We are relocating to the Tampa Bay area and are looking to buy a house.

Asked by LS, Sun Jul 20, 2008

We are specifically looking for a list of subdivisions zoned for the following ELEMENTARY schools - WESTCHASE,ALAFIA, BRYANT, CLARK, MCFARLANE PARK, LITHIA SPRINGS, TAMPA PALMS, HAMMOND, MCKITRICK, MABRY, AND ROOSEVELT. The top priority is finding a house in an area zoned for a great elementary school. Additionally, I'd like the it to be in a safe and family friendly neighborhood, preferably with community pool and clubhouse, relatively newer homes (under 8yrs old), and a reasonable commute to Macdill (under 45 min). The price range I am looking at is 250K to 325K. I'm looking at Fishhawk (BEVIS AND FISHHAWK CREEK) - I don;t mind the annual CDD and HOA, however the houses seem pricier for what you get compared to other neighborhoods. Please provide the name of the subdivision and school in your reply, and anything else you know about the nighborhood/area. Thanks!

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Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Sun Jul 20, 2008
Hello Again LS,

Waterchase is a beautiful community (Bryant). There will be limited choices in your price range as most of the homes are more expensive. Which may not be bad as far as resale is concerned.
Most of the properties in Bloomingdale (Alafia) are older homes in the 1990's. Westmeadows (Clark), many to choose from. River Hills is a great choice for (Lithia Springs). It is a golf and country club, gated community with different levels of membership. Cheval and Heritage Harbor (McKitrick ) both golf and country clubs. Bayshore and Palma Ceia (Roosevelt) higher end homes, not many choices.

Hope this helps.
0 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Sat Jul 26, 2008
Do not buy a house anywhere in Florida period! unless you are able to purchase it for 40 to 50 cents on the dollar or you'll be catching a falling knife. Real estate values in Florida and especially Tampa are rapidly declining and will fall a further 20 to 30%.


An honest real estate pro.
1 vote
Hp, , Riverview, FL
Tue Jul 22, 2008
We recently moved from the Westchase area (Westchester) to Panther Trace in Riverview (S. of Brandon). Panther Trace is a nice master planned community with large homes & attractive pricing. Fewer amenities because the area is still being developed. It is not too far from the highway and you can pick up the Crosstown to get to MacDill. My husband works downtown and it takes him 30 min. tops on the Crosstown. Mostly highway and very little traffic problems. He turns South right where the traffic starts to back up going towards FishHawk. There is no large road to that community and no way to avoid the traffic. Collins Elementary is right in the middle of Panther Trace. It is an A school. Most reviews are quite positive. I have to mention though that they focus more on "good citizenship" than academics and you have to get be proactive if you want what's best for your child, like I did.

Schools in the Westchase area are some of the best in the county. You excluded Deer Park Elementary which is a brand new school built to aleviate the overcrowding at Bryant. I may be biased but I think Deer Park is the best Elementary in that area. Test scores are quite high. Parental involvement is phenomenal and the principal is the best I have seen at an elementary school so far. He runs a tight ship and is highly involved in every aspect of the school and very accessible. I believe the school is still not at capacity which would enable you to apply for your child to go there under the School Choice program. The downside is that the commute to work will be much longer and the homes are a bit older though there are sections with newer homes. Waterchase is beautiful but pricier, though in today's market I'm sure you can get a deal. Amenities are plentiful with restaurants, shopping, doctors and a huge library within minutes of homes.
1 vote
Nathan Pawel…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sun Jul 20, 2008
That is an impressive list of schools you have there. Dale Mabry and Roosevelt are in South Tampa. There are no developments in South Tampa. You can find newer homes but finding them in your price range is going to be difficult. Most of the homes in this are are older.

Westchase was built during the 90's so that is going to put the homes there in the older classification. There are a few neighborhoods on the back side of Westchase (not part of it) that are newer.

Tampa Palms has a good selection of old and new and plenty to choose from.

Brandon is going to be the same as Tampa Palms in that there is a lot to choose from and you get a lot more for your money in this area. Fish Hawk is a great community and was started by the same developer that did Westchase. Very similar in ammenities except Westchase has a huge assortment of businesses the are located along the main road through there.

Drive time from New Tampa (Tampa Palms) and Fish Hawk are about the same. 30 to 45 minutes without traffic. Much longer if there is an accident or you travel between the hours of 7-9 am and 4-6 pm. Westchase can be the same because of all the people that use the Veterans Expressway to get to work and home from out there.

I hope that this helps. If there is anything else please feel free to contact me.

Nathan Pawelkop
Keller Williams Realty
813-240-4022 cell
813-875-3700 office
Web Reference:  http://www.PawelkopTeam.com
1 vote
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat Aug 2, 2008
I'm just about to list a property (although a short sale) that may fit your criteria. It will attend Mary Bryant Elementary, Farnell Middle school. It's under 8 years old and 5 bedrooms, 3 baths (almost 2,500 sf) with a pool and a yard (hard to find both in Hillsborough's newer neighborhoods). It will be listed at $300k and you will need a few months since it has to be approved by the lender for a short sale. No extra CDD taxes.

Call if you want to see it or have your Realtor call and I'll give the access codes to the lockbox. It will be listed on the MLS tomorrow for exactly $300k (probably worth about $350k) zip is 33626.

Alma Kee, Realtor
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
Web Reference:  http://www.soldontampa.com
0 votes
Sharon Sauls, , Brandon, FL
Mon Jul 21, 2008
Please visit our web site and view the testimonials. We have helped a lot of military in the PCS moves to the Tampa Bay area. If you would like to work with us, shoot us an email, we will answer all your questions then. The list of criteria would make a response on here very long winded and we would prefer to speak directly. Visit our web site and we will give you phone numbers of our military clients so you can speak to them directly about our services.

Thanks, and Have A Great Day!
0 votes
Vickie Bruni, Agent, Sun City Center, FL
Mon Jul 21, 2008
Hi LS,

Fishhawk has a different style of living. Look at this website: http://www.fishhawkranch.com to understand what Fishhawk is all about. If you need any help or like me to setup a searches for you in any area I will gladly do that.

Vickie Bruni
Prudential Roberterson Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.thebruniteam.com
0 votes
A. J. Sanchez, Home Seller, 33616
Sun Jul 20, 2008
Dear LS:

I did not include the web site for Hillsborough County Schools.

I had a chance to read your response while trying to log on again. Here is some additional information about our house:
1710 sq. ft.
Two Stories
One Bedroom is on the first floor with its own Full Bath
5000 sq. ft lot with an approximately 50' x 25' backyard and a side yard that could be fenced to add another 12' by 50'


A. J. Sanchez
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer,
Sun Jul 20, 2008
That would explain the neotraditional style of homes that we saw at Celebration, which look beatiful but I am not a fan of due to the lack of a backyard. Preferably, we'd like a home 2500+sf on a small/moderate sized lot that has a backyard, either a single story or main-level master 2-level home, 4bed/study or 5 bed -- this is somewhat flexible. The most important factors are being zoned for the desired above listed school in a great community and commute time to Macdill. Thanks, Lucy
0 votes
A. J. Sanchez, Home Seller, 33616
Sun Jul 20, 2008
Dear LS:

Welcome to Tampa. I see the areas you and they are good areas. My guess is your family is military. This provides you the option of sending your children to the elementary school at MacDill AFB.

Tinker Elementry is located on the Base and is an A rated school serving k-5 and is Open to the children of Active military, Retired Military and civilian employees on MacDill AFB.

Keeping this in Mind I would like to introduce you our house in the Port Tampa Area less than 10 min drive from the Main Gate at MacDill. The asking price is $285,000 for a 4/3 with two car garage on a quite street. The house is child friendly with semi-gloss paint through out and tile in all wet areas and stainmaster carpet in bedrooms. Included with the house are all appliances. We will work with your Agent or Directly with you. If you would like some additional information about our house please e-mail me.

My icon is a picture of the house. I am including the web site for Tinker and Hillsborough County Schools for your information.
0 votes
Phil Fowler, Agent, Brandon, FL
Sun Jul 20, 2008
Hello Ls,
It really depends on your lifestyle. Fishhawk was developed by Newland Communities. The same company who developed Disney's Celebration and Mira Bay in Apollo Beach. It is situated in the south easter part of Hillsborough County. It has an amazing Aquatic Center, downtown area with stores, movie theatre, Palmetto Club, fitness center, skate park just to name a few of the amenities. There are lots of walking trails. It is definitely a unique community with a variety of housing from townhomes to million dollar homes.
Westchase and Tampa Palms are also great areas which include upscale areas, located in the northern part of the county.

Your criteria fits many subdivisions. Are you looking for a single story, or two story, on a pond or conservation lot. What size lot do you want. The more information you can supply, the easier it will be to narrow the subdivisions.

0 votes
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