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Old 12-31-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Cold, Snowy, Rainy Oregon
37 posts, read 102,418 times
Reputation: 28

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Hi, I am planning on leaving Oregon after living in this place for 17+ years. I am a single guy, 31 years old and work in a family home software business. Because of my job I am very flexible where I can live, since my work is from home. Right now I live in CEntral Oregon and I am a bit depressed of the cold, snowy and drizzly weather. Also, the place is full of older people and families and being a single guy I am kind of left out in the cold. I guess I have been dreaming of warm beaches and palm trees for many years and I want to see if I can finally leave this state.

I would like to know people's opinions of the best place for a single guy in his early 30s to live in Florida. As far as my background, I am more conservative, republican, religious. I guess you can call me a religious Christian bible thumping type. Although, I am cross cultural and accepting of people of other religions, beliefs and ways of life, etc. So, please don't get mad at me. However, I stand pretty conservative on most issues.

I know living in real liberal areas of Miami , e.g., would probably not work out well for me. I don't mind being in an area mixed with conservatives and liberals, but not overwhelmed by liberalism. As far as being around a bunch of southerners, well thats fine with me. I also don't mind being around like-minded transplants either though.


I guess what I am looking for in a nutshell:
1. Low Crime (I guess this may be hard to find in FL)
2. Nice Clean Beaches that are swimmable
3. Good Scenery
4. Outdoor Rifle Range Nearby
5. Young Single Women (20s early 30s) available (Sorry, but it is a bonus for me)
6. Not Overwhelmed by Retirees or Older Families. I don't mind living near retirees, but woudl like to be in a place where I can make friends my own age. Where I live in Oregon, thats a challenge.
7. Some Cultural Diversity, but not Ghetto-style
8. Conservative Churches
9. Good Health Food Stores, Gyms, etc
10. Good Music Scene (i like classical and world music, not into hip hop or heavy metal/new agey rock)
11. Friendliness
12. Not far from Chain Stores, Shopping, IT-friendly stores, e.g. Best Buy
13. High-Speed Broadband available.

Sorry for the exhaustive list.


The places that I am seriously considering are:
* 1. Sarasota
2. Siesta Key
3. St. Petersburg
4. Pinellas County Towns (Tarpon Bay, Palm Harbor, etc)
5. Clearwater (Hear there is crime problem, not sure??)

ON the east side, I have heard Melbourne , St. Augustine, Boca Raton, Sebastian and Vero Beach are nice.
In the panhandle, I have heard good things about Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.


Sarasota is on the top of my list. Seems like its close enough to the Tampa for city convenience, but still the small friendly town atmosphere and not far from beautiful beaches and countryside.

I am eager to hear the opinions of others on this issue.

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,778 posts, read 12,888,236 times
Reputation: 2072
Hi There!

I was born and raised in Sarasota county so I think I might be able to give you a little direction. I'm also in my 30's but am married with kids and would consider myself to be on the more liberal side. That being said, here's my opinion. As far as conservative vs. liberals, I would say that's Sarasota county is almost completely evenly split. I know the last election was 50% for Obama and 50% for McCain. So, if your talking politic, it's even.

1. You can find the crime report here on City-Data
2. Sarasota has one of the best beaches in the world-Siesta Key. Siesta Beach is renowned for its breath-taking sunsets, easy-going waves, and gorgeous, crystal-white sand. The sand is 99% pure quartz, soft and cool on the feet. Among the many awards it has earned are: “the whitest and finest sand in the world” (The Great International Beach Challenge, 1987) and “The Best Sand Beach in America” (The Travel Channel, 2004).
3. Not exactly sure what you mean by good scenery. There's some great architecture in the downtown area, the sunsets are beautiful here and I would like to think the women are just as pretty
4. Here are some shooting ranges in the area: Take Aim Gun Range - Sarasota, FL or Sarasota County Gun Range, Nokomis, FL : Reviews and maps - Yahoo! Local
5. I don't keep too up on the social scene around here since I'm married and don't get out to often. If you asked this question in the Sarasota/Bradenton sub forum I'm sure someone could point you in the right direction.
6. According to City-Data the average age in Sarasota is 41, so I think you're OK there.
7. There's always something going on in the downtown area. Southside Village, which is the area west of US 41 and just of Main St and north of Siesta Dr. It's also close to the hospital. Right over the bridge is Siesta Key Beach or if you go over the John Ringling Bridge you have Lido Beach. And you have- GWIZ,Mote Marine, Selby Gardens, Jungle Gardens are all within minutes of downtown. Every Saturday they have the downtown Farmers Market. Then there's the Hollywood20 Movie theater and The Burns Court Cinema, which has some really cool foreign films. Burns Court and Towles Court are neat little villages that are great to spend the afternoon catching a bite to eat or doing a little shopping. Selby Library is a fantastic library right in the heart of downtown. A great little organic grocery store is Morton's Gourmet Market, Southside Village, Sarasota, Florida. Marina Jack’s is always great for an afternoon out with the kids, a picnic under the trees or a leisurely walk by the bay Welcome to Marina Jack.
8. You didn't specify what type of church specifically but here's a list of churches in the area. You can look down the list and see if you spot anything that appeals to you: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitors sites is not allowed

9. FLORIDA Organic Food Stores Locator - Find Your Local Organic Food Stores and Suppliers
Sarasota Home | WholeFoodsMarket.com
Richard's Foodporium| Natural, Organic, Bulk, & Specialty Foods
Morton's Gourmet Market, Southside Village, Sarasota, Florida
Gyms:
Evolution Health Fitness - Sarasota, FL
Bath & Racquet Club - Sarasota, FL
Dynamic Fitness - Sarasota, FL
Gold's Gym - Sarasota, FL
Lifestyle Family Fitness - Sarasota, FL

10. Classical Music With Coleen Cook | WUSF (http://www.wusf.usf.edu/music/program/classical_music_with_coleen_cook/notes/2009-11/sarasota_orchestra_announces_return_of - broken link)_
Sarasota Orchestra - The NEW Florida West Coast Symphony - Education
Bowfire at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Classical - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
A love of music in melded styles | HeraldTribune.com | Sarasota Florida | Southwest Florida's Information Leader

11. I think most people in town are pretty friendly overall.

12. Lots of chain stores in town as well as small family owned restaurants.

13. Most places have Verizon FIOS, Comcast, Brighthouse, etc

For what it's worth, I love it here and never plan on moving. Hope this helps!

Last edited by Yac; 02-23-2010 at 06:11 AM..
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:32 PM
 
19 posts, read 9,338 times
Reputation: 10
i lived in clearwater briefly..and was spent a lot of time visiting clearwater and stpete. they are both quite charming cities and with several universities near by. girls love the beach so i guess you can never go wrong with that. they are essentially the same city as they are so close to one-another imo. i wouldnt live in tampa because of the traffic. plenty to do in those 2 cities, but if yo u get bored, tampa is a 20 min drive. anyway hope this helps

anther city i have lived in is gulf breeze/navarre and destin....the first two are BORING and the third has a large community of what i describe as undesireable ppl. hard to explain but a very thriving recreational drug community is the best way to put it. anyway the only city i would live near there would be Pensacola.......MANY women. I am 28 and found many candidates there.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Cold, Snowy, Rainy Oregon
37 posts, read 102,418 times
Reputation: 28
Thanks SoFLGal and everyone else who has contributed to the thread. I appreciate your extensive list of information you have given me SoFLGal. I have read some of your other posts and your are a valuable source of information on the Sarasota area.

Gauge, thanks for filling me in on the dating scene. THat is always valuable information. I guess I will finally get to see what people look like with a real tans, rather than the fake salon ones we use here.


Someoone told me Sarasota is more upscale and mostly consists of the very affluent or wealthy crowd of people. Would you say that there is a mix of classes and types of people in Sarasota, or would Bradenton be a better place for me? That is, if I am not making the triple digits and want to meet more down to earth, less superficial people. I guess I remember growing up in some upscale areas of Southern California and definately don't want to be immersed in an area so transfixed with vanity,uber-materialistic and superficial. I am more real kind of guy and not really into the fast life or trying to impress others with wealth, etc. Also, I don't mind dressing up here and there, but I cannot consider myself a snob. Perhaps what I am hearing is mostly rumors. As I said I never been to the area, I am just going by what others have told me.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:50 PM
 
10,367 posts, read 17,088,670 times
Reputation: 8315
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMystic View Post
Thanks SoFLGal and everyone else who has contributed to the thread. I appreciate your extensive list of information you have given me SoFLGal. I have read some of your other posts and your are a valuable source of information on the Sarasota area.

Gauge, thanks for filling me in on the dating scene. THat is always valuable information. I guess I will finally get to see what people look like with a real tans, rather than the fake salon ones we use here.


Someoone told me Sarasota is more upscale and mostly consists of the very affluent or wealthy crowd of people. Would you say that there is a mix of classes and types of people in Sarasota, or would Bradenton be a better place for me? That is, if I am not making the triple digits and want to meet more down to earth, less superficial people. I guess I remember growing up in some upscale areas of Southern California and definately don't want to be immersed in an area so transfixed with vanity,uber-materialistic and superficial. I am more real kind of guy and not really into the fast life or trying to impress others with wealth, etc. Also, I don't mind dressing up here and there, but I cannot consider myself a snob. Perhaps what I am hearing is mostly rumors. As I said I never been to the area, I am just going by what others have told me.
JonMystic - I can answer your question as me and my husband live smack dab between Bradenton and Sarasota. Sarasota does indeed have a large contingent of wealth, but it is by NO means all affluent or super-wealthy. There are many very modest neighborhoods and even a couple ghettos, as well as an industrial side of Sarasota. Only certain parts like the Keys and West of the Trail and some of the newer gated communities have that wealthy feel. Sarasota used to be a lot "snobbier" and stuffier a couple decades ago than it is today. As usual, SoFLGal came through with a lot of good info!

Bradenton has an overall Midwestern/Southern/Blue collar feel to it, I actually like it because it feels like "home" to me. Bradenton feels "sleepier", downtown doesn't have a lot going on like Sarasota does, I love the beaches there. But I think a younger person will like Sarasota better and in particular Siesta Key. Downtown and Siesta are the younger areas, and of course all the colleges are on the north side of town. No one dresses up much here unless you like going to trendy and expensive nightclubs. I think you might really enjoy it here if the town feels big enough for you.

I would say you might want to visit this area and compare to St. Pete. The advantage of St. Pete is that it is a much larger city, and you have relatively easy access to Tampa across the Bay for even more to do. And Sarasota area is a fairly easy drive from there as well.

Hope this helps a little!
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:55 AM
 
Location: Cold, Snowy, Rainy Oregon
37 posts, read 102,418 times
Reputation: 28
Thanks for letting me know that gypyschic.. Bradenton does sound like my kind of town. I like real people who live real lives. Life is not a fashion show or a soap opera. Anyhow, seeing that Bradenton is so close, it doesn't matter if I live in Sarasota or Bradenton. Actually , I would prefer to live in a place with as much scenic beauty as possible and that is quiet and peaceful. I would be happy though to have some more excitement not too far away from where I live. That is my ideal of course, not sure how feasible any of my desires and dreams are.

I was wondering if SoFlGal or anyone else here can give me a list of the best areas to rent in Sarasota or Bradenton. Also, I would consider places in Pinellas county, ST Petersburg and Clearwater.

I am planning on renting a place and I am thinking I would like to pay anywhere from $850- $1350 for my rent. The amount I pay, of course depends on location and type of unit I am renting. Ideally I would like a 3 bed house 1500 -2000 sq ft, with a white picket fence and nice garden and pool. However, in reality I know things cost way more in Florida than in Oregon. Well maybe not way more, but more. I am open to living in a decent condo or apartment if they are in good locations. Siesta Key and Anna Maria island look like pretty interesting places to live, for example. I may be open to sacrificing a bit of size of my accomodation for some amazing scenery and good living atmosphere.

I work a home computer software business, so not only do I need a living space but need an office space as well. So, living in a one bedroom or studio is never an option for me. I would like to get a place in a good , quiet area that is not too far from good scenery (oceans, gardens, rivers, lakes, etc etc) and also not too far from stores or town.

I think I will be selling most of what I own and just getting in my car and going to Florida. I will try to find a furnisehed temporary rental or find some type of temporary lodging when I first come. This will be a challenge since I don't know any people in the area.


Anyway, I appreciate to know the best areas to look for my rental budget:
1. Sarasota
2. Bradenton
3. St. Petersburg
4. Branden
5. Clearwater
6. Pinellas County
7. Any other good towns you know in the area

Also, if you can tell me some areas to avoid in each of these cities it would be helpful.

Last edited by JonMystic; 01-02-2010 at 05:16 AM..
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,778 posts, read 12,888,236 times
Reputation: 2072
You might want to do some reading in the Sarasota/Bradenton sub form. There's tons of talk about good, bad and in between neighborhoods. Anywhere west of US 41 is going to be very pretty, quaint, etc. You really can't go wrong with that area. Ladywithafan, a frequent poster in the Sarasota section, lives over there and is renting. She could probably give you some direction on rentals in that area. From what she says she loves that area.

The only problem with the keys right now is that they jack up the rent when the snowbirds come to town. So, you're going to be paying a lot more until after Easter unless you find someone that will rent to you annually.

I was thinking Palmer Ranch, which has a lot of young professionals and families but I'm not so sure. I think you'd have to go check it out and see if it appeals to you.

In Bradenton (which is where I was born), you might want to check out NW Bradenton over along the river. All of the streets are numbered so if you pull up a Mapquest map, you'll be able to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Riverview Blvd and around that area is pretty nice.

Another helpful tool is Google Maps. You can pull up an address and then click on "street view" and literally "walk" down the street. It's pretty cool, especially when doing an initial check of a neighborhood.

You might want to start with craigslist.org or stringermanagement.com. Even Coldwell Banker has some decent rentals on occasion. There are a lot of rentals right now so you shouldn't have any problem finding something. Just make sure the owner is not in foreclosure. To do this go here: Sarasota Cnty Property Appraiser look under "property search" and then "real property". Type in the address of the home. Once you have the owners name(s) look them up on the clerk of the court website and make sure they don't have a lis pendens (pre foreclosure) on the property. SARASOTA : Clerk of Circuit Court & County Comptroller Look under "online services", then "official records" then scroll to the bottom of the page and do the "I agree" paragraph and then type the owners name in. This should help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Nokomis, FL
66 posts, read 119,219 times
Reputation: 34
unincorporated Sarasota County (particularly south county), Venice, and North Port are very conservative. The city of Sarasota itself is moderate-to-liberal.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:49 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,751 times
Reputation: 10
I am in Tampa and you should move to Sarasota. If you want to be with like people. You sound pretty straight forward about your preferences. They are considerably older, if you are single there is a strong conservative group of cougars.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Fort Myers-Naples-Marco Island, FL
160 posts, read 276,149 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMystic View Post
Hi, I am planning on leaving Oregon after living in this place for 17+ years. I am a single guy, 31 years old and work in a family home software business. Because of my job I am very flexible where I can live, since my work is from home. Right now I live in CEntral Oregon and I am a bit depressed of the cold, snowy and drizzly weather. Also, the place is full of older people and families and being a single guy I am kind of left out in the cold. I guess I have been dreaming of warm beaches and palm trees for many years and I want to see if I can finally leave this state.

I would like to know people's opinions of the best place for a single guy in his early 30s to live in Florida. As far as my background, I am more conservative, republican, religious. I guess you can call me a religious Christian bible thumping type. Although, I am cross cultural and accepting of people of other religions, beliefs and ways of life, etc. So, please don't get mad at me. However, I stand pretty conservative on most issues.

I know living in real liberal areas of Miami , e.g., would probably not work out well for me. I don't mind being in an area mixed with conservatives and liberals, but not overwhelmed by liberalism. As far as being around a bunch of southerners, well thats fine with me. I also don't mind being around like-minded transplants either though.


I guess what I am looking for in a nutshell:
1. Low Crime (I guess this may be hard to find in FL)
2. Nice Clean Beaches that are swimmable
3. Good Scenery
4. Outdoor Rifle Range Nearby
5. Young Single Women (20s early 30s) available (Sorry, but it is a bonus for me)
6. Not Overwhelmed by Retirees or Older Families. I don't mind living near retirees, but woudl like to be in a place where I can make friends my own age. Where I live in Oregon, thats a challenge.
7. Some Cultural Diversity, but not Ghetto-style
8. Conservative Churches
9. Good Health Food Stores, Gyms, etc
10. Good Music Scene (i like classical and world music, not into hip hop or heavy metal/new agey rock)
11. Friendliness
12. Not far from Chain Stores, Shopping, IT-friendly stores, e.g. Best Buy
13. High-Speed Broadband available.

Sorry for the exhaustive list.


The places that I am seriously considering are:
* 1. Sarasota
2. Siesta Key
3. St. Petersburg
4. Pinellas County Towns (Tarpon Bay, Palm Harbor, etc)
5. Clearwater (Hear there is crime problem, not sure??)

ON the east side, I have heard Melbourne , St. Augustine, Boca Raton, Sebastian and Vero Beach are nice.
In the panhandle, I have heard good things about Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.


Sarasota is on the top of my list. Seems like its close enough to the Tampa for city convenience, but still the small friendly town atmosphere and not far from beautiful beaches and countryside.

I am eager to hear the opinions of others on this issue.

Thanks,
Jon
1. Plenty of Safe areas in Florida you just have to pick the right community

2. Yes the beaches are beautiful, and although the weather is iffy in winter, people do swim year round

3. Yes Florida is a visually very beautiful

4. Guns are fairly common in Florida, shouldn't be hard to find a place

5. Look into the larger metro areas for this (Jax, Tampa, Orlando etc.) smaller communities tend to have more families or retirees

6. I would not such suggest going South of Tampa on the West Coast, a lot of the areas south are very nice but more geared towards families and older folks

7. Florida is fairly diverse (Cubans, Italians, Florida crackers, Haitians etc.) a lot of people move here from all over so meeting a variety of people should be easy.

8. Plenty of churches, the more north you go in FL the more of an influence church seems to play

9. Plenty of those in the larger metro areas

10. Yet again you'd find this in a larger metro area in FL

11. Most Floridians are friendly in my opinon but I'm from Jersey so what do I know

12. Plenty of box stores and chain restaurants all across the state

13. Yup you can find this
-------------------------------------

Places:

I would strongly reccomend Tampa and Jacksonville as a close second. Tampa has everything you're looking for and it is more All-American/Conservative than Miami-Lauderdale-Palm Beach.

1. Sarasota is nice but much too retiree oriented overall, I feel you might regret not moving to a larger enviorment

2. Siesta Key is one of the nicest beaches in Florida, pretty touristy, I don't know if you'd like it

3. No, you would not like St. Pete in my opinon, too liberal/eccentric

4. No I don't think you'd like most of Pinellas, again to liberal/congested and lots of retirees although it has some of the best beaches in FL

5. No to Clearwater see the above reasons ^

So basically I would reccomend Tampa/Jacksonville. Close to Nice beaches, young people, night life, not far from the countryside/nature. Not overwhemingly retiree style.
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