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Old 09-08-2006, 05:46 AM
jon jon started this thread
 
49 posts, read 268,828 times
Reputation: 24

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My wife and I currently live in Valrico (Tampa) area, we have an opportunity to transfer to Gainesville with her job. Could somone give me some insight on Gainesville? What are the more affordable areas around Gainesville? We have 2 children ages 9 and 4 and would like to raise them in a smaller environment. She is a Pharmacist and I coach youth soccer. Thanks, Jon
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Just a few miles outside of St. Louis
1,921 posts, read 5,606,244 times
Reputation: 1250
I've only been through there once, (my friend and I had gone down to Ocala to pick up her new horse trailer), but, I do know that it is a college town. The one thing I can tell you is be very careful crossing, (as in "pedestrian"), roads/streets on Friday nights. Those college kids will run you slap-dab over! Seriously, it is very busy on Friday nights, and while I realize all towns are that way on the weekends, college towns seem to be more so. On the flip side, when my friend and I went to eat, the place was loaded with college kids working at the restaurant, and the majority of them were quite nice and good at their jobs. I notice that sort of thing, not only for the usual reasons, but, because I've been a waitress, (oops..excuse me, "server" ). and I know what the job entails. Hopefully, you'll get some responses soon, from folks who live, or have lived, there. Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:55 PM
 
Location: FLA-for now
47 posts, read 272,279 times
Reputation: 37
Unhappy Gainesville

I've lived in Gainesville for 50+ years. Here are my pros and cons:
PROS:
1) There are a lot of outdoor activities here: nature trails at many area preserves, and biking trails galore.
2) Less congestion than south and central Florida.
3) A decent performing arts center, museums, theatres, and restaurants.
4) A beautiful winter--from November through mid-March, culminating with a glorious burst of springtime color--azaleas and redbud trees.

CONS:
1) Very high cost of living here. Homes are expensive! I don't know what your idea of affordable is, however. A 2,800 sqaure foor home in my neighborhood (on a 1/4 acre lot) just sold for close to $500,000. Property taxes here are OUTRAGEOUS. I have a 2,550 square foot home, and my taxes are $6,500/year. Our local utilities company is always raising their rates for one reason or another.
2) 65,000 college age students, courtesy of UF and SFCC. This city is geared towards young people. Most new restaurants locate on "their" side of town. And restaurants are always packed. If you're into skanky clothing, then shop at our mall. If you like rowdy, tacky nightclubs, come to our downtown. And try to avoid the plethora of vagrants hanging out there. They will come up to outdoor cafe tables and beg. One homeless person recently murdered another one--supposedly over a box of raisins.
3) No seabreeze here. Summers are horrendously hot, starting in mid-April and lasting through half of October. Only one more month to go.....
4) If you like the beach, it's an hour-and-a-half drive to the Atlantic coast. Forget the area Gulf coast for beaches.
5) Recreational facilities are grim. Citizens recently voted down a small sales tax increase for recreation.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:28 PM
jon jon started this thread
 
49 posts, read 268,828 times
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Thank you for the information. My wife has an interview there on Monday. We would probably locate to somewhere outside of Gainesville. I have looked at home prices and they are not as affordable as Tampa. However my wife is sick of all the congestion in Tampa and wants a slower pace of life.
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:12 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 37,312,975 times
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CelticLady, since you've been to Ocala, what did you think of it? Is it neat and well kept? Flowery? Did you go to the forest?
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Just a few miles outside of St. Louis
1,921 posts, read 5,606,244 times
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Jammie.
Ocala seemed like a nice place. Lots of trees in and around there. Folks seemed to be fairly friendly. If you like horses, it is the place to be, in Florida. There are horse farms everywhere, and I don't mean just two-bit types. Some of them were very nice. Frankly, I don't remember flowers one way or the other, although I'm sure they have them. As I said, my friend and I went there to pick up a new horse trailer for her, (and, that was almost a year ago, in October), and we were more into looking at everything "horsey"...farms, tack shops, western wear shops, etc. We were only there two days, and we didn't go downtown, so I'm afraid I can't tell you much about that. But, for what I did see, I liked it. But, if you're interested in the area, you would be obviously better off asking questions of others. Maybe start a fresh thread specifically for Ocala.
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Old 09-09-2006, 03:34 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 37,312,975 times
Reputation: 15205
Celtic Lady, several people here have already given some info and opinions on the Ocala area. I just wanted another opinion since I'm keeping score of the ones who like it and the ones who don't.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:30 PM
 
363 posts, read 2,013,117 times
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I agree... Ocala is sort of "Florida's horse country". We drove around there once and got a good feeling. Seemed like a nice place to livce. Just a bit of input.
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:14 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 14,044,255 times
Reputation: 1032
My brother and sister go to UF in gainsville and ive visited many times. I know all about house prices there. Its about 60% to 75% as expensive as down here in Palm Beach County. Ocala is cheaper at 50% to 60%. There are tons of college students all competing for jobs so the pay is very low. The pro is you can buy land dirt cheap outside gainsville and put a mobile home on the land. Ive seen land go for $15k to $40k an acre and mobile homes can be had for under $10000 for a used trailor or like $30000 for a nice fairly new doublewide! Very affordable living and many people are doing just that.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:33 PM
 
Location: FL
1 posts, read 3,071 times
Reputation: 10
Default An alternative

Gainesville is certanly directed towards the college students, especally those with rich parents. My landlord is trying to sell my shack of a rental for 300k and I'm not in what many would call a good neighborhood. The whole city becomes a madhouse during football season, and if you aren't cheering for the Gators, stay inside on gameday.

Gas in the county is more expensive then surrounding areas, but if you can afford the commute, I've always thought High Springs was a great town to grow up in. It's about 25 minutes north of Gainesville. I moved there with my mother and sister while still in middle school, and now my baby brother is going to elementry school there. It was listed in the top fifty combination schools in Florida at number 29 for the '05-'06 school year. It's easy to fight the heat in the summer by driving to any one of the springs just outside town. And Alachua County's public library district is wonderful (I'm boasting a little, as I work for them). The hurricanes don't hit us with more then some wind and rain now and then. Home owners insurance is going up. My mother's more then doubled this year from a little over $500 to $1100, but she loves the community and the home she's built so much that she's putting up with it rather then leaving. My brother knows all the kids within a two block radius and I'm used to seeing his friends walk over on their own so they can all play in the backyard together.

I'm still young and like to go out, so I put up with Gainesville, drunk frat boys and all. For all it's faults, it has a good feel to it and there are some wonderful people here. Once I think about starting a family, I want to find a town like High Springs.
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