You are headed to the Emerald Coast and you are curious about if you should rent or buy when you move here? Well, let us talk about it. What is going on, this is Andrew with the Emerald Group right
Top Pros and Cons on Living in the Fort Walton Beach Area from a Locals Perspective - 15 Year Local
Dated: February 19 2021
Welcome back to our Emerald Group blog. This week is going to be a bit different. Right above you will see our YouTube video of myself, Andrew Iremonger, discussing living here for the past 15 years! What better way to gain information than from an actual local, right?
We get so many calls, texts, emails, and we absolutely love it! Do not forget that if you are looking to move to the Fort Walton Beach area or any other surrounding areas, then give us a call!
Real quick, I have lived in about 20 different places due to the military life with my family and myself. I then stayed and settled right here in the Fort Walton Beach area! I love being in real estate and helping others find their dream home here. My first experience buying a home was not great! Therefore, I do things differently by having a buyer consult. Giving you everything you need to know and myself included.
Alright let me go over some of the pros and cons of living here in the Fort Walton Beach area straight from a 15-year local!
First up is a con and that con is Traffic! Yes, traffic can be bad here. We have all the military bases getting out at the same time. I know between 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm I will not leave my office. I will stay, work on something else or shoot a YouTube video. I rather wait and miss the standstill traffic that does happen. What area does not have some sort of traffic?
The first pro, there is always something to do. You can find something fun to do within a 30-minute to 45-minute drive. Hiking, kayaking, beach fun, breweries, and other fun activities. The beach is a huge plus! The gulf is absolutely breathtaking! Our soft white sand, emerald green waters, and a gorgeous view! Enjoy some fishing and relaxation on our beautiful beaches.
Second con, our Mexican food. Now I am used to a whole different type of Mexican food. Mexican food is my all-time favorite!!! Here we just do not have that same amazing Mexican food. Now, this has been a con for me. I do have some favorite places but when I go back to Texas, I get exactly what I crave in Mexican food!
Second pro, short wintertime. We do get cold weather, but it does not last as long. Now this year has just been quite different. It has been very cold. Our weather goes up and down. One day it is in the 30's and a few days later is in the 70's! Now, this does lead to a con for some people and that is the heat! It does get hot here. Now if you are working indoors not a huge deal. If you are working outside, then it can be an issue. Do not forget when you are off work, and it is hot outside. Head to the beach and cool down!
A huge pro for a lot of people here living or visiting is our seafood! We do get tons of amazing fresh seafood!!! You can just taste the freshness!!! Great restaurants here serving that amazing fresh seafood. Even local fish markets bringing in fresh seafood straight from the Gulf!
Now, this is a big con and that is job opportunities here. There is military, retail, food industry, and of course hotel industry. The job market here can be more difficult for some wanting to move out here.
Now here is a pro some of you are going to love and that is the lifestyle. Boating and fishing lifestyle. Whether you are boating in the Gulf, Bay, or a canal. Fishing whether you are deep sea fishing, fishing from a pier, or the beach. Even boat on out to Crab Island and have a ton of fun out there!
For some people, this could be a con and honestly, for me, it was at first. Then I started to see what it does for our economy here and that is the tourist! Yes, tourists come year-round but more so during the spring and summer months. Tourists do bring a lot of economies here to our cities. This area is a great place to visit! It does affect our traffic at certain times during the day. When you live here you just know it is coming.
Another great pro is that the proximity of your commute is great. Especially depending on where you decide to live to get to your everyday destination. Now, this can lead to a con and that is due to Highway 98! Highway 98 can be a traffic jam waiting to happen and accidents do happen often. It just depends on the time of day when people are getting off and when those tourist months hit.
My favorite pro here is the hidden gems! You never know what you are going to find. Whether it is an awesome local restaurant, hiking trails, fishing spots, unique stores, hidden neighborhoods, or even fun things to do. Always a hidden gem to find somewhere! I love coming across something new and fun!
Here is a pro and con combo and that is a small-town feel. Everywhere has that small-town feel. The tourist can play a huge factor and taking that away, but I do love having the small-town feel here. Having friends over or hanging out a local brewery.
I could have gone anywhere in the country after leaving the military. I am so happy I stayed here. I absolutely love it here and exploring more and more of what this place has to offer! I really hope you enjoyed this and hope this has helped you! Do not forget to reach out to us. Call, text, or email us because we have your back when it comes to moving to the emerald coast! I will talk to you next week, see ya!
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