Just moved back to Tampa (Riverview) after 11 years. I don't even know I'm living in the same place. Think the population grew by millions. Traffic is horrible now, and they just keep building houses, apartments everywhere. It is awful.
I live in Tampa, but I'm not enthralled with it. In my opinion, the only reason to live in this area is if you can live on (or very close to) the water. I lived on the Pinellas beaches for almost 20 years, and we're working our way back there, now...as soon as the housing market improves and we can sell. :/
The beach area is great for walks. The downtown St. Petersburg area is also very nice...very walkable, quiet, and pretty, with lots of shops, bars, restaurants, and other entertainment venues close by.
South Tampa has some merit, but mortgages and rents are very high there.
Don't expect to be bowled over by the shopping, arts, or fine dining options, although there are a few shining stars. We are not yet that kind of "city".
I guess it all depends on what kind of lifestyle you are looking for. I will say that winters here are exceptional! :)
Tampa kind of sucks.. I moved here a year ago from the Miami area thinking it would be a little less crazy but I was wrong. Just my two cents. You may be very disappointed..
I'm not sure why someone from Buffalo wrote this, here are a few comments: It's St. Pete Beach (not "St. Pete's Beach) and SPB is a city that is a beach community. The primary beach in the City of SPB is Pass-a-Grille - it's on the Gulf, about 30 miles from Tampa. Carrollwood and Westchase are neighborhoods, not suburbs. Tampa has 2 sports teams, the Bucs and Lightning. The Rays and Rowdies play in St. Petersburg. Tampa has about 350K people, St. Pete about 250K, so yes Tampa is significantly larger but this isn't like Philly and Suburbs, it's more like Minneapolis/St. Paul. Brandon is part of Tampa, with about 100K and Clearwater with 100K is separate from St. Pete but same county. Traffic in all of these areas is not great, because water and bridges hinder freeways and there is zero decent mass transit. Tampa has more jobs, the city administration and chamber have done a good job bringing jobs in. St. Pete and Clearwater have some good places to work as well, but mostly the city leaders have focused on them being cool places to live - that has not attracted good employers. Downtown St. Pete puts downtown Tampa to shame, but things are getting better in Tampa.
My boyfriend and I are considering moving to the Tampa area from NJ, but I have 6 cats to take with me. We want to rent before we buy something, and are worried it will be impossible to find a place with the cats :(
According to Numbeo, the cost for a four-person family to live in Tampa is around $3,100 a month (excluding housing). Expenses for a single person run around $860 (excluding housing).
Home prices in Tampa, according to this article, are on the rise, due to high demand and a limited amount of supply. When it comes to renting, apartment prices range from $376 to more than $3,200, depending, of course, on what you’re looking for and which part of town you choose.
If you are interested in a more thorough breakdown, Expatistan is a great site that will provide you with an extensive list of costs such as health care, groceries, clothing, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
For those who like to walk, Tampa has the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard, which is four-and-a-half miles long.
If you’re looking for public transportation, there’s the TECO Streetcar, which provides connections between historic Ybor City and Channelside Bay Plaza, and more than 200 buses run throughout the Tampa Bay area as well. For train travel, Amtrak offers rides throughout the city, to Union Station, and to other parts of the state, with connections to locations across the country.
Since you are retired, why don't you go to Tampa and rent a place for a few weeks, and get a feel for it?
I lived in Tampa for 25 years, and consider it my home town. It's not a big city - but it doesn't have a lot of the problems that come with big cities, either. It's not a podunk town -- which means that there are some benefits of living in a good-sized city.
I love Tampa -- the history is rich and fascinating, the people are welcoming and friendly, and there's plenty to do -- whether as a young single or a young family -- and my grandparents, who are in their mid-80s and are still living independently, have all they want to do.
Fear of hurricanes? Nah. We keep an eye on them, but I wouldn't call it fear. Certainly no more than coastal residents of NC!
Tampa has a great mix of small and large, with a rich ethnic heritage mixed in..
Living here in France is, happily, a long-term dream for us, but I will always look fondly on Tampa -- it's a good city. Not entirely without problems -- but find me a city of 2 million that doesn't!
Tampa has a bit of everything from food to cultural activities it may not be the biggest city around but if you do your homeworkyou will find there is a lot of things to do. I can finally call this home and I love it. NY is great to visit like many other places but I couldnt live there for long......
Tampa between November and March is very similar (weather-wise) to San Diego. My guess is people that "don't like Tampa" would be annoyed by the traffic congestion and humidity. I personally love the place.
There are affordable areas with in Tampa with decent to good schools and lower costs of living. If you are willing to commute look in Northdale, Citrus Park, Carrolwood, Westchase, and Fishawk. Westchase is zoned for a really good Elementary school. Citrus Park and Fishawk are in good school districts and still affordable.
If you are still interested in relocation St.Johns County outside of Jacksonville has the best rated education system in Florida.
I just moved to Tampa a little under a year ago.
First moved into a new rental building in Downtown Tampa (loud surrounding bar/night club so I got out of that lease).
Now we live in a high rise on Harbour Island and we love it. I was used to Manhattan rents so $2,250/mo for a one bedroom is a steal for me. Hope this helps and GL