John, Home Buyer in Tarpon Springs, FL

How does Tarpon Springs compare with other areas?

Asked by John, Tarpon Springs, FL Thu Feb 17, 2011

We are considering moving to the Tampa Bay area. We plan to make a cash purchase of a single family home costing up to $75K. How does Tarpon Springs compare to other areas from Clearwater northward along the coast, in terms of community quality of life and the availability of homes under $75K? Is there a better area to consider?

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Tarpon Springs is a beautiful area. I never lived there - but have been a visitor. I recall a very friendly, laid back fishing town where they sold sea sponges and relics from the ocean.


The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, first attracted attention as a place for winter homes about 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpons jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. The first Greek immigrants arrived to this city during the 1880s, when they were hired to work as divers in the growing sponge harvesting industry.

In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs. Cocoris recruited Greek sponge divers from the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, in particular Kalymnos, Symi and Halki leading, by the 1930s, to a very productive sponge industry in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting sponge diving, takes place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.[4]
When a red tide algae bloom occurred in 1947, wiping out the sponge fields in that region of the Gulf of Mexico, most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping for a livelihood. The city then converted most of its sponge-related activities, especially the warehouses where they were sold, into tourist attractions. The Sponge Docks are now mostly shops, restaurants, and museums dedicated to the memory of Tarpon Springs' earlier industry. Most sponges sold on the docks are now imports: Relatively few sponges are harvested from the area, although attempts have been made in recent years to restart local sponge harvesting. Led by local businessman George Billiris, in the late 1980s the sponge industry made a comeback and in the fall of 2007, a record harvest of sponges by a single boat was made.
In 2007 and 2008, Tarpon Springs' Mayor, Beverley Billiris, established Sister City relationships with Kalymnos, Halki, Symi, and Cyprus, honoring the close historical link with these Greek islands.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 19, 2011
Yes there is, north of tarpon you get more house for your money in pasco county.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
Tarpon and the surrounding areas are just beautiful. As other areas, there is plenty to do and beautiful sunsets to enjoy. Take a look at my site if you would like. I have a large number of listings to share with you.
Welcome to the searching adventure. Sit back and enjoy the show!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 17, 2011
Hi John,

Just make sure to verify if the property is in a flood zone and the approximate annual cost for the coverage if you want to pay for flood insurance. You're not required on an ALL CASH sale but you may want to protect your interests.

Also homeowners insurance in Pasco county may be very expensive because of the higher incidents of sinkholes.

You may want to rent first before buying to make sure you're comfortable with the neighborhood before buying.

Tarpon Springs and Palm Harbor are great areas--Tarpon especially if you're Greek! lol just kidding... no requirement to be Greek..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
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