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Old 03-11-2007, 08:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 56,883 times
Reputation: 18
Question Is Tampa a Good Move???

Please help!! Is the Tampa Bay area a good place to raise a family? We are a family of four, possibly migrating from Queens, NY and looking for someplace more affordable to live, with a good quality of life - which to us means a comfortable home, good schools for our children who are now 3 and 7, some access to entertainment and culture, and an overall a place we can call home. My husband is a HVAC technician so he would be working typically ALL OVER Tampa; we would need relatively easy access to the city.

I am considering the Lutz area, as it seems to be affordable with good schools and close to Tampa. I have a few concerns: What are the homeowner's insurance rates like? Property taxes? And electricity due to running the A/C for like a 3 bedroom home? What are those monthly bills like?All these things considered, is the Tampa Bay area an affordable place to live? Is there anything I SHOULD know about Tampa/Lutz that is important???? Good and bad....

Thank You in advance for your help!!!
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:24 PM
 
1,607 posts, read 7,172,738 times
Reputation: 878
Have you been to the Tampa area? I was exactly in your shoes about 6 months ago, asking for advice on my move with my family. We first went to Tampa. What did I think of it? I didn't like it. Most of Tampa is a ghetto, I'm not kidding. Bigger cities usually have a bad area, but there's seems to take up most of the city. I lived in Land O' Lakes, right near Lutz. It's nice, quiet, country type of place. But it wasn't for me.

Lutz is in another county, one that has higher taxes and homeowner's insurance rates. Hillsborough county is crazy for taxes.

By the way, we ended up driving around and found a spot we love...the Daytona Beach area. It's great over here, Ormond Beach and Port Orange- very family friendly, beautiful, it's great! So we moved over there...
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:00 AM
 
2 posts, read 56,883 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks for the info - I checked out the Ormond Beach homes and they do seem a bit cheaper, but isn't the hurricane risk a bit greater on the Atlantic Coast? How much does it cost to insure a home - say a 3/2 for around 250K?
Another number I am trying to get is the cost to cool your home, I want to know exactly what I am getting into; homes may be cheaper, but are the other bills a killer?
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:15 AM
 
1,607 posts, read 7,172,738 times
Reputation: 878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawnie View Post
Thanks for the info - I checked out the Ormond Beach homes and they do seem a bit cheaper, but isn't the hurricane risk a bit greater on the Atlantic Coast? How much does it cost to insure a home - say a 3/2 for around 250K?
Another number I am trying to get is the cost to cool your home, I want to know exactly what I am getting into; homes may be cheaper, but are the other bills a killer?
Ormond Beach and Port Orange are great! And you actually have LESS of a hurricane risk over here. Take a look at this hurricane probability map:
http://www.floridahurricane.net/

In Tampa you have a 1 in 25 chance of getting hit by a hurricane. In the Daytona Beach area it's a 1 in 50 chance. And Jacksonville is a 1 in 100 chance! You are safer over here. AND.... the homeowner's insurance is WAY cheaper here. In Pasco / Hillsborough county it will coast around $5k to insure your home. What is it here in Volusia county? We are buying a brand new home for $246k in a wonderful family oriented neighborhood and it's $973 per month.

Your heating and cooling costs shouldn't be that much. The newer homes use energy saving building materials and they told it for this new home it will cost around $100 a month to heat/cool. The apartment we are in now (around 1500 square feet) is about $75 per month to heat/cool.

Taxes are high both places. The state of Florida is having a tax problem and the new governor is working on fixing that problem. Hopefully he's successful at it.

But seriously, I have two kids myself and Tampa is not a good place. It's got high crime, high costs, a big dirty ghetto-type area, etc. You should check out the Atlantic coast... Ormond Beach or Port Orange. Both are clean, good schools, family oriented and close to wonderful ocean beaches. You wouldn't to buy in Daytona itself, but it's a good place for shopping and having fun.
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Wesley Chapel
396 posts, read 1,173,175 times
Reputation: 157
We just left the Tampa area after surviving it for a year with our kids. Here is my advice....sit in at whatever school you THINK you will like. Just because you buy a house in Florida that is next to a school DOES NOT mean that your kid will go to that school. You've now missed the "Choice" deadline so it will be up to the school districts to place your children. We came in May and our kids were placed in 3 different schools. Needless to say, after much arguing with the district, we put our kids in private school which added another $20K to our move. FYI we lived in a 3/2 and our air bill during the summer reached $330 one month. Make sure that you ask to see copies of the utility bills for the previous year. Our 3/2 had property taxes of $5000 and the homeowners insurance was $4000. I'd look at NC or SC or anyplace outside of Florida really. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:17 PM
 
Location: somewhere in the south
403 posts, read 1,062,086 times
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Tampa is pretty large, the suburban areas are more for families than Tampa is. Some good family oriented places are Lutz, Lake Magdalene, Wesley Chapel, Land O' Lakes, Cheval, Brandon, and Oldsmar.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 645,323 times
Reputation: 132
I cannot relate to a lot of you because I do not have a family or kids, etc. I can however say that my city is not crime-ridden. There are bad areas, but most of the area is very safe, especially the suburbs. Anyone is free to private message me on this stuff... I'm pretty young but have solid knowledge in demographics, crime, etc about the MSA.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:01 PM
 
3,353 posts, read 1,531,836 times
Reputation: 964
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWingsFan View Post
What did I think of it? I didn't like it. Most of Tampa is a ghetto, I'm not kidding. Bigger cities usually have a bad area, but there's seems to take up most of the city. ..
No you have to be kidding. Unless you limited yourself to a tiny little area.

Original poster -- most of Tampa is NOT a ghetto

The commute from Lutz all over Tampa with today's gas prices is going to drive your husband up the wall. Traffic is bad too. Also, there's no culture in Lutz, imo (not for a former NYer, anyway).

Try Tampa - maybe something like Town and Country or Carrollwood, which is close to highways and is a really nice area. You want to be able to get to South Tampa and St. Pete for your artsy stuff.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
286 posts, read 645,323 times
Reputation: 132
Most of the ghettos are concentrated in the "outer core" of Drew Park and East Tampa, and "Suitcase City" around USF... that's about it. Most everything outside of that area is middle class and up, with spotty exceptions. Tampa is a small city, so sometimes the contrast from upscale to ghetto can seem narrow. If you live in downtown, South Tampa, Hyde Park, Harbour Island, etc... you'll never see the bad neighborhoods unless you actually pursue them. Heck, I live around New Tampa and don't see the bad neighborhoods. Just avoid them... it's not that hard. Outside of those areas, the quality of life is very high.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:40 AM
 
1 posts, read 27,663 times
Reputation: 13
Smile Tampa for Kids

I LOVE living in Tampa area. We choose Wesley Chapel so we could have two acres of land. We have 3 kids. We go to the best school ( a charter school in Dade City ...so a lottery to get in) Other schools I hear are good but they are currently overcrowded. New schools are opened every 6 months and sometimes children have to keep switching schools as a result.

We enjoy a great diversity here. People are from all areas. I am from NJ so I love all the yanks I meet here and my husband is English and you wouldn't believe all the Brits we meet. we are 30 minutes from Tampa , 20 from the cute county town of Dade City and 30 from samll public beaches and a cute European feeling town called Tarpon Springs. So we take our pick of activities!

Wesley Chapel is under major construction right now but the worst will be over in 6 months! The future of Wesley Chapel expects a new county park 3 malls a professional tennis stadium a possible new hospital. The development here keeps us on our toes.

The arts is lacking but we drive to St Pete or Sarasota for that. The kids keep us so busy anyway. We have a great Science museum and zoo and aquarium nearby.

It is a layed back lifestyle here. People enjoy their leisure time.

I love having a pool in the backyard..and the palm trees always make me feel like I'm on vacation.

Living in South Tampa would mean more sophisication and arts and restaurants, but more expensive houses on small plots. We enjoy all that with just a 30 minute drive..but its nice coming back to a country feel.

Really you'll have to viist to decide because everyones expectations are different. But we love it!! We are not in an evacuation area but have had tornadoes come through periodically and of course hurricanes but living 30 miles inland it isn't so scary and in 6 years we've had no damage (knock on wood) House prices are high now but coming from NY it might not seem so bad. Most houses are in flood zones here because florida is not that high above sea level but houses are built up a liitle so your yard might get soppy but that's the extent of it. You will have to getextra insurance for that though and property taxes are high now (couldn't tell you exactly) but it's all worth it because it feels like paradise here.

Oh well (that's my opionion) Come see for yourself!

By the way the scariest of bad sections here is not that scary and tottaly avoidable as the one email said.
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