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Old 03-26-2008, 08:42 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,048 times
Reputation: 10

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I totally agree with you. We relocated here (husband and 3 kids; 7, 5, and 1) this past Jan. from Ohio. We rent in Lithia Fl now and I HATE IT HERE! It is an hour from any beach and the community is "fake". Everything in the development is like Main Street Disney. We are looking to buy in Safety Harbor or Palm Harbor. My husband works in St Petersburg and his commute now is crazy. The schools are a huge issue. Wish me luck!
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:02 PM
 
43 posts, read 239,297 times
Reputation: 35
Sounds like you'll like Dunedin. I can't wait to get out of Westchase. 1 week and counting.

I don't understand how Northerners could move to FL and not be near the water. The moment you get 1-2 miles from the water, everything looks, smells and feels different to me.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:15 PM
 
425 posts, read 1,088,189 times
Reputation: 253
Thumbs up great thread

First of all, this is a very informative thread and I think it is great that people have thoughtfully contributed in such a helpful manner. Hopefully I can leverage some of this.

First, I am a FL native. I grew up in a small town in central FL which had few redeeming qualities other than its proximity to other areas. When I went to college I moved to Jacksonville and stayed for about 10 years. I thought Jax was great- anything beat where I was before.

A couple of years ago we moved to Kauai. For me there has been no higher quality of life that I could imagine, and I have a very interesting job to boot. However for family and cost-of-living reasons we will eventually return to FL. At this point the thought of moving back to Jax is not a pleasant one.

When the time comes, I may have a career opportunity in the St. Pete/Largo area with my existing company. I am intrigued with the thought of living in this area (instead of Jax) for a variety of reasons. Compared to Jax, the beaches are much nicer, the winters are more tolerable (ok, I have THIN blood), more natural beauty&waterfront areas, etc. There appear to be various communities that would be within commute distance, most all of which have been outlined well in this thread.

First, schools: my wife and I are both products of the FL public school system but of course our experience is dated at this point. Our experiences were mixed but we weren't in the best schools. We never thought we'd consider private schools but all kinds of things change when you have a kid- so that option is on the table. I would be interested to here stories from parents who live in this area of FL- how did you make your decisions, how are your kids doing, etc.?

Second, are there areas in commuting distance to Largo where one could have a new house built? Either in a subdivision or vacant lot for sale? If so, where are some places to look? We would basically be looking at spending 400K or less for land and home, and don't want a big yard. I guess this makes us candidates for a "cookie cutter subdivison". Living in a newer area that has reasonable HOA rules has some appeal to us, although this concept can lose its appeal quickly if it becomes too overdone or too "fake".

Third, are home prices really on their way down? Listening to the way the media is portraying the current real estate situation, a person would think they could buy a beach front house for 50K or something However to be honest, looking at things from afar (online MLS searches and such), I haven't seen much change in advertised prices in the FL locations I've browsed.

Thanks a lot, in advance.
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,137 posts, read 8,661,950 times
Reputation: 6108
Default Congratulations on your home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjtoledo View Post
Sounds like you'll like Dunedin. I can't wait to get out of Westchase. 1 week and counting.

I don't understand how Northerners could move to FL and not be near the water. The moment you get 1-2 miles from the water, everything looks, smells and feels different to me.
After reading this thread, you have me excited about this area. We would like to be near the water too. We live on the other coast of FL but my husband loves the Gulf Coast cities. Our kids are 23 and 19 but we have 2 furry babies who would love a walk along the beach! We are in our late 40's, early 50's - do you see many people our age? BTW, we love kids, though.

We want to find a second home for now and eventually it will become our primary. Your price range sounds good for us.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:45 PM
 
19 posts, read 77,786 times
Reputation: 11
I agree, I was not raised in Tampa and am from Boston and love living in Westchase. An area of Westchase called The Greens is so pretty and reminds me of Boston with all the pine trees and then reminds me that I'm in Florida with all the palm trees. The people are super friendly- lots of families with children and dogs and everyone stops to chat and we each remember each other's pets and the parks are great and the schools are wonderful. I really like Dunedin as a place to live if I didn't have to commute to downtown Tampa- that's the problem for me-- Dunedin is a great place and would have been a more minimal culture shock but the commute's the problem. I also love Hyde Park and that reminded me of the Cambridge/Boston area too but it was so expensive. You can buy a great house in Westchase for $390-420K-- prices have dropped. Now that I've lived here about 2 years, I can say that it's 35 minutes to the beach- lush and green, and while it does remind me of Desparate Housewives- and that's what I used to tell folks from home, I love the little WestPark Villiage area and the friendliness here is so wonderful combined with the proximity to other areas and the schools.

Good luck with your choice. It's a tough adjustment in the beginning and if you don't have to commute to Tampa's downtown area, I'd select Dunedin. All your impressions were right on and trust your intuition!

Best of luck to you and hope you have a smooth settling in process!
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:26 AM
 
26 posts, read 88,421 times
Reputation: 21
I am looking at this area to live in also. One thing I keep reading is that you are close to the beach in Palm Harbor and Dunedin, but from Google Earth it doesn't look like there is a beach except for Clearwater.

When I'm hearing close to the beach, is that driving wise? I would really like to live somewhere that the kids can just walk to the beach.

Any recommendations of where in this area you could do that?
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Pinellas County, Florida
123 posts, read 318,536 times
Reputation: 29
The beach near Dunedin is called Honeymoon Island. It has big stretches of nice sandy beach. A short bicycle ride will get you there. Probably not walking distance though,unless your a hiker.I t is $3 per person or $5 per car to get onto the island but well worth it. I beleive you can get yearly passes too. It is less touristy than Clearwater Beach and much quieter. Dunedin has a Scottish flair to it but sadly...no real fish and chips here.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:39 AM
 
26 posts, read 88,421 times
Reputation: 21
So no fried haggis suppers then? Sounds like an opportunity to me!

So I guess that Clearwater beach is still within biking distance then, but just that bit further than Honeymoon Island?
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:27 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,837,974 times
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I wouldn't consider Clearwater within normal biking distance to get to a public beach, but if you are use to biking then you would be OK.
Clearwater is just too crowded IMHO
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: palm harbor
471 posts, read 1,510,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I wouldn't consider Clearwater within normal biking distance to get to a public beach, but if you are use to biking then you would be OK.
Clearwater is just too crowded IMHO
Wouldn't it be about a 6-7 mile bike ride from dunedin to clearwater beach along the trail?
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