To keep within your budget of $250k with a 3 bedroom 2 bath single family home... Davis Islands and Harbour Island and South Tampa (S of Kennedy, N of Gandy) will not be in your price range.
I would suggest also visiting Palm Harbor, Oldsmar and Dunedin. Just be cautious about flood zone areas because flood insurance rates are expected to skyrocket.
Westchase prices are rising rapidly and generally speaking homes go under contract within 2 weeks of being listed--unless they're overpriced &/or have a condition issue. Adjacent to Westchase is Westwood Lakes, Sheffield, The Eagles and Countryway/Charleston Corners. Also Fawn Ridge and Fawn Lake are in your price range and these are nice communities to consider.
Water bills can be high in Tampa Bay so buying in a community with reclaimed water for the lawn may be something to look for. Westchase, The Eagles (Odessa), and Fawn Ridge all have reclaimed water.
Some of the communities in the outskirts of New Tampa/Wesley Chapel also have very expensive HOA & Community Development District taxes so unless you plan to take advantage of the amenties you may be better off joining a private country club. Oldsmar has Eastlake Woodlands Country Club and with the economy fees are less and admission is less restrictive. It may offer a nice social way to get acclimated to Tampa Bay and it's also very close to Westchase.
I would love to start with a phone consultation, room there we can help.
Host of Tampa Home Talk
The best and most sought after area meeting all these would be south Tampa specifically Harbour Island then Davis Island. Harbour Island is gated and has guards so it's difficult to get through. Behind the gates are several communities consisting of condos, townhouses, and single family. Next to Harbour Island is David Island. The island isn't gated but the homes are gorgeous.
Another great area is Westchase and Tampa Palms.
I represent developers and sellers in the downtown and South Tampa area so if you would like a list of properties I can send to you right away. Feel free to call me at any time.
Cody Powell, Realtor
J. Powell Enterprises