What is the best and cheapest city to move to in Florida?
Im a mother of one with only a High School Diploma and little work experience, however, i will be on a fixed income and able to do "cash" jobs on the side to supplement. My income will vary from $1800 to $2200 a month. I plan to buy a house very cheap and am asking what city would be best for me. thanks Please consider, insurance, taxes, jobs, schools, crime, anything would be beneficial to me!
Asked By: BehindTint - 1/2/2011
I can't speak for other parts of Florida really, but I know the Tampa/Pinellas County area pretty well. In times like these, perhaps the best part of Florida is the lack of income tax (unless you work for a corporation.) However, property wise, Florida tends to be pretty expensive. I don't know where you're from now to compare it to, but generally it's considered pretty expensive. However, during the property boom, Florida was one of the biggest areas of growth so a lot of new neighborhoods were built up and now a lot of people are looking to sell houses. With little bite, the sellers have been lowering their prices a lot so if you're going to buy a home, now is the time. Also, sales tax is 7?ere (it could be worse)
The schools are very hit or miss here, because as one of the largest school districts in the country, it gets overwhelming. However, though the average may be low, don't be discouraged with the entire school system. The school's that really push their kids are phenomenal. The school district has a policy by which you can apply to be transferred to any other school out of your designated school. It also has the magnet program which allows for better schools. But to really get a value for your kids' education, you should look in the direction of the IB schools and other "top schools" in the area: Hillsborough High IB, Strawberry Crest IB, King IB, Williams IBMYP, Plant High (Not Plant City High) just to name a few. Don't let the state's reputation dissuade you. Tampa may have some bad schools, but it's schools that do well do REALLY well.
The crime rate in Tampa is high statistically but in reality it's not bad at all. The majority of this crime occurs in the more run down areas of the city. The majority of people live in the surrounding suburbs so it's hardly a big concern. The majority of crime in the suburban areas is generally limited to small robberies and stupid pranks gone wrong. New Tampa, Brandon/Riverview, Westchase, Carrollwood are among the best general suburban areas.
The job market is...complex at best. Due to Florida's tourist economy, the general state of things isn't too bad, but the job market still suffered a lot. Florida mainly grew from military influx. (Tampa is home to a lot of military offices, and the air force base) The job market is recovering but I will admit, the area suffered a lot of damage with this crisis. Depending on what you plan on going into, your market may not be bad. With the universities and the massive school district, jobs in education are plentiful. But without really knowing your interests here, I'm not sure what to tell you.
Fun wise, I've always thought Tampa was in an amazing location. Tampa itself is home to 5 malls, and blanketed in non mall stores. It has its fair share of theme parks and water parks and close to Orlando for the rest of them. The area is far enough removed from the major beaches to avoid the tacky tourist scene, yet close enough for easy access when you want to go to the beach. (Don't be convinced there aren't tourists though. They come in hordes for the winter. Just in a more subtle way.) So there's always something to do in a reasonable distance, creating a perfect balance of fun with the peace of suburban life. (Though your kids will always say there's nothing to do in Tampa, yet they're always doing something.)
Answered By: Aidan C - 1/3/2011