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Thread summary:

College grad moving to fl: Florida homestead, coast, affordable living, apartments, rentals, safe.

 
Old 03-31-2008, 08:58 PM
 
6 posts, read 13,171 times
Reputation: 13

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I am a 21 year old female graduating this June with a degree to teach high school English and a minor in Spanish. I grew up all over the country and spent the first 10 years of my life in Jacksonville, Florida. I love the Florida hot and sticky weather and have decided I want to try out living there again after graduation this summer since they need teachers so badly. HOWEVER, I am getting increasingly freaked out by my lack of knowledge on what part of Florida to live in. Please, PLEASE any advice would be so greatly appreciated!

Here are my MUSTS:

1) MUST be on the coast (20 miles or less away from ocean)
2) Needs to be somewhat of a CITY (I am young, single, and want a nightlife
3) Enough young locals to have some friends (I am trying to avoid the places that predominantly old people spend their winters)

Here are my wishes:
1) Safer the better (I know that is not always easy in a city or Florida for that matter, but heart of Miami is probably not for me haha)
2) Somewhat affordable (Around 1200 for a two bedroom apt.)

I have so far been thinking of St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Daytona, but I really don't know much about them. I've heard the panhandle is pretty low-class

ANYYYYYYYYY comments or feedback is so appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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downtown st.pete young crowd, walkable, good day and night life, close to the beach, apts are cheaper then in Tampa, laid back
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:19 PM
 
8,376 posts, read 27,753,959 times
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Well, to break it down by safety, the crime rate in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg) is higher than Volusia County (Daytona) which is higher than Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood). However, Daytona is the cheapest, but with good reason. IMO, that place is a dump with nothing to offer for a person of any age. The city itself also has high crime.
Total Index Crime by County, 2006


St. Petersburg is more expensive than Daytona but significantly less expensive than Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood. It also has a nice downtown with a real arts scene and some real nightlife. History too, rare in Florida. But more crime. South St Pete is one of the scariest places in FL IMO. If you don't mind a more suburban experience there are safer areas further north in the county that aren't too far from downtown, if safety must come first. I can't name the specific areas because I don't live there, lol.

Ft. Lauderdale is a bit safer than St. Petersburg and Hollywood has almost half of the crime. That being said crime in both cities is above the national average and there are places you need to avoid. Hollywood has a bit of a run down/blue collar persona with a serious attempt at revitalizing it's downtown (with some serious successes and serious misses), and the less glitzy side of Ft. Lauderdale is a sea of porno stores, congested streets and bland, run down concrete homes. Far from the worst to exist but quite a contrast from the eastern parts of Ft. Lauderdale. Very few spots are downright dangerous like large swaths of St. Petersburg, but are still drab and run down nonetheless. On the bright side, you have more safe areas to choose from, if, once again, you don't mind a more mundane experience in exchange for a little bit of a drive. The key is to stay west of University Dr. West of that roadway has some of the safest cities in the whole country. Safe (but suburban) cities to consider that are younger- Plantation, Davie (by the university), Coral Springs, Sunrise in the right spot, Pembroke Pines.

1200 in a safe area for a 2 bedroom is doable in all three areas. But all and all, I would go St. Petersburg. Nice compromise between cost and stuff to do. I do not feel downtown St. Petersburg is unsafe and you can probably score a pretty nice place downtown in your price range. You should have no problem finding young people to socalize with, and the area is walkable. Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood can be nice in the right spot but the right spot is usually too expensive, and I think you should forget about Daytona.

Also, keep this in mind- Broward and Pinellas County are shrinking in population, school enrollment is dropping, and school districts are on a hiring freeze. Unless you want to teach at a warzone high school in south St. Pete or Pompano Beach, you might want to consider faster growing sections of Florida for the sake of your career. It's not the booming Florida it was 10 years ago.

Last edited by compelled to reply; 03-31-2008 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:34 PM
 
7,901 posts, read 8,884,100 times
Reputation: 3189
Quote:
Originally Posted by amydonofrio View Post
I am a 21 year old female graduating this June with a degree to teach high school English and a minor in Spanish. I grew up all over the country and spent the first 10 years of my life in Jacksonville, Florida. I love the Florida hot and sticky weather and have decided I want to try out living there again after graduation this summer since they need teachers so badly. HOWEVER, I am getting increasingly freaked out by my lack of knowledge on what part of Florida to live in. Please, PLEASE any advice would be so greatly appreciated!

Here are my MUSTS:

1) MUST be on the coast (20 miles or less away from ocean)
2) Needs to be somewhat of a CITY (I am young, single, and want a nightlife
3) Enough young locals to have some friends (I am trying to avoid the places that predominantly old people spend their winters)

Here are my wishes:
1) Safer the better (I know that is not always easy in a city or Florida for that matter, but heart of Miami is probably not for me haha)
2) Somewhat affordable (Around 1200 for a two bedroom apt.)

I have so far been thinking of St. Petersburg, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Daytona, but I really don't know much about them. I've heard the panhandle is pretty low-class

ANYYYYYYYYY comments or feedback is so appreciated!
I think your first list might contradict the second, and I have to wonder where you get your information about the Panhandle, as I have found it to have more class than the places you listed above....
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:12 PM
 
6 posts, read 13,171 times
Reputation: 13
compelled to comply-

WOW!! thank you so much! everything you said lined up with what I was thinking...I am leaning towards St. Pete and I have applied in Pinellas County for a job. Overall, do you think St. Pete is a better choice for a 20-something than Tampa? Is one seen as more affordable or appealing than the other in general?
Thanks again!
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