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Old 01-04-2012, 10:25 PM
 
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I lived in Tampa for about 14 years after college. I was mostly in the Brandon/Riverview area. I also lived in the USF area. I've been in Chicago for about 3 1/2 years and although, despite the weather, I've fallen in love with the safe family environment in the burbs. I love that there is so much to do here for families. We have a preschooler and a toddler and trying for another. Public schools are not a huge concern right now, but a good preschool and an area with other stay at home moms or young families would be great.

With all this love, we're selling our home and moving back to Tampa to help care for my parents. My husband is from Chicago and although he's excited about more sun, upon several visits he's concluded that Tampa bay is boring and there isn't much to do. Although I've lived there, I'm not sure where we should go to get something that compares to here. We're moving in April/May and will be renting for at least a year or two before buying a place. I know this gives us time to decide but with small children, I still want wherever we're renting to be nice, safe and family-friendly. We're looking to rent a house or maybe a townhouse if we have to in the 900 to 1200 price range.

My parents live in 33603 so I'd want to be fairly close to them, but I don't love that area and I don't think I would walk my children at night. Are there any nice areas close by (15-20 minutes away or so)? We've been spoiled that we live in walking distance to 2 parks and would love to find an area that has something like that to offer. I currently work from home so commuting to my parents is important.

I should no more since I lived there, but I really have no idea. Any help you can offer would be great. We're feeling very anxious.

Last edited by inmsk38; 01-04-2012 at 11:00 PM.. Reason: Didn't answer the questions.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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I can tell you off the bat that you will not find the same things anywhere in Tampa. Tampa/Florida does not live by the same standards as Chicago. IF you must move here, you will have to try and find "NEW" things to like, and get in the swing of Florida.

Looking for "stay at home moms" will be tough, on my street there used to be 6 of them excluding me, and none of them were ever out. We only saw them at Halloween time trick or treating. Suburbs here are VERY different. People use most of them to hide and never be seen again! It felt like living in a "Witness protection program" hahahahahahaha joke aside, there ARE subdivisions/planned communities that ARE more prone to socializing amongst the stay at home ppl. (moms or dads) you will have to just scout LOT to find them.

I don't think you should "know more", if you didn't have kids then, you had no interest in finding out about where these family friendly areas are. I didn't care about that until I had my kids either!
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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Speaking as a former Chicagoan, it depends on where you lived in the Chicago area. If you lived in an upscale suburb, there are some VERY nice communities in the Tampa suburbs with huge homes. If you lived in Lincoln Park or Lakeview, you might like the Old Northeast area. If you want to be in the middle of it, like the Gold Coasters, you must live in a St Pete highrise or on Harbour Island.

I don't mean to pry, but where did you live in Chicago for a thousand dollars a month in rent for a couple and two kids?
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algia View Post
I can tell you off the bat that you will not find the same things anywhere in Tampa. Tampa/Florida does not live by the same standards as Chicago. IF you must move here, you will have to try and find "NEW" things to like, and get in the swing of Florida.

Looking for "stay at home moms" will be tough, on my street there used to be 6 of them excluding me, and none of them were ever out. We only saw them at Halloween time trick or treating. Suburbs here are VERY different. People use most of them to hide and never be seen again! It felt like living in a "Witness protection program" hahahahahahaha joke aside, there ARE subdivisions/planned communities that ARE more prone to socializing amongst the stay at home ppl. (moms or dads) you will have to just scout LOT to find them.

I don't think you should "know more", if you didn't have kids then, you had no interest in finding out about where these family friendly areas are. I didn't care about that until I had my kids either!
That's sad about the SAHMs. I've really loved that aspect of living here (as well as so much more). I didn't like Tampa when I lived there, but I was hoping it was better for a family. Now I'm a little (no a lot) nervous. Oh well, "gotta do what you gotta do". (sigh)
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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[quote=chi_tino;22422874 I don't mean to pry, but where did you live in Chicago for a thousand dollars a month in rent for a couple and two kids?[/QUOTE]

LOL! Yeah I've never found that place. HA! We live in the south suburbs Tinley Park/Oak Forest/Oak Lawn area. I don't know what renting is like over here, but we're certainly no where in that price range. I guess I was being unreal in thinking that we could find something for that amount. We just don't want to pay a lot for rent while we try to figure out where to buy another home.

I did a couple of Google searches and am not impressed with any rentals I'm seeing in close range to my parents, so I don't want to pay much for something we don't love if we don't have to.

What Tampa suburbs are you referring to? Because we're renting, I don't really need or expect to have a home as big as what we have here. I guess we need to start looking for a Tampa Realtor soon. Just want to do my research before we talk to him/her.

Thx for your help.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:40 AM
 
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You know, we moved to Pittsburgh last August, and I have to tell you...it is pretty much the same here, the only difference is that ppl here are so used to be 5 generations back to the Indians, that it is even harder to make a friendship dent for a new person. They are nice, they smile, they chit chat, but that's it.

As far as Tampa, we found our own things to enjoy when we lived there, and are moving back specifically for a major portion of those. We have annual passes at Disney, kids are entertained and very happy to call that their back yard, there are a LOT of very nice parks that we now miss very much...as we haven't been able to find replica's around here that fit our taste (with the attributes of this area of course, not like we're expecting to find the ocean here or anything) and that's that. We travel around to other cities as we have family in SoFla...plenty to see there too as a visitor, and I am pretty much done "looking" to make new friends. (Not because I don't want too, but because I don't have enough energy and time to keep scouting around for something that may or may not exist). Hopefully, when we get back we'll find that "small patch "where people still socialize outside a computer screen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inmsk38 View Post
That's sad about the SAHMs. I've really loved that aspect of living here (as well as so much more). I didn't like Tampa when I lived there, but I was hoping it was better for a family. Now I'm a little (no a lot) nervous. Oh well, "gotta do what you gotta do". (sigh)
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:51 AM
 
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OK...now onto the areas, I marked with an "X" the "no", "no" areas for you, that you will absolutely HATE, and checked marked the areas you will like. "Like" per Tampa Standards, not Chicago, because that really doesn't exist and it wouldn't be fair to expect it in Tampa either. (Yes, to all who will attack that statement, I LEARNED! Thanks LOL)

http://www.commercialphotoservices.com/Tampa%20Map.jpg (broken link)

In areas of Lutz, you can find peace and quiet, can walk, bike, many playgrounds and gated and non gates communities. Cheval, Villarosa, Herritage Harbor are only a few, but there are many others.

Carrollwood, I am going to say this again, stay between Northdale Blvd and Fletcher Ave, it is older, it has every size home you can imagine, but they are older and some may not be updated with new fixtures etc.

IF you budget permits, you could look at South Tampa too, but it IS expensive in its nice areas. Also much older homes. South from Kennedy Blvd, and above Bay to Bay Blvd. From By to Bay south is Palma Ceia, and you will not like it down there. Off Westshore Blvd there are a lot of nice areas, Cullbreath Isles is very nice, Westshore Yacht Club also very nice and some in between. These two are gated.
http://www.commercialphotoservices.com/South_Tampa_Map.jpg (broken link)


From South Tampa is about 15/20 minutes depending on traffic, and from Lutz, Carrollwood, Northdale, Weschase even you will be within 20/25 minutes of them. From Bearss (circled in the map) it used to take me about 20 minutes to get downtown.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inmsk38 View Post
LOL! Yeah I've never found that place. HA! We live in the south suburbs Tinley Park/Oak Forest/Oak Lawn area. I don't know what renting is like over here, but we're certainly no where in that price range. I guess I was being unreal in thinking that we could find something for that amount. We just don't want to pay a lot for rent while we try to figure out where to buy another home.

I did a couple of Google searches and am not impressed with any rentals I'm seeing in close range to my parents, so I don't want to pay much for something we don't love if we don't have to.

What Tampa suburbs are you referring to? Because we're renting, I don't really need or expect to have a home as big as what we have here. I guess we need to start looking for a Tampa Realtor soon. Just want to do my research before we talk to him/her.

Thx for your help.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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You can find mom play dates on Meetup.com. 33603 is not all bad area. You can find some nice places around St. Josephs and also Riverside Heights/Seminole Heights. Mostly older homes though but there are some condos on the river. Broward Elem use to be a good school.

I am not sure why Palma Ceia was crossed out on the map but it is a very nice area. Also remember you are getting opinions and what appeals to one won't appeals to another person. There are some really nice newer townhomes in S. Tampa, just south of gandy (SOG) There are also other housing around Gandy and Bayshore that are very nice.

Since you don't mention employment, I would try to find someone place where your DH won't have a long commute.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
I am not sure why Palma Ceia was crossed out on the map but it is a very nice area.
Yeah, that one is odd.

Original poster, have you thought about Feather Sound in Pinellas? The commute to most parts of Tampa is probably the same or shorter than, say, New Tampa or Lutz.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,258,628 times
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Woah! Hold the presses! Did Algia just say she is moving back to Tampa because she WANTS to and PIttsburgh isn't better? A few months ago any place would have been better than Tampa. Glad to have you back Algia.

OP - Depends on the neighborhood when it comes to SAHM's. DW is a SAHM and there are 4 others on our road. She knows all of them and they hang out once in awhile. It typically takes a person to connect everyone together for it to work.
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