Tampa Bay Florida


I am looking at getting a house in the surrounding suburbs of Tampa Bay, Florida.
What are the downsides of this place?
1. would be a massive hurricane is coming in 2008 Aug. So big that the Republican Convention to be held there in 2008 was changed to some other city.
But houses there are built to withstand 350 mile winds.. Cat 6.
Any comments or other downsides? How far off the coast or Tampa Bay is safe from Wind? From ensuing Floods? Etc...
Any help appreciated.
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wrote:

Real estate is expensive but that is a little better right now

That is wild speculation. Nobody knows when hurricanes will come.

More like 130 MPH but that is usually going to be enough, particularly if you are not on the beach. Tampa is not on the beach. Flooding is a bigger issue. Look at the flood maps before you buy.

If you buy a fairly new house it will be at the current wind code and above the FEMA flood plain. On the north side of Tampa you are far from the water and some of this is fairly high ground. Just look around. "Tampa Bay" is a fairly generic term for everything from the beaches of St Petersburg to the horse farms in Pasco County. Figure out where you are going to work and where you like to live, then be sure there is a good road between them. Watch out for bridges. One wreck can slow you down, two can add hours to your commute
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Mikail Dellovich wrote:

350 mph wind? Not a chance. South Tampa floods when it rains hard, is in a basin so if a hurricane hits directly Tampa will be gone because all the water will be pushed into Tampa Bay. Check out a map showing elevations and add on a 20' storm surge plus 50' waves. Most of St. Pete is also very low and flat. O/W, nice place to live. My tolerance for wind is 70 mph; any more and things come apart.
Downsides? Hmmm...no homeowner's insurance. Huge tax increases on existing homes when the homestead cap comes off. I4/275 is a nighmare for commuting.
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wrote:

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How about 20-30 miles east of Tampa Bay.. Such as Valrico, FL? How far inland is safe from flooding and hurricanes?
Thanks
Mikail Dellovich wrote:

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Mikail Dellovich wrote:

Oh, I forgot .... we have earthquakes, too. And if the hurricanes don't getcha, global warming is melting the ice. And we have pythons that eat gators, the African bees are coming, .............
Check out a relief map.

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Mikail Dellovich wrote:

I lived in Sarasota on the coast for 20 years and never saw a hurricane there. Then I moved 50 miles inland and 4 years later was ripped to shreds by hurricane Charlie which passed directly over my home and property at 145 mph.
Besides, unless your very wealthy, you won't be living too close to the coast in SW Florida any more. Prices have gone up 3X in five years.
New homes are built to an incredibly high standard and inspections through the process are brutal. Contract for a new home or buy one just a few years old and you'll have no problem with a Cat4 hurricane or less. Andrew was a Cat5 and tore up even the strongest homes, but these weren't built to Florida's current high standards so maybe even new homes could take a Cat5.
thetiler
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thetiler wrote:

I live where Charlie was supposed to go, but didn't. My neighbor (on the water) evacuated WAY inland and got creamed.

There should be some good fire sales in a year or two. Very weird to go for a drive after dark and see a highrise with one or two lights on in the whole building. Buyers don't live in 'em. Wonder what percent of them are owned by flippers who can't unload and put their last dime into them?

Florida is just a sandbar carved by hurricanes. Sand piled up on the old seabottom. Was it Sanibel that got cut in two? My favorite place in the whole world.
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Norminn wrote:

About a year and a half ago at the peak of mad investor rush to drive up prices, I learned of an incredible statistic: 26% of properties in Sarasota are owned by investors (not homeowners living on the property).
The stockmarket crash of the early 2000's caused the huge number of wealthy people in SW Florida to take their money and invest in tangible property here. That combined with very low interest rates just caused the great run-up in prices. After all, properties were fantastic investments and the wealthy took advantage of it.
I feel bad for younger or poorer people though, who now have little hope of home ownership anymore. The $300K home (now) was 85K 6 or 7 years ago.
thetiler
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thetiler wrote:

I have a hunch the prices will go down when people can't get goods and services - mom-and-pop restaurant, nearby auto service, teachers, cops, etc. Folks are screaming for tax breaks, but the counties and municipalities will have to raise wages so's their employees can find a place to live.
Of course, with the economic advances of China, India, and others, perhaps the "new American homeowner" will no longer be American. Mebbe the grandkids will live on a plantation and trim hedges?
Over near our beach, the streets look like the projects - lots cleared by developers who decided not to build .. weedy lots, junk fences, dumpsters. Can't get on the street on weekends. Lousy place to live :o)
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wrote:

That is sure not true in SW Florida. The only housing market that really got hurt was the $400,000-$700,000 "want" houses. That is where the speculators were fishing. Beach front is more like $800,000 to some million and rich folks are still rich. They are tearing down 2000 sq/ft houses that were built 5 years ago to build 4000-8000 sq/ft houses. The market for $200,000 "affordable" houses is still strong.
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wrote:

Probably best right now. They are already talking about a turn around in SW Fla.

If it is summer they may just be snowbirds.

Nope, North Captiva. The cut was through the nature preserve area.

Sanibel is still there but all of those Austrailian Pines on Bullwinkle are gone.
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Mikail Dellovich wrote:

If you like strawberries, you'd be real close to some of the strawberry fields. IMHO, it's not a bad place to live. You'd be well out of the surge/flood zone, but no place in Florida is safe from hurricane winds. Hurricane Charley proved that. Good luck fighting rush hour traffic going through Brandon, though, unless you take the Crosstown Expressway (toll road). But then, rush hour traffic backs up just about everywhere in the Tampa Bay area these days. That same toll road will get you to Pinellas County (and the beaches) pretty quick. There's a huge Mall and other shopping centers on the other side of Brandon, so shopping is close by. Menard Park is a hop, skip, and a jump from Valrico too. It's a great place for family outtings, swimming, freshwater fishing, and camping, if you like that kind of stuff.
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Definitely strawberries, and in February! Also really good biking and ped. trails around Tampa area. But other downsides to FL living are mold and rust. Careful professional inspection of any house or condo is imperative, but older properties might be difficult and expensive to deal with, in terms of mold removal.
CC
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