Your Questions Answered
At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question. And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here. So without further ado:
Lived in 2 out those 3 (Ruskin and Brandon). Sold homes in Bradenton / Anna Maria.
Ruskin is rural with some waterfront. Mosquitos can be terrible as they get sprayed for in most other populated areas. Some decent tacos to be found but everything else is solidly mediocre. It’s cheap because it is so far from the city, but has the saving grace of Tampa Bay access. Commute into Tampa has grown from 15-20 minutes in 2004 to about 45 minutes now as more and more homes are built. Would recommend an older home versus one of the newer ones, as the newer ones tend to be lower end builders. Your road choices into Tampa are US41 where a train will block your way at least once or twice a week at Alafia, or I75 which is a 30mph Mad Max Training Course from 301 ramp to Big Bend Rd at rush hour.
Brandon is 1970 – 1990 suburbs primarily. Some HOAs some not, and some with failed HOAs. The ones with failed HOAs are usually in bad shape… dirt yards, 10 cars and rvs in various states of repair, neglected paint and home maintenance. The further east you go the worse the traffic is fighting to get to interstate, but the neighborhoods become a little nicer. North South traffic isn’t too bad, east west gets frustrating. Pretty wide selection of restaurant options, but it’s all strip malls or actual malls which leaves a bit to desire on the architectural scale. Easy access into Tampa via the elevated Selmon connection… when you get there.
Riverview is 1990 – 2010 suburbs with fewer interstate onramp and restaurant choices than Brandon. There’s maybe… 2? So access is a bit trickier. Being newer there’s fewer trees and a lot more HOAs. There’s a lot more home than shop, restaurant, and entertainment choices… the commercial side of things still feels like it’s keeping up with the rapid expansion of the houses. There’s some oddities like say having a 300 foot radio tower anchor block in your backyard, but another that’s a really nice 1970s ish community with some lakefront access and 1 acre yards. 301 is the primary artery still, and not a lot of options for other though they are improving Bell Shoals. But yeah, traffic is bad and only getting worse. There’s some talk of adding a ramp around Symmes but I don’t believe it’s gotten anywhere