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Panama City, FL

Beautiful area, but economy and employment lacking - 10/17/2018
I've lived in the Springfield area for just about 4 years, I'm military so I move a lot. Panama City definitely has it's pros and cons.

Pros: The beaches. Some of the best beaches you'll ever see just 20 minutes away. The weather. Yes it gets into the mid 90s in the summer with 90% humidity, but I happen to like it hot. And plus the afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms in the summer are amazing. Winters can get pretty chilly too down into the 30s and a bit windy sometimes. Cost of living. Panama City has some very reasonable cost of living especially since Florida does not take income tax. However sales tax is between 6-7% depending what part of the county you're at.

Cons: Some of the most expensive car insurance you'll ever see. Florida is one of the the most expensive states to insure a car. Also, on that note, the overabundance of ignorant elderly drivers that will incite more road rage than you knew you had. I wish I was exaggerating. The housing market leaves a lot to be desired honestly. It's really hard to find a decent home in a halfway decent area for under say $120,000. Not to say there aren't cheap homes, but 9 times out of 10 they'll be from the '60s and dilapidated and weathered and the owner (or slumlord if you're renting) will be trying to get top dollar for a chicken coop. You will find a lot of that ESPECIALLY if you're looking to rent. This area is in DIRE need of better, newer housing. And the job market is a bit lacking as there are a lot of impoverished people here.

Bottom line. Panama City and really all of Bay County has some really, really nice areas that make you want to put down roots and maybe retire, but unfortunately there are a lot more impoverished areas than average at least compared to many other places I've lived. If you want to live in a nice part of town expect to pay over $150,000 for a house. I really wish a lot of the old parts of town could just be demolished so that new residents and businesses could move in and bring up the average employment state and overall mood of the town commensurate with it's potential.

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