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Old 03-02-2010, 01:19 PM
 
6 posts, read 20,086 times
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Hi - my husband and I along with two young kids will be coming down in a couple of weeks to search out the area. We both telecommute, but are looking for a great location (schools important - public) and would need to get to the airport 1-2x/month.

I've done a lot of reading and have some areas to look at but would love additional input based on our individual criteria. We are looking for at least 3 br, 1.5 bath and think we'd like to live near the coast (10-15 minutes to water, ideally the less touristy). Budget - $300-350,000. I've read about Dunedin, Safety Harbor and areas of South Tampa (that would be bay correct?). We are currently in a neighborhood (out of state) where we can walk to grocery, restaurants etc, but schools are questionable. We are willing to check out areas like Westchase, but not sure that is our style, but may be better for the kids. Yes, I'm confused :-)!

Current plan is explore an hour north and south of the city to see what options might be.

Any recommendations on areas to target if great schools and close to the beach, walking neighborhood if we can get it, are our priorities?

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: it depends
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Dunedin!
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:03 AM
 
93 posts, read 231,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thecoast View Post
We are currently in a neighborhood (out of state) where we can walk to grocery, restaurants etc, but schools are questionable. We are willing to check out areas like Westchase, but not sure that is our style, but may be better for the kids. Yes, I'm confused :-)!
Thanks so much!
This caught my attention. we were in a similar situation a year ago.
if you have ANY desire for a truly walkable and safe neighborhood with urban amenities... take a long look at South Tampa. Plus the schools there are essentially the best in the bay area. If you have any misgivings about areas like Westchase or Dunedin, due to potential "suburbanite" character or remoteness, then I can basically guarantee that you will be miserable in that sort of place.

I've said it before - people who move here from out of state often underestimate how much or a caricature suburban-type life can be in tampa (and florida). Edward scissorhands was filmed in land 'o lakes. No lie. It is pretty ridiculuous. Most people here have just gotten used to it and think its normal.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 7,490,671 times
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I would say South Tampa would be the best place. I grew up there and while I didn't live the "South Tampa lifestyle," I enjoyed the convenience of the area. The schools really are some of the best, if not the best, inside the Tampa city limits. The only downsides are the costs and the flooding. Property values soared throughout the 90s until at least the housing bubble collapse. I don't know how much they've come down, if at all.

Safety Harbor might come in second. It's quiet and safe, but aside from their little downtown, I think it is pretty much suburban. I have heard the schools are fine there.

While it doesn't do much for me, I will admit that Dunedin is a nice city. Everyone raves about its downtown, but I don't think there is all that much to do there if you have kids. It seems geared to an older crowd.

I hope this helped. I've only ever lived in South Tampa, but I have been through and around Dunedin, Safety Harbor, and pretty much every Bay Area neighborhood/city multiple times.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:52 PM
 
15,838 posts, read 33,176,251 times
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Originally Posted by ferret111 View Post
I would say South Tampa would be the best place. I grew up there and while I didn't live the "South Tampa lifestyle," I enjoyed the convenience of the area. The schools really are some of the best, if not the best, inside the Tampa city limits. The only downsides are the costs and the flooding. Property values soared throughout the 90s until at least the housing bubble collapse. I don't know how much they've come down, if at all.

Safety Harbor might come in second. It's quiet and safe, but aside from their little downtown, I think it is pretty much suburban. I have heard the schools are fine there.

While it doesn't do much for me, I will admit that Dunedin is a nice city. Everyone raves about its downtown, but I don't think there is all that much to do there if you have kids. It seems geared to an older crowd.

I hope this helped. I've only ever lived in South Tampa, but I have been through and around Dunedin, Safety Harbor, and pretty much every Bay Area neighborhood/city multiple times.
I agree with all of this ^^^^. I didn't grow up in south Tampa, but relatives and friends did, and I always thought it was the best part of Tampa, and still do. I agree Safety Harbor is quaint, but pretty suburban.

And lastly, I also have to say that despite all the raving on this board about Dunedin, I agree that it's a nice little town, but not much at all there, and to me pretty boring, and no beach of it's own. It's nice, but to me, definitely NOT "all that."

Bottom line, I feel that somewhere in south Tampa is the best bet. And yes, the schools are some of the best in the area, even highly ranked in the country.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:13 AM
 
62 posts, read 178,390 times
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I am most likely moving to the Tampa Bay area and, if it were feasible for my husband's commute, I would live in South Tampa in a heartbeat. My best friend has lived there for 13 years and has a son in the school system and is very happy with it. Check out Hyde Park Village which is very walkable and the homes in that area are to die for. There are also many other great neighborhoods in that area. Not too close to the beach though.

Just for comparison, I would check out Westchase to the northwest. It has kind of an Hyde Park Village feel but everything is new and it is definitely the suburbs but it's really beautiful. I saw a lot of people out walking, jogging and biking. The beach is just a short drive away.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I live in Westchase - doesn't sound like what you want. Had I known more before we moved here 7 yrs ago, I probably would have moved to the Hyde Park area. Not sure you will find something you like for your price range. I love Safety Harbor, very quaint with good schools. Dunedin can be nice, definitely close to the beach...but has some negative influences from Clearwater.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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Have you checked out Palm Harbor or Clearwater (both are very close to Dunedin and Safety Harbor)? Both are near some of the best beaches in the area and have great schools. I'm not surprised people are raving about South Tampa, but to me, it's overrated. Not to mention, the house you will get in South Tampa at that price point will be significantly less than in any other area in Tampa Bay.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:33 AM
 
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Thanks! I haven't checked out any places yet, just researched online those areas that pop up the most on this board. We are going down the end of March and want to get a good feel of places, EVEN those not mentioned.

So: Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, South Tampa & Westchase. Any place else I'm missing as a "must see"? Anyone relocate to Tampa and wish they'd moved/knew more about a particular area before moving? When we moved to where we live now, we loved the neighborhood, but wish we'd known more about the quality of schools...it's hit or miss!

THANKS!
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:54 AM
 
2,727 posts, read 4,621,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thecoast View Post
Thanks! I haven't checked out any places yet, just researched online those areas that pop up the most on this board. We are going down the end of March and want to get a good feel of places, EVEN those not mentioned.

So: Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, South Tampa & Westchase. Any place else I'm missing as a "must see"? Anyone relocate to Tampa and wish they'd moved/knew more about a particular area before moving? When we moved to where we live now, we loved the neighborhood, but wish we'd known more about the quality of schools...it's hit or miss!

THANKS!
Then I would rent and see the place before buying, if I were you.

To add to your list, while you are there check the countryside area of clearwater. It adjoins Dunedin, Saftey harbor, and Palm Harbor.

Good luck in your search
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