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Old 07-28-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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Hi there - We are considering a relocation opportunity in the Tampa area where we would be moving from CT. We have 2 children, so middle school and high school would be important. Some folks recommended Wesley Chapel and LOL to us, but we haven't a clue about the area. We are planning to visit and want to be able to narrow our area of research if possible. Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:24 AM
 
5,370 posts, read 3,940,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idkwts72 View Post
Hi there - We are considering a relocation opportunity in the Tampa area where we would be moving from CT. We have 2 children, so middle school and high school would be important. Some folks recommended Wesley Chapel and LOL to us, but we haven't a clue about the area. We are planning to visit and want to be able to narrow our area of research if possible. Thanks!
Depends on where in Tampa your job is, both those places are 20+ miles north of Tampa, and the most popular commuting pattern is south in the morning, and north and the afternoon. Rush hour those aren't easy 20 miles. You do get a lot of bang for your buck up there. The schools I don't think they are bad, but those arent areas that are known for good schools, they are known for their affordability, In the northern suburbs Lutz and Cheval which are close by are known for their highly rated schools.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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Thanks, I will definitely look into those towns. Would ~$300k get me into a decent neighborhood, do you know?
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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I think you should rent first, and yes $300k can get you in a nice community.

What else are you looking for? Land O Lakes and Wesley Chapel are quite far from the beaches, entertainment etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idkwts72 View Post
Thanks, I will definitely look into those towns. Would ~$300k get me into a decent neighborhood, do you know?
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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Coming from CT, the outlying areas of Tampa might be a little slow paced and dull for you. Check out Virgina Park neighborhood in South Tampa. Some of the best public schools and great family type neighborhoods with tons to do around you. $300k will get you a decent home there, but not a big suburbanite McMansion type home.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
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I live in Land O Lakes and the posters are correct, it is a little slower up here. I can be to the center of the city or at the beach in 30-40 minutes. Maybe a little longer to the beach depending on traffic.

300K is more than enough for a nice home for almost every area around Tampa. Not a bad idea to rent at all and get the feel for what you like, where you like to be, etc... Most people (outside of work commute) remain within 5-10 miles of thier home for daily needs.

When you start looking the only recommendation I would give is to research everything. School, community, taxes, HOA fees, CDD fees, etc... They can add up to be a surprise if you are not careful.

The weather down here for me is GREAT. We are in the heat and humidity of Summer and I can definately do without these three months, but other than that, the Fall-Winter-Spring are what Florida living is all about for me.

Keep us posted in how your search goes. It is great to get input from people actually going through the process.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gulfer View Post
I live in Land O Lakes and the posters are correct, it is a little slower up here. I can be to the center of the city or at the beach in 30-40 minutes. Maybe a little longer to the beach depending on traffic.

300K is more than enough for a nice home for almost every area around Tampa. Not a bad idea to rent at all and get the feel for what you like, where you like to be, etc... Most people (outside of work commute) remain within 5-10 miles of thier home for daily needs.

When you start looking the only recommendation I would give is to research everything. School, community, taxes, HOA fees, CDD fees, etc... They can add up to be a surprise if you are not careful.

The weather down here for me is GREAT. We are in the heat and humidity of Summer and I can definately do without these three months, but other than that, the Fall-Winter-Spring are what Florida living is all about for me.

Keep us posted in how your search goes. It is great to get input from people actually going through the process.
The idea of renting is good makes sense, but i can relate to wanting to buy, especially if you have kids you are already moving them, you don't want to move them again, once your lease is up. I second Virginia Park, I absolutely love it, although 300k wont get you more than a 1300sq 3/2, which is fine, IMO paying $220+ /sq is worth it to live in S. Tampa.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Tampa Florida
272 posts, read 550,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNNDFRNT View Post
The idea of renting is good makes sense, but i can relate to wanting to buy, especially if you have kids you are already moving them, you don't want to move them again, once your lease is up. I second Virginia Park, I absolutely love it, although 300k wont get you more than a 1300sq 3/2, which is fine, IMO paying $220+ /sq is worth it to live in S. Tampa.
I tend to agree with the South Tampa comment. Great schools too. Although 300k will get you a beautiful home up in LOL.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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I would love the luxury of renting first as suggested, but I hate to move my kids into a rental and then again into a home. Moving from the northeast might be a big enough change for them.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! We are definitely used to the suburbs and "family neighborhood living".
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:59 AM
 
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I don't think it is wise to buy a house site unseen!

You are used to CT standards right now, your traffic, your grocery store, your school, and way of life up there etc, and what will happen if you buy a house, and the school sucks per your standards? it will take a while to sell it, and you'll want to move again anyway.

We made the move up north with 3 kids, 2 in elementary school, and even though we moved to one of the country's top school districts, it turned out to be AWFUL for my son, and I can tell you that I am very happy we rented and gave ourselves a way out, and didn't get stuck up there with some house.

I suggest you use greatschools.net to narrow down the top rated schools, and find a rental in that school boundary, and after you're down here and have more time to look around, make your final decision as to "where" to buy. I think you should explain to your kids that since you never lived here before, and have NO CLUE about the area, that you will have to re-search first and not jump into buying something that you may have to sell later anyway. I don't think you'd be happy with settling your kids in a school that is not up to your standards.

Plus, finding a neighborhood that has more children than retirees is also challenging. It takes a lot of local re-search to find a place like that. Trust me....We moved several times since we had kids, and my kids are fine, and understand that we don't need to settle into a house if it doesn't suit us at least 98%.


Its not a "luxury" to rent first, its a necessity. IMO.


What else are you looking to do down here? do you like going to the beaches? museums? performing arts? because both Wesley Chapel and Land O Lakes are quite far from everything, and so if you're interested in any of the above I think you should narrow your search down to Lutz (the west side 33558), Odessa, 33556, Carrollwood 33624, Citrus Park 33625, and Westchase 33626....also where's work? you definitely don't want to end up with a HUGE commute.

........AND.....Like Gulfer mentioned, there is a LOT more to buying a house here than just signing the mortgage docs! Like CDDs, HOAs, Homeowner's insurance, Sink HOLE Insurance, Flood, a million things...have you priced out your car insurance yet? do you want your master upstairs or downstairs by the living room? houses are different here than up north...a LOT thinner walls...you have to check the neighbors, check for termites etc...what if the house you want to buy has been sitting empty for months....THAT is a big issue...seriously, rent first, do yourself a favor, you will be happy you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idkwts72 View Post
I would love the luxury of renting first as suggested, but I hate to move my kids into a rental and then again into a home. Moving from the northeast might be a big enough change for them.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions! We are definitely used to the suburbs and "family neighborhood living".
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