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Old 07-16-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,919 posts, read 5,364,325 times
Reputation: 5613

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
Hello helpers,

I am currently living in Ohio, and I have a serious job prospect lining up in Tampa, and I want to get some advices before deciding on the offer. I Thank You in advance for your help and advices.

Let's start with the concern first:
1) How's the public school system? I know from NAEP Florida as a whole was bad, but seems like improving to average or better in recent years. Do you have any concern with Tampa Bay area public school, compared to where you come from?

And which public school districts are best among Tampa Bay area? I mean, objectively measured by Performance Index, or on scale or points.
Hillsborough County Public Schools are going to be your best choice as far as public schools are concerned. The quality of each school varies and is directly affected by the socioeconomic standing of the area it is located in. It is the 8th largest district in the nation with nearly 30,000 employees and over 200,000 students, and has excellent fiscal management (never had a layoff in past years while surrounding district were laying off and furloughing employees.)

Unlike the area where you live where school districts are often a township or city entity, in Florida schools are county-wide here, making for some pretty large systems. This can be good and bad, but for the most part it's good, as it makes for a huge pool of resources that would not normally be available in a town/city/township school district.

I would add that I work for the school district, so I am somewhat prejudiced, but I am from the Midwest so I am familiar with your situation in this regards. My children are products of Hillsborough County schools and are well educated and successful, IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
2) I know there has not been a direct Hurricane hit in Tampa for a decade. But, I also read that the rains are causing flooding frequently! See heretampa-most-overdue-hurricane-city.

How do you prepare for the Hurricane & Flooding? Are you getting tired of it and want out and back to mid-west? Insurance cover it?
Hurricanes are a crapshoot. There could be two big ones this year or there might not be any for another 50 years. Where you live there are tornadoes. How do you prepare for them? What about blizzards? My point is that first of all, the media hypes this crap to the limit, so don't get caught up in their spin. If it was a "dangerous" as they would lead you to believe, why would all these people be living here?

The "best" part of a hurricane is that you often have days, if not longer, to prepare. And just like Columbus deals with blizzards, we have the infrastructure to deal with it.

Flooding is also overrated. You experience more flooding that we ever do, as the soil here is sand, and water percolates right through it in seconds. That's not to say it doesn't flood, but the areas that do are well known and easily avoided.

I made the "mistake" of returning to the Midwest a few years ago, and regretted every minute of it. I could handle the weather, even winter and the cold. What I couldn't handle was the lack of sunlight. It was so bad it affected me physically. I could never return there because of this.

Yes, insurance covers hurricane damage just as your covers tornado damage. Nothing unique there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
3) Talking about Insurance. How expensive is Home & Auto insurance for say a $300K house + 2 cars (minivan + accord) comprehensive coverage? I just want a ball-park figure, assuming perfect record in cars/house damage last 7 years. I had the impression many insurance company pull out of FL years ago due to Hurricane/Flooding and the left-over insurance charge mouth-watering rate!!
Insurance will cost you substantially more in Florida than in Ohio, both home and auto. In the Midwest I had a fairly new (<6 years old) 4,000 sf house that cost me around $1200/year with every coverage imaginable, even earthquake (and how do you prepare for the big one that's due on the New Madrid Fault?) I have a house half that size here and pay around $1400/year for full coverage.

Some insurers have pulled out. There is a state mandated insurer that you can get insurance from, but believe me, there are plenty of companies writing policies here. You won't have any problem getting homeowner's insurance. The newer the house the less it will be in many cases, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
Maybe this can be combined with bullet point 4 below

4) What locations offer Flooding protection, plus best schools around Tampa Bay area? From where I am, my school district is probably one of the top 3 in the greater Columbus area but the property tax (school get money from) is probably the lowest among the top 5 districts. So it's sort of best Value.
Taxes are the same across Hillsborough County. They are based on property value as they are in Ohio, so the more expensive the house the more you will pay.The farther east you go the less likely flooding will be. East of I-75 is good for sure, as long as you avoid things like waterfront property on the Alafia River.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
By the way, based on my job interviews so far, it seems like Florida as a whole has some hard time attracting talents. Is it because salary is a tad lower? or is it Hurricanes? or ...? FYI, I am in IT.
Wile there are some on this forum who would say otherwise, I have been here going on 20 years in the IT business (and my spouse is in IT, too) and as hiring managers we both feel that salaries for IT professionals are as much as 20%-30% lower here than the Midwest or Northeast. They do seem to be getting better, but much is up to the employer, too. It might help to know more about the specific area in IT you are in, as some seem to be on a level field (developers) while others (sysadmins) seem to be much lower than other areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftong View Post
My questions are getting too long, so lets just focus on these topics and we can chat more.

Thanks again Helpers!
Sean
You're welcome. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

RM
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
184 posts, read 226,629 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinecc View Post
I would agree that has to be the hardest thing to consider leaving behind. The only thought/advice I can offer is that it's human nature to feel guilty for putting ourselves first. It's taken me literally years to be ok with doing that and not feeling guilty. Well...not much, lol.

If you do it and you find that you miss being away from your family, at least you have them to come back to.

Sorry that I forget, when are you thinking of moving?
Yea, they're the ONLY thing I have around here though in my personal life. I talk to them on the phone a lot more than I see them, especially in the winter. Not many friends left really that aren't tied up with wife/kids/gf. I have a good paying secure job, but my life is so blah otherwise. All i do is work, go to the gym, and go to the pool at my parent's house on the weekends (3 months out of the year for the pool). I've been a software developer for 10 years so I hope I can find something eventually if I decide to move. I've lived here all my life, I just really need a change and I have friends and cousins in St. Pete.

I'm approved for an apartment at Elan Gateway to move into mid September, I have a little while to think about it before I have to sign the lease though. My friends down there love it and say I won't regret it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Tampa
440 posts, read 547,624 times
Reputation: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinecc View Post
I would agree that has to be the hardest thing to consider leaving behind. The only thought/advice I can offer is that it's human nature to feel guilty for putting ourselves first. It's taken me literally years to be ok with doing that and not feeling guilty. Well...not much, lol.

If you do it and you find that you miss being away from your family, at least you have them to come back to.

Sorry that I forget, when are you thinking of moving?
Couldn't rep you enough on this
But i also have the advantage of my parents coming down there in the winter for about 5 months, renting a condo near Sarasota or Naples since their snowbirds


Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonR View Post

I made the "mistake" of returning to the Midwest a few years ago, and regretted every minute of it. I could handle the weather, even winter and the cold. What I couldn't handle was the lack of sunlight. It was so bad it affected me physically. I could never return there because of this.


Wile there are some on this forum who would say otherwise, I have been here going on 20 years in the IT business (and my spouse is in IT, too) and as hiring managers we both feel that salaries for IT professionals are as much as 20%-30% lower here than the Midwest or Northeast. They do seem to be getting better, but much is up to the employer, too. It might help to know more about the specific area in IT you are in, as some seem to be on a level field (developers) while others (sysadmins) seem to be much lower than other areas.



You're welcome. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

RM
And this is the reason i'm leaving, its amazing how sunlight can have such a big affect on people, and i've lived in it for 30 years so you can see where i'm coming from!
Btw, nice post


Quote:
Originally Posted by OSUbrew View Post
Yea, they're the ONLY thing I have around here though in my personal life. I talk to them on the phone a lot more than I see them, especially in the winter. Not many friends left really that aren't tied up with wife/kids/gf. I have a good paying secure job, but my life is so blah otherwise. All i do is work, go to the gym, and go to the pool at my parent's house on the weekends (3 months out of the year for the pool). I've been a software developer for 10 years so I hope I can find something eventually if I decide to move. I've lived here all my life, I just really need a change and I have friends and cousins in St. Pete.

I'm approved for an apartment at Elan Gateway to move into mid September, I have a little while to think about it before I have to sign the lease though. My friends down there love it and say I won't regret it.
Dude this is my life! Plus i just got a call from Viera Bayside that they had a 1BR opening up at the end of September, i could have had it if i was already down there and had a job
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:23 PM
 
94 posts, read 270,679 times
Reputation: 64
Another Ohioan here. Originally from Athens, OH. Been living here for 2 years now. I miss my family, but it doesn't overwhelm me as I go about my day to day activities. This area isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I'll take it over Ohio. Weather here is usually good, got pro sports, beaches, and good nightlife. Can't beat that.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:31 AM
 
Location: says MA on my license but can be found wandering the beaches of RI
1,432 posts, read 1,677,814 times
Reputation: 905
One thing we all have in common it seems is how much we are effected by the lack of sunlight. Some might say that happiness is from within - and while that is absolutely true - happiness from within is the result of what our lives entail. When you think about it, you can break it down into a math formula, lol. But seriously, for me, a big part of my life is being active...sports, beach, nature, basically anything I can do outdoors. I can't apologize for wanting a better life in this respect. I'm willing to risk giving up a few good things up here to improve the *quality* of my life overall.

So can I be the token Northeasterner in this growing Ohio thread?
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: North of South, South of North
8,704 posts, read 9,914,002 times
Reputation: 5124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher23 View Post
And this is the reason i'm leaving, its amazing how sunlight can have such a big affect on people, and i've lived in it for 30 years so you can see where i'm coming from!
I am very sun sensitive. That is "one of" the many reasons why the sunshine state is a good fit, so I completely understand what you mean. I do understand it is not for everyone, but I do appreciate that it is for us. I always hope that everyone can live where they want to and where they are happy.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
184 posts, read 226,629 times
Reputation: 171
I agree, one of the most depressing things about Ohio is the lack of sunlight. It is very grey and depressing here the majority of the year. I'm also very active and like to do outdoor activities, but not ones that involve snow or cold weather.

I mean sure, it's ok here in the summer for a few months, but that's about it.
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