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Old 11-07-2011, 06:27 PM
3 posts, read 23,230 times
Reputation: 10



First of all, I would like to thank you so much for reading this. My husband and I currently live in Sarasota, in a rental. We moved here from up north and decided to rent before buying. The $1100 a month rent is starting to get old, although we like Sarasota. We are wanting to reduce this payment a little bit and also start paying on our own home. We need to buy a home soon, so we do not have to renew a lease.

We started looking around at homes for sale and we are lost as to what to do. Our price range is not much to talk about at $80,000 to $150,000. I really wish we were looking at $200-$300k homes, as I know we could get something nice, but we need to live within our means. It seems hard to get a decent home in Sarasota for this price.

We have been to Venice a few times, and also North Port. I am not asking you to try and make a decision for us, as I know that is ours alone. I am just worried about a safe location and affordable housing. I do realize that North Port offers newer housing for the money, and we like the space there....but we keep hearing things about it. One Realtor told us that we should buy in the Jockey Club at North Port because of affordability....but people we spoke to said it was a very bad area? I have found homes out away from that area that we can afford, but people say that there are a lot of break ins? I am not meaning to insult anyone who lives in North Port. We actually like the area, and my husband does not mind commuting to Sarasota to work. I am just worried about safety. Is North Port safe? A good investment?

As far as Venice goes, we really like it. I realize that there are a lot of older people....but we don't mind that at all. We looked at some homes in Venice, and while older....most of them seem nice and well cared for. The same realtor that told us about The Jockey Club, said that South Venice would be affordable for us....an we have also heard horrible things about that. We are so confused.

We do not mind an older neighborhood, or smaller, older homes. I am concerned about crime. I am home alone a lot at night and I want to feel safe. I do know that crime is everywhere, but I don't want to buy in a bad area and regret it. We have driven through some of these areas, but it is hard to tell sometimes.

We currently live in a 3 bd. 2 bath home...around 1700 SF. We are willing to go smaller...

I know that it is hard for Realtors who post on this forum to say bad things about neighborhoods, but any advice is appreciated.

I want to thank you, as a mom, from the bottom of my heart for your time and input.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:06 PM
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 22,922,074 times
Reputation: 2879
I live in North Port, have three kids and have lived here for around 10 years now. Like you, I would prefer to live on Siesta or in other areas in Sarasota but my budget doesn't agree. I prefer older, historic homes to the newer homes you'll find in North Port.

I live off of south Chamberlian Blvd (the neighborhoods are referred to by the major road they run off of). Many of my clients like the areas just south of Bobcat Trail, known as the Woodhaven area or between Toledo Blade Blvd and Sumter Blvd.

You didn't mention the ages of your children but Cranberry Elementary falls with in this area. It's one of the top rated elementary schools in the district and the top rated school in North Port.

As far as the "break ins" are concerned, I have listed/shown homes where the A/C or appliances are missing. It seems as though these are usually "crimes of opportunity". By this I mean that the majority of these homes are out in the boonies with no other homes on the street. Unfortunate but those are the facts.

I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for but if you have a few kids you might want to check out the home that is currently listed on Rufus. I live in a home built by the same builder as this home. It's listed for $110K.

On to Venice, I really like the Venice schools. I have attended them and so have my kids. I'm assuming your Realtor was talking about the South Venice area. That area is very up and down. One street might be neat as a pin and the next street might have 3 cars up on blocks.

Many of the areas your are referring to need to be taken on a street by street basis. I wouldn't paint any area with a broad brush. You might want to go out to some of the neighborhoods after 5pm when many of the residents are likely to be home. Another idea is to go and speak with neighbors if you are seriously considering a home in that specific area.

Good luck with your search
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:39 AM
1,581 posts, read 3,373,994 times
Reputation: 761
We live in North Port and to date have had no problems. We live in a section off Cranberry. There are quite a few empty homes but have not witnessed any vandalisim. The homes all have their lawns cut and as I walk the neighborhood I have noticed that none have any missing a/c units or evidence of being broken into. Ours is a nice quiet area with friendly people. Everyone walks their dogs (including me) and we feel very safe.

We would have loved to have bought in Venice but we got much more house for our money here. We did not want a fixer upper, we just wanted to move in and enjoy. While being closer to the beach would have been nice, it's just a short drive to beaches and shopping. We are very happy that we bought where we did.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:52 AM
Location: Venice
1 posts, read 10,525 times
Reputation: 11
I'm a realtor and have lived in Venice for the last 11 years. I love it here and find the small town atmosphere very appealing and I've always felts very safe here. I also like being 5 minutes from the beach, the Paw Park, etc. I think you're observations about most of the homes being older in Venice is correct. There is more new construction to be had in North Port. As for South Venice, SoFLGal is right, it's very "up and down". One thing not mentioned in any of the previous posts is the utilities situation. In south Venice it's almost all septic and well systems, while in almost all other areas of Venice it's public water and sewer. Some buyers find that to be an issue - some don't. Just thought I'd mention it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:03 AM
Location: sittin happy in the sun :-)
3,645 posts, read 7,150,786 times
Reputation: 1877
we dont live in North Port but I do business there. as a town I like it and we often say if we moved it would be to NP as you get more for your dollar . for $150k you should definitely get a good home in a nice area. we sold a 3/2/2 in Lakeside Plantation for well below that about 5 months ago . i will aslo have a 2000 sq ft pool home under that price in late December in a very nice area between NP and PC so dont be worried about your budget.as Soflgal says look around you may be pleasantly suprised

you could also look at Rotonda which is quiet and safe but a bit more expensive.

if your choice is school based then I am not qualified to comment I am afraid. good luck in your search
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:52 AM
378 posts, read 829,964 times
Reputation: 291
Venice or Englewood which is a bit less expensive, would be far better than NP if you can afford it. Prices are cheap, buy the best location you can. Naturally the most desirable areas are most expensive, it's supply and demand. There are reasons NP is cheaper. Don't buy a cheap old JC house, the homeowners will be higher on old homes and the re-sale will be limited even when things get better.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:58 PM
3 posts, read 23,230 times
Reputation: 10
I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful replies. I feel so much better equipped to start making a decision. A lot of what was said confirmed how we already felt. Now we feel like we can choose carefully in both areas and go with what we feel is best.

I am still reading this, so if anyone has anything else to add, it is greatly appreciated. Little girls will be growing up safe and happy because of your kindness and willingness to post and try to help. We have found people in this area to be friendly and helpful to others. We are so glad that we made Southwest Florida our home.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:56 AM
Location: englewood
1,580 posts, read 3,142,555 times
Reputation: 772
no disrespect meant, but this subject has been beat up over and over. try using the search option.

also alot depends on what you consider safe. what to you is a tolerable rate of crime?

unfortunately because of the changing values of our society there are pervs all around ready to pounce on your little girl or boy.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:35 AM
21 posts, read 53,103 times
Reputation: 19
Hi! We have lived in NP for 4 years now and think it is a great place to raise small kids. I have 2 small kids of my own and there is a sense of community here, lots of young families with kids. There is no crazy traffic like Sarasota and we can be at the beach in 20 minutes. My husband commutes to Sarasota for work and doesn't mind it, we live close to the interstate. As far as areas to buy in I would try to buy in either the Lamarque or Cranberry school districts. We love Lamarque Elementary and the neighbohood that surrounds it, very quiet and lots of friendly people. It is a great school. We are a few minutes from I-75 and close to Publix and city activities. I would advise against buying out in the NP Estates which is East of I-75...very isolated and not many houses, also a lot of problems with phone service, no cable, and internet options are very limited. We lived out there for all 4 years (until we bought recently) and I could not wait to move to this side of the interstate and have luxuries like cable again...lol. This feels like a neighborhood and everyone know everyone else. Specifically, look at areas South of Sumter and North of Toledo Blade, East of Price Blvd. Neighborhoods off Salford Blvd. and Cranberry Blvd. are nice and feel safe. I would not buy anywhere over by Biscayne, including Jockey Club, but that is my opinion from living here and knowing the areas of NP well now. I know a great realtor here in NP if you need a recommendation, private message me on here and I'll give you her name.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:01 PM
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
668 posts, read 1,466,841 times
Reputation: 612
We bought over by the Jockey Club in NP (right next to it). This is the older part of NP-nothing wrong with as far as I can tell. Some properties are better kept than others. We like it. Bought a pool home which backs to the conservation easment and no neighbors on one side or in the back for 65k. Can't argue with that-oh and being on city water has its benefits. People are friendly and wave etc.

I can't imagine crime being a problem around that area-too many neighbors.

Good luck in your search!!
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