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Old 01-31-2010, 09:45 PM
 
27 posts, read 89,289 times
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My husband and I live in Panama City Beach, Florida with our two young sons 1 and 3 and we are in desperate need of a major life change. We lived in Destin for 7 years but moved here two years ago because my husbands company is here and the commute was too long.
Maybe its mid life crisis or just tired of the Redneck Riviera but we want outta here. We miss a city= I'm from Atlanta and Hubby is from Miami but we don't want to go to either of those cities. Husband will sell business and maybe start another(insurance) so jobs are not an issue.

Ideally we would like an upscale mid size city with low crime and good schools on the coast and within 2 hours of a major city. Top on the list so far is Sarasota but concerned it may be too old and possibly unfriendly to newcomers?

Most importantly we want a great family atmosphere, lots of stuff to do for kids and adults and... lots of people like us- well educated, well traveled but not stuffy and old. I guess old is relative, we are 40 after all

Suggestions are greatly appeciated!!!





i
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:51 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 13,729,576 times
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Default We're wondering the same thing...

We decided we are moving to Sarasota this year, hopefully before high summer. We're now selling off all the things we don't want to take with us. We have a lifetime's accumulation of things. Although we're retirees, we're hoping to meet new people and make friends there. We live in rural TN right now and it has to be the unfriendliest place I've ever lived. Talk about rednecks... We're hoping the people of Sarasota are a little more cosmopolitan, a little more sophisticated then what we have here.

From what I've read the crime in Sarasota is on the high side. That concerns us but wont stop us from moving there.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,700,144 times
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Well as far as age goes, I think the average age in Sarasota is somewhere in the mid 40's. I consider Sarasota to be very friendly. A few weeks ago my oldest daughter and I went downtown to Marina Jacks so she could do some painting and everyone that walked by commented on how nice a job she was doing, etc. She turned to me and said, "Is it just me or is everyone in Sarasota really, really friendly?" So, I would say, for the most part Sarasota is a pretty friendly place to live.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Murrayville, Georgia
3,464 posts, read 1,795,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasidejules View Post
Ideally we would like an upscale mid size city with low crime and good schools on the coast and within 2 hours of a major city.

Tampa/St. Pete...less than 1hour away...

Top on the list so far is Sarasota but concerned it may be too old and possibly unfriendly to newcomers? i
Sarasota isn't too old but Venice is...my opinion...
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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Sarasota is both very friendly and also very cosmopolitan. There are people from many different countries here, as well as an Amish village and everyone gets along. I love the eclectic nature of this town. The neighborhood we live in has the nicest, friendliest neighbors of anywhere I have ever lived, and I have lived in many different neighborhoods and towns in Florida. My husband feels the same.

City-Data shows average age as 41 - there are all ages here. One will see a lot of retirees for sure, but we also have three highly acclaimed small colleges which are continually growing, so there are plenty of young people as well, and also a growing rank of young professionals. It depends where you go as to what age group you will see most.

And one of the really great things about this area, is that for a small city, it has all the amenities of a larger one on its own, and also is an easy drive to Tampa or St. Pete. I think you will like it here based on what you are looking for in a town, especially since jobs are not an issue for you.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:21 PM
 
27 posts, read 89,289 times
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thanks so much for your posts! Any suggestions on areas or neighborhoods to investigate? We would want a neighborhood near a great school district or good private schools with well maintanined homes and lots of small kids. We would also prefer waterfront but would be willing to wait until the kids are older as long as it is near a marina. We would want to stay under $700,000.

We live in a very nice gated community here but most our our neighbors are 55+ and very few small children in the neighborhod. There are not many high paying jobs here so few people with young children in PCB can afford the neighborhood. We don't want that again. We would take less of a home for younger, more fun atmoshere.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:00 PM
 
16,536 posts, read 35,831,010 times
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One of our posters here, SoFLGal, is a fountain of knowledge of the area, and I'm sure she will be along soon to give you some recommendations on neighborhoods. With your budget, I think it should be no problem to find something your family will be happy with.

Good luck to you!
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Murrayville, Georgia
3,464 posts, read 1,795,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seasidejules View Post
thanks so much for your posts! Any suggestions on areas or neighborhoods to investigate? We would want a neighborhood near a great school district or good private schools with well maintanined homes and lots of small kids. We would also prefer waterfront but would be willing to wait until the kids are older as long as it is near a marina. We would want to stay under $700,000.

We live in a very nice gated community here but most our our neighbors are 55+ and very few small children in the neighborhod. There are not many high paying jobs here so few people with young children in PCB can afford the neighborhood. We don't want that again. We would take less of a home for younger, more fun atmoshere.

dam $700'000...no need to worry about anything...
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,700,144 times
Reputation: 2855
Quote:
Originally Posted by seasidejules View Post
thanks so much for your posts! Any suggestions on areas or neighborhoods to investigate? We would want a neighborhood near a great school district or good private schools with well maintanined homes and lots of small kids. We would also prefer waterfront but would be willing to wait until the kids are older as long as it is near a marina. We would want to stay under $700,000.

We live in a very nice gated community here but most our our neighbors are 55+ and very few small children in the neighborhod. There are not many high paying jobs here so few people with young children in PCB can afford the neighborhood. We don't want that again. We would take less of a home for younger, more fun atmoshere.
Palmer Ranch sounds like a good bet for you. I wrote a blog about it on my profile. Laurel Oaks might also be a good fit. If you wanted to be a little closer to Pine View School you could check out The Oaks. You'd have a lot to chose from in the price range.

Sarasota county has one of the best school systems in the state of Florida. It also has Pine View School for the Gifted, which was ranked the top school in Florida and one of the top schools in the Nation. It is a public school and the requirements are that you live in Sarasota county, have an IQ of 130 or more, pass the achievement tests required and have teacher recommendations. I have two children that attend PV and we are more than pleased with the school. It services grades 2nd-12th. Here's some more info on that subject:
Welcome to Pine View School
Pine View School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Public Elites - Newsweek.com
Pine View wraps up perfect Olympics | HeraldTribune.com | Sarasota Florida | Southwest Florida's Information Leader
America's Best High Schools: Gold Medal List - US News and World Report

There are many other fantastic school in Sarasota county. Here's a website where you can see how the schools are rated:
School Accountability Report...
or www.GreatSchools.com

Alright, if I were checking out schools other than Pine View these are the schools that I would look into. The state has them ranked in this order.

Southside services most of the downtown area south of Main St. North of Main would be mostly Booker school district. The Palmer Ranch area is mostly Ashton school district. There are other schools in the area but these are ones that I have either had personal experience with or I have friends that have kids in the schools.

For Elementary
Southside Elementary
Venice Elementary
Ashton Elementary
Cranberry Elementary (North Port)
Taylor Ranch (southern Sarasota county)
Lakeview Elementary
Gulf Gate Elementary
Laurel Nokomis Elementary (mid Sarasota county)
Tatum Ridge Elementary
Garden Elementary
Phillipi Shores
Fruitville Elementary
Englewood Elementary (southern Sarasota county)

For Middle
Sarasota Middle

High School
Riverview
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Venice, Fl
1,498 posts, read 3,312,759 times
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In this market you can get a heck of a nice home for 300k, dont come here saying we got 700k to spend, youll spend it on a home worth 300k
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