PCSing to MacDill AFB ... Thoughts on housing
 
Welcome to Tampa, Florida, where residents support and embrace our active military personnel, retirees and government contractors. Immediately upon exiting any of the MacDill gates, you are in South Tampa which, when looking at a map, would seem like a perfect place to live. However, like so many central city areas, the homes are older, the streets are narrower, and due to its convenient location to the business center of downtown Tampa, home prices are higher.
 
South Tampa supports a vibrant night life (we even have a SOHO area, named after South Howard Avenue, famous for its bars and restaurants). This part of Tampa is also known for the country’s longest continuous sidewalk along Bayshore Boulevard (with its multi-million dollar homes).
 
For those looking for a quieter, suburban family lifestyle, a fast commute east from the base on the elevated Lee Roy Selmon Expressway (toll road) leads to the junction of I-75 and the communities of Brandon and Riverview/SouthShore.
 
Once thought of as a “bedroom community” the Brandon area has everything a family would need, from great schools, a top-rated mall, a 359-bed hospital and abundant shopping (including a dozen Walmarts, Home Depots and Lowes). This area offers an endless selection of housing choices, as residential development is once again exploding in the Tampa Bay area. 2015 will bring a 140,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop, an additional hospital and a million-square-foot Amazon.com facility.
 
Another housing choice might be north, towards the Pasco County line, to north Tampa and Wesley Chapel. These communities are similar to Brandon, with similarly priced homes but a slightly tougher commute from MacDill, as you have to travel through the older South Tampa streets past the heavier traffic in the downtown area before you get to I-275 and your commute north.
 
Or, you can take any of Tampa’s three bridges across the bay to Pinellas County, where you will find an eclectic mix of housing – primarily older and slightly more expensive – as you are now moving toward the Gulf of Mexico and beachfront retirement/resort homes.
 
There are many other smaller communities dotted around Tampa Bay. And, like most other cities in the U.S., the biggest growth (and widest selection of home choices) are on the outskirts of the city. So, if you are looking for affordable, newer housing that might include architectural detail, high ceilings, big walk-in closets, and modern kitchens, then your best choice is to head out of town to the suburbs!
Go to www.NigelSOLD.com for more information.
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