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Old 02-16-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Novi, MI
12 posts, read 41,181 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi,
I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help my wife and I in making a difficult decision. We are considering leaving the frozen bliss of Oakland County, MI for the sun and Palm trees of Sarasota. I guess what we are looking for is information regarding housing, the best area to raise a family, we both just turned 30. We are also looking for info about the average cost of Homeowners insurance, I've read about and heard some disconcerting horror stories about astronomical premiums. Also, how is the job market? My wife is in college administration and I'm a Product Manager in the Foodservice Industry. I read a few older posts but did not find out as much about Sarasota as I would have liked to.
For insurance purposes we are looking at newer construction, single family houses in the 250k - 300k range.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Last edited by jb3115; 02-16-2008 at 09:42 PM.. Reason: I wasn't finished writing
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:37 PM
 
2,539 posts, read 3,723,322 times
Reputation: 995
Is your employment going to be in Sarasota? Your commute and home location will most likely depend on where you work.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,735,989 times
Reputation: 806
It depends what you like. Im your age, married with a 2 YO. We currently live in Bradenton until we buy. I wouldn't settle here, but Sarasota may be for you. You are going to pay higher prices and insurance the closer to the water you are. Sarasota is also less house for your money, with older areas. We found a lot of nice townhomes in University Park. You need to buy a home newer than '95 to have decent insurance rates. Otherwise hurricane codes are not upt to standards. There is a lot to do in Sarasota- A lot of nightlife. East Bradenton is also nice, but stay away from CDD communities!! These are all over Florida (Heritage Harbour, Lakewood, Harrison Ranch)They make it sound great, but don't tell you the hidden facts! Stay E of I75. Parrish is also very nice (again, Im a walking ad), My husband and I are looking here since the homes are MORE for less $$. You can get a nice 1700+ sqft for around $200. However, youre in a more rural setting. Its growing rapidly though and has easy access to Tampa, Sarasota, and the beaches..It's also nice further south- Cape Coral and Venice near Naples-- I guess it all depends on what your price bracket is and what you're looking for : )
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,735,989 times
Reputation: 806
I realized your price bracket-- Just be sure you have jobs first.. Im not sure how you can tell what you can afford, unless you know what your income is going to be.. ??Perhaps you have a home to sell and will have profit..Also, my advice (also coming from Chicago cold, just 2 years ago) RENT FIRST!! No, it's not ideal. In fact, it royally sucks! But, it gives you a chance to get to know the areas before you buy. We have been renting for 2 years, and while it has its downfalls, we have been saving a lot- and still learning all about the areas. Plus, it allows you to live on one income if you have to. Your home is going to be the biggest purchase you ever make-- DONT RUSH IT!
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:53 PM
 
17 posts, read 72,182 times
Reputation: 32
Sarasota is a older kind of crowd. The Tampa area would be better suited for you. Check out FishHawk Ranch in Riverview,a suburb of Tampa. Fishhawk is a new development full of young professionals starting a family. Good Luck
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,735,989 times
Reputation: 806
I guess it depends what you want. In my opinion, (again, married, 30 w 2 year old) I prefer Sarasota over Tampa. While Sarasota does have a more mixed age group, I think that's a plus. There are many family friendly areas, Night life for you and things for the youngens. My cousin just moved to Sarasota and she's 24-- she chose the area for its night life scene. Also, keep in mind- now this is just my opinion, but tampa is a bigger city, more night life, more crowds, more traffic and younger people. The older you get the less you may desire to live in this kind of area, let alone raise a family. Tampa is more city like- Sarasota is a bit more laid back and suburban : )
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Novi, MI
12 posts, read 41,181 times
Reputation: 11
Everyone,
Thanks for the responses, we appreciate them. We're actually looking to start a family at this point so the nightlife isn't as much of a factor anymore, it's been replaced by good schools and family freindly neighborhoods and a relaxing atmosphere. Commuting isn't an issue, I already drive a hour each way for my current job. Income wise, I'll be transferring within my company and my salary should remain relatively the same according to my company contacts. My wife will have to look for a job. To answer the housing question, I made our price range lower from what we we're looking at here because of the possibility of having a lower combined income.

NewFLgal, thanks for the suggestion on areas and renting. We figured we would rent for a year or two after talking about the possibility of having only one income for a period of time. We would just have to find a house to rent as we have to geriatric dogs, 10 & 12. Our house here is sold but we made very little on it so we will want to save some more for our down payment. By the way, which area of Chicago did you move from?

How high are the insurance rates on homes? For example, our house here is in the mid 200's and we pay almost $1000 a year. We're also nowhere near a flood plain.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,735,989 times
Reputation: 806
We moved from the SW side, near oak lawn, Orland park...
Keep in mind, some apartments don't have pet restrictions, but your probably better off renting a house. Although, many home renters are opposed to dogs as well.
Have you looked into Parrish or EAST Bradenton?? My husband and I are still renting, we have a 2 year old (we're in our early 30's) and are also trying to get away from the nightlife. The mentioned areas are very quiet and have affordable homes..more for your money that is..
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Novi, MI
12 posts, read 41,181 times
Reputation: 11
Just curious. Two of my wife's sisters live in the Chicago area, one in Joliet and the other in Glen Elleyn. We're going to have to come down for a long weekend and spend more time looking around, probably in the next few weeks we'll take some time off to look. I can't say that we have been to either Parrish or East Bradenton, we usually stick around Sarasota south to Venice. The last time we were in the area, a couple of weeks ago, we stayed in a condo on Longboat Key. On the drive south from the Skyway, we seemed to go through several differnet types of neighborhoods. Is that area in some sort of transition?
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,735,989 times
Reputation: 806
If your talking about the Sarasota Bradenton area being in transition, the answer would be no. The areas are just very mixed from what I know. Longboat key is beautiful, but looking to buy in that area could cost you..If your looking to buy, East bradenton is very nice as is Parrish, affordable homes and not too congested. (Except near LWR). For vacationing though, Staying near the beaches is the obvious winner..
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