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Old 04-15-2013, 06:12 PM
 
15 posts, read 27,489 times
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Younger family here (late 20's with an 8 year old son) moving to warm and sunny Florida! We have finally had enough of the Minnesota cold weather.

I just got a great job near the airport and am wondering how you like living in the Clearwater area. I know the commute can be a PITA going over the causeway but my job is pretty flexible so I'd be able to come in at 9-10am and leave around 6pm. I should also be able to work from home sometimes but may be commuting to different areas in and around Tampa for work (I'm a consultant).

The beach is important to us and is the number 1 thing my son looks forward to. He can't wait to go play on the beach and my wife and I love it too. I figure I'd like to live somewhere in Clearwater since it's under 30 mins to my job and 10-15 mins from the beach.

I did come down for a couple of days and talked to a property management representative about a townhome down there. He told me that when you get real close to the beach in Clearwater there are a lot of older homes and even some boarded up ones with perhaps some shady characters. Is the "good" area of Clearwater strictly North of the Causeway or does it extend south of the Causeway too? What areas of Clearwater should I be looking to rent in?

My budget is about $1,500 (or less) but I could go to around $1,650 if I needed to. We'd like a pool (community pool is fine) but it's not needed if we are close to the beach. We really would like a house with a fenced yard for our two little fox terriers. Not interested in condos or apartments where people are living above or below us. Townhomes would be okay.
Are there areas besides Clearwater that I should be considering (keeping in mind that we really want to be close to the beach).
I hear Oldsmar is nice but I'm having trouble finding any places to rent in that area. As soon as you throw in pets about 2/3 of the listings go away!

We were also looking far North of St. Pete's in the Feather Sound or Gandy areas where I could easily zip across 275. Would you recommend that over Clearwater?

The property management rep said Clearwater schools get good ratings and the Dunedin schools consistently get the best ratings in that area. However, looking at greatschools.org they don't really have any data on most of the schools down there.
The Curtis Fundamental Elementary School seems to have a 10/10 rating and Plumb Elementary has 8/10, is anybody familiar with those schools?

As for the Gandy area, again there's not much for ratings on Greatschools.org but there's Shore Acres which gets a 7/10. Does anybody have experiences with schools in that area?

P.S.: The agent also said crime was worse on the Tampa side so people tend to live over in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Springs, etc. would you agree with that?
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Any Beach/FL
26,031 posts, read 14,584,353 times
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Near Plumb is great,,, 5 mile radius,,, but my grand could NOT go one year because of late entry and went elsewhere by bus. I live 5 min from there now... houses for rent in Imperial gardens community.. I pass by it daily.. and back streets to beach is 15 min.. I work near Int. mall and moving to T&C but very close to Oldsmar next month ,,, because I cant take the traffic any more,,, it used to be 30 min max but now with RT 19 under construction/ Causeway constructing and the snow birds/ the base ball games and the college kids zipping by it has been a real nightmare... ONE accident on the causeway -it is shut down. Cant tell you haw many times call my boss to say I will be late. TRAFFIC is not easy here,,, so I am from S Beach and love being near water,,, but access to the gulf and work... not easy/
as for clearwater 90% retirees,,, or so it seems grands never had any neighbors to play with- and I live alone feel pretty safe- but rem crime has no real boundaries,,,
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: USA
168 posts, read 344,440 times
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There are many areas of 'water' in the area. I grew up in St. Pete. I'd highly encourage you to consider: Venetians Isles, Eden Isle, Snell Isle and even NE St. Pete; if you want really close I'd look at just over the Howard Frankland; if an apartment, near 9th St. BUT I'd first have you go over to Ven/Eden Isles; the schools are good or you can put your son in Canterbury Private or San Rafael Catholic. You can drive over the Howard Frankland or the Gandy in no time. If on either of the islands, you can have instant access to water. Although pricey now you can get something wonderful at Snell Eden Isle Apartments; let me know if you do move there, I still know the neighbors. Just ask about how they have improved insulation. You can have water and pool side if you want; I doubt you'd regret it out of all your choices.

I wanted to share this location b/c you can:
1. Go play in the park on the water in NE St. Pete near the pier; great swim clubs for the kids, sail on the water near the pier for fireworks on the 4th of July or New years
2. You can easily shoot across town by several routes to get either to the beaches; all of them from the Ft DeSoto area to Clearwater, Indian Rocks etc.
3. You can live on the water, have a boat or just sit on the dock and go to sleep with the water splashing on the sea wall outside your bedroom window.
4. You are only minutes, really, to TIA or the area.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:14 PM
 
15 posts, read 27,489 times
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Default Floridaherbgirl

Thanks for the reply Floridaherbgirl. The locations you mentioned look great but we HATE apartment living because you have people living above or below you so either there's noise from people above or your stepping on eggs to make sure you and your kids don't stomp on the floor too hard. I think we'll never live in an apartment again.

We are looking at renting a couple of houses in NE St. Pete that look really nice. Typically how much does a private school cost and what are the pros/cons if you have time?

Across the bridge (south tampa right?) would be okay but places are slim-pickin, are much more expensive, and have less square footage.

Living on the water and having a place on a dock for my boat is my dream but I think it would be a bit too spendy for what I can afford (which is ~$1,500-$1,600/month).
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Toledo, OH
1,725 posts, read 3,146,490 times
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When you really start looing at buying sometime down the road, be very aware of your location in regards to Flood Zones. There is a lot of talk about significant increases to Flood Insurance and that could 'sink' where you want to live.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:05 PM
 
15 posts, read 27,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulfer View Post
When you really start looing at buying sometime down the road, be very aware of your location in regards to Flood Zones. There is a lot of talk about significant increases to Flood Insurance and that could 'sink' where you want to live.
Thanks for the advice. Someone told me that the far south area of south tampa is prone to flooding. Do you know of any known problem areas like that?
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Any Beach/FL
26,031 posts, read 14,584,353 times
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Oh yea S. Tampa is flood city. Have you thought of Townhomes? off memorial HWY there some very nice homes n towns as well some with docks- and schools, well can't help you there, as my kids qualified for a grant and gals went to private school for less than $100 a mo for both. I lived off 4th and 54N St pete and drove up Westshore... not too bad in rain,,, but its a slow drive- It rains daily in summer. and Wesley chapel? Best to see for yourself if you can...
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: USA
168 posts, read 344,440 times
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Yes you are right about a few points....the reason why I mentioned the Snell Eden Isle Apts is b/c of your budget. At one time the complex was purchased and renovated to some degree to be sold as condos; you might want to stop over and just look at them. I lived in two different units in the 80's, the house I grew up in is across the street from them and I still know the neighbors. I know what you mean about apt living but this is on a two street island, right on the water and I think within your budget. Not sure if you can get a place within your budget but you can also look at the condos near the Pier; I know you apt living but sometimes if the insulation is good you really don't hear anything and the amenities and security is good. As far as a house in that budget; I am not sure. I would look closer to 22nd Avenue toward Coffee Pot Blvd than 38th Avenue and North. And I wouldn't go past 9th Street toward 66th and I'd stay away from the South side; which you wouldn't want anyways b/c it would lengthen your commute. BUT if you can find something near Coffee Pot or esp on Eden Isle or Venetian Isles, your commute would be a breeze, and so would your commute to the beaches, south to Sarasota, Anna Marie Island etc. and near the pier in St. Pete and baseball games, concerts, the arts, and the water. If you look at this are on a map you'll also see it is an inlet so when there are hurricane scares it is more protected; one reason why my Dad built where he did. I love Clearwater but the drive/commute is NOT worth the plus' and the crime is higher. Hope this helps!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:24 AM
 
15 posts, read 27,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floridaherbgirl View Post
Yes you are right about a few points....the reason why I mentioned the Snell Eden Isle Apts is b/c of your budget. At one time the complex was purchased and renovated to some degree to be sold as condos; you might want to stop over and just look at them. I lived in two different units in the 80's, the house I grew up in is across the street from them and I still know the neighbors. I know what you mean about apt living but this is on a two street island, right on the water and I think within your budget. Not sure if you can get a place within your budget but you can also look at the condos near the Pier; I know you apt living but sometimes if the insulation is good you really don't hear anything and the amenities and security is good. As far as a house in that budget; I am not sure. I would look closer to 22nd Avenue toward Coffee Pot Blvd than 38th Avenue and North. And I wouldn't go past 9th Street toward 66th and I'd stay away from the South side; which you wouldn't want anyways b/c it would lengthen your commute. BUT if you can find something near Coffee Pot or esp on Eden Isle or Venetian Isles, your commute would be a breeze, and so would your commute to the beaches, south to Sarasota, Anna Marie Island etc. and near the pier in St. Pete and baseball games, concerts, the arts, and the water. If you look at this are on a map you'll also see it is an inlet so when there are hurricane scares it is more protected; one reason why my Dad built where he did. I love Clearwater but the drive/commute is NOT worth the plus' and the crime is higher. Hope this helps!
I try to consider apartments but keep thinking about people above and below me. I don't mind townhomes or duplexes where people are beside me but above and below I hate. I appreciate what you're saying about the water though and I'll definitely check out other properties around that area. Thanks for the info on the inlet and being more protected. How exactly does the inlet protect you when there are hurricane scares? I don't know anything about hurricanes!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:31 AM
 
15 posts, read 27,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytrump View Post
Oh yea S. Tampa is flood city. Have you thought of Townhomes? off memorial HWY there some very nice homes n towns as well some with docks- and schools, well can't help you there, as my kids qualified for a grant and gals went to private school for less than $100 a mo for both. I lived off 4th and 54N St pete and drove up Westshore... not too bad in rain,,, but its a slow drive- It rains daily in summer. and Wesley chapel? Best to see for yourself if you can...
Yes, I found some nice places up in that area. I'd rather be on the beach side of the bay though.
Wesley Chapel is much too far away.
How did you like that area of St. Pete?
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