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Pros and Cons of Living in Tampa FL

The greater Tampa Bay area is made up of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater – each with a distinct personality and lifestyle. U.S. News and World Report’s 2020-2021 rankings of 150 metro areas in the U.S. ranked Tampa FL #36 in Best Places to Live, #20 in Best Places to Retire, #4 in Best Places to Live in Florida, and #14 in Fastest-Growing Places.

What is it that makes Tampa FL so desirable? And what are the pros and cons of living here? Let’s take a look!

Pros of Living in Tampa FL

1. Tropical Weather

Located on central Florida’s Gulf Coast, warm gulf waters moderate Tampa’s weather. Winter and spring is warm and sunny with temperatures averaging 62 degrees in winter and 72 degrees in spring. Summer and fall is the areas rainy season with temperatures averaging 82 degrees and 75 degrees with high humidity.

2. Vibrant Downtown

Ybor City, Tampa’s historic district, was founded in the 1880s by Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants. Cigar manufacturing dominated and helped Tampa earn the name, Cigar City. Today, Ybor City reflects the area’s Latin roots featuring vintage boutiques, exemplary restaurants and historic local cigar shops.

The 2.4 mile Tampa Riverwalk, gracing the Hillsborough River, is home to restaurants, bars, parks, public art installations, live music, and community events. Sparkman Wharf is a dynamic modern waterfront hub featuring hip restaurants, shops, loft style offices, biergarten garden and recreational lawn space for live entertainment. A top community and cultural destination for anyone living, working, or vacationing in Tampa Florida.

3. Stunning Beaches

St Petersburg and Clearwater offer stunning white sand Gulf Coast beaches.  Honeymoon Island State Park and Fort deSoto State Park are family friendly beaches ideal for family outings. While tiki bars, shopping, and nightlife are just steps from St Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach.  

4. Cost of Living

The cost of living in Tampa is 3% below the national average and 2% below Florida’s average. Depending on the county you live in around Tampa Bay sales tax is anywhere from 7.5% to 8.5% and there is no state income tax. 

5. Sports Teams

Sports enthusiasts relish the number of sports teams that call Tampa home. You can cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of the 2021 Super Bowl (NFL), the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), and the Tampa Tarpons (MiLB). And don’t forget Tampa is home to the New York Yankees during spring training!

6. Schools
There are 161 public schools in Tampa FL. Test scores are 6% below the national average. However, 61 high schools are recognized on U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools rankings.

Several highly ranked public and private universities are located in the Tampa Bay area, including the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa, Eckerd College, and Southeastern University.

7. Outdoor Recreation

In addition to the beaches, outdoor recreation opportunities abound with numerous golf courses, Busch Gardens Tampa, the Tampa Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, Lettuce Lake Park for fishing and hiking, Hillsborough River State Park for camping, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and more. The sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico offer unlimited opportunities for swimming, boating, surfing, fishing, and sailing to name a few. And Orlando attractions are only an hour away.

8. Arts and Culture

Rainy day activities are endless with dozens of museums, performing arts centers and theaters. Cultural gems include the Tampa Bay History Center, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, the Starz Center for the Performing Arts, the Glazer Children’s Museum, The Ringling, the Dali Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, and the list goes on.

9. Convenience

Tampa is a transportation hub for when you need a change of scenery. The Tampa International Airport and the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport offer convenient air travel, Port Tampa Bay serves several major Caribbean cruise lines, and Amtrak offers routes to and from the Northeast and Midwest.

Cons of Living in Tampa FL

1. Hurricanes

Unfortunately, warm tropical temperatures bring the potential for hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

2. Employment

According to, Publix Super Markets, MacDill Air Force Base, health care and educational institutions are among the area’s largest employers.  Income per capita is 6% above the national average, whereas, household income is 17% below. The unemployment rate is 32% above the national average and the poverty level is 40% higher than the national average.

The Tampa Bay area has it all… stunning beaches, a vibrant downtown with a rich history, one-of-a-kind shopping and restaurants, an abundance of outdoor recreation and glorious weather. If you are looking to relocate to Tampa FL, buy your first home here, or buy your last home here, it would be our privilege to assist you with your move. Give us a call today and let’s get started!

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