Profile picture for kniklawski

What is the best area to buy near St. Petersburg, FL?

I wouldn't mind up to an hour commute.  I've looked all over the area.  I've been focusing on the Riverview, Palmetto, and Bradenton areas.  There are tons of homes around the area that seem like absolute steals.  I realize many of them are short sales, but others are just coming down in price so much that they want to compete with them.  I have a two children under 3 years old and would like to find great schools as well.  It seems like the further you get from the ocean, the better the schools.  Can anyone help me as I am just beginning to look and have never been to the area?
  • February 05 2011 - Saint Petersburg
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Answers (8)

How soon are you moving from VA? Have you been searching only on line or have you actually been driving the area? When is your next trip scheduled to view homes? There are lots of communities with great schools included the cities you have listed. The key now is establish your price range, the size of the home you desire for your family and to find a good Realtor to assist you. I am sure you will love the Sun Shine State! 
  • June 06 2011
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Profile picture for MikeJones8
I think St Petersburg Itself. Why buy out of town if you plan on being and working in the area? There are more then plenty of good bargains to be had in this town so save some money and settle in right here. At St Petersburg Directory you can see what attractions and events happen regularily here and also get an idea on what the community has to offer.
  • June 06 2011
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Profile picture for kniklawski
Thank you everyone for the responses.  To answer some of your questions...  We are looking for a "suburban" feel I suppose.  We definitely love the area we are in now.  It's actually hard to beat.  We live in brandermill in Midlothian, VA.  We live in the middle of a golf course less than a mile from tons of shopping and great schools.  It's a wonderful area, but we're considering a change, mostly to be closer to awesome beaches.  We would also be first time homebuyers, so I was wondering if there are any programs available, because there are none that we qualify for in VA.  So far, I am liking Bradenton the best, but it is really hard to say.  Schools are definitely the biggest deal though.  I've found areas that look nice within each of these areas.  Ideally, we would like to live in a maintenance free community with low HOA fees.  I'm also wondering if all the chinese drywall has been addressed in these areas with homes built in the 2000's.  I would hate to have to get an inspection to find out.

Any way... Thanks again for the responses.  
  • February 06 2011
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Reading the area's you mentioned Riverview, Palmetto & Bradenton it sounds like you want to be near St Pete and not in St Pete, is that correct? Your research is correct, you do get a lot more for your money the farther you go from the water. Which are is your favorite so far?
  • February 06 2011
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Hello

The Seminole area is very well know for their school system.  You asked about the best area of St Petersburg and that is a difficult question.  Are you looking for more of a downtown feel? Price point,age of home, community features??? Alot to consider.  When you have a moment call me @ [Phone removed by Zillow moderator] and we can discuss more about what you are looking for and what would be your best fit.  I specialize in short sales and making the process more streamlined.  Look forward to speaking with you.
Diane-Charles Rutenberg Realty
  • February 06 2011
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Knowing what is most important to you is the best way to find a home you and your children will enjoy and a community they will love! Define your buying power to confirm your price range, choose the schools you are comfortable with, along with the must haves for your surroundings. Get a good Realtor to help you in your search. Now is a great time to invest in your families future.
  • February 06 2011
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Profile picture for jstersacct
A lot of it also depends on what kind of community you want to live in...a bedroom community or a vibrant community?  We lived in (and loved) Gulfport for about three years before relocating for a job, we really enjoyed the people there, but you do have to watch the schools and crime nearby.  Largo has some great places, and also good community resources (libraries and parks) and I have some friends that adore Dunedin (lots of things in walking distance).  Old north and south-east St. Pete are good as well.  It's such a diverse area...if you've never been there before, it really may pay to rent for a bit to find out what area you like.  And a commute really takes away from your time with kids, too, so even though it may not seem like a huge deal now, 10 hours a week spent in a car is 10 less hours with your family.
  • February 05 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Take  look at the site below.
Florida

Facing the worst real estate crash in U.S. history, the Florida housing market is seeing home prices drop at a pace that hasn't been seen since the early 1920s before the Great Depression. Despite a surge in home and condominium sales as a result of the federal tax credit, values on homes and condos throughout Florida are declining. The Sunshine State has been designated as one of the Hardest Hit States by the White House, but little has actually been done to aid Florida.

Although your area is not specifically mentioned I would still expect the trend of 5% to 10% drop in value to hit there. If you can get a real deal on a house maybe consider it. Just realize the end is a long way away. This has to be long term. That means at least 10 years and probably more likely to be 15 or more. 

I would look at house prices circa 1997. That was before most people say the bubble started. If you add in about 35% for inflation if you can buy a house near that price you should be alright long term. Just be aware that for 4 years perhaps more prices could still fall a lot more.
  • February 05 2011
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