First of all, congratulations on relocating to Tampa! It is a wonderful area with lots of great weather and fun things for everyone to do…year round. If you have been a visitor here in the past, then you know that we have theme parks, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, water all around us and, of course, several of the most beautiful beaches in the country. However, you may not know what it is like to live here day in and day out so here are a couple of tips about relocating to Tampa. Note that these observations are not in any order of importance.
Tampa is a Growing City
When you look at Florida as a whole, you’ll see that the growth rate is still as strong as ever. Yet, you may not realize that the Tampa-St. Pete area is among the fastest growing areas within this ever-booming state. Not only are people moving here for retirement, but they are also moving due to the increase in employment opportunities. Florida has long been populated with retirees that want to live an active lifestyle in the warm weather, and now we are seeing droves of families moving in as the job market becomes even more buoyant. Tampa is one of the communities that is adding new jobs daily. In fact, in 2016, Tampa experienced its highest level of growth since the economic downturn of 2008. Now is a great time to be moving to the area as new companies continue to add higher paying jobs than in the past.
Tampa Cost of Living is Good
When you look at the cost of living in Tampa, you’ll find that compared to the large U.S. cities, it is a relative bargain. If you are considering the United States as a whole (not just looking at big cities), Tampa ranks just below the average in cost of living as of 2016. According to the Tampa Business Journal, the Tampa metro area has a lower cost of living than cities like Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta, and has the lowest in Florida. That means you can buy more in Tampa than you can for the same income as these other cities. Housing is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the U.S. but transportation costs are a little higher than average. In the overall picture, Tampa is either right at the average cost (or just below) for items such as groceries, health care and utilities. Tampa is significantly less expensive for restaurants, show tickets and more importantly, housing costs.
Tampa Weather and Traffic
One of the main reasons why people move to Tampa (other than for a new job) is because of the year-round beautiful weather. The winters are very mild, with night time lows only very occasionally going into the 30’s, but the summers can tend to be hot and sticky. That said, Tampa is one of the few areas of the country where the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees even in the middle of August. This is one benefit of being surrounded by water, it keeps the temperature from swinging too far one way or the other. However, one bit of weather advice… bring an umbrella with you in the summer months. It is common to get a pop-up thundershower during summer afternoons from June to September. This is considered the rainy season, but the rain seldom lasts very long! It often comes and goes within an hour.
As to traffic, we don’t have the traffic snarls of cities like New York or Los Angeles, but we get drivers from all over the country all following their own sets of rules. The key to driving in this area is to be cautious and patient since there are vacationers, seniors and residents all trying to get where they are going. The good news is that Tampa is a fairly compact city so you are never very far from your destination.
We hope that if you are moving to Tampa, that you’ll consider purchasing a new WestBay home. We are the largest private builder in the Tampa Bay area and offer an array of home designs, many of which are locally and regionally acclaimed, ideal for every lifestyle. We encourage you to stop by and look at one of our models! We build in the finest of the area’s communities. We bet you will be surprised by the reasonable pricing and the amount of house you can get for your money in Tampa.