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Tampa, St. Petersburg, FL weather archives


surgeon83
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Hello, I am hoping someone can guide me to a source of free weather archives specifically for the Tampa / St. Petersburg, Florida areas.  I have the monthly average temperatures and record highs and lows from weather.com, but I was hoping for an archive of daily temperatures dating back to about 1948 (which I think would be the earliest for St. Pete).

I have data like this for Galveston, and it is really great to have.

Thanks in advance for your help.

-Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Hi Brian. Here's a thread I started a while back. weatherunderground.com is a great resource for digging into past weather. My thread might be giving you more than you want, but it could get you going.

http://palmtalk.org/cgi-bin/forum/ikonboar...=ST;f=10;t=8516

Zone 9b/10a, Sunset Zone 22

7 miles inland. Elevation 120ft (37m)

Average annual low temp: 30F (-1C)

Average annual rainfall: 8" (20cm)

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Terry, that is exactly what I'm looking for!  Sad thing is, I am pretty sure I saw that post of yours, but I must have never tried it out...

:P  

Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Here is the absolute low this site reported for the winters from 1948-2007.  There were some mistakes (eg -42F never happened and I fixed it...), but even so some of these absolute lows seem ridiculously high  :o   I wonder how accurate this is.  That would make St. Pete zone 10b looking at average annual low alone, over the last 58 years or so, with only 4 winters at most that would have likely killed mature royals (I used 27 or below for that category).  My impression was that it wasn't quite that warm in reality (but I'll take it!).  :cool:

What do the natives say?

48-49 42

49-50 44

50-51 33

51-52 38

52-53 38

53-54 38

54-55 32

55-56 38

56-57 38

57-58 30

58-59 33

59-60 35

60-61 35

61-62 36

62-63 22

63-64 33

64-65 38

65-66 29

66-67 34

67-68 40

68-69 35

69-70 31

70-71 30

71-72 38

72-73 32

73-74 36

74-75 40

75-76 31

76-77 30

77-78 36

78-79 32

79-80 34

80-81 31

81-82 31

82-83 39

83-84 24

84-85 27

85-86 30

86-87 40

87-88 38

88-89 40

89-90 27

90-91 37

91-92 42

92-93 39

93-94 43

94-95 ?

95-96 ?

96-97 35

97-98 33

98-99 41

99-00 ?

00-01 35

01-02 39

02-03 32

03-04 42

04-05 37

05-06 46

06-07 44

07-08

Average= 35.41071429

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Surgeon-

I dont have the info handy right now, but I looked at the St. Pete data in the same way you did.  I recall the average being 35.X.  So, your numbers seem right.

There are tons of mature Royals near this recording station so there is no oddness to the numbers.  

Also, I doubt 27F would kill a mature Royal.  The foliage might be ugly, but the palm would likely be fine.  All of mine here (I have 10) just took a windy 29-30F a few weeks ago and have only what I would call minor to less than moderate burn.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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But, keep in mind that this station is the absolute warmest in Tampa Bay, and likely all of central Florida.  

I live about 25 miles north of this station and the same calculation for Tarpon Springs as you did for St. Pete gives something around 29-30F if memory serves.  The Tampa AP data would be about the same as Tarpon Springs.  So, we are talking about the difference between a long term 9b/10a and 10a/10b, which we all know can be dramatic.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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In St. Pete's Old Northeast section, the temps never got that low.  The Royals there are well over 50 years old.

Tampa, Interbay Peninsula, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10A

Bokeelia, Pine Island, Florida, USA

subtropical USDA Zone 10B

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I went to that link and scrolled through the record lows for South Louisiana in the months of December and January each day.  Scared the heck out of me.  Now I know why we have no old palms here.  60s, 70s, and 80s were some cold times.  No wonder scientist of the time was worried about a returning Ice Age.  62/63 had 3 day in a row strings with low temps like 12/9/14, so did 83 and 89.    I think I understand the old timer's thinking a lot better now.   Damn, that is cold.

In my post I sometimes express "my" opinion. Warning, it may differ from "your" opinion. If so, please do not feel insulted, just state your own if you wish. Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or any other damages

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(keiththibodeaux @ Jan. 25 2008,22:52)

QUOTE
I went to that link and scrolled through the record lows for South Louisiana in the months of December and January each day.  Scared the heck out of me.  Now I know why we have no old palms here.  60s, 70s, and 80s were some cold times.  No wonder scientist of the time was worried about a returning Ice Age.  62/63 had 3 day in a row strings with low temps like 12/9/14, so did 83 and 89.    I think I understand the old timer's thinking a lot better now.   Damn, that is cold.

So did we, but we have thousands of old palms around here.  Washingtonia Filifera I would say is the number one ancient palm around here, they are literally everywhere in older sections, and they predate all the freezes.  Very hardy.

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(syersj @ Jan. 25 2008,22:44)

QUOTE
They must be huge then (South Florida-like).

Jim, Here are a couple pics I posted a long time ago.  These were taken in the Old Northeast section of St Petersburg.  The lighting was bad that day but you can see the scale of some of those old Royals.

011.jpg

DSCF0013.jpg

Formerly Jeff in Costa Rica
 

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(syersj @ Jan. 25 2008,22:44)

QUOTE
They must be huge then (South Florida-like).

Many many huge old and craggy Royals there, along with other tell tale plants that confirm the climate in this immediate area is sheltered compared to other surrounding areas.

There are some Mango trees down there that I have been told were planted in the late 1800's.  There is one so big that I didnt even know what it was at first.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Awesome pictures, Jeff.  Here are a couple of Royals I saw when I was there. I cannot remember for sure where this was, but I am pretty sure it was west of I-275.

Brian1245.jpg

And here is some stuff from Sunken Gardens.  I don't know the history of the individual palms, but I am hoping and assuming most of them are ancient residents(including the Ravenalas).  I have been meaning to call them to find out for sure...

Brian1369.jpg

Brian1377.jpg

Brian1258.jpg

Above is a couple of clumps of traveler's palms, trunks and all.  I suppose its possible they could have recently planted all 6 or 8 of their 8' diameter clumps, but how in the world would they have dealt with the multiple 30'+ trunks leaning in all directions?  

I won't enjoy as great a climate, as I will be living between 2-5 miles west of here on the elevated part of the peninsula.  I guess I'm more worried about being flooded out in a storm than best microclimate  ???  especially since you can buy considerably more house and yard for the money if you don't mind living a couple blocks from the bay...

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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(Ray @ Tampa,Jan. 25 2008,22:43)

QUOTE
In St. Pete's Old Northeast section, the temps never got that low.  The Royals there are well over 50 years old.

Ray, I'm remembering your very practical way of determining which growing zone you're in.  Just look at what plants survive to maturity.

All around my neighborhood, on the city of St. Pete's northern border, with a nice high elevation, we have some beautiful specimens - esp. a few streets over where there is an elegant triple coconut flanked by mature royals which are flanked by adonidia.  And many foxies, adonidia and lutescens - with some bottles & spindles as well.  Over on 46th Ave. off of 49th St. are a pair of old bottle palms.

Coming home from Lutz today, it was such a marked contrast - up there, the few adonidias, cocos and foxtails all had pronounced damage; some of it looked lethal.  I even saw a badly burnt roeb.  But down here, the same kinds of palms - growing in comparable situations - looked fine.

St. Pete

Zone - a wacked-out place between 9b & 10

Elevation = 44' - not that it does any good

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(SunnyFl @ Jan. 26 2008,22:35)

QUOTE
Coming home from Lutz today, it was such a marked contrast -

Yes Sunny....Lutz might as well be Gainesville when it comes to climate.  I drive through there every day to go to work and always see how things change as I head east.  It looks much more "southern" there rather than subtropical like other areas of Tampa Bay.

There is some beautiful country still out there......still some wide open spaces remaining.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(spockvr6 @ Jan. 26 2008,22:55)

QUOTE
Lutz might as well be Gainesville when it comes to climate.  I drive through there every day to go to work and always see how things change as I head east.  It looks much more "southern" there rather than subtropical like other areas of Tampa Bay.

There is some beautiful country still out there......still some wide open spaces remaining.

That's so true - Lutz & northern Hillsborough really seem more "southern" than the tropical feel of St. Pete.  Yes, we did see some nice wide open areas, but I would much, much rather live down here, as incredibly crowded as we are, where I can have my dear lutescens and hyophorbes growing happily in my front yard.  (quick OT note about my spindle - now even my husband, 6'2" tall, can walk beneath the lowest frond - my cute lil spindle is "all growed up.")

Surgeon, your pics blew me away - the royal shots were terrific.  And Sunken Gardens is amazing - the palms are gorgeous.

St. Pete

Zone - a wacked-out place between 9b & 10

Elevation = 44' - not that it does any good

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SunnyFl, I am so glad to hear about the things you mentioned growing around 44th & 46th.  As I was doing some preliminary online shopping last night, I was wondering if tropical stuff still did well on the NW side of the "hill" as I sometimes call it (does it have a local name, btw?)   I have almost memorized the street boundaries of the elevated area so I can tell by looking at the address of a house whether or not it is on high enough ground for me.  

Thanks for the compliments on the pictures, but I just photographed them, I didn't grow them  :;):   Imagine how excited I was to actually see them for the first time in the city I had already decided I would call home this summer...

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Surgeon-

Have you looked at any housing around 4th Street?  If you can stay east of 4th Street and south of about 38th Ave North, youll be in great shape.  All the best tropical type stuff in St. Pete is here en masse.  

The downside is that generally housing is more expensive here that other areas a few blocks further west.

Are you still planning on working at USF?

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 26 2008,23:35)

QUOTE
I was wondering if tropical stuff still did well on the NW side of the "hill" as I sometimes call it (does it have a local name, btw?)  

If it's the "hill" that I live on, it's locally called the Disston Ridge.  What Larry said about 4th St. & 38th Ave. is exactly right - but to the N/W of this area, there are some high elevations with great microclimates for tropicals.

I'm closer to 49th St. & 58th Ave, not far from where Palmateer lives (does he still post on here?)  The elevation drops sharply to our immediate north (Pinellas Park) so we have a more favorable microclimate.

A couple of miles south, the elevation is also lower.  At nearby Willow Tree Nursery, they've experienced frost when we haven't had any.

Speaking of Pinellas Park, I used to live there and it wasn't a good microclimate.   Kind of a cold sink.

St. Pete

Zone - a wacked-out place between 9b & 10

Elevation = 44' - not that it does any good

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Those are some really great pictures.... makes one think you're in South Florida.  The NE section of St Petersburg you're referring to truely is one of the most tropical looking places in Pinellas County or the whole southwestern part of Florida IMO.  I remember when I first traveled to the area.  I was disappointed seeing some sections of the county and it reminded me more of areas further north like Daytona Beach than Southern Florida.  But after I drove into this neighborhood I was in awe.  It was like driving around the Coral Gables section of Miami.  What I would really like to see is for the county and municipalities to start using more palms such as royals and foxtails for landscaping projects.  I've seen foxtails recently planted in the medians of gulf blvd in St Pete beach, which really look great.  I heard they want to take them out and plant date palms now  :( . Bradenton has recently planted royals along some city streets and they also look great and seem very healthy.  I would like to see less sabal palmettos!  Hell, we can grow these up in the artic tundra of North Carolina!  BTW, does anyone know what palms they are planting at the new Beachwalk in Clearwater?  I really hope it's not all a bunch of sabals!

Pinellas Park, Florida

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Thanks SunnyFl and Larry. I have printed out your advice so I will remember it when I need it.  

Larry, I believe what you say is true about great microclimate east of 4th street.  Here is a topographical map showing why that area is so nice (close to water, of course) and why I'm hesitant to buy property there (low elevation).  Hard to read, but 4th street is the vertical line to the right of the red spot.  Red/orange= good; green = bad.

tbay_topo1-1.jpg

There are actually quite a few decent looking 3 bedroom block houses with large lots and in-ground pools for under $150,000 that are located within a few blocks of the water all along Tampa Bay, (some even south of Lake Maggiore- GREAT microclimate) but the ground is only about 6-12 feet above sea level, so when the next storm comes they will get washed away.  Real estate at elevation is much more expensive (because it will still be here after a big storm), so I will probably not have 3 bedrooms and certainly not a pool.

ps- yes, I will be at USF.  Its not set in stone yet, only 99%; I'll know for sure on March 20.

-Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 27 2008,14:29)

QUOTE
 Real estate at elevation is much more expensive

I have never noticed that...but of course...I have never looked!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 27 2008,14:29)

QUOTE
(some even south of Lake Maggiore- GREAT microclimate)

Be very selective when looking at properties in south Pinellas.  The crime rate down there can be rather high.  

But, there are some nice neighborhoods scattered about as well.  One of my favorites is in Pinellas Point.  Some houses there look right out at the Sunshine Skyway...its a pretty cool view.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 27 2008,14:29)

QUOTE
There are actually quite a few decent looking 3 bedroom block houses with large lots and in-ground pools for under $150,000 that are located within a few blocks of the water all along Tampa Bay,

Brian-

Make sure you look at those closely.  Although the market has dropped, $150k for a house a few blocks from water is still very low.  Heck, $150k for a decent house at all is not easy to find anywhere.  My non-expert assessment of Pinellas (as a casual looker) is that a decent smaller (1500 sq ft or so) house in a decent neighborhood is usually around $200k.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 27 2008,14:29)

QUOTE
tbay_topo1-1.jpg

Sweet map Brian!  I have never seen that one.

Do you have one that goes a tiny bit further north?  Id like to see the elevation where I am.  My house sits on one of the highest lots in the immediate area (23 ft).

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry, thanks for all of your advice.  Here is the link to the map I showed.  (I added the streets in myself, as if that wasn't obvious).

http://gisdata.usgs.gov/website/topobathy

Unfortunately it looks like this is the only area they looked at (plus 3 other small sections of the country).  The information has to be out there somewhere.  

Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 27 2008,20:27)

QUOTE
Larry, thanks for all of your advice.  Here is the link to the map I showed.  (I added the streets in myself, as if that wasn't obvious).

http://gisdata.usgs.gov/website/topobathy

Unfortunately it looks like this is the only area they looked at (plus 3 other small sections of the country).  The information has to be out there somewhere.  

Brian

Thanks for the link!  Pretty cool stuff there!

Also, dont take my comments too much as negatives.  As I reread them and they came across as "non-positive" to me :P

Basically what I was getting at is that there is a huge variety of neighborhoods out there and you have to look closely at all of them to make sure its what you want, besides just being able to have nice palms!  Your commute to USF will probably be a big factor as well.

In the end, the differences between the decent and great climates around Pinellas is not really much more than half a zone on the coldest windy nights anway.  And, as we all know, the worst freezes are usually windy.  Its just the radiational cooling nights where the huge differences come into play.  Granted, these radiational cooling nights can be a real nuisance!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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USF is a long ways from St Pete, be ready for a long commute (unless it's USF-St Pete).

Don't get caught in "Malfunction Junction" (I275/4 interchange) around rush hour, find an alternate route.

I heard they were upgrading this interchange, I left Brandon for Texas in 2000 and Tampa traffic was terrible when I left.

If you're a sports fan, take in some Rays games at the Trop, a stones throw from where your going, and tix are fairly cheap.

Man, I miss Tampa, wish I could move back sometimes.

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Brian-

Heres a quick snapshot of temps in Pinellas at 6AM today on the last morning (hopefully!) of the current cold wave weve been having.  This shows pretty much what I was talking about a few posts up.....East of 4th St and south of 38th Ave stays alot warmer than areas just a few miles away.  Obviously, its also generally warmer on the beaches on the west side.  This is all very typical.

The vegetation you see when you drive around matches this map very closely.

6AM.jpg

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Thanks, Larry.  I will be in one of the "46" zones.  Gosh- 54 in the St. Pete Beach area- that's not even fair.  There were healthy coconuts and adonidias all over the place down there.

-Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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(surgeon83 @ Jan. 29 2008,20:15)

QUOTE
Thanks, Larry.  I will be in one of the "46" zones.  Gosh- 54 in the St. Pete Beach area- that's not even fair.  There were healthy coconuts and adonidias all over the place down there.

-Brian

Brian-

Have you thought about living over in the south Tampa area?  You could have a climate similar to the "46" zones you mentioned, but be closer to USF and cut your commute down.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Or...you could try and find a house in Pinellas Park over that 78F reading!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Larry, unfortunately there is nothing far enough south in Tampa that is at high enough elevation to make me comfortable (ie the parts at elevation are far enough north that they would almost certainly freeze yearly).  Using 30 feet elevation as a cutoff, that wouldn't even get me into the little peninsula off of south Tampa.  But you're right, the commute would be much easier from there, and that is where people from the program recommend I live.  However, they do not live for palms.  Plus I figure since I'm already planning on making this big 1040-mile move and all of the associated changes for at most half a zone climate upgrade, I need everything I can get.  I have royals, bottles, veitchias, etc. that are busting out of their pots and I need a warm yard for them.  

I was going to bring up the 78- that is right in the center of the elevated area, near Lealman.  There are actually 2-3 houses for sale cheap RIGHT in that area- the only problem is that the train tracks run through their backyards (look closely at the map).  :(

The commute has me scared, there's no doubt about that.  Right now I have a priceless 5-minute bike ride to work/school and I can't imagine what I'm in for.  But I'm just going to have to stick to my decision and deal with the consequences later.  I'm planning on leaving really early in the morning to beat traffic and just spend a couple of hours studying on campus before everyone else arrives.  I'll also have to stay later at night.  Plus I hope to buy a really nice car to drive  :laugh:

-Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Brian-

A thought came up.....

If you are OK with an hour drive to USF and want the best climate possible for palms, have you thought about living Bradenton?  If you lived near I75, its a straight shot up to USF.  Some years ago, my brother lived in Bradenton and drove to USF daily.  It was only about 45-50 minutes since its all interstate.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Ever looked in the Palmetto area? There are groves of self replicating R. regia as one comes off the Skyway bridge (I275) back into Manatee county. May not meet your elevation needs, but the area is a very solid 10A and easy commute into Tampa, St. Pete, Bradenton and Sarasota. I am surprised this area did not experience massive growth during the big real estate boom because it is so very centrally located to a lot of cities. I actually had wanted to move down into that area but my wife was not impressed with the older houses that were for sale there (1950s to 1970s concrete block ranches). And if you are looking for surprisingly good climates with a good commute to USF, don't forget to check out Apollo Beach and even Ruskin. Some areas in apollo beach look about like south FL. Again, Apollo beach may not meet your elevation requirements though. Overall, if you can get near to I275 in Pinellas county, the commute will not be too bad since you are planning to travel very early and very late. They have definitely made some improvements at the I4/I275 junction in Tampa. Probably the most annoying part of your whole commute will be once you get off of I275 near USF at either Fowler or Fletcher and have to sit at the traffic lights. Just get a nice fuel eficient little car!

Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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(ruskinPalms @ Jan. 30 2008,10:17)

QUOTE
Probably the most annoying part of your whole commute will be once you get off of I275 near USF at either Fowler or Fletcher and have to sit at the traffic lights.

The story of my life (well...at least 5 days a week....LOL)!

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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(ruskinPalms @ Jan. 30 2008,10:17)

QUOTE
Ever looked in the Palmetto area?

Great thought Bill.

I really like the Palmetto area.  

I have an aunt/uncle who live in the Palma Sola area of Bradenton and we pass through Palmetto on the way down.  That area seems somewhat like "old Florida" to me.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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Funny Bill, that the houses you mentioned your wife hating are exactly what I'm HOPING to move into!  :P

I have looked into Palmetto and Bradenton, and they do look like nice areas, but 50 miles away from USF is considerably more than 30 in the area I'm looking at around Lealman (St. Pete).  So ideally the 30-mile commute should take me about 36 minutes per google maps, which I intend to turn into reality by creating my entire schedule around commuting so I can avoid traffic (eg go in early and study, stay late to work out and study more).  

Ruskin and especially Apollo beach would be about the same commute as Lealman (distance-wise, at least), but to get my elevation, I would have to be so far inland that I would lose much of the coastal advantage.  Based on what I saw when I visited, I am convinced that even the Lealman area benefits long-term from being surrounded by water, even though its several miles away from any actual coast.  That's not to say that Ruskin is not a great area- Bill I have seen pictures of your yard during the winter, and it could pass for summer in Galveston.  

I do appreciate all of your guys' input and I look into all of your suggestions.  Most people probably don't have this type of resource prior to moving to a new city.  

Thanks,

-Brian

Zone 10B, starting 07/01/2013

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Brian-

So...when are you moving?  

Also...Im sure you know this, but keep in mind when looking at lot elevations that 10 ft a few miles inland is nowhere near the same "risk" as 10 ft 1 block inland.  

Also, before you buy....make sure you get a solid quote on insurance (both flood and regular homeowners)!  Sometimes the dang insurance almost costs as much per year as the house!  We ran into this on a house we were thinking about making an offer on.  

But....prices have done nothing but drop down here so youll have sellers chomping at the bit for your offers.

Larry 

Palm Harbor, FL 10a / Ft Myers, FL 10b

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