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Discussion Starter #1
Might get a chance to transfer south and was curious about the cost of living in the Tampa area. Is it more comparable to Chicago or Des Moines? I don't really want to move if my pay stays the same but it costs twice as much to own a house, eat, live, etc...

I can't wait to get away from Chicago traffic and lake effect snow. They don't mix very well when you're pulling doubles in the winter. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
:bump: :bump:
 

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Having lived in the Tampa area (I still have family and friends there) and in the mid-west I would say that the cost of living in Tampa is probably lower then the Chicago area, and a tad higher then Des Moines.

Also the housing market took a pretty good beating in the Tampa Bay area, so there are some, IMHO, pretty sweet deals on property.

Like all metro areas it has its crime infested areas, and those that are pretty law abiding.

Compared to Nebraska my property taxes were much lower on a more expensive house, however much of that was eaten up by the increased payments to the insurance companies (dang hurricanes). Something else to consider is they don't have a state income tax.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I've been looking at houses there on the internet and have found some pretty good deals. Looking at one now: 4 bed, 2 1/2 bath, 2 car garage, fenced backyard, and inground pool for 110k. Any specific areas/towns to avoid? I wish realtor.com had a "I don't want a house in the ghetto" search criteria.

I think I finally have my wife talked into moving away from IL. Trying to talk them into letting me stay up here until mid November.
 

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Well gibsonton, brandon are really nice. I got a screaming deal on a house in gibsonton. really the best thing here is to come and spend time driving around at houses you like. there are some really nice houses and then you drive .5 miles and you are in the hood. One thing I also learned in my house buying process is man some of those realtor can take some pictures and they are very diffrent in person. If you have an area of intrest let me know and I can check it out when I am out that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Is Port Richey a decent town? Seems like a lot of nice houses going for REAL cheap.

Edit: Also looking at a place in Brandon. By Lumsden Rd and John Moore Rd. Decent neighborhood?
 

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Chicago is a big area with some areas being much more desirable to live in than others which can dramatically change the cost of living. Where you living now in Chicago? That might help your ideas with comparisons of living cost of equal or better living ares in Tampa. Remember location, location, location. Good luck.
 

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Is Port Richey a decent town? Seems like a lot of nice houses going for REAL cheap.

Edit: Also looking at a place in Brandon. By Lumsden Rd and John Moore Rd. Decent neighborhood?
Port Richey and Brandon are both generally nice places to live, though the commute could be a bi*** from either depending on where you are working. When I lived down there one of the things I did was drive to where I was going to be working at 8am and then to the house I was looking at at 5pm.

If you can, go down and check out both, to make sure the neighbor hoods work well with your lifestyle.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't live in Chicago, just wanted something for comparison. We have a list of about 10 houses we're interested in. I guess we'll go down there and spend a couple days looking at houses.
 

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Do it, Jake:thumb: You will love living on the gulf coast:woot:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I definitely love the gulf coast. I just don't know if we can afford to move before we get the credit cards paid off. Wife doesn't want to work anymore and I'd be taking a $30k pay cut to move south. I guess I'm stuck up here for another year or two. :doh:
 

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I live in Tarpon Springs and love it. I am in the northern most part of Pinellas County. If you want to live in Pinellas County you want to buy a house from north Clear Water to Tarpon Springs. Pasco County has a lot of houses for sale because the taxes in that county are high and the area is kinda run down. The houses here have hit the bottom and will start coming up next year sometime. The area we live in is a Greek fishing village. It is a small town also look at Palm Harbor and Duneden is a rear nice place to and we are about 10 min. from the 2 top beaches in the world! Caladisi Island and Honey moon Island. Sorry I can't spell.:doh: If ya have any more questions Email me [email protected]
 

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I"m in Tampa, been here all my life (except when sent elsewhere:rofl:).

Retired LEO here and have a little imput on the area.

CRIME:

Stay the F**k outta Town & Country, West Tampa, North Tampa (USF College area) and Maybe the Wimauma area. Most of the areas mentioned have become little Havana's without the ambiance:(
Too many little chit head wanna be gang bangers hanging out trying to make colors:rolleyes:

The inner city area is trying thier "renovation" game, but it's still the inner city and still crime ridden.

HOUSING: (Quality/cost/traffic/environmental)

South Tampa (SOHO) & Hyde Park - upscale, yuppie area. High cost housing and floods everytime it rains over an hour:hehe:.

South Dale Mabry area -lot of military and old Tampa housing. If you can put up with the noise and traffic congestion, it's not a bad place to look for some homes with charachter:thumb:

Nortwest Hillsborough County - Citrus Park/Odessa/Carrollwood/Westchase area - traffic congestion is a beotch morning and afternoon. Rest of the day, not bad. The Veterans Expressway (toll) has relieved much of the congestion and provides cost effective transit from North to Central Tampa (Westshore area) as well as all the way North to Citrus County (Crystal River area) and to the interstate leading across the bay to Pinellas (Clearwater/LArgo/St. Pete and the Gulf Beaches)

Brandon - There are parts of that I'd avoid, but for the most part, all through Brandon you can get some great deals on vacated housing. Foreclosures everywhere. As someone else mentioned, depending on what you do and where you work, the trek to and from can be exhausting. The Crosstown Expressway (toll) and the newer single route throughfares (one way in the morning and reversed in the afternoon) have made travel from Brandon, Riverview and South County to downtown Tampa, MacDill AFB and such, considerably quicker and less stressful!:thumb:

Gibsonton Riverview, Ruskin, Southern Hillsborough County as a whole - has started to boom over the last several years:thumb: New housing, reasonable cost (depending on where you look) and decent size homes are abundant.

Traffic can be congested at times as well. You're minutes from the Interstate (I75) and Manatee County (Bradenton) and Sarasota and just an hour (+/-) from Ft. Myers, Naples and some beautiful beaches and such in SouthWest Florida.Crimes going to happen anywhere you go, but it doesn't seem to be "as bad" down there (except some parts of Wimauma). Still a large transient migrant farming population but generally, the crime caused by them stays within thier own group (they have a tendancy to shoot and stab one another on weekends:crazy:).

I'd move to the Apollo Beach area of Southern Hillsborough County in a heartbeat if I could.
Located right at the Bay, straight shot to the outside with no bridges, close to Manatee & Sarasota Counties and not a lot of crime (mostly local kid crap). All the shopping you'd need is right there where it wasn't years ago when Apollo Beach was first built.

A lot of good deals to be had in all parts of the county due to foreclosures and short sales as well as new home construction (overstock).

Watch the construction on many of the newer homes though. I've seen these going up and although the meet "code", I don't think I'd want to live in them.

If you like the waterfront, there are a boatload (no pun intended) of deep water canal properties available for a song. I know of three now that were 6-8 k a few years ago, now under (well under) 3-400k, electric davits, deep water and open (no obstructions) to the Gulf of Mexico. All over in the Tierra Verde area:thumb:

If you want to get out of Hillsborough County (Tampa) into say Manatee, Sarasota or Pinellas Counties, again, take a look at the area. Those are beautifula areas...but...more expensive as a rule, and Manatee is becoming overun with a gang problem they can't seem to get a grip on:(
It could be handled, but doing it is not politically correct.
I'd be a great 1 term Sheriff:hehe: but we'd have less gang violence when I left!

Anyway, in Manatee, go west closer to the water and you have beautiful housing (more $$) closer to the water an some island areas as well. Hurricanes and flooding is of course an issue.

Go east and you have a lot of open land, subdivisions and non-subdivision homesites. Lot of rural area to spread out if you like.

Traffic is like any other area. Tough in the am/pm, ok the rest of the day.

Sarasota-more expensive to live, older population (getting younger though) and heavier traffic throughout the day.

Beautiful area though and some older homes that are great!

Eastern part is about like Manatee only more expensive.

Anyway, you get the drift.

Sorry to be so long winded.

If I can help you in anyway, pm or email me and I'll do what I can. Still have a lot of friends and connections in the Law Enforcement communities statewide and can probably get you what you need in statistical information (rather than the BS we provide to the internet).

Best of luck.

G
 

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WOW!! I think he nailed it on the head.:nod:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for all the information. Turns out we're not moving to Tampa. As stated earlier, we want to get credit cards paid off before I take such a big pay cut. Not to mention, I talked to the guy I would be working for down there and he turned out to be a real douche bag. I told him we still want to move to FL, but not to Tampa. Maybe we'll look at Orlando, Daytona, or Ft. Myers.
 

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Thank you for all the information. Turns out we're not moving to Tampa. As stated earlier, we want to get credit cards paid off before I take such a big pay cut. Not to mention, I talked to the guy I would be working for down there and he turned out to be a real douche bag. I told him we still want to move to FL, but not to Tampa. Maybe we'll look at Orlando, Daytona, or Ft. Myers.
Good idea regardless of where you're moving, to get finances straight before doing anything:thumb:

If I had my 'druthers, and didn't have everything I freakin' own stuck here in Tampa (business, kids, grandkid, inlaws that we like and that need us here (wifes dad recently had a brain stem stroke-she see's about him daily), then I'd be...and the song says....GONE!

I'd be looking at the Lee Island Coast (Ft. Myers, Sanibel, Captiva and those areas:thumb:)

Some great buys, good fishing if you're into it, boating and just a more beautiful place in general (IMO) and more laid back than here.
 
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