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Old 03-21-2009, 08:44 AM
 
93 posts, read 177,437 times
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We're retired and looking to relocate to warmer zones from mid-Atlantic region. Tampa area fits!

Looking for creative, supportive environment for the arts, symphony, etc. Tampa/St Pete fits! Nearby Sarasota does also but ruled out for family logistics.

Looking for relatively low cost of living (housing under $600k, not exceedingly high insurance, etc.). Lived in NE FL before so not unfamiliar with risks and associated costs, although the Tampa area may be higher risk of sinkholes than NE FL and slightly higher risk of hurricanes and tornados. Consequently, insurance costs may be higher, but just want to be sure it's not totally prohibitive for newer construction.

So, big question: Where do you like that gives access to cultural venues but is not in the midst of urban congestion, has good and easily accessed medical care and minimal risk of sinkholes, flooding etc? Please don't tell me to look in Utah or someplace. We love Florida, just want to move to an area where our risks are minimized. For the points we're seeking, Tampa seems far more interesting than Jacksonville, for example. More emphasis on the arts, better beaches and sunsets but at a higher risk factor. I'd have to give up a slightly cooler zone as Tampa is warmer.

We've lived in gated and non-gated communities, understand the HOA restrictions can be beneficial or PITA, but appreciate the "appearance" of increased security. Safety for us oldies is very important as we're more vulnerable, so please factor that in to your suggestions. Prefer an area than is well-zoned and prohibits billboards, tries to keep strip malls a little more upscale in appearance, etc. Lastly, my husband is European so we'd enjoy a tolerant and cosmopolitan area. Can you direct us to research any particular communities. We'll be exploring next month. I've read through many very thoughtful and informative posts, and I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find constructive responses on this area's forum.

Thank you for helping us narrow the search!
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:04 PM
 
93 posts, read 177,437 times
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Thanks, BuFan. Cheval does seem to be conveniently located to the interstates. We'll check it out.

Okay, Tamp area experts, need your inpout. Are there any other towns that sort of fit our wish list? Please point us toward safe, beautiful, artsy communities.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:44 PM
 
2,414 posts, read 5,223,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paxquest View Post
Thanks, BuFan. Cheval does seem to be conveniently located to the interstates. We'll check it out.

Okay, Tamp area experts, need your inpout. Are there any other towns that sort of fit our wish list? Please point us toward safe, beautiful, artsy communities.
Sun City Center is a great retirement community. Not really artsy though. And you have to be live 70ish? But its convinently close to Tampa
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,247,831 times
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Very good recommendation. Kings Point - a subdivision inside of SSC - gated, safe, very well maintained. There are some nice houses, too. Yes, there are golf courses, and golf carts, but the place is immaculate, the houses are very nice. And the people are retirees from all walks of life. Their are hundreds of social groups - I have had two generations of family who have lived there. Not sure about artsy references - but SSC has groups that often go to local Performing Arts Center for whatever shows are in town - as well many entertainers from the 1950-70s come to SSC to perform in the SSC Conference Center. Would really look into the place, too.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,247,831 times
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http://www.mysuncitycenter.org/
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:11 PM
 
93 posts, read 177,437 times
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Hmmm, not sure that a retirement community is appropriate for us, but we'll consider it. Thanks.

We're only semi-retired and have an eclectic mix of friends of all ages and from a few continents. Would you have different recommendations for a middle-aged couple not concerned with commuting issues or with school quality (other than for resale)?

We don't know the Bay area very well, but we've visited Clearwater and St Pete and enjoyed our stay before exploring further south, but we weren't considering a possible move at the time. A few years ago we also went to a nice gated community in Tampa with a marina, but I don't recall its name. Safety is paramount as I walk our dog late night, consequently the preference for gated community. Also access to quality healthcare is a must. We're indifferent to shopping other than a good grocer (Publix, Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, Whole Foods all work for me), but enjoy museums, galleries, good restaurants, the beach, symphony, opera, live jazz. We'd forego living in close proximity to all but healthcare & grocery to maximize safety both in terms of crime and natural hazards; however, we'd prefer to be in a less congested setting no more than 45 minutes from the Performance Arts Center. While we enjoy the beach, we can't afford deep water property or the associated high insurance costs, so a relatively low risk zone that's a short drive to the beach is fine . Does this provide a better picture of the type of area we'd enjoy?

We'll work with a realtor, but I'd like a clearer understanding of the best areas to search before contacting one. Thanks again.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,247,831 times
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I'd still take a look at Kings Point @ SSC if you're in the area. Not a far drive from the Performing Arts Center. You're definitely safe. And the community is beautiful. Health care would be from Bradenton/Sarasota or Tampa Medical Centers with a few community sized hospitals nearby. Doctors do have offices in SSC as a convenience to bot the patients and the providers. The houses in King's Point can be very nice, elegant.

The people in the community are very eclectic as you mention -I've met several residents - some are CEOs, CFO of major companies, retired general officers from the military, teachers, pastors. I think many have a misconception of SSC/Kings Point as an oldfolks community. It is 55+ and has stringent association rules, but it makes the place very immaculate.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:44 AM
 
153 posts, read 403,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I'd still take a look at Kings Point @ SSC if you're in the area.
...
The people in the community are very eclectic as you mention -I've met several residents - some are CEOs, CFO of major companies, retired general officers from the military, teachers, pastors. I think many have a misconception of SSC/Kings Point as an oldfolks community. It is 55+ and has stringent association rules, but it makes the place very immaculate.
I hope you're right, because my wife and I are in our sixties and identify closely with paxquest's requirements. The last thing in the world we would want to move into is an "old folks" community dominated by golf carts, bridge clubs, etc. (I'm a jogger...)

Incidentally, I think you mean SCC rather than SSC.

Here's the community's official web site:
Kings Point - Sun City Center, Florida

The site could use some photos!
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 28,247,831 times
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SCC has bridge clubs.

Take a few hours to look around. If you don't like it, there are other places to go.

BTW, there are plenty of joggers, bikers, etc. there - so you wouldn't be alone.

I believe too many people remember the movie Cacoon and think all retirement communities are full of oldtimers using walkers.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:19 AM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,828,858 times
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My mom lives in a VERY active adult community just outside of SCC, called Valencia Lakes, she LOVES it, beautiful new community, very active 55+ community, HUGE social, recreation center, all kinds of housing, about 30 min from downtown Tampa and beaches via the skyway. GL Homes.
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