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Living in Pensacola questions

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1 Living in Pensacola questions on 9/15/2018, 8:52 am

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Hi, Lived in Pensacola area back in the early 2000's, I always loved it there. I had to leave the area to accept a job offer - Wanting to change things and have been considering a move back to the area... Researching online at housing made me wonder what has happened there... I was concerned over the housing prices being so low as they are almost identical to what was going on there in 2003???
So what happened?
What's it like to live there now?
Crime?
Any thoughts, advice and opinions are welcome.
Will be making a trip there this winter to look, but was curious.

2 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 9/15/2018, 10:48 am

The real estate prices were moving ahead nicely in thee early 2000s until 2007 when they collapsed in some cases fifty percent. Many developers had relied on the BRAC realignment of military bases where it was estimated that the Pensacola area over to Eglin could have 10k new contractors and military in the area. Also, the beach prices led to an overheated market which was over built and the result has been a decade of stagnant prices. Taxes are relatively low. Climate change has made the area much warmer in the winter as more and more snowbirds are finding the panhandle quite comfortable during the winter without the insane seasonal rentals in south florida.

There are real cultural differences from north Escambia and Santa Rosa and the southern parts of the county, and Pensacola downtown which is quite a pleasant surprise. The expected babyboom migration to Florida which was to begin five years ago has never really materialized at the levels people thought as folks are having a hard time selling their homes. Crime....it is everywhere, and when I lived in Garcon Point and Navarre, we did not notice the same, but if you read the papers it is everywhere. Get a video system as we have found folks do not really understand the idea of trespassing. They will hunt and fish your land and claim it is their "liberty" right to do the same. It is hard to find a good restaurant unless you go to Pensacola, and some of our worst experiences with restaurants have been in the panhandle. In the end there is a great deal of poverty, drug use and lack of education in a growing number of residents, so I would rent for six months before buying anything. A large number of retired military help offset the crazies as they are great neighbors and good people, but the poverty remains with little or no high paying manufacturing or service jobs.

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3 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 9/16/2018, 2:03 am

I strongly suggest you contact the Pensacola Association of Realtors for more accurate and valid information about the Pensacola area real estate market.

Here's their home page, and you can view recent Market Reports via the drop-down link at "About Us" (top of page):

http://www.pensacolarealtors.org/

If you haven't already, you might also want to search local news media, such as the Pensacola News Journal, for information like the following article I found on first pass, months old but interesting:

https://www.pnj.com/story/money/business/2018/01/10/pensacola-home-prices-expected-rise-5-6-percent-2018/1016716001/

I can also report first hand that prices for leasehold properties here on Pensacola Beach have been rapidly and substantially appreciating in the past couple of years, though thankfully not quite to the extent of what happened in the bubble years.   There's currently a slight slowdown in sales here, as can be expected this time of year, and following the national trend of slowdowns caused by shrinking inventory, higher prices, and a small bump-up in interest rates, with uncertainty as to near future further rate increases.  Still, our market overall remains very healthy, and we regularly receive solicitation mailings from realtors looking for more listings.

But again, don't listen to me or others here; consider talking to the professionals in the know.  They can also refer you to the proper authorities who maintain accurate crime stats for any particular area you're interested in, if they don't have those stats themselves.

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4 Thank you for the info on 9/16/2018, 7:49 am

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I really do appreciate all the information - I have spoken with several Realtors in the area and interestingly enough they are the reason I sought out more opinions here as their answers were not at all in agreement with each other. I do follow the area news online as well, but like news everywhere there's always a tendency to report twice as much about the bad stuff than the good stuff.

just trying to get a feel from the locals, who better than those who live it everyday? lol

again, thank you both for the input!


5 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 9/24/2018, 1:44 pm

The biggest reason is Ivan destroyed thousands of houses, but they built more than were destroyed. There are houses for sale just about anyplace you look.

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6 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 9/24/2018, 3:05 pm

That scenario (more houses built than destroyed) does not apply here on Pensacola Beach. There are a limited number of single family homes for sale, more condos, but my uneducated guess is many of them are for sale because the market has been so good and prices so high that people saw dollar signs in their dreams.

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7 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 9/24/2018, 3:27 pm

The prices on NB are not even near the pre Ivan prices. Some improvement in beach prices and mainland prices but the markets are over built on NB. The rent collections are down per unit which is a large factor in sale price. Now with the hotel skimming some of the short term revenue from the condos, it is even more competitive and keeping prices down. It was a no brainer twenty years ago to own on the beach, but on NB it is a battle unless you are independently wealthy and do not care about the sale of your real estate or cash flow.

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8 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 12/2/2018, 3:13 pm

2seaoat wrote:It is hard to find a good restaurant unless you go to Pensacola

Looks as if someone who could do something about that agreed with you, Sea:

Dewey Destin's seafood restauarant open for business in Navarre Beach

I do think both you and the Destin people ignore, however, that there are several excellent restaurants on Pensacola Beach.  Just saying!

This new place is located on the site of the old Cowboy's restaurant which I'm sure you'll recall, right on the Sound just east of the NB Causeway.   We ate at the old Cowboy's a couple of times and were sorry to see it destroyed in Ivan.  Nice to have something good there now -- though I don't love the ordering/eating plan they've outlined.

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9 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 12/3/2018, 4:59 am

My kids loved the old cowboys restaurant, but every restaurant in the new building has been a dog. Not much of a chance me traveling to check it out.

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10 Re: Living in Pensacola questions on 12/3/2018, 11:19 am

Really? You won't drive on down? Funny man.

Hard to tell from the article pics but I had the impression this was a new, freestanding building. Not that it truly matters -- it's either excellent food, or it isn't. What succeeds in Destin may not make it in Navarre in any event.

I'm hoping the writer's description of the ordering/seating arrangements is off somehow. Sure doesn't attract me.

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