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Old 03-26-2007, 07:28 AM
 
2 posts, read 51,548 times
Reputation: 11

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Thinking of moving to Sarasota to teach, but I dont know anything about the area other than it is on the gulf coast.(a place I have never been)
SO my questions are many and some what annoying but please be honest and try to give me some insight.

1. Is the price of 1150 a month for rent average for this area? This is the rate I got from an online sight for a house, a single family with a yard.

2.What should I expect in terms of weather? I am from West Virginia, I grew up in the mountains and have lived in Morgantown for about 8 years. We get all four seasons here with winter lasting the longest. I know FL doesnt get snow but I do know you get hurricanes. Does Sarasota get Hurricanes?

3. How easy is it to drive in Sarasota? Here traffic in this town can be a nightmare during football games and other events, and I know Orlando traffic is bad so how does it compare?

4. Are things well labeled and easy to find? I lived in HHI, SC and things were impossible to find and you basically had to "discover" businesses and things here are pretty easy in comparsion, but I do remember Orlando and Kissmee being hard to find things in. Is the area easy to find things in for new comers?

5. How much more a month should I expect for groceries and sundries?
Here I spend about 100-150 per week ending up with about 400-600 per month to keep a well stocked pantry. Is this on average with the cost in Sarasota?

6. How much is insurance for a car in Sarasota? I read that when you move you switch your car insurance to FL prior to getting FL tags. I currently pay 340 for six months of coverage for liability only. How will this compare with costs there?

7. What are the people like? I loved the people of Orlando, but hated the HHI people. Are the people in town friendly or are they rich stuck up types?
For example if I go to the grocery store and there is a woman beside me will she say hello or respond if I say hello?

8. What are the schools like? Does the community support its schools and teachers?

9. Is the income good there? The job I am looking at is about 49 K a year. Is that a good salary for the area?

10. What is the beach like? I have been to the Altantic side beaches in FL, SC, NC, VA, RI, MA and over all I liked FL the best. But I have never seen the gulf or experienced the gulf waters.


Thanks for your support and keep your fingers crossed for this traveling teacher.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:24 AM
 
13,859 posts, read 27,213,379 times
Reputation: 15020
If you do a search at the top and put in "Sarasota" you will come up with a lot of information previously discussed which will answer some of your questions.

I know there are people here who live in the area and like it, but hubby and I lived there for 17 years and pretty much hated it. Yes, it's a pretty place, but there are a LOT and I mean a LOT of rich and stuck-up people there, and getting worse every day. We didn't find the people friendly, speaking in general terms. (Tampa however, is an EXTREMELY friendly city!) The whole downtown area seems to be getting knocked down with large super-expensive condos going up - do a google of the area and you will see what I mean. This is an extremely expensive place to live.

Sarasota is as much at risk as anywhere in Florida as far as hurricanes, and it is a coastal town. Flooding is bad here even in just an average storm. Once it rained for days and flooded everywhere inland for several miles, many roads were impassible. This was one of several times we experienced severe flooding, and remember we are not talking hurricanes just a bad summer storm.

Traffic can be bad, especially during the season, when all the snowbirds and tourists are in the area. Lots of crazy drivers, too.

On the plus side, teachers here do make a better than average salary due to cost of living, but jobs can be hard to come by.

Remember, these are only my perceptions from living there, and my preferences only. This area is not my cup of tea, but others do find their paradise in living here.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:28 AM
 
3 posts, read 79,893 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnylvsreading View Post
Thinking of moving to Sarasota to teach, but I dont know anything about the area other than it is on the gulf coast.(a place I have never been)
SO my questions are many and some what annoying but please be honest and try to give me some insight.

1. Is the price of 1150 a month for rent average for this area? This is the rate I got from an online sight for a house, a single family with a yard.

2.What should I expect in terms of weather? I am from West Virginia, I grew up in the mountains and have lived in Morgantown for about 8 years. We get all four seasons here with winter lasting the longest. I know FL doesnt get snow but I do know you get hurricanes. Does Sarasota get Hurricanes?

3. How easy is it to drive in Sarasota? Here traffic in this town can be a nightmare during football games and other events, and I know Orlando traffic is bad so how does it compare?

4. Are things well labeled and easy to find? I lived in HHI, SC and things were impossible to find and you basically had to "discover" businesses and things here are pretty easy in comparsion, but I do remember Orlando and Kissmee being hard to find things in. Is the area easy to find things in for new comers?

5. How much more a month should I expect for groceries and sundries?
Here I spend about 100-150 per week ending up with about 400-600 per month to keep a well stocked pantry. Is this on average with the cost in Sarasota?

6. How much is insurance for a car in Sarasota? I read that when you move you switch your car insurance to FL prior to getting FL tags. I currently pay 340 for six months of coverage for liability only. How will this compare with costs there?

7. What are the people like? I loved the people of Orlando, but hated the HHI people. Are the people in town friendly or are they rich stuck up types?
For example if I go to the grocery store and there is a woman beside me will she say hello or respond if I say hello?

8. What are the schools like? Does the community support its schools and teachers?

9. Is the income good there? The job I am looking at is about 49 K a year. Is that a good salary for the area?

10. What is the beach like? I have been to the Altantic side beaches in FL, SC, NC, VA, RI, MA and over all I liked FL the best. But I have never seen the gulf or experienced the gulf waters.


Thanks for your support and keep your fingers crossed for this traveling teacher.
Hi...Sarasota is wonderful, but it's certainly not perfect. If you want beautiful, sunny days and wonderful beaches, it's your place. Of all the coasts in Florida, I think Sarasota's is the nicest. The east coast is way too industrial and crowded for me.

So, I'll attempt to answer each of your questions...

1. That rent is probably a little low. However, it's a buyer's market right now, so renters are having to compete with falling home prices.

2. Yes, Sarasota gets hurricanes, although we have not had a direct hit since I've lived here (30 years). It's all about probability. We have something like a 13% chance of a direct hit -- same as the coast of Maine.

3. It's NOTHING like Orlando traffic. Much better, but it's still heavy during tourist season. There are lots of shortcuts that the locals use. Like anyplace else, avoid the major roads during rush hour, and avoid school zones during arrival and departure times.

4. Hmmm...I think so. There are no "expressways" (except I-75 which runs north-south on the east part of town) so it's not like you are going to pass something and have a hard time getting back to it.

5. Not sure how many are in your family, so the grocery cost really can vary. But, your price sounds about right.

6. I would call insurance companies. And it really depends on your car, who is driving it, etc.

7. Yes, we're friendly. Yes, there are people that aren't. But it's not been my experience that the unfriendly people dominate the attitudes here.

8. Well, yes and no. We have a lot of retirees. There is often a rift between the retirees and those that are working families, because there is an argument made that because retirees don't have kids in the school system, then why should they pay? However, the last few times that the school board has gone to the residents to ask for a property tax increase or a sales tax increase, the county has voted yes. Having said all that, the current superintendant is getting a lot of bad press lately. Overall, though, Sarasota has probably one of the best school systems in the state.

9. Yes, that is a good salary in the school system. You can't really compare that to the millionaires that live here, but for a working wage, it's comparable.

10. The beaches are gorgeous. The best. Consistently ranked as some of the most beautiful in the state if not in the country. Much more laid back than Daytona or Ft. Lauderdale or anywhere on the east coast. You will love them!
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Miami FL
98 posts, read 484,805 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
2. Yes, Sarasota gets hurricanes, although we have not had a direct hit since I've lived here (30 years). It's all about probability. We have something like a 13% chance of a direct hit -- same as the coast of Maine.
13% chance of a direct hit -- same as the coast of Maine. Where are you getting that statistic from?
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:52 AM
 
3 posts, read 79,893 times
Reputation: 14
Wish I could tell you. I saw a map in the paper a few years ago that showed statistical probabilities for the coasts of the United States. Tampa was higher, the panhandle was higher, certainly Miami and the east coast was higher, but Sarasota seemed to be south enough that hurricanes that came up through the gulf do not have as great of a chance of turning east and coming our direction. Though all of it is statistics, and doesn't mean anything when the hurricane is on top of you.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:42 PM
 
162 posts, read 164,130 times
Reputation: 86
Fla-native has it right about Sarasota, as nice as can be considering how many people live/visit, and hurricanes are no problem if one of my friends is to be trusted. He lived on Beach Rd., Siesta Key, for many years--60's to '05--and said there was never any problem other than sand on the road. I've seen no problems since '01. Sure, there is a possibility of a big storm but I sure wouldn't worry about it. I'd have no problem in a mobile home and I wouldn't bother with insurance--a waste of money imo. People are simply too afraid of life/living..........have fun, enjoy each day..
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:55 AM
 
Location: downtown Sarasota
4,542 posts, read 11,396,599 times
Reputation: 1865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnylvsreading View Post
Thinking of moving to Sarasota to teach, but I dont know anything about the area other than it is on the gulf coast.(a place I have never been)
SO my questions are many and some what annoying but please be honest and try to give me some insight.

1. Is the price of 1150 a month for rent average for this area? This is the rate I got from an online sight for a house, a single family with a yard.

With the way the market is, you can do better than that in a rental situation.

2.What should I expect in terms of weather? I am from West Virginia, I grew up in the mountains and have lived in Morgantown for about 8 years. We get all four seasons here with winter lasting the longest. I know FL doesnt get snow but I do know you get hurricanes. Does Sarasota get Hurricanes?
I lived in Morgantown with my xhusband before moving here....the humidity is the same in the summer but we figured we'd rather be sweating with palm trees than mountains. Don't worry about hurricanes, either they'll hit or they won't. If you've been keeping up with our hurricane season, you'll see that the Carolina's, New Orleans & Texas have been faring far worse than us....go figure.

3. How easy is it to drive in Sarasota? Here traffic in this town can be a nightmare during football games and other events, and I know Orlando traffic is bad so how does it compare?
Truthfully, from May 1st through Thanksgiving, the driving is easy. After December and when we go full season in January, expect traffic to double and everything that goes with it...kind of like WVU on a football saturday that lasts for four months....especially if you're trying to get over to the beaches.

4. Are things well labeled and easy to find? I lived in HHI, SC and things were impossible to find and you basically had to "discover" businesses and things here are pretty easy in comparsion, but I do remember Orlando and Kissmee being hard to find things in. Is the area easy to find things in for new comers?
Everything's easy to find, it's just a matter of learning your directions....West is the beaches & East town....

5. How much more a month should I expect for groceries and sundries?
Here I spend about 100-150 per week ending up with about 400-600 per month to keep a well stocked pantry. Is this on average with the cost in Sarasota?
That depends on what you eat....but they do raise prices during season at the supermarket as well as in the restaurants.

6. How much is insurance for a car in Sarasota? I read that when you move you switch your car insurance to FL prior to getting FL tags. I currently pay 340 for six months of coverage for liability only. How will this compare with costs there?
I hated the tax system in WV....again, not as bad, depends on your driving record, your vehicle and your address....I pay $600/six months....with liability on a 8 year old 4Runner.


7. What are the people like? I loved the people of Orlando, but hated the HHI people. Are the people in town friendly or are they rich stuck up types?
For example if I go to the grocery store and there is a woman beside me will she say hello or respond if I say hello?
SRQ is a mixture of people and you'll find every type here, when you give off good vibes, I've found you get them back...

8. What are the schools like? Does the community support its schools and teachers?
Schools have been facing layoffs & budget cuts, do you have any job offers?

9. Is the income good there? The job I am looking at is about 49 K a year. Is that a good salary for the area?
Not bad in my opinion.....

10. What is the beach like? I have been to the Altantic side beaches in FL, SC, NC, VA, RI, MA and over all I liked FL the best. But I have never seen the gulf or experienced the gulf waters.


Thanks for your support and keep your fingers crossed for this traveling teacher.
Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:28 PM
 
20,281 posts, read 40,643,717 times
Reputation: 9675
first thing you should consider is that getting a teaching job in Sarasota currently is going to be pretty difficult to do
there is hiring freeze
the ISD is losing money
taxes are down because of housing crunch
there are plenty of people who looked for job at start of this year and did not get work
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 51,548 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for all the mail and comments. We actually moved down to FL 7/07 and decided on Central FL to make our home. We have had a good stay and have enjoyed the weather. We have not met that many people, but I have been to 2 different Gulf Beaches and have seen some nice cities, should we ever decide to leave central FL.
The teacher budget cut has been rough and I did end up teaching in Tampa and driving 45 minutes after my first job feel through. The quotes about the jobs being hard to find are very true. I have spent all summer on the road driving up to 1 and 1/2 to interview. I have accepted a job locally but I have not got confirmation of my start date, so more than likely I will be hitting the highway again to sub and interview.
You all have been awesome with your advice and comments. Thank you very much for all the insight.

Bunny the traveling teacher
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:06 PM
 
19 posts, read 73,233 times
Reputation: 15
The good thing about being in education is that there are virtually always jobs all over the nation. Near Sarasota, you might want to check out Center Montessori School in Bradenton. Are you Montessori certified? That might be worth looking in to, to give you more options no matter where you end up (GuidedStudies.com for online certification). Have fun hunting!
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