Let’s take a look at some of the most popular suburbs just east of the city of Tampa.
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When I say the suburbs ‘east’ of Tampa, I am really referring to this area on the map. The reason I am including all of these smaller areas is because they really function as one big chunk. We will get into some specifics of each of these areas and we do have a separate blog on the city of Brandon Individually, if you are interested in learning more.
Just a reminder, here are the four criteria we will be analyzing when looking at specific geographical regions within the greater Tampa area.
- Proximity – Is it close to the airport, the right school district, and personal necessities?
- Size (homes and areas) – 3+ million people live in the greater Tampa area, but each town has a feel in terms of population grouping.
- Style (homes and areas) – Such as stucco, craftsmen, city center, suburban, beachy, rural, ect.
- Cost – Purchase price, rent, HOA, property tax, home insurance, flood insurance.
The commute can be easy depending on the time of day. I have heard from many people who live in this area that the highway coming up from the south, I-75, gets really backed up. One reason this happens is because of the size of these towns. We don’t often realize just how large some of these suburbs really are. Brandon has about 115,000 people and Riverview has about 95,000 people. These towns sit right across 1-75 with a lot of the population needing to commute up toward Tampa for work.
Under perfect conditions, the commute to downtown Tampa really isn’t too bad. The further north you are the less commuter traffic there is, especially if you reside north of Highway that goes through the middle of Brandon (Highway 60). Let’s be real though, perfect conditions almost never exist.
Once you get further down south or south east of this area, the commute into Tampa gets pretty rough.
Keep in mind these things to do are pretty suburban in nature, like shopping and Top Golf for example. If you live in that area you’re probably annoyed that I’m simplifying it to those types of things but from an outside perspective that’s what it feels like.
There isn’t really an interesting restaurant or art scene, or really anything unique. But that may not matter to you.
There are quieter master plan communities with mature landscaping that are tucked away in parts of the area like Bloomingdale.
So basically, it’s fairly congested suburbs with nice pockets here and there.
Some of you may be questioning why I am including Plant City in this overview, and it’s because a lot of people ask about Plant City. It’s a little bit further out, it has about 40,000 people, and has a little more of a rural feel. More farming, lots of berry farming. My family and I actually go out there and pick blueberries a few times per year. The best time for this is mostly early in the summer and it’s a really fun family activity. Plant City is a decent option if you want to live in a smaller town and you are commuting to a work location that is more on the eastern side of Tampa.
This is a mostly suburban area, and the homes and amenities reflect that.
Some of the towns like Brandon and Riverview do have their own little downtown area, however, it does not feel like an old downtown with a unique charm.
There are a lot of houses in these areas that were built in the 60’s and 70’s, and some of them are quite large.
In the last 10-20 years, many developers have built smaller and more affordable homes in this area as well.
A lot of people call me because they see advertisements from builders about new communities in these areas; sadly these new homes get reserved quickly. Builders in these areas were very affected by the last real estate market crash in 2007-8. This caused the new construction market in these areas to be a little more conservative in their methodology.
This means the developers release a certain amount of potential homes, sell those (reserve them), and then build them afterwards.
Much of the time these builders will start a new community then release these lots to be reserved, sometimes it can be as low as a $500 deposit to reserve these. If they release 100 lots in a neighborhood, typically all of these lots will be reserved within a week. Maybe six months later, they will present you with a contract and at that time your prices will be revealed. You’ll be presented with a total estimate beforehand but final prices will vary because building materials may go up, and the market might go up. All of those factors and more are going to be considered before the process is complete. Once they start building, it will take typically 9-12 months before you can move into the home.
There is a lot of potential in this area, the homes definitely have a good range in regard to size, cost, and style. It all still feels pretty suburban, so if you’re okay with that feel, you may want to look further at this area. Cities are growing around the U.S., especially these mid-sized cities, and Tampa can really only grow to the north and to the east because of the water. That being said, this area is going to become more and more important to the city of Tampa.