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Old 03-31-2011, 10:12 AM
 
27 posts, read 67,795 times
Reputation: 28

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I have posted here before but I have a few more questions and would like to clarify a few things.

I am a 33 year old single mom of a 13 year old wonderful daughter I currently live in Alaska and suffer from SAD and cannot handle the cold weather and lack of sunshine anymore. I am unemployed as that I was managing our LLC the last year but now I am getting a divorce out of a emotional and verbally abusive relationship, sometimes we have to move...sometimes we need a change. I am CMBS certified medical biller. I have great work and rental references.

I have been on these boards since December looking for advice about areas. In a perfect world I would like to move to Hawaii, but because of cost of living and bad schools that will have to wait.

I have narrowed my search to two cities Austin or Sarasota.....I am an ocean girl and have lived on the ocean most of my life and the thought of land locked Austin does worry me some. They say the economy is better there but I do see less health field jobs there than Florida and the competition in fierce with all the UT grads. I know that Austin is a hipper more progressive area and has good schools but I just don't know if I can do with out the ocean. Also my best friend lives in Florida. I do worry about Florida being to conservative I do have several tattoo's (that I cover for work) and a nose piercing. I love the outdoors and we did have a boat in AK I am sad to see that go.

Anyway, My friend lives in Brandon I could stay with her as long as necessary, I do have some a bit of saving enough to live for about 6 months with freaking out

I really feel like my heart is saying Florida, I love gardening, tropical climates, sun, beaches, the ocean....although the constant strip malls in FL are somewhat of an eyesore. I also see that there are a lot of houses for rent in Sarasota/Bradenton as that I really do not want to live in an apartment complex. I think with all the Docs office's and Hospitals I should be able to find a job.

I also want to do what is best for my daughter. I am looking for advice on being somewhat young and living in Sarasota/Bradenton what neighborhoods should I stay in where are the best schools...middle and high school next year.

I have looked at St Pete/Tampa/ and Brandon but they might be a bit overwhelming to us because they are so big.

Austin or Sarasota I have been trying to decide for weeks and am a little stuck......

Any thoughts would be appreciated...Thank you
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:33 AM
 
17,533 posts, read 39,109,818 times
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Sarasota is a great place to live - we have a mix of conservative and liberal/hip- heck we have a "hippie college" here (New College). Also no shortage of tats and piercings here, either. This is an artsy small city with big city amenities and just enough quirks to be interesting. Where else can you find artists/intellectuals alongside and Amish village all with a circus heritage...

If you are in the health field, there are usually jobs available, so that is another plus for you. And we have some of THE most beautiful beaches in Florida. I'm sure Austin is a nice place (never been there) but personally I would never have an interest in it because I too, LOVE living near the coast, smelling the salty air and visiting the beautiful white sand beaches. Re: strip malls - you can find those aplenty in every other state besides Florida. Sarasota has a wonderful compact walkable downtown with all kinds of unique shops, cafes, etc. For me, this is paradise. Sarasota has good schools. Check out SoFLGal's posts, she is a fountain of good info!

Good luck to you!
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 22,914,037 times
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Since Gypsy did such a great job describing the area I'll jump in on the school question. Here's how the state of Florida ranks the local middle and high schools. Here is a website where you can match up each school to the area in Sarasota county that it covers: http://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/schools.aspx:

#1) Pine View School-This school has 2nd-12th grades and requires extensive testing, etc for entrance. It is ranked the top school in FL and one of the top in the Nation.

#2) Sarasota Middle School

#3) Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences

#4) Island Village Montessori Middle (mid Sarasota county)

#5) Laurel Nokomis Middle (mid Sarasota county)

#6) Woodland Middle in North Port (Southern Sarasota county)

#7) Venice Middle (mid Sarasota county)

#8) Venice High (mid Sarasota county)

#9) Riverview High

#10) Heron Creek Middle (Southern Sarasota county)

#11) Suncoast Polytechnical High School

#12) Brookside Middle

#13) Sarasota High

#14) North Port High School (Southern Sarasota county)

#15) Booker Middle

#16) Booker High

Incidentally, I get a lot of people who consider Sarasota and Austin. They must be somewhat similar.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:28 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
5,587 posts, read 8,399,588 times
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I get what you mean about the ocean -- it's a big consideration. I don't think I could ever move to AZ or TX or anywhere that far from the ocean. Sarasota is gorgeous, the sunsets over the Gulf are so peaceful, the sand on the beaches is powder-white, the water is turquoise....it's a no-brainer....sure, you've got the FL humidity but you'd have that in TX too, right? Therefore, my vote is FL!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:17 PM
 
27 posts, read 67,795 times
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Thank you for the information; as I a write this it is slushing out side (half rain half snow) onto the frozen mud. There are MANY beautiful things about where I live but this weather is not one of them

Are there areas that I should steer clear of renting in, in Sarasota? It appears to me that Bradenton and Sarasota are right by each other am I better off staying in the Sarasota are?

Thanks again
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 20,142 times
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We too are considering the Sarasota area. I've been researching the city and keep seeing high thefts/burglaries, rapes, etc. Do you native residents of Sarasota feel safe in your city? Is crime as bad as this city-data site says? I currently live in a city with 20,000 some more people than Sarasota and our crime rate is about the same.

Any info on good places, and areas to stay away from (zip codes, neighborhoods, etc) would be appreciated! We are younger - 29 and 31, so still want to be close enough to restaurants, shopping, bars.

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 22,914,037 times
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Well, I'm a native to the area. My personal opinion is that much of the crime is concentrated into certain areas. I've gone out in almost all areas of Sarasota, by myself at night and never been bothered. I feel very safe living here but that is, of course, my own feelings about the town.

Are you looking to buy or rent? If you can post you price range or rental range it would be easier for us to suggest areas to investigate.

Just reading your post I would say possibly investigate the Southside Village or South Gate/Gulf Gate areas.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 20,142 times
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Thanks SoFLGal!

We would probably rent first to get an idea of the area. We'd probably like to rent a nice house - highest rental rate of $1900. We would be ready to buy again this fall - but I think the best decision would be to rent and get accustomed to all the areas.

I would also like to be in an area where it's pet friendly as I have a pet sitting/dog walking company! I hope Sarasotan's love their pets

My husband and I love restaurants, eating alfresco, brew pubs, wine bars, Whole Foods, good shopping - and it seems like Sarasota can offer all that!

I pulled up the SarasotaLive web cam, and I so wish I was in the sun instead of looking out at 40 degrees and dreary weather!
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 22,914,037 times
Reputation: 2878
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahc282 View Post
Thanks SoFLGal!

We would probably rent first to get an idea of the area. We'd probably like to rent a nice house - highest rental rate of $1900. We would be ready to buy again this fall - but I think the best decision would be to rent and get accustomed to all the areas.

I would also like to be in an area where it's pet friendly as I have a pet sitting/dog walking company! I hope Sarasotan's love their pets

My husband and I love restaurants, eating alfresco, brew pubs, wine bars, Whole Foods, good shopping - and it seems like Sarasota can offer all that!

I pulled up the SarasotaLive web cam, and I so wish I was in the sun instead of looking out at 40 degrees and dreary weather!
I would think you would be able to find something in the Southside area in your rental range. It's witin walking distance to the downtown area, which I think would suit you nicely.

Once Easter hits the snowbirds will go back and the rental rates will drop. I just took a quick look on the MLS and it looks like there are about 16 homes that might fit what you're looking for. I could send them over to you if you'd like to DM me. I don't handle rentals so you'd have to contact the agents directly.

I noticed one on Field Ln in Oyster Bay Estates. I have a photographer who lives in there and he tells me it's packed with kids.

I have two dogs and Sarasota in general seems to be pretty doggie friendly from the dog friendly restaurants to the doggie beaches. Most of the downtown restaurants have outside or patio dining where you can take your pooch along.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:14 PM
 
879 posts, read 1,952,913 times
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well, i think austin would be a blast!! DH was just there for SXSW conference and it was a cool city! I love music and they always have great bands playing, my Fave BAND played there a few weeks ago and *sigh* i know they will never play here in SRQ. Sarasota has a lot of other nice things going for it but Austin looks like a rockin' town!
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