Niceville Florida vs Fort Walton Beach Florida | Which City is better?

Dated: April 30 2021

Views: 172

You are considering moving to Niceville or Fort Walton Beach, Florida and you are trying to decide which town to make your new home. Well in this blog we are going to talk about the cost of living in both Fort Walton and Niceville and discuss housing prices when purchasing or renting, housing sizes, neighborhoods, the benefits or downfalls of each location, and overall quality of life.

What is going on, this is Andrew with the Emerald Group right here in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. If this is your first time on this blog and you want to know everything about Fort Walton and the surrounding areas, make sure to stay until the end!

Honestly, we get so many phone calls, emails, and texts every single day of people moving to Fort Walton and we absolutely love it! If you are thinking about moving or relocating, make sure you reach out to us, give us a call, send a text, shoot us an email, or throw us a paper plane with a note on it. However, you would like to get a hold of us, we have your back when moving to Niceville!

So we came up with the most important cost of living items to look at when you are relocating, so whether you plan to move here, just doing a little research, or you just got orders to move to one of our local bases, we have your back with everything you need to know. Let us jump right into a few costs of living differences between Fort Walton and Niceville.

Housing Prices

o Average home price in Niceville as of April 2021 YTD is $430,000 and the average home for this price range is roughly a 4 bed 2 bath home around 2200 sq feet. 

o In Fort Walton Beach where the average home price is $270,000 will get you a 3 bed 2 bath home around 1,500 sq feet. 

o In both locations you can find properties under $200,000 at the time of this shooting but there is generally only a small handful in that range and both areas can have properties well over $4.5 Million as well.

o This shows a clear difference in what you are getting for your dollar out there but it makes you wonder, why are the prices so different between the two, stick around we will get into that shortly.

o Now you may not be purchasing right away so let us look into rental numbers. 

o In Niceville the average rental price at the moment is $1,800 per month and should score you a 3 bed 2 bath home around 1,600 square feet. 

o In Fort Walton Beach the average rental price right now is $1,300 per month and should score you a 3 bed 2 bath around 1,300 square feet. Keep in mind that for the rentals this will include everything listed, so apartments and condos, and townhomes are included in that figure, so if you are looking for a single-family home primarily, you might have to raise the budget a bit higher than the average as well.

o Even though this shows a clear difference in pricing for rentals but before we look into the quality of life, let us look at the cost of living. 

Utilities, average overall

o As far as utilities and things covering the home, you are going to see a difference between a 1,500 sq foot home and a 2,200 sq foot property, I do not think the difference is going to be so dramatic as to change most people’s viewpoint on where to live. That being said, be sure to consider the fact that 700 sq feet do make some difference and the age of the property can add to your utilities if items have not been upgraded, such as windows, roof, insulation, etc.

o Just about everything else, as far as the cost of living is going to be fairly competitive between the two so I am not going to go into detail on those, if you’d like more concise numbers on those sorts of things likes gas prices, groceries, going out to eat, healthcare and so on, feel free to check out any of the cost of living video’s we have in the playlist we will link in the cards above. 


o This leads us to the most important portion of the video, where we discuss the benefits and downfalls of each location

o Your workplace is often the most important factor in deciding where to live in a city, and for those of you who will be relocating due to military orders and you find yourself at Eglin AFB, the most common cities to live in will be Niceville and Fort Walton Beach and Crestview. We are not chatting about Crestview in this video but will in the future. Both commute times are almost identical depending on where you are at in each city so that really is not a player.  

o Both cities are also very close to all the shopping and fun in Destin and along 30A and Miramar but this is where the cities start to differentiate themselves. Niceville has a small advantage here being that they have the bridge they can cross and be right in the heart of Destin fairly quickly, whereas if you were in Fort Walton, you would need to go through the traffic of Destin to get to the same spot. 

o When it comes to the beach, Niceville is not a coastal town so you have spots for access to the harbor but not an actual beach, in order to get to a beach from Niceville you will need to load up the car and drive about 20 to 30 minutes depending on where you are located in the city. 

o Fort Walton Beach is the winner for this as the beach is just moments away no matter where you live in the city. 

o So what exactly is it that makes Niceville so much more expensive to live in than Fort Walton Beach?

o Well, it is a combination of a few things. The most obvious reason is the schools. I have not gone to either school nor do I have kids in any of them either but the general consensus I get for the area is that Niceville has award-winning schools. Particularly their high school is always praised for having outstanding extracurricular activities for the students. Take all of this with a grain of salt though, and be sure to do your own research on schools to make sure the area offers what you are hoping for.

o The second main reason that it is pricier is due to the neighborhoods and zoning. Fort Walton has a little bit of a messy past with zoning issues and so you will see a lot of areas all over town where a 1950s style home will be right next to a brand new build which is right next to an apartment complex that is right by a storage facility. 

o In Niceville you are generally going to see more established neighborhoods with more steady style properties around you. This is not the case for the entire city but for a good portion. This area also boasts several large communities where the homes are a bit bigger and the lots are generally larger as well – all of which makes the prices that much higher. When comparing these two cities, it really is all about location. 

o When it comes to the overall proximity of things to do, both cities are going to have plenty of grocery options around town so you will not be more than about 10 minutes away from groceries and shopping in either place. 

Hopefully this blog helps make it just a bit clearer on which city might be right between Fort Walton and Niceville.

Do not forget that if you are wanting to move into the Niceville or Fort Walton Beach areas to give us a call, shoot a text, send an email or toss that paper airplane with a little note on it our way – however you would like to get a hold of us, we will be here. That is it for this blog, LET'S GO TO THE BEACH!

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