Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

Michele Matt…, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Relocating to the Tampa Bay area from NYC and looking for a family-friendly community with homes that have character, pool and good schools

Asked by Michele Mattia Melis, New York, NY Mon Aug 26, 2013

I grew up in Florida but haven't lived here in 20 years. While I am familiar with many areas that my husband & I would love if it were just us, we have a toddler and really want an active family area where there are other kids and good schools.We like the idea of gated communities, but also want character and ability to walk places. I'm pretty sure we have a tall order in mind!

Help the community by answering this question:


Hey Michele, good afternoon!

First I want to start by saying that you will love it here in Tampa once you move here. There are lots of things to do, the beaches are always great, and the weather is just beautiful...I used to live up north too so I know how it is.

Secondly, I would like to know what your financing needs might be. Have you considered what type of loan you'll be looking for or how much of one you'll need? We have a clear to Close process that takes roughly 7-10 business days, which is the fastest in the industry. I would love to get you a signed approval letter in hand so that you can start your hunt for a new home. Give me a call at your earliest convenience and let's see what we can do to get you going.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Antonio Barnett
Senior Loan Officer
Cell: 813.922.1472
Fax: 813.579.5247
2701 N Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
NMLS# 287888
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 29, 2013
I recommend being close enough to comfortably drive to work and back. Your life will center around your children's activities, so it's important to find a neighborhood surrounding your school and other locations of the family activity. Will you be working in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or elsewhere? Seminole, Florida is a fantastic community.

Good luck with your search!

2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 28, 2013
I actually grew up in Seminole, FL and went to Osceola High School. My husband and I both work from home, so the commute isn't an issue. If we do have client meetings in Tampa, I know Seminole is close enough. Our son is 21 months old, so finding a location that has great activities, schools and extracurricular activities is a must!
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
Westchase (http://westchasewca.com/ or http://www.WestchaseWow.com) gets my vote (if you're in the $250k + up price range). Right now there is a HUD owned foreclosure home that needs some work but you can actually buy it with as little as $100 down and include repairs/upgrades in your mortgage to turn the house into a model perfect home without lifting a finger! It's priced at $225k but you may be able to buy it closer to $200k. Will need a new roof, new flooring, paint, appliances, granite counters (if you prefer them) etc.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Sold On Tampa Team
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 28, 2013
Hi Michele:

I am a NYC native and relocated to Florida with my family 24 years ago. As a parent of 2 girls I can certainly relate to the move itself with children, neighborhood & school concerns, etc. You have many options available all based on your price point. I would be more than happy to assist in making your transition smoother. I hope to hear from you and be able to welcome you to Florida! Thank you.

Evelyn Gutierrez
Your Realtor Specialist
Keller Williams Realty
New Tampa Office
Direct: 813.409.1370
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 27, 2013
Hi Michele,

If you will need of a mortgage, I suggest getting pre-approved because sellers will want a pre-approval letter with your purchase offer. We work with all Realtors in Florida. Feel free to call if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Matt Tarka
Serving All of Florida
888-246-9060 Toll Free
954-605-2450 Direct
954-343-8098 Fax

Clear Mortgage Lending, Inc.
5200 North Federal Hwy
Suite 2
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Thank you Matt for your quick response. We are in the process of selling two of our 3 properties in NYC and that will determine our loan needs moving forward. We will definitely keep you in mind. Warmly, Michele
Flag Mon Aug 26, 2013
Your options will depend on your price range. South Tampa/Hyde Park/Davis Islands/Harbour Island/Waterchase are all good options but if not in your price range there are other suggestions like Countryway, Westchase, Oldsmar, areas of Town N Country, Westchase, Westchester, the Eagles.

Have you already spoken with a lender or credit union to determine your price range?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Try FishHawk Ranch in Lithia/Valrico area... call me so we can talk about your specific needs. Have a wonderful day!

Eddie Collazo, Realtor/Broker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Hello Michelle,

One area comes to mind. Weschase. Here is a website to check out. http://www.westchasewow.com/
Its a great place to start looking. There are plent more neighborhoos just like that one.

I am an FDIC Mortgage Banker with several Realtor and Real Estate Law relationships. If you would like to get pre qualified and have a seasoned team of professionals assist you in your search, please contact me.

Don Blockel
Bridgeview Bank
(727) 365-3133
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013

Not a tall order at all. There are many that meet your initial requirements. As relocators ourselves 10 years ago, we know the issues and can answer all of your questions, and then some. Please feel free to contact me at my number below, so we can discuss your complete list of requirements, so we can get you started.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Bill and Lois Szydlowski
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
I am from New York and have been living in Tampa for 17 years. I have young kids in dance and sports along with being a licensed contractor in the State of Florida. I work with many clients to that relo from other states and help educate them on the different areas. Very involved with schools since I have young klid's and you can check out my reviews on Trulia and Zillow! My web is matthewfetterhoff.com, 813-486-0392 cell.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
As a long-time Tampa resident who has owned multiple homes in several parts of Tampa and has sold in numerous communities, I am exceptionally qualified to help you in your search. I w ould begin with asking you a number of questions to help me truly understand the needs and wants of your family. Please contact me at 813-760-4426 and/or Tom@TomSellsFlorida.com. Tom Roberts
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Welcome back!

I am in love with the Garden District neighborhood in Fish Hawk Ranch. Here are two active listings:

However, if these aren't exactly what you're looking for, you can explore many more options on my website:

Feel free to contact me at (813)358-7854 if you have any questions or would like to set up a showing! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 11, 2013
Trinity is a wonderful location with A rated schools and a very active family lifestyle. It is not far from the Pinellas Beaches and a 30 minute drive into Tampa. Pasco county is a fast growing area popular for it's proximity to beaches and much lower taxes than Hillsborough or Pinellas county. I would love to send you some homes that match what you are looking for!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 27, 2013
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