Rent vs Buy in Tampa>Question Details

alayland01, Renter in Tampa, FL

I live in Baltimore and am relocating to Tampa for a job. I would like to know where the safest areas are to live for a single older woman.

Asked by alayland01, Tampa, FL Wed May 22, 2013

I currently live in an area where I can walk to great shops, restaurants, parks and such; but safety is a priority. Can anyone provide some information as to where to start? Thank you!

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Alma Kee’s answer
Your budget will dictate where the best and "safest" place you can live.

And if you're doing the smart thing and renting before buying you should rent the least expensive apartment in an apartment complex in a safer area. This is just a "temporary" living arrangement so you may want to find a nice safe inexpensive place near your work. If you decide to rent, you will have little to no assistance from a Realtor because in Tampa Bay it's not uncommon for a tenant's Realtor to receive only $100 compensation. That wouldn't even pay the gas for the car!

Also if you decide to rent from an individual owner versus in an apartment complex you MUST do a background check on the owner before handing over any money or signing a lease. You may even want an attorney to review your lease agreement when renting from an individual. You see we have a lot of properties in pre-foreclosure status and some owners will not tell you that once you move in and sign a year lease that they will then decide to sell it via a Short Sale and you will be required to allow Realtors inside to show prospective buyers--not fun!

Trulia has a very helpful tab at the bottom of a property listing that will show the crime statistics.

Also if you decide to buy and have a 640 credit score and ability to qualify for an FHA, USDA, Conventional or VA mortgage, the State of Florida has a Bond program that may be able to give $7,500 towards your downpayment and closing costs. One of my clients put $1k down and actually got $375 back at closing and a beautiful newer single family home for her and her son. They are no longer subjects to a Landlord (with rental increases) and after their tax deduction are also paying significantly less than renting a much smaller place in a crowned complex with higher crime.

Good luck!

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 23, 2013
Hello. I like the North Tampa- Tampa Palms Area. I moved from Fort Myers to Tampa this winter, am a Realtor and a Student at USF. The opportunities to get involved with the university are great and the connections to the freeway system and the access to all SWFL has to offer is great.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 5, 2013
Alayland01, The respective county sheriff's office has a web that depicts crimes. You can enter an address and see the crime activity in the surrounding area. Hillsborough

Work with an agent, to help you determine where you'd like to live, the amenities and your price point.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.

If you would like to search the MLS like an agent, visit our website and sign up for your free Listing Book account. This powerful search program allows you to set up your personal homefinder criteria and save your favorite homes, follow recent solds all in real time! Find the home you’re searching for quickly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013

There are many great areas and neighborhoods to consider in the Tampa area. I always ask my clients to consider thir lifestyle when thy relocate. What types of activities do you participate in? Do you need a great running park? Are you active in your church or religion? Do you need to be close to certain people or places? These answered questions can help a a realtor guide you to the right neighborhood for your life.

Please review my profile and if I can help, just send me a messge or give me a call.

No pressure, just help.


Tracy Hoyt
Prudential Tropical Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
Thank you so much. I will get the exact address of the office (they are relocating before the job) and contact you. Thank you so much!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
There are several areas in Tampa that you would enjoy and can walk to. It really depends on where you need to be for your job. You could live in the Hyde Park area and walk to lots of shops and dining areas or near downtown in the Harbor Island area where you can walk to the Aquarium, a Hockey game or the local Publix grocery store . Call or email me with more information and I will help you find the best area for your specific needs!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
Only saying that New Tampa is very safe compared to other Tampa areas....but amenities are spread out making it difficult to walk everywhere...and mass transit is lacking throughout Florida compared to other states...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
Duh! I realize that as I am not native to Baltimore and have traveled quite a bit! I am hoping to rent and then buy, so would appreciate information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
Florida is not Maryland and Tampa is not my opinion...New Tampa is a great location!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
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