It's the week before Christmas, and the residents of Trinity are in full-on celebration mode. Homes are bedecked in ribbons and lights, the Robert Trent Jones Parkway is dotted with white deer and shoppers bustle about a nearby shopping center that covers all life's necessities: grocery, discount store, Starbucks.
The community is a sprawling conglomeration of neighborhoods, all carefully designed on 3,685 acres and made to suit just about any would-be buyer, from young families on a budget, to double-income professionals, to seniors who want an adults-only community. Homes for sale in the neighborhoods of Trinity, including Fox Hollow, Fox Wood, Trinity Oaks, Heritage Springs, Villas at St. George, Champions Club and Thousand Oaks — range from about $140,000 to $2.6 million, according to Realtor Christian Bennett, who specializes, and lives, in the area.
Like many residents here, Nicole Mirabile moved because the price was right. "I was working in Palm Harbor and moved up here because it was cheaper to live."
She and her husband, Frank, bought their home in Fox Wood in 2001 ("we got in way before the boom"). A few years later, she opened Cabelo Salon, an upscale salon at the Trinity Village Center on State Road 54. "It's a prime location," she says. "You're in between sort of everything."
The salon draws clients from Trinity but also from Largo and Tampa. "Once they do the drive once or twice, they see it's not so bad," she says.
That drive was almost a deal-breaker for Susan McNulty and her husband, Patrick, who moved from St. Petersburg to Trinity in 2001. "We didn't want to leave St. Pete," Susan says. "Patrick was born in St. Pete."
But with the high prices of real estate in the city ("it was a quarter of a million for a fixer-upper of the size we wanted") and questions about Pinellas County schools' new choice program, it was time to look elsewhere. A cousin suggested going over the Pasco County line to Trinity.
"That felt like the moon to us," Susan says. But after touring model homes in Brandon and Westchase, the McNultys made the trip north and found the exact floor plan they wanted in Thousand Oaks. They also found other young couples who were just starting families, meaning instant playmates for their daughters, Meredith and Abby, now 12 and 9.
"It was like meeting ourselves," says Susan. Unlike some neighborhoods where a smile and a wave are the only communication, here "we know their names and their kids' names," Susan says. "I probably have six neighbors on my okay-to-pick-up list" at the elementary school.
That school is Trinity Oaks Elementary, which opened in 2006 after Trinity Elementary became crowded. A third elementary is to open in August. All feed into one middle school, Seven Springs Middle, which in turn is the only feeder school to Mitchell High School, where Susan is a media specialist.
"My world has shrunk to a 4-mile radius," she says. "We've made lifelong friends here. I can't imagine wanting to start over again. There's no reason for us to leave until our kids are through school. It's panned out in every way."
B Buckberry Joyce is the lifestyles news editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 827-9253.
|Community||Year||Sold||Minimum Price||Maximum Price||Median Price|
|Trinity, Pasco County||2009*||190||$31,600||$1,200,000||$220,000|
Compiled from Pasco County property appraiser records by Times researcher Will Gorham; *Jan. 1-Dec. 18