Living in Pensacola PROs and CONs

Thinking about living in Pensacola, Florida? If you are, read this article!

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Pensacola is one of Florida’s top cities, with everything you could want from a mid-sized coastal community. Many cities talk about their beautiful beaches but, in Pensacola, we’re not exaggerating; they’re spectacular. Indeed, if you love the ocean, watersports, and a relaxed, laid-back beach lifestyle, Pensacola is practically perfect – the cost of living is affordable too! Not everything is sunshine and roses though. So, we present the biggest pros and cons of living in Pensacola, FL!

Pros and Cons of Living in Pensacola, FL

Living in Pensacola

PRO: The Laid-Back Beach Lifestyle and Amazing Beaches

Yes, most people don’t go to the beach every day. But, here’s the thing; in Pensacola, if you want to, you can easily boat, fish, swim, surf, and stroll the beach almost every day. Sure, it rains on and off, but it’s rare to see a day that doesn’t have a couple of hours of sunshine. Plus, the beaches are free, with free parking! (We even provide free bathroom facilities and showers!) All of this free beach access leads to some very laid-back vibes, and Pensacola feeds off of them. The attitude here is very chill, friendly, and low-stress – just as you’d imagine a good beach town to be.

CON: The Tourism Living in Pensacola

If you live and work in Pensacola in the tourism industry, tourists are your favorite people (at least when you’re collecting checks). If you live here and work in any other industry, or you’re retired, not so much. It’s not that tourists are bad people, but the crowds and traffic can get a little tiresome in the hot summer months.

Tourists create more traffic too and, unfortunately, can also generate more trash, which can be a little upsetting for many of us. Then again, they also create jobs for a lot of Pensacola’s residents and support many small businesses. So, yes, tourism is one of the cons on this list of pros and cons of living in Pensacola, Florida. Ironically, though, it may be a little of both.

PRO: Pensacola is Rated One of the Best Cities in Florida

Without tooting our own horn too much, we’re proud to say that Pensacola is a very highly rated city. On Niche.com, for example, they give us an A overall and describe Pensacola as “one of the best places to live in Florida.” As for the individual ranking of different city attributes and comforts, Pensacola gets the following scores:

  • Diversity= A
  • Nightlife= A
  • Outdoor Activities= A-
  • Health & Fitness= A-
  • Commute= A-
  • Good for Families= B+
  • Cost of Living= B+
  • Weather= B+
  • Housing= B-
  • Jobs= B-
  • Public Schools= B-
  • Crime & Safety= C
Living in Pensacola

That’s only 1 score out of 12 below a B-, and 5 above an A, which we hope you agree is fantastic. (We’re working on crime and safety, and it’s getting better.) In short, one of the biggest pros on this list of pros and cons of living in Pensacola is that our city is incredible!

CON: Crime and Safety Could Be Better Living in Pensacola

The good news about Pensacola crime is that it’s mostly non-violent property crime. We have about 10% more burglaries than the national average and almost 50% more theft, which is substantial. Vehicle theft, ironically, is below the national average by nearly 50%. As with all American cities, there are still some significant problems that need to be fixed. One thing we do know is that, in our suburbs, the safety level is much higher. While we work towards improving, it’s reassuring to know that Pensacola is still an excellent place to raise a family.

PRO: The Cost of Living in Pensacola Is Affordable

One massive pro on the list of the pros and cons of living in Pensacola, FL, is the cost of living. At 87.3/100, it’s almost 25 points less than the national average, which is very affordable. Now, truth be told, most of those savings come from the fact that housing costs are very low here. The remaining cost of living indices are all just below the national average except for utilities, which is slightly higher. But the main attraction is the median home cost here, which is a very low $145,000. That means, even after buying a home, you’ll have plenty of money for the rest of your bills. By the way, the median home price, overall, in Florida is $237,000. Pensacola beats that by $92,000!!

PRO: There’s No Income Tax Living in Pensacola

While we’re on the subject of the cost of living… This is a pro no matter where you live in Florida!. In the Sunshine State, there’s no state income tax whatsoever. Depending on your situation, that fact might save you quite a bit of money. At the very least, you’ll pay fewer taxes on your hard-earned retirement funds. Either way, it’s always nice to know that you’ve got one less tax to pay.

Living in Pensacola

CON: Summer Heat is Sweltering Living in Pensacola

Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. Not only is the sun out a lot, but it’s also much more potent than ‘up north’. During the hottest summer months, including June, July, and August, the heat can be overwhelming for some. Most people compensate by going out early in the morning or early in the evening to do chores. That way, the temperature has the opportunity to cool down. For some, though, it means being more or less trapped inside for a couple of months. 

And those, ladies and gentlemen, are the biggest pros and cons of living in Pensacola, FL. We’re Southern Storage, the self-storage experts here in the Florida panhandle. If you need a storage unit in Pensacola when you arrive, ours are clean, secure, and safe. Have questions? Chat online with one of our friendly managers whenever you like! Until then, best of luck in your new Pensacola home! We hope you enjoy the laid-back lifestyle here as much as we do!

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