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bsutter2

What big city in Florida is it possible to...

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...live downtown / near downtown on a relativley small salary? When I get out of school in a few years Im gonna be a cop, and alot of where my decision is to go depends on what city I want to live/Work in. I am not afraid of a city with bad crime, and I would REALLY love to live close to where everything is going on (preferably not an apartment, I dont wanna rent).

So, any ideas? Also price range and how nice/crappy it would be?

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Well, I'm sure lots of people are going to respond that your goal is possible in their city. So let me be the first. ;)

Jacksonville has affordable homes near downtown, though prices are rapidly rising. In a few years they might not be affordable. Jacksonville has three main "street-car suburbs" within a 1-2 mile radius of downtown. "San Marco" is insanely expensive. "Riverside" is a gentrified historic district - somewhat expensive, but very safe and attractive. But, I think a small bungalow could still be bought on a policeman's salary, if you want a fixer-upper.

"Springfield" is an historic district that sounds perfect for you. It has everything from Victorian Mansions to Craftsman-style bungalows. It is undergoing rapid gentrification, but it is still very rough around the edges. Still plenty of crime and blight, but the neighborghood quality is improving every day. Some investors are already starting to "flip" houses at inflated prices, but good deals can still be had.

I suggest reading the Springfield threads in the Jacksonville subforum. It can give you a better feel for the neighborhood and for Jacksonville, than I can within the scope of one post.

Check out this website, maybe this is the kind of place you are looking for? Green Network

Click on "for sale" and scroll down. The rest of the site is intersting too.

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Its a tough market right now for first time buyers, throughout the state. Two years is pretty far out to predict (anything can happen in 2 years),but based on current conditions and the rate of appreciation over the past few years, living downtown in any of the 5 major metros in Florida is pretty tough for cops, teachers, nurses, etc.

I would speculate that Jax probably is the most affordable major city right now. Short of that, I'd look at smaller cities and towns, outside the major urban areas. Your best bet, given your criteria, may in fact be the Panhandle - Pensacola, Tallahassee, etc.

Five to ten years ago, Orlando was pretty affordable. Now, downtown is pretty much out of reach for many, many buyers - especially first time buyers. Even downtown condos are escalating in price in a way that pay rates simply cannot keep up with. Unfortunately, between investor buyers, established residents moving from the 'burbs, and out-of-staters with $$ flocking to the state, working folk are having a tough time.

I don't want to come across as sounding entirely bleak. Like I said, anything could happen - a bubble burst? economic downswing ? Who knows? There are certainly plenty of nice, under-rated cities and towns out there that will grow as the major metro areas price some of us out of the game.

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Depends if u want to share a place or rent one by yourself. Orlando has something around 700 to 800 per month in downtown. I think Orlando Police has the highest pay in the state. You might want to look into that.

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Actually Tampa and fort lauderdale pay the best, orlando isnt too great but not too low and orange county is one of the worst in the state.

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Well, with over 40K per year, I dont see you have problem living in any cities in Florida.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Buying a house is not an issue. The problem is whether or not you want an hour-long (or two) commute to work. At least in Tampa the downtown market is non-existent unless you make at least 60-80K, and that is only if you luck up somehow and find a condo that hasn't already been bought out by someone looking to make money off of it. There are a few residential areas near downtown, however whether or not you want to move into one would depend on your definition of "crappy"...

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...live downtown / near downtown on a relativley small salary? When I get out of school in a few years Im gonna be a cop, and alot of where my decision is to go depends on what city I want to live/Work in. I am not afraid of a city with bad crime, and I would REALLY love to live close to where everything is going on (preferably not an apartment, I dont wanna rent).

So, any ideas? Also price range and how nice/crappy it would be?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Central Tampa still has affordable housing, but it is rapidly climbing in price. South Tampa is out of sight. Seminole Heights is "in" and getting more expensive. Condos, whether in Ybor, Channelside or downtown are NOT a good value unless you have a thing for riding elevators. The best bet is West Tampa, just becoming "discovered." Some blocks are a little rough, but you might find a good house at a good price. The most interesting "undiscovered" neighborhood is North Ybor, between I-275, I-4, 22nd St and MLK. Lots of fantastic old houses, ranchers from the 50s and 60s and some new in-fill house (concrete block starter homes). Now it is impacted by crime and poverty, but if you are venturesome, real estate there could prove to be a good investment. TPD is a great force -- the new chief has turned it around, and TPD has brought about a big drop in the city's crime rate.

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