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Old 05-13-2013, 03:27 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,936 times
Reputation: 10

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My family is moving to the Tampa bay Area and we are looking for some suggestions on the best areas to live in the Tarpon Springs-Palm Harbor-Dunedin-Clearwater area. If I could be close to the Lake or River that would be fine too.

We chose this area because our daughter wants to go to the Vet Science Academy at Tarpon Springs High School, so we need to be in Pinellas County. My understanding is that Pinellas County Schools will bus her to the High School. If anyone has information on this program I would love to hear it.

Our housing budget is up to $250K, we want to be with in 15 minutes of the beach and my husband works at the Raymond James Stadium. I would like to be able to bike around to the grocery, to the beach...etc. Live the active beach lifestyle. I love the small town atomsphere. Dog Friendly.

Any information or perspectives on areas or schools would be appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Florida
746 posts, read 1,472,207 times
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Look for properties on Lake Tarpon. This is within 5 miles of Tarpon Springs.
There may be some newer developments around Tarpon Springs.

You want to be within 15 minutes of the beach and be able to bike there?
Then you would have to live on one of the barrier islands or very close to an access bridge. In most cases this would be the old section of town. Those roads and bridges are not bicycle friendly.

If your husband works in Tampa and your daughter goes to school in Tarpon Spring, while you want to live on the beach, you are putting them in the uncomfortable position of spending over an hour riding/driving to their destination.

Make SURE that wherever you chooze to live that your daughter will be bused to that school. The county is not going to send a bus to Clearwater, Dunedin or Palm Harbor just to take her to Tarpon Springs. The only bus that will take her there is the one assigned to take the kids from that school district.

I take it that by "biking" you mean a bicycle? Motorcycle would be better.
There are no "small town atmospheres" here. Maybe in some of the older sections of Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor or Dunedin. I think you are in for a big disappointment there.
I don't think you would be biking to the grocery either. Most of the grocery stores are in shopping centers of various sizes. To get to the store you have to ride on the heavily traveled highways.

Dog friendly. This necessitates a private dwelling where you can put up a fence.

You Really need to come down here and look it over for yourself.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:53 PM
 
325 posts, read 216,537 times
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You would do very well in Tarpon for that budget. It would be a long commute for your husband, however he would be able to avoid the freeway traffic by using the county roads. Tarpon has a lot to do, an excellent beach at Howard Park, is very walkable and bikeable if you live in the older area to the west of Alt 19. The area around Lake Tarpon is not very walkable but may be very attractive if you like the living with nature feel. You should get in touch with a local RE agent and ask for MLS access so you can get an idea of the market and what you want in a house. Tarpon is half Aegean fishing village and half strip mall suburbia with a touch of "swamp people" thrown in for good measure!
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Clearwater, Florida
70 posts, read 159,665 times
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Palm Harbor, Dunedin and north Clearwater all have nice areas but if you want to have your daughter go to Tarpon Springs High School you would probably be best off if you moved to Tarpon Springs. You should go to the Pinellas County Schools site and possible even call them to make sure you fully understand how it works as to where your daughter would go to school based on where you live. You don't want to buy a home thinking she will be going to a certain school, move here and then find out she'll be going to another one. You should be able to get a nice home in Tarpon Springs for that price but keep in mind there is not a lot of inventory available at this time.

There are actually 4 sections of Tarpon Springs to look into (see the map below for where these are approximately): 1) the section west of US 19 that stretches west to the Gulf of Mexico, 2) the section east of US 19 that stretches east to Lake Tarpon, 3) the section that is north of Tarpon Ave and 4) the section east of Lake Tarpon (part of East Lake). #3 has some nice communities but would be the furthest distance to your husband's work. #2 does not have as many communities and some of the areas are more rundown. #1 has a mix of area but there are a few, especially around Klosterman that are actually pretty nice and these would be the furthest south and probably closest to your husband's work. #2 is a very nice area and has several nice communities, mostly newer than those in the other sections - however the main way for your husband to get to work would be down East Lake Rd./McMullen Booth and if there is a traffic jam his main option would be to go north to Keystone Rd then west to US 19 and south down US 19 to 275.

Hopefully that will give you somewhat of an overview with which you can start!

Sincerely,
Ron
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:17 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 10,028,394 times
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OP- perhaps you do need to a couple of things.

First discuss with your husband just how much a commute in traffic he is willing to tolerate. His job is going to be a good, long hike from coastal areas of Tarpon Springs and it's a traffic drive.

Second keep in mind that towns you've noted are not little villages. Population density exists in the area. It's suburban, yes, but it's also sprawl and well developed. This is not little " country" towns. If you go east of Lake Tarpon less developed but also not near the ocean beaches.

You seem to have some concept of a little, cozy town in which you can bike to the town center, bike to the beach, bike to little town square shopping area, etc. That's not what that cluster of towns is. I think you're going to be disappointed in that.

The vet science program is a magnet school program, but you should check with the school itself as to the specifics. It is a tough but good program. Only 5 absences a year are permitted and each student has to do 100 hours of community service each year in addition to course work. Basically you don't want to live too far from the school and possible places she can do that community service. IMO hate to see kids on the bus for hours every day- she'll never have a free moment.

Also Tarpon Springs High is in the further reaches of Tarpon Springs far from where your hubby is going to work. So there is that commute thing to consider.

It seems to me that the living and biking to the beach idea has to come last and ease of commuting and managing the school program have to be more the priority.

Really, try to make at least of couple of trips to the area before you make a decision. You've got see for yourself and try out the roads during commute hours, see where the school is in relation to things, etc.
I don't think you're get to get next to the beach, decent commute to work, the school program effort all together. You may have to do some prioritizing. Good luck -- I do think you'll like Tarpon Springs. You just have to find the right spot.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Florida
746 posts, read 1,472,207 times
Reputation: 1179
You may get some idea of what you are up against in this by pulling up a map and doing the street view.
You can also get a good satellite view that will show you the density of the built up areas.

I used to live in the area south of Anderson Park and my kids went to Tarpon High.
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