Our article today focuses on a very popular Tampa Bay area to visit and live in – Dunedin, Florida. We’re gonna focus on four factors to help determine whether or not Dunedin is the right place for you.
Proximity to the things you like
Style of homes in Dunedin
Size of Dunedin
Cost of living in Dunedin
If you have any questions while reading, we are licensed Realtors in the state of Florida and would love to help you with any questions or concerns you may have!
Phone # (727) 677-5337
How Long Is Your Commute?
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to travel but a minute or two into work. In reality, we often have to choose between living in our desired neighborhood and having a long commute.
The length of your commute is going to, of course, depend on where you work. Do you need to drive into Tampa? Or maybe you work in St. Petersburg or Clearwater? Maybe you’re one of the lucky few that can work from home with no commute!
If you do need to commute to those other areas, Dunedin is actually a very central location…
Unless you have to go all the way to the east side of Tampa.
If you do have a job out there, then your commute would be pretty long. Probably an hour or so. The trip downtown, on the other hand, is only about 30 minutes.
The commute to Clearwater from Dunedin is about 10 minutes.
Driving to Palm Harbor from Dunedin is about 10 minutes too.
Those going down to St.Pete will need about 20, 25 minutes.
Even for people who fly for work or who need to be close to the airport to visit family, the airport is only about 30 minutes away. Tampa’s airport is conveniently located right in the center of the city.
When I lived in Colorado Springs, I would actually travel out of the Denver airport, and I traveled a lot in my last job. I’d go overseas about once a month for a week at a time. That drive took about an hour and 20 minutes to get to Denver airport because it was way on the outskirts of town.
Like not even in Denver, it’s way out in the middle of nowhere. Geographically, it’s one of the biggest airports in the world in terms of the actual acres that it takes up.
How Close Is Dunedin to the Fun Parts of Florida?
So we already know you could get to the airport in about 30 minutes if you wanna travel for fun, but the beaches are also really, really close.
If you wake up one morning and you want to go to the Dunedin Causeway, it’s just 10 minutes away! You can get all the way out to the end of the Causeway in about 12 minutes from downtown Dunedin.
Out past there, there is Honeymoon Island and Cales Island – both of which you can take fairies to. One of ’em you can drive to, although some of that beach is under construction right now.
There’s still part of that beach that’s open, and it’s really nice. It is a beach that costs money, for one person to go in a car alone it’s $4. To get into that Honeymoon State Park for a car full, it’s $8 per vehicle.
Out on that beach, there is a little shop and stuff, but there’s not a bunch of dining or a bunch of shopping. This beach isn’t for those who want a fun night at the beach where they get dinner and have drinks. It’s much more like a daytime beach.
But out on that Causeway, like I said in the last video, you can rent kayaks and stand up paddleboards. You can also easily get jet skis in the water and maybe small boats too, although you might have to check into how that’s regulated. It’s different at each boat ramp and in each city where the boat ramp is located.
Also, if you have a boat that you need to store in a marina, the marina in downtown Dunedin is right there. So you’ll have very easy access to that.
For those who are wanting to do the dinner and a drink kind of thing, Clearwater is gonna be a much better choice for you. Plus, there’s all kinds of like shopping right in that area.
Once you drive across the Causeway over the intercoastal water, there’s a little road that runs to Clearwater Beach. Clearwater Beach is actually its own town that’s separate from Clearwater. This area has restaurants, shops, and stuff like that. It’s very nice, but a little bit touristy. Luckily there’s a lot of pretty beach there.
I recommend trying to visit during off-hours – maybe during the week. It depends on what you like though.
I don’t like crowds at the beach and just enjoy hanging out at the beach. It’s fun for a little while, but my wife used to joke, “Everyone just goes out to the beach and hides from the sun. So what fun is it?” She likes it a little more now that we have a toddler.
In terms of the fun things to do in Tampa, the popular choices are Bush Gardens, big amusement parks, the Lowry Park Zoo, or just going downtown to hang out and eat. People love Ybor City or Seminole Heights to try some new, interesting restaurants.
All of these things are only about 30 minutes away from Dunedin!
It’s true, the traffic’s gonna be a little bad during normal commute times, but the traffic isn’t really the kind of traffic that you would expect in a big Metro. It’s a lot slower.
People that visit here say that Florida drivers are really bad. They tailgate aggressively, and they don’t signal. I try to notice those things because people that visit tell me all the things that they notice about Florida drivers. I’m trying to make sure I am not the “bad Florida driver” that they’re talking about.
If you want to get all the way over to Orlando on the other side of Tampa, you’ll need to go through the whole town of Tampa. You’ll go past Lakeland as you’re going up to Orlando. So if you want to go watch an Orlando Magic game or you want to go to Disney World, that’s a two-hour drive.
If you go at peak times, like Saturday morning, traffic will be even crazier.
Style of Homes In Dunedin
You should make sure that the area you want to move to actually has houses that you would want. Dunedin homes tend to be quite a bit older. This area had a building boom that happened in the fifties and sixties. It’s got a lot of these kinds of craftsman style homes, but then a lot more of these like rectangular or what they call “rambler style”. Here are a few examples:
Overall, in my opinion, Dunedin feels a lot more like a beach town than it does a big city. It has a very like interesting vibe, and I like that about it.
But for a lot of people, I think it’s gonna be a better place to visit than to live.
That’s most evident as you get closer to the water. Houses get nicer, they get more custom, and you get more of the picturesque coastal homes that you expect in areas like this.
Is Dunedin a Big Enough Town for You?
This is obviously a very personal thing. Dunedin has about 36,000 people, as you might have heard in my Dunedin Overview video, but it’s surrounded by all kinds of other towns.
Clearwater has almost a hundred thousand people, and there’s Palm Harbor to the north – which is about the same size as Dunedin. As you go east, you’re entering Oldsmar and into Tampa. And all of these areas really kind of run together.
Keep in mind that this county, Pinellas county, is actually the most densely populated county in the state of Florida. The population density doesn’t compare to New York City or to any BIG city of course.
Okay, this county is very densely populated, but what does that mean to you?
It means access.
It means that things are not that far away, even if they’re in another town.
That’s important to keep in mind, the places that you live and the places where you have fun don’t always have to be the same places.
We live in an area where we don’t necessarily think people would come to have fun or to come to visit, but we like living here because it’s slower paced. Because we have a lot of things within walking distance, and those things are particular to our needs right now.
When it comes to access to things in Dunedin, keep in mind these small towns along the Gulf Coast are very particular about keeping big chains outside of the middle of town. They prefer those national chains to be out on the big state highway, US 19. Whether that’s McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A, or even places like Walmart are often preferred to be further out of the main area.
So this downtown area in Dunedin, you have tons of local shops, tons of local restaurants, tons of local boutiques.
And that’s the way these towns like it.
The local government is very intense about keeping those kinds of things out. Sometimes maybe a little too intense, sometimes in the midst of that, they keep all the food trucks out of areas and stuff like that.
Not necessarily in Dunedin, more so in my town, which annoys me, but Dunedin is very local business-friendly, and that is a unique feel in this area.
The Cost of Living in Dunedin
Housing has got pretty expensive over the past couple of years in Dunedin. When I just pulled up the MLS, which is where realtors search for homes, pretty much everything under $365,000 was less than 1000 square feet.
That’s a pretty small space for that kind of cost.
Plus a lot of those were townhouses, villas, and condos – not many single family homes in that mix.
On that list, the first property that was 2000 square feet or greater was a townhouse, and it was listed for $600,000. That is out of most people’s budgets, especially for a small property like that.
When it comes to single family homes, the first one on the list that was over 2000 square feet was also the kind of the typical house that people are looking for…
It was 2100 square feet, and it needed to be completely up updated and was in a flood zone. I’m not so negative about flood zones myself, but it was a very flood-prone area as well… AND it needed to be completely updated. The house hadn’t been updated since the sixties. Here are a couple of pictures of the inside of this $960,000 house:
Dunedin is getting very expensive. It feels like it’s not even Florida anymore, it feels more like Denver or someplace like that, where these houses are just getting so expensive.
All right, that’s Dunedin in a nutshell. Overall, it’s a fun place to visit and a fun place to fantasize about living, but for most people, it’s too expensive.
The houses are too old, and too small to actually meet our needs.
And that’s okay.
You could still live nearby and enjoy the amenities that Dunedin has to offer.
If you have any Real estate questions, feel free to reach out to me at:
Phone # (727) 677-5337