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Old 05-17-2009, 10:55 AM
 
11 posts, read 34,785 times
Reputation: 15

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A little about me: I'm 24 and originally from central NY; I've been living in Atlanta this year and teaching middle school for my graduate program that I'm in at a Midwestern university.

While I think Atlanta has a lot of things going for it, I'm not sure I want to stay here long term after my program concludes next year. I've always wanted to try living near the coast and am a big fan of palm trees and beach/water-related activities.

For a number of years, I wanted to move to San Diego; now that I'm a bit older and am working, I realize how many problems California has and the cost of living is exorbitant.

In doing some basic (very basic) research, it looks like the St. Petersburg/Tampa area would not be that much more expensive than Atlanta (which I already think is quite affordable for a city of its size). Are there lots of hidden costs associated with living in Florida? I know there is no state income tax, but I've heard that homeowner insurance is considerable because of the hurricanes (though I would be renting an apartment, so I'm not sure if I would need insurance). Additionally, I know I can expect to pay more for groceries in general and electricity in the summer for A/C. Are there other costs someone from the outside may not consider?

A few other things I would like to know: I'd like to get into jetskiing and kayaking (two things I enjoy but cannot do much of here in a landlocked area) - are these popular activities down there? Is boating insurance expensive? I also enjoy sailing, running, and cycling.

I know many people complain about the summer heat; is the summer humidity and temperatures much different from Atlanta?

In addition, what pest or critter problems are there? There are a lot of rodents and small roaches in Atlanta.

How is the social scene for people in their mid 20s? I'm not a big partier by any means (I'm pretty low key), but I enjoy having fun with my friends whether we are going to a sporting event, concert, or other happening. In fact, I did enjoy my first Gasparilla experience earlier this year when visiting some friends in Pinellas Park!

Also, I'm not sure whether I'll stay in teaching - but does anybody know how benefits are for teachers? I'm at a Catholic school; although I enjoy it, the salary, pension, and health benefits just aren't there - so I may try and go public.

I apologize for the barrage of questions - feel free to answer any!

Last edited by RyanK4; 05-17-2009 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:18 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,292 times
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I can answer a few of your questions based on my two years of living in the Tampa Bay area - we plan on moving back soon.
1) Yes, you can expect pests...every apartment/house we lived in required pest control, mostly for cockroaches. If you have good pest control you won't really be bothered by it. Most apartments will take care of this as part of your living agreements, at no extra cost to you. If you rent a house I'd recommend making sure they will do a pest control visit before move-in. I didn't really notice any other rodent issues...my in-law's have fruit rats from time to time because of their lemon trees, but living in a more urban area I don't think you'd have an issue.
2) Nightlife is pretty active. There is a young population, especially with the university at SPU close by. We were in our early 20s when we lived in Tampa and there are lots of bar, clubs, etc.
3) Yep, it's hot there. I came from the Midwest and I found the first summer to be unbearable, but by the second one it didn't really bother me as much. I'm not sure how it compares to Atlanta but I suspect they're pretty similar.

Sorry I can't help you with the other questions...good luck!
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:11 PM
 
5 posts, read 17,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicat611 View Post
I can answer a few of your questions based on my two years of living in the Tampa Bay area - we plan on moving back soon.
1) Yes, you can expect pests...every apartment/house we lived in required pest control, mostly for cockroaches. If you have good pest control you won't really be bothered by it. Most apartments will take care of this as part of your living agreements, at no extra cost to you. If you rent a house I'd recommend making sure they will do a pest control visit before move-in. I didn't really notice any other rodent issues...my in-law's have fruit rats from time to time because of their lemon trees, but living in a more urban area I don't think you'd have an issue.
2) Nightlife is pretty active. There is a young population, especially with the university at SPU close by. We were in our early 20s when we lived in Tampa and there are lots of bar, clubs, etc.
3) Yep, it's hot there. I came from the Midwest and I found the first summer to be unbearable, but by the second one it didn't really bother me as much. I'm not sure how it compares to Atlanta but I suspect they're pretty similar.

Sorry I can't help you with the other questions...good luck!
I am piggy backing off of your response to the request submitted regarding Tampa. thanx you have helped quite a bit I am considering the relocation as well. (41 from Kansas City)
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:15 PM
 
5 posts, read 17,075 times
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Well ms. allicat, its been awhile since you were deciding to relocate to Tampa. Did you move? Andf if so, can I ask what have been your experiences and what can you share with a midwestern missourian craving to move back to Florida just not where I was residing (Jacksonville /Tallahassee). I would appreciate all you would be willing to share
Thank you lots
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area
494 posts, read 1,423,585 times
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Are there lots of hidden costs associated with living in Florida? Not really but homeowners if in a flood zone is expensive. In an apartment no problem - you would want renters insurance.


I know there is no state income tax and no sales tax on food.

Additionally, I know I can expect to pay more for groceries in general and electricity in the summer for A/C. Vehicle registration probably higher. Not sure you are right on food and utilities. Honestly haven't tried to compare. Food isn't outlandish and some things are cheaper. Florida supplies a LOT of food, particularly late winter. Use less energy in the winter. Might average out.

A few other things I would like to know: I'd like to get into jetskiing and kayaking - are these popular activities down there? Yes in the bay, ocean and numerous rivers. As is biking on trails.

Is boating insurance expensive? To me I don't think so. Used boats are cheaper too.

Is the summer humidity and temperatures much different from Atlanta? It's further south and on the water, so ...yes. Seems 4 million people around TBay don't find it so awful. Is it hot in the summer? Yeah some days are brutal. Hence beer and iced tea were invented. You get used to it.

In addition, what pest or critter problems are there? There are a lot of rodents and small roaches in Atlanta.

Well, ....
New to FL- what pest control do I need??

How is the social scene for people in their mid 20s? Lots of choices but different than Atlanta.

Also, I'm not sure whether I'll stay in teaching - you can see open jobs online. Not the most hiring right now but certain disciplines are always needed.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: The 'burg
428 posts, read 1,324,267 times
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Kayaking is huge throughout the Tampa Bay region. There are a number of excellent Blueways.

Kayaking Florida's Blueway Trails | St. Petersburg Clearwater vacation and travel (http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/articles/kayaking-floridas-blueway-trails - broken link)

Hillsborough County Government Online - Parks - Parkservices - Blueways (http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/parks/parkservices/blueways/ - broken link)
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:36 PM
 
247 posts, read 378,335 times
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I grew up in North Georgia, not too far from Atlanta, and now I live in St. Pete (Gulfport, actually).

Honestly, the heat and humidity down here is not so bad. It is pretty breezy a lot of the time in the summer. It's not notably worse than Atlanta, and it's not as bad as South Georgia.

The food doesn't seem to be all that expensive down here, so that's not a great concern.

The nightlife is surprisingly good. Downtown St. Pete is good, and there are several different areas in Tampa that are quite a bit of fun. There are a lot of dive bars out on St. Pete Beach if you're looking for a laid back evening. The variety is refreshing.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Sacramento CA
1,342 posts, read 1,713,376 times
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If your making a big move, don't go from Atlanta to Tampa. You may just be disappointed. FL is not a true place to live, its more a vacation place and peoples actions speak loud when they come, but do not stay long. You may complain how its hard to make friends due to this factor + the people who lived here for yrs dont like letting anyone new into their circles.. That is one thing you need to know about coming to Tampa. Its a risky move in that way coming to the bay area in general and much of FL.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:32 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,250,792 times
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Lake Lanier is only 40 mi. from ATL; so I think you'll need to live in a beach community since the drive doesn't appeal to you (I spent 10yrs. in ATL and only went to Lanier once, thankfully, we had a pool). The summers can be as humid as ATL summers; which is why the plantation homes in Savannah all have "sleeping porches"; no comparison to ATL, but ATL was burned; but I think you get the idea.

People either really dislike the area/the State or really embrace it. This is true regardless of where you end up as it is up to you and your personality.

With everything that you like to do, I would say that you'll have little difficulty making new friends.

I would definitely look for other posters that can chime in on teaching salaries, no clue there. But you'll likely want to obtain employment before the move.

From Buckhead to St. Petersburg - it can be done in 7 hours, so I think you are likely to see quite a few of your ATL friends visit.

So, maybe rent a place for a month this summer to get a better feel for the area before diving in.

Best wishes!
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:00 PM
 
21 posts, read 33,274 times
Reputation: 43
RyanK, the public schools in the Tampa Bay area are HORRIBLE. STAY AWAY from them at ALL COSTS. If you can get a teaching job with a private school, that would be okay.
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