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Old 01-07-2010, 01:29 AM
 
145 posts, read 316,691 times
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My wife and I are interested in buying a retirement home in either of these two counties. We visited Pasco county briefly during the summer and will be planning a trip to the St. Pete area this summer.
We were looking to purchase a home with an inground pool up to $200K. I originally thought that there would be no homes fitting this description in Pinellas but according to the real estate websites I appear to be wrong.
On paper I would prefer the St. Pete area because of the close proximity to sporting events (spring training, Devil Rays, hockey, college and pro football). The wife likes the more rural lifestyle hence Pasco for her.
What are the major differences in quality of life issues between the two? I noticed in the newpapers that both counties have a sizable crime problem. What concerns me are the really bizarre types of crimes. For example it appears that there is a camp for Neo-Nazies (one guy was recently prosecuted on a murder charge) as well as sexual assaults on elderly women in their homes in Pasco. A woman was recently found beaten half to death and dumped in a park and bottles of acid were thrown from a car at bums sleeping in the streets in Pinellas.
How much of a difference is there in the property taxes?
Lastly why does home owners insurance cost so much? I was reading that I may not be able to insure a home in Pasco because of sinkholes and that one guy near the water pays $12K a year in Pinellas for insurance on his home. Is this the norm or are these stories just the occassional fluke that the papers write about?
Thank you in advance for any information.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:37 AM
 
26,798 posts, read 41,511,171 times
Reputation: 14978
Quote:
Originally Posted by HughMcs View Post
My wife and I are interested in buying a retirement home in either of these two counties. We visited Pasco county briefly during the summer and will be planning a trip to the St. Pete area this summer.
We were looking to purchase a home with an inground pool up to $200K. I originally thought that there would be no homes fitting this description in Pinellas but according to the real estate websites I appear to be wrong.
On paper I would prefer the St. Pete area because of the close proximity to sporting events (spring training, Devil Rays, hockey, college and pro football). The wife likes the more rural lifestyle hence Pasco for her.
What are the major differences in quality of life issues between the two? I noticed in the newpapers that both counties have a sizable crime problem. What concerns me are the really bizarre types of crimes. For example it appears that there is a camp for Neo-Nazies (one guy was recently prosecuted on a murder charge) as well as sexual assaults on elderly women in their homes in Pasco. A woman was recently found beaten half to death and dumped in a park and bottles of acid were thrown from a car at bums sleeping in the streets in Pinellas.
How much of a difference is there in the property taxes?
Lastly why does home owners insurance cost so much? I was reading that I may not be able to insure a home in Pasco because of sinkholes and that one guy near the water pays $12K a year in Pinellas for insurance on his home. Is this the norm or are these stories just the occassional fluke that the papers write about?
Thank you in advance for any information.
You nailed it...property taxes and HO ins. are te 2 major differences that will affect your pocket as well as property value...althoug there are in both counties good and cheap deals.

If you go onto the property appraisers website you can just click on a random property and search for a property with a similar value in Pasco and you will see the difference. (use google map for some street names)

The closer you be at the coast the higher the HO ins. premiums and the harder you can find a company that will ins. the property but there are still companies who will ins. near the coast.

Gas prices are higher in Pinellas (average, of course I don't know all local gas stations). Whenever we go to the beach we always fill up in Hillsborough or Pasco, since we pay less...just an example since you were questioning the money differences.

Pinellas is gorgeous and has beautiful properties close to the beach but if you don't go a couple of times a week but like us 2 or 3 times a month, we rather live in Pasco not to close to the beach are, which is very nice and cheaper to live and closer to Brandon, Orlando and Tampa and faster to I-75 to go up North...JMO!
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 11,517,878 times
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Quote:
Lastly why does home owners insurance cost so much? I was reading that I may not be able to insure a home in Pasco because of sinkholes and that one guy near the water pays $12K a year in Pinellas for insurance on his home. Is this the norm or are these stories just the occassional fluke that the papers write about?
Home owner's insurance rates became completely insane after that nutty '04 hurricane season. In Pinellas there are some areas that are high and dry but if a CAT 5 hurricane ever hits, a good portion of the county will be completely submerged. In Pasco there is a very high rate of sinkholes and it is still close enough to the coast that if a major hurricane hits there will be damage there. This area hasn't experienced a major hurricane since the 1920's if I recall correctly, but of course there is always a possibility.

Personally I would much rather retire in Pinellas county than in Pasco, but I don't enjoy rural life. Pasco would be a good compromise if your wife wants a more rural feel but you want relatively easy access to the city. You are unlikely to find a rural property in Pinellas, the county is almost completely built out. I think the property taxes in Pinellas are higher than in Pasco so that may be a consideration as well.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,447 posts, read 2,663,704 times
Reputation: 1036
One thing you might want to also consider is how much more expensive/less expensive the cost of living is here to where you are now. Taxes/state taxes/state income taxes/ etc and what possible benefits you may lose/gain moving to Florida. Is it more expensive to heat a home in a winter where you are than it is to cool a home in summer here? As for pinellas vs pasco, there are lots of low price homes now in pasco for sure, but many are on subdivisions that are not in good shape due to foreclosures, abandonment and so on. Pinellas has higher taxes (vary by area within the county) but it has so much more to offer - particularly to retired, in the way of culture/parks/entertainment/leisure facilities. I think you should have a really good look around and get a feel for both.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: N.H Gods Country
2,360 posts, read 4,700,708 times
Reputation: 1998
The best thing to do would be to come and spend some time looking around.Some of these neighborhoods change on a weekly basis.
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