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Renter's Guide to Tampa
Tampa FL is a large natural harbor that is also one of America’s most picturesque, vibrant cities. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s West Coast, Tampa connects with numerous waterways including Hillsborough Bay, McKay Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay. The Hillsborough River runs prominently through the city where the new Riverwalk perfectly captures the skyscraper skyline that adds to Tampa’s mesmerizing allure.
The word Tampa translates to “sticks of fire” in Calusa, a Native American dialect. Tampa is known for its colorful history and Riverwalk that bring the international community together. Bayshore Boulevard is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world.
Tampa’s history is marked by its seascape, busy harbor, and the rail service that originally connected Midwest manufacturers to import and export markets, like Cuba, and brought seasonal travelers to Florida’s popular West Coast. Millennials thrive in Tampa where the average age is 35+.
Tampa is 84 miles away from Orlando, 280 miles away from Miami, 60 miles away from Sarasota, and 1,112 miles from Dallas TX. The bustling and impressive Tampa International Airport was rated the 2th best airport in the US in 2014 by Conde Nast. Many major US and international cities now fly direct to TPA.
Winter temperatures in Tampa Bay average 70+ with summer temperatures in the mid 80’s. Precipitation is highest in August (7.5”) and lowest in November (1.62”).
Cost of Living in Tampa, FL
Consumer prices in Tampa, including rent, are 1.86% lower than in Dallas TX. The cost of living in Tampa is about 9.6% less than the average in other US metropolitan cities.
One-way bus fare costs $2.50 but seniors capture significant discounts as do residents who purchase monthly passes ($80.00). Tampa enacted free trolley car service in 2016 to help reduce traffic and parking.
Tampa is committed to a fine dining culture. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs a very affordable $45.00. At an inexpensive restaurant, a single fare dinner averages about $12.00. Cappuccino costs about $3.95.
Basic utility costs including electric, heat, water, and trash removal average about $141.25 per month for a 915 sq. ft. rental. Internet service runs about $46.21 per month.
Average Rent in Tampa, FL
- Tampa, FL Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,345 /mo
Tampa, FL Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0009%
Tampa, FL Rent Trends
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Average rent is projected to grow by 3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Tampa
NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, MLB Tampa Bay Rays, and NY Yankee spring training headline support an avid fan base. Professional soccer and Arena Football enjoy local support. Amalie Arena and Raymond James Stadium are terrific venues. On the college scene, USF and Tampa University have enthusiastic supporters and great facilities. The Hillsborough River is busy with skulls and other boating activities.
Tampa is a festival-happy, beautiful and clean city where sports, music, art and stage and screen come together seamlessly. Tampa General Hospital is one of the leading transplant centers in the country and the largest of several recognized healthcare institutions. The strengthening economy, technology, culture, and outstanding weather are valid reasons to live in Tampa, one of the top ten US cities for millennials.
But there are a few drawbacks as well. Tampa is growing rapidly and traffic and parking present occasional challenges. Tampa water taxis have become extremely popular solutions. Some areas report incidents of violent crime but overall the city is safe.
Things to do in Tampa
Tampa’s cultural scene is extremely diverse with plenty of museums, science fairs, and music venues to satisfy any arts enthusiast’s appetite! Come on out and catch a concert at Amalie Arena, or the USF Sun Dome or attend an event at the Tampa Convention Center.
The passionate sports culture makes Tampa one of America’s most active cities. Famous rhythm and blues singer and pianist Ray Charles began his career playing dance-hall gigs in Tampa. The movie industry loves picturesque TPA!
The Riverwalk is a great place to start exploring Tampa. With so many attractions within easy reach, including Channelside, Harbor Island, Davis Island and Downtown Tampa, one never seems far from an entertaining destination. Interactive children’s museums, the electrifying Florida Aquarium, the spectacular Straz Theater and so much more thrive here. The Davis Island Yacht Club and Tampa Yacht Club have strong sailing cultures. The Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens have thrills and chills for all. Meanwhile, Rock the Park is one of many free activities along Riverwalk.
Looking for a nice restaurant to wow your significant other on your anniversary? Check out Osteria Natalina in South Tampa. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants in Tampa. If you’re into Caribbean cuisine, Bahama Breeze Island Grille serves some awesome conch fritters, tacos, lobster and shrimp quesadilla, and more!
The annual two-week Gasparilla Pirate Invasion is Tampa’s proudest celebration featuring 2 parades, thousands of boats and a restored pirate ship. Travelers come from everywhere to celebrate this costume-carnival-like land and sea event. Tampa hosts the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, Plant City’s Winter Strawberry Festival, and many other annual events like the Gasparilla Art Festival and Gasparilla Music Festival.
With breeding populations of between 35,000 – 45,000 nesting pairs, Tampa is recognized as a leading birding site. All these attractions make Tampa a tourist haven and the leading cultural center on Florida’s west coast.
Parque Amigos de Jose Marti in Ybor City, once the cigar capital of the world and home to 12,000 cigar makers, features a statue of Cuba’s Jose Marti and is actually owned by Cuba. Ballast Point Park offers boat launches and playgrounds while inland Al Lopez Park, near Raymond James Stadium, features ballparks, jogging, biking and walking trails as well as picnic tables. Tampa also hosts a dozen state parks and historic sites. The Riverwalk is complimented by several other parks and popular Davis Island in trendy South Tampa has one of the finest Little League facilities in the nation.
From bargains to upscale shopping, Tampa has it all! Tree-lined Hype Park and Tampa’s WestShore attract shoppers from inside and outside Florida. The International Mall provides shoppers distinctive retail opportunities. As a tourist paradise, Tampa features busy dynamic inland and waterside hotels. Downtown Tampa’s boutiques can be accessed from the ever-vibrant Riverwalk.
Tampa Employment & Economy
The Fortune 1000 is well represented in TPA. In addition to numerous healthcare providers, MacDill Air Force Base, TECO Energy, and Raymond James Financial are major employers in the area. With average commute times of 22.43 minutes, employees have fluid access to their jobs.
The local economy continues to benefit from ongoing construction of new skyscrapers for residential and commercial occupants. As a leader in financial research and information services and with a recent burst of technology startups, Tampa is well-positioned for more employment and economic growth.
Education in Tampa
The University of Tampa, University of South Florida (USF) and Hillsborough Community College make Tampa a prominent college town. The Hillsborough County School District, 8th largest in the country, offers 208 nationally acclaimed elementary and secondary schools and Tampa boasts several highly regarded private schools.
Tips for Renting in Tampa
Tenants can find seasonal, monthly, and weekly rentals in Tampa FL. Regardless of the term of the rental agreement, Tampa Florida tenants are protected by the Florida Residential Landlord Act. This Act takes precedence over language in the lease.
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