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Old 05-03-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
300 posts, read 368,582 times
Reputation: 181

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I'm a single guy in my late 20s. I've been living in the DC area ever since college and am ready for a change. I'm looking to go somewhere with warm weather year round, less traffic, and a lower cost of living. Luckily, I've got a job that will probably let me move and work from home in the relatively near future (I'm aiming for sometime in the late fall before winter really kicks in here). This would require me to be near a reasonably sized airport though. The Tampa Bay area interests me because it seems to meet most of what I'm looking for, including the above, plus physical beauty, being near a beach, restaurants, music, large colleges, and sports (both to watch and play).

Anyway, What I want to know is how well a single guy in his late 20s / early 30s can expect to live in the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area on a salary of roughly $80k / year. Will I be able to live in a safe area (not ritzy) and still be able to save some money, go out once or twice a week, etc.? Will I need to have a roommate? What kind of lifestyle can I generally expect to lead? Where are some areas that would be worth checking out for renting or eventually buying a place? FWIW, I like bars, local music, and restaurants, but am not really into the hardcore nightlife / clubbing scene. I'd probably prefer being close to the beach over being close to nightlife (though I've never been closer than 4 hours before, so it's hard to say for certain). Either way I'd expect to be using the airport once or twice a month.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,317 posts, read 784,664 times
Reputation: 508
We are roughly in the same boat. Life is good here. I have a nice place about a mile from the airport and walking distance to night life, or about 3 miles from the best nightlife in town.

You will be making well above the average salary in tampa, and as a single guy you will be able to live very well. You can have a roomate if you want although it isn't neccessary. my roomate and I are both 27/single and make well over 80K a year each and could afford our $1500 rent on our own, but it is nice to save or spend the extra money. You also wont pay state income tax here. Your lifestyle will easily be upper middle class as a single guy.

check out phillips international drive and millenium, which are both right near the airport.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,317 posts, read 784,664 times
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FYI- my roomate is an ex-army buddy of mine. We now work for the same company here in Tampa. I am not a big fan of roomates, but this guy is like a brother. I did live on my own for a year when i first moved and was paying about $1200 a month with ease. You have to figure most people in tampa are not making that and getting by well supporting a wife and kids in many cases. life will be a cakewalk here in tampa.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
689 posts, read 1,613,039 times
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I make a bit less than you do, (actually, quite a bit less now with my child support payment) and I live very well here. $1500 rent is about average out here for a larger home in a nice neighborhood.
Let's put it to you this way: my disposable yearly income is probably about 30k a year...yep, you read that right. Child support is rough, but it's a necessity. I share a 3/2/2 with a roommate, have a newer model truck, a jetski, and I can still sock away money to take the occasional trip and buy gadgets now and again. I have learned to live on a shoestring budget, after going from making in excess of 100k a year, it's a bit rough.
So, YES, 80k is a respectable salary for out here. You can live comfortably, and still have $$ for the toys and the social life with room to spare. You haven't mentioned though how your debt is. A lot of people say they make 80k a year, but they also own a BMW and pay $600 a month, have two jetskis at $250 a month, and a Harley at another $250 a month...lol. If you only have a car payment and no credit cards, and no other debt to speak of, then you'll live like a king down here. As long as your job keeps paying you that..
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
10,009 posts, read 9,855,396 times
Reputation: 4825
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigm1841 View Post
We are roughly in the same boat. Life is good here. I have a nice place about a mile from the airport and walking distance to night life, or about 3 miles from the best nightlife in town.

You will be making well above the average salary in tampa, and as a single guy you will be able to live very well. You can have a roomate if you want although it isn't neccessary. my roomate and I are both 27/single and make well over 80K a year each and could afford our $1500 rent on our own, but it is nice to save or spend the extra money. You also wont pay state income tax here. Your lifestyle will easily be upper middle class as a single guy.

check out phillips international drive and millenium, which are both right near the airport.

Agree w/ Craig. $80k will go a long way.

We have a very good airport. But our beaches aren't necessarily close to Tampa. It seems that the rest of the nation thinks we're located directly on beautiful beaches. St Pete has the beaches (and Clearwater), but they are a little distance from the airport.

We have traffic - not sure its as bad as DC. Some say its bad (I don't necessarily agree).
Another city to investigate is Jacksonville.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:56 PM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 5,797,637 times
Reputation: 977
You will do very well for yourself on 80k. Sounds like Tampa area may fit the bill nicely for you(Sports, Colleges, Nightlife, Beaches, Concerts). Bieng in your 20s, you will prob want to be in the Westshore/South Tampa areas(beaches are 30-40 min from downtown Tampa-aiport is about 5-10 min). Just my suggestions/opinions.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
300 posts, read 368,582 times
Reputation: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich67 View Post
I make a bit less than you do, (actually, quite a bit less now with my child support payment) and I live very well here. $1500 rent is about average out here for a larger home in a nice neighborhood.
Let's put it to you this way: my disposable yearly income is probably about 30k a year...yep, you read that right. Child support is rough, but it's a necessity. I share a 3/2/2 with a roommate, have a newer model truck, a jetski, and I can still sock away money to take the occasional trip and buy gadgets now and again. I have learned to live on a shoestring budget, after going from making in excess of 100k a year, it's a bit rough.
So, YES, 80k is a respectable salary for out here. You can live comfortably, and still have $$ for the toys and the social life with room to spare. You haven't mentioned though how your debt is. A lot of people say they make 80k a year, but they also own a BMW and pay $600 a month, have two jetskis at $250 a month, and a Harley at another $250 a month...lol. If you only have a car payment and no credit cards, and no other debt to speak of, then you'll live like a king down here. As long as your job keeps paying you that..
Touche. I have practically no debt though. I pay my credit cards off every month, both of my cars are paid for (both old cars, relatively cheap). The only debt I have is about $15k in student loans. I'm only paying around 3% interest on that though so I'm in no hurry to pay it off.

I know this probably sounds arrogant, but I'm actually not too concerned about my job continuing to pay that. I'm actually badly underpaid for what I do. If I wanted to I could probably jump to a bigger company and be making well over $100k. Additionally, my job is in a niche market (my company uses its own proprietary software) and there's only a handful of people in the world who can do what I do as well as I can right now. That isn't to say that others can't learn it but it's a somewhat expensive proposition for my company, so they're probably not going to up and fire me without really good reason because I'd be difficult to replace. Besides, if they did I'd be free to pursue consulting directly for the clients that already love me and I'd make a heck of a lot more than I do now.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
300 posts, read 368,582 times
Reputation: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigm1841 View Post
We are roughly in the same boat. Life is good here. I have a nice place about a mile from the airport and walking distance to night life, or about 3 miles from the best nightlife in town.

You will be making well above the average salary in tampa, and as a single guy you will be able to live very well. You can have a roomate if you want although it isn't neccessary. my roomate and I are both 27/single and make well over 80K a year each and could afford our $1500 rent on our own, but it is nice to save or spend the extra money. You also wont pay state income tax here. Your lifestyle will easily be upper middle class as a single guy.

check out phillips international drive and millenium, which are both right near the airport.
That's nice to hear. Unfortunately I still need a roommate in the DC area at this salary. I live with my brother right now which is awesome, but he wouldn't be coming with me and I don't really know anyone in the Tampa area. I don't know if I'm really feeling the random roommate thing anymore either. I've had some bad experiences with that in the past.

Thanks for the tips on where to live. I'll check them out. However, given the choice (if there really is one), I think I'd prefer to live an hour from the airport and 10 min from the beach rather than the other way around.

$80k is still probably lower middle-class in the DC area
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Tampa
1,317 posts, read 784,664 times
Reputation: 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by wsamon View Post
That's nice to hear. Unfortunately I still need a roommate in the DC area at this salary. I live with my brother right now which is awesome, but he wouldn't be coming with me and I don't really know anyone in the Tampa area. I don't know if I'm really feeling the random roommate thing anymore either. I've had some bad experiences with that in the past.

Thanks for the tips on where to live. I'll check them out. However, given the choice (if there really is one), I think I'd prefer to live an hour from the airport and 10 min from the beach rather than the other way around.

$80k is still probably lower middle-class in the DC area

you say that now- but you will spend an hour in traffic just to go to the grocery store on the weekend, nightlife is terrible or non existant. Everyone that actually lives near the beach is old as dirt. I dont know anyone that is relatively young that lives near the beach. Id rather have great nightlife and resturants right outside my door and travel to the beach.

If you live near the airport, there are redneck beaches along the CC Causeway. on the bay right outside your door. the good beaches are a tourist/old people nightmare and life ceases to exist after 9 or 10 pm. St Pete might be a more viable option as far as living near the beach goes. i cant provide much insight there.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Seminole, FL
300 posts, read 368,582 times
Reputation: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
Agree w/ Craig. $80k will go a long way.

We have a very good airport. But our beaches aren't necessarily close to Tampa. It seems that the rest of the nation thinks we're located directly on beautiful beaches. St Pete has the beaches (and Clearwater), but they are a little distance from the airport.

We have traffic - not sure its as bad as DC. Some say its bad (I don't necessarily agree).
Another city to investigate is Jacksonville.
Well, I was actually looking a little more at the St. Pete or Clearwater areas originally for this reason . I don't really know much about anywhere though as I've never been to the Tampa Bay region. Roughly how long would it take to get to the airport from St. Pete or Clearwater if you assume that I was going during rush-hour?

The traffic's not as bad as DC. From everything I've read, the only US cities that rival DC traffic are LA, NY, and Houston, with Boston and Chicago in the mix as well. I've been to Houston and Chicago and can tell you that they're not as bad as a whole. LA and NY are probably worse. Our rush hours last from 6-930 and 330-7. A couple years ago I used to live in a suburb 20 miles outside the city. The 10 mile drive to get to a closer suburb so that I could then take the metro from the end of the line took me about 35 minutes on average. Bad days would be pushing 50. Keep in mind that this is suburb to suburb. That's not even the city traffic. You'll also find huge traffic at the weirdest of times. A random Saturday morning could find you in bumper to bumper traffic for miles with no apparent reason.

I've actually been to Jacksonville before. I went there to watch my college (UMD) play in a bowl game . I didn't spend much time there but I felt that it was an OK city. It didn't leave much of an impression either way on me. It also doesn't appear to have the bigger college influence that I like.
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