Top 5 Questions Asked by Non-Floridians Moving to Tampa Bay
We work with many out of state buyers and “snowbirds” considering moving to Tampa Bay. Our low cost of living, beautiful weather, easy access to some of the best beaches in the U.S, top rated international airport, and many cultural arts and entertainment options are just a few reasons why Tampa Bay is becoming such an attraction for many to call home. Here are the top five questions we get asked by those who are considering moving to Tampa Bay but have never been to the area before:
1. What’s the weather like year round?
We recently worked with a couple from New Jersey exploring the possibility of retiring to Tampa. The first thing they said when we met them: “We just left 30 degree weather and snow yesterday and today we are here in this gorgeous weather! We can’t believe how cold it is up north and it’s mid-April! We are ready to get out!” Our weather is definitely a key attraction but some are concerned about how hot our summers get. Yes, it can get hot…but we’ll take that over snow any day! June, July and August are our hottest months and it can get humid, but those few months are worth bearing for the pleasant weather we enjoy the rest of the year. Below is a summary of our weather in Tampa year round.
2. What about hurricanes?
The official “hurricane season” runs from June 1st – November 30th. We’ve been extremely blessed here in Tampa Bay to not have suffered a direct hit from a hurricane as powerful as a Category 3 or higher in nearly a century. Although there is always the risk of a hurricane hitting Tampa Bay, most hurricanes that form in the Caribbean or the Atlantic usually impact the east coast of Florida. If a hurricane does enter the Gulf of Mexico, the typical path is for the storm to head straight, towards Texas, Alabama or Louisiana. We definitely count our blessings but always strive to remain prepared in advance of a storm just in case! So far… so good!
3. Where’s the basement?
Inevitably, while looking at homes with northerners we get asked, “where is the basement?” Florida has a very high water table, if we dig deep enough we hit water! Some homes in the northern portions of Florida do have basements, but for the most part…no basements in Florida!
4. How much are property taxes?
Property taxes vary from area to area so it is always best to check the property appraiser and tax collector’s website in the county you are house hunting in to get a better idea of estimated taxes on a home you are considering. Currently property taxes range from 1.4% to 2% of the assessed value of the property in most areas of Tampa Bay. Again, this is not fixed in stone and always subject to change! But our property taxes are considerably lower than many of the areas our out of state buyers come from, particularly those from New Jersey / New York. Here is a link to the 2017 Hillsborough County millage rates. Pasco County rates can be found by clicking here.
5. I heard you guys have snakes…and alligators! Is that true??
Yes, 100% true. BUT, if you don’t bother them, they don’t bother you! You’ve probably heard horror stories about tourists being bitten by an alligator. Usually this is because they try to get close to them or attempt to swim in water they shouldn’t be in. Tourist Tip #1 for those visiting Florida: If it isn’t the beach or a swimming pool, don’t go in the water! Alligators can be found all over Florida, anywhere there’s water, but as long as you don’t feed them or approach them, you’ll be fine! Snakes are common as well in Florida, depending on the vegetation around your home you may spot a snake sunbathing in the Florida sun. We aren’t the only creatures that love our sunny weather! You may be shocked the first time you see an alligator in a pond while playing a round of golf here, but us locals have come to accept them and, again…you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you! Oh, and wait to you see our unique love bugs!
We love living in Tampa Bay and you will quickly adapt to our Florida lifestyle as well when you decide to buy a home here. Feel free to reach out to us if we can answer any questions for you as you decide to make Tampa Bay your #NextHome!