Reviewing PCB and surrounding Area
Truth be told, if you move here to actually live it would be best to secure a “Career Type” job in the vicinity prior to arriving. If you show up expecting to get a job as a professional you will be disappointed. However, if you show up with minimal expectations and willing to work in the retail or service industry you will find plenty of minimum wages to ten dollar an hour jobs with no benefits or medical. Turn over as expected in these type of jobs is pretty high, if you arrive with the right attitude and ability to stick to a minimum wage job in retail or service you could very likely find yourself being the manger within a year or two just because you are able to show up consistently on time and actually work.
If you have a family to support be prepared to pay high rent and have financial discipline or you and your family will be homeless in short order, there are no up-north rules about electricity , heat and water in this neck of the woods, your late on payments, you get cut off and kicked out quick.
If you are financially set and can afford a second home PCB is ideal. Lots of nice shopping close by, temperate winters (Oct-March) not very much traffic and clutter at that time. The closer it gets to spring break you will want to consider heading back north, the population triples if not quadruples, something like 1.5 million people descend upon the area, it gets crowded fast. If you plan on staying all year around, modify your daily routine to avoid the traffic and crowds during ‘Peak Season”
If you are planning on building a home from scratch or doing a remodel or simply adding anything to your home in the area I highly suggest bringing in a contractor and the specialty trades from outside the PCB, Panama City or Lynn Haven areas. You will get more bang for your buck and will have less chance of getting ripped off. Contractors of all types are notoriously bad and shifty in the PCB, Panama City and Lynn haven areas. I suggest getting contractors from Dothan, AL or from any place other then the local area. Take my advice on this. If you still decide to use a “Local” contractor or specialty trade make sure you do your homework, ask for a copy of their business license, contractors’ license, have them issue you a certificate of Insurance (COI) for the project and most definitely write your own contracts with terms, timeline, COI requirements etc… spelled out… and plan on basically being the GC for the entire project regardless of if you hired a GC or not. You have been warned.
Florida in general is not ranked very high in education and the PCB area is no exception, however there are very good adult education programs locally as well as the community college, there is also a Maritime School and several other trade schools.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur you could feasibly make a killing during “Peak Season” I would suggest visiting the area, learning the rhythm of “Peak Season” and the existing tsunami of vendors during that time, come up with something inventive, self contained (you don’t want to pay local retail space rent) and give it a try, if nothing else you will meet a lot of people during “Peak Season” and have many good adventure stories for sure, if you break even or make a few buck profit doing it you win all around.
So long review short. PCB and the surrounding area is pretty good if you do not have to live here all the time, have upper middle class or higher financial stability, do not have to depend on working in the area to pay the bills and support a family.
Nazz | Panama City Beach, FL