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Old 05-14-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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Hi, My husband and I are about to move from Philly to the Tampa area, we need help with narrowing down our neighborhoods. He will be working in the downtown Tampa area, I will be working from home. We want to buy but, think it is smart to rent for a little bit to decide on the perfect area for us.

We are both 32, have 1 dog, LOVE boating and the water, and being active! The closer to the water the better! But, I also like a small town type feeling. I am drawn to houses that are older but have been or can be remodeled. I would like to keep the rent under $2000/month, but would look to spend under $500k for a house. Any suggestions on which area would be best suited for us?

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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Rent for at least a year and check out all the areas. It's nothing like Philly or PA.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Philly, PA.. YO!
53 posts, read 211,600 times
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Born in Philly, raised in Delco, yo!

Been in FLA since '99. Currently live in Tampa area (Pinellas County).

Rent first for a year. Visiting and living are two completely different things around here. There are the cookie cutter sub divisions north of Tampa, the older neighborhoods south, east and in Pinellas, the beach scene, the country, etc..

The closest you can get to feeling like you are in Philly is either South Tampa around Howard Ave (like a Manayunk/Queens Village scene). or Ybor City if you want that South Philly 'hood/industrialized feeling.

If you like the older houses and want to be closer to the water, check out Palm Harbor/Tarpon Springs in North Pinellas County. Good neighborhood like places, feels less transient, more homely.

St. Petersburg in itself is eerily a lot like Wilmington, DE (you'll see what I mean when you get here)

The beaches are mostly lost to the snowbirds and tourists and retirees. (Think Stone Harbor/Cape May/Avalon), but the locals find their own quiet stretches and hidden areas.

I-275 is like the Schuylkill Expressway. Traffic tie ups whenever however for no reason. There are 3 bridges that connect Pinellas and Hillsborough, so choose wisely if you intend to live on the other side of the bay.

Come check it out, rent for 6 months and get a good feel for all the areas, its a nice contrast to what you might be used to in Philly (hint: no ones in a rush it seems...ugh!!). It is way spread out around here. the Phillies play spring training right here in Clearwater, but good luck trying to find a good cheesesteak...
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,240,931 times
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Best advice, Rent first. If you love boating, plan on buying a boat and want to have easy access to do so you need to find a place with it's own boat lift. In your budget that will be a townhome of some sorts. Other option, that is convenient is to pick a neighborhood that has it's own boat launch. Look into Dana Shores.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psonio7 View Post
St. Petersburg in itself is eerily a lot like Wilmington, DE (you'll see what I mean when you get here)
Have to disagree with this. I get how they're both small cities 20 minutes from larger cities, but I enjoy St. Pete very much whereas Wilmington is terrible.

To the OP, we're late 20s, married, dogs but no kids, moved here from a Philly suburb in the fall. If you're like us, you'll want to be in South Tampa or the Old Northeast in St. Pete. Lots of posts here on both of them. Based solely on what's in your post, Old NE seems like a better fit. But I'd caution that (i) it's a longer commute (I'd budget a solid 45 minutes; less if he's an early riser), and (ii) if kids are in the future, the schools are consistently better in South Tampa.

To another poster's point, I don't think you can afford a single family waterfront home with dockage in either of those neighborhoods, but I'm positive you can afford a house in either neighborhood within a few blocks of a boat slip/lift for rent. And, if waterfront is top priority, you absolutely can afford a single family home on the water in most waterfront neighborhoods in the bay area. Just be aware that, if you make waterfront top priority, your neighbors will very likely be much older than you are, and you'll be commuting to friends your age.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Philly, PA.. YO!
53 posts, read 211,600 times
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I was thinking more along of the art element, more sophisticated in certain pockets and unexpected bad area next to millionaires. I'll admit I haven't been to St Pete all that much, but it struck me as contrast to Tampa.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:52 PM
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490 posts, read 850,499 times
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Originally Posted by psonio7 View Post
I was thinking more along of the art element, more sophisticated in certain pockets and unexpected bad area next to millionaires. I'll admit I haven't been to St Pete all that much, but it struck me as contrast to Tampa.
Agree that St. Pete isn't like Tampa. But it's also not anything like Wilmington, which has almost no redeeming qualities. Not sure why you think Wilmington has an "art element," sophistication or millionaires. Wilmington proper is a very, very poor place with absolutely nothing to do where even the supposedly good neighborhood is dangerous. Maybe Wilmington is comparable to (the bad) parts of south St. Pete, but certainly not any neighborhood (within or without St. Pete) that the OP ($500k budget) would be considering.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:30 AM
 
Location: Philly, PA.. YO!
53 posts, read 211,600 times
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I do agree with your point, was just thinking more along in theory the compare and contrast, not saying the actual areas are similar. Glass is half full half empty idea going on.

Also that along 52 from Union Park northbound drops you off in redeeming areas of Wilmington with the art wine and money. Then again we're talking Longwood and Brandywine valley. Realistically a half million around here will pretty much get you into anywhere, maybe not Tierra verde or so, but that half mil goes far here.

We left Philly for a reason as much as the same or different reasons you did. Now if I can only just find a good cheesesteaks, without them calling it a Philly.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:10 AM
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490 posts, read 850,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psonio7 View Post
I do agree with your point, was just thinking more along in theory the compare and contrast, not saying the actual areas are similar. Glass is half full half empty idea going on.

Also that along 52 from Union Park northbound drops you off in redeeming areas of Wilmington with the art wine and money. Then again we're talking Longwood and Brandywine valley. Realistically a half million around here will pretty much get you into anywhere, maybe not Tierra verde or so, but that half mil goes far here.

We left Philly for a reason as much as the same or different reasons you did. Now if I can only just find a good cheesesteaks, without them calling it a Philly.
Yeah, you're lumping in a lot of places outside of city limits. There's definitely money on 52, but it's north of town in Greenville, Centreville and then further north into horse country. The art and wine is way out of town; in fact, in another state. I always found it amazing that, for as much high-end work as there is in Wilmington (and there is a heck of a lot for a city that size), the city itself has no nice neighborhoods and absolutely nothing going on; everyone just commutes in and out of there, and the town itself manages to be both boring and dangerous. Anyway, that's a very different situation than St. Pete, which has some great neighborhoods within city limits and a lively downtown, and a heck of a lot of middle/lower-middle/lower class sprawl outside of town. I just don't see any similarities between St. Pete and Wilmington.

I've been told there's a place called DelCo in downtown Dunedin that makes very good cheesesteaks. I'm somewhat optimistic about anyone willing to name his/her place after Delaware County, but haven't had the time to trek up there yet.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Philly, PA.. YO!
53 posts, read 211,600 times
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The more I think about it, the more I agree, St Pete and Wilmington is such a dumb comparison now. It is amazing though for the amount of high end jobs there, there isn't much going on. Hence the massive commuter traffic on 202, US-1, and such northbound on weeknights.
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