One of the most unique activities in Hillsborough County is the annual Hillsborough County Storytelling Festival that occurs in April. Held in the picturesque historic Hillsborough High School, the free event features the most talented balladeers from around the country.
Things are looking pretty sunny in Progress Village, FL, and not just because the city is located in the Sunshine State. It helps that this diminutive city of around 5,300 people is only three miles from Tampa the way the crow flies, and it's also on the edge of Hillsborough Bay and Tampa Bay, so feel free to dip your toes every once in a while. Close to a big city, check. Close to the beach, check. Small town feel, check. Ok, this is a good start. Add to the mix the easy availability of entertainments big and small, from popular watering holes to high-end shopping to plentiful outdoor activities, and you have a vacation-like destination that feels like home. No wonder the population is exploding (it was only about 2,400 in 2010), but that doesn't mean it's becoming crowded. No, Progress Village is progressing, certainly, but it isn't depreciating in coolness. While you're no doubt already packing your bags, here are a few more bonuses that come with living the dream in the southernmost state: low crime rates, low cost of living and some of the best weather in the world. Sure, humidity exists, but with the water so close and no snow for the rest of your winters, it's hard to gripe about a little moisture in the air. Yes, Progress Village is the place to be. So come on in, the water's fine.
Moving to Progress Village
Any move requires a deep well of patience and an almost masochistic desire to add stress to one's life, but almost everyone has to move at least once or twice in his life (or seven, eight or 24 times, who knows). The good thing is, the more often you do it the easier it gets. Having said that, you can make your move much smoother and more enjoyable by learning a few facts about your new home in advance of popping by unannounced. Here are a few starter tips that'll have you on your way to success.
Any triumphant move begins with a first tentative step, and that step is gathering a bunch of documents to prove to your future landlord that you're everything you pronounce yourself to be upon meeting. Scoop up your picture ID--yes, the one you've got in your wallet--then grab a handful of recent pay stubs. These prove your ability to pay the monthly rent on your ideal abode, whether it's a townhouse for rent or a studio apartment. The next piece of information, your credit report, isn't something you physically provide, but it certainly helps to understand it inside and out. Peruse this document carefully and make a concerted effort to disinfect it of any negative pronouncements. If you discover erroneous information, clear it up quickly.
One more thing you might like to have on hand is a cashier's check. Lots of apartment management companies don't like personal checks for the first month's rent and security deposit.
The House Hunt
Collecting scraps of paper about your life and worthiness as a renter isn't very exciting, but picking out the type of house rental you will live in probably is. Progress Village, land of mostly fulfilled wishes, doesn't actually have the broadest assortment of options, architecturally speaking, but you'll no doubt find something you'll like all the same. Most rental properties are detached houses of the single-family variety, but there is an impressive showing of high-rise apartments and apartment complexes too. If you're hungry for townhouses for rent in Progress Village, the pickings are slim, but if there's a will there's a way.
Now, how do you feel about new or newish homes? You like them? Excellent. Most homes built in Progress Village were constructed between 1970 and 2000, with the vast majority of the rest built after that (as in, from 2000 to the present). Count your lucky stars if you dream of luxury filled house rentals with granite counter tops and updated appliances. There is less thrilling news for those hoping for a house with character, as older homes are rare finds.
By now you've got your eye on a pretty little detached rental circa 2005, which sounds lovely. Make sure nothing stops you from landing that sweet spot and plan in advance. People are moving here all the time, so the vacancy rate can be a little stiff. Give your house hunt a couple months to find the right situation. Also, out here owners are more common than renters, a reality that decreases your pool further. Again, plan in advance.
Neighborhoods of Progress Village
Progress Village may be growing, but with only 5,000 something souls in town you can't really expect there to be distinctive neighborhoods like big cities traditionally have. There are some unique features to each area that may pull you one way or another, however. So check out this quick guide to help you find the perfect location.
North: The top half is definitely the easy going half. On the top west side are a series of streets with more or less ordered homes with individuality. Progress Blvd runs right through the middle of it. Northerners have to drive a little bit further to reach I-75, but the highway is pretty close either way. As for apartments, check out The Enclave at Trinity Lakes or Fountains at Falkenburg Apartments. These folks love their water features.
South: Drop down south and find pretty little houses made of ticky tacky all in a row. Many of the homes border water, either a small half moon lake or a large rectangular pool that each home backs on to. These planned communities make visiting neighbors and enjoying the soft lapping sounds of water easy. There are townhouses located around the half moon Towne Lake, for those wanting pretty views but not necessarily a ton of room.
The Sanctuary at Oak Creek: Also located in the southern portion is this sweet spot parked near one of those half moon water features. Folks here are neighborly, and each detached house, which is all there is, features either a pool, enclosed sunroom or fenced backyard. It's not walking distance from anything but more lush lawns and water, but it is pretty choice if you like a suburban feel.
Living in Progress Village
Perhaps the best thing about living in Progress Village is how much good stuff is around. With Tampa only a few short minutes away, residents can take advantage of local aquariums, Busch Gardens, sports stadiums, amusement parks and much, much more. There are opportunities to hunt, fish and boat. There are plentiful shopping areas and dining hot spots. Pretty much whatever you want to do, you can do, except ski. There are a few things to be aware of, of course. You'll need a car. Some people carpool to work, but everyone needs a vehicle to get around. Hurricanes are things that happen sometimes. Invest in insurance and pay attention to warnings; you'll be golden. Finally, pick up some extra swimsuits. The weather is lovely here year round, and apart from a few thunderstorms during the week, you'll want to spend time by the beach either soaking up the sun or surfing the waves.
Progress Village, like its name suggests, is a great place to move forward. Florida has its good spots and wacky spots, but it's never dull. Enjoy the small town feel and big city lifestyle of one of the fastest growing cities in the state, and come to PV today.