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Old 05-18-2009, 11:34 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,631 times
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This summer I will move to Tampa w/ my family and we intend to rent an apt at Vista Grande, in Tampa Palms. Does anyone know more about this complex? When I visited, everything looked alright. However, I wasn't allowed to see the actual apartment, which seemed kind of peculiar to me (they said that they did not want to disturb the present renters!).

I also have another question: I will attend USF, but I have a family so I am looking to buy a single family home in a few months. Any advice on where it would be best to buy between New Tampa and Tampa Palms? We have a kid and we need a safe location, but not too far from USF. The budget would be 200-230 K. Thank you in advance for any input.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,052,400 times
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I live in Tampa Palms, but on the other side of Bruce B. Downs. Vista Grande is nice and safe area. You shouldn't worry too much about crime. I wasn't sure where Vista Grande is, so I checked their website. I noticed they said the high school is Wharton. This does not make sense to me since Freedom high school is less than a mile away and Wharton is probably 4 miles away. Anyway, I would suggest Tampa Palms because it is so close to USF. If you lived further up in New Tampa, you would have much more problems with traffic from people getting onto I-75.

I am pretty sure you will find a nice home for your budget of $230k. I have a 4 bedroom house with a pool and a good size lot. My house is valued around $255k.

The schools (Chiles elementary, Liberty Middle and Freedom high school, if that is what you really are zoned for) are good schools as far as Florida goes. I would prefer to send my kids to Freedom high school than Wharton.

The thing about Tampa Palms is that most of the homes are old. My house was built in 1986. Many of the homes need upgrading. Formica, flourescent lighting and popcorn ceilings were really big in the 80's. If you buy on the side of Vista Grande, some sections you must belong to the club house, this is a manditory $1,200 (I think) a year. It is nice club house that has pool with a fun slide.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.
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Old 05-20-2009, 03:50 PM
 
300 posts, read 356,067 times
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Thank you, annaegel for your message! This is very useful information. As soon as new questions will arise, I will post them, too. Thanks again! (it's still me, linda3, but i forgot my passwd....so I had to open a new account).
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:04 AM
 
300 posts, read 356,067 times
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In light of what I already knew and what I recently read on this forum regarding sexual predators in FL, what kind of alarm system do you think it would be better to install once we buy a house? Sorry for sounding naive, but we never had to think about these things and know nothing about it. We live in a very safe town right now, and although we lived in Chicago for a while, we did not have a kid back then...
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,052,400 times
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It was a shock to us when we first moved in that all the homes had some kind of alarm system. Most were not set up for the police to arrive if the alarm went off.

I feel pretty safe here in Tampa Palms. However, I do hear of home break in every once in a while. We have a neighborhood watch organized in our subdivision. The head person has most of our emails and alerts us to anything unusual happening in our area.

Sexual preditors: I have not experienced any, but I tell my kids to be mindful of their enviornment. Once my daughter was walking a neighbors dog (for extra cash) when a car pulled up next to her and her friend. He started a conversation with them. When I went over to see what was going on, he said he was "curious" about the dog she was walking. He had a dog in his car and how he just loves dogs. I had seen him driving slowly in our neighborhood on several occasions. Then he stopped coming by. That is the only strange thing I have seen. There have been several times when a teacher at Freedom and Wharton have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The best alarm system seems to be ADT. My neighbors house was broken into 5 years ago after they were away on vacation. She researched different home alarm system companies and found ADT to be the best. I had the local police come by and look at our house to give suggestions on what I can do to deter a robbery. The police officer made some good suggestions like keeping our hedges trimmed down or eliminate some altogether. The sliding glass doors, you can put a screw on the top where the doors slide. Without the screw, the doors can be lifted up and out, even if they are locked. I tried it myself. They suggested using extra long screws on the door by the lock. It is harder to kick in a door if you use long screws. These are just some of the suggestions. You can have your house evaluated for free. I don't remember how I got a hold of them, but I am sure if you call the nonemergency police number, they will let you know.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:41 AM
 
300 posts, read 356,067 times
Reputation: 320
Thanks, annaegel! This is very useful info, and I had no idea I could ask the police for suggestions or have my house evaluated for free. We'll do that and let's hope things will be less scary than what I am reading on message boards... We visited Tampa a few months ago and Tampa Palms looked pretty friendly to us (well, we'll still have to decide whether to buy in New Tampa or Tampa Palms).

Thanks again!
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