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Old 03-08-2009, 04:55 PM
 
30 posts, read 90,304 times
Reputation: 26

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rheadabovewater View Post
Hi TampaStar, I just feel I have to throw in my two cents' worth.

I'm a CA native, but most of my relatives live in Tampa. I'm getting laid off in a few months, and I previously made rock-solid plans to move to Tampa this year. I had called the moving company and was starting to get rid of things, then I went to Tampa again a few months ago - and I called off the move. Why? Let me list the reasons below:

1. Commuting. I will be basically starting over in the TB area, so I will most likely be working downtown. I'm used to living in a lovely area (I'm currently in Cupertino, CA) so I'd like the same after my move. I realized during this last trip that if I want to live in a "nice" area of Tampa Bay, I'll have probably an hour of commute time each way. What a downer!

Believe me, I've done a LOT of research over the past few years on the areas in Tampa Bay to live in, especially on this board and during the times I've been there. My niece is the entertainment editor on CreativeLoafing, so she is a great resource for information on good and bad areas to live in. I might consider living in the better area of Seminole Heights which isn't too far from downtown, but if that didn't work out, I'd most likely have to drive to Lutz or Tampa Palms (I like Brandon but the commute is awful). So that goes into....

2. Roads - condition, car pooling, etc. I've been spoiled by CA traffic - they've done a lot over the past ten years here to create car pool lanes, meters on the on-ramps, signs stating how long it takes to get to certain areas. etc. Commuting in CA is actually much better than in Tampa, which surprises a lot of people. As someone said in another post, the roads in Tampa are simply not kept up. No car pool lanes - no meters. Traffic is HORRENDOUS during rush hour. If I was living in Lutz, it would take probably 45 minutes - 1 hour to get home. I know, I've been in that traffic many times. Things are better than they were - recently signs were put up that state travel times, but Tampa has a long way to go.

3. If I stay here, I'll have an easier time finding a job during this recession than if I go to Tampa. I've been in CA all my life and I have a lot of connections with a lot of networks. I have nothing like that in Tampa. I realize that's specific to me, but it may pertain to others.

4. I live in Silicon Valley and I'm a computer geek, which means I'm used to the latest technology being used...well, everywhere - work places, homes, you name it. In Tampa - at least to me - it's not the same. None of my sister's friends are on email. Most of them don't know how to turn on a computer. Again this is probably "me-specific", but I'm afraid that technologically, I might be unhappy there. Could be minor to others, but it's a little higher up on the priority list for me.

5. Crime rate - much higher than where I currently live - so much that it's a real consideration.

6. Downtown Tampa. What a waste of good space! It amazes me that they haven't developed more restaurants/sidewalk cafes, etc. there. It's all business and it closes up at 5 PM on weekdays and is a ghost town on weekends. Nobody home, nothing there. Zippo. Nada. Wasteland.

7. Salaries. I realize the cost of living is much lower in Tampa, but I would be earning approximately 30 - 35% (if I'm lucky) of what I make now (I'm an executive assistant). That means I'd be broke all the time. Hey, I went thru my poor times and hated it....I have enough money now to live comfortably and put some in the bank. We exec assts get bonuses and stock options in CA, which is unheard of in Tampa. I don't want to be poor again.

I would still like to move to Tampa someday, but it will probably occur after I retire. By then I'll have more money saved up and I won't have to worry about commuting. I would love to live closer to my sister.

I realize others will probably totally disagree with at least some of what I have to say, but these are my honest thoughts.
I currently live in the East Bay (Cali) and am moving to Tampa in a couple months. I believe you may be putting too much into Cali than there is to be desired and, like you, I grew up in Cali. I've lived in Florida for 4 years ('00-'04) but it was on the east coast and a lot smaller community but I am still a little familiar with Florida.

You are probably more of a tech guru than myself but I don't believe that you would totally be disappointed in the amount of Tech there is in Tampa. Granted NO WHERE can beat SILICON when it comes to tech, it is far superior to any place in the U.S., but I believe you would probably do just fine in Tampa. Plus, a move is always risky. I believe that is what can make it so great when you succeed.

The traffic may not be that bad where you are BUT here in the east bay, it's ridiculous, ha ha. I look forward to Tampa traffic or whatever there may be of it. I here people talking about 30-45 minute commutes like it is a problem, try 1 - 1 1/2 hour commutes.

As far as the crime rate goes, you are right about living in a great community right now. Cupertino is considered safe compared to most BUT we also live 1 hour away from 2 cities that, at one time, were in the top 10 in murder rates in the U.S. I don't believe Tampa is anywhere near them. In fact, it isn't even in the top 100 last time I checked, but St. Petersburg was.

There are 2 good factors for not moving though, your salary and the city. The city in no way can compare with the likes of SF and SJ. Plus, unless you are absolutely in love with the city and the place there is never a reason to give up that much salary. I'm sure you would love it in Tampa but until you can guarantee a decent salary I wouldn't take the chance. In fact, that is definitely one of the reasons why I am moving.

I hope you do get out there one day, I'm sure you would love it.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 12,117 times
Reputation: 11
Moving to Tampa...pros and cons. I personally am getting very excited about moving to FL, although the area we're looking at is north of Tampa by 20-30 miles. (Yes, we're talking retirement, at least for hubby, not me). I frequently scan the posts for info, and all of you have been a wonderful help. Okay, so FL isn't perfect...severe thunderstorms, HOT weather...Just 5 days ago, I had to shovel a path to my car in 8 degree weather at 5:30 in the morning (yes I have a garage, but the wind blew a pile of snow 8 inches deep in our driveway) so I could drive the 18 miles to work on icey roads braving oncoming tanker trucks passing by at 55 miles an hour only feet away, and get there in time to get a parking place 2 blocks from my cubicle or else brave the Lake Erie winds and park literally 100 feet from the frozen water's edge and trudge uphill in my boots, gloves, hat, winter coat, wait for 2 minutes at the traffic light while the frigid lake wind turned my skin to ice. (No, I'm not kidding.)
Four months of super hot weather and the rest (October through May) pleasant? The 4 months you have bad weather are the 4 months we have GOOD weather! By Oct.31 we have snow. Usually until April. Last year at this time we had a 3 day storm that deposited 23 inches of the lovely stuff!! Crime? I live here, but haven't really looked at the stats. I know which streets to avoid, lock my doors on the way to work since the quickest route to that coveted parking space is right through the worst part of town where the police visit every day, have driven through police gauntlets, past the corner where a 15 yr old was shot and killed while trying to rob his neighbor...

How bad can Tampa be?

Keep up the great posts, all, cause I get my "Florida fix" on this web site and cross off one more day on the calendar, counting down to moving day!

jzzylizz
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:10 PM
 
47 posts, read 186,610 times
Reputation: 66
I don't think I ever said I was waiting to move to Tampa for the weather to get better... I was just wondering how bad the weather got during the times I will be moving there. Thanks for the tips though... I like hearing everyone's input.

I'm really really really excited to see what Tampa has to offer and how well I can adapt. It's going to be a real experience...

How about this for a question? Has anyone here ever left a job where they had a great relationship with everyone they worked with and your boss, so you have a personal tie, but it's not going in the direction you were promised it would go in so you decide it's time to move on? How hard was it?? Did they understand or were they very bitter?
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:15 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,575 times
Reputation: 19
Default Sorry this took so long

Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaStar View Post
Hey funkyv, thank you for the informative post!

Any recommendations for a good date night activity?

We were homebodies. We did however really like this restaurant in St. Petersburg (might even be considered Pasadena or Gulf Port) called Chattaways. Awesome burgers! It has a very unique ambiance to it as well. I've never been to Splittsville but I always wanted to go. I heard it's espensive though. The Tampa Improv is a great date type of thing, so is anything at the Tampa theater. Bahama Breeze is always fun too!
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:55 PM
 
17,802 posts, read 22,424,050 times
Reputation: 36140
Tampa Star you are moving here without a job? I hope you have a years worth of living expenses saved up.

FL is losing more jobs then any other state.

If you said you were an RN, well then maybe. The type of work you are looking for already has many qualified unemployed Floridians looking for the same.

I don't get people who move somewhere with no job lined up unless they have extensive savings. And by that I mean at least 35K in the bank.

Even then why use your savings up because you moved somewhere without work.

If the economy was good it would be a different story, but FL isn't expected to see any recovery due to the construction downturn until 2012.

Your worried about being homesick, I would be worried about being homeless.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:50 PM
 
47 posts, read 186,610 times
Reputation: 66
Seain Dublin, Thank you for your concern. I understand the situation in Florida is not good right now. I've actually changed my plan a little.... since I've told my job we've come to an agreement and if I hang out for the summer and leave at the end of August they are going to help me find a job down there. I work at a motorsports dealership and I know there are lots of dealerships like that down in Florida. We have almost 5 months to get the word out and get my networking on point. Also I've been checking out craigslist and have found 2 or 3 job postings each day that I am qualified for. I know I'm not guaranteed a job but I have a lot of hope. I have a lot of options I think. I've worked at a law firm for 3 years, I've been doing accounting for 3 years. Also, when I move down I will have 5 months of living expenses saved up. I'm not naive to the situation down there. My boyfriend has an apartment in Palm Harbor that he's been paying the rent on by himself for 6 months so if I don't have my ideal job I should be able to find some sort of a job to help with some of the bills.
I know it's a big gamble and probably not the safest or smartest decision but it's a decision I've already made and now I've got to try to make it as successful as possible!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Cali to Ft Lauderdale
28 posts, read 73,207 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaStar View Post
I don't think I ever said I was waiting to move to Tampa for the weather to get better... I was just wondering how bad the weather got during the times I will be moving there. Thanks for the tips though... I like hearing everyone's input.

I'm really really really excited to see what Tampa has to offer and how well I can adapt. It's going to be a real experience...

How about this for a question? Has anyone here ever left a job where they had a great relationship with everyone they worked with and your boss, so you have a personal tie, but it's not going in the direction you were promised it would go in so you decide it's time to move on? How hard was it?? Did they understand or were they very bitter?
Hopefully they will be professional and not bitter. I left a great job after 14 years because I had to get out of Ohio. It was terribly hard to leave - everyone was like family - but I gave a 3 month notice so my replacement could be trained before I left and there were no hard feelings. I still keep in touch with them....but I would never move back there.

Now I'm getting ready to leave another "perfect" job in Reno to move to Florida. I've been here 5 years and work from home, I'm the only employee with my company living in Reno and my supervisor is in Portland. I see her once a year. The autonomy and flexibility is what I will miss the most (well, salary will decrease so I'll miss that and yearly bonuses will no longer be an option) but DH has wanted to move to Tampa Bay area for years now and we are finally making plans to move in June. We've been there several times in the last few months and have another trip planned in May to secure housing and for interviews. DH is retired, I'm a nurse. Good luck with your move!
Cheryl
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,247,201 times
Reputation: 944
Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaStar View Post
Also I've been checking out craigslist and have found 2 or 3 job postings each day that I am qualified for. I know I'm not guaranteed a job but I have a lot of hope. I have a lot of options I think.
For every job postings, you have 50 people applying for that job, who are also well qualified for. I hope your current company CAN find you a job. Companies are either on a hiring freeze, hiring consultants (not employees), part-timers, or have just a few hirings and working them to death.

My husband was recently layed off. He went for an interview with JP Morgan for a consulting job. They did not hire him because he could not go into depth about his experience 35 years ago! This is what they told the agency. They had 9 consulting job openings, with 97 people applying. My husband knows people who are working at JP Morgan. They highly recommended him for the position and still did not get it.

I wish you a lot of luck! I do hope you are able to find a job. I am glad to hear you company is going to try and help out and I am glad you are able to wait until Aug. Maybe things will be a little bit better by then. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:05 PM
 
47 posts, read 186,610 times
Reputation: 66
Thank you skicheryl and annaegel for the well wishes.

I told my job I was moving about 2 weeks ago now. They took it very well. They were sad (my office manager cried and of course I cried the minute I said "I need to talk to you guys") but said they understood I needed to do what was right for me. They know I wouldn't do something this extreme without giving it some serious thought. I'm not leaving until the end of August.

I've spoken to our regional sea-doo rep. about getting a hold of his contacts in the Tampa area. Hopefully with his help and the help of my bosses' contacts I'll have a good chance of finding a job. Next week I'm going to start calling and e-mailing the dealerships I know of down there and at least getting my name out.

I'm coming down to Palm Harbor in the middle of May. So very excited. I get to see my boyfriend after 4 1/2 months! And also spend a little bit of time in my soon-to-be home! I cannot wait!

Thanks again!
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,366 posts, read 4,588,831 times
Reputation: 4511
Right now the rents are very competitive due to the collapse of the housing market. What I would caution you about (and I've lived in S. San Fran and Montara, right on the PCH, as well as 12 years in Tampa) is the "other" costs of living, especially insurance, both car and home/renter.

Car insurance might not be as much of a contrast from CA, but if you decide to buy a home, get ready! The home I owned until last August, which sold for $270k, had a nearly $4k/year homeowners policy premium, and that was with 30 years with State Farm (they no longer write homeowner's policies in FL, I believe.)

There are a lot of hidden costs, so do your due diligence before you make the leap.

And it's nothing even remotely close to living in the Bay area. Not even close.

Sorry, and good luck!

RM
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