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Old 01-03-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,895,646 times
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You may also want to consider South Tampa... it would be a reverse commute. Also, why not spend less on your home and put the kids in Private School?
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaKash View Post
You may also want to consider South Tampa... it would be a reverse commute. Also, why not spend less on your home and put the kids in Private School?
South Tampa is lovely. And there are plenty of excellent private schools to choose from in the Tampa Bay area, especially in the South Tampa area. My sister's daughter attends Academy and her son attended Jesuit. Both are top-notch schools. There are plenty more to choose from. I can give the OP some guidance on that if needed as I am very familiar with most of the private schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:10 PM
 
2,719 posts, read 4,403,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie of Oldsmar View Post
My comment is on East Lake -Aberdeen. I know the schools are good there. I don't have any knowledge of the schools in Westchase so I can't say anything.
Since the OP may be looking at all levels of schools, as far as the schools (Elem-Middle-High), westchase has at least three combination that I know of:

Westchase Elem-Davidsen-Alonso
Deer Park Elem-Farnell-Sickle High
Lowry Elem-Davidsen-Alonso

The westchase elementary is one of the best, followed by Deer Park. While Farnell and Sickle High has a higher rated middle and High School, respectively. So, you would have to choose which one is important, I guess.

All of my rating comments are based on Florida School Rankings here

https://app2.fldoe.org/Ranking/Schools/Default.aspx

If you click the links for Elem, Middle, and High School, you will get the ranking of all Florida schools at each category.

But then again, I believe if you can supplement a little bit what they learn at school, they should be OK no matter where you are. Perhaps less commute can help you in that regard too.

Having great teacher would only help, of course. Our son used to go to Deer Park and we were happy with the teacher. Now he goes to Tampa Palms and I am even more impressed by his teacher. I went to present what I do for a living during "the great American Teach-in" day at my son's class and was very impressed how creative and engaging the students in his class were. Even with the topic that they were not entirely familiar with, they followed and asked a lot of questions. In my over-an-hour interaction with the students and the teacher, I was able to observe how their teacher was great and intelligent. Good for those students .


Good luck
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:27 PM
 
28 posts, read 37,285 times
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Op here - could you tell me areas in south Tampa that are similar in community as east lake (ie newer homes, clean, safe, good schools). I would like to look at the area on a map and zillow. From my experience outside of Boston, private schools are between $20-40k. And with 3 children with each more than 5 years left in school before college, I'm not sure if saving $100k on a house will offset private school tuition.

I went on google maps at 5pm and the commute said to be 1 hour in traffic. But if south Tampa is a similar option, I would like to explore. Is there a specific neighborhood and school district I could research. Right now my wife is stuck on location and schools in east lake / palm harbor. I can deal with an hour commute, but more than that might start driving me crazy.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:43 PM
 
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I am a resident of Temple Terrace, that has a kid that is able to play outside with other kids in the neighborhood in a very safe community. The city of Temple Terrace is actually very small, and 95% of the area in the city limits is very nice. People that say it is not safe are usually thinking about the areas west (Busch Gardens area) or south of the city limits, which is actually Tampa.

It would be AT LEAST an hour commute. If you want a shorter commute, you are better off to the east of Temple Terrace, even Plant City or Lakeland. Within Temple Terrace, in the golf course area, especially along Riverhills Dr, there are a lot of nice homes. Theresa Arbor and Francis Arbor are very nice too. I don't know how old your children are, but those are in the Lewis Elementary district, which is a very, very good school. The middle school, Greco, not so good though, as it takes in a lot of the community in Tampa surrounding Temple Terrace that I mentioned earlier. My middle schooler is in a charter school for that reason.

However, if you are looking for a gated community, you'll have to look outside of Temple Terrace.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:24 AM
 
121 posts, read 186,388 times
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Let's put it in perspective: (Notice how far I am zoomed out)






Attached Thumbnails
Commute and home - Palm Harbor to Temple Terrace-pm-tt.jpg   Commute and home - Palm Harbor to Temple Terrace-lu-tt.jpg   Commute and home - Palm Harbor to Temple Terrace-st-tt.jpg   Commute and home - Palm Harbor to Temple Terrace-nt-tt.jpg  
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,378 posts, read 7,895,646 times
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OP - South Tampa is full of old homes. If you want new, you should look into Wesley Chapel or New Tampa. I believe Wesley Chapel has decent schools. Someone else will be able to provide better insight. We made the move to Tampa from Alaska sight unseen, so I know how you feel. Whatever you do, rent for a year before purchasing a house. You may have to move the kids from a school into a new one after that year because of where you buy. Sure, it's not ideal.... but kids are more resilient than you think.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:55 AM
 
28 posts, read 37,285 times
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Thank you all for the posts. Extremely helpful. Great maps and good advice from FloridaKash. I know, most of our concern is around the kids, but you're right, within a year they'll be fine. Great advice on renting. I hate to do it, but it would provide a great amount of flexibility. Fortunately I'm move in April and family is staying up here to finish school. That will give us April thru July to rent and get a feel as to live, so we may be able to avert moving in and out of schools for a year.

Is it a shorter commute to go back roads and stay north of Tampa?

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:58 AM
 
28 posts, read 37,285 times
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Is it a shorter commute to go north of tampa going Forest Lake Road to Gun Highway to 582 over to Fletcher? Or is the road flooded with lights and traffic?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:04 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 1,488,949 times
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Looking at Algia's maps, you may want to check out New Tampa. I don't know much about the schools there, but I do know the area is nice with many newer homes. Algia does an amazing job with those maps!

Quote:
Op here - could you tell me areas in south Tampa that are similar in community as east lake (ie newer homes, clean, safe, good schools). I would like to look at the area on a map and zillow. From my experience outside of Boston, private schools are between $20-40k. And with 3 children with each more than 5 years left in school before college, I'm not sure if saving $100k on a house will offset private school tuition.
Wow. That's crazy expensive! Private schools here are typically not over $20K per year. We pay about 8K annually for my son's school and a little over 10K annually for my daughter's. Both are excellent schools. We do have to sacrifice to afford these schools, but we believe it is a small price to pay for ensuring that they are receiving an excellent education in an environment where the teachers and administration and the parents make the decisions guiding the school … especially in regarding curriculum. We also love that our children are surrounded by families with the same goals and values we have.


You'll pay a bit more for private schools in Hillsborough County. I believe my sister pays about $12K annually for her daughter to attend Academy. They paid about $13K annually for Jesuit.

Last edited by floridagirl777; 01-04-2013 at 07:18 AM..
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