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Old 07-13-2014, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
877 posts, read 1,774,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SULAW2015 View Post
Lake St. Charles is where I live. It has a large community pool, walking paths, and community center. It also is a CDD, but is 20 minutes closer to Tampa. I drive to downtown Tampa in 22 minutes at 8am. The drive from Fishhawk is double that.
Isn't that zoned for a bad middle and high school though? Guinta Middle and Spoto High School? Maybe I'm thinking of a different area.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
877 posts, read 1,774,035 times
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I don't think you can really go wrong with either one. We were out at Fishhawk today looking at houses and we just love the area. You can't beat the schools and it is so family friendly. The last place we lived had huge HOA fees so we love how much cheaper the HOA fees are in Fishhawk.

I've only seen Lakeshore Ranch once, so I can't say too much about it, but I think it is very similar to Fishhawk.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:50 PM
 
173 posts, read 416,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewabby View Post
Isn't that zoned for a bad middle and high school though? Guinta Middle and Spoto High School? Maybe I'm thinking of a different area.
It is, yes poor public schools. But we are public school adverse. Our kids are in private school.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,970 posts, read 5,506,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefanie123 View Post
We are very fortunate in that the commute is not a massive issue. My husband will be setting up a new office down there, so he'll work from home initially, and then will look to rent premises somewhere nearby. He has a sales partner in Sarasota, but he'll only need to be making the commute there maybe once a week, so he's ok with up to an hours drive there if necessary.

I'm happy to hear that the schools in Fishhawk get good reviews. As a teacher myself it's a big priority. And yes, children can be terribly cruel!

Thanks all for your input!
Stefanie.
Sarasota would be a 45 minute drive from Fishhawk, maybe a little longer depending on exactly where in Sarasota he was going.

I'm not talking about reviews, I'm talking about ratings from the state! Colleen Bevis Elementary has been consistently rated one of the top elementary schools in the state. Fishhawk Creek Elementary is very well rated as are Stowers Elementary and Barrington and Randall middle schools. Newsome High School is an excellent high school or both academics and sports.

I worked for the school district and these schools were some of the schools I was responsible for. Definitely some of the best in the District. Understand that in Florida school districts are county-wide, not local in the sense of belonging to a town/city or township like they are in other parts of the country. Hillsborough County School District is the eighth largest school district in the nation, with over 200,000 students.

Lots of opportunities for substitute teaching in the neighborhood if you have some time on your hands, too. Doesn't pay that well, but in the long term if you're looking at returning to teaching it will give you an "in" for the better openings.

RM
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,970 posts, read 5,506,795 times
Reputation: 5735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewabby View Post
I don't think you can really go wrong with either one. We were out at Fishhawk today looking at houses and we just love the area. You can't beat the schools and it is so family friendly. The last place we lived had huge HOA fees so we love how much cheaper the HOA fees are in Fishhawk.

I've only seen Lakeshore Ranch once, so I can't say too much about it, but I think it is very similar to Fishhawk.
The HOA fees may be lower, but pay close attention to the CDD fees. Those are several thousand dollars annually the last time I checked. That adds a couple hundred dollars or more to your monthly mortgage payment....

Here is the proposed budget for the CDD for next fiscal year. Scroll down to the "FISCAL YEAR 2014/2015 O&M & DEBT SERVICE ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE" and you can see the CDD fees. Looks like they're based on lot size and range from around $2400/year to as much as almost $3000/year.

Ouch.

RM
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:36 AM
 
26 posts, read 49,447 times
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That's good to know about the substitute teaching, thanks!
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Lithia, FL
50 posts, read 84,861 times
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Fishhawk is a nice community. We moved here primarily because of the excellent schools. Great community for the kids. We noticed somewhat of a caste system when we first moved here, but seems like it doesn't happen anymore. We do live in the original section, and I love it. Not as busy or as much vandalism as the other sections. That being said, as soon as my youngest graduates, we plan to move. We are renting, and had planned to buy the year after we moved here. We've since decided we don't want to own here. The commute to get anywhere is crazy. They are building a brand new section out by mosiac, even though our schools are already at capacity. There's basically two ways into the area, and traffic is already congested enough in the mornings. I can't imagine what it will be like when the new section is full.
Also, please do pay attention to the CDD fees, they are quite high. HOA fees are relatively low, the CDD fees are where they get you.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great community to raise a family, just not where I want to someday retire.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:59 AM
 
248 posts, read 489,088 times
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Both are very nice. FishHawk has a nice pool, and Brandon Mall, and close to Tampa airport and Tampa International Mall. But parents lived in FishHawk, but my vote is for Lakewood Ranch. I lived there for 5 years. My daughter went to the schools there. We felt safe, nice people, nice area. Close to Sarasota, Siesta Beach, etc.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:26 PM
 
434 posts, read 476,550 times
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I helped build parts of Fishhawk (The "Town Center" part), and used to be a superintendent for a GC (Halfacre) in Lakewood Ranch. I'm familiar with both, especially in terms of driving conditions from these locations to other locations.

Unless you specifically want to be up closer to Tampa where you have better access to central Florida amenities (like the airports in Tampa and Orlando, concert venues, theme parks, stadiums, etc), then I would avoid SE Hillsborough and go with Lakewood Ranch.
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