Relocating from Chicago to Tampa area

Asked by Joseph K, Streamwood, IL Sat May 26, 2012

We are moving from Chicago to Tampa in July of this year. We have two kids both under 9 and are looking for family friendly areas. Research through the web is steering us to some different suburb options...New Tampa, Land O Lakes, Odessa, Lutz and perhaps Westchase. Any thoughts on private schools in those areas and whether they are as family friendly as they appear to be?

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Benjamin Sua…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012

Some basic key points..


All areas you listed are family friendly locations. you wont be disappointed with either of the locations. I would recommend coming for a short visit to map out where you and the family would feel more at home. Gives you the chance to drive around, maybe see the distance if you are relocating for work reasons.

West Chase or Odessa would be the closes to the airport and International Mall and the shortest distance to the beaches. Closer to the City.

Lutz/Land O Lakes would be your mid-point- close to sun coast parkway expressway

New Tampa would be your far point, but it one of the most desirable areas for family's. New Mall, New Hospital coming soon and many New Home builders if you want to buy a new home.

Also South Tampa has some good areas, but the price per sq ft is much higher, due to the fact it's considered retro place to live.Close to the city,good food and night life.

All areas have easy access to Major Highways, so you will no major issues going back and fourth.
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Josh Taylor, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Tampa ranked Top 10 Places to Raise a Family!
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tambram67, Both Buyer And Seller, Tampa, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2013
Curious...what area did you choose? My husband and I are moving from Chicago to Tampa this year (as soon as we can sell our home). Our daughter is in college now (UW-Madison), and we can now relocate! I've never been to Tampa, but I have a friend that relocated there two years ago and she loves it. She lives in New Tampa. We really want to rent a home, but want to be in a good location. Not worried about the school system, just want to be somewhere that's not congested with newer homes. Because we're paying tuition, we need someplace that's around $2000/mo or less. Suggestions?
0 votes
Lynn Brock, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sun Jul 1, 2012
Joseph K. You'll love Tampa! Check out (tampa) for public comments, posted questions and statistics about the area.

Best regards,

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.

If you'd like to search the MLS like an agent in real time, you can visit our website and sign up for a free Listing Book account. You will be able to change the search criteria to suit yourself and received morning reports regarding new listings, price changes and recent pendings.
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Tanya, Renter, Tampa, FL
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Were you able to find anything from the suggestions that you received?
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Kella Mccask…, Renter, Tampa, FL
Thu Jun 7, 2012
Welcome to the city!
I am a proud native of Tampa! I can definitely assist you in the transition.

I would like to know the following:

Jospeh, what area will you be traveling to daily for employment if applicable?
The areas you have mentioned are great, however i would think that distance has alot to do with the decision at this time. In many areas there are excellent private schools, montesorri, independent day schools etc.
Do you have any planned trips to the area? I would love to take you on a tour of the City to help map out the area and your school choices and employer.
Our office specializes in relocation particularly as the result of the agent being the wife of a future hall of fame baseball player, whom has traveled from state to state with little ones. Education, location,distance is always a major concern.
Please feel free to contact me to coordinate the tour.
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Msrrsmith, Renter, Tampa, FL
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Hi Joseph,

I relocated from Chicago 6 years agao. I have lived in Carrollwood and Westchase. Both are great areas. I bought a home in Land O Lakes because I got more land for a more reasonable price. All of the areas you mentioned are great areas and family friendly. I also recommend visiting first so you can get a feel for each area. Good luck in your search.
0 votes
Thank you for your feedback!
Flag Wed Jun 6, 2012
Yatsi Rivera, Other Pro, Riverview, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
Hello Joseph-
Congratulations on choosing Florida to be your next home!!! The areas you're looking for are great! I'm a New Home Consultant for Lennar and we great schools (according to our homeowners). We have excellent promotions and prices available for your time frame! I recommend you go to the school district websites to find out more about the school ratings. Our communities offer a very nice environment. Hope you find the best place for you and your family. I will be happy to send you information about new homes if you're interested. Good luck!!!

Yatsira Rivera
Senior New Home Consultant
Lennar Homes
0 votes
Christine, , Palm Harbor, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
Hi Joseph!
I can certainly help you with that information. I have 2 children who attend/attended private schools. My niece and nephew also attended different private schools in the area. My son has been playing sports year round for many years and lives for water sports! My daughter attends college and works part time at a gymnasium that holds summer camps, birthday parties, gymnastic lessons etc. So we are all always involved in a family activity.
Before becoming a Realtor I was a preschool teacher and nanny so I definitely am familiar with family friendly areas. We are in Pinellas County. I think you would love this area of Tampa Bay. Especially Palm Harbor. The public schools in the Palm Harbor area are highly rated as well.
We have many state parks and beaches to choose from in Pinellas. And we still are only 20 minutes from Tampa or less than 2 hours to Orlando.
Also, my brother used to live in Chicago. He loves his neighborhood in St. Pete where he lives with his wife and also has 2 childen under 9.
Yes, I do think you will find the area to be as family friendly as it seems!
Please let me know if you would like details about the private schools or neighborhoods you mentioned, as well as some others just over the line in Pinellas.
I would enjoy helping your family.

Christine Simmons
Kirsten Realty Inc
0 votes
Dyana Metcalf, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
Hi Jospeh,
I understand your moving to a whole new area with young children can be a difficult choice.
We moved from Philadelphia 10 years ago and weren't sure if it was best to rent and see if we liked the community or buy. Luckily we found Tampa Palms in New Tampa. We love living here!. The elementary school is within the community itself. We started out in a private school but our daughter wanted to go to school with her friends in the community so we gave Tampa Palms Elementary a try and she loved it. The other aears you mentioned have nice communities and are located closer to downtown\airport. I would also take into consideration your commute. Below is a webiste that has a directory of private schools.…
Another area you might want to consider is Wesley Chapel. There is a very nice community Seven Oaks.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you and your family.

Dyana Metcalf
Florida Executive Realty
0 votes
margaret wei…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
Dear Joseph,
I have been relocating families for over 20years. I have a 10 year old boy attending Carrollwood Day School. This school is an IB school attracting families from all the areas you have mentioned, which also happen to be areas where I specialize. I tour the other private schools on a regular basis to stay current for my customers and to keep myself in the know. After all Joseph, it sounds like you are similar to my other clients who are looking for a lifestyle not just a house.

Margaret Weiss G.R.I.
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
Cell 813 294 5825
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Dao Alderman, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
The school system is excellent in those mentioned areas. The private schools are strong in New Tampa and Westchase. New Tampa, Westchase is in Hillsborough County, the rest is in Pasco County, you can research for the school rating in school board web site of each county. In the mean time you are welcome to search for home in my web site or contact me I would do all the leg work to locate you the right property in these location based on your criteria.
Dao Alderman, Realtor, CPMS, CSP, TRC, CRS
Keller Williams Realty, New Tampa
Direct 813-997-2536
0 votes
Thank you for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Cavalier Est…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
You looking to rent or buy?
Thanks Matt FOnk
0 votes
Not looking to buy until we live down there enough time to understand the real estate market
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Lawrence San…, Agent, Brooksville, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
Joseph check out it has this information and other lifestyle choices plus doing a homes for sale search both resale and new.
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Michelle Fit…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
I would love to help you find a home in Tampa that you and your family would love. I consider myself an expert in the schools here. I have 4 children and they are all currently enrolled in private schools in Tampa. Please call me with any questions. Thanks! Michelle Fitz-Randolph (813)263-7334
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Maria Estrada, , Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012
I also relocated from Los Angeles, CA back in 1977. My two boys went to private schools. I have experience in both private and public schools in the area. This is a great area to raise a family. I work with Coldwell Banker and have been certified as a relocation specialist. Please feel free to call me at 813-230-9059. Maria Estrada, REALTOR, epro certified.
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
Bill Szydlow…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat May 26, 2012

Having relocated from the Chicago area ourselves a few years back, we understand what you are asking. Please feel free to contact us so that we can discuss all of your questions.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Szydlowski
0 votes
Thanks for the information
Flag Sat May 26, 2012
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