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Relocating FL Gulf Coast

Relocating FL Gulf Coast

Old Feb 10th 2011, 9:28 pm
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Default Relocating FL Gulf Coast

Hi all

following my earlier thread re Naples, I wanted to ask if anyone could give suggestions on places to live in the South Florida area along the Gulf Coast. My husband and I will be relocating in around 2-3 years when he retires from the Navy and we were originally looking at Naples. We wanted something south of Jacksonville but north of Miami and ruled out Clearwater as we found the traffc to be a problem with only one route in/out. We're thinking of ruling out Naples though as although he's retiring he'll only be 42-43 and I'm going to be 30-31 so we're not ready for a sleepy retirement area. We're looking for somewhere with decent job opportunities (we are eligible for training funding so if either of us need to retrain that's an option). Schools are not an issue but we are looking for affordable housing (living in VA so anything cheaper than that is fine). Its a big ask I know and I've tried to stay away from 'what do you think is the best area' as that's subjective but before we start visiting places we want to have more of a short list!
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Old Feb 13th 2011, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Relocating FL Gulf Coast

You might try Sarasota area..
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Old Feb 13th 2011, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Relocating FL Gulf Coast

Being a Navy man I would have thought San Diego CA would be perfect.

Anywhere in Florida is full of retirees in the winter and sweltering hot in the summer. It was afterall a swamp less than 100 years ago.
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Relocating FL Gulf Coast

Originally Posted by NicciT View Post
Hi all

following my earlier thread re Naples, I wanted to ask if anyone could give suggestions on places to live in the South Florida area along the Gulf Coast. My husband and I will be relocating in around 2-3 years when he retires from the Navy and we were originally looking at Naples. We wanted something south of Jacksonville but north of Miami and ruled out Clearwater as we found the traffc to be a problem with only one route in/out. We're thinking of ruling out Naples though as although he's retiring he'll only be 42-43 and I'm going to be 30-31 so we're not ready for a sleepy retirement area. We're looking for somewhere with decent job opportunities (we are eligible for training funding so if either of us need to retrain that's an option). Schools are not an issue but we are looking for affordable housing (living in VA so anything cheaper than that is fine). Its a big ask I know and I've tried to stay away from 'what do you think is the best area' as that's subjective but before we start visiting places we want to have more of a short list!
The Florida Gulf Coast has been badly hit by foreclosures, so finding affordable housing is probably not going to be an issue if you are able to obtain financing and know how to locate properties that are not going to decline further.

If you liked the available opportunities for jobs, training and activities, you may want to reconsider the Clearwater area, though perhaps not Clearwater itself. There are many different kinds of "neighborhoods" in Pinellas County and, though there is only Highway 19/I275 to go South across the mouth of Tampa Bay, there are a number of North/South routes available after heading east out of the peninsula. For East/West routes (from North to South) you have Tarpon Springs Road, Tampa Road/W Hillsborough, Route 580, the Courtney Campbell Causeway, I275, and the Gandy.

Tampa has most of the jobs, but the traffic you experienced may have been due to the large number of people who prefer to live in Pinellas and commute to Tampa (avoid rush hour whenever possible). At your age, I would guess that you would prefer the more metropolitan vibe offered in the Tampa Bay area, (I can even recommend a British Pub) just choose your neighborhood based on your requirements. I would suggest finding a job first and then buy a home close to it to lessen the commute.

Both Sarasota and Naples are lovely, but a bit "sleepier" than Tampa Bay. The remaining communities are "sleepier" than Sarasota and Naples. All of them have their own appeal, so it will depend on your interests. If you want to submerse yourself in boating and fishing you can be happy in any of the communities along the coast. Your job options will likely be limited to service industry and tourism, though, and training opportunites may be limited.

The Tampa Bay area has a broader array of training and industries, including health care, technology, and military related industries, but keep in mind that jobs are not plentiful anywhere right now. Your husbands Navy experience may translate into a civilian position with the Coast Guard. The base is located at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport. Another possibility is the Port of Manatee which is growing to accomodate the new ships built for the Panama Canal expansion or the Port of Tampa.

Downtown St. Petersburg has a lot of unrealized potential, so it might be worth an "in depth" look with several caveats. They also have a Marine Institute that has been growing steadily and may need "able-bodied seamen."

Do be careful about buying in a flood zone. It can be prohibitively expensive to insure.

Best wishes,
Mary
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