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Tampa Explained- Top 5 Worst things about Carrollwood

In this article, we go over some of the top 5 downsides about living in the Carrollwood area of Tampa Florida.

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!

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If you have not seen our previous info on the top five best things about Carrollwood, here is a quick infographic.

Coming from someone who moved to the Tampa area relatively recently, I still try to view these areas more critically to reflect the viewpoint of someone unfamiliar with the area looking to move here. I also make it a priority to be knowledgeable about the things locals care about and the things they hate. Let’s dive into my list of the top 5 worst things about Carrollwood.

1. The Schools.

The schools in the Carrollwood/ Northdale area do not generally get good ratings on sites such as and Although these rating websites are not perfect, they generally do tend to be an accurate representation.

Now is a good time to highlight Hillsborough County’s magnet school system. In the U.S. education system, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. “Magnet” refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools. Many people who reach out to me wanting to move to the area prioritize areas with good schools and unfortunately Carrollwood is not considered one of those areas. It is a down-side overall that public schools in the area may not be up to par for your family, leaving you to possibly have to turn to some kind of magnet system. Areas such as Lutz, Cheval, Palm Harbor, and Westchase are more the winners in this area.

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2. City like feel

If you are wanting a slower paced, more suburban feel than the city, the Carrollwood/ Northdale area may not be for you. Getting around this area still involves using some little and some big highways, which adds to the feeling like you are in the city even though you are in a more residential setting. That being said, with this downside comes the benefit of proximity to most things

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3. The Prices.

The prices of the homes in Carrollwood/ Northdale continue to rise despite being older homes. I have been asked before, ‘How can the price of an older home be the same as that of a newer home?’. There are many factors causing this to happen. The mature landscaping, bigger lots, less cookie cutter designs, and the location being more desirable (to most people) all add to the price being higher in these older areas. That being said, in the Carrollwood area there are properties such as condos and townhouses that you’ll find in the high 100,000’s. To get into a single family home, you will most likely be getting into the 300,000’s. But if you are looking for the popular 4 bedroom single family home on a desirable lot with a pool you will easily be in the 450,000-550,000 range.

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4. Older Houses

Carrollwood was founded in 1959 and houses started being built right after that in the 1960’s. The ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s saw a lot of the houses in this area built. These houses are unique and are well built, but they are older and have a more dated aesthetic. These neighborhoods are much more unique in appearance and character than the average suburb due to every older home being different from the next. If you are looking for more of the homogeneous HOA community feel (although some of these communities will still include deed restrictions which keep them very clean), you won’t find it in this particular area. So take that as you will, it may be a pro for you, or it may be a con, everyone’s situation and preference is different.

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5. Traffic

It isn’t too crazy compared to the bigger cities, but since you are still technically in the city, you do experience a good bit of the commuting traffic. The Dale Mabry Highway can get especially congested, also the speed limit is relatively slow and there is a good deal of stop and go. This can be frustrating when you are trying to get somewhere, especially during rush hour.

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