Tampa Real Estate

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Almost exclusively a business district for many years, downtown Tampa is now beginning to emerge as a beautiful waterfront replete with palm-studded city parks, street-side restaurants, boutiques, night-time cruises, music, a delightful walking ambiance, and much more. Among the attractions in the heart of the city are the Florida Aquarium with its 10,000 species of plants and fish and its trademark glass and steel architectural profile. Centro Ybor, downtown's newest foundation stone, is an addition to Tampa's famous and historic Latin Quarter.

But Tampa, of course, is far more than a healthy business district and a rejuvenated city center. It is renowned for the natural beauties of the Gulf coast, the pristine white sands, the sparkling waters, the subtropical climate, and a clear blue sky. Its waterfront is not directly on the Gulf, but on Hillsborough and Tampa Bays, and includes the Alafia and Hillsborough Rivers as well as numerous small lakes.

Living in Tampa, Working in Tampa

Convenient to all of central and southwest Florida--from Orlando, to St. Petersburg, to the Nature Coast, to the Everglades--Tampa has much to recommend it for vacationers as well as residents. With a population of more than 300,000, it is also Florida's third-largest city. Thanks to its young and well-educated residents, their vitality, and the city's sense of community, Tampa gained recognition from the U.S. Census Bureau during the last census as one of the five top cities in the country for its ethnic diversity and cultural integration.

From a real estate perspective, Tampa can be divided into several community quadrants. Westshore lies between downtown and the airport, a strategic yet beautiful location with a rich offering of restaurants, outdoor recreation, access to area highways, and much more. Brandon and Southshore are home to the Florida State Fairgrounds, a wealth of shopping opportunities, and a host of outdoor and sporting facilities. North Tampa is home to Hillsborough River State Park, the University of South Florida, and the Lowry Park Zoo.

Buying property in the Tampa metro area will take some time, only because there are so many choices. A search, for example, for single-family homes with two or more bedrooms might return as many as 2,000 properties ranging from $50,000 to $4 million. Clearly in a city this large, you'll be better off with a local realtor. Your first task to narrow the field is to draw up a wishes and needs list. Are you looking for a single-family home, for example, a one-bedroom condominium, or a five-bedroom townhouse? If you have children or will be raising a family, school districts will be an important factor. Another issue is the commute to work. Tampa, after all, encompasses 112 square miles.

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