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Old 06-20-2012, 11:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,903 times
Reputation: 10

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This is my first post on these forums so I hope i have my etiquette correct.

I am looking to move to the Tampa area from Scranton, PA at the end if July. My primary income is making cellphone apps and games on my computer at home so the rough job market in Tampa that I keep hearing about isn't a huge problem for me.

I'm a single person and all I'm looking for is a safe, cheap efficiency apartment. I don't mind at all if the whole apartment is the size of a hotel room, that's all I need.

I've been looking online and I see lots of apartments listed at around $495 everything included or $400 plus electricity. I've checked them out on google maps and a lot of them seem to be in good looking apartment complexes. That's even cheaper than what's available around here, and Scranton is pretty cheap.

My two questions are:

Are there really places that cheap in the Tampa area, or are they all some kind of scams or in neighborhoods you don't want to even drive through. They seem legit, but I am finding the statistical data I find for that area suggests there shouldn't be apartments that cheap available.

My second question is what is the minimum wage job market like. I can survive off my phone developer gig if I have to, but it doesn't pay great so I prefer to do something on the side 30-40 hours per week if I can. I know the job market is supposedly rough in the Tampa area right now, but are minimum wage jobs (fast food and such) difficult to come by too, or do you see places hiring for those jobs often.

Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
1,725 posts, read 3,166,298 times
Reputation: 1276
Well, to me if you get a side job for 30-40 hours a week, that is your primary job and you do App development on the side.

You can find cheaper places certainly, but I have no idea what you like to do.

If you need to be around young adults your age and want to get a place by USF, it will cost more. If you can drive 30 miles you can live in Zephyrhills and have much cheaper, larger, etc...

Try the website snag a job . com and see what the service industry has. There are always jobs out there. Find where you want to live and use that zip code for your location. Many jobs pop up and you can apply right online. Your future employer may want you down here before you will be considered for a hire however.

GOOD LUCK! If you want to work, there will be a job. If you feel you are entitled to a job, you won't keep one long. Just my opinion. It is a little tuff out there still.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:39 AM
 
3 posts, read 10,903 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulfer View Post
Well, to me if you get a side job for 30-40 hours a week, that is your primary job and you do App development on the side.

You can find cheaper places certainly, but I have no idea what you like to do.

If you need to be around young adults your age and want to get a place by USF, it will cost more. If you can drive 30 miles you can live in Zephyrhills and have much cheaper, larger, etc...

Try the website snag a job . com and see what the service industry has. There are always jobs out there. Find where you want to live and use that zip code for your location. Many jobs pop up and you can apply right online. Your future employer may want you down here before you will be considered for a hire however.

GOOD LUCK! If you want to work, there will be a job. If you feel you are entitled to a job, you won't keep one long. Just my opinion. It is a little tuff out there still.
Thanks for the advice.

I must disagree with your definition of primary job. In my opinion, whichever one involves more hours and pay is the primary job, which in my case would be the game development. I can certainly understand why you might assume a 30-40 hour per week job was the longer one. I'm aware most people have things called 'lives' and don't work 80+ hours per week. I'm not one of those people. Most of the traditional jobs I've worked in my life have been well in excess of 80 hours per week (truck driving, restaurant management, etc) so a 30-40 hour a week job would feel part-time to me

As for what I like to do, I don't really do anything. I'm basically Dilbert. I don't even really leave the house much unless it's to purchase groceries or go to work. The reasons I'm considering Tampa are mainly practical ones. The cost of rent seems incredibly low, there are no state or local taxes, the weather is less expensive (cooling bills in Tampa annually would be significantly cheaper than Scranton's heating bills in the winter+cooling bills in the Summer), minimum wage is higher there than where I live, and I have to travel to Tampa once per year for a work related reason so I would save airfare once per year. The massive increase in my car insurance rates I would experience moving to Florida would offset some of these benefits, but the total savings would still be significant according to my current calculations.

What I'm mainly wondering about is whether or not there really are viable apartments for the insanely low prices I keep seeing advertised or not. I've found more apartment listings than I can count on craigslist and other sites showing good looking (albeit tiny) apartments for $500/month all utilities included or $400/month plus electric. The quantity of listings I've found suggests that they are legitimate, but the statistical data I've found on the Tampa area suggests those prices should be significantly higher. I'm wondering if those places are some kind of common scam (perhaps they don't have them available but keep taking peoples application fees or something more plausible that I'm not thinking of) or if there they are simple in areas that aren't safe to live in. Having lived in Scranton, PA my whole life has probably made me naive to some things.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,928 posts, read 10,742,349 times
Reputation: 5243
Jason, I don't know the rental market that well but I'd suggest you look around the 33647 zip code area for rentals and at Syniverse for work within your developer skillset. There's a decent sized mobile web / tech-related presence in this same zip code area and it's popular with young professionals due to the modern conveniences. Not sure this will work for you, just throwing out an option for you to investigate further.

If you can give us more information about the cheap apartments you found, we can tell you more about the areas where they're located.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:06 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,903 times
Reputation: 10
Here are two of the apartments I am talking about. The prices seem to good to be true. Hopefully the prices are just low due to a lack of demand for tiny studio apartments like I desire, but I'm weary that there may be something I'm not aware of. Any thoughts on these locations would be greatly appreciated.

http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/apa/3061599054.html

http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/apa/3073318388.html

Thanks,
Jason.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
1,725 posts, read 3,166,298 times
Reputation: 1276
Zephyrhills- 1 bedroom 1 bathroom

This is more what I was talking about.

Also, if you do end up working a minimum wage part time job, I would rather do it in Zephyrhills then New Port Richey or off Fowler.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:55 AM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,928 posts, read 10,742,349 times
Reputation: 5243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason314 View Post
Here are two of the apartments I am talking about. The prices seem to good to be true. Hopefully the prices are just low due to a lack of demand for tiny studio apartments like I desire, but I'm weary that there may be something I'm not aware of. Any thoughts on these locations would be greatly appreciated.

Studio Apt - $199 Moves you in

STUDIOS AND 1 BEDROOMS NEXT TO USF/VA AND MALLS

Thanks,
Jason.
IMO, neither place is in the middle of crime central but they are two very different demographics.

The Port Richey apartment is in a more rural residential area and would require extra effort on your part in getting to necessary services though not impossible. I'd expect this area is geared more toward the working class.

The Fountain Wood apartment is near the University of South Florida, lots of restaurants, shopping, Sweetbay Grocery, the Sun Dome (concerts), Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, hospitals, etc. It is within walking distance of almost every necessity. However, I expect the rents to be lower in this entire area due to the student population and the age group that encompasses it.

The choice for you in comparing these two would be deciding whether you want to live in a more quiet residential area or a busy populated area.

Last edited by TampaKaren; 06-22-2012 at 06:08 AM..
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,354,305 times
Reputation: 2931
I didn't read everyone's replies. But, if you are mainly moving here because of the cost of living.... you may want to think twice. The cost of living is not very high here. But you are not going to save money on groceries or everyday items compared to where you are.

The housing you are looking at.. IMO are not in the best towns for a single guy. A sub $500 apartment is going to not be the best in the world either... especially because the rental market is seeing prices increase due to high demand.

If you have a decent life, friends and enjoy where you are now.... I suggest you stay put. You may have visions of a Florida Lifestyle... but you probably won;t be living it unless you have an income of $45K+.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:05 AM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,928 posts, read 10,742,349 times
Reputation: 5243
I agree with Kash. Just thinking about moving to an area that you are unfamiliar with should give you reason to pause and re-think the whole scenario. Sometimes it's good to stop and smell the roses, e.g., appreciate what you have where you are.

Though I'm not looking for a job, I heard on the news recently that there are 4 people for every new job posted. So yes, there's competition. It probably won't be easy but it's not impossible. Additionally, a while back, the casino had +400 jobs open up. There were over 3,000 applicants and several hundred people spent the night outside in advance of the opening.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:46 AM
 
5,407 posts, read 3,953,524 times
Reputation: 3120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason314 View Post
Thanks for the advice.

I must disagree with your definition of primary job. In my opinion, whichever one involves more hours and pay is the primary job, which in my case would be the game development. I can certainly understand why you might assume a 30-40 hour per week job was the longer one. I'm aware most people have things called 'lives' and don't work 80+ hours per week. I'm not one of those people. Most of the traditional jobs I've worked in my life have been well in excess of 80 hours per week (truck driving, restaurant management, etc) so a 30-40 hour a week job would feel part-time to me

As for what I like to do, I don't really do anything. I'm basically Dilbert. I don't even really leave the house much unless it's to purchase groceries or go to work. The reasons I'm considering Tampa are mainly practical ones. The cost of rent seems incredibly low, there are no state or local taxes, the weather is less expensive (cooling bills in Tampa annually would be significantly cheaper than Scranton's heating bills in the winter+cooling bills in the Summer), minimum wage is higher there than where I live, and I have to travel to Tampa once per year for a work related reason so I would save airfare once per year. The massive increase in my car insurance rates I would experience moving to Florida would offset some of these benefits, but the total savings would still be significant according to my current calculations.

What I'm mainly wondering about is whether or not there really are viable apartments for the insanely low prices I keep seeing advertised or not. I've found more apartment listings than I can count on craigslist and other sites showing good looking (albeit tiny) apartments for $500/month all utilities included or $400/month plus electric. The quantity of listings I've found suggests that they are legitimate, but the statistical data I've found on the Tampa area suggests those prices should be significantly higher. I'm wondering if those places are some kind of common scam (perhaps they don't have them available but keep taking peoples application fees or something more plausible that I'm not thinking of) or if there they are simple in areas that aren't safe to live in. Having lived in Scranton, PA my whole life has probably made me naive to some things.
I would not discourage you from moving here, sounds like you have done your research,you are single and seem to live a very spartan life, you could probably move to most places, to your original question, yes there are apartments that are studios or 1br from under $500, the thing you have to be careful and i seen this happen is when you renew your lease you get a $100 bump, but if you don't have much stuff since you stated that a hotel size room would suffice, i would keep it light, take advantage of the move-in specials, if you get a bump just move. As far as the 2 locations and i think there were just examples, not that you were set on those areas, but the area around Fowler you would find a bunch of those type apartments, i would keep it closer to Fowler as possible, the further away from Fowler the less safe it gets, also as far east of 275.
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