What Are The Pros And Cons Living In Sarasota Florida?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Florida is a state that’s both popular as a tourist location and a place to retire. It’s easy to see why. There’s good food, entertainment venues, cool sights to see, and affordable pricing. That’s why Sarasota is becoming increasingly popular too—it’s a slice of classic Florida. But that doesn’t mean that you should immediately move there. Like any other city, it’s a good idea to look at both the perks and pitfalls of this city before you move in.

Sarasota offers warm weather, high-quality healthcare, tons of attractions, and a surprisingly affordable cost of living. Oh, and it also has great schools. However, the risk of hurricanes and the terrible traffic during the summer seasons would be enough to make many people rethink their love of this city.

For the most part, Sarasota is hard to hate on. It’s considered to be one of the best places to live in Florida. The cost of living in Florida is low and that makes it a great place to live and retire. But, what should you prepare yourself for if you want to move to this hot city?

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What Are The Pros Of Living In Sarasota, FL?

The most recent real estate surveys show that Sarasota’s offerings are in high demand. It’s easy to see why, too. These perks below are some of the most popular reasons why people love Sarasota.

Great Weather

Sarasota is no different from the rest of the state when it comes to nice weather. The sunshine is alive and well here, year-round. Warm weather during the winter is one of the many reasons why people love to come here when seasons usually get frosty. Due to the excellent weather and swimming conditions, it’s always easy to go to the beach.

The sun and sand are enough to make most people feel super comfortable year-round. With that said, great weather can turn pretty hot during the summer. Expect to stock up on sunscreen.

High-Quality Healthcare

As one of the most popular places for people who want to keep their health intact to live, Sarasota has a lot of good features to discuss. This county has one of the highest hospital beds per 100,000 people rates in Florida, at 370. With that said, there are only 236 licensed doctors per 100,000 people in the county—less than what Florida has on average.

Though there aren’t as many doctors, the truth is that the doctors who are there are highly rated. The county also spends double the state’s average on healthcare per person.

Excellent Attractions

Did we mention that Sarasota is a tourist hotspot? It’s up there with Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. However, things are pretty relaxed here. The big attractions here are boating and beach-going, with a side of fishing on charters. Since beaching it up is a year-round thing here, it’s a good thing that it’s an ocean town.

With that said, there are also a fair amount of indoor attractions too. Ample shopping and fun food spots are found around every corner here. So, you’re never without stuff to do, even when it rains. If you are still feeling bored, then it’s good to know that Sarasota is also near other bigger towns. There are tons of additional cool things to do nearby.

Affordable Cost Of Living

With all the amazing things that Sarasota offers, one would be forgiven if they thought the prices to live here are sky-high. While there are some parts that are pretty high-priced, most of Sarasota has a rather affordable cost of living. According to Niche, the median home value in this area is $268,000. The cost of living in Sarasota, FL is affordable for most residents.

For the overall cost of living index, Sarasota clocks in at 102.7, which means that you’ll pay an average of 2.7 cents more per dollar for your day-to-day expenses. The most (relatively) expensive things on your menu will be food and housing. These both scored 106 and 114 respectively. Even so, it’s a cheap but beautiful place to live.

Great Schools

If we were to be honest, Florida is not exactly known for having good schools. However, Sarasota is one of the bigger exceptions to the rule. In fact, we will be honest here. Every single school that we researched in the Sarasota area had an A rating. This means that you literally can’t go wrong with the school systems that are in and around this area.

Since this area does have such excellent schools and after-school programs, Sarasota acts as a major college prep town. You can rest assured that your kids will have a great childhood in this area. A whopping 90 percent graduation rate is a sign of the quality of education you’ll get here.

What Are The Pitfalls Of Living In Sarasota, FL?

In a lot of ways, Sarasota has all the makings of a place where you can enjoy an idyllic life that is often assumed to be impossible to attain. With that said, it has its problems too. Here’s what you need to be aware of before you pack your bags and go.

Hurricane Season Risk

Though the weather that Sarasota has is generally awesome, there is something that you need to be aware of. Like most parts of Florida, Sarasota is in a place that is at risk for pretty brutal hurricanes. Hurricane season can easily take out power, harm homes, and if you’re stuck in the middle of the ocean, it could spell serious risk for you and your family.

Most parts of Sarasota are built with reinforcements that make them capable of withstanding high winds, which can be a huge blessing in rougher storms. Even with the reinforcements, you will still need to practice safety measures when you’re dealing with hurricanes on the horizon. Moreover, having some good flood insurance is vital here.

Tourist Troubles

Tourism is a double-edged sword here. On one hand, you will see a lot of tourists who are amazingly respectful. Tourism brings quite a bit of money, too. So, you have a fair number of people who don’t mind them. Unfortunately, not all tourists are going to be nice. Some are very rowdy, and at times, they can get destructive. This is particularly true in bars and restaurants throughout the area.

Even when you take away the issue of rude tourists, there are still bumps that you’ll have during tourist season. Most of the time, it’s in the form of traffic. Traffic ends up taking away a lot of free time. Most locals suggest that you tack on an additional 15 to 30 minutes of commute time during tourist season. If you ask me, that’s a bucket of big ol’ yikes.

Outpricing Potential

This is a grey area, and might not be entirely a bad thing. Sarasota’s good press is something that would make most people agree that it’s an enviable place to live. Closer to the shore portions of the city, the prices of homes have started to skyrocket. It’s not uncommon to see homes in this region top $1 million, which means that gentrification is happening. Big time.

Many locals are getting worried that they will eventually be priced out of their own homes. If you want to get a home, now would be the time. With that said, there is a concern for renters in the area, not to mention worry about property taxes.

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Related Questions

Is Sarasota more expensive than Miami Beach?

Both Sarasota and Miami Beach are known for being hot tourist locations, however, one is clearly more expensive than the other. Miami Beach is the more expensive of the two, dollar for dollar. According to the most recent statistics, Miami Beach is 22 percent more expensive than Sarasota when it comes to daily costs.If you lived on a $100,000 salary in Sarasota, you would have to earn $122,000 to get a similar quality of life. That’s a serious pay raise request, especially if you are a salaried employee in a chain.

How many billionaires live in Sarasota?

Believe it or not, Sarasota is a pretty popular place to live among the ultra-wealthy. According to the most recent stats, around 28 billionaires on property in or around the Sarasota region. This means that this city might be one of the best places to be if you want to hang out with the ultra-rich.It’s not quite certain where the billionaires in Sarasota live, or where they hang out. Since this is a fairly private clique of people, it’s best not to poke around them too much unless you’re invited. Sarasota currently has the second-highest rate of billionaire neighbors in the country.

Is Sarasota a good place to retire?

Absolutely. Sarasota is considered to be one of the best places in the country to retire, especially if you like the finer things in life. The upscale location, ample yacht clubs, and low crime rates make this place a perfect place for people who are looking to retire in a quiet community. With that said, it still is fairly youthful in its own rights. So if you’re young, don’t overlook Sarasota. There’s something for everyone here.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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