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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Clearwater, FL

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This Tampa Bay Area city is known for its numerous accolades and awards collected for the beauty of its white sand beaches, and if you're looking for the best Florida has to offer, Clearwater may just be the place for you.

Aren't sure whether or not you want to relocate to this Florida city? Take a look at the following guide for information to help your decision. You can get your moving process started by getting a fast and easy moving quote right here at Movers.com!

Clearwater Climate

Clearwater is just west of Tampa and northwest of St. Petersburg, and is categorized as a humid subtropical climate. If you are considering a move to Clearwater for warmer temperatures, you'll get your wish almost year-round. Temperatures generally range from 70 to 90 degrees, but can drop to the 50s during winter months. Summers are hot and humid and are known for scattered thundershowers throughout the day.

You may see an occasional freeze or two in the area during the winter, but this is rare. You also won't see as many hurricanes threatening Clearwater as much as you would parts of South Florida, but tropical systems and storms loom during hurricane season.

Clearwater Neighborhoods

Clearwater's downtown area has undergone a major facelift over recent years, and has dubbed an exciting new part of its structure the Cleveland Street District. With views of the Clearwater Harbor, high-end waterfront living and numerous dining and entertainment options, this area is for the new resident who likes the hustle of city life.

If you're looking for living in the heart of Clearwater, Station is a good place to start. If you want a more residential area, try looking into some areas like Bayview, Bayview Park or Feather Sound.

Registering Your Car

You have 10 days to register your car in Florida from the date you begin working in the state, or register a child in a Florida school. You must have proof of ownership of your vehicle, verification of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and proof of Florida insurance requirements. You can register your car at any Florida DMV office location.

You have 30 days to transfer your existing out of state driver's license to a Florida driver's license. To do so, you will need your primary identification, proof of Social Security Number and two documents verifying your Florida address. The Florida DMV issues over 400,000 new resident licenses per year, and advises you to know your requirements and have your documents ready prior to going to the office.

Clearwater Schools

Pinellas County Schools is the seventh-largest district in the state of Florida, and the 26th-largest in the nation, according to the district's website. Over 104,000 students are enrolled from pre-K through 12-grade, with a staff of over 17,000.

For colleges in the area, try Clearwater Christian College, St. Petersburg College, Everest University, or some Tampa schools like the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida.

Clearwater Employment

As of April 2013, Clearwater's unemployment rate was at 6 percent, much lower than the national average and approximately 1 percent lower than neighboring St. Petersburg and Tampa. According to the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, the region touts a diverse and highly skilled labor pool.

Some of the top private employers in the area are: Home Shopping Club, Times Publishing Corp., Raymond James and Associates and Nielsen Media Research, Inc.

Some of the top public employers in the area are: Pinellas County School District, Pinellas County Government, City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Living Costs in the City

As far as Florida living goes, you might not see a huge strain on your budget when it comes to daily expenses like food, utilities and gas; however, housing prices are increasing as the area is updating. The overall cost of living is approximately 9 percent lower than the national average, and you'll pay less overall for goods and services than in other parts of Florida and the rest of the country.

In the more upscale areas of the city, you will find single-family homes averaging around $300,000, but more moderate homes can be purchased for a price tag of around $150,000. One-bedroom apartments generally start around $600 per month and upwards, not including utilities.

As far as utilities go, it will vary depending on the size of you living space and how often you run things like the air conditioner. For a two-bedroom apartment, for example, you could end up paying somewhere between $100-$200 a month during the summer, but $50-$80 during the winter.

Clearwater Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Clearwater, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Florida. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Clearwater Transportation

If you depend on public transportation to get around, you're limited to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus service. The service has 199 buses that stop at over 5,000 stops on 40 routes around Pinellas County. There are also two express routes that travel to Tampa.

For air travel, residents use Tampa International Airport or St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. If you travel daily by personal car, as most do in the area, you will use SR 60 to get to Clearwater Beach, the Courtney Campbell Causeway, SR 580, and U.S. Route 19.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Whether your type of entertainment means strolling along downtown retail areas, basking in the sun at the beach, or enjoying local festivals, Clearwater will most likely have something for you. For outdoor fun you won't get just anywhere, you can try out Congo River Adventure Golf Course, or of course, Clearwater Beach - one of the top-rated beaches in Florida. There's also the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, parasailing opportunities, and watching the sunset at Pier 60 each day.

Clearwater Relocation Tips

  • It rains often in the Sunshine State, so be prepared for plenty of afternoon showers. You may want to consider wet weather traction for your tires, and higher quality windshield wiper blades.

     

  • Many tourists come to Clearwater for their beach vacation, so don't be surprised if traffic is heavy quiet often. Plan your commute times accordingly.

     

  • Florida is a big state, and if you own your own car you will probably want to explore. Invest in a Sun Pass to cut down on toll booth wait times - this will also grant you access to fast lanes on large highways.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on July 10, 2013

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