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Old 11-02-2006, 01:13 PM
332 posts, read 1,371,915 times
Reputation: 167


I'm moving from Chicago area to Sarasota and would really appreciate if Sarasotans and others can provide a view from a local perspective.

During the last several months I've read an abundance of material. All seems just fine on paper. But when I talked to some locals and frequent visitors, they planted a quite a few doubts in my mind.

Here are things that concern me the most:

1. Crime rate. And the type of crime.
- I've heard that in the last couple of years the crime went as fast as the cost of living there. And that it's the violent, ruthless kind then you can get mugged and murdered for literally pocket change. That lately Sarasota became as bad as neighboring Brandenton. And that it's catching up to South Florida. One elderly couple even said that they feel much safer walking anywhere in Chicago than in Sarasota, even at nighttime! Is this a gross exagerration??

2. Does anyone know about the safety of the area near the dog racetrack? I'm asking because it may end up to be a place of employment.

3. Is it safe to ride(and obviously wait for them at the bus stop as well) the SCAT buses?

4. Is it safe at(an on the way to) the beaches? Are there any entrance and parking fees for the beach?

5. At the beginning I plan to rent a 1bdr apartment for around 700 at a managed complex. Judging by the price of rent, is it a decent, safe complex?

6. I was told that the grocery prices are the same as in Chicago or sometimes even higher. And this applies to the fruits and vegetables that are actually grown in Florida. Is this true?

7. Do Sarasota's crime problems extend to nearby Venice as well?

8. And the last question is for my fellow fishing folks Is the surf-fishing any good at the Sarasota county beaches?

Well, sorry,that's a lot of questions But if anyone can asnwer just a portion of this it would really be great
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:42 PM
Location: Florida but not for long :) :)
1,130 posts, read 1,027,821 times
Reputation: 50
Default wow

All I can say is that there is crime everywhere.
Sarasota is lovely. I haven't heard too much about crime on the news at night. The fishing along the gulf coast is good, except for the red tide that kills alot of the fish at times.
The groceries are very expensive down here.
You really should rent before you buy to make sure that you like it.
There are good and bad areas in Sarasota. It depends on where you go!
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:02 AM
220 posts, read 964,770 times
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1. It's like any other place.... there are good areas and bad areas. If the light turns red on you at MLK and Washington after about midnight..... run it! It's mainly property crime in Sarasota. You most likely have no intention of hanging out in cracktown and that's where a lot of the stats are generated. They do like to break into cars at the mall and apartment complexes.

2. That can be borderline but if you've ever lived in the city you know what to watch for. It's mainly the homeless there, and downtown.

3. I haven't ridden one but haven't heard any horror stories.

4. You won't get mugged at the beach unless you go alone late at night, and many are closed then anyway.

5. I would visit, cruise around the complex late at night a few different nights, if you like what you see, plunk down your sheckles.

6. Grocery prices are less than many areas of the country.

7. Not much. Unsecured larceny and domestic battery. Some pharmacy hold-ups here and there. It's not South St Pete by anymeans.

8. Pretty good.
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:46 PM
Location: Sarasota, Florida
80 posts, read 300,793 times
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I have lived in Sarasota since 1976. Went away to school, them came right back. It is a wonderful commnunity that has grown siginificantly and if you can afford it, do it. For a lower priced area's that are still in the greater Sarasota area I'd look at the North Port and Venice markets. You can still get into new home packages in the North Port area at $200k for a 3B/2B 1,600 SF home on a 10,000 SF lot. Email me if you would like any additional information on North Port.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:18 PM
332 posts, read 1,371,915 times
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Default Edvard, thank you very much!!

Edvard, thanks so much for the detailed, thorough reply. It's extremely helpful!!

Would it be correct to define the 'cracktown' area within the following borders:
Myrtle St on the north, 12th St on the south, Tuttle Ave on the east, Central Ave on the west? Or does it extend up to Desoto Rd on the north and route 41 on the west? Or am I completely wrong?

Aslo does anyone know any details(either positive or negative) about a fairly recent development called Las Palmas which is supposedly east of I-75, north of 17th St (I've also read that it's near a golf course called Meadows)?

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Old 11-03-2006, 06:53 PM
332 posts, read 1,371,915 times
Reputation: 167
Default Thanks, jdber94!

Thank you, jdber94! I appreciate the offered help!

I've researched the North Port too. And from the start it seemed like a family-oriented place where you don't need to worry as much about things like crime.

The only negative is that it's about 15 mile away from the gulf(would the Manasota key be the closest access point?)
Well, the ocean and beaches with free access and free parking are one of the main things the lure me to Sarasota and Venice, since I'm a very avid fisherman and swimmer.

What do you think of South Venice? I found some new 2bd/2bth, 1350sq.ft condos that I seem to like, but they are on the pricier side - 220K

I was thinking about Englewood where 200-220K can buy a newer, nicer house. But there seems to be no employment of any kind near it, since it's mostly a retirement community. Am I correct?

By the way, how is the job situation in North Port? Is it reasonable to expect to land a $10-15/hr FT job quickly? Although I used to work in IT here, I realize that such jobs don't exist there, so I'm prepared to feel comfortable with whatever I can find.

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Old 11-03-2006, 09:46 PM
220 posts, read 964,770 times
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Las Palmas is allegedly sold-out. Gated condo type deal. Pretty nice from what I hear. I don't know what they went for, but Montecito Properties did the deal. Try Montecito.com or something like that, maybe they have a pic or two.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:40 AM
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 27,083,702 times
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I lived in North Port for 9+ years. There are very few jobs, unless you work at the new Home Depot or the new Wal-Mart. I made the commute to Sarasota for many years.

Venice has nice beaches, and even has a superlative dog beach. I never paid to park/enter a beach.

I also lived in a townhouse right next to the dog track in Sarasota, and worked over on N. Washington. The apartments across the street were a little rough, but the townhouse complex is gated.

Crime exists in pockets, just like everywhere else in the country. I always walked my dog alone, often in the dark. I never felt unsafe.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:41 AM
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Sarasota-Manatee is one of the nicest places in the US to live....been all over...lived all over....the area is not cheap, neither does it really 'want to be' everything to everybody....culturally speaking, it's a magnificent area...housing is a little high, Manatee is a bit cheaper...lots of growth around Lakewood Ranch all the way down to North Port, which I don't really care for, but it's changing from having a 'black-eye' given to it by other Sarasota County residents unfortunately.....sort of like 'Port Charlotte' which we named "Poor Charlotte" in the very late 70s and in the 80s...everything is changing but we don't have many [moderator cut, rudeness] moving in..and if they do, they generally don't like it, or can't handle the area, and they end up moving back to whereever they came from, or places in the mountains in SC, NC and around eastern part of TN (some places are nice...others might as well be a movie setting for 'Deliverance')...but those folks probably wouldn't like Sarasota-Manatee anyway......these are the same people that pack up and drive to Destin or Panama City every SUMMER to say they've 'been to Florida'.....Florida is very diverse from the Redneck Riviera (the Panhandle), to Jacksonville ('Memphis, TN on the WATER'), to Miami (International playground), to Orlando (a tourist's delight), to Ocala (beautiful horse country).....

Sarasota MSA is growing and expanding...even in areas that were considered somewhat 'blighted' ....like Rosemary District and many places downtown, even west of the Trail near the Museum, Rinlging school of Art (yep, just look at who's buying up the property west of the Trail), all the way up to the brand new University of South FLorida Campus very near the airport in Manatee County near the old Whitfield Estates !!.....heck, Palmetto is home to Riviera Dunes !!!......and just look at what's happening around Tiera Ceia right before the SkyWay Bridge !!
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:53 AM
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I know that gated complex you lived in..that was on Old Bradenton Road near Desoto Road......if you didn't know that complex was there you would drive right past it...........that area just south on Old Bradenton Road has always been sort of weird....it's changing a bit now with the expansion of Ringling School of Art which has bought up quite a bit of property.....

Funny thing, if you remember just across east of 301 there was an area that was called Desoto Acres....huge huge lots wit some dated houses on them....NOW you can't hardly buy in there....many many renovations, huge houses, renovations etc......and it's that way all the way over to Lockwood Ridge road !...............there are, however some ratty looking smaller subdivisions off of Lockwood, down to 17th ST.....but it's a mixed bag for sure.....just west on 17th there are a couple of smaller very nice developments, and of course there is the entrance to the Meadows which was first developed by Taylor Woodrow in the late 70s and they finally completed the buildout in the last single family housing pod, in 2003 I think....!...and the Meadows is STILL a very nice place to live...my family owns several villas there right off Honore, and we wouldn't sell them....the residents, permanent and seasonal are some of the finest people you'd ever want to be around (from all over the globe even)....and they really really maintain the beauty of the massive development !
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