then really bad a few blocks further. I wouldn’t recommend living in the follow places USF area (very bad traffic), south of interbay, sulfur springs, the area immediately around Busch gardens, drew park, clair mel, anything surrounding centro ybor…. Actually it’s probably just better to look in these specific areas: area surrounding airport/ west shore, beach park, channel side, centro ybor, Hyde park, Davis island, Seminole heights, palma ceia, town and country, temple terrace (some areas).

The drive from downtown Tampa to a good beach is anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.

Post # 60
Member
492 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Wow I’m surprised everyone seems to hate South Florida! I love South Florida- I don’t think people are any ruder here than they are elsewhere. 

You can’t beat how beautiful it is and if city life isn’t for you, consider Palm Beach rather than Ft Lauderdale or Miami. It’s an incredible area! 

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