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Old 04-20-2008, 04:34 PM
1,832 posts, read 4,563,781 times
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I live in the Carrollwood area and think it's great--not far from Westchase, in the NW area. It's a great area for families and I think it's better developed than New Tampa, which has ONE way in and out--Bruce B Downs. It just feels very congested to me.

In Carrollwood/NW Tampa you will be near Target and several good private schools as well as pretty solid public schools.

Westchase is a good bet--try 33626. You can also try Odessa and Lutz--I love Odessa (33556). We're in 33625. Carrollwood Village is CHARMING and is very close to Starbucks, Target, Barnes & Noble AND Borders, groceries, and more. I think it' 33618.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:31 PM
10 posts, read 118,488 times
Reputation: 23
Westchase is nice, but you'll get more bang for your buck in New Tampa. I moved here 5 years ago from NJ, and have never been at a loss for a place to shop or eat. We have all of the big boxes, with endless eating opportunities. Roads are being upgraded so the driving nightmare is subsiding. There are still a lot of people up this way, so there is traffic. There are top notch schools in every area as well. We have a teenager who's involved in everything and getting a good education. You'll love it here no matter where you end up. Our zip is 33647.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:09 PM
Location: Philly to Odessa
436 posts, read 1,212,921 times
Reputation: 177
I'll give a 2nd for Odessa....beautiful, clean, family oriented, and safe. I have been very happy with my choice thus far.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:50 PM
29 posts, read 111,930 times
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I would strongly suggest Lutz(33558) for a family-friendly, close to everything, excellent schools and safe neighborhood. Westchase is also safe and has excellent schools but you will definitely get more bang for your buck in Lutz with the benefit of being moments from the Vets Express which takes you downtown. Some of the communities within Lutz with excellent schools are: Heritage Harbor(family friendly pool/golf-course, gated community), Villarosa(family-friendly, no community pool) and Cheval(private, gated, upscale community). Please read my previous post listed below:

I live in Heritage Harbor and I can tell you firsthand that it is a child-friendly family community. It consists of predominantly young families and it is a very safe neighborhood. I have three children ranging in ages from 7-12 years old and we love living here. Our home has a pool but my children love going to the community pool because of the "cool slide" and all the other children they meet there. My children also have friends that live in the neighboring communities of Cheval(upscale) and Villarosa(no community pool) who love to visit at our home because of all the fun things to do here. We have tennis courts, volleyball and basketball courts, there is also a tot lot, small hockey rink, clubhouse, restaurant and small gym and golf course. We pay $110 a month for our HOA fee and we feel it is inexpensive for everything you have access to. Our HOA fee is also less expensive than other planned communities. About once a month there is an organized community event, such as concerts at the pool, community garage sales, Easter egg hunts, Breakfast with Santa, Holiday parties at the pool with live bands and barbecue for 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc. Our clubhouse also has an onsite afterschool program called SRK camp and during the summer they have full-day and half-day camps. Residents have priority enrollment and it is very convenient for working parents to have an afterschool/camp program located so close to home.
Our schools are A+ schools and consistently rank in the top ten of Hillsborough County Schools. Our elementary school McKitrick ranks in the top 7 and the middle school ranks in the top 3 middle schools for Hillsborough County. Currently there is a new high school being built which is slated to open for the 2009 school year. I believe it will be named Steinbrenner High School(for George Steinbrenner of the NY Yankees), which I am sure will be in the top 3 high schools for Hillsborough County. There is a lot of money being pumped into that school so I am sure it will be exceptional. Check out Greatschools.net for the statistics on schools within Hillsborough county or any county within FL or nationally.
As far as the commute, we are only a few minutes from the Veterans Expressway which takes you downtown and there is currently construction underway for another entrance ramp right on Lutz Lake Fern road near the new high school.
There are many good deals right now in Heritage Harbor and the neighboring communites of Villarosa and Cheval, so you should have no trouble finding exactly what you want. I think you and your children will enjoy living in this area.

Good luck to you and your family.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:58 PM
14 posts, read 26,411 times
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I agree with annesg. I live in Original Carrollwood (33618). Prices here range from $230 on up to very expensive on Lake Carroll. Very family friendly. We have three parks, tennis courts, dog park, and residents only Lake Carroll access. Everything you could possibly want is all around.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:24 PM
Location: Brandon
6 posts, read 17,755 times
Reputation: 11
I would suggest the Brandon area. There are plenty of nice homes in the area and there is a new Super Target on Bloomingdale. There are six Starbucks within a eight mile radius of the city. Good subdivisions to look in are Rivercrest, Fishhawk, Bloomingdale, Southoak and Mira Bay.
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:33 PM
Location: Hillsborough County
126 posts, read 475,292 times
Reputation: 50
We've lived in the Buckhorn neighborhood (Valrico, 33596) for 12 years, and we really enjoy it. It is near the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Bloomingdale, which has a Starbucks, SteinMart and Publix nearby. A county library and Bloomingdale High School are a few miles away. A new Super Target is about 6 miles away.

Our HOA dues are $25 a year, which is attractive. There are a lot of young families with children.

The FishHawk development in Lithia is also a beautiful community with young, successful families and great schools. The area has miles of trails for walking and bicycling. They do have higher HOA and CCD fees, but they keep the grounds and natural areas in top shape. There is also a beautiful pool/water park and small town square in an area that is a lot like Disney's residential development (sorry - forgot the name.) I would definitely look at FishHawk and the Buckhorn area in Valrico.

I have noticed something about the Tampa area, though. Some of the neighborhoods that were developed during the housing boom in the past few years have a lot of homes for sale. They were purchased when financing was easy to get, and now a lot of folks are foreclosing on their homes.

Our neighborhood is more established and the residents have been here for many years, so we aren't having the number of foreclosures I've seen in other areas. So ... if you get to a neighborhood with a lot of "for sale" signs, I might be a little nervous, because you don't know what will happen to that neighborhood.

Good luck! Of course I want everyone to move to Valrico!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:33 PM
Location: Central Illinois
7 posts, read 14,034 times
Reputation: 11
Question Considering the move to Tampa

Hey, all. I've apprecaited this thread and need to bump it as we are considering a move to the Tampa area (or even just Florida in general) in the near future.

Our thoughts are that we have a few options. One would be to rent an apartment with our family of mom, dad, and two boys ages 5 and 3... all the while keeping an eye out for a house to buy in the $100-150 range. Option Two would be to find and buy a house now while the market favors buyers (and hope that we sell our house here in Illinois!).

I suppose I'm looking for opinions from people who live in and love Tampa and it's surrounding areas, and who also notice how the market has shifted with all the "short sales" going on. Where would a stable neighborhood in Tampa be for a young family of 4? Also, are there many flooding problems, or are most houses on slabs anyway?

Personal note-- I've noticed several differences in how houses are listed in Florida than how they are listed here in Illinois.

1) Do most people do their laundry outside?
2) You all share subdivisions/areas (i.e., Heritage Harbor, Fishhawk, etc.), whereas our subdivisions are too tiny to really make an impact if I mentioned it. Do real estate agents list according to subdivisions then?
3) Is a lanai just another name for a porch?

Also-- Someone mentioned that Florida is not the best place to live. Can you give further details as to why? It can't just be because of HOA fees, is it?

Otherwise, can you tell me some places to avoid? I don't want to be naive and end up putting my family in danger. Is there a website to see crime rates in any given area?

Thanks a million for making this decision easier for us! I greatly appreciate anyone's input!!
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:52 PM
384 posts, read 2,012,947 times
Reputation: 216
I also live in Odessa and my 5 year old goes to Longleaf Elementary which we totally love~ we have Target, Starbucks, and Chilis right outside of the gates to our neighborhood and lots of other things are very close by! We are also by the Suncoast which makes getting to Tampa (and surrounding areas) very easy and convenient.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:05 PM
4 posts, read 7,068 times
Reputation: 11
Westchase is good, but be very careful where you go in westchase. Avoid new tampa, wesley chapel unless you enjoy traffic nightmares especially if you have to drive towards tampa for work.

Older homes in Carrollwood, Northdale areas are also nice, just be wary of the neighborhoods.

A lot of choices in Tampa for your demographic, all depends on what type of house you desire and what amenities you want nearby.
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