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Old 03-24-2010, 12:13 PM
 
11 posts, read 31,501 times
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I am considering moving to Clearwater. I am a single mother (my son is twelve). We visited there about three years ago and both think it was paradise. We are looking for a LITTLE 2 bedroom apartment around the Clearwater/Largo area. I am also looking for a legal assistant job or business manager of a salon (I know it is VERY differnet, but I have degrees and experience in both).

I have been on rent.com and apartmentguide.com looking at apartments, but my biggest question right now is the utility bills. I am from NW Pennsylvania. We have electric ($80/mo), gas ($130/mo), water/sewage ($110/mo) and cable/internet ($110/mo). How do the utilties in this area compare?
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 18,529,964 times
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I had a 2 bedroom condo on the bay in Clearwater and I don't think the electric was ever over $80. Of course we were on the 5th floor and the breeze off the bay kept it nice, never had to use ac.

Gas, water and sewer was included in the rent. Cable and internet was around $120 total with all the movie channels.

This was a few years back though so I am sure it has gone up some on the electric but cable/internet should be about the same with all the specials they run.

Check out Cove Cay, it is a gated golf course community on the bay, there are 3 or 4 pools, tennis court, etc. I think the school bus drops kids right at the front gate.
You can rent a 2 bedroom for $800-$850.

There are not a huge amount of kids in the community though.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pinellas County
1,430 posts, read 2,632,133 times
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Stay away from clearwater and largo for schools. Look at Seminole, or go farther north to EAst Lake/Palm harbor area. Costa Del Sol in Seminole has nicer 2 bedroom apts, but I think they may be only one bath, you need to check. Nice facilities, safe, quite a few children live there and its a safe environment.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL by necessity; Pinellas by choice
214 posts, read 615,699 times
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Just an aside to save some $$$:

Consider getting wireless internet for $50-$60 / month and watch your TV shows online (unless your son has to have cable). Or rent packs of TV show DVDs from Netflix, etc. But I watch very little TV, so...
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:57 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,904,886 times
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Just checked Pittsburg to Tampa and was surprised by results on Cost of Living comparison calculator
which shows life generally 7.71% more expensive here though it does show an 18% decrease in energy costs. The housing in FL looks high so I don't know when that data was collected. The site references www.costofliving.org which says it has data from third quarter 2009 but it wants $s to give results of inquiries. (something not free on the internet? yikes!)

This site Cost of Living Calculator shows the cost of living in Clearwater to be about 11% less than in Pittsburg.

But Cost of living: Compare prices in two cities - CNNMoney.com shows life more expensive in Clearwater than in Pittsburg by almost 6% with utilities being 4% more expensive.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:58 AM
 
11 posts, read 31,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nucat78 View Post
Just an aside to save some $$$:

Consider getting wireless internet for $50-$60 / month and watch your TV shows online (unless your son has to have cable). Or rent packs of TV show DVDs from Netflix, etc. But I watch very little TV, so...
nucat78: Thanks for the idea. I was wondering, with all the sunshine, if we would even have time for cable. There are a few I'm addicted to, but like you said, I can watch those online.

Internet is a necessity for me, I'm going to school online, on top of working full time.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:02 AM
 
11 posts, read 31,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housingcrashsurvivor View Post
Just checked Pittsburg to Tampa and was surprised by results on Cost of Living comparison calculator
which shows life generally 7.71% more expensive here though it does show an 18% decrease in energy costs. The housing in FL looks high so I don't know when that data was collected. The site references www.costofliving.org which says it has data from third quarter 2009 but it wants $s to give results of inquiries. (something not free on the internet? yikes!)

This site Cost of Living Calculator shows the cost of living in Clearwater to be about 11% less than in Pittsburg.

But Cost of living: Compare prices in two cities - CNNMoney.com shows life more expensive in Clearwater than in Pittsburg by almost 6% with utilities being 4% more expensive.
I'm north of Pittsburgh in a LITTLE town... I've checked the cost of living comparisons, but they are hard to believe because, although the rent is more expensive down your way, the utilities should be substantially LESS because you won't have the gas/heating bills we have.
Once someone (above) gave me a dollar amount and I could figure it out, it evens out pretty well. (hopefully) I'm just barely making it up here, I'm hoping that the pay is better down there, I've heard good and bad, but not much could be worse than the salary market around here. A paralegal is supposed to make $32,000? a year to start... around here it is more like $20,000 at a nice place... so we'll see. Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:03 PM
 
5,453 posts, read 8,118,961 times
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It also depends on your personal preference, meaning how cold/hot you want your place to be and on the AC unit, an older unit will cost more if it's not maintained properly.......
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL by necessity; Pinellas by choice
214 posts, read 615,699 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcheercoach View Post
Internet is a necessity for me, I'm going to school online, on top of working full time.
Many libraries offer free WiFi as does Borders Books, Caribou Coffee, etc.

I pay for home Internet because my son needs it for school and I like the convenience of getting online without having to leave home.

There are some folks who "hijack" their neighbors' wireless (if there's no security on it) but I think that's a bad idea for a number of reasons.

(Learning to be frugal so I can start my liveaboard life-style sooner... )
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:11 PM
 
Location: North Pinellas
627 posts, read 1,216,765 times
Reputation: 638
I have to agree that you dont really want to be in the Clearwater/Largo school districts (esp Largo Middle/High). I would go South to Seminole or North to Palm Harbor for the better ones.
As for Utilities...some apartments include water in your rent, but usually those dont have washer/dryer hookups in them. It can really vary depending upon how much water you use. Im kind of in the same boat as you in regards to household size (my son and I) and our water/sewer bills in the past 5 years or so in different apts around Pinellas county have varied between $50/month-$70/month and weve always had a washer/dryer and we both take long showers two times a day. If you end up with service through Pinellas County Utilities then you will pay bimonthly.
As for electric, it depends on your comfort temperature, how old your unit is, and the size of your place. We leave ours on 70 degrees 24/7 from March-October and our bill fluctuates between $115-$175/month. Our home is a 2/2 and is about 1000 sq ft to give an idea. It seems like with this crazy Winter we had though the heat cost more because our bill shot up to $260 but it definitely hasnt been the norm. If you get an apartment that doesnt have gas, then you will just be paying your electric bill. Ive never had a place with gas-so Im not sure how much that might run you if you did get one...I think though (and I may be wrong) that most places down here dont have gas but are electric instead.
Depending on the provider of the cable/internet/phone that the apartment complex has an arrangement with, the prices for this can vary too. We had Brighthouse for all 3 services and were on a special for $110/month. They always run new resident deals and all that jazz. I just dropped our cable and phone, figured we could watch our "must watch" shows' latest episodes online and we never used the house phone anyways... but now I just have internet and talked them into giving me an advertised special, so that bill is now $25/month.
Hope this helps, feel free to message me - Ive lived here wayyyy too long and move all the time, I feel confident I can answer your questions with expertise by experience
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