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Old 01-13-2015, 02:01 AM
 
64 posts, read 74,400 times
Reputation: 71

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Good morning everyone.

As previously stated, hubby and I are looking to retire in the Tampa area. We are still doing tons of research and have yet to decide where...BUT....have taken the numerous suggestions to everyone moving there, to RENT and make sure you like it for the first year.

I think this is a wonderful idea and we decided to take that advice. Now...my problem is, there are tons of apartment buildings. TONS. Every time we find one that looks great, I go to the website that does reviews for apartment buildings. HOLY COW. It seems that 80 percent of the reviews, the tenants are complaining about cockroaches..termites....bed bugs. Is this the norm?????? I usually take reviews with a grain of salt, but it seems this is the majority for every building.

As many people, I HATE bugs. I would not even be able to sleep. Ugh. Now what? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Tampa
734 posts, read 784,148 times
Reputation: 759
If you hate bugs, you picked the wrong state in which to retire. Sorry.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:51 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,897,089 times
Reputation: 4364
Quote:
Originally Posted by susie8862 View Post
Good morning everyone.

As previously stated, hubby and I are looking to retire in the Tampa area. We are still doing tons of research and have yet to decide where...BUT....have taken the numerous suggestions to everyone moving there, to RENT and make sure you like it for the first year.

I think this is a wonderful idea and we decided to take that advice. Now...my problem is, there are tons of apartment buildings. TONS. Every time we find one that looks great, I go to the website that does reviews for apartment buildings. HOLY COW. It seems that 80 percent of the reviews, the tenants are complaining about cockroaches..termites....bed bugs. Is this the norm?????? I usually take reviews with a grain of salt, but it seems this is the majority for every building.

As many people, I HATE bugs. I would not even be able to sleep. Ugh. Now what? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
"Apartments" here are not usually for retirees....they are for yuppies, and low lives, and their managements usually suck royally unless it's some very expensive building. Besides bugs, those cheaper ones are full of burglaries too...I would not live in an apartment in Florida anywhere if you paid me.

Those who rent/buy homes use pest control services. You're making it sound like there are clouds of bugs around all the time, and that's simply not the case except for the two times a year when the love bug season is upon us. Don't buy a white car.

I HATE bugs too, but guess what, every state has bugs, they just freeze during winters up north so you don't "see" them as often.

IF you have an open porch, you'll get many mosquitoes, but you'll get that in the summer near any lake up north too..."bed bugs" are found in hotels, as apartments here don't come furnished.

Rent a house not an apartment. Rent from a management company so you have someone to call if you see too many bugs, and make sure you add pest control in the rental agreement as many management companies exclude that and make you pay for pest control yourself.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:30 AM
 
1,638 posts, read 2,763,886 times
Reputation: 2724
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
"Apartments" here are not usually for retirees....they are for yuppies, and low lives, and their managements usually suck royally unless it's some very expensive building. Besides bugs, those cheaper ones are full of burglaries too...I would not live in an apartment in Florida anywhere if you paid me.

Those who rent/buy homes use pest control services. You're making it sound like there are clouds of bugs around all the time, and that's simply not the case except for the two times a year when the love bug season is upon us. Don't buy a white car.

I HATE bugs too, but guess what, every state has bugs, they just freeze during winters up north so you don't "see" them as often.

IF you have an open porch, you'll get many mosquitoes, but you'll get that in the summer near any lake up north too..."bed bugs" are found in hotels, as apartments here don't come furnished.

Rent a house not an apartment. Rent from a management company so you have someone to call if you see too many bugs, and make sure you add pest control in the rental agreement as many management companies exclude that and make you pay for pest control yourself.
Great post.

In FL you have to expect some bugs. There are measures YOU need to take in your own home to avoid them , such as no cardboard, keeping the kitchen clean, sealing up food, taking the trash out every night, vacuuming and dusting. Keep your sinks/bathrooms dry (silverfish especially love humidity). There are baits that I use to keep the bugs at bay until we get our quarterly spray and it seems to work fine. I live in an old apartment building that is wood, so there's just not much we can do there. Termites DO happen but the place gets treated for those. Termites happen anywhere down here, just have to watch for it and treat.

I lived in a concrete building and never ONCE saw a bug until I moved into an old building. We had several roaches a few times, but it was while they were moving an apartment downstairs and they sprayed the next day (we also upped our bait gel game), and another time when they evicted someone downstairs for being a slob. If I could do it again, I'll definitely rent a house next time.

I am terrified of bugs and from upstate NY (they all die in the winter!), and have found the bug issues manageable here. I'd say infestations are rare unless you have an AWFUL landlord and/or you're a slob. Roach traps are sold in grocery stores here pretty much anywhere. Get some and use them every 3 months, keeping out of way of children/pets.

If you can't handle bugs at all, don't move here. You WILL see some.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,151 posts, read 3,921,965 times
Reputation: 10391
We expected bugs when we moved to FL last year. Surprise, surprise.....no bugs!

What we do have are many many geckos on our patio and outside our screened porch (where I spend most part of every day, year-round). These little guys plant themselves on the outside of the screens and on the patio to keep us bug free. We do not use any pest control.

Whenever we walk around town we see geckos scatter on all the sidewalks (though my better half says some are anoles).

Gulfport is so enamored of its geckos that there is an annual GeckoFest every Labor Day weekend!

Last edited by dothetwist; 01-13-2015 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:47 AM
 
306 posts, read 381,604 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by susie8862 View Post
Good morning everyone.
Every time we find one that looks great, I go to the website that does reviews for apartment buildings. HOLY COW. It seems that 80 percent of the reviews, the tenants are complaining about cockroaches..termites....bed bugs. Is this the norm?????? I usually take reviews with a grain of salt, but it seems this is the majority for every building.

As many people, I HATE bugs. I would not even be able to sleep. Ugh. Now what? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Indeed, there are MANY apartment complexes that look great, and are great. I don't know where you intend to rent, so I will only talk about my experience of almost 6 years living in two such apartment complexes in Tampa.

You mentioned cockroaches, bed bugs, termites. I had encountered none of these. Instead, we had occasionally wild bugs, i.e. palmetto bugs (that look like giant cockroaches), and small ants getting inside.

What you can do:

- rent in an apartment complex that has pest control. In both places we rented, the pest control was the management's responsibility, came every two weeks (if we asked them to), and it was free.

- many apartment complexes are near natural preserves. If you want to minimize the number of insects getting inside (especially the mosquitoes and palmetto bugs), choosing an apartment facing a street or the parking lot certainly helps.

- if the floors are carpeted, to minimize the chance that you would find bed bugs or fleas, ask them to install a new carpet before you move in. In our case, we took advantage of the fact that the carpets did not look completely spotless, so my husband explained to them very clearly that we have big problems with allergies, etc, and insisted on getting new ones. He was successful both times, but I guess it's a matter of chance.

If the carpet looks good and you have no reason to ask to be replaced, you could spray it (preemptively) for fleas/bed bugs, especially if you move in the summer/fall, when it's the flea season/postseason. If the people who lived there before had dogs, even if they were the cleanest people in the world, the dogs could have easily picked up fleas from outside, and it takes a while to notice and get rid of that problem.

- make sure the windows and balconies/porches are screened (the majority are). Check them for holes or any small places between the window frame and the screen frame that could let a bug in.

- caulk any crack you can find inside the apartment and in the balcony. During the Debbie tropical storm, we got ants coming inside through some cracks near the electric outlets.

- keep the sinks and the bath tub dry and plugged at night (we made it a ritual to do that every night before going to sleep)

That being said, there will be an occasional palmetto bug or even a little gecko finding their way inside, but this is Florida after all...

If you rent in a nice neighborhood, don't worry too much about cockroaches or lowlifes... We lived for two years in New York City and encountered there many more than we did in the last 6 years in Florida

Good luck finding the right rental for you and your family!
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:17 AM
 
64 posts, read 74,400 times
Reputation: 71
Wow!!!! What a bunch of wonderful ideas and suggestions. Things I never would have thought of. Thank you everyone for taking the time to advise. I am a little bit of a germ-a-phobe and loved a lot of your ideas of how to somewhat rectify the problem.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,747 posts, read 2,603,764 times
Reputation: 1620
Quote:
Originally Posted by susie8862 View Post
Every time we find one that looks great, I go to the website that does reviews for apartment buildings. HOLY COW. It seems that 80 percent of the reviews, the tenants are complaining about cockroaches..termites....bed bugs. Is this the norm?????? I usually take reviews with a grain of salt, but it seems this is the majority for every building.
You got some great responses in this thread. Listen to them. But do not pay any attention to those apartment reviews. Unfortunately, those reviews are mostly fake. Pick a few cities around the country and look at the reviews. You'll see the same thing everywhere.

Even if they aren't fake, many of them are written by people angry that the complex keeps jacking up rates. It's something most apartment companies do - they charge more to existing tenants than new tenants, forcing people to hop around to a new complex every year or two. People get mad and write negative reviews of the complex even though they were quite happy there.

Some day, somebody is going to build an apartment review website which has a way of filtering out the fakes and that person is going to retire rich.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,444 posts, read 3,880,782 times
Reputation: 12027
I have heard the same about New York.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Any Beach/FL
25,344 posts, read 14,229,562 times
Reputation: 10444
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
"Apartments" here are not usually for retirees....they are for yuppies, and low lives, and their managements usually suck royally unless it's some very expensive building. Besides bugs, those cheaper ones are full of burglaries too...I would not live in an apartment in Florida anywhere if you paid me.

Those who rent/buy homes use pest control services. You're making it sound like there are clouds of bugs around all the time, and that's simply not the case except for the two times a year when the love bug season is upon us. Don't buy a white car.

I HATE bugs too, but guess what, every state has bugs, they just freeze during winters up north so you don't "see" them as often.

IF you have an open porch, you'll get many mosquitoes, but you'll get that in the summer near any lake up north too..."bed bugs" are found in hotels, as apartments here don't come furnished.

Rent a house not an apartment. Rent from a management company so you have someone to call if you see too many bugs, and make sure you add pest control in the rental agreement as many management companies exclude that and make you pay for pest control yourself.
they are for yuppies, and low lives,

excuse me? bring the nose down a little- paying $1400 a mo rent is not a low life- prob more than your mtg
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