View Full Version : Can you guys please help us out? What Cenral Florida cities to avoid?

01-31-2012, 01:55 PM
May relocate the Central Florida; Orange, Polk, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Sumter, Seminole, Lake, Osceola County areas. What cities or whole counties should we avoid?

We've been looking through the South from Alabama, Georgia & the Carolinas. We are pretty much decided on Florida. Just gotta get out of the weather up North.

Could also use some help locating Car people. We will be leaving a great group of car guys. Would be great to find the same in Central Florida.

Thanks for the help :)

01-31-2012, 02:00 PM
I like Seminole/Volusia counties. Been here since early 90's. There are bad parts to any, but....

01-31-2012, 02:10 PM
We are here in Polk (Lakeland) and there is a lot of car guys here (check out the Polk County thread). It is close to either coast and a few drag strips. Granted there is a LOT of rednecks around here but for the most part they are good people and the biggest thing you need to watch out for is getting run over by a truck that is bigger than the one you might be driving. LOL.

01-31-2012, 02:43 PM
I would avoid sumter county not much of anything in that county , Iam in citrus not to many car nuts over here , I would have to go to ocala or south to tampa .

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
01-31-2012, 02:46 PM
Been in Fl all of my life and have been here and there. If I had my way about it now, I would've moved to the Tampa area. There is serious money there and would've been a better financial environment for me. People there just seem to be regular people in a big city. Like before, every place is going to have idiots and scum. I would pick a place that you like and rent short term to scope the area out. That way you don't buy the first "good deal" and if it sucks pack and go. Mean while, I'm stuck on the east coast. Not so bad though.:rolleyes:

01-31-2012, 03:08 PM
As Greg said above, Lakeland isn't a bad area. if you want peaceful, relaxed area, look into Dade City, Zephyrhills or Brooksville area though. a little farther from larger cities, but it all depends on what you ar elooking for. Lakeland has a pretty good variety of all of it though. I'm in north lakeland and in the middle of the country, but 15-30 minutes from anything I want

01-31-2012, 04:41 PM
Thanks gentlemen. Do any of these cities stand out good/bad? We have looked @ adds for homes is each city.

-Lake City
-Wesley Chapel
-Dade City
-New Port Richey
-Spring Hill
-Crystal River
-Citrus Springs
-Floral City
-Frostproof (???)
-Haines City
-New Smyrna Beach
-Mulberry (Andy Griffith & Aunt B, lol)
-Babson Park

01-31-2012, 04:46 PM
I used to live in Seminole County. Lake Mary is a nice to live.

I think it was rated Top 5 by Forbes/CNN a few years ago.

Edit, found the article. (

01-31-2012, 07:42 PM
I have friends that live in Lakeland. I'm not very familiar with all of it, but I definitely hear about bad crimes there about as often as I hear about bad crimes here in much bigger Tampa. They live in the north area in decent neighborhoods but the different socio-economic classes seem to mingle too closely.

I'm very familiar with Wesley Chapel since its just a few miles north of me. The south end by me is newer and very nice. The northeast side towards Zephyrhills and Dade City start to get rednecky but still some pockets of nice neighborhoods. The northwest side towards Land O Lakes has some rural spots but has some nice neighborhoods. I'm in New Tampa which is a suburb of Tampa, which is very nice also. Its starting to get the big city problems though like increased traffic issues.

Land O Lakes isn't on your list and I would also recommend that area. Some redneck parts but a lot of nice neighborhoods. They're all also located at the apex of I-275 and I-75 which will take you just about anywhere in Tampa. At one point these were some of the fastest growing areas in the country and there are record foreclosures so you might find some good deals if you're buying a house.

Dade City has a really nice neighborhood called Lake Jovita but as far as I know its far from stuff and pretty rednecky.

Mulberry is nice....if you like to live in the middle of nowhere. lol.

Orlando is a typical big city. I don't know much about it outside of the amusement parks on the west side. Actually I went to a car meet on the east side of Orlando. There were some really nice, older neighborhoods in an area called Oviedo. We went on a cruise around Apopka which seemed like it had some really nice rural areas with nice houses.

I might have been making generalizations about Lakeland but that's my experience. I haven't been to too many other areas. There are a ton of areas I wouldn't recommend in Tampa. Each area has its flaws.

01-31-2012, 07:49 PM
Oh and the east part of Orlando (Oviedo, Altamonte Springs), seemed like they do a ton of car stuff all of the time. And it is in a convenient location for accessing most parts of Florida. Maybe 45 minutes from Daytona, 2 hours to Tampa, 2.5 hours to Jacksonville, 4 hours from Miami (which might be a shorter distance than most of the cities on your list, lol), and not to mention right next to Orlando. Ok enough jocking on Oviedo, lol. I've only been to the place once but it seems to me to have it all.

01-31-2012, 08:22 PM
Around Tampa Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have nice areas, but Pasco & Polk counties are generally considered less desirable.

01-31-2012, 08:46 PM
Thanks guys. We would like something central to Tampa & Orlando, but it's not cast in stone. If anyone knows of good deals on homes for sale (we are gonna buy) please let us know. Can either post here or send a PM. Ideally, we would like something on fresh water (river, lake, pond) w/ an in ground pool. It will be @ least another month, probably more before we buy. Will be coming down to look @ a couple dozen or more places between now & then.

Looks like Lakeland is off the list.

01-31-2012, 09:16 PM
Don't take my word for it on Lakeland. It is pretty much directly between Orlando and Tampa. Maybe there are some decent areas that other people are more familiar with.

If you want to stay between Orlando and Tampa, I'd drop New Port Richey and New Smyrna Beach off. One is on the extreme west coast and the other is on the far east coast. I think Bradenton is pretty nice but its not that close to Orlando and still at least an hour from Tampa.

01-31-2012, 10:00 PM
Of your list I vote Deland and New Smyrna....

01-31-2012, 11:25 PM
Stay away from Kissimmee/St. Cloud......It takes you 45 min to drive 3 miles. To many damn people

02-01-2012, 01:11 AM
New Smyrna Beach FTW, Bradenton is like tampa but they have an 1/8th mile track there. Dunnellon, Lecanto, and Crystal River are more very small towns not city's you will have to drive a ways to go shopping or to work.

CS2 Sasuke XD
02-01-2012, 03:06 AM
North east polk on us 27 is where it's at

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
02-01-2012, 09:20 AM
I hate to slam on Polk county or Lakeland but, they sure seem to have a bad crime problem. Don't know why either. Always on the news. Good in my opinion= Oveido, Altamonte, New Smyrna(MY favorite), Deland(river), Defintely not Jasper, Lake City, Kissimmee, St. Cloud.

Inverness, Dunellon is Thoroughbred country, beautiful.

02-01-2012, 09:33 AM

Yah, we don't have to be exactly between the two cities. Between is the ideal location, but, we understand that the right place for us may be closer to one than the other.

Since homes can be bought @ 50-80% of their value 5 years ago & with 4% mortgage rates, we figure it's the best time to get into something that otherwise wasn't duable before the recession. Most of the homes that are highest on our list are in Paco, Hernando & Citrus counties; not central to the two cities.

Thanks for the PM's, as well. Please continue. This is very helpful.

02-01-2012, 09:47 AM
id take a look in pinellas county. close to the gulf which has so many nice beaches and theres a ton of homes available at killer prices. youll be able to find what you want.

02-01-2012, 09:53 AM
How 'bout Homosassa, Floral City, Dade City, Groveland, Thonotosassa & Citrus Springs?

Have crossed off anything in Sumter County & are considering removing Kissimmee, but, maybe not. There are several good homes on the list located in Kissimmee.

Will look into Pinellas County.

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
02-01-2012, 10:28 AM
Sumter county remove from list. Kissimmee, you really need to go there and take a good, hard look. Was there a few months ago, it's a tourists ghost town now. I know I would not want to live there. My buddy lives there now and he hates it. Not what I remember growing up. Apologies to who may be there . Homes are abundant and cheeeep there for a reason.

The "how 'bout" towns you listed, I would say yes. BMR is in Thonotosassa.

Pinellas County, I would give a definite nod to. Car scene is good, track close by, money to be made, beaches are nice.

02-01-2012, 11:36 AM
I always liked Pinellas/St Pete. Good location....very close to some AWESOME beaches. Good weather year round.

My own opinion is to stay clear of Polk. Most corrupt county in the state IMO.

I live in Pasco and love it. But it is difficult to get to orlando from the western areas of Pasco.

Good luck!

02-01-2012, 11:39 AM
Homosassa is a nice area too. very relaxed and down home. but not alot going on there at all, and not close to any major cities. I did some work in that area and stayed there about 3 weeks. it was great for that, but I think any longer than that i would have gone crazy lol. but there is a really cool bar there called the High Octane Saloon. i need to go back there one day

02-01-2012, 11:46 AM
Im From Ocala, I have lived in Orlando, & Tampa, and always come back to Ocala. Your an hour and 15-30 to tampa, hour to orlando, hour to Daytona, and 2 to jacksonvile.. Its pretty central and i-75 and 441 runs through it. If your set on orlando Apoka is nice after the 436 split also Winter Parka area. Sanford/ lake mary will get you out of the city hussle and bussle but still close enough to enjoy it.

02-01-2012, 01:34 PM
Thanks again gents

A lot to consider, but, we have time. Also, contacted a local Realtor to help us find something on the water (fresh water) & out of the bad areas. Will keep our progress posted. Again, let us know if you know of any good deals. :)

02-01-2012, 02:27 PM
The reason you hear about things here in Polk is because we have a Sharif that takes no shit from no one!! There was an officer and his service dog shot and killed here a few years ago (the shooter was on the run from Tampa) they tracked him down in the woods and shot him 80 some times. When the news got a hold of that all they wanted to know is why he was shot so many times and that it was excessive force, they ask Grady Jude why they shot him 80 some times and his response was it would have been more but we ran out of bullets! Like a BOSS. You do hear a lot from here but it is because they are actually being arrested here and not running free.

Predator T/A
02-01-2012, 04:07 PM
jacksonville nuff said

02-01-2012, 04:39 PM
If you want quiet and a country setting then take a look at Clermont, its in south lake county and is the ONLY place in Florida with hills. We have some great cruising roads here if your into country cruises and also have a pretty good car scene for a small town(weekly meets). It is kind of an escape from the city but within driving distance from Olando, bout 20-30 minutes west of Otown and about 40 mins from Lakeland. check it out, you might like it.

02-01-2012, 07:00 PM
They do have a no nonsense sheriff.

Ixnay on Thonotosassa IMO. There's nothing out there and its close enough to Tampa. Brandon has some nice areas and isn't far from downtown Tampa and is next to I-75 and not far from I-4 for easy access to anything off of those interstates.

I worked in Dade City for a summer after highschool 11 years ago to give you an idea about the extent of my knowledge about the area, lol. Lake Jovita is out there which is a very nice neighborhood on the western edge. Other than that I think its bumpkin town. No apparent easy access to other areas that I can see.

02-01-2012, 07:24 PM
I live in Spring Hill (well they consider where I am Hudson, oh well), Hernando County is nice, but you are looking at about 45 minutes to a hour for travel to Tampa, about 2 hours to the track in Orlando.

Clermont is fairly developed and closer to Orlando as has been mentioned. Homosassa has a large flea market if you are into those.:lol:

We have a few weekly car shows here in Hernando and are close enough to hit Tampa events. If you like 1/4 tracks then all three major ones are approx 2 hours away, OSW, Bradenton, Gainesville.

I think what really will matter is why are you moving here, retirement? Will you be seeking work? I think these are large factors to consider. If you hate traffic then I don't think you can go wrong with Citrus, Hernando, and the northern half of Pasco counties, traffic is light in all these areas, something I like about living here.

Traffic in Orlando is horrendous!:lol:

Jacksonville was recommended, I have friends up there and like the area. Honestly if I were to stay in FL I'd probably head up there, but I have no idea where life is going to take me in this next year.

02-01-2012, 08:25 PM
I've lived in Lecanto, Port Charlotte, and now reside in Valrico/Brandon, and commute to Macdill. I have to admit, I hate living in the Tampa area. If you want to drive down Brandon Blvd. any time during the day, it's gonna take you 20-30 minutes to go five miles because of traffic. Also, the drivers here are the biggest A-holes I've ever had to drive around. Another downside to the Valrico area, is for the most part the subdivisions were all set up like HOAs 20-30 years ago, and kind of fell to the wayside. The houses are cheap now because of that, and that brings in the undesirables. I think we're the only house on our street that hasn't been broken into, and I think that's because of my 150 pound Great Pyrenees. Also, look into property taxes here. They're off-the-wall high.

Lecanto/Crystal River/Inverness are all pretty much the same area. The mall is in Crystal River, the movie theater is in Inverness, and Lecanto is between them. Real small town, lots of rednecks, but it was a nice place to live.

I went to high school in Port Charlotte. That's probably a little too far south for you- about 90 miles south of Tampa. But when I lived there from 98-02, there wasn't much crime. Down side is that it's a retirement town. I wouldn't be surprised if they have more nursing homes than apartments. Really enjoyed living there, but I'm not sure if it's because I started driving there, but I love going back.

02-01-2012, 09:20 PM
Stay away from pinehills 'kississimie 'saintcloud'downtown orlando'west orlando

02-01-2012, 09:47 PM
Celebration is supposed to be an ideal community.,_FL

02-01-2012, 10:35 PM
I have lived in Central Florida my entire life mainly in the Kissimmee/Orlando area. I think most of Central Florida sucks because it's geared towards making money off of tourists. If you live on the outskirts of Central Florida it's not bad but eventually you will run into another crowded city. Kissimmee sucks because of the traffic but Orlando sucks because you will get robbed in traffic.

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
02-02-2012, 09:02 AM
LS1-450, just go west my friend, just go west. LOL I guess FL is suckin all the way around.

All those hills in Clermont used to be covered with orange groves, for miles. No more. It's sucks when you have to go to Epcot and ride some dumb ass exhibit to show what was there in the 70's and 80's. Now I'm getting in a bad mood.

02-02-2012, 10:32 AM
ive been in beverly hills (citrus county) for 7 years now. its ok, you have to drive to ocala to do anything. and there is A LOT OF REDNECKS! but their harmless....

i would look more into ocala, if your serious about this area.

02-02-2012, 03:26 PM
I think the main question is what industry do you work in? I think the job market would be a main factor in finding a place to live. Somewhere out in the sticks between Orlando and Tampa probably doesn't have much work. Unless you are retiring then move to St. Pete with the rest of the old folks.

02-02-2012, 11:35 PM
^^^LOL, "with the rest of the old folks." I know 24 year olds who act like they're 84 & 62 year olds who act like they're 17.

Problem we're having now is that every time we call about something that looks good, there's already an offer pending. Realtors keep the adds up 'till closing. Makes sense, but, gets frustrating to look through hundreds of properties to find one & then the one is basically gone. Will be making an offer (we are second in line) tomorrow AM. So, if the first is rejected, ours is then considered. It is possible to make offers "pending our inspection." That way we can come down, look it over, higher inspector...etc., if our offer is accepted. Will wait to say where because we don't expect to get it.

Funny thing (interesting anyway). You guys said "stay out of Kissimmee." When I looked in one area in Kissimmee, 70% of the surrounding houses were for sale. Was like, WTF, those guys were not kidding, lol.

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
02-03-2012, 10:10 AM
jacksonville nuff said

I like Jax too. Gooood memories.:D Off topic to Predator, you still building trannies?

02-03-2012, 09:37 PM
I moved 4 years ago from the Detroit metro area to St. Petersburg, many old people but awesome beaches. The traffic is minimal and younger activities are just a few miles over the bridge in Tampa. St. Pete is surrounded by water on three sides which keeps it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. I never understood people moving to Florida and not living within 10 miles of the coast aka Lakeland. My mom lives in groveland which is the middle of nothingness. My favorite place is Bradenton because its between Tampa and Sarasota, both of which are great.

2nd Gen Fl 'bird
02-05-2012, 08:23 AM
A lot of people who move here can't stand the salt water, can't take the heat and doesn't like seafood.(which I will never understand) That would be the reason for not living near the coast. I understand escapng the cold Winters but, once the "novelty" wears off, a lot of people end up where they came from. Made many friends from other places and after 4-5 years they seem to wanna go home for different reasons.

02-05-2012, 09:33 AM
Yah, it really depends on the peopele. Some will stay. Some will leave.


We're up to first in the bidding, due to other bids being rejected. However, there is still competition, as everyone can counter offer. We will see.

02-05-2012, 11:10 AM
I would love to move down south and get out of this bitter cold northern climate

02-07-2012, 08:57 AM
look into ocala its 1 hr from orlando,1 hr from tampa. 45 min from gainsville. and there alot of good boating around here. its kinda of in the middle of everything. and its kinda in the middle as far as size and stuff.

02-07-2012, 06:03 PM
We are the proud new owners of a home in Marion County. After going back & forth with bids, finally agreed to a price this afternoon. Also, thankfully, we were not out bid by another potential buyer while our bids & counter bids were being considered.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. You guys provided some sound information & we appreciate it. :nod:

Obviously, there are formalities to go through before ownership changes handles, but...

Will be Summer before we are completely moved down. Hope to meet you all sometime.

02-07-2012, 07:18 PM
sounds like the potential of making some 'monster cruises' from Sheetz in Mentor,Ohio to Marion county Florida,right 'LS1-450'.

02-07-2012, 07:58 PM
look into ocala

Looks like he took your advice, lol.

02-07-2012, 09:14 PM
congrats on the purchase man!

02-07-2012, 10:45 PM
sounds like the potential of making some 'monster cruises' from Sheetz in Mentor,Ohio to Marion county Florida,right 'LS1-450'.

Sounds good to me! :D

congrats on the purchase man!


02-10-2012, 01:00 AM
Congrats LS1-450!!!!

02-11-2012, 05:59 PM
I was born and raised in Ocala, Marion County to be exact. About to move back to Florida from Northern VA. But to Tampa. Ocala is nice.