Renter's Guide to Pensacola
If you enjoy the beach and being near the water, you’ll love calling Pensacola, Florida your home. With over 50 miles of coastline, a vibrant downtown scene, and warm weather year-round, the city provides a perfect blend of sub-tropical life, culture, and diversity.
The city's a little over 40 square-miles, which is four times smaller than nearby Mobile, AL. Pensacola is about 48 miles from Destin, 450 miles from Orlando, and 675 miles from Miami. While other parts of Florida may seem rather far away, Pensacola is located on the western end of the Florida panhandle, just a few miles east of Alabama.
TripAdvisor's 2015 Traveler’s Choice Award listed Pensacola Beach as one of the top 5 beaches in the United States. Then there's the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which USA Today listed as the best beach in the state.
But Pensacola isn't just beaches. The American Planning Association listed Palofox Street, in downtown Pensacola, as one of the top 10 Great Streets in America.
The city's weather can get awfully hot and steamy in the summertime, with high humidity and temperatures highs in the low 90s. Winters are short and mild, with lows in the mid 40s. Pensacola receives around 65 inches of rainfall annually.
Pensacola, FL Demographics
- Total Population52,752
Female 25,443Male 27,309
- Median Age40.3
Cost of Living in Pensacola, FL
Basic utility services for a 915 square-foot apartment in Pensacola cost around $215/month, which is a little higher than in Panama City.
Bus service in the city is provided by Escambia County Area Transit, with 30-day passes starting at $47. Ride sharing is also available via Uber, as well as 24-hour taxi options, like Yellow Cab.
For commuters, Pensacola is great! According to Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, the city has the easiest commute in the country.
Average Rent in Pensacola, FL
- Pensacola, FL Average Rental Price, April 2018$853/mo
- 1 Bedroom$775
- 2 Bedrooms$876
Pensacola, FL Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
Pensacola, FL Rent Trends
|All rentals||Studio||1 Bed||2 Beds||3 Beds|
|Apr / 2018||$853||$760||$775||$876|
|May / 2017||$844||$747||$772||$859|
|Jan / 2017||$826||$766||$760||$842|
|Sept / 2016||$827||$732||$752||$849|
|May / 2016||$821||$715||$748||$837|
|Jan / 2016||$797||$696||$732||$815|
|Sept / 2015||$794||$696||$732||$810|
Living in Pensacola, FL
Pensacola offers that amazing combination of laidback beaches – which are considered some of the best in the US – and a thriving downtown and metropolitan area, complete with stores, restaurants, and parks. You'll never be short of beauty and culture when you call Pensacola your home.
The city's also known for its military heritage, which includes being home to the famous Blue Angels.
There are a few downsides to living here though. For instance, the heat and humidity can get pretty oppressive in the summer. And Pensacola is also fairly far from other major cities. Mobile is nearly an hour away and the state capital, Tallahassee, is almost 200 miles away.
Things to do in Pensacola
If you're looking for something to do, you may want to start with the city's parks, which are both plentiful and beautiful. In fact, you’ll have 93 to choose from.
Bayview Park is located right on the water and features a boat launch, picnic tables, playgrounds, and more. Then there's the Community Maritime Park, with a 5,000 capacity stadium that's home to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos – the AA baseball team associated with the Cincinnati Reds. There are also festival grounds, an amphitheater, and more.
The Maritime History Museum showcases over 150 restored aircraft, along with artifacts dating back at least 500 years. And don’t forget to check out the haunted lighthouse, which was even featured on the Travel Channel.
Downtown Pensacola's known for everything from gourmet food trucks to award-winning restaurants, as well as boutique stores and sightseeing tours.
The city hosts numerous annual events too, including the New Year’s Eve Pelican Drop, which attracts over 50,000 residents for a night of festivities. Winterfest turns downtown into a winter wonderland, and Mardi Gras is celebrated with one of the best parades you'll ever see.
If you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Pensacola, try the Pensacola Children’s Museum. It teaches young ones about local history with the help of all sorts of hands-on exhibits.
Other than the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, sports fans can check out the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Then there's college sports, courtesy of the NCAA Division II University of Western Florida Argonauts. And if you're a racing fan, you'll definitely enjoy the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.
Employment and Economy
Pensacola enjoys a lower unemployment rate than the rest of Florida. The main industries here are defense, healthcare, and tourism.
Of the top five employers in Pensacola, three are in the healthcare industry and two are in education. That's Baptist Health Care Corporation, Delta Health Group Inc., Sacred Heart Health System Inc., the Escambia School Board, and the University of West Florida.
Pensacola, FL Households
- Total Number of Households22,103
Family 11,784Non-family 10,319
Children 4,549No Children 17,554
- Average People Per Household2.36
- Median Household Income$45,527
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$847
Education in Pensacola
The University of West Florida is located on the third largest campus in the State University System and has a winning baseball and soccer program in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference. Pensacola State College is a community college that boasts over 120 majors and areas of concentration.
Pensacola, FL Education Statistics
- No High School2%
- Some High School32%
- Some College26%
- Associate Degree10%
- Bachelor Degree20%
- Graduate Degree11%
Tips for Renting in Pensacola
Pensacola – with its beautiful foliage and crisp green-blue bays and gulf – is practically paradise. But before you pack your bags, let’s take a moment to look at some of the rental laws.
Your landlord has the right to raise the rent as much as they'd like once your lease comes to an end. Neither Pensacola nor the rest of Florida have rent control laws.
If your unit is in need of repair, your landlord has 20 days to handle it. If they don't, you can withhold rent until the repairs are made. As soon as its taken care of though, you'll go back to paying your rent as normal – including the amount you withheld.
There can be certain exceptions for both tenants and landlords in the rental agreement, so make sure to read the whole thing before you sign.
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