Honest feed back on Rio Vista area for family w kids (Fort Lauderdale: real estate, rent)
Fort Lauderdale areaBroward County
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Honest feed back on Rio Vista area for family w kids
I have received such helpful and detailed information reading these forums and we now find ourself with a serious possibility of moving to the Ft Lauderdale area for my husbands work.
We have 2 kids, currently 1st and 5th graders who would be sad to move, but sometimes you have to go where the job is! We are coming from Orange County CA so the coastal lifestyle is familiar to us (minus the humidity!), which eases their pain . We have a great school district and family neighborhood, but for the last year no employment, hence the potential move.
From the forums I have read about the surrounding areas (Westin,Cooper City, Plantation etc) and done lots of real estate research on the internet. What I like best though are the older neighborhoods of Rio Vista, Victoria Park, Collee Hammock. They seem to feed into a good gradeschool per greatschools.org (Virginia Schuman), the middle school is so-so (Sunrise), not sure yet about the high school.
It seems SE 6th and 7th street have some older homes with a bit of character which is what we like. There are lots of newer subdivisions too which of course are usually where the kids are, but we'd don't live in one now and would just miss the kind of older tree lined streets we have so I am asking about these older areas too.
My husband will be heading to FL early March and I have asked him to check out some of these areas, but what you can't tell from a drive by is the quality of living, are these kid friendly places, relatively safe streets for kids to ride their bikes to a friends home etc. We would rent first to try out neighborhoods, but try to keep the kids from having to move schools any more than possible.
Any feedback on what its like living in these areas vs the more outlying subdivisions? A pool is our only must, a waterway is nice but not a requirement so from that standpoint I am fine being closer to downtown.
Definetely Rio Vista is the most desirable neighborhood in East Fort Lauderdale according to what you are looking for. If you want thge right information about the schools in Fort Lauderdale, please feel free to visit www.browardschools.com
Rio vista is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale. Tree lined streets with pricey homes. Living east is fantastic, you are much closer to beach, boating, events etc. but I wouldn't say it's as kid friendly as Coral Springs, Parkland or Weston out west. Middle and High Schools are the real problem east. I would budget for private school.
Thanks, yes on doing further school research I'd have to agree with you. My husbands office would be in Sunrise, and in fact we just got confirmation that he will be out early March for a 3rd interview.
I am continuing to look in the Parkland and Weston areas you mentioned as well as a couple others...and they all do seem to be the same style. Really bottom line though is the kid friendliness of an area and good public schools in the event we can't afford private. I don't want to be required to budget that way!
Are there any particular subdivisions that are anything like Rio Vista??????? My husband is taking a couple days to drive around and just check out neighborhoods so any particular ones you'd recommend would be helpful.
While it would be great to have a 400k home (CA is so nuts we are used to the exorbitant prices out here, but that doesn't mean we want to spend that somewhere else!) I figure we could go up to the 700s if it was something really great. 2500-3000 sq ft is fine. I am amazed at these 4k and 5k sq ft homes....who cleans these things?
Virginia Young is a magnet school which you need to apply and be accepted to. I just spoke with them this morning. Very slim chance to get in next year. 25 open seats and they are "flooded" with applications. You also must already live in VP to apply. BIG RISK THERE. God forbid they are not accepted.
I am also moving and would love Victoria Park. I am scrambling to find a school solution.
I was just visiting a friend there yesterday. IT REALLY IS HEAVENLY. I cannot believe the horrible Walker Elementary school is attached to such a gorgeous neighborhood.
I will tell you Parkland is GORGEOUS. Its not coastal or beachy but it is a wonderful place for kids.
Thanks for the info. Parkland did look pretty nice from the homes I saw on realestate websites.
With all this research I have been doing we have realized our neighborhood options for 'public' are pretty limited which makes taking a job in FL not as attractive as it was at first glance. After a year of being unemployed 'anything' seems good at this point, but when you add up the high cost of homes (in good public school areas), the property taxes and the limited area we are confined to with school age kids...well, I gues you gotta do what you gotta do!
However it has made us realize any move this big would probably have to include a salary that we could at least have the option for private school if needed. Thanks for the positive thoughts on Parkland. I am not going ont his initial trip so I appreciate your experience : ) We certainly don't have to be on the beach!
This whole thing is kind of stressing me out as, no offense to native Floridians, but the feedback from everyone here, including friends FROM FL...is that it is not a wise move primarily because of the school situation.
I currently live in Parkland in a community called Heron Bay...we are planning on relocating to Rio Vista because we want the ocean breeze that goes with coastal living and for proximity to work, family etc. Rio vita is my favorite area in fort lauderdale for all of the reasons you mentioned. However!... If u are looking for good schools that go beyond elementary and are not wanting to commit to budgeting for private then you must live West. If that was my situation I would choose Parkland and the community I live in now. We have a beautiful courtyard home with 5 bedrooms and a loft (1 bedroom is a completely separate in-law quarters next to pool). In this market our home would probably go for somewhere in the low 700ks. So for less square footage you definitely can find something nice on the lower end of your price-range. While the communities in Parkland and on west side in general are newer and therefore less unique, and a little "cookie-cutter"... the benefit of the public school system here makes it worth it. Not to mention a family centered community like Heron Bay has excellent amenities- park, pools, 2 clubhouses, tennis (clay and concrete), racquetball, and a public golf course adjacent. Yes it's suburbia- but we love our kids... So we'll overlook the fact that the houses, though very nice all look the same, and concentrate on the shaded tree lined extra wide sidewalks that smell of the latest flower blossoms and we will happily wave to the lady walking her dog along the curving path and think we made a good choice!
Plus a good grocery store, coal fired pizza and a Coldstone in walking distance and an awesome discount health food store called Tunies in 5 min. drive don 't hurt. Also you have access to 3 major highways for commuting all right around the corner. It's Aprox 30 min. drive to sunrise. Best of luck"
Ps super safe
If I didn't have the 3 school aged kids (or could afford private) I would be in a one of those older, charming neighborhoods in Ft. Lauderdale. Alas when we moved last year I just could not see my older kid in the middle school & did not want to commit to high cost of a private school.
We are also in Heron Bay. It really is family friendly and very pretty in it's own cookie cutter, manicured way- even though that is not my thing at all. The schools are good, the bike paths are wide & the sky is always blue!
Oh and don't be fooled by the square footage of the homes, honestly they are not as big as they seem . . . no basement, attic or shed storage.
Good luck & if you find the perfect combination please post it. I'd be very interested!
I also love Rio Vista but I think that if you want to use the pubic schools Weston and Parkland are the places to be. They are lovely even though they are a bit cookie cutter, manicured. The houses are really nice even though they all look the same. People take care of their homes, there are lots of kids in those areas and those are the best public schools in Broward, especially at the secondary school level.
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