octavious Dork
1/22/20 10:45 a.m.

There is a discussion of a possible move from lovely Knoxville TN to the Tampa area. The move would require me to live within a 50 mile radius of downtown Tampa. My parents lived in Brandon 20+ years ago so I know the area some.

My concerns are I have two younger kids both in school, and the school system in FL doesn't seem to be equal with what we have in TN. 

But I am looking for suggestions on life in FL with kids, places to live, places to avoid, etc. 



Mr_Asa Reader
1/22/20 10:57 a.m.

I'm in Riverview. 

Can you give more info on what you have to have, and what you might want in a house? Would help point you in the right direction. 

Florida's school system does leave something to be desired in some ways, but it's on the ball in others, at least according to my best friend's wife who is a 4th grade teacher here.

octavious Dork
1/22/20 11:22 a.m.

3 bed, 2 bath, and a GRM oversize garage high enough for a lift...Lol.

The bed and bath part is correct, and we currently have 3 cars, and I don't own a lift, yet... My kids will be a 5th and 1st grader.  Public schools where we are have very high rankings, but still aren't without issues. Our current house here is bigger than we probably need, but we do have a neighborhood pool, playground, and paved walking trails nearby. Our lot is 3/4 of an acre, but part of that is a huge driveway for extra parking. I don't so much need a huge yard, as I don't want to be right next to my neighbors. I'd prefer something behind our house, woods, water, even a golf course even though I don't play, just so my neighbors aren't right on top of me. My sis went to UF and I spent some weekends in Gainesville. I've also kayak fished out of Homosassa and Cedar Key. 

Being outdoors is a huge plus for us, 3 out of 4 of us fish, 2 are fly fishermen, but also hiking, canoe/kayaking, and my wife is a runner. My wife also likes the convenience of having a nice grocery store nearby. I assume we will be back in the land of Publix? But we don't need malls, shopping, or Walmart close by. Just a grocery store.  Motorsports, I have a Mustang I want to autocross, but my current events are 45-1.5 hours away so I already have to drive to get there. 

We are under 55 so I understand we can't live in some neighborhoods/areas.

When I draw a radius on Google maps it comes out as south to Vamo, East to Lake Wales, and north to just above Brooksville. That's a big area. 

Mr_Asa Reader
1/22/20 11:52 a.m.

Should be able to meet most of your hobbies fairly easily in pretty much any area around here.

How much driving for work do you want to do/where will work be?

I need to look into school districts, but generally the further away from Tampa the worse they get.  Apollo Beach area is getting bigger and I'm hearing good things from some of the schools, though. Might be able to get a decent amount of land down there.


I'll talk to my wife and my friend's wife and see where they recommend for school districts.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy Dork
1/22/20 12:51 p.m.

I've spent most of my life in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.  I actually lived in the Vamo neighborhood for a couple of years, but am now further north in Bradenton.  I really like it.  Lots of motorsport activities within a reasonable drive.  We found a cool house on 2 acres and just finished building a 1500 sf shop in my backyard.  We're 10 mins from downtown Bradenton and 20 mins from the beaches and all of the activities that go with those.  Bradenton is growing quickly though, and there are some areas of town that are to be avoided.  I don't have much knowledge on the schools, but the Lakewood Ranch area of town has money, so I'd assume decent schools around there.

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