Moving To Florida

Worley

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Hey All, the wifey and I will be moving to Florida as soon as she graduates dental school May of 2023. We have visited several beaches from Jacksonville to Daytona, Orange Beach, AL to Destin, and Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. So far we have decided that the gulf side is where we want to be. We are really active people who like to live somewhere with sports and concert arenas, parks, hunting, motorcycle riding and of course a plethora of bars. We are going to visit Clearwater / Tampa Bay area next year. From online searching, it really fits the bill of what we are looking for, including, a large amount of new dental patients every year. Its always nerve racking to move to a new location and finding a decent neighborhood without a ton of crime. I'm sorry to say that we are a bit gun shy, so to speak, after moving to Memphis, TN. for her school. This is not Tremor related, but I know we have an excellent group of informational people on this forum and would love your feedback. I see that @yArdbird , @Brian33778, @Geoff877, @JBlaze5811, @Hailepo, @Kilroy_was_here and @Outnumbered live in the area. For you all that live in Pinellas and Hillsborough county, where are the areas to stay and the areas to avoid. What do like about and hate about the area? We will probably live in an apartment the first 6 months to a year in-order to establish roots and see if we even like the area. I really don't want to be a Buccaneers fan but when in Rome lol. Thanks!
 

Suncoast

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There’s lots of good places between Sarasota and Tampa. I live in a town right near 75 called Lakewood Ranch. It’s just north of Sarasota. I’ve been all over Florida but hands down the Gulf side is much nicer. Not as much traffic, nicer beaches, it’s a whole different vibe on the west side. I feel like the east coast is full of Californians and New Yorkers. If you like those people for east, if your more down to earth and common sense type of person come to the gulf side.
 
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Worley

Worley

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There’s lots of good places between Sarasota and Tampa. I live in a town right near 75 called Lakewood Ranch. It’s just north of Sarasota. I’ve been all over Florida but hands down the Gulf side is much nicer. Not as much traffic, nicer beaches, it’s a whole different vibe on the west side. I feel like the east coast is full of Californians and New Yorkers. If you like those people for east, if your more down to earth and common sense type of person come to the gulf side.
I am definitely a down to earth country boy with common sense. My wife has the brains and I have the survival skills lol.
 

TampaTremor

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We live in Valrico, Florida which is a suburb of Tampa, 25 minutes east of downtown.

If I had to make a recommendation I would suggest the areas in the red boxes below, I can give more specifics but you will probably get a good idea based on the Interstates.

We can make it to all of the beaches from as far North as Tarpon Springs all the way to Siesta Key in an hour or less. This covers St. Pete and Clearwater plus a dozen or so others. Orlando near Disney is 50 minutes and Downtown Orlando is around 75 minutes. Cape Canaveral is 2 hours. Needless to say we can get around pretty nicely due to access to the Highways. Below Hwy 60 just south of the lower red box is Bloomingdale and Fishhawk, two highly desirable areas but heavy residential traffic.

Feel free to shoot me a private message and we can connect in greater detail or by phone.

We moved down from St. Louis 7 years ago and have zero regrets.

Another cool area is South Tampa or Davis Island but again residential traffic and higher cost but you can be on the water of Tampa Bay.
 

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BlueKilla

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There’s lots of good places between Sarasota and Tampa. I live in a town right near 75 called Lakewood Ranch. It’s just north of Sarasota. I’ve been all over Florida but hands down the Gulf side is much nicer. Not as much traffic, nicer beaches, it’s a whole different vibe on the west side. I feel like the east coast is full of Californians and New Yorkers. If you like those people for east, if your more down to earth and common sense type of person come to the gulf side.
+1 on this. Lot of New York/New Jersey/Michigan on the east side. We have family on the east side and it's fun to visit but I'd never live there... Reminds me too much of home.
 

SirFer

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I’m in Sarasota and have been here for 14 years after spending 6 years on the east coast in Stuart and Boca Raton.

Would absolutely echo that the Gulf Coast is the place to be.

I lived in Brandon for a year while I was working in St. Pete so got pretty familiar with Pinellas and Hillsborough and work still has me covering basically the entire state but primarily Naples to Tarpon Springs.

I don’t know much about Memphis but I would say you’re going to want to live pretty close to work from a traffic standpoint. When I was in Brandon and commuting to St. Pete I could be at work in ~25 minutes without traffic but there were times it would take an hour+ with traffic.

Anywhere in St. Pete Beach/Clearwater Beach/Tierra Verde/Indian Rocks Beach would be a nice landing spot. Clearwater proper on the mainland side is nice as well. The downtown area around Tampa as well as the area just outside of downtown St. Pete and south St. Pete can get a little sketchy. If you come spend a weekend driving around it’s not hard to tell where the good areas are vs. the areas you probably want to give a wide berth to.

The biggest problem will likely be finding a house. I sold my house in Sarasota in March because we thought we’d take advantage of the hot seller’s market, stay with my parents in Sarasota for a couple months, then buy in the NW Bradenton area when things cooled down. So far things have not cooled down so we’re still technically homeless. We’ve made offers on several houses in the last couple of months but continually get beat out by cash offers over asking price with no inspection contingencies. If you’re willing to pay cash, have zero contingencies, and close quick after getting into a bidding war you’ll find something but otherwise it’s tough. We keep an eye on rentals as well but it’s nearly impossible to find a place that’ll fit a family of 4 for <$3500/month and I just can’t stomach that right now.

For what it’s worth I love the Sarasota/Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch area because we can be in St. Pete and/or Tampa for concerts, sporting events, airports, etc. within an hour but the lifestyle is a little more laidback in Sarasota/Manatee counties and the traffic isn’t quite as bad as up in Pinellas/Hillsborough.

I also like the north side up in the Largo/Seminole area for the same reasons.

You aren’t going to find great hiking/hunting/outdoorsy activities right in any of these areas because that stuff takes place more east in the middle of the state but all of my hunting takes place within ~2.5 hours of my house in Sarasota so it’s not terrible. The trade off is that while you aren’t close to hiking/hunting you’re close to the water so the beaches/fishing/diving/boating are all very doable.

Didn’t mean to write a novel! Any questions feel free to fire away or shoot me a PM any time.
 

stufarmer

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We live in Valrico, Florida which is a suburb of Tampa, 25 minutes east of downtown.

If I had to make a recommendation I would suggest the areas in the red boxes below, I can give more specifics but you will probably get a good idea based on the Interstates.

We can make it to all of the beaches from as far North as Tarpon Springs all the way to Siesta Key in an hour or less. This covers St. Pete and Clearwater plus a dozen or so others. Orlando near Disney is 50 minutes and Downtown Orlando is around 75 minutes. Cape Canaveral is 2 hours. Needless to say we can get around pretty nicely due to access to the Highways. Below Hwy 60 just south of the lower red box is Bloomingdale and Fishhawk, two highly desirable areas but heavy residential traffic.

Feel free to shoot me a private message and we can connect in greater detail or by phone.

We moved down from St. Louis 7 years ago and have zero regrets.

Another cool area is South Tampa or Davis Island but again residential traffic and higher cost but you can be on the water of Tampa Bay.
I also live in Valrico. We've been here since 93'. It's congested as hell. The Subdivisions were built before the roads were improved so theres always continued constitution everywhere. Home prices are pretty reasonable though, it's not the west coast or the north east, so $350 will get you in one of the older neighborhoods, $600+ for the newer ones. Fish Hawk is a newer beautiful planned community. Unfortunately there arnt anymore 1/2 acre lot subdivisions, so get use to 15'-20 ft apart. Homes with pools out number the ones without, HOA's are popular, and enforced. For the most part, it's a clean well maintained area, the parks and common areas are nice, the Sheriff Dept does a good job, you don't see much homeless, or transient. One thing I like is, we have more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the country, cant tell ya anything about bars or night life. You'll find about everything you need close, you're just not going to get there fast. Getting out of the neighborhood takes 10 minutes, or 30 if school is getting out ..
 
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Worley

Worley

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We live in Valrico, Florida which is a suburb of Tampa, 25 minutes east of downtown.

If I had to make a recommendation I would suggest the areas in the red boxes below, I can give more specifics but you will probably get a good idea based on the Interstates.

We can make it to all of the beaches from as far North as Tarpon Springs all the way to Siesta Key in an hour or less. This covers St. Pete and Clearwater plus a dozen or so others. Orlando near Disney is 50 minutes and Downtown Orlando is around 75 minutes. Cape Canaveral is 2 hours. Needless to say we can get around pretty nicely due to access to the Highways. Below Hwy 60 just south of the lower red box is Bloomingdale and Fishhawk, two highly desirable areas but heavy residential traffic.

Feel free to shoot me a private message and we can connect in greater detail or by phone.

We moved down from St. Louis 7 years ago and have zero regrets.

Another cool area is South Tampa or Davis Island but again residential traffic and higher cost but you can be on the water of Tampa Bay.
Thank you for this great info. Zero regrets is what I am looking for!
 
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Worley

Worley

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I’m in Sarasota and have been here for 14 years after spending 6 years on the east coast in Stuart and Boca Raton.

Would absolutely echo that the Gulf Coast is the place to be.

I lived in Brandon for a year while I was working in St. Pete so got pretty familiar with Pinellas and Hillsborough and work still has me covering basically the entire state but primarily Naples to Tarpon Springs.

I don’t know much about Memphis but I would say you’re going to want to live pretty close to work from a traffic standpoint. When I was in Brandon and commuting to St. Pete I could be at work in ~25 minutes without traffic but there were times it would take an hour+ with traffic.

Anywhere in St. Pete Beach/Clearwater Beach/Tierra Verde/Indian Rocks Beach would be a nice landing spot. Clearwater proper on the mainland side is nice as well. The downtown area around Tampa as well as the area just outside of downtown St. Pete and south St. Pete can get a little sketchy. If you come spend a weekend driving around it’s not hard to tell where the good areas are vs. the areas you probably want to give a wide berth to.

The biggest problem will likely be finding a house. I sold my house in Sarasota in March because we thought we’d take advantage of the hot seller’s market, stay with my parents in Sarasota for a couple months, then buy in the NW Bradenton area when things cooled down. So far things have not cooled down so we’re still technically homeless. We’ve made offers on several houses in the last couple of months but continually get beat out by cash offers over asking price with no inspection contingencies. If you’re willing to pay cash, have zero contingencies, and close quick after getting into a bidding war you’ll find something but otherwise it’s tough. We keep an eye on rentals as well but it’s nearly impossible to find a place that’ll fit a family of 4 for <$3500/month and I just can’t stomach that right now.

For what it’s worth I love the Sarasota/Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch area because we can be in St. Pete and/or Tampa for concerts, sporting events, airports, etc. within an hour but the lifestyle is a little more laidback in Sarasota/Manatee counties and the traffic isn’t quite as bad as up in Pinellas/Hillsborough.

I also like the north side up in the Largo/Seminole area for the same reasons.

You aren’t going to find great hiking/hunting/outdoorsy activities right in any of these areas because that stuff takes place more east in the middle of the state but all of my hunting takes place within ~2.5 hours of my house in Sarasota so it’s not terrible. The trade off is that while you aren’t close to hiking/hunting you’re close to the water so the beaches/fishing/diving/boating are all very doable.

Didn’t mean to write a novel! Any questions feel free to fire away or shoot me a PM any time.
I appreciate the detailed information. I will definitely miss the hiking of East Tennessee but I will not miss the colder winters. Every time we visit Florida, we take at least 2 days and drive around the different areas. I have actually spotted a few Tremors in neighborhoods doing that lol.
 

TampaTremor

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I also live in Valrico. We've been here since 93'. It's congested as hell. The Subdivisions were built before the roads were improved so theres always continued constitution everywhere. Home prices are pretty reasonable though, it's not the west coast or the north east, so $350 will get you in one of the older neighborhoods, $600+ for the newer ones. Fish Hawk is a newer beautiful planned community. Unfortunately there arnt anymore 1/2 acre lot subdivisions, so get use to 15'-20 ft apart. Homes with pools out number the ones without, HOA's are popular, and enforced. For the most part, it's a clean well maintained area, the parks and common areas are nice, the Sheriff Dept does a good job, you don't see much homeless, or transient. One thing I like is, we have more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the country, cant tell ya anything about bars or night life. You'll find about everything you need close, you're just not going to get there fast. Getting out of the neighborhood takes 10 minutes, or 30 if school is getting out ..
Hey neighbor!

I am definitely happy to live North of Hwy 60. We are still 5-7 minutes from any and everything imaginable but do not have to deal with the residential congestion that comes south of Hwy 60.

If the market wasn't so crazy I would go a little further north, North of I-4 to pick up a few acres in the Thonotosassa area.

Overall we love the area and the easy access to everything.
 
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Worley

Worley

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I also live in Valrico. We've been here since 93'. It's congested as hell. The Subdivisions were built before the roads were improved so theres always continued constitution everywhere. Home prices are pretty reasonable though, it's not the west coast or the north east, so $350 will get you in one of the older neighborhoods, $600+ for the newer ones. Fish Hawk is a newer beautiful planned community. Unfortunately there arnt anymore 1/2 acre lot subdivisions, so get use to 15'-20 ft apart. Homes with pools out number the ones without, HOA's are popular, and enforced. For the most part, it's a clean well maintained area, the parks and common areas are nice, the Sheriff Dept does a good job, you don't see much homeless, or transient. One thing I like is, we have more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the country, cant tell ya anything about bars or night life. You'll find about everything you need close, you're just not going to get there fast. Getting out of the neighborhood takes 10 minutes, or 30 if school is getting out ..
I am definitely looking forward to getting away from the violence and homelessness of Memphis. To put it in perspective, I think Tampa had 27 murders and Florida overall had 1285 murders in 2020, whereas, Memphis alone had 332 murders in 2020. One city had a 1/4 of the murders of the entire state of Florida. It blows my mind that anyone lives here on purpose lol. I am used to the big city traffic. Honestly, if I had it my way I would be moving back to Knoxville, TN and have a vacation condo in Florida. Happy wife, happy life!! I really appreciate your feedback.
 

stufarmer

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North of Hwy 60 is considerably less populated, but more 60's-80's era than South of 60 is.
North of Interstate 4 you can find breathing room, but you loose the convince of .. whatever your needing being close. Florida believes in building first, infrastructure second, third, fourth .. and so on. Polk County, just a couple miles east has Grady Judd. He's the best Sheriff in the Nation. Period.
When a reporter asks why this Cop killer has 77 bullet holes in him, his answer was simple, we ran out of bullets.
Lakeland, Bartow, Winterhaven are all wonderful towns, communities. Much less populated and expensive. Polk County Tax's are also quite a bit less than the Gulf Coast Counties are too.
Floridians exemplify their love of god and country with more Flags, Churches and Cross's than anywhere you'll see in you travels. Our actions speak. We have a strong conservative Governor that stands up and fights liberal bullshit every day. Born and raised in Northern California, I'm very proud to be a Floridian.
 

MagicTruck

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58 years in St. Petersburg and could not wait to get the hell out of Fl after retiring due to the trumping assholes such as their current governor. If you love cockroaches a fun time is watching them come down from the roach condos that are palm trees at dusk you can sit on the porch with a BB gun and hunt your heart out. But you better have your mosquito spray handy. And some skin lotion (can’t remember name brand which actually does work ) that drives away the no-see-ums. The baptist want to tell you how to live. The angry retired new yorkers ( not the diverse open to others type) think the trump style loudmouth no it all’s that want a law against anything they think lowers their property values dominate. School system that teaches how to keep head down follow the leader instead of critical thinking. Tailgating get out of my way I’m more important than you are people. And taliban like state government. Every rip off artist in the country does business in Florida for a reason. It was a great place until Ronald Reagan but no more. There are beautiful places indeed still but the negatives seriously outnumber the positives in my opinion. So if ya like to wash the bugs off your tremor every other day , ya like too many flags (“last refuge of a scoundrel”) bibles (no diff than the taliban just diff book) , loudmouths every bar or restaurant you visit, paying a couple bucks an hour to park near the beach, heavy traffic anywhere worth visiting including rivers and lakes, backwards thinking politicians and basically mean angry people - then floriduhs the place to go…
Being born in east tenn I jlike that area a lot also but can’t tolerate the political climate there either.
 

CM1995

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Orange Beach is fantastic but doesn't have the population of some of the cities you've listed in FL.

Pretty much any city in the south will be better than Memphis..That city has really went down hill in the last 20 years.
 
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Worley

Worley

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58 years in St. Petersburg and could not wait to get the hell out of Fl after retiring due to the trumping assholes such as their current governor. If you love cockroaches a fun time is watching them come down from the roach condos that are palm trees at dusk you can sit on the porch with a BB gun and hunt your heart out. But you better have your mosquito spray handy. And some skin lotion (can’t remember name brand which actually does work ) that drives away the no-see-ums. The baptist want to tell you how to live. The angry retired new yorkers ( not the diverse open to others type) think the trump style loudmouth no it all’s that want a law against anything they think lowers their property values dominate. School system that teaches how to keep head down follow the leader instead of critical thinking. Tailgating get out of my way I’m more important than you are people. And taliban like state government. Every rip off artist in the country does business in Florida for a reason. It was a great place until Ronald Reagan but no more. There are beautiful places indeed still but the negatives seriously outnumber the positives in my opinion. So if ya like to wash the bugs off your tremor every other day , ya like too many flags (“last refuge of a scoundrel”) bibles (no diff than the taliban just diff book) , loudmouths every bar or restaurant you visit, paying a couple bucks an hour to park near the beach, heavy traffic anywhere worth visiting including rivers and lakes, backwards thinking politicians and basically mean angry people - then floriduhs the place to go…
Being born in east tenn I jlike that area a lot also but can’t tolerate the political climate there either.
From your description, looks like I’ll fit right in!! #Trump2024
 
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