TEMPLE TERRACE — If you're looking to buy a home, you may want to check out this town of 25,000 between New Tampa and old Tampa. Money magazine just named Temple Terrace one of the 25 most affordable small towns in the nation.
Although it may be affordable, some say it isn't as affordable as the magazine suggests.
In its September issue, Money listed the median price on homes in Temple Terrace at $75,000. Real estate site www.citi-data.com puts the median price at $160,000. The Zillow and Trulia sites list it as $130,000 and $129,000, respectively.
Jeanne Zylstra, owner of Temple Terrace Realty, said she would put the median price "at just under $200,000.''
City Council member Grant Rimbey suspects that the magazine included in its estimate the entire ZIP code of 33617, half of it encompassing a lower-income area of Tampa.
However, the magazine stated that its source, Onboard Informatics, a real estate data information service, collected sales data from tax assessors' offices and included sales only within city boundaries.
Despite the confusion, the designation seems to have pleased Temple Terrace officials.
"It's great that they recognized us,'' said Mayor Frank Chillura. He said the way the article described the city, with its old trees and winding roads, is what "people talk about when they say Temple Terrace is one of the best-kept secrets.''
The nod comes as Temple Terrace has launched a new marketing effort to reinvigorate its image as a place to settle and open a business.
City spokesman Mike Dunn said in the Money article that despite the number of investors buying foreclosed homes and renting them out, the market has remained stable for the most part. "Many families have lived here for ages, which also adds to the small-town charm," Dunn was quoted as saying.
Philip Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3435.