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My wife and I visited Tampa (Wesley Chapel) this past week and were very impressed with the low cost of living. We are considering a move to the state and would prefer somewhere on the west coast. We were impressed with Tampa. We haven't really seen the "downtown" area. What are some of the up and coming area one would move to if given the opportunity? Being from D.C., we would like to have an easier life as far as low traffic and some peace and quiet, but also have fairly quick access to the coast and the amenities, of downtown Tampa. We love the one story floor plans of the homes in Wesley Chapel.
 

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I'm glad you are considering a move down here. We have wonderful beaches and attractions, but downtown Tampa is really almost a joke. There's not really anything there to do. Channelside has some shopping/eateries/movies and the Florida Aquarium, but not much else beyond that. Ybor, again I'm glad you have a good impression of it, not many of us here have a good impression of Ybor anymore. I think the local government is letting it go to waste for the most part, letting Ybor be riddled with nonsense clubs and excessive crime. Its gotten slightly better in recent years, but not by much.

St. Pete/Clearwater are also good areas in general; wonderful beaches and parks, but again, the downtown areas don't provide as much as the DC metro area does. We do have museums throughout the area, as well as some museums in Tampa, but you sometimes have to travel a good distance to get to them. A huge plus, if you are into art, is the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. You should visit that place at least once or twice, its well worth it. Again, though DT Clearwater and DT St Pete don't have too much outside of that to offer. The municipal pier in St. Pete is junk, I wouldn't go there even to watch fireworks, its really boring.

Traffic here compared to DC is not as bad, but we see a lot of traffic headaches and construction out on the roads. And forget mass transit if you move down here too. Tampa Bay has such a dysfunctional mass transit system, you'd wouldn't even be able to leave one county on the weekends. Yeah, its that bad. No rail either, so I suggest you place that into consideration as well.

If it is decided that you do move here though, I do wish you the best of luck.
 

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Stay in DC, one thing you quickly learn about Tampa Bay is that though it appears cheaper compared to DC, the wages are much lower. Traffic is better than in DC in general, though some areas are just as bad. The DC area has shown a consistently better attitude towards public investment than the bay area and it shows. I was raised in St. Pete Beach from the age of 18months and lived in the bay area until I was 27, when I moved to DC for a year. I made the mistake of moving back and then stayed again until two years ago when I moved to Atlanta. Just moving to Atlanta in a purely later move I received a 25% raise and my wife in an equal lateral move gained 20%. The cost of living is very deceiving as home costs have dropped, they could still fall a touch more to eventually even out with wages. The other issue careerwise is that Tampa Bay is a bit of a deadend. If you are say an attorney, doctor, or maybe architect, Tampa will end up being a way-point along the way, and not a final destination. The economic infrastructure is rather shallow so in many service industries there are only a couple potential options in town.

Tampa is great if you are retired, independently wealthy, young, in the adult entertainment business, a plaintiffs attorney, a gerontologist, or a couple other industries. Also, Tampa unemployment is running at 10.6% right now. I frequently make the analogy that Tampa is like an abusive lover you can't get out of your system. Part of me still loves the place, then I use my head.
 

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^^
I agree. And again, we vitually have no mass transit here. At least DC has a good bus system and a rail system (pushing the recent train crash aside). Our bus system is so dysfunctional that some routes that you wouldn't even think that would get cut....are getting cut. Plus the level of customer service is horrendous, almost leveling to Chicago's CTA system.
 

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Tampa is an awful place to live. I lived in St. Pete for a year. Aside from the religous zealots and backwards thinkers there is no sense of community and hideous sprawl that will make you miss the worst areas of DC. DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE THAT I MADE. Florida is a police state. The prison is the economy. Jeb Bush screwed up Florida and Governor Crist is slightly better. I am a gay man. I was kicked off a beach for being gay, almost gay bashed twice in a gay bar parking lot and was fired from a job after telling a co-worker in Tampa I was gay. Watch COPS and you will get a sense of the Tampa mentality. It is 20 years behind the rest of the country. I prefer St. Pete. People think Golden Corral and Cracker Barrel are nice places to eat. Get my drift?

Try Fort Lauderdale it is just as cheap now and the Atlantic Ocean is much nicer than the Gulf. Also Miami Beach is part of the metro area and a great place to walk around. Southeast Florida has more folks from the Northeast and is way more liberal. You will be able to relate with the expats more so than the folks on the Gulf. Florida is a poorly planned automobile state. The drivers and people are rude here. The weather and beaches are awesome though. I cannot wait to move back to Philadelphia. Did not realize how good I had it in the Northeast.
 

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There are certian neighborhoods that are fine. Hyde Park or SoHo sounds like something you'd be interested in but I'm not sure about your price range of course.

Contrary to the oppinons of the people in this thread, there IS a sense of neighborhhod depending on where you live and there are some really nice places to live in the metro. Most of the more urban neighborhhods are on the rise.

I would not however reccommend Wesley Chapel. I live close by (not my choice) and it gets uglier everyday. Traffic there is one of the worse parts of the whole metro and it's just not a very desirable place. IMO
 

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Oh goodies! The love of my mother having to change from Verizon to Bright House and back and forth makes me cringe....

No, this is not an insult to your job. This is an insult to the companies themselves...
 

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Great to see everyone loves Tampa.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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Oh goodies! The love of my mother having to change from Verizon to Bright House and back and forth makes me cringe....

No, this is not an insult to your job. This is an insult to the companies themselves...
Yeah. Actually, I work on the verizon Business (used to be UUNet/Worldcom/MCI) side. You're most undoubtedly talking about Verizon Telecom (Fios/DSL/Long Distance). Then there is Verizon Wireless (cell).
 

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Oh yeah - if you want to buy my house I'd appreciate it - then I can move to Seattle.
I'm a better fit, being that I want to move to DC, they can just trade places with me. Plus, my place is in-town, very near Westshore and all of that.

Oh, and my best friend and roommate just bought in Wesley Chapel last fall. He absolutely loathes the drive with a passion. Don't got there.
 

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I lived in Tampa Bay for 3 years and absolutely loved it. Of course there is not a good mass transit system yet, and the downtown areas have a long way to go, but the quality of life is still very high and things will progress. The climate and natural setting on the Bay/Gulf Coast are spectacular.
I have been all over Florida, but Tampa Bay is still my favorite.

I really can't believe that local people are bashing their own city that much. The grass always seems to be greener on the other side and you tend to see more negatives in your own place, but take the positives for granted and forget about many of them. I'd move back in a heartbeat if i could.
 

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Yeah. Actually, I work on the verizon Business (used to be UUNet/Worldcom/MCI) side. You're most undoubtedly talking about Verizon Telecom (Fios/DSL/Long Distance). Then there is Verizon Wireless (cell).
Yeah, its interesting how they're three different entities but yet one company, one name. I've actually heard good things about the business services, yet bad things about residential phone/FIOS service.
 

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Things aren't awful here. Could they be better? Sure. As long as we don't get a hurricane, Tampa Bay will be a decent place to live. As for me, I just prefer the Seattle area. I'll move there when I can. I am sure there are plenty of people who would be just happy to live in Tampa. I would caution against the Wesley Chapel area. With most of south Tampa you can't go wrong.
 
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