Golf, Busch Gardens, picture-perfect locales - sound enticing? Look no further than Riverview, Florida.
As per the 2010 census, 71,050 people reside in 27,513 households in the 24.4 sq. km area of Riverview, a southern suburb of Tampa. With many educational institutions in the vicinity, an air quality index of 81.8%, a vibrant community life with plenty of movie theaters, bars, and libraries, a staggering 2011 golf courses, and the fabled tropical climate, Riverview beats the combined average of all the top 100 best places to live. Where else can you watch both sunset and sunrise over the water and
go on cruises without having to buy airline tickets for the family to get to the ship?
Getting an Apartment
Breathe easy: getting an apartment at Riverview may not be a difficult task. The overall vacancy rates are 11% and in some neighborhoods, vacancy rates touch 25%, meaning one in four homes may be for rent. You have to thank the economic downturn for this. Many of the houses brought during the property boom are under foreclosure, lapped up by investors at rock-bottom prices, and are now available for rent. People with wanderlust would be perfectly at home here. A good chunk of the real estate stock is actually mobile homes and condos.
What to Do in Riverside?
Just because it is a buyer’s market, a cavalier attitude towards renting your home may spell trouble. The average vacancy rates may be high, but competition can be just as fierce as in bigger cities when it comes to that desired neighborhood or the condo of your choice. Approach the apartment hunt systematically and professionally. Go all-out to impress the landlord and convince her of your credibility. But unless you are aiming for the crown jewel, it pays to look around and zero in on a house after considering several options.
Port Sutton – East Tampa: If you have to commute to Tampa, or have a calling for the sea, then the Port Sutton – East Tampa suburban waterfront neighborhood is for you. Average rentals here are modest, and considerably less than most of Florida’s other neighborhoods. This is driven mainly by the high vacancy rates that hover around 30%.
Progress Village: If you seek a slightly upmarket alternative to Port Sutton – East Tampa, head to Progress Village. Rentals are relatively high but vacancy rates are lower at 13.1%. People in the armed forces have an affinity to this neighborhood; one in every forty residents is in the military.
Route 301 - Everhart Road: If you want a medium to large-sized house or apartment on a budget, try out the neighborhood around Route 301 – Everhart Road. $$$
Route 301 - Riverview Drive: Drive south to Riverview Drive and you'll pay more for apartment rentals, but the vacancy rate doubles to around 18%, so you may have a better choice. Once again, the military is strongly represented here, as a good number of residents serve in the armed forces.
Route 301 - Causeway Boulevard: If you prefer a smaller accommodation, and a nice neighborhood to boot, head east on Route 301 to Causeway Boulevard and further to Robert Tolle Drive and Bloomingdale Avenue, which has a very high concentration of one, two, or no bedroom real estate. This neighborhood is also a cultural melting pot, and you are certain to run into people with German and South American roots. $$$
Providence Road - Bloomingdale Avenue: As far as statistics go, this one takes the cake: this neighborhood has a higher number of divorcees than most other neighborhoods in America. Other than that, it’s a moderate-income neighborhood populated by a sizable number of managerial executives, with modest rentals.
Riverview’s Town Center does not come at a low cost. The stock is mostly medium to large single-family homes and mobile homes, making it more suited for families. Most of the residential real estate is owner-occupied, but vacancy rates remain high at 9.4%.
Boyette Road - Donneymoor Drive: If you fancy all the amenities of the town centre, such as proximity to amenities and shops, but want to shell out considerably less, head to the Boyette Road and Donneymoor Drive.
Boyette Road - Balm Riverview Road: If you fancy all the amenities of the town center and for some reason want to pay an extra premium for the same, head to the neighborhood around Boyette Road and Balm Riverview Road. This is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in all of Florida to rent a home, but yet there are takers, as vacancy rates are not too high. The real estate here is mostly large homes.
Boyette Road - Raulerson Road: Just south of one of most expensive neighborhoods in Riverview lies the least expensive one. There is apparently no catch here. The neighborhood has all the urban sophistication in place. The neighborhood actually ranks among the wealthiest in America.
Balm Riverview Road - Moss Island Drive – Big Bend Road:
If you want the property dealer to run after you, head for the neighborhood around Balm Riverview Road, Moss Island Drive and Big Bend Road. Rental prices are very high, but so are vacancy rates. More than one in four homes lie vacant.
Bullfrog Creek Road - Symmes Road: Anothert desireable location at rock-bottom prices is Bullfrog Creek Road - Symmes Road. It is no surprise that vacancy rates are lower than elsewhere here.
The Southern Suburbs: The southern suburbs and the neighborhood around Route 301 - Hallmark Boulevard, Prestwick Drive and Heritage Greens Parkway are decently populated neighborhoods with a lot of character and plenty of corner stores stocked with your weeknight essentials.
Edgeknoll Drive - Spottswood Drive: If you prefer to stay at the edge of the town, in a neighborhood dominated by farmers, foresters, and fishers rather than working professionals, go for the Edgeknoll Drive - Spottswood Drive area.
Living the Riverside Life
Sperling’s attributes an overall cost of living index of 92 to Riverview (the mean value is 100), which means that it is lower than the average cost of living in the US. The cost of living is slightly higher than Tampa’s score of 88, however.
The odds are that there are more golf-addicts in Riverview than anywhere else. There are seven golf courses within ten miles from the city center. But if golf is not your cup of tea, don’t despair. You can settle for the Busch Gardens theme park or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead.
The HART Commuter Express connects Riverview with Tampa but most of the people simply drive. Tampa downtown can be anywhere between seven to fifteen minutes away, depending on traffic.