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Old 09-12-2011, 03:39 PM
Location: Washington DC
1 posts, read 28,027 times
Reputation: 13


My wife and I recently sold our home in the Washington DC area. It was only on the market for two days and we had several offers. The person who purchased it offered full price (it was the first person who looked at it.) We didn't even have a chance to have an open house. Even though We didn't get what we would have gotten at the peak of the market a few years ago but we did much better than if we had sold it a year ago. Prices in the area are up 10% just in the last 6 months. Hopefully the rest of the country will also start doing better soon.

We are considering moving to the Tampa Bay area and need some advice on where to start looking for a new house. The last time I was in Tampa was probably 25 years ago.

We want a single family home as we already own a condo as a second home in West Palm Beach and even though we like condo living we want something larger without the excessive fees.

My wife and I are fortunate that we are able to work remotely but need to be close to an International Airport (no more than 30-45 minutes).

We prefer either a new home (less than 1-2 years old) or home that was built in 1920-1930 which has been renovated. Every home we have owned for the last 30 years has been custom built and even though we don't rule this out, based on the current real estate market, it may make more since to buy a home that that is already completed.

We are thinking of something that is 5,000 to 7,000 square feet either on the gulf, a canal or river. We have a boat which we will be relocating to the area so a dock (40-50 feet) is a must. We don't like cookie cutter houses and want something with character. Even though normally it is just my wife and myself we frequently have guests and love to entertain. If it is more than one floor, it must have an elevator (planning for the future). Other things we are looking for include security cameras, pool, wood/marble floors, professional kitchen, 4+ bedrooms, at least 12' ceilings on first level, 3+ car garage and generator.

My wife would really like to have a cabana house but it is not a requirement.

Since eventually this will become the house we use in retirement, we want to make sure we take our time and pick the right place. We are putting all of our furniture in storage and will be staying in our West Palm Beach place until we find a place so there is no rush.

I found what I thought was the ideal house but when I inquired about it the agent said even though the house was beautiful you had to go through bad areas to get there.

The agent recommended Apollo Beach or Tierra Verde but it may have been because he had listings in guises areas.

Any recommendations? We are going to take our first house hunting trip in two weeks.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:20 PM
13,773 posts, read 33,896,767 times
Reputation: 10560
South Tampa NOG (North of Gandy) or Davis Island would be my suggestion. Close to the airport and close to shopping and restaurants. Many big older homes that have nice yards and are on the bay. Bayshore Beautiful in one nab that comes to mind but there are many other. There is at least one that is gated and has a guard.

Terra Verde is nice but I think it is more than 40 mins to TPA.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:38 AM
Location: Clearwater, Florida
70 posts, read 152,656 times
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There aren't a lot of houses with all the things you want in the area so that narrow things down. I looked in the MLS for everything currently available that had 5000-7000 sq. ft., on the Gulf, Canal with a dock, pool, 12 ft. or higher ceilings on the first floor and elevator or possibility of one and a professional kitchen and there were really only about 15 that fit those criteria or came close. Didn't think it would be smart to try to list 'good areas' if they wouldn't have the type of house you want.

I'll list the addresses of the 15 I found (none are my listings since I'm almost exclusively a buyer's agent) and if you want me to send the listings to you just send me a private message. But with the addresses you can also look them up on your own. Of the ones in here, the best areas would be Belleair (Belleview Island), Harbour Island, Gulfport (Kipps Colony & Pasadena Point Estates), Clearwater Beach (Mandalay), Palm Harbor (Ozona Shores), Belleair Bluffs (Harbor Bluffs). Tierra Verde is nice but like Keeper wrote is further away from things. Some of the other areas are nice - it would just depend on what you think of them. Of these, the ones on Davis Island and Harbour Island would have access to Tampa Bay and the others to the Gulf (either directly or via the Intracoastal Waterway). David Island would be good but didn't have anything come up with all your criteria. The 12 ft. ceilings on the first floor eliminated quite a few (and even some of these might not work - hard to tell from some of the pictures).

In order of increasing price:
6109 Pasadena Pt. Blvd. S., Gulfport
7137 Pelican Island Dr., Tampa
1612 Culbreath Isles Dr., Tampa
420 Coffee Pot Riviera NE, St. Petersburg
4919 W. Melrose Ave. S. (also shows as 4919 S. Melrose Ave), Tampa
2505 N Dundee St., Tampa
434 St. Andrews Dr., Belleair
927 Anchorage Rd., Tampa (Harbour Island)
435 Buttonwood Lane, Belleair Bluffs
2809 Kipps Colony Dr. S., Gulfport
108 10th St. E., Tierra Verde
821 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach
12 W. Spanish Main St., Tampa
4908 Troydale Rd., Tampa
201 Shore Dr., Palm Harbor

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Old 09-24-2011, 08:22 AM
136 posts, read 467,095 times
Reputation: 119
I would consider New Tampa area...Corey Lake Isles and Tampa Palms both offer exquiste housing options in your square footage range. New Tampa is upscale and offers movie theatres, shopping, and endless restaurants. It is close to the hospital and many top doctors. However, it is at least a 45 min drive to any beach and probably 35-40 mins. to the airport. It is one of the nicest areas in Tampa. I have heard good things about Westchase too, but I am not familiar with it.
Are you stuck on Tampa? If you aren't you might consider Sarasota as well. It has its' own airport, a beautiful downtown district, arts, shopping, restaurants, boating and the most beautiful beaches in the U.S. If my kids weren't already in school I would probably consider Sarasota as one of my top choices. Otherwise, if you are stuck on Tampa consider New Tampa.
The traffic is bad in the morning commute in New Tampa, but if you work from home that will not be a problem for you. They are adding lanes to the main road in and out of New Tampa so that should help as well.
Some restaurants & shopping etc: Muvico Movies, Home Depot, Lowe's, BJ's, PetSMart, Michael's Crafts, Target, Wal-Mart, LEe Roy Selmon's Rest., Olive Garden, TGI Friday's, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Stonewood Grill, Kobe, and so many more I cannot list them all. There are so many restaurants here that you could literally eat out all the time. This is a great area for conveniences! Good luck to you.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:46 AM
4 posts, read 32,889 times
Reputation: 12
I have seen numerous requests for info on the best places, the safest places, to live in the Tampa St Pete area. I just want to know where I need to satay away from. Every city/town has crime and every city has an area that is less desireable and not a place you want to raise small children. So, where are the less desirable areas in the Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater area??? Where can I get the most bang for my buck?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:28 PM
1,106 posts, read 1,952,202 times
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Originally Posted by Spooky08 View Post
I would consider New Tampa area...

Are you stuck on Tampa? If you aren't you might consider Sarasota as well. It has its' own airport
Neither of these are appropriate.

New Tampa is nowhere near navigable water, nor is it convenient to the airport.

Sarasota is 60-75 minutes from TIA. Its airport is a joke and continues to lose flights.

I've seen a couple of the houses on that list. The Tierra Verde property has been on the market since 2008, the year it was built. The original asking price was about $4M. It's now $2.895M. I'm guessing it was a spec house that has never been lived in.

I'm not 100% sure about the Coffee Pot house, but I'm pretty sure that most of the "waterfront" homes on Coffee Pot are not waterfront, but waterview. The homes are actually across a major thoroughfare from a public walkway and private docks. Your land does not actually touch water.

If you want 5000+ sq ft on Davis Islands, you are going to have to buy a knockdown a build on the site, a la Derek Jeter. There are only a handful of homes that size.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:30 PM
Location: Toledo, OH
1,725 posts, read 2,994,598 times
Reputation: 1273
I would also look at Safety Harbor, East Lake, and Tarpon Springs. I just looked at a couple in Tarpon Springs (530 Austin Dr and 500 N Highland Ave) that may meet what you are looking for.
These aren't my listings, so not trying to push anything on you. There are a lot of options within 45 minutes of the Airport. I just looked quickly at the ones around the water. Good luck and oh by the way, supposed to be low to mid 90's by the middle of next week!
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:51 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,130,099 times
Reputation: 1492
Luckily nowhere in Tampa is as bad as SE DC, Anacostia, Navy Yard or some of the other hellholes around DC and PG County, MD...

Stay away from North Tampa, West Tampa, and anything North of Kennedy, South of Bearss and East of Himes
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:00 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,946,828 times
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Originally Posted by crazynip View Post
Luckily nowhere in Tampa is as bad as SE DC, Anacostia, Navy Yard or some of the other hellholes around DC and PG County, MD...

Stay away from North Tampa, West Tampa, and anything North of Kennedy, South of Bearss and East of Himes
No but there are several areas of Tampa that look as bad as SE DC, especially since SE and Anacostia are reversing their trend of decay and on their way up. Still have a loooooooong way to go though.

I feel about PG County the way I feel about Columbus Ave. and the ghetto due north of downtown - nuke it, start over.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:51 PM
1 posts, read 23,713 times
Reputation: 13
Interested in moving to the tampa area... Im looking for a great elementary school a great daycare short commute to shopping dining and work... Also a safe city for my 7 year old and 3 month old... Please help...
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