Considering a Florida move, need local help!

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by CMW0021, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. CMW0021

    CMW0021 Earning My Ears

    Jun 28, 2012
    We currently reside in Pa. My husband has been discussing a move to Florida, we are tired of the weather. :beach: Thankfully, I can relocate with my company and my husband is self employed and can work anywhere. We have family in Brandon and Fort Myers and a lot of friends around Tampa. We are considering as far south of Sarasota or as north as Lakeland, Brandon or anywhere in between. If you live or have any experience in these areas, I would love to hear what you love and hate about it. What school districts or areas should we consider? Thank you so much for the info, it's stressful trying to find info online and hoping you can provide some real life experiences.
  2. hgeisler

    hgeisler DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2012
    I would not move to Lakeland. A lot of retirement communities. I would consider Winter Garden. It is between Tampa and Orlando, closer to Orlando. Nice community with good schools.
  3. 2012DisneyWorldBride

    2012DisneyWorldBride <font color=royalblue>I was a Disney Bride on 12.8

    Dec 7, 2011
    We live in Lakewood ranch. It's like between sarasota and bradenton. There are great schools here as well and it's a very nice area.
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  5. Mouse14

    Mouse14 Wish I was at the Lodge

    Dec 29, 2010
    I live in Brandon, and work in South Tampa... Brandon is crowded but online it here, your no more than 45 min from the world or the beach. Anything you need can be found in Brandon. Tampa is also nice but like any city location location location, if you have the money South Tampa is nice
  6. Mouse14

    Mouse14 Wish I was at the Lodge

    Dec 29, 2010
    " online " was an autocorrect supposed to say " I love it here"
  7. beer dave

    beer dave Master of the obvious

    Apr 30, 2011
    We moved from pa in 05. Now in venice area ( southern most of sarasota county.) The nice thing here is that it is probably the least expensive area where you can live very close to beaches. Older homes, more old florida feel, if that is what you like. Lakewood ranch is very nice also. probably more young families, but not close enough to the beach for us. After living here for a while, we found that 5 minutes from the beach is very different than 20.

    Best move we ever made. We live at the beach and vacation at wdw.

    We would not move to the middle of the state-- without the beaches, its just plain hot.

    If your kids are motivated types, they can do very well in the public schools.
    FL has great state college programs which help with tuition.

    My 16 year old daughter will be a couple of credits short of completing sophmore college credits when she graduates highschool next year.

    Good luck -- I recommend the move.
  8. Pumbaa7287

    Pumbaa7287 I am the great Stone Dragon!

    Apr 15, 2004
    We moved to Gainesville in August of last year and don't regret it at all, although this is more of a college town. As far as the places you've listed, we visited Venice to see DF's grandma and while it is absolutely beautiful it does seem like the majority of the folks living there are retirees. We saw more than one blue-haired lady go up over a curb while taking a right hand turn to sharp. We did love how close it was to Sarasota which has a lot to do from the Ringling mansion and art museum to the St. Armand's circle area which has a ton of shopping if you can deal with crowds (again in the winter mostly when the snowbirds are down, we've heard it's much more peaceful, and hot, in the summer!)

    Wherever you move in Florida, being an easy drive away to the World is a glorious feeling. We will wake up early on the weekend occasionally and just decide on the spur of the moment to go check out New Fantasyland again or see how many times we can ride Tower of Terror. It is awesome.

    I can speak a bit more to the schools as I am a teacher here. The general level of education is a bit lower here at the elementary and middle school level then up north. It evens out a bit in high school. Florida actually was in the top 5 for students passing AP exams in the country, which is an awesome way to get those college credits on the cheap! Good luck with your decision!
  9. Barbydoll8

    Barbydoll8 Offical Disney Dork

    Apr 29, 2011
    I moved from PA to FL 17 years ago and now live in Pinellas Cty west of Tampa. I LOVE IT!!! You didn't say where in PA but if you are in a metro area, you'll be use to the population. Tampa/Sarasota is crowded. Especially in the winter time. So be prepared.

    When I moved here, the net was just starting so I did everything via phone and mail. The local area chamber of commerce of any area you are thinking about should be a place to start. Contact them for relocation packages. I was amazed at how much information they gave me. From this information, I decided on Largo, FL. I came from north east of Philly and it wasn't that much of a culture, economic or population shock. The traffic is horrible just about anywhere here but that's a small price for paradise.

    Also, if you are looking for home prices, go to to look up current houses for sale in the areas you are thinking about.

    Moving to FL is the best thing me and my DH did years ago and I don't regret it one bit. Hope this info helps a little.
  10. Luvchefmic

    Luvchefmic DIS Veteran

    Jun 1, 2006
    how exciting for you ! ok heres what I did:

    first thing was sit down with old school pad & pen and made a wish list
    no children in home anymore but a horse cat & 8 dogs
    first must have on list was land...rural

    next how far willing to commute no job set but knew where dreamed of working
    decided on a 35 mile radius one way more

    got a map made the commute circle w/push pin & string (told you old school)

    next hit internet searches: with my must have list

    initial search input: horse property central florida

    narrowed it down further rent vs sale NO hoa # bedrooms etc

    picked a realtor based on samples of what I saw her listing

    had a WDW vacation planned for mid June emailed realtor introduced myself gave info
    got a phone call that day she agreed to meet me at Discovery Cove after my pre-planned reservation (this still amazes me ! )

    saw 3 or 4 possibilities that day (oh forgot she had emailed listings with lots of pics while I was still in NY) & a few the next

    Now live 32 miles one way from where my dream job is, have home on 2 1/2 acres, open kitchen window horse puts nose in for a kiss & treat

    14 miles from Lakeland where I shop because there is nothing in me little area except 2 dollar stores and a feed store love love love it

    point to our story is do your homework and have fun with this new chapter of your lives
    everything was arranged long distance via phone email & us post office from home inspection utility turn on even the closing (which was July 8) was done via phone
    moved in Aug

    biggest financial surprise was the expense of registering vehicles here the state gets you $$$
    & unlike north you go one place for Drivers License & another license plates..correction..its called tag & its paper temp

    I apologize for going on long but I also thank you for opportunity to relive it

    Best of luck hope you keep thread updated...exciting !

  11. SunLuvr321

    SunLuvr321 Mouseketeer

    Sep 25, 2012
    When we moved to Florida we chose the other side of the state so I can not help much with the areas that you are looking for. One thing we did was make the decision to rent for a couple years before buying anything. This gave us a chance to get to know the area and decide what we liked the best. 2 years ago we bought a great little house just 3 blocks from the beach and in an area that we loved to ride our bikes through. We are very happy and don't plan on moving again.
  12. PortMickey

    PortMickey WDW & DCL fan

    Jul 14, 2010
    I am a REALTOR in Tampa and I would be happy to answer any questions about the area. I sell a lot of homes in the Brandon Area and South Tampa. Those are great locations with lots to do. Straight shot on I-4 to visit Disney :) Big bonus if you have family in Brandon. I love helping big Disney fans!
  13. hebbynan

    hebbynan Chase and Eli's Mom

    Feb 20, 2007
    I would LOVE to move from PA to Florida! Unfortunately all of our family is here. Maybe once the kids are out of school and we're both retired we'll be able to do it - atleast in the winter hopefully.

    I can't blame all you former PA-er's. Our winters suck!
  14. missfigment

    missfigment Mouseketeer

    Apr 14, 2008
    I have lived in Brandon all my life and really can't fathom living anywhere else. I think Brandon has a very small town feel till it still, even though it has grown so much.

    Just some of our town hilights:
    - 4th of July parade, not to be missed every year.
    -Brandon Friends of Library Chalk Walk Festival
    - Local you pick blueberry Farm
    -Close to Plant City (20 minute drive) to take part in the strawberry festival
    -Novemberfest carnival
    -Campbells Ice Cream (A true mom and pop style place)
    - lots of A schools in the area
    -Fishhawk Fresh Market
    -St. Andrews Craft fair in October
    -Close drive to Tampa and surrounding beach areas
    - Westfield Mall
    -Regency square with AMC Theatres
    -Plenty of Parks
    -Close to areas with Canoeing

    -I vote Brandon :):woohoo:
  15. MissJanice

    MissJanice Mouseketeer

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have lived in Lakeland all of my life and I love it. School districts are based on counties, so even if you move into a good district, you have to watch what school you are zoned for. The thing that I love most about Lakeland is it seems like it is half way between everything and an hour of less to Tampa, Disney, beaches. But, that said due to where we work, we are looking into Brandon/Valrico/Plant City areas.
  16. fla4fun

    fla4fun DIS Veteran

    Nov 12, 2006
    When looking at property, especially as you get nearer the coast, you want to ask about evacuation routes and you want to get property as high as you can. That doesn't mean you have to be far from the beach either. I lived in Pinellas County (west of Tampa) from 1981 to 1993. Our home was about a mile inland from the beach, so we could walk to it if we wanted to (and did in the winter) but it was also on high enough ground that we did not have to evacuate if there was a hurricane. You don't want to be the low point in a neighborhood either. A storm doesn't have to be a hurricane to cause a lot of damage - some of the heavy rains from weaker tropical storms have caused massive flooding in low lying areas far inland. When we moved close Orlando, we built on a high hill (high enough that we actually have a basement - a rarity in Florida) specifically to be sure to avoid flood risks. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions when you meet with a realtor - Florida is a whole different ballgame to the midwest (I'm originally from Ohio).
  17. sweetcreams

    sweetcreams Mouseketeer

    Feb 25, 2013
    I'm interested in this thread because my DH is always talking about retiring to Florida (15 years off right now). I love spring and fall here in the Northeast, but I don't think I would miss the cold. For those of you that made the move, do you miss the seasons living in Florida?
  18. Luvchefmic

    Luvchefmic DIS Veteran

    Jun 1, 2006
    hi welcome to Dis the only time I get a little sad re seasons is around Christmas cold weather snow shopping for the perfect tree having hot chocolate when returning then I talk to my family in NY, remind myself of slush & icy windshields & driving to work behind snowplows Come to my senses thank God for palmtrees and watch Its a Wonderful Life

    So in a word to your question NO
  19. Barbydoll8

    Barbydoll8 Offical Disney Dork

    Apr 29, 2011
    I do not, I repeat...DO NOT MISS THE COLD! It does get cold here. Mind you - not freezing (well, we did a few winters back but it's rare). I think it gets cold enough long enough to give you a break from the heat. Still cold enough to wear a coat/jacket for at least a month or so.

    The first Christmas here was a bit weird but now, I can't imagine not going out to look at lights in a pair of shorts.
  20. trewin

    trewin Mouseketeer

    Jan 3, 2013
    Just wondering-- How does everybody deal with the heat in the summer after moving from the north? My sister said her friend who lives in Fl (on the beach) "doesn't go outside.." Is it really as bad as some people make it out to be?
  21. Livvys

    Livvys Mouseketeer

    Feb 17, 2013
    We work during the hottest part of the day, so we don't even notice it much :). You really do get used to it tho!

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