Post # 1
We are starting to sniff around the idea of relocating to Florida from Connecticut. DH is honing in on the Tampa area for his job search, and we are thinking we could settle down anywhere between Tampa and Sarasota. We have children and so low crime, good schools are of the upmost importance to us. Also, 100% has to be a coastal town (I have lived within minutes from the ocean or another large body of water my entire life and never plan on changing my ways 😎). Any input Bees? Any other areas you would suggest? Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly about FL living!
DH has been on me for years about considering a move to FL and it has taken me a long time to seriously consider it. So please fill me in, hold nothing back because I am looking for any and all resources to consider before moving along any further! Thank you !
Post # 2
Born and raised in Tampa 🙂
Do you know where DH will be working if you decide to move here? I just want to keep commute times in mind because there are some not so pleasant commutes around Tampa.
Post # 3
There are some great areas in Tampa, but so much in terms of neighborhood and school district rests on where you’ll be able to afford to live. Palma Ceia, Davis Island, and Bayshore Beautiful are great, but only if you have $500-600k minimum to spend on a house.
Sarasota is also lovely, with great schools, but more of a retirement area. The beaches down that way, though… better than any. Siesta Key is fantastic.
I would look into St. Pete, personally. Very vibrant nightlife, and the downtown area is growing and thriving, as are the arts and music scenes. Once again, cost of living is a little higher.
Try to stay near the beaches… during the summer, most other outdoor activities will be too warm. The winters are like heaven. Highs in the 70s-low 80s most of the time.
If you can avoid an I4 commute for your DH, do so.
(I’m from Central Florida and have lived in both St. Pete, Orlando, and halfway between the two. I grew up spending a month each summer in the Sarasota area. I’m currently house shopping in Tampa because I just got a job offer there. Let me know if you have any questions!)
Post # 4
Look into bright futures scholarships once the kids are old enough to be thinkimg about college
Post # 5
We just relocated to Tampa from NJ and the schools here are largely terrible. Anything in the Plant HS school district in South Tampa will be good but homes with >2000 sq ft are going to be like 700k+.
what to know… the lifestyle is great, weather is beautiful and even a “bad” commute here can’t compare to our old commute to NYC
the bad… the FOOD yes you will find spots that are better than others but it’s overall not going to match anything up North. My husband also jokes that it is corporate/franchise heavy. South Tampa is a little more charming but other parts of town are pretty charmless.
Post # 6
I just realized DH doesn’t have a job to transfer to, but is job hunting.
Dunedin is a coastal town near Clearwater, has a nice little downtown, is also near Clearwater Beach, Honeymoon Island, etc. Dunedin is more affordable but also a decent area to live in, if you can’t afford South Tampa/Bayshore or somewhere right on the beach. I’m not sure about the schools in Dunedin. I lived in Palm Harbor for a few years and it is also a decent area near the water. I grew up in Seminole Heights, which is just north of downtown Tampa, and is a happening and growing place right now. It’s a short drive to the water (not a coastal part of Tampa, more historical) but it has lots of new restaurants and bars, etc. and lots of beautiful houses. Hillsborough High School is in Seminole Heights and has an IB program. I’m not sure about elementary/middle schools
Avoid: Largo, East Tampa/near the Hard Rock, Temple Terrace/near USF, Pinellas Park, South St Pete…I’ll add more as I think of them
Post # 7
If you want to be minutes from the water, check out the Palm Harbor/Dunedin area.
Avoid: Holiday, New Port Richey.