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Quality of life and living location

Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
I know this is a fishing site and I'm a fisherman myself. However with a wife and kids I need to consider what's best for them, not just my fishing.

We were originally looking at the Trinity, FL area and areas around there (Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, etc). But lately we've been looking towards the Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda areas as well as Venice. There are Registered Nursing jobs galore in Florida so it appears we would have work anywhere that we decide to live.

So with that being said are there areas that there are concerns or better than others? Schools, safety, crime, natural hazards/disasters, etc?

We would love to live where we have Gulf Access via canal or bay home. That's not a must but it is a high priority. Any input would be appreciated.

Replies

  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    We live in a gated neighborhood. The kids basically all run around outside by themselves. We have no worries whatsoever. We chose Trinity because the taxes are lower in Pasco County, and the school system is graded 'A' every year. Tarpon is in Pinellas. 10% of Tarpon is nice. The rest isn't and the taxes are higher. The schools are also old. New Port Richey and Port Richey... Not good. Trinity is far and away the best area up this way and close to the water. Plus it's growing like crazy!!! We will have everything you could ever need up here very soon.

    This is what my wife's cousin tells me about the areas.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,045 AG
    Well, It depends...

    I'm retired and don't care for crowded conditions...I like the big bend better than the southerly gulf areas.... but it is rural.

    The only caution I can think of offhand is that it seems that the Florida panhandle seems to be a catchers mitt for tropical storms and hurricanes.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • polliwogpolliwog Posts: 302 Deckhand
    If you aren't looking for quiet and want good schools and water head south of Sarasota. Every town is different as far as costs and safety,some good and some not so much. Anything near the coast is now expensive and getting more so every week. I'm in Collier county and love it,but it's not for everyone. Fishing is superb, weather is about as good as it gets in the winter. You will need to visit the area and see for yourself. Just remember that if you visit in the summer,it won't look the same in february as far as crowds go.
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    Thanks. Yeah, we have a X-mas week trip and a March "spring break" trip planned to come down and check areas out. A big decision, especially since we are new to the area and no nothing.
  • CarloCarlo Posts: 345 Deckhand
    Port charlotte is quiet as is Punta Gorda. Some might consider it boring. Charlotte Harbor is, however, an exceptional fishery.
  • CameronCameron Posts: 208 Deckhand
    I posted this on another forum a while back but it applies.

    Cape Coral has relatively cheap gulf access waterfront compared to just about everywhere else in Florida. Cape Coral is a large city but feels and acts like a small town with low crime and a lot of festivals and such. The big downside is that there are generally longer rides to the gulf. There also isn't a real beach within 30 minutes (we do have a fake one but it isn't the same). Plenty good places to eat, its proximity to Ft Myers creates a lot of entertainment options and the job market here is steady.

    Fort Myers/Estero is like a mini-Tampa. There are parts you don't want to go near and parts that are awesome. Most of it is close to the beach but that is both good and bad as traffic can be a killer crossing to the beach (hour long jams to the beach from the mainland are not uncommon). There are waterfront deals to be had but nothing like Cape Coral IMO. Fort Myers is more urban for better or worse.

    South of Fort Myers is expensive waterfront. Naples is an awesome town but an expensive place to live as is Bonita and the surrounding areas. If you have the money, hard to pass up on this area as it is upscale, has some great eateries and lots to do.

    Matlacha, Pine Island and St James City all boast some of the best waterfront access around. Gulf rides are VERY short, they have the best inshore fishing IMO, the towns are very small possessing their own charm but for the most part they don't have any of the larger city amenities and their waterfront isn't particularly cheap. They are a really far drive to the beaches but a short boat ride.

    Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte both have good access to Charlotte Harbour which in turn makes for relatively short boat rides to the gulf depending on where the house is located. They both have relatively low crime (in most parts). Both are relatively small towns at least in feel. Nice place and similar to Cape Coral only smaller. Beaches are a drive and nothing really close by boat. Basically trading off slightly shorter boat rides for a smaller metro area.

    Englewood is quiet and the homes are mostly older. The place consists almost entirely of retirement aged people and some families. It does have its share of nice beaches and waterfront is mediocre in price. They are a short distance from Venice which is a really nice medium sized town. We had friends just buy here after shopping around for a second home in the area.

    Venice is a medium sized town that has its own vibe with some nice shopping venues and a walkable downtown. Waterfront is higher but cheaper than Naples area.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    If you plan to fish inshore, IMO you will be disappointed in Venice. Simply not big enough water to support a great fishery.

    Look in places that are a reasonably short boat ride to areas close to Tampa bay, Charlotte harbor or the caloosahatchee river. The flow of fresh water into these areas makes them some of the most productive on the west coast IMO.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    I just made the big move last year in June. Aint nothin to it but to do it. I will say it takes time for the kids to adjust and meet friends, I mean meet good friends they hang with all the time.

    I moved to Collier County as well and I like it a lot. Always something to do here, unlike up north where it either rains all day or snows all day 7-8 months out of the year.

    It is a bit more expensive though.
  • PmckhPmckh Posts: 199 Officer
    Pilchard wrote: »
    If you plan to fish inshore, IMO you will be disappointed in Venice. Simply not big enough water to support a great fishery.

    100% agree, there can definitely be some good fishing in the Blackburn bay to Lemon Bay area but you're certa limited around there plus the no wake zones are never ending. Its not too far to go north to Sarasota Bay or south to the harbor but if doing it by water those no wake zones will kill you for time. It's actually much quicker to trailer, I have a few buddies that live in Venice and just make the 30 minute drive to Placida with the trailer.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    I just made the big move last year in June. Aint nothin to it but to do it. I will say it takes time for the kids to adjust and meet friends, I mean meet good friends they hang with all the time.

    I moved to Collier County as well and I like it a lot. Always something to do here, unlike up north where it either rains all day or snows all day 7-8 months out of the year.

    It is a bit more expensive though.

    I hear ya there. I can do without the snow and cold. So far I've been impressed with the percieved cost of living down there in Florida. Looks comparable if not cheaper than what I'm used to.

    We are still leaning towards the Trinity area as we already have friends and family in the area.

    Where did you move from NaplesOffshore?
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,237 Captain
    I've lived in Sarasota and North Port and just moved to Englewood for all the reasons you're looking for. Bought a house on over an acre across the street from water... close enough to hear the waves at night... and I couldn't be happier. I absolutely love it here.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters
  • johnDjohnD WC FLPosts: 6,419 Admiral
    (the old saying ,no matter where you go , there you are) neighborhoods are all the same no matter where you go imo , a lot of schools in FL are over crowded..something else to think about , how many people are pounding on the fishery/area you want to fish ? st.pete/tampa/cleawater area have 3 million people alone and that's not counting the surrounding counties and cities... that's cool for a good career field. but , when you start having aholes casting over your line to fish the school reds you found out in the middle of nowhere ,that's when it can get very frustrating. you start catching fish and somebody sees you , expect to have company in the bay area.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Wade B wrote: »

    Where did you move from NaplesOffshore?

    I moved from outside of Detroit. A town called Plymouth. The cost of living is no where near say California, but for me it is definitely a little more expensive. Just to get tabs on my car the first time was $450.

    Food is a little higher and honestly not as good as back home, and maybe that 100 dollar gas bill i get twice a week or so from fishing is really what it is lol and the frequent 40-80 stops at bass pro :)

    I personally do love it, I actually like it in the summer more than anything, its crowded during season.
  • 139sst139sst Posts: 342 Deckhand
    Wade B, your wife's cousin is correct on his/her assessment of the areas mentioned. Trinity is new and upscale with a 45 minute drive to the performing arts center or the bucs/ lightning venues. Plenty of restaurants close and great fishing is only about 20 minutes away. Development is just starting on the newest neighborhood in the area, it was formerly Starkey Ranch. Not sure of your financial situation but a little east of trinity is odessa, there you could get on a lake and acreage. good luck.
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    139sst wrote: »
    Wade B, your wife's cousin is correct on his/her assessment of the areas mentioned. Trinity is new and upscale with a 45 minute drive to the performing arts center or the bucs/ lightning venues. Plenty of restaurants close and great fishing is only about 20 minutes away. Development is just starting on the newest neighborhood in the area, it was formerly Starkey Ranch. Not sure of your financial situation but a little east of trinity is odessa, there you could get on a lake and acreage. good luck.

    She mentioned Odessa as well. Our home budget is going to be 250k, 300k if we feel we need to spend that much for what we want

    It's funny you mention that because we watch these home shopping and home improvement shows and constantly scratch our heads at how these seemingly middle class people have a 700k budget. We have up to 100k in cash to put down and will be a 6 figure family and there is no way we could imagine paying more than 300k for a house.
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    I moved from outside of Detroit. A town called Plymouth. The cost of living is no where near say California, but for me it is definitely a little more expensive. Just to get tabs on my car the first time was $450.

    Food is a little higher and honestly not as good as back home, and maybe that 100 dollar gas bill i get twice a week or so from fishing is really what it is lol and the frequent 40-80 stops at bass pro :)

    I personally do love it, I actually like it in the summer more than anything, its crowded during season.

    Ah, gotcha. We lived in Rochester, MN for a while. It appears cost of living down there is right in line with what we are used to. Of course I'd love for it to be less.

    I hear ha on the gas bill. I used to budget a minimum of $500/month just for gas.
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    I like the looks of Odessa.
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