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Old 09-02-2007, 04:38 PM
Location: Florida
7,269 posts, read 9,694,964 times
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Brandon - Riverview - Dunedin - (other suggestions welcome)

We are a mid 30's family with one 16 year old. We had decided on Lakeland in the Lake Hollingsworth area - and now the winds have changed in our sails.

Have recently checked out the areas in person. We'll be renting for our first year before buying. Commuting for work is a non-issue. Want to stay close enough around the 75/4 'general area.'

Would like to know the pro's and con's between the areas from residents and not from a "visiting" standpoint, which we have. Want the good, the bad and the ugly in comparisons.

We need to make a final decision and your help is appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:43 PM
Location: Florida
7,269 posts, read 9,694,964 times
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Ok. . . maybe some people are not responding because I need to ask some direct questions to get started here.

- What is the difference between the towns in regard to the residents? Snobby? Down to Earth?

- Quality of school districts/High Schools?

- When was the last hurricane that hit the Tampa area?

- Which one would you move to if given the choice? Why?

- Better shopping/malls?
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:25 PM
13,772 posts, read 35,172,371 times
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I no longer live in Tpa area but was a resident for over 30 years until recently.
Dunedin isn't close to the interstate but has a nice little town and is very close to the beaches. You would have to leave if there was a hurricane forcast to come a shore.
I have friends who love Riverview area and wouldn't live anywhere else. Newer area as far as housing. Close to I75 and to Brandon.
Westchase, Countryway and Citrus park area are nice family oriented subs. Close to the mall at Citrus Park and Veterans Expressway. New HS Alonso in the area and was pretty good when I left. Not sure if they are on double sessions but I remember hearing they might have to go that route. Biggest problem in that area is rush hour traffic.
There hasn't been a direct hit as far as hurricanes go since 1921 but that doesn't mean Tpa isn't affected by them. Several hurricanes have caused damage, in 03 we had no power for over a week, but no damage to my house or anyone else's house that I knew. In 1987 ( I think) we had to evacuate because we lived in S. Tampa but the hurricane never did come ashore just swirled around the gulf over labor day weekend and then moved north. All others were mainly just wind from storms that came ashore someplace else.
I am sure there are others who can give you more info.. they must all be on vacation this weekend. At any rate.. I will do my best to tell you what I know..

This might help you a little..
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:46 PM
Location: la hacienda
2,259 posts, read 9,052,481 times
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Look in the Valrico area. Brandon can get congested because of the mall, shopping and restaurant area. Valrico is a very family friendly area. I would think Riverview would be the same and it's close to 75. I don't know anything about Dunedin.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:17 PM
Location: palm harbor
471 posts, read 1,544,998 times
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I personally prefer Pinellas to the Tampa side of the bay and if you want to be close to the gulf then Dunedin would be one area to consider. Close to Clearwater Beach, Quaint downtown as said before. Other areas to consider would be palm harbor, safety harbor, tarpon springs and oldsmar. All have pluses with very few negatives. All have some areas that are non-evacuation zones. All have A level evacuation zones.

The general consensus is that Palm Harbor University is the highest rated high school, but until the school choice changes are solidified there are no guarantees that your child would be enrolled even if you live in palm harbor.
Don't have young children, yet I have heard rumors of drug/gang issues in Dunedin and Tarpon Springs schools, but nothing substantial so I almost hate to mention it.

I would have moved to any of these towns, and since we couldn't make a decision we decided to rent. Found a great house at a great price in palm harbor. We like it so well we will probably stay here, but continue to rent.

Haven't seen any snobbery, but I don't live in the ultra high end area.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:21 PM
Location: Buda, Texas
799 posts, read 3,439,556 times
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My sister lives in clearwater and I am hoping to relocate within a year or so. I also have a 16 year old as well as a 12 and 11 year old and based on my very long research, I think I am leaning toward the dunedin/oldsmar/palm harbor/safety harbor area because I think there would be alot more things for my kids to do as well as being close to beaches. What 16 year old doesn't love to hang at the beach? I want to get way from new housing and all the "young" families with small children and nothing for the older kids. I live in the suburbs and there is nothing for older children. Even the neighborhood pool has a deep end of 5 feet! I love the babies, but they do get big...I wish there was more thought and appreciaton for them.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:33 PM
4 posts, read 22,330 times
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Default Brandon/Riverview Area A-OK

Hi, Me and my family currently live in riverview about 6 miles south of Brandon. Its a good family town with decent schools. About 1/3 or more families here are in the military. Macdill AFB is just west of here. So you have a lot of diversity. I would say the mix between races and cultures is about equal. It doesn't really seem to be an issue in our area anyway. Income level is middle to upper middle class. The cost of owning a home has gone up quite a bit because of the property insurance increases. You can expect to pay about 2000.00 per year on a 2300 sq. ft. house. Brandon has about everything as far as shopping, entertainment, etc... As for theater and cultural type events you can go into downtown tampa about 15 miles away. The high schools are packed full but they are building new ones as fast as possible. People are pretty friendly and easygoing. The worse thing about here is the humidity. In July August & September you can hardly go outside. The traffic is getting really bad if you have to commute to Tampa. Crime is low in the burbs. I guess all in all not a bad place to live. However there are less expensive places and unless I was moving here for a job or to be near the beaches. There are alot of other places I'd like to live. Oh yeah I almost forgot. If your a water person seriously watch out for Alligators. They are everywhere. In water traps on the golf courses, in retention ponds in subdivisions, EVERYWHERE!!! We live in a sub of about 400 houses and they pulled a 8 and 9 footer out of the retention pond behind the elementary school down the street. I do not let my children swim in the alafia river or any other body of water unless it's a chlorinated pool. Some people don't take them serious but there have been more and more attacks on humans in the last few years. Several people have been attacked and killed. We do have wild animals that we do enjoy seeing however. It is common place to see giant whooping cranes always in pairs walking around in the yards and streets. Also large population of other tropical birds and the ever present Little Lizards that scurry around and scare the you know what out of you when you least expect it. Well I'm rambling cuz It's past my bedtime. But Good Luck & Best Wishes
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:18 AM
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We lived in Wesley Chapel and now reside in the southern part of Riverview. When you lived in an area like WC where there is an abundance of water you get loads of wildlife, ie frogs, snakes, birds and gators. It's called back to nature. Where we are now there's not as much and you don't have the problem with gators or mosquito's either. We have a larger lot and are not built on top of each other.
Also if you build a home and can afford it, get a 3 car garage. That part of a homes small and generally overlooked by northerns.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:32 PM
Location: Florida
7,269 posts, read 9,694,964 times
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Thank you to everyone helping us out by offering your input. I really liked what I saw of Riverview - and the more I hear about it the more desirable it is becoming. I have noticed that the prices are also a bit more reasonable than Brandon. It would be more practical for us in Riverview than Dunedin or Palm Harbor - would love to be closer to the water - however, we will just be driving on both 75 and 4 a lot...so my practical side is kicking in (luckily it's before we make the move, eh...ha!)

Are there areas in Riverview that are best to avoid looking in? Which areas are desirable? I wish we were able to get out there once more before our move, but unfortunately we are not able to.

Also, how prominent is the Christian community in Riverview?
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:58 PM
58 posts, read 237,108 times
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I live in Valrico (next to Riverview to the East and love it. I'll try to respond to your questions without missing something.

As for schools, I don't know about Riverview, but Valrico schools are just about all "A" schools ranked 9 to 10 out of 10 on Greatschools.net (for what that's worth). This is a great school website for demographic info as well.

Hurricanes: Brandon/Valrico has a listed elevation of 47 feet above sea level (according to city-data.com). Floods shouldn't be a worry, but Riverview is pretty large, so I'm sure that changes with location. Insurance in this area is some of the cheapest around the bay (we pay $1500-1600 a year for 2300 sq. ft with St. John's).

Pros: Some great neighborhoods. Short trip to Disney, Sarasota and river areas. Large diversity of homes (i.e. in the Brandon/Riverview/Valrico area, you can find large acreage next door to a large subdivision). Trip to downtown Tampa is easy with new elevated expressway.
Cons: I'd like to be closer to the beach (but have a large area to choose from as it is about 45 minutes - 1 hr to Clearwater/Sarasota).

Good luck!
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