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Old 06-08-2007, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 338,657 times
Reputation: 54

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Hello everyone:

My husband and I are looking around for our semi-retirement place. We are in our early 50's (we consider ourselves young!) and I will look for a corporate relocation, if I can- - not a deciding factor. We have a condo in Sarasota (LBK). We are from NJ so we are used to high taxes, insurance, traffic, rude people,- - however NJ does have some really good things we do not want to sacrifice- - great medical care, culture, resturants, and what I call "progessive thinking". We like Sarasota, however even from NJ I think 500K for a 2300 sq foot home is absurd, and I am not talking about a new house! We would like to get something that was built after the hurricane code was changed 2003?? for about 400K.
It seems from our vacations to Sarasota that that it is upscale and has culture, good food, etc. Never have been to Tampa, so wondering if there are areas that are upscale and reasonable? Comparing the two areas- -What is the difference btw Sarasota and Tampa. We are coming down to our condo in July and will look at Tampa so if anyone has a good realtor who can show us around that would be much appreciated.
Also, if by some chance anyone has been to Austin, Texas- -we are visitng for the 1st time in September- - would welcome your thoughts. I do, know the prop taxes are high- - about on par with NJ!!
All thoughts, ideas, comments are welcome and thank you!
SC
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Buda, Texas, Montgomery, Texas
796 posts, read 3,197,955 times
Reputation: 265
Hi! I am a Texan and I will say you will live alot more upscale here then in Florida....but I love Florida!! It is beautiful and everyone wants to be there(except for a few on the board ) which is why its expensive. I have a friend from New Jersey who absolutely loves it here, has a 4000 sq ft house with media room etc. in a great area (suburbs) for less then 300000. Austin is a little more expensive but not much. I was in shock to see Florida prices for homes(I live in an upscale area with brand new house I bought for 160ooo. with upgrades, 2700 sq ft. Pulte homes) but I am still going to move there in the next couple of years. I have nothing bad to say about Texas(it is home after all) but I love Florida Rude people are everywhere, ansd since most floridians come from somewhere else, you can't say it's a native thing.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 338,657 times
Reputation: 54
Hi Skyeangel,

I never thought a Texan would take Florida over Texas. Do you live in Austin?? So even with the prop taxes in Austin, you think our money would go further. Can we get a really nice house in an upscale area for 375K??? Just curious- - what is the difference btw Austin and Sarasota in your oponion?? Thanks for your help and response!
Sandy
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:34 PM
 
14,019 posts, read 27,569,770 times
Reputation: 15539
sandyart, I haven't lived in Austin, but from what I hear it is a lot more progressive than anywhere in Florida. Florida is just not a progressive state. I was born and raised in Tampa, and also lived in Sarasota for 17 years. Sarasota is VERY upscale, expensive, transient, no sense of community and has miserable urban planning. Tampa has a business vibe, has miserable urban planning, a few nice areas intermingled with a LOT of ghetto. St. Pete is a very nice town, more affordable than Sarasota with more of a family and community feel, lots of arts, and nice beaches. Of course it is on a peninsula, so every time there is a bad storm or hurricane warning you may have to evacuate over the bridges. Still, this is the best area of Florida for you, IMO based onwhat you stated as your preferences (and budget)

I have heard a lot of nice things about Austin, but I guess you will have to ask over there for more specifics. If you love beaches, however, I would think Florida would be your choice. The Gulf Beaches are some of the best in the world!
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 338,657 times
Reputation: 54
Default Thanks for the reply!

[
Hi Gypsychic!

We will look at St. Pete and check out Austin. Yes, we do love the gulf beaches, however my husband and I decided that we cannot base our quality of life around that- - we really struggled since we like the "wow" factor of Sarasota, LBK, siesta key,etc. and I am sure when we see St Pete we will like the environment. We are determined though, to live in an environment that has good value for housing, saftey, and overall good quality of life- - living in a "crackerbox" in Sarasota for 500K- - it is almost like they are giving away gold! And our condo at the LBK club- - snobs snobs snobs- -we do not belong there! Was wondering if you had thoughts on housing in St Pete? Good areas?.

Austin, while it does not have a beach, has from all accounts beautiful lakes, greenbelts, and is progressive. I wish it had palm trees and a beach, but who knows! We have also thought about SC, but we had friends from NJ relocate down to SC and back. The conservative bible belt is not for us and the winters were too cold for them. At least in Florida, you can have warm winters!
Thanks for any tips you can send our way
SC



QUOTE=gypsychic;854378]sandyart, I haven't lived in Austin, but from what I hear it is a lot more progressive than anywhere in Florida. Florida is just not a progressive state. I was born and raised in Tampa, and also lived in Sarasota for 17 years. Sarasota is VERY upscale, expensive, transient, no sense of community and has miserable urban planning. Tampa has a business vibe, has miserable urban planning, a few nice areas intermingled with a LOT of ghetto. St. Pete is a very nice town, more affordable than Sarasota with more of a family and community feel, lots of arts, and nice beaches. Of course it is on a peninsula, so every time there is a bad storm or hurricane warning you may have to evacuate over the bridges. Still, this is the best area of Florida for you, IMO based onwhat you stated as your preferences (and budget)

I have heard a lot of nice things about Austin, but I guess you will have to ask over there for more specifics. If you love beaches, however, I would think Florida would be your choice. The Gulf Beaches are some of the best in the world![/quote]
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Buda, Texas, Montgomery, Texas
796 posts, read 3,197,955 times
Reputation: 265
Hi Sandyart!
You can definitely live in Austin for alot less then Florida. Taxes are high but the housing cost is alot lower. I do not live in Austin, I live North of Houston and I do know that Austin is a little more expensive then here but not much. I live 80 miles from Galveston beach and would not live in Austin because it is nowhere near the beach. I prefer Florida to Texas because I Love the beaches and the coastal living . I also have in-laws in Sarasota and bradenton and my sister lives in Clearwater. I am also ready for a change and Houston will always be here if I want to come back. I love all the things in Florida to do and none of it is far. Texas is such a big state. It was 1000 miles from here to clearwater and its 1000 miles from houston to El Paso LOL!
My kids are older and excited for a change also. Having said all that, Texas is a great state and I wopuld never discourage anyone from moving here. I do not like Houston (the city) and would never raise kids there but that is my own personal preference. I think the city is trashy. The area I live in is awesome. I am just bored and ready to go. Where I am you could get a beautiful house with a pool an a gated community if you want(for 375), a brand new with upgrades or an older elegant home. You could look up new home builders such as Pulte to get an idea of what you could get in Austin.
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Old 06-09-2007, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Charlotte at last
128 posts, read 338,657 times
Reputation: 54
Default Thanks skyeangel!

We are excited to check out Austin!!
We have a vacation condo , I may have mentioned in my last post in Long Boat Key, which is right next to Sarasota. Even though the homes are edging down- - we were ready to move there but the prices are absurd. Hopefully you will get something you are looking for and yes, the beaches are glorious! LBK, Siesta Key and Clearwater are some of the best beaches I have seen. I hope you do not get sticker shock- -for what you have in Houston is very expensive in Sarasota or St. Pete. Over 500K easy and if you want to be anywhere near the water, forget it! FYI- - You do not want want to live in Brandenton - -a lot of gangs and not safe!
SC
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Buda, Texas, Montgomery, Texas
796 posts, read 3,197,955 times
Reputation: 265
I am hoping to go to Dunedin, Palm Harbor area, and I already have sticker shock! I will have to lower my standards of living for sure but will not go down until I can afford to live at least close to what I have here. I am willing to pay more if I can afford it but if not, will stay here.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:13 PM
 
32 posts, read 209,942 times
Reputation: 26
I live in St. Pete (45 minutes north of sarasota) and would definitly recommend it. the real estate is cheaper than sarasota but it has the downtown feel to it. Downtown St. Pete is very artsy, quirky, lots of great bars and restaurants and more down-to-earth than sarasota. St. Pete beaches are great although Siesta Key is a little nicer and definitly more upscale. Tampa is sprawling, kind of ugly with a few pockets of cool areas - if you are serious about Tampa I would check out the Hyde Park area - but keep in mind its a good 35-40 minutes to the beaches. I have visited Austin before and its great! Alot of nightlife and beautiful landscape - and better real estate. The people in Texas are real friendly too; but I sure would miss the beach!
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:20 PM
 
14,019 posts, read 27,569,770 times
Reputation: 15539
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagator View Post
I live in St. Pete (45 minutes north of sarasota) and would definitly recommend it. the real estate is cheaper than sarasota but it has the downtown feel to it. Downtown St. Pete is very artsy, quirky, lots of great bars and restaurants and more down-to-earth than sarasota. St. Pete beaches are great although Siesta Key is a little nicer and definitly more upscale. Tampa is sprawling, kind of ugly with a few pockets of cool areas - if you are serious about Tampa I would check out the Hyde Park area - but keep in mind its a good 35-40 minutes to the beaches. I have visited Austin before and its great! Alot of nightlife and beautiful landscape - and better real estate. The people in Texas are real friendly too; but I sure would miss the beach!
As a native of the area, I totally agree with this poster's comments.
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