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Old 08-05-2010, 12:06 PM
 
32 posts, read 65,732 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello All -

I will be moving to the area soon. Job will be near Dali Museum in St. Pete. I have a 5 year old who will be entering kindergarten and a 2 year old. Also have 2 dogs (impt for renting).

Looking to rent (1000-1500/month), then own. (160,000-230,000).

Schools most important and safe area. Will go public; maybe magnet but may be too late and probably wont get spot. Then of course the shorter the communt the better. Nothing over 45 minutes.

Anyway, I have centered my research on Pinellas County and that took forever. I fly down in 2 days to check neighborhoods.

Please. I need help. Safe neighborhood, good schools. If I have a day to check Manatee County out, where do I go?

Thanks a million.

Rick
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:09 PM
 
385 posts, read 1,074,735 times
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I believe Mcneil Elementary in Lakewood Ranch is the number one rated elementary in that area of Manatee. Not sure how enthusiatic you will be making that commute to St. Pete everday though. Also not sure if your budget is realistic for a 3/2 rental single family home in Lakewood Ranch. Might be looking at more like 1400-1900 a month. I think you could find a newer spacious condo with garage in your price range, but then you don't have a yard for your dogs. Same thing with the lease option price in LWR, you would probably have to bump that up a bit.

I know this area and it's close to I75 for the commute, so that's why I am mentioning it. There are other nice parts of Manatee that are within your budget, but I am unsure of the schools. I think we have a few posters who are really familiar with Manatee and the schools. Someone will be along to give you some good info. Good luck, and good for you to have employment in place before you make the move!
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:27 PM
 
32 posts, read 65,732 times
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Default Thanks

Lakewood Ranch may be out of my budget.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,902,164 times
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Well, in Manatee county your best option would be to go East for the best schools. However, going East is going to increase the price of any rentals, and limit the apartment complexes greatly. East Bradenton is very nice with good schools, but offers maybe 2 apartment complexes, and homes may be too high. However, here are some subdivisions to look into in the Tara Elementary school district (its an A school): Creekwood, Tara, River's Edge and Lakeside are closest to I75, but Barrington Ridge, Silver Lake, and Regal Oaks are also nearby and in that district. We live in Regal Oaks and LOVE it.. there is a cute little house on our block available for rent. Now further north, also in East Bradenton you have Witt Elementary, also an A school. However, this area may be much more expensive than the Tara area. Here are some areas to check out: Mill Creek, Greenfield Plantation and Waterlefe. Not too sure on the rental policy in these areas. If going further from the expressway is an option, Vista at Palma Sola apartments are very nice and in Palma Sola Elementary school zone. They are located in West Bradenton, on 75th street. They accept large dogs, but Im not sure about 2 dogs. Palma Sola is a very good school, nice area.. and IMO the best, and most reasonable child care at a few places (Palma Sola preschool and Thompson).
Just for the record, the charter school in LWR (Imagine) is booked solid with a waiting list. In all honesty though, some of the public schools I mentioned are much better. We had friends that pulled their kids from Imagine..
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:58 PM
 
32 posts, read 65,732 times
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Thanks Oobie. Great information to get me started. My child is slated to begin a Magnet school here in SC. I didn't include that in my research because I just assumed tha there is a huge wait list like here. But I realize that I shouldn't rule it out for this year and will contact both Pinellas and Manatee Districts to see what my options are for this year. I would love to here peoples thoughts on Fundamentals, Magnets, and Charters in terms of....am I wasting my time to try for this year.


Rick
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:21 PM
 
32 posts, read 65,732 times
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Default if you dont mind me asking

oobie..if you have children, where did you send them and what was your opinion?
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:58 PM
 
74 posts, read 233,273 times
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We are also in the Tara area with children. We live in Mandalay and my son will attend Tara in the fall. This whole section near Lockwood Ridge looks very nice and seems to be filled with lots of very nice subdivisions. We've only been here a week, and so far we like it a lot. We are renting our home here.

Imagine had spots available a couple of weeks ago. It must depend on the grade. My son is going into 1st and they offered him a spot the same day we got on the waiting list, which was about 2 weeks ago. Things may have changed since then, too. We decided against it, but if you are wanting to go that route, it is worth a phone call or email.

Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:04 PM
 
25,449 posts, read 10,987,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oobie119 View Post
If going further from the expressway is an option, Vista at Palma Sola apartments are very nice and in Palma Sola Elementary school zone. They are located in West Bradenton, on 75th street. They accept large dogs, but Im not sure about 2 dogs.
I can shed some light on Vista at Palma Sola as I have a few friends and a family member who live in that complex. First of all, Vista is not in Palma Sola Elementary's school zone... it's in Sea Breeze Elementary's school zone. Sea Breeze is located on 71st Street West... it's only 2 minutes away from the Vista apartment complex. It's a very nice school, "A" rated for the majority of the years it has been open. The staff is very caring of their kids and very kind. Here's the school's website for more info... http://www.schools.manatee.k12.fl.us/671CBIRKMAN/seabreeze/ (broken link)

As far as Vista apartments is concerned, you can find a whole slew of information from this website... The Vista At Palma Sola Apartments For Rent in Bradenton, Florida - Apartment Rental and Community Details - ForRent.com

Happy hunting!
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,902,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suncoast Guy View Post
I can shed some light on Vista at Palma Sola as I have a few friends and a family member who live in that complex. First of all, Vista is not in Palma Sola Elementary's school zone... it's in Sea Breeze Elementary's school zone. Sea Breeze is located on 71st Street West... it's only 2 minutes away from the Vista apartment complex. It's a very nice school, "A" rated for the majority of the years it has been open. The staff is very caring of their kids and very kind. Here's the school's website for more info... Seabreeze Elementary Home (http://www.schools.manatee.k12.fl.us/671CBIRKMAN/seabreeze/ - broken link)

As far as Vista apartments is concerned, you can find a whole slew of information from this website... The Vista At Palma Sola Apartments For Rent in Bradenton, Florida - Apartment Rental and Community Details - ForRent.com

Happy hunting!

You're right, I always get those two schools mixed up--
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,902,164 times
Reputation: 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolffish View Post
oobie..if you have children, where did you send them and what was your opinion?

Ive been a teacher for 11 years, 4 here in Florida so I know Manatee schools pretty well. Im a middle school director now, but still have many friends in the area of teaching. My daughter is attending Tara this fall- We get school choice and wanted Tara from the start. Lucky for us we purchased in Tara's district anyway : ) The Middle school and high school in this area are very nice also so that's a plus..
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