U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
 [Register]
Tampa Bay Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 02-16-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4 posts, read 15,066 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

My husband and I can not decide if it would be a great idea to move from Northern VA to just north of Tampa-maybe Land O Lakes area of Florida.

A little history of us: I am 28 and I am an ophthalmic technician (work with ophthalmologists/retina/corneal/lasik doctors) and my husband is 31 and a fire fighter/ medic. We are aware of getting all of his certifications turned over to Florida-what we can't come to a conclusion on is how often are fire fighter/ EMT jobs opening up down there and if they pay as well as Northern VA (he makes high 60,000 right now).

We have 3 kids and we are big on living in an area that has good schools, low crime, close to beaches, affordable homes but not overly expensive real estate taxes/homeowners insurance and a nice area to raise our family. We are major Disney lovers and its getting harder and harder to leave FL everytime we come down (we are up to 3 visits plus each year now). Love the beach and warm weather! Hot does not bother us!

We hate the cold winters, expensive (extremely expensive) cost of living, and nasty people in Northern VA. The only thing keeping us here is seriously our jobs. My parents are even moving to Alabama in the next year.

So our major question....is it worth moving to have less money and not be able to travel as much (the starting over feeling) vs peace,serenity, palm trees, pools and beaches...and we can't forget about Disney!
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-16-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 2,069,196 times
Reputation: 993
alexandria, va native here who has been in tampa for a year. you two sound exactly like my wife and i a year ago when we were sitting in my condo hibernating from the freezing winter.

there is no right or wrong answer to your questions, but i'll give you my $.02. land o lakes is a nice suburb but it is a SUBURB. it reminds me a lot of some of the outer nova burbs like reston (just not as built up and nothing remotely like reston town center). it's ok if that's your kind of thing. yes, the palm trees are wonderful (but so are the cherry blossoms in dc). yes, the beaches are beautiful (but so are virginia's blue ridge mountains. and on that note, so are elevation changes. i miss them.). there are pools all over nova, so that's irrelevant. busch gardens in tampa is great, but so is busch gardens in williamsburg. disney... meh. not my thing but yes it's a tourist mecca over there.

salaries are crap here compared to nova. but with proper planning and a little common sense, the cost of living in tampa is also significantly less than nova as well. ymmv

you say hot weather doesn't bother you. i thought that too since it can get pretty nasty in nova during summer. trust me, though, when i say that it's a walk in the park up there compared to the summers here. don't be fooled by the temperature... look at the dewpoint and "real feel," and remember that florida's 1000 miles closer to the equator so you will *feel* the sun's rays hitting you more intensely than you will in nova.

things you will not miss:
traffic
real estate prices
personal property tax bills
dismal, grey, frigid winters
the horrible, snobby transients
virginia's police-state mentality of the state troopers

things you will miss:
your salary
good, no, excellent public transportation
melting pot of cultures
overabundance of intelligent people
a relative lack of elderly people clogging up the roads

i will say, though, that the thing i love most about tampa is how laid back it is. nova's a rat race and an exercise in the status game... what you drive, what you wear, what you do (i don't miss getting asked that by strangers in a bar), etc. not much of that going on down here. i suffered from pretty bad anxiety in nova the last 12 years i lived there. i haven't had any issues down here.

is it "worth it?" nobody can answer that but you.

Last edited by user8; 02-16-2012 at 10:53 PM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,748 posts, read 2,604,383 times
Reputation: 1620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefghtrwife View Post
We hate the cold winters, expensive (extremely expensive) cost of living, and nasty people in Northern VA. The only thing keeping us here is seriously our jobs. My parents are even moving to Alabama in the next year.

So our major question....is it worth moving to have less money and not be able to travel as much (the starting over feeling) vs peace,serenity, palm trees, pools and beaches...and we can't forget about Disney!
I'm confused about your post. If NoVa is so expensive, why would you have LESS money if you left? It might help if you gave us a ballpark figure of your current home's value.

Tampa Bay isn't yet as overpriced as other parts of Florida. You can live in several different good school districts in this area for a reasonable price. Exactly where you settle will depend on budget, commute, and lifestyle preferences.

Last edited by roadtrip75; 02-16-2012 at 10:57 PM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4 posts, read 15,066 times
Reputation: 11
I know that we will have less money because I'm very well aware that Florida does not pay their fire fighters well. So yes we will have less money. We have had to move 65 plus miles away from Prince William/Fairfax county where my husband and I work (I work two days a week at that job) just to afford a place to rent. We haven't even bought a house yet because we have not been able to afford one closer than we are living now and we just moved out here last summer. So we don't have to worry about selling our house.

Thanks User8 for the comparison down there to up here and yes Reston area is very nice I just have never been able to consider living anywhere near there. People really don't understand how expensive it is to live anywhere around northern virignia thats why we moved to Winchester last year. I should take that back, there are affordable areas in northern virginia but I don't care to raise my kids just for them to turn out to be gang banger homies.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
1,389 posts, read 2,069,196 times
Reputation: 993
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip75 View Post
I'm confused about your post. If NoVa is so expensive, why would you have LESS money if you left?
she's referring to the lower salaries down here, not COL.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,748 posts, read 2,604,383 times
Reputation: 1620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefghtrwife View Post
We have had to move 65 plus miles away from Prince William/Fairfax county where my husband and I work (I work two days a week at that job) just to afford a place to rent. We haven't even bought a house yet because we have not been able to afford one closer than we are living now
OK, what is your current rent, is it a house or apartment, and how many square feet?
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4 posts, read 15,066 times
Reputation: 11
We pay $1350/month for a townhouse and live almost 65 miles away. If we were to live much closer we would be paying $1600-$1650 for the same thing...
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 09:58 AM
 
670 posts, read 1,127,819 times
Reputation: 451
I know too well about not being able to afford decent living quarters in Northern VA. I am from Reston and ended up moving to Dumfries to afford an apartment for my then family of 3! I now live in a beautiful, 2000 sq ft single family home and I make MORE money than I did in NOVA. You dont always make less in FL. It depends on what you do really. Based on everything you stated, I really think you would be much happier in FL being able to afford a home for your family and not have to live so far out. You would also be closer to your parents once they move down next year and many things and places that you love. I do miss some aspects of NOVA that User8 mentioned but I am glad that I am here now. My quality of life means more to me than being around an abundance of educated people, so for now, I am happy and staying Best of luck to you!
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,748 posts, read 2,604,383 times
Reputation: 1620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefghtrwife View Post
We pay $1350/month for a townhouse and live almost 65 miles away. If we were to live much closer we would be paying $1600-$1650 for the same thing...
Good! This means you have a lot of options. I just scanned around Zillow with a max of $1200 and min of 1000 sq ft, and I found many available houses/apts in all of the well regarded school districts. You can look for yourself and see what I mean.

As for what area you want to choose, that is a tough decision based on commute location, desired commute time, desired distance from beach, neighborhood preferences (gated vs non-gated, HOA vs non-HOA, rural vs urban vs suburban, etc.). There are tons of good school districts in the Tampa Bay area: Palm Harbor/East Lake, South Tampa, and many outer suburbs (Fish Hawk, Brandon, Land O' Lakes, etc).

If you and your husband are able to find jobs in your fields of work (that's an important "if"), there is no reason you can't be very happy raising your kids here.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2012, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Wake County, NC
2,983 posts, read 4,010,687 times
Reputation: 3510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefghtrwife View Post
My husband and I can not decide if it would be a great idea to move from Northern VA to just north of Tampa-maybe Land O Lakes area of Florida.

A little history of us: I am 28 and I am an ophthalmic technician (work with ophthalmologists/retina/corneal/lasik doctors) and my husband is 31 and a fire fighter/ medic. We are aware of getting all of his certifications turned over to Florida-what we can't come to a conclusion on is how often are fire fighter/ EMT jobs opening up down there and if they pay as well as Northern VA (he makes high 60,000 right now).

We have 3 kids and we are big on living in an area that has good schools, low crime, close to beaches, affordable homes but not overly expensive real estate taxes/homeowners insurance and a nice area to raise our family. We are major Disney lovers and its getting harder and harder to leave FL everytime we come down (we are up to 3 visits plus each year now). Love the beach and warm weather! Hot does not bother us!

We hate the cold winters, expensive (extremely expensive) cost of living, and nasty people in Northern VA. The only thing keeping us here is seriously our jobs. My parents are even moving to Alabama in the next year.

So our major question....is it worth moving to have less money and not be able to travel as much (the starting over feeling) vs peace,serenity, palm trees, pools and beaches...and we can't forget about Disney!


You get the peace and serenity when you're on vacation, not so much when you live here full time. I'd think Disney would eventually get old too.

Have you thought about trying to find jobs closer to Winchester? I would take that part of Northern VA anyday over Tampa.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida > Tampa Bay
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top