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Old 02-26-2019, 03:25 AM
 
79 posts, read 210,546 times
Reputation: 56

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Hi all. My husband and I are planning a move from Boston to Florida and need help with cities and neighborhoods to look at. I am originally from New England, my husband is from England, and my family now lives in Sebring and Bradenton FL, so we are thinking that the Tampa Bay area is right for us.

About us: We are both in our late 40s. I don't work currently and my husband will be leaving a long time career to purse an online business. We love to travel, and will visit England several times a year so proximity to a major airport is important. Youngest of our children is in college in California, so the schools are not important to us. Fitness and healthy living is important. We are vegans, which I mention only because I'd like to be near organic food stores and independent restaurants/coffee shops that tend to be more vegan friendly than chain restaurants.

We are planning to buy a house. Budget is up to $500K for the right place, but would prefer to spend in the mid $300s max. Here is what we are looking for:
  • 2-3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Short drive/walk or bike to beach
  • Nearby walking trails
  • Low crime area
  • Yard with room to plant a vegetable garden
  • Caged pool
  • Garage
  • A bit of privacy from neighbors. I don't expect to find acres of land, I just don't want to share walls or live where houses are completely packed together.
  • Prefer to live without an HOA, unless its one that's not super restrictive.

We also don't want to be surrounded by only retirees (we're too young for that) or by 20 year olds (we're too old for that). Basically, an area with a good mix of young and old would be perfect.

We zeroed in on the Sarasota area and we've seen homes in the South Gate Estates, South Sarasota and Ridge Wood Heights area that look interesting. Does anyone have feedback on these areas or other suggestions? I'm also intrigued by St. Petersburg, even though I know I'd probably lose a couple of things on my list in order to live there. We are planning to visit a few areas in the coming weeks.

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:18 AM
 
15,189 posts, read 31,126,156 times
Reputation: 18359
I live in Sarasota and if you can find what you are looking for house wise, I highly recommend. This is a small cultural city with a whole lot of organic food options in the form of stores (we have every single organic chain, sometimes two of them, small independent organic stores, a few farms, etc.) There are colleges here, Ringling Museum and of course award winning beaches. It would take me too long to list all the amenities of the area.

I would recommend Gulf Gate, you will probably need to spend near the top of your budget, housing is expensive here and there is a lot of competition for the best places. South Gate is nice also, maybe Arlington Park. Good luck, hope this helps!
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:20 AM
 
79 posts, read 210,546 times
Reputation: 56
Thank you for your reply. It sounds like Sarasota should have what we are looking for. We are planning to head down to see the neighborhoods in person in a few weeks. Can't wait!
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:53 AM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
2,863 posts, read 1,791,382 times
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Since you live in Boston and have the benefit of decent routes and fares out of your airport, and you say that travel is very important, MAKE SURE you look into the average fares and routes available out of Tampa Intl. Airport or Sarasota. In my experience routes are very limited and fares are high. You might be shocked at how limited our routes are and how pricey our fares are.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:36 PM
 
79 posts, read 210,546 times
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Yes, we have and our flights to London will be limited to/from any Florida airport with the exception of Miami. Miami is the only airport with direct flights to Heathrow. Tampa and Orlando only fly to Gatwick. That said, I'd rather live near Tampa than Miami so we'll just have to make do with that. Prices aren't horrific if we book in advance.

Flying to and from Europe is much easier and affordable from Boston for sure but we pay a small fortune to live here in a condo. I'd rather own a house in Florida and pay a little more for flights (and fewer taxes)
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,407 posts, read 2,506,029 times
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ON the note of flights, I just booked two flights for this year, one in May, one in Sept from TPA to LGW - $550 average
return on BA, but Norweigan with newer planes is only like $5 more when comparing like for like. The competition has
lowered fares dramatically, can't say for how long, but I was traveling via Orlando which was a pain to save money, but now Virgin is much higher than these, it can only help having more flights in and out. I agree about Miami!
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:25 AM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
2,863 posts, read 1,791,382 times
Reputation: 2697
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPTNH08 View Post
Yes, we have and our flights to London will be limited to/from any Florida airport with the exception of Miami. Miami is the only airport with direct flights to Heathrow. Tampa and Orlando only fly to Gatwick. That said, I'd rather live near Tampa than Miami so we'll just have to make do with that. Prices aren't horrific if we book in advance.

Flying to and from Europe is much easier and affordable from Boston for sure but we pay a small fortune to live here in a condo. I'd rather own a house in Florida and pay a little more for flights (and fewer taxes)
OK great. Glad you have done your due diligence!
Prices out of TPA to Europe aren't horrific if you book in advance, true, but they are still much higher than BOS and the routes will SUCK.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:34 AM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
2,863 posts, read 1,791,382 times
Reputation: 2697
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPTNH08 View Post
Hi all. My husband and I are planning a move from Boston to Florida and need help with cities and neighborhoods to look at. I am originally from New England, my husband is from England, and my family now lives in Sebring and Bradenton FL, so we are thinking that the Tampa Bay area is right for us.

About us: We are both in our late 40s. I don't work currently and my husband will be leaving a long time career to purse an online business. We love to travel, and will visit England several times a year so proximity to a major airport is important. Youngest of our children is in college in California, so the schools are not important to us. Fitness and healthy living is important. We are vegans, which I mention only because I'd like to be near organic food stores and independent restaurants/coffee shops that tend to be more vegan friendly than chain restaurants.

We are planning to buy a house. Budget is up to $500K for the right place, but would prefer to spend in the mid $300s max. Here is what we are looking for:
  • 2-3 bedrooms/2 bath
  • Short drive/walk or bike to beach
  • Nearby walking trails
  • Low crime area
  • Yard with room to plant a vegetable garden
  • Caged pool
  • Garage
  • A bit of privacy from neighbors. I don't expect to find acres of land, I just don't want to share walls or live where houses are completely packed together.
  • Prefer to live without an HOA, unless its one that's not super restrictive.

We also don't want to be surrounded by only retirees (we're too young for that) or by 20 year olds (we're too old for that). Basically, an area with a good mix of young and old would be perfect.

We zeroed in on the Sarasota area and we've seen homes in the South Gate Estates, South Sarasota and Ridge Wood Heights area that look interesting. Does anyone have feedback on these areas or other suggestions? I'm also intrigued by St. Petersburg, even though I know I'd probably lose a couple of things on my list in order to live there. We are planning to visit a few areas in the coming weeks.

Thanks!
Regarding Sarasota. It feels a lot older to me than Tampa/St. Pete. I think you guys would be very happy in St. Pete. And it's concordant with all of your criteria.

Just prepare to lower your standards from Boston. The restaurants/vegan scene in Boston metro is much better than in Florida. Tampa/St. Pete is where the chain restaurant was not only practically born but perfected.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:33 AM
 
15,189 posts, read 31,126,156 times
Reputation: 18359
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinatras View Post
Regarding Sarasota. It feels a lot older to me than Tampa/St. Pete. I think you guys would be very happy in St. Pete. And it's concordant with all of your criteria.

Just prepare to lower your standards from Boston. The restaurants/vegan scene in Boston metro is much better than in Florida. Tampa/St. Pete is where the chain restaurant was not only practically born but perfected.
Well, they are actually in the demographic for Sarasota. Oddly enough, I find that St. Pete is younger in the downtown, while much older everywhere else in the city, kind of the opposite in Sarasota - although Sarasota does have a mix of ages despite what people here seem to think. I still feel Sarasota would be the top choice based on their requirements. Of course they should visit both cities for themselves to decide. I definitely love St. Pete too, but much prefer the smaller size and better beaches of Sarasota.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:47 AM
 
79 posts, read 210,546 times
Reputation: 56
Thanks for everyone's feedback.

Regarding flights, I feel a slighter higher cost in flights is manageable given the dramatically lower COL in Florida vs. Boston. If we were to stay here in Boston and buy a home/condo, it would cost us at least $1M, plus high monthly HOAs. Prior to living in Boston we lived outside of San Francisco for 10 years, and Boston seems cheap by comparison. Looking in Florida, prices seem like an absolute bargain . I can handle slightly higher flight costs for a lower cost home. We do also have the option to fly in/out of Orlando. My parents live inland, south of MCO and we could always drive to them and have them drop us at MCO. Not sure it will be needed but at least we have options.

The vegan food scene in Boston is quite good, and I will miss it, but I am looking forward to having my own garden in Florida and growing much of what we eat. We honestly don't eat out a lot anyway - maybe once a week - and I'm sure we'll find some good options in the area.

I know Florida will be quite different from Boston. The summer heat is the only thing I'm concerned about, but that's what A/C is for, right?

I'm open to any other suggestions on cities or towns that might meet our requirements. Right now, we're liking Sarasota based on what we've seen. St. Pete looks very nice, but also compact with small lots. I'm ready for a little space.
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