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Old 06-28-2011, 08:29 AM
 
3 posts, read 8,963 times
Reputation: 12

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I’m looking to move from Waterbury, CT(NYC metro area) to Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater, FL. mostly for the weather. it would be me and my wife, no children yet. we both work at home and money is not an issue, according to my finance guy I can spend up to $4,400/mo on housing, however I have absolutely no interest in going anywhere near that amount. I like living within my means and would like to know how much it should cost for rent and other living expenses if I decide to move down there. Right now I spend $400/mo with heat and hot water for a 95sq studio, it’s to small for us and I hate the cold!

the needs:
-studio or 1br, at least 150sf (not 1,500sf).
-2 cars off-street parking or ample on-street parking.
-washer/dryer hookup.
-allows dogs
-crime/neighborhood quality: Anything short of drive-bys and hookers out my front door I can deal with. With that said, is there any of those types of neighborhoods I should stay away from in the bay area?

the wants:
-somewhere I can walk to things, such as a mall, parks, corner stores, restaurant, etc.
-I refuse to live in a snooty, gated-community, "we're-better-than-you" type of place.
-we each own a car so PT isn't a necessity, however we would like to take the train to Connecticut to see family or to Grand Central for the weekend. I’m not sure how the commuter rail situation is in Florida but an express train to Grand Central or Penn would be great.
-Everything seems to be 1st floor that I’ve come across so far. I always hated living at ground level, Why is everything single-story, is it because of the hurricanes?
-I would like a culturally diverse neighborhood, where I live now Is a mix of just about every race, religion, and nationality you can think of. As long as it’s not all the same it’s good for me

Also, is there any hidden costs associated with living in Florida or the Tampa area that I might not be aware of? And where is a good place to look for apartments, is there a certain newspaper that has a lot or am I better off just sticking with craigslist? How are the people? I have lived in Los Angeles before and everyone is fake, obsessed with personal appearance and think they’re all movie stars. I’ve heard this was true about Miami and that’s why I’m not looking to move there. In urban Connecticut people aren’t as concerned with this kind of stuff, how about people in Tampa? As I said we don’t have children yet, but we will someday, if I choose to stay in Florida what neighborhoods have good schools and still meet the above requirements

So. What can I have here? What neighborhoods will give me what I want? and how much will it cost me?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you all.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:59 AM
BBI
 
490 posts, read 852,299 times
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You want South Tampa in/near the Hyde Park neighborhood or downtown St. Pete (or in the adjacent Old Northeast neighborhood). Lots of posts here about each of them, which I encourage you to search. I will say that both are "walkable" to the extent you want, neither are gated, both are convenient to the airport (there is no commuter rail in the bay area and there are no express trains to the northeast), both have apartments and condos for rent above the ground floor, and both are plenty safe. With space much easier to find here than metro NYC, I expect there is a small selection of tiny studio apartments, and so I don't know whether $400/mo will get you into the neighborhoods above.

Also, you will find that personal appearance is a bigger deal in South Tampa than St. Pete, but neither compare to Miami or LA. South Tampa is probably more image-driven than CT; St. Pete is probably much more relaxed than CT.

The "hidden" costs are insurance (every kind of insurance costs significantly more) and electric (you need to run your AC a lot more). The absence of state/local income taxes will likely more than make up the difference. Also, car registration is very expensive, but that's more than offset by no annual inspections.

My sense is that there are a lot of one-story homes/buildings because (i) a lot of the area was developed for retirees and (ii) they're cheaper to cool.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:31 PM
 
31 posts, read 74,653 times
Reputation: 20
Default small world...

Where in Waterbury do you live? I grew up off of RT 69 in Bristol by Indian Rock - just over the Wolcott line.

You will NOT find anything like Waterbury in the Tampa area. St. Pete has a downtown area that they are working on reviving. There are some areas that you would want to stay away.

If you can let me know you want to compromise on -- I think Palm Harbor by the downtown/Dunedin, Safety Harbor or Oldsmar -- all have activities geared towards family.

I have not found any Itailian Festivals - so kiss those goodbye. Every couple of years we go up to the Southington Apple Harvest.

Feel free to PM and I can let you any other info you want.

I also lived on the east coast - Palm Beach -- over priced and over grown...

I don't know anyone that lives year round in the Naples area - but family has a second home there and they like community feel (shopping & food).
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:01 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,963 times
Reputation: 12
BBI:
thanks. I will research those neighborhoods.
you said there is no commuter rail to the northeast but the Amtrak website has times and prices between Tampa and Penn station.
This is contradictory, maybe this is a brand new service to the area? I know new rail hasn’t been built in CT for at least half a century to my knowledge.

hd dawgy:
I’m on Prospect st right now but I was living in the Willow/Plaza neighborhood prior. I suppose what I would be willing to compromise on are the 'wants' and what I wont compromise on is the 'needs' listed in the original post

I was browsing satellite imagery in Tampa and the area around E 4th/E 5th just north of lee roy selman expy looked like it had a mix of residential and commercial with some neat architecture. what is that area called and what is it like? Also, what should a 150 SF studio or a 250 sf 1BR apartment cost in each of these areas you guys pointed out? …oh and thanks again to both of you for the feedback
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:40 AM
BBI
 
490 posts, read 852,299 times
Reputation: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdude99 View Post
BBI:
thanks. I will research those neighborhoods.
you said there is no commuter rail to the northeast but the Amtrak website has times and prices between Tampa and Penn station.
This is contradictory, maybe this is a brand new service to the area? I know new rail hasn’t been built in CT for at least half a century to my knowledge. ... Also, what should a 150 SF studio or a 250 sf 1BR apartment cost in each of these areas you guys pointed out?
Sorry, I may not have been clear. There is rail here. But... (1) There is no commuter rail in the bay area (there are no subways, light rail, etc.). So if you're moving throughout the bay area, it'll be by automobile. And (2) there is no express train from Tampa to the northeast. For example, Amtrak from Tampa to Penn Station in NYC takes about 24 hours and costs almost as much as flying. So unless you really love trains, you'll be flying to see family up north.

Not sure on rental prices; we weren't/aren't in the rental market.
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