Moving to TampaBay!
A Message for Baby Boomers, Snowbirds and anyone
else interested in living life large in Paradise
If you´ve been living where the seasons change with some measure of severity, its hard to imagine what it´s really like living in TampaBay on Florida´s west coast. Watching the winter weather reports while seated beside our swimming pool (watching our tomato plants thrive) reports on blizzards and ice storms might well be coming from another planet - or Minnesota, Boston or anywhere in between.
Also, it´s important to realize that Florida geography has many different components - each with their own unique qualities (or lack thereof). If you´ve been to Florida´s east coast the first thing to realize is that TampaBay is (as my English partner would say) as different from the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area as "chalk from cheese".
Our pace of life is more relaxed our climate a bit more predictable, our traffic dramatically less and our cost of living much more affordable. Even our toll both attendants say thank you when you pass through their booth. You can check it out on http://www.visittampabay.com/
There are a lot of pluses to living in the TampaBay area. Here´s a list that should be part of your selection process when looking for a new home or a vacation home or a good place to escape winter (or even a good investment opportunity).
The Tampa International Airport:
TPA has been selected as the best airport in the United States. If you walk more than 100 yards after you arrive at the terminal, you´ve made a mistake. The airport has made an art form out of the hub and spoke airport model. Sitting in the center of TampaBay, TPA is convenient to virtually every community in the area.
Our Rush Hour:
That´s what it is - about one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. We´ve lived in Chicago and Boston as well as London and Amsterdam and they all have rush hours that last 20 hours a day. Our highway system is in a constant state of improvement and if you can work flex hours you´ll find getting to work is easy and pleasant.
Florida has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and TampaBay has the lowest employment rate in Florida. If you´re looking for a new position, know there are a lot of fine companies in all parts of business, industry and commerce looking for qualified individuals.
TampaBay - A balanced economy
Unlike many Florida metropolitan areas, TampaBay has a well-balanced commercial base. Our economy is supported by a wide and diversified business environment. Of course, we have the tourist business with a lot of activities for visitors:
World class beaches Cruise Lines
Excellent hotels and restaurants Laid back lifestyle
Fishing on the Gulf of Mexico Theater
Major league baseball, hockey and football Busch Gardens
But, beyond tourism, TampaBay has a balanced economy:
An excellent university in the University of South Florida
Highly regarded teaching hospitals
The Moffitt Cancer Center is world renown
We are called " wall street south " because so many financial institutions are moving to TampaBay including:
TechData, one of the largest high-tech distributors has their global headquarters in TampaBay.
Amazing retail shopping centers
A well-balanced service industry
The cost-of-living in TampaBay
If you´re from up north, the gulf coast life style will set your world on its head. Consider a place where you actually turn on your heating system for two or three days during the entire winter. Of course, you will be turning on your air conditioning for at least three months in July, August and September. But, of course, July, August and September are why we have so many swimming pools. We do not pay a state income tax. Food prices, compared with other major metropolitan areas are low.
Buying a home in TampaBay
We´ve lived all over. Chicago, on a farm in Minnesota, a New England village outside of Boston, on top of a mountain in New Hampshire and in Geneva, Switzerland, Amsterdam in The Netherlands and a few brief stays in England. We know what its like to relocate.
Our job is to help you find your new property as painlessly, as quickly and as financially attractive as possible. Right now, in the TampaBay area it is still possible to find a four bedroom, three bath home with a swimming pool in a nice community for less than $300,000. And, this attractive property will be no more than three or four years old and be close to new "A Rated "schools.
A Good Investment:
Whether you are a local resident, relocating from somewhere in the United States or are an international investor, buying property in TampaBay gives you two big advantages:
It´s a great place to live or vacation
It´s a great investment
Last year we began to see an adjustment in the TampaBay Real Estate market. After more than five years with limited inventories and a seller´s market, corrections began to occur and now, in 2007, we have seen our market pendulum swing and it´s now a buyer´s market. This is a good chance for investors looking for medium to long-term growth.
Some further investment commentary
While our well-balanced economy gives us a stable economic environment, it also continues to attract new companies locating their national or regional headquarters. For more than three years, TampaBay has averaged 1,000 new residents a week. Couple this with the influx we can expect as the Baby Boomers begin to reach their retirement. Florida (and TampaBay) we´ll get a good share of the retirees - particularly those from the Midwest and the Northeast. These future Floridians will be selling their homes for significantly more than a replacement will cost in Florida. We expect the combination of all these factors to ensure a solid and safe investment environment.
What´s the downside?
Well, once you move to TampaBay you will find you have far more visitors, ready to spend a week, than you´ve ever had before. You won´t have to worry about mosquitoes however. We do a very good job dealing with all sorts of insects - because we have to. We certainly have fewer mosquitoes than Minnesota or Boston. We do have alligators - but they tend to like their privacy. If they become a nuisance, we have experts who will come and remove them. Every county has an alligator removal officer. You will have to learn to smile at our standard joke here in TampaBay which goes something like this - we wake up in the morning, we look out the window, and we sigh and say " oh well, another day in paradise ".
Do we have hurricanes? Yes, we do. However, the last time TampaBay was hit directly by a hurricane was in 1927. However, we do have high property insurance rates because other parts of Florida have been hit by hurricanes and we all get to pay. The Legislature, under our new Governor, is attempting to modify the cost of property insurance.
So, welcome to TampaBay - but here´s the next big question - are you looking for new construction or an existing property?