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Old 07-30-2011, 03:40 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,751 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband, daughter (age 4) and I currently live in the other Bay Area in San Francisco. We recently made agreements with our employers here to become remote workers in January 2012, which means we can keep the jobs we have but live anywhere in the US. We're from Florida and we both enjoyed living there, and our families live there, so it's logical to go back.

His family lives in Tampa; his parents live in Twin Branch Acres and his siblings live near Double Branch. My husband grew up in Temple Terrace (his parents taught at USF) and he still has friends there. My parents live in Melbourne. We're trying to decide whether we should live in Tampa, or if we should meet in the middle and go to Orlando. (We've lived in Orlando previously, near UCF. We liked it fine, but I'm not super attached to it). We're not really interested in Melbourne for a variety of reasons.

I'd like to spend no more than $2500/month on rent and would prefer $2000 if possible. Our daughter will start kindergarten in fall 2012, so good schools are important. Since we'll be working at home, commute distance is not too important but a place that's quiet during the day is necessary; we'll need to work. We were thinking it would be nice to be near where 75 meets I-4 so it would be easy to get to and from Melbourne. I figure we'll do that once or twice a month. We will probably want to take a half-dozen day trips to Disney per year.

I have to say, I don't love living in San Francisco. Someplace suburban sounds quiet and green and like no one will panhandle me or pee on my car and I have to say that's pretty appealing right now, so don't think we need another very urban setting.

So what's your advice? Should we suck it up and go live near his family and be prepared to drive farther to see mine? Is Orlando just better all around? What can we get at that price in a good quiet neighborhood with good schools?

I'm grateful for any advice you can give!
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: SARASOTA, FLORIDA
11,501 posts, read 13,952,908 times
Reputation: 4883
Very tough question.

The most important item is the schools. Many people here like the NE Orlando schools so that might be a place to start. Since your child is just starting school it should be your top priority and not the location of either parents.

Other then schools, if it were me I would move close to the location that YOU enjoy. If you are a beach family then you need to be close to the best beaches in Florida on the gulf.

It is nothing to drive a few hours to see the family on either side.

We have been here a month and put on tons of miles to get to various beaches and it has been well worth it.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
3,237 posts, read 5,492,353 times
Reputation: 1492
Orlando sucks. There is no redeeming features unless you are a chronic Disney or Universal addict.

More traffic, crime, pollution, heat, etc.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:26 PM
 
385 posts, read 993,927 times
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I personally think there's more in Tampa, of course other than theme parks. Plus it is a few degrees cooler, and there is also a breeze sometimes from the ocean. Your rent budget should get you something pretty nice in Tampa.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:16 PM
 
100 posts, read 331,316 times
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If the choice is between Tampa and Orlando, I'll choose Tampa any day. As others have pointed out, Orlando is worse than Tampa on most criteria. The only positive factors for Orlando are the theme parks and greater number of international flights from Orlando airport. However, one avails of these facilities once or twice a year and the drive from Tampa to Orlando is about an hour - very easy if one has to do it once in a while.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:23 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,928 posts, read 10,655,433 times
Reputation: 5235
What you're thinking (I-4/I-75) is very doable on your budget. However, the schools in that area are not the best. I also wonder about internet access around the rural areas...will it be good enough for your work - maybe I'm a dummy...IDK.

You might look around Lithia. There's a huge master-planned community there called Fishhawk. While I think Fishhawk may be too noisy and not rural enough, there are certainly smaller neighborhoods along the perimeter that would be more suited to a quiet lifestyle - and the schools are excellent.

Another area to research is Valrico. There are lots of smaller neighborhoods some old and some new and it's close to shopping and necessary services. Just make sure to check the school boundaries first as some of the schools in the area are better than others.

Good luck!
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