St. Petersburg, Florida

Easy Being Green

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in St. Petersburg

Any regrets moving to st Pete?

Finally moved out in after nearly 10 years of living here. St. Pete is what it is.

Pros:

Nice weather year-round

Pretty cheap place to just show up without a job lined up - I did it, would not recommend it at all, but it is possible

New and interesting developments popping up here and there

Downtown St. Pete is fun…for a bit

You also have access to Tampa, so it's almost like you get two cities for the price of one

Pretty great local arts/music scene

Lots of local breweries

Small town/community vibe

"Old Florida" style neighborhoods like Kenwood, Old Northeast, and others are absolutely beautiful

Below the radar - St. Pete has changed quite a bit since I first started living here, but it still seems like it's below the radar in terms of being a place that people are rushing to move to all across the country.

Cons:

Hurricane season - yes, that speaks for Florida in general, but I feel like Tampa Bay's number is eventually going to come up for a bad hurricane. It's not a matter of "if" but rather just "when" and seeing how densely populated this area is, it's going to be a shit-show

Crackheads everywhere - I feel awful saying this because I genuinely feel bad for these people, but if you're planning on living in St. Pete, be prepared to see junkies and panhandlers as part of the local scenery. It eats away at you for a while and it's flat out depressing.

Low pay and high rent - There really isn't any "industry" here besides tourism and hospitality. If you do find a company, chances are it's going to pay lower than the national average. Then, you've got giant yuppie hives popping up here and there raising the cost of living. That's not a good combination.

How different is St Pete area from South Florida? Thinking about making a move.

SoFlo transplant here. I think it depends where you’re from in south Florida, honestly, but I like st pete a lot more. The amount of money I’d need to be paid to move back south would be ludicrous.

The RE market is currently insane. Not just St. Pete, but Tampa Bay in general. We could use a better highway structure to help getting around town, but overall the congestion is nothing like south Florida.

I’ve managed to make friends here (primarily through work) and I think a lot of people here in the area are transplants too. Somehow a lot of my friends are from the Midwest so they’re all pretty nice people. Honestly, this is the first place I lived where people waved to me, it took me a bit to get used to it.

General cost of living is lower. Rent is still expensive IMO compared to areas like Orlando but if you’re willing to be flexible on where you are in st pete /Tampa you can find deals.

I think there’s more petty crime here (bikes stolen, unlocked cars getting broken into, etc) than south Florida, but I also lived in a nice area of Broward so it’s subjective. I’ve never felt unsafe here, even at night. Just like anywhere else, you learn what areas to avoid.

The biggest difference to me about st pete compared to south Florida is that with the exception of old NE, south Florida’s nicer neighborhoods are manicured much better. A lot of St pete kind of looks like old Miramar (think just south of Perry airport). Homes are built in the 50s and there are little pocket neighborhoods; I think it’s part of the charm, but it’s not as aesthetically beautiful (not as many palm trees everywhere). Oh, and places aren’t open as late. There are places in soflo where you can drink till like 5am, I haven’t found that here, though honestly I never looked that late.

How different is St Pete area from South Florida? Thinking about making a move.

Real estate market - great. I’ve always rented for very reasonable prices (currently $1325 between myself and a partner, we live right off the main street here and are 7 mins from downtown, 1200 sqft condo). I’ve never bought, but I have friends who got their first home this past year and both are in good neighborhoods with decent prices & mortgages for their homes.

Job market is okay. Honestly, Tampa has more opportunities for corporate jobs, and it’s only a 25-45 minute drive over the bridge. Finding a good job in St. Pete is absolutely do-able, but may take you 8 weeks versus 4 in Tampa’s market (But I promise, you want to live in St. Pete).

Only “dangerous” neighborhoods would be sprinkled in “Southside” St. Pete, from like 9th Ave S to around the skyway. It’s mostly low income POC families, & even pretty checkerboard over there (for instance, everything to the left of 4th street is “Old Southeast”, nicer homes and lower crime - whereas everything to the right of 4th can be a little sketchy). I lived in that area in college and while yes, I couldn’t walk around at night and saw many drug deals in the alley next to me, I still never felt unsafe. And I paid $325 in rent when I shared a 3/1, 1300 sqft with two other people… can’t beat that.

Super easy to make friends!!! This city is incredibly friendly :) you can go just about anywhere and strike up a conversation with someone. Very big art & LGBTQ scene as well.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions dm me.

How different is St Pete area from South Florida? Thinking about making a move.

This area is booming. IMO a great place for a realtor but as almost every where we have plenty of those. Downtown St Pete is awesome, arts, food, hip, established, you name it and with the new pier (not fishing but entertainment) always something to do. The homes aren’t cheap anymore but nothing I’m sure you haven’t already dealt with or researched. You have cool cities in Tampa/StPete/Sarasota all close and offering anything you could want. I think anyone could find it a great place to live. St Pete is not glam like South Beach though, unless you wanna grab one of the downtown st pete condos for a few mill :)

St Petersburg Florida Pros & Cons 2022