If Tampa has crossed your mind in the past few years as a potential place to make a new start, you’re not alone. This Sunshine State hotspot has become the No. 1 most popular large-city destination in the nation for relocators. And who can blame them? Moving to Tampa means gaining an almost year-round outdoor lifestyle, a strong job market, thriving cultural community, and winning sports teams — Champa Bay, anyone? In just the first two months of 2022 alone, 9,000 more people moved to Tampa than moved away — compared to 3,000 in the same period a year earlier.
Want to know why they all want to be Tampeños? We’ll get to that. But first, a few common questions — and answers — about Florida’s favorite city by the bay.
Is moving to Tampa a good idea?
If you like mild winters and a rich cultural scene flavored with Cuban and Italian immigrant history, yes, moving to Tampa is a good idea. The city has come a long way in the past few decades to build a vibrant urban center that no longer shuts down after banking hours. For instance, the Tampa Riverwalk stretches 2.6 miles through downtown — parallel to the Hillsborough River — connecting pedestrians to museums, parks, restaurants, bars, shopping, and events. Not into hoofing it? No problem! There’s a Pirate Water Taxi there waiting for you!
Is Tampa, FL, a good place to live?
According to experts, yes. U.S. News & World Report has consistently bragged about Tampa, naming the city No. 39 among “Best Places to Live” and No. 4 among “Best Places to Retire” in 2022–2023. Niche gives it an overall grade of A, with equally high marks in categories including diversity, nightlife, health and fitness, and weather.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Tampa?
This is subjective, of course, depending on how you define “comfortably.” But according to the MIT Living Wage calculator, a family of four in the Tampa Bay area with one person working full time outside the home needs to earn at least around $76,000 before taxes.
What are the downsides of living in Tampa?
Full disclosure: We are fans of this charming, vibrant Florida city. We’ve been headquartered in neighboring Clearwater for the past 25 years, after all. But if you’re asking “Should I move to Tampa?” and want the good, the bad, and the ugly, there are a few characteristics (and critters) we could do without. Here are the top three downsides to living in Tampa:
- Traffic: You have to have a car to get around — unless and until city leaders can agree on a better, more sustainable way to move all these people from points A to B. Give yourself extra time to account for traffic jams, especially during rush hours. The major interstates in town, I275 and I4 particularly, are notorious for long backups.
- Mosquitoes and cockroaches: OK, that’s two things. But annoying insects in general are a net negative to living in Tampa — and these top the list of pests.
- Weather: Although this comes with the enormous disclaimer that this only applies to the summer months, when the tropics can be a source of anxiety (not to mention massive destruction) and the heat keeps many Tampeños indoors. Luckily, the city offers a wealth of arts and cultural attractions and activities to keep people entertained and air conditioned, so technically the weather isn’t truly even a downside as much as a cause for a seasonal shift to indoor fun.
Now onto the good stuff…
About Tampa, FL
Once a sleepy railroad town on Florida’s West Coast, Tampa is now the cultural heart and economic engine of the sprawling Tampa Bay metro area, which stretches west into St. Petersburg and Clearwater along the Gulf of Mexico. And today, more than an estimated 3.2 million people call the region home.
Here are a few things to consider as you ponder moving to Tampa, Florida:
Cost of living: Tampa has been in the news a lot throughout 2022 — and not in a way city boosters might appreciate. Housing costs have soared compared to the rest of the country, rising more than $60,000 since the start of 2022 — less startling than the $68,000 jump the year before, but still formidable. Rents in Tampa also rose during the year — up $100 from 2021. Still, Tampa offers a variety of neighborhoods to fit practically every budget, making the area within reach for most.
Here’s how Tampa’s affordability fares compared to the rest of the U.S. in a few other categories:
- Food: 7% higher
- Utilities: Same
- Healthcare: 5% lower
- Transportation: 1% higher
Population: For the first time since 1957, Florida is the fastest-growing state in the U.S. — and Tampa is keeping pace. In 2022, the metro area grew 1.17%. And much of the city’s cultural richness is attributable to its diversity, with a 14.8% foreign-born population.
Climate: Floridians have a lot to love about fall and winter, when average temps are in the 70s and skies are crystal-clear blue. An occasional heatwave, to be sure, clouds the air with humidity, thunderstorms, and warmer temperatures. And severe cold snaps can do a number on the orange and strawberry crops. But those are few and far between in the golden season from November through March, when an average of just 2.35 inches of rain per month falls in Tampa. It’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing.
The summer, however, is a different story. Hot, wet, and humid is what you get. August alone drenches Tampa with more than nine inches of rain. Not to mention the season’s hurricanes, which can dump several feet of rain (on average), storm surge, and other calamities in the area. Tampa hasn’t seen a direct hit from a hurricane since 1921 (knock on wood, please, on behalf of all Tampeños). But the city has come too close for comfort several times — Charley in 2005, for instance, and its 2022 clone named Ian, both of which were forecasted to hit the city but took last-minute turns.
Even when the tropics aren’t in turmoil, Tampa summers can be brutal, with high temperatures in the 90s from May through October. Not to mention the thick humidity makes it worse.
But think about the winter — that’s what the locals do to survive the dog days. Imagine holiday boat parades in December. Golfing in January. Beautiful beaches just across the bridge in Pinellas County — instead of a long, costly flight from far away. All yours. All winter.
Best Neighborhoods in Tampa, FL
The decision to make the move to Tampa may be a given. But which of the city’s many varied neighborhoods do you want to call home? Get just a taste of what Tampa offers with these three of our faves:
This neighborhood is the very definition of “comeback.” Not so long ago, many of the once-stately Victorian homes and Florida bungalows on Tampa Heights’ brick-lined streets were in need of some serious TLC. Enter urban pioneers, eager to renovate and rejuvenate what had been a thriving community of affluent local leaders. Today the district just north of downtown Tampa and bordered by the Hillsborough River is once again among the best neighborhoods in Tampa, bustling with activity anchored by Armature Works, a dining, shopping, and event space; Water Works Park; the restored Rialto Theatre; and a host of locally owned businesses.
Situated in South Tampa, Palma Ceia is one of the more affluent areas of the city and a favorite among the best neighborhoods in Tampa for families. Tree-lined streets, a walkable shopping and dining district, and highly rated schools add to the charm, as well as a quick commute to downtown Tampa and easy access to the bridges across the bay to points west and south. You’ll find a mix of estate homes, bungalows, and condos in Palma Ceia, dotted with some of the city’s finest restaurants and bars. For the foodies: Try Restaurant BT for an innovative, Michelin-recognized take on Vietnamese fusion.
Master-planned communities don’t always hit the mark. They can be too restrictive, too cookie-cutter, and surrounded by nondescript suburban sprawl. But Westchase is a plan that works — and it works for nearly 25,000 residents who call it home. About 30 separate subdivisions make up the 10-square-mile super-sized community, 30 minutes from downtown Tampa and 20 minutes from Tampa International Airport. There’s a mix of modest-to-luxury single-family homes, condos, and apartments, and the country club and golf course are year-round social and fitness hubs. Prefer solo exercise? Try the miles of paved walking and biking trails that snake through Westchase, or take a quick drive to one of the nearby county and state parks for a more rustic hiking experience. For shopping and dining, West Park Village in the center of the community offers a refreshing mix of local restaurants and boutiques, plus a few tried-and-true chains. Don’t miss: Tampa’s best homegrown coffeehouse, Blind Tiger.
Moving to Tampa
There’s no doubt about it: Moving is stressful. Even the super-organized among us will stumble on one or two things they’ve missed in the seemingly endless process of planning to relocate — particularly if you’re moving long-distance. But, of course, there are ways to mitigate the misery. Here’s a handy checklist — not comprehensive, but certainly a good start! — to help tamp down the worry and keep you on schedule:
- Pick a date: This is key, because everything flows from here: how soon you need to start packing, what day the movers should arrive, timing for clean-up at the old house — you get the picture.
- Choose a moving partner: Are you going full-service, with professionals to deliver all your belongings to Tampa? Or are you doing the DIY route with pals and a rental truck? Either way, make your decision early in the process and confirm your paid movers or pizza-and-beer-accepting friends on the calendar for the big day. Reconfirm a few times, too. Never hurts.
- Declutter: Such an important step — particularly if you’re not into unpacking random bits the movers packed up in your former home, like a stray price tag from a Christmas gift or an empty Coke can (true story — when they say everything goes in a box and onto the truck, they mean it). Beyond making sure the trash is picked up and taken out, this is an excellent time to really declutter and get rid of clothing, yard sale finds that seemed like such a good idea at the time, and other tchotchkes you really don’t want or need anymore. We recognize it can be difficult to discard things, so re-read our decluttering guidance on The PODS Blog and think about your new home: How much space do you have? Will you really wear that cashmere poncho again — in Tampa?
- Pack it up: You’ll find everything you need to know in our packing tips article. But the two main takeaways, if you follow no other advice, are these:
- Label everything. Get a marker and label those boxes. You will thank us when you’re in the new house on the first night and know exactly where your paper towels and toilet paper are hiding.
- And speaking of the first night: Pack a “first night” suitcase or backpack and keep it with you, particularly if you’re using professional movers. Include any medications you might need and the kids’ all-important lovies.
Finding the Best Moving Company – Tampa, FL
Although a long-distance move may spark some snafus along the way, no matter what, the experience is what you make of it — and the outcomes can be vastly different. Here’s a look at some options to help you get where you’re going.
Full-service Tampa movers
If you opt for full-service, chances are you’ll experience fewer headaches than with a rental truck deal. But you’re paying the price for that convenience, of course, with Tampa long-distance movers. Packing and moving can be a pricey option.
DIY with a rental truck
This route costs less and gives you more flexibility on dates and times, but it does mean you’ll be handling every aspect. For instance, you run into a snowstorm on your way south to Tampa, and besides reminding you exactly why you’re making the move in the first place, the weather keeps you in a hotel for two days while the roads thaw. But say you had full-service movers and they’re already in Florida. That would mean they’re totaling up new fees while they wait for you to arrive with the keys to the new house. Instead, with the rental, your stuff stays with you. Wherever that may be. And although you won’t have to worry about those extra waiting fees from the full-service moving company, you will have to worry about navigating that large moving truck through the winter storm remnants.
PODS portable moving containers
Affordability, flexibility, and control over your belongings — that’s what PODS is all about. Moving with PODS gives you the option to pack and load on your own schedule, in your own driveway. If your house isn’t quite ready when you arrive in Tampa, you can keep your container in a PODS Storage Center. And the best part? PODS will take care of the driving — a big bonus when you’re in a brand-new city.
Shannon Jacobs is a Tampa-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS Blog. She has lived in Atlanta, the Berkshires, and Nashville, but always returns to the warmth of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Moving to Tampa? Part of the Tampa Bay area, this Florida city is one of the best places to live in the Southeast, with affordable living options, gorgeous tropical weather, quick access to the beach, and more.What are the 6 reasons not to move to Florida? ›
- Florida is full of people. ...
- There is a lot of traffic. ...
- Home prices have risen significantly. ...
- It's really hot and humid in the summer. ...
- Florida has natural disasters like hurricanes. ...
- It's home to many dangerous animals. ...
- Florida has irritating insects.
Zooming in on Tampa, RE/MAX's data showed: $364,990 median sales price, up 11.3% YOY/down 1.4% MOM. 4,044 closed transactions, down 34.6% YOY/down 17% MOM. 5,168 new listings, down 6.4% YOY/down 6.5% MOM.How much money do you need to live comfortably in Tampa? ›
|1 ADULT||2 ADULTS (1 WORKING)|
|0 Children||3 Children|
|Required annual income after taxes||$30,733||$71,593|
|Required annual income before taxes||$35,715||$83,199|
- Naples. Nestled in the southwest corner of Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, Naples holds the top spot for places to live in Florida. ...
- Sarasota. ...
- Melbourne. ...
- Jacksonville. ...
- Pensacola. ...
- Tampa. ...
- Fort Myers. ...
- Port St.
- Sarasota, FL.
- Melbourne, FL.
- Jacksonville, FL.
- Tampa, FL.
- Pensacola, FL.
- Daytona Beach, FL.
More and more people are moving to Florida these days, and for good reason! Sunny weather, affordable property, and no state income tax all combine to make an attractive territory where both young professionals and retirees looking to enjoy their golden years can come to have a great time.Should I wait to buy a house Tampa? ›
Is it a good time to buy a house in Tampa? Tampa home values are expected to rise almost 25% in 2022 compared to 14% nationwide. You won't just be competing with traditional buyers, either; in 2021, a whopping 25% of real estate in Tampa Bay was sold to an investor.Will house prices go down in 2023 in Florida? ›
Home sales and the median sale price of active listings in this area should see a slight increase - nothing too alarming for buyers of single-family homes or for a real estate agent. Florida home prices are not set to decline of suffering a housing market crash in 2023 if the current predictions hold true.Is Tampa overpriced? ›
Tampa homes among top 10 most overpriced in US.
Bayshore Beautiful is one of Tampa's most desirable neighborhoods. It's centrally located, close to major highways, and just a few minutes from Downtown Tampa. The neighborhood gets its name from the scenic Bayshore Boulevard, which runs along the Hillsborough Bay waterfront.What is the average electric bill in Tampa Florida? ›
Electric bills in Tampa, FL
In Tampa, FL, the average monthly electric bill for residential consumers is $244/month, which is calculated by multiplying the average monthly consumption by the average electric rate: 1,781 kWh * 14 ¢/kWh.
It used to be cheap to rent in Tampa Bay.
Then the gap started to close, and in 2021, Tampa Bay rent surpassed the national average. As recently as 2014, average rent was almost $150 cheaper here than nationwide.
- Ballast Point.
- Hyde Park.
- Palma Ceia.
- Riverside Heights.
- Seminole Heights.
A: If you scour Tampa crime and safety stats, you'll see that according to Money Inc, the Channel District and Harbour Island rank as two of the safest neighborhoods in Tampa.Should I live in Tampa or St Petersburg? ›
These two anchor cities of the Tampa Bay area offer a great quality of life, sunshine, beaches, and excitement, but they differ in many ways. Tampa is larger which means more diversity and job opportunities – and more traffic. St. Pete has a more condensed, exciting downtown and it's closer to the beach.What percentage of Tampa is black? ›
Race & Ethnicity
The largest Tampa racial/ethnic groups are White (44.4%) followed by Hispanic (26.2%) and Black (21.1%).
The Tampa area is well known for its history and roots in Italy and Cuba. Every section of the city and surrounding suburbs has plenty of history and lifestyle. There are many shopping and dining options in the neighborhoods, not only in the City of Tampa but in the entire Tampa Bay region.Why Millennials are moving to Tampa? ›
It turns out that Millennials cite less traffic and low crime rate as two major factors that influence their selection of a new city. To that end, Tampa has the lowest violent crime rate compared to other major cities, particularly Dallas and Atlanta.Where is the nicest but cheapest place to live in Florida? ›
It's easily one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. It's also one of the safest cities in Florida, with one of the lowest crime rates in the state.
- Cape Coral.
- Fort Walton Beach.
- Vero Beach.
- Cape Coral. Cape Coral is next to Ft. ...
- Dunedin. Located just north of Clearwater on the Gulf Coast is Dunedin, a small town with easy access to Tampa and St. ...
- Kissimmee. ...
- Gainesville. ...
- Homosassa Springs. ...
- Titusville. ...
- Plant City. ...
Surprisingly enough — or maybe not surprising at all to some people — Northwest Florida, situated on the Panhandle, is the most hurricane-prone area in Florida. That's partly due to the Gulf of Mexico, which is known for its warm shallow waters, and partly due to its location in the U.S.What is the cheapest safest place to live in Florida? ›
The cheapest city to live in florida, and safest, is Cape Coral. It has a low crime rate and a population of roughly 183,942. According to Neighborhood Scout, their crime rate is only 12 per 1,000 residents.What is the number one reason people move to Florida? ›
So why are people moving to Florida? It's largely because of the state's low taxes, job opportunities, and light regulatory and business-friendly government, all of which make the cost of living affordable for many lower- and middle-class Americans.Are people happier living in Florida? ›
A new study from WalletHub shows that Florida couldn't even make the list of the top 20 happiest states in America. WalletHub's “happiness research” includes all the things that allegedly make us happy, such as positive economic, emotional, social and physical health.Why is everyone moving to Florida right now? ›
Today's new and part-time Floridians are drawn by the same factors that have lured settlers and snowbirds for a century: warm weather and waterfront views, along with lower taxes and fewer regulations than in other parts of the country.Will house prices go down in 2022 in Florida? ›
From June 2022 to July 2022, Florida's median sale price fell by 2.7%, from $410,400 to $399,200. And then from July 2022 to August 2022, it fell by 1%, and from August 2022 to September 2022 by 0.7%.Why are houses so cheap in Tampa Florida? ›
Lots of Land Contributes to Lower Prices
There's even a surprising amount of coastline that is undeveloped, he said. In South Florida, where there is a scarcity of land, prices are higher. But the abundance of land in the rest of the state results in lower prices for both land and homes.
Since moving to Florida comes with real financial benefits, many expect the property market to continue to grow in 2023. The average cost of a home in the United States is expected to decrease in the next year, meaning that the average property price in Florida will be higher.
Overall, the Florida housing market is still pretty hot and is expected to stay that way throughout 2022. This is great if you're a seller because it means home prices are going up and there isn't much selling competition—so you get the luxury of choosing from the best offers on your timeline.Is it a good time to buy a house in Florida 2023? ›
Home price growth will flatten, with a forecasted increase of 0.8%. Inventory will remain constrained, especially at the entry-level price segment. Mortgage rates are likely to bump up to 3.88 percent by the end of the year. Tight inventory and rising mortgage rates will lead to dropping sales.Will 2023 be a good time to buy a house? ›
Our other experts agree: The slowdown in home sales that beset the second half of 2022 will continue into 2023. Sharga believes the number of sales will continue to slow, likely hovering in the 4.5 million range, with new-home sales at around 600,000. Listings may no longer go at a lightning-fast pace, either.Will rent go down in Tampa in 2023? ›
Still, the typical rent in the Tampa metro was up 8.5% from last year. So what should we expect in 2023? Bachaud said to expect prices to plateau and slow down as they've already been in recent months. Prices may still increase but are nowhere near the same amounts within the last two years.Why is inflation so high in Tampa Florida? ›
USF economist Michael Snipes said the region's booming housing market continues to the biggest factor driving the inflation rate.Why is Tampa real estate so hot? ›
A home-buying frenzy triggered by historically low mortgage rates helped elevate Tampa Bay from a hidden gem to a real estate hot spot over the past two years. But now that rates have shot back up, experts say buyers are finally hitting the brakes.Which is better Orlando or Tampa? ›
Although both cities are located in central Florida, Tampa is much closer to the coast, surrounded by Tampa Bay. This makes it the better option for beach lovers, since Orlando is about an hour's drive from the Atlantic Ocean—and a whopping 90 miles from the warmer Gulf of Mexico and Gulf beaches.What are the benefits of living in Tampa Florida? ›
- Festivals. The sunny weather makes yearlong festivities possible, unlike many other cities. ...
- Historic areas. ...
- Rent prices. ...
- Various local watering holes. ...
- Quiet neighborhoods. ...
- Bilingual opportunities for work in Tampa. ...
- Low cost of living in Tampa FL. ...
- Top-quality education.
If affordability is important to you, Tampa is probably going to be a better option. Tampa has an average cost of living index of around 5% below the average of the United States. Housing is especially affordable, although utilities tend to be a bit higher.How much is water bill in Tampa Florida? ›
Tampa water rates are $3.02 per month plus $0.80 per 1,000 gallons and an additional monthly charge of $3.82. You can see a full rate schedule here. The average water bill in Tampa is $46.50.
A higher than normal utility bill is typically caused by one of two things—a change in your typical water use or a leak somewhere on your property.How much do you need to make a year to live in Tampa? ›
In 2021, MIT said the average single person needed to make a minimum of $30,825 a year before taxes in order to make a livable wage.What is a good salary in Tampa Florida? ›
Most salaries in Tampa range between $44,252 (25th percentile) to $73,881 (75th percentile) annually. Of course, salaries will vary depending on your occupation, experience, and many other factors.How much do you need to live in Tampa? ›
Summary about cost of living in Tampa, FL, United States: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,728.4$ without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,044.0$ without rent. Tampa is 17.5% less expensive than Seattle (without rent).Are rents coming down in Tampa? ›
According to the report, while year-over-year rent growth in Tampa currently stands at 2.4% (a significant slowdown from 2021's 33.4% jump), the market is still bloated by 39.1% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.What are the pros and cons of living in Tampa Florida? ›
- Quiet neighborhoods.
- Good schools and jobs.
- Year-round outdoor activities.
- Great food and drinks.
- Reasonable cost of living.
- Costs and requirements of HOAs.
- Tough to get around.
- Extreme weather.
Tampa is in Hillsborough County and is one of the best places to live in Florida. Living in Tampa offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents rent their homes. In Tampa there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.Does Tampa get hit by hurricanes? ›
The Tampa-St. Petersburg area has an 11 percent chance of feeling the impacts of a hurricane in any given year. Tampa, situated on a peninsula lying along Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, is exposed to hurricanes entering the Gulf and systems forming in the Atlantic.What is the safest part of Tampa? ›
- Ballast Point.
- Hyde Park.
- Palma Ceia.
- Riverside Heights.
- Seminole Heights.
Annual rainfall in Tampa: The city of Tampa has about 51 inches of annual rain, which is higher than the United States average of 38 inches per year. Annual snowfall in Tampa: Snowfall in Tampa is extremely rare.
Tampa's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 52.4°F. In August, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 90.0°F.Are tornadoes common in Tampa? ›
5) Florida is number 1: Florida has the dubious distinction of having a higher frequency of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles than any other state, including Oklahoma! 6) Tampa Bay is a hot spot: The coast between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers has a particularly high incidence.Does Tampa get a lot of tornadoes? ›
In Florida, measured in frequency of tornadoes for every 10,000 square miles, the coast between Tampa Bay and Fort Myers has a particularly high incidence, as do the western panhandle and parts of the Atlantic Coast.What part of Florida is safest from hurricanes? ›
The Least Hurricane-Prone Areas in Florida
Take Northeast Florida for instance. This large area has seen just 26 total hurricanes, including just a single Category 3 since the scale was introduced 167 years ago. That means, on average, Northeast Florida gets hit by a hurricane every 6.5 years or so.
Residents of the Tampa Bay area enjoy both a laid-back beach lifestyle and the amenities of a large metropolitan area, including professional sports teams, museums, and an array of entertainment and dining options. The Tampa Bay metro area is a sprawling and diverse region that encompasses three cities – Tampa, St.Is Orlando or Tampa a better place to live? ›
Tampa vs. Orlando: Cost of living.
|FL City||Overall Cost of Living Index Score|
The two cities are actually very comparable but Tampa is more affordable than Orlando, especially when you factor in Tampa's lower home prices and higher average income. According to Numbeo, you would need $4,287 in Tampa to maintain the same standard of living you would get with $4,300 in Orlando.