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Old 08-21-2007, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Clearwater, Florida
10 posts, read 30,210 times
Reputation: 12

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Welcome to the area - my husband and I moved here from Philadelphia in 1991 and our family still live in Paoli and Concordville.

We don't have the same kind of walking downtowns today - they have tried for years in downtown Clearwater and are still struggling - St Petersburg has revitalized itself and has quite a nightlife and is the largest.

Be sure you work with a good realtor in the area - do you know that Westchase has CDD fees - Community Development District fees (an extra tax that could be $400-600/mo) on top of property taxes.

Tarpon is doing a lot of improvements and has a lot to offer. With the improvements to US19 communting is becoming better.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay`·.¸¸ ><((((º>.·´¯`·><((((º>
4,554 posts, read 6,910,029 times
Reputation: 13522
Smile Desperate Housewifes

I enjoyed reading your take on the different areas here, specially the comparison of Westchase with the DHousewifes neighborhood!!I never realized it before but it is so true
I don't know about the area you are coming from, but I am very familiar with Princeton.
I believe you should look more into Eastlake in Oldsmar, as you did not see that area, but it is nothing like walking anywhere. When people want to walk they go to Pinellas Trail and walk, or ride a bike.
Good Luck on your move to FL.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:45 PM
 
43 posts, read 244,676 times
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Ok that is 2 votes for the Eastlake area. We'll have to check it out. Thank you.

By the way, is anyone familiar w/ Apts in the Westchase area? I've seen information on Rent.com for a handful (specifically Tuscany Bay). I need a 1BR relatively close to Westchase/Veterans Pkwy, but not too close while my wife/daughter try to sells our house in Philly. Even when we sell our place we may stay in the apt for a 2-3 additional months while my wife finds the right home. Its tough to get a sense of the Apt complexes, based on online info.. Unfortunately, I'll have to choose one and hope for the best... I would imagine they are all decent in Westchase.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:47 PM
 
975 posts, read 3,508,788 times
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thanks for posting this...I'm sure your impressions will help those of us still planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjtoledo View Post
We've been considering a job opportunity that would require us to move from Philly to Tampa. As a result, we’ve spent the last two weekends visiting a few areas, including Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Westchase Community, Tarpon Springs and Palm Harbor. Below are some notes that may help others…

We had 2 primary requirements:
- Walking Village/Town (charm): We live in a NWest Philadelphia area called Chestnut Hill, which we love. Like other old NEastern villages/towns (Princeton NJ, Montclair NJ, Doylestown PA and many others), having a community, in which we could walk to the hardware store, grocery store, park etc... was/is extremely important to us
- Proximity to Palm Harbor: Our 6 year old daughter would attend School of the Suncoast (Waldorf) and my wife wanted a short commute (15/20 minutes max), which limited our choices.


Below are some pros-cons based on our limited time in the area:

DUNEDIN:
+ Community Pride: It was very clear that the community is very proud of the area and they certainly show it - in the way the downtown is kept and promoted.
+ Family Oriented: The town’s library, community centers and bike trail make it seem like a nice place to raise a family. Oh yeah – I can’t forget the beach (10 minutes away).
+ Some Shops: Despite not having all the more practical shops (at least I didn't seem them), like hardware stores, small grocery store, drug store in the walking downtown area, the shops are nice, the few restaurants are pretty good too. Bottom line - Dunedin has some great potential...
- Downtown Too Small: We had to constantly remind ourselves that we were not in Chestnut Hill. Downtown Dunedin is very small, compared to what we are used to, but then again Chestnut Hill does not have the beautiful weather and beach.
- Housing near Downtown: I was surprised to find that other than a few streets (Scotland), many of the nicer homes are further away (appx. 0.5 miles – still walking distance) from downtown. This was a real surprise to us, since in the NEast it’s often the opposite. At times, it was also disappointing to see a nice home neighboring a home that was not well taken care of...

SAFETY HARBOR
+ "Practical" Shopping. Safety Harbor did appear to provide easy access to the typical day to day convenience shopping (Hardware, Dry Cleaners, Coffee etc...) and a mix of a few restaurants. I hear they have a nice farmer’s market on the weekends.
- Combo of Naples & Depressing. Safety Harbor had this one block that reminded me of Naples (w/out the high end shops), yet it had some streets just a few blocks away that were down right depressing. I had heard that the housing situation in FL was in bad shape and it was very evident as we drove around some streets of SHarbor... I think what made it depressing was the combination of million dollar homes and depressing shacks just a few blocks away. It was really an odd mixture that is hard to explain. Again – the nicer communities where further away from the downtown. This concept is very odd to me...
- Family Oriented: Safety Harbor (Downtown) maybe a family oriented place - it just didn't seem like that to us.
- Expectation. Perhaps, our expectation was set too high. We had heard so much about Safety Harbor....


WESTCHASE
+ Convenience. The area appears convenient to the office (West Waters/Veterans Pkwy and my daughter's school (Palm Harbor).
+ Typical Suburbia. The communities (mostly gated) were beautiful and the homes were very well priced for new homes. Think ‘Desperate Housewives’.
+ Convenient Shopping Centers. Anything and everything you could want (on a regular basis) is in Westchase via shopping centers...
- Suburbia: Westchase - although very nice. It’s just not our style. Westchase has a 'downtown' area, but it’s more for show... It appears to be modeled after Downtown Celebration, except everyone seems to drive there and it’s much smaller than Celebration.

PALM HARBOR
+ Witch Cafe. I can't recall the name of the coffee shop. It’s very cool
- Tiny Downtown. It’s very small w/ shops spread apart from one another.

TARPON SPRINGS
I only spent an hour in the area, but it appeared a bit touristy to me. However, they seem to be investing quiet a bit in the area (roads, downtown etc...)

BOTTOM LINE
We are moving to Tampa. On the plane back from Tampa, a women (originally from Philly) said to me, 'FL ain’t all Puppies and Ice Cream, but if you appreciate and take advantage of the nice weather and the beach you will enjoy living there.’

We'll miss Philly...
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:08 PM
 
4,408 posts, read 9,257,403 times
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I just thought of another area you might like. I don't remember the subdivision name (I'll have to look over the weekend when I'm out that way) but it's on Racetrak Road, just south of S Mobley. One of the main streets is "Ecclesia" (hoping a realtor checks in and this jogs their memory). From the subdivision, you can go south on Racetrack to Tampa Rd and then over to Hwy 19; or go north on Racetrack to Tarpon Rd which takes you right to Tarpon Springs. There are new shopping centers just south with all sorts of stores - tad too far to walk though. The subdivision is really nice and fairly new - I have a client who lives in there and their house is beautiful.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Dunedin, FL
84 posts, read 358,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukon View Post
I just thought of another area you might like. I don't remember the subdivision name (I'll have to look over the weekend when I'm out that way) but it's on Racetrak Road, just south of S Mobley. One of the main streets is "Ecclesia" (hoping a realtor checks in and this jogs their memory). From the subdivision, you can go south on Racetrack to Tampa Rd and then over to Hwy 19; or go north on Racetrack to Tarpon Rd which takes you right to Tarpon Springs. There are new shopping centers just south with all sorts of stores - tad too far to walk though. The subdivision is really nice and fairly new - I have a client who lives in there and their house is beautiful.
Not sure if it is the right one but out there you have Waterchase, Highland Park, Westwood Lakes, The Eagles and West Hampton. Those are just off the top of my head but I will keep thinking and try to come up with it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:35 AM
 
13,772 posts, read 35,123,042 times
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There are several on Sheldon Road, but stay north of Waters if you can. The only problem might be getting a month to month lease, but you might be able to get a 7 mo lease. If you do move out that way be sure to go to Caccatorri Brothers meat market. They have palomino steaks which are great (pan fry like cube steak) plus they have a food to go section and speciality items
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:11 AM
 
15,841 posts, read 33,188,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
There are several on Sheldon Road, but stay north of Waters if you can. The only problem might be getting a month to month lease, but you might be able to get a 7 mo lease. If you do move out that way be sure to go to Caccatorri Brothers meat market. They have palomino steaks which are great (pan fry like cube steak) plus they have a food to go section and speciality items
I think you meant to say "palomilla" steak. My grandparents came to West Tampa from Spain, and I grew up there. We had local meat markets where my dad shopped every day, (he was the main cook in our home) and we ate a lot of those steaks - very European, and unlike the usual steaks you get in American restaurants. They are thin cut, and cut with the grain, and have been tenderized with papaya enzyme. Delicious! (and I'm not even much of a meat eater anymore!)
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:50 AM
 
4,408 posts, read 9,257,403 times
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Thanks dunedingirl, Highland Park was the subdivision I was trying to think of! One of the builders in there is David Weekly Homes, not sure who the other builders are. There are townhomes at the front, single family homes in the back, and it's convenient to both Tampa & north Pinellas county, also to central & eastern Pasco county. New retail centers are down the street at Countryside.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:40 PM
 
43 posts, read 244,676 times
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I'm thinking Tuscany Bay maybe where I rent for 7 months. By the way, the whole Relocation process is very odd. The relocation company I've been working w/ offered me a 1BR furnished apt @ Tuscany Bay (Westchase area) for $2,600 not including tax.

I called the Apt complex myself and received an offer for $920 a month for 7 mnths and I can contract Cort (Furnishing Rental) and get basic furnishing for $230 a month? I'm saving my new employer and myself tons of money. Just thought I would share.


Hopefully, we'll sale our Philly home quickly and we can start finding the right home - leaning towards Dunedin. 2 things scare the bejeezes ...: 1) home owners insurance and 2) sinkholes. Oh yeah and lack of vegeterian options on menus.
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