Are you thinking about living in St. Petersburg, Florida, and you’re curious about what it costs? In this episode of Hounds, Hops, and Houses, I’m going to break down the cost of living in St. Petersburg. We’ll look at everything from the cost of housing to gas prices so you know exactly what to expect.
The Cost Of Housing
First, let’s talk about the obvious: the cost of housing. There are a few questions that come into play to answer this question. What kind of house do you need? Are you looking for a home or a condo? How big is your family? Do you want to live downtown or do you want to live a little bit more rural?
The price of housing in St. Pete varies wildly, but here’s some general information. The average home price in St. Pete is currently right around $275,000. That number can be very skewed, though, because there are a few neighborhoods that really bring up the price point in the area. This includes waterfront areas like Snell Island, Venetian Isle, and our historic neighborhoods like Old Northeast, Historic Kenwood, and Old Southeast. Averages are especially skewed downtown, where prices of condos can reach into the millions—depending on the view.
If you’re looking for a lower average price, the neighborhoods around those high-priced can be a great option. Those neighborhoods include North Kenwood, Weedon, Diston Heights, and even Jungle Terrace on the west coast. These neighborhoods have an average price of $200,000 to $225,000 and they’re still just miles from the beaches, downtown, and the PIR. It’s always a great option to live near the high-priced neighborhoods but not necessarily in them.
If you’re looking to rent in the area, prices per month can range from $700 on the very low end up to $2,000 and above on the higher end. About 50% of those rentals fall into a $1,000 to $1,500 range. Just like the cost of homeownership, rent prices in neighborhoods are going to vary wildly—especially in St. Pete’s downtown area. It’s very difficult to find anything for a family under $2,000 a month.
The next cost you’ll need to consider is property taxes. Property taxes, on average, are very affordable. Generally, you’re going to find that they’re right around 1% of the property’s value. Sometimes they can be higher, though it really depends on how long the house has been homesteaded. Some of the houses in St. Pete have been homesteaded for 60 years; those homeowners are only paying around $200 a year in property taxes.
If you were to move into one of these homes, that would adjust higher based on what you paid for the property. However, the homestead situation in Florida is great. Putting a homestead on a property only allows your property taxes to be adjusted at a max of 3% per year.
You can also move this from house to house. So if you buy one house in St. Pete that you’ve had homesteaded for five years, you can take that five-year benefit and move it to your new house. This can make living in Florida very affordable, especially in St Petersburg.
Income Tax And Getting Around
Now that you some insight into the housing costs of living in St. Petersburg, let’s take a look at income tax. Many of you probably already know this about Florida, but the income tax is a big, whopping 0%. That’s right; we don’t pay any income tax for the state of Florida. This is great because it allows more of your income to come into your pocket.
Gas prices here right now are ranging right around $2.75 a gallon. Unless you live downtown, you’re probably going to want to have a car. That being said, Uber and Lyft are very prominent here. It’s really easy to get one from St. Petersburg to the beaches or anywhere you want to go. Currently, a ride will cost you right around $10 to $25, depending on the time of day.
One of the other benefits of living near downtown St. Petersburg is that you can rent scooters and bikes to get around the area. These things are very convenient, and you can use an app on your phone to go ahead and rent them. They can get you from one side of the city to the next very, very quickly and easily.
Car Costs And Sales Tax
There are some additional transportation costs you might not expect when you move to Florida. Bringing your car into the state can get a little expensive the first time, as you’ve got to pay for new plates, new stickers, and more. This can range anywhere from $300 to $600, depending on your car. After that, though, our stickers range from around $30 to $40 for the year. This is awesome because it keeps your cost of living low regarding your car.
Another cost you should know about is our sales tax, which is pretty reasonable in St. Petersburg. Sales tax costs about 7%. Lastly, if you like baseball as much as I do—like Tampa Bay Rays games—they play just outside of downtown in Tropicana Field. You can get tickets during the season on Friday nights for $7.11. It’s an awesome deal to get you into the stadium to enjoy some live baseball.
Experience Florida Living
I hope this gave you some insight into some of the costs of living in St. Petersburg, Florida. We help people with their financing when they move around or relocate to the area, and we’d love to help you do the same. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Remember, it’s never too early to begin getting your financing in line.
Buying a home is exciting, but it’s also an investment. Part of that investment is getting a kick-butt mortgage in terms to maximize your return. And part of getting a kick-butt mortgage is knowing how the process works. Make sure you stop by and pick up a free copy of my book, The Kick-Butt Mortgage Guide, for an A to Z of obtaining a mortgage and deciding which one is right for you—regardless of what kind of property you’re purchasing. Remember, knowing your numbers is the most important part.
Don’t forget to also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Hounds, Hops, and Houses, my show all about real estate tips and Florida living. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!