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Old 10-16-2011, 07:53 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,780 times
Reputation: 15

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We all see people that want to know if Tampa is boring, or where the good neighborhoods are, if they should move from where they currently are, etc.

If you have moved to Tampa and have lived here for about 2 years or less, post your story!

Start with where you came from
why you wanted to move
your thoughts of Tampa before you moved

... Lets talk about the whole story here

How life was when you first got here, the ups and downs
Do you like it here
was it a good move or bad
where do you like to spend time
in 5 years where are you going to live
basically, are you happy?

You dont have to respond to my thoughts, lets be creative and just tell a story!
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:13 PM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,319,003 times
Reputation: 5771
Here's the cool thing about the greater Tampa area: it offers unparallelled variety in lifestyles. Beach villages, big city, gated new suburbia, old suburbia, small town, on the gulf or bay or intercoastal or river, homes, condos, apartments. So you ought to get a wide variety of responses.

We were looking for a place to split time between home and business up north (the midwest) and future home in the sun. We like small-town living near the city so that's what we looked for. Our research led us to Mt Dora the first time, visited, it didn't work for us and wasn't right. Then back home, found Dunedin/Tarpon Springs, read and read about it (thanks C-D and other sources), visited both, loved one and bought, condo is perfect for us--and very affordable.

Love it here! We have about eight months experience in all, spread over two years. Been to some of the museums in the area, Broadway shows in Tampa, the big art show in Dunedin, free concerts in the park, walking/biking on the PInellas Trail, and to the beach nearly every clear evening to watch the sun set, dolphins, birds fishing, fish jumping. Everything we need retail-wise is closer to us here than up north; we hardly put any miles on. And there are a lot of great restaurants, very reasonably priced. Climate is exactly right for us (and yes, we've been here in the high-heat season).

We like it so much we are trying to figure out the feasibility of making the permanent move. Business and kids up north complicate the issue. Climate was the main draw, but we've been pleasantly surprised by the amenities of the greater Tampa metro area.

But that's just us.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 1,939,728 times
Reputation: 993
came from dc. sick of the cost of living and frozen winters. like it here but at the end of the day i feel like tampa should/could be so much more than it is. this is something that we never could have realized until we tried living here, so in that respect we have no regrets about moving here. i doubt we'll stay in florida long term though. we're going to stay at least 2 years and if we like it, we'll buy something. otherwise we're heading west.

one thing i instantly appreciated about this area was how laid back it is, which is especially apparent when we go back up to dc to visit family/friends.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Brandon, FL
295 posts, read 1,285,664 times
Reputation: 288
Moved here from rural-ish Oklahoma, so it was an improvement right away. I lived in Tallahassee for a few years, but always wanted to live in a hockey town. If I would have known that Tampa residents barely support their local sports teams, I would have went back to Tally instead. Tampa is close enough to Tallahassee and Miami so I can visit all my friends in both places, and earn a decent income.

The cost of living here was cheaper in many aspects, albeit more expensive in gas and beer. Not quite a fair trade-off... I definitely underestimated the humidity, and am still sweating completely through my clothes when I go outside for longer than a couple of minutes. I am sure I will acclimate eventually. I had about six months to hang around and do nothing before I started looking for work, so I was outside a lot. There is a lot to do here if you look for it. Now that I am working, I am indoors all day, and now the weather is getting nicer. Bummer.

It took a couple of tries to figure out the traffic between my home and work, but I think I have it down now. The Turnpike is great for avoiding the fatal mix of teenagers and octogenarians on the city streets. Very few people drive courteously here. Those who do are driving ten miles an hour slower than the speed limit, causing road rage from those who drive 20 miles an hour faster than the speed limit.

I love the sidewalks and Bayshore Boulevard. If there were more forested running trails longer than a couple miles, yet not a 20-minute drive away, this would be a perfect running city.

Five years from now I will most likely be in another state. Having served in the military for a long time, I have the uncontrollable urge to move every few years. I will be able to say that I liked my time in Tampa; but I will probably look for a town/city a little less noisy. It seems like there is absolutely no place from Valrico to St. Petersburg to escape the constant sound of traffic, except on a Sunday morning at 3am.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:36 PM
 
385 posts, read 937,643 times
Reputation: 248
I came from Upstate SC. I moved down to go to the University of South Florida for grad school. I visited Tampa once before coming, and had a mixed impression. I went to Fort De Soto beach on a Saturday and thought it was great but the most crowded beach I'd ever been to. The city was strange to me because there wasn't much downtown and neighborhoods changed very quickly from nice to sketchy (everything is in Ybor or South Tampa, basically). I think before I moved, I thought Tampa was maybe bigger than it actually is. Not so different than where I came from, really. Kind of provincial but there is enough to do.

When I first moved I was very homesick. I had lived in a very rural place and missed it. I missed being able to walk in the woods or go out on the lake, and I missed being able to buy groceries at the local produce stand. I was used to spending most of my free time pursuing outdoorsy activities like hiking or mountain biking in the nearby mountains so I felt homesick for that. I've grown to like it more in Florida, though, since moving. On weekends, I love to take a daytrip to Dunedin, stop at downtown and go to the Dunedin Brewery and then go to Honeymoon Island. The beach there is rocky but you can easily get away from the crowds, without having to get on a ferry. I also love the neighborhood where I'm living, Seminole Heights, in Tampa. There is nothing like it where I used to live. Very distinct. It is very progressive, open and youthful with a strong sense of community (Not for everybody based on what I've seen on these boards, though.) I don't see myself staying in Florida for much longer than graduation and will hopefully return to a more mountainous area with better hiking. However I will miss the cool season in Florida, the beaches here, and some of the culture and nightlife. It is a great place to spend a few years while in school... Tampa feels like a very all-american city... very middle-america, in a good way. Probably the best city to live in in Florida.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,780 times
Reputation: 15
Wow thanks for all the great responses! Its nice to see some positive posts in this forum!

Can't wait to hear from more of you out there! Don't be shy!!
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,924 posts, read 36,041,248 times
Reputation: 9464
One of the more interesting Tampa threads!
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,870,480 times
Reputation: 2926
Moved here about a year in a half ago from Alaska. (Drove the whole way, details are in my Blog in my profile) We could have moved anywhere in the country but decided we wanted Florida after spending 1 1/2 months in Orlando and the Caribbean. Did a lot of research, decided we wanted to live on the Gulf side due to Hurricanes and the cost of living. Tampa Bay was the only decent sized metro region on this side that was not in the pan handle. Moved here sight unseen.

Rented a little 1600+ SF 3BD home in Seminole. Picked the area based on its location to the beaches and the schools it was assigned to. Enjoyed the location and the feel in that part of Pinellas. Always seemed sunny with a sea breeze and the ocean birds flying around. Th eneighborhood was full of empty nesters and retirees so it wasn't the best neighborhood for my kids. We decided that Tampa Bay and Florida was indeed for us and began house shopping.

Real Estate and insurance is pretty high in that area of Pinellas so we broadened our search. Found a nice community in NorthWest Tampa called Northdale. Was able to purchase a house that plenty large enough for us until the kids leave home at a price we can afford. The neighborhood is kid friendly and we are already making friends and the kids love playing outside with the scores of other kids around.

With 3 kids in school, moving, working, going to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island WaterPark and Seaworld (Season Pass Holders to all 3) along with entertaining friends and family that come and visit, plus the beaches we are never bored. We spend an ample amount of time in the pool and frequently watch movies while sitting in the hottub on the weekends. I really want a boat!

Since we have lived here we have been to Freeport, Bahamas for New Years. Gone on a cruise and have done several things with the kids in Orlando (Nickelodeon Hotel for fun, Waterpark Hotel for Daughters Birthday, DisneyWorld with Family, Universal Studios with Family). Friends came down and took me to the Daytona 500. Seen a Rays Game during the Concert Series. Camping at Disney with the family on a Boy Scout trip.

Lots of other things I would like to do and will get there eventually. Driving down to the Keys and camping there for a few days is definitely on the list along with another cruise along with visiting many other areas of the Caribbean.

Where do I plan on being in 5 years? Exactly where I am now. I am happy and enjoy it here.


Negative things -

Veterans Expressway traffic sucks. What a ripoff paying a toll to sit in traffic... yet it's still a bit faster than other routes.

Strange how certain areas go from bad neighborhood to good neighborhoods in such a short distance.

Lots of bugs. Easy to manage as long as you keep on top of it, but it is another chore... or expense if you have a service take care of you.

Winters are colder than expected.... for a few weeks (at least last year and the year before were!)

Hard to find decent contractors/service personnel. Most do not show, many do not show or call, almost nobody shows up on time. Quality of work is poor.

Economy is bad and everyone around here blames any sort of negative thing on it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
175 posts, read 296,868 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaKash View Post
Moved here about a year in a half ago from Alaska. (Drove the whole way, details are in my Blog in my profile) We could have moved anywhere in the country but decided we wanted Florida after spending 1 1/2 months in Orlando and the Caribbean. Did a lot of research, decided we wanted to live on the Gulf side due to Hurricanes and the cost of living. Tampa Bay was the only decent sized metro region on this side that was not in the pan handle. Moved here sight unseen.

Rented a little 1600+ SF 3BD home in Seminole. Picked the area based on its location to the beaches and the schools it was assigned to. Enjoyed the location and the feel in that part of Pinellas. Always seemed sunny with a sea breeze and the ocean birds flying around. Th eneighborhood was full of empty nesters and retirees so it wasn't the best neighborhood for my kids. We decided that Tampa Bay and Florida was indeed for us and began house shopping.

Real Estate and insurance is pretty high in that area of Pinellas so we broadened our search. Found a nice community in NorthWest Tampa called Northdale. Was able to purchase a house that plenty large enough for us until the kids leave home at a price we can afford. The neighborhood is kid friendly and we are already making friends and the kids love playing outside with the scores of other kids around.

With 3 kids in school, moving, working, going to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island WaterPark and Seaworld (Season Pass Holders to all 3) along with entertaining friends and family that come and visit, plus the beaches we are never bored. We spend an ample amount of time in the pool and frequently watch movies while sitting in the hottub on the weekends. I really want a boat!

Since we have lived here we have been to Freeport, Bahamas for New Years. Gone on a cruise and have done several things with the kids in Orlando (Nickelodeon Hotel for fun, Waterpark Hotel for Daughters Birthday, DisneyWorld with Family, Universal Studios with Family). Friends came down and took me to the Daytona 500. Seen a Rays Game during the Concert Series. Camping at Disney with the family on a Boy Scout trip.

Lots of other things I would like to do and will get there eventually. Driving down to the Keys and camping there for a few days is definitely on the list along with another cruise along with visiting many other areas of the Caribbean.

Where do I plan on being in 5 years? Exactly where I am now. I am happy and enjoy it here.


Negative things -

Veterans Expressway traffic sucks. What a ripoff paying a toll to sit in traffic... yet it's still a bit faster than other routes.

Strange how certain areas go from bad neighborhood to good neighborhoods in such a short distance.

Lots of bugs. Easy to manage as long as you keep on top of it, but it is another chore... or expense if you have a service take care of you.

Winters are colder than expected.... for a few weeks (at least last year and the year before were!)

Hard to find decent contractors/service personnel. Most do not show, many do not show or call, almost nobody shows up on time. Quality of work is poor.

Economy is bad and everyone around here blames any sort of negative thing on it.

Hey FloridaKash

I think it's awesome that you've had such a positive experience. If you don't mind me asking, were you able to secure work in FL while you were in Alaska or was it a non-issue?

I would definitely like to follow in your steps and move back to the bay area but can't commit since the local economy is so bad.

Even still, glad it worked out for you and your family. All the best
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:28 AM
 
378 posts, read 722,056 times
Reputation: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by kocokorea1 View Post
Wow thanks for all the great responses! Its nice to see some positive posts in this forum!

Can't wait to hear from more of you out there! Don't be shy!!
The first two years are usually OK, but even in these posts there negatives mentioned. You'll love it the first few months, it's like a vacation. We all know the positives but as time goes on you learn about the negatives. For some it's an OK trade off but for many, they decide to leave the state. That's disruptive and expensive. Next year hurricane season could be a busy one. The last 2 years were very quiet. The last record hurricane years were 2004 and 2005. Could happen any year again and these same happy posters could then see things totally different.
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