Michael Cannell of FastCompany.com wrote a thought provoking article called Suburbia R.I.P. in which he sees some suburbs as graveyards of homes. He blames the decline on gas prices and the economy giving people less money to spend. I don’t see St Pete’s subdivisions as the suburbia he describes, but I do see people who bought 30-45 minutes away, in Manatee County, for example, moving back to St. Pete. They bought because they could get bigger, newer homes there for less money – but the price of gas and the time on the road have taken their toll. Many homeowners who are now upside-down in their homes have moved back and are renting here in Pinellas.
The St Pete Times wrote of some new subdivisions in Hillsborough County and Pasco County where occupied homes are in the minority, and may be living among overgrown lots and deserted homes. In some areas McMansions have been divided up into multifamily dwellings (don’t know that our single family zoning would allow that).
Despite the high inventory of available condos, more people are opting for downtown living, where they can walk instead of drive, and where they’re surrounded by a wide variety of people and places.
Buying a new home? Consider whether a neighborhood has staying power.
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