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Moving to Tampa, what's a good area for an apartment?

Moving to Tampa, what's a good area for an apartment?

Old May 10th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Moving to Tampa, what's a good area for an apartment?

My 22-year-old son wants to move south and is considering Tampa. He is doing some research on apartments, jobs, etc., but I thought I'd try to get some feedback from anyone who lives there or is familiar with the city. What's a good area (safe!) to look for an apartment? I don't know exactly how much he'll be looking to spend, but it won't be a high amount. The apartment wouldn't need to be fancy, I'm more interested in the location. Do most apartments include utilities in the cost? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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ttt, anyone?
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Old May 11th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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what does he plan on doing?..it would be hard to answer your ??'s without that info..I'm no expert but a little more info would be required...it could be a big commute or wrong area for him..what are his interests..the info you gave is too vague..
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Old May 11th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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I suggest that you check with the City of Tampa Police Department and ask them for statistics for different crimes. This would tell you what sort of crime is where, something that changes, making it hard to give you accurate advice.

Tampa used to be a cheap real estate market but real estate is rising in value rapidly. St. Petersburg is 20-30 minutes from Tampa and some people commute, living in St. Pete where housing is more affordable, with the exception of course of beach property which is high. But there are many options in Tampa that are reasonable.

For comparison and in general, I-275 to Gandy Blvd (Hyde Park/S. Tampa) is a very expensive area, Gandy to MacDill AFBase is inexpensive, the University of South Florida is inexpensive, Seminole Heights near the interstate is mid-to-low-market, Town N'Country suburb is inexpensive, Brandon suburb is low-to-high mix, Carollwood suburb is mid-to-high mix.

In general, you can find reasonable housing here, especially apartments which come with all amenities (pools, parking). In most cases, utilities would be a separate expense. In my 2500 sq. ft. house I pay minimums of $130/mo for electric, $55/mo for water/sewer.

I hope this is helpful.

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Old May 11th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Suggest he consider sharing a place with others near the beach, and commute to Tampa each day. This would add some fun and pleasure to his time.
 
Old May 11th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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help, I realize it is a little vague at this point, but he's just starting to look into it so I was looking for general information on the area.

Tandoori Girl, thanks for that info. I warned him already that costs for electric would be high. I appreciate the comparison you gave of some areas.

Blacktie, that sounds like fun!
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Old May 11th, 2004, 01:33 PM
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Really, the beach is terrifc, all white sand and just a lot of fun, especially for a younger person. Given the cost, sharing a place is the way to go. The commute will not be so bad - the interstate into Tampa flows very well generally. And coming home to the beach each evening is special. And think of his weekends.
 
Old May 11th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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My 20yo daughter lives in the USF area, North Tampa, and it's neither cheap nor crimefree. She already moved once because she and her roommate were being harrassed by the students living below - now she's in a gated complex, paying $415/mo (times two people) for a gorgeous unfurnished apt with very good security, plus water, electric, and cable/internet. Many many young people are moving to the Brandon area, but the traffic there has become horrendous. We also looked for a house, but anything affordable (under $450 pp) was in a dangerous area. Where will he be working?
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Old May 11th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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there are some apts w/furniture inc...and uts seperate...TBO.com has a relocation guide..but $$ is something to consider..does he have enoygh to tide him over until he finds a job..a real estate agent could give you some info on that..there are so many area to move to..if you work downtown what would your comute time be?..he might to think about an apt/furniture around the University..but traffic could be bad to get to downtown..
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Old May 11th, 2004, 03:39 PM
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Joan raises another point. Does he have furniture? There are some great thrift stores here so not to worry.

Not knowing where you're coming from we don't know what's cheap to you. I paid $900/mo for a one-room efficiency (13x13) in New York City a couple of years ago and everyone there told me that was a good deal, but to me it was a rip-off.

Hyde Park in South Tampa is nice if he can afford it. It's a lively safe area with lots of apartments and a great place for transplants. He'd like that area, and so would you. If he's going to live in Tampa I think he should get a place there -- if he can afford it.

Tampa's a nice city. He'll enjoy it.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 05:38 PM
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South Tampa is a great place for youngish people and can be expensive but there is some variety as well. South of Gandy Blvd used to be a "sketchy" area but there is a lot of new development there. The Channelside area is also popping up with new apts but looks to be expensive in relation to other places in Tampa. I will echo the sentiments that Brandon is a relatively safe area and prices are reasonable. While there is not a lot of night life in the area, another place to consider is southern Pasco Co/northern Hillsborough Co which would be the Wesley Chapel and New Tampa area. I have lived in Tampa for 25 yrs and still cannot get over the growth in that area. There are more and more things to do up there than just tipping cows which was the norm several years ago.

I think you son might want to take a look at the distance b/w the beach and Tampa himself. I'm not sure what highways people are driving but I-275 is a complete nightmare right now with construction near the beach and in Tampa.

I have lived in 5 different complexes around Tampa, I have not been in one yet that includes electric, phone, cable but two that included water.

Hope this helps. I LOVE living in Tampa and haven't found a good reason to leave yet.
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Old May 12th, 2004, 08:35 AM
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Thanks so much to all for this additional information. He doesn't have a job as yet in Tampa. Actually, he is just finishing a year of college and has decided it's just not for him. He plans to get a job here (Upstate New York) and work for a few months to save some money so he has some to tide himself over.

We live in a very small town, so obviously he will be paying far more than he would in this area. Hope he won't have to go up to $900. If anyone could give an idea of actual prices in some of these recommended areas, such as Brandon, Hyde Park, Wesley Chapel, etc., that would be great. I'm trying to get a realistic idea of how much he should have. I think he needs more than he anticipates. Thanks a lot for any info.
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Old May 12th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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I'm curious if he has been here, or if he has friends here already, and if not, then why Tampa?

I was 22 and just out of college when I moved to CA, sight (and site) unseen. No harm done, but I wasn't wild about it and decided it wasn't for me. I moved out with 2 sorority sisters and we made friends fast, but I really didn't care for it and the job situation for me probably had a lot to do with that. A job in my field meant going into LA from Long Beach, and at that point in my life, carless, it wasn't a viable option. We rented a furnished place so I was never locked in with "stuff", thus it was easy to pick up and move on when the mood struck.

What sort of a job would he be looking for here? If he's going to be working downtown, I wouldn't even think about Town 'n Country area because the commute would be gawd-awful coming and going unless he has unusual hours. I do a portion of it daily in the morning, and if I've been out, either in downtown Tampa or in the St Pete area, I avoid returning home anytime between 4 and 6:30 PM.

If he lived in Hyde Park and worked elsewhere, at least he'd be going against traffic for the most part. Hyde Park is expensive, but it's also a great area for young single people. I'm just not sure he could find anything affordable unless he had a roommate. Unfortunately I'm clueless about rent there...they've recently built quite a large complex in a most convenient area there, but it looks pretty high end.

Living at the beach would be wonderful, again, providing he didn't work downtown Tampa. The drive in in the morning is hellacious, although it's not quite as bad coming home at night as the Town n Country drive.

I don't know about Brandon for a young single guy. Downtown Tampa is growing for residential, and many younger people living there, but again there's the issue of cost. If he has someone he can share expenses with it opens up much more territory than living alone.

So...any thoughts on what he might be doing which would indicate where he'd be working? Is he thinking of going to school while here (UT, USF, as well as a couple of junior colleges) or is he finished with that for now? Roommate possibilities? And my bigger question, but just out of curiosity, why Tampa??
 
Old May 12th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Susan, actually Tampa is a rather nice option for your son to consider. Not overly large but growing, good opportunities. Lots to do, including that great beach. Terrific airport too! All in all, wonderful ambience. As you say he's just considering it. But it's a good option. Whatever he decides, best of luck. We've all been there, trying to decide our next step in life. Best wishes to him!
 
Old May 12th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Why don't you check out

www.rent.com,

and do a search for Tampa. It will comeback wit many listings and pictures/descriptions/layouts/locations of the apartments, and the range of rents. I realize you may not know the neighborhoods, but at least you will get an idea of average rent in Tampa and surrounding areas.
Many of the listings are for apartment complexes which might be a good option for your son. Many of them have swimming pools/workout areas,free parking, and also may include the basic utilities. The big plus is the fact that they are mostly occupied by young people like him(singles and couples), just starting out, so he could make friends and network with them about jobs/opportunities, etc.

The final piece of advice is this. If he does get serious about the move he should come down for about a week and instead of going to the beach/bars, spend the time driving around/walking around/investigating some of the places he discovered during research, before he just packs up and moves.

As far as jobs, there is

www.monster.com

Good luck!
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Old May 12th, 2004, 12:17 PM
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I really appreciate this additional input. OliveOyl, as far as why Tampa, first of all, he wants somewhere warm. He has done some research already and apparently likes what he has found out. He doesn't know anyone there so would not have someone to share an apartment with, at least to start. Also, some of what SoBeT mentioned, not an overly huge city but with lots going on.

AAFF, thanks very much, I'll check out those websites and have him look as well. I am going to try to convince him to go down first and look things over after more research.

Thanks to all!
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Old May 12th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Susan, after your son decides where he'll be living, do post here again, and some of us should be able to offer ideas on neat things to see, great places to swim, eat, etc. The beaches are an obvious treat, and offer lots of activities, especially on weekends. He really has selected a wonderful area, and the water and beaches are simply the best!!!! He will enjoy it, I'm sure.
 
Old May 12th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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SoBeT, Thanks, I certainly will!
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Old May 13th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Unless he wants to spend 45-60 minutes each way in commuting time (sitting in traffic in a car), I suggest that he wait until he figures out where he'll be working before he settles on where to rent.

We just went down to Tampa this past weekend, we are also moving down in August and will be working in downtown. Tarpon Springs and north is way too far away -- the traffic was horrendous, it would probably take an hour or more each way. Cars were backed up for miles. Dunedin & Clearwater would probably be OK because it's a straight shot into downtown Tampa, but still you're probably looking at 40 minutes. We even went down to Riverview and Gibsonton, and found they are an odd mixture of mobile homes and large expensive houses on the water. St. Pete is OK if you are on the northeast side, otherwise you are again looking at a longer commute. We settled on Oldsmar, a nice little place only 4 houses from the bay, a great little city flush with cash, only 20-25 minutes to work during rush hour (we did it a few times to make sure).

Of course, all of this discussion is predicated on the assumption that your son will be working in downtown Tampa. He may not, though. If it were my son, I would encourage him to find a job in Clearwater or St. Pete so that he can live by the beach, have a decent commute, and enjoy Florida living.
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Old May 13th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Look at living and working in St. Pete or Clearwater first, and then Tampa.
Traffic in and out of Tampa over all the bridges can be murder during rush hours and storms.
 

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