Travel Feature - The BIG GUAVA : Tampa, Florida

Did you know that if New York is the BIG APPLE, Tampa is the BIG Guava?
How did Tampa, Florida get its monicker? In the 1970s, the nickname was coined by a long-time newspaper columnist for the Tampa Times and Tampa Tribune, named Steve Otto. The nickname is a reference to businessman Gavino Gutierrez's unsuccessful quest for wild guava trees, which turned out to be vital to Tampa's growth and development.

A major city on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area and is the seat of Hillsborough County. It is the economic center of western Florida and is best known for its tourist attractions, such as the popular Busch Gardens, where anyone can experience the fun of a zoo as well as the thrill of an amusement park in one place.

Living in Tampa means living in a thriving metropolitan that feels like you’re on a beach vacation all year round. Apart from this, the city is home to great neighborhood and beautiful attractions filled with hidden gems and character. You’ll find thriving local businesses and restaurants galore, if you find the right spots.

One of the leading neighborhoods in Tampais Ybor City, a historic and trendy section of Tampa which was once the “Cigar Capital of the World.” The place is truly attractive to a lot of college-aged people, making the area’s residential options appeal more to the younger demographic.

At the east is a place that is home to a lot of local businesses and entertainment complexes called Channelside District. In this neighborhood, you’ll find an assortment of quaint boutique shops, high-rise condos, and converted lofts.

Located near Univeristy of Tampa is Hyde Park. This family-friendly and historic district is highly walkable. It is also packed with bungalows, brick sidewalks and tree-lined streets.

Most of Tampa’s best suburbs are composed of planned communities, where each has its own  homeowners’ associations and board members. They are the ones responsible in ensuring  the quality of life and well-being of its members. The community, although different than what most residents are used to; are ideal for young families and retirees.

One of Tampa’s premier residential communities is Carrollwood. Each section in the suburb is governed by a different HOA, which gives you more variety of homes to choose from.

There’s no state income tax in Tampa simply because it is in Florida - one of the 9 states in America that has no personal income tax. Houses are also relatively inexpensive in the city. There's a very reasonable cost of living in Tampa and buying a home in the city can be a dream turned into reality even to people who don't have a six-digit income.

Property taxes, on the other hand are around the 2% mark. Insurance costs can be more expensive, particularly because of flood insurance, but still Tampa has relatively inexpensive housing costs compared to other parts of the country. Housing expenses in Tampa are also 23% lower than the national average. The utility prices are 16% higher and the transportation expenses and gas prices are 6% higher than the national average but grocery prices are almost the same as the national average.

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