Before you let the magic of this sunny ocean town sweep you off your feet, you have to find a home for rent. It's Florida, so you are probably thinking condos, condos, and more condos for rent and sale. Wrong! Pace moves at its own, well, pace, and houses run the real estate show here (more than 86% of housing are single-unit homes). You still have more you need to know about the way housing works here.
You Don't Have to Get a House
You can still rent one or two bedroom apartments in Pace at communities like Magnolia Crossing Apartments. It's just that you have more options with houses. Apartments and condos account for barely 4% of housing here. Mobile homes are the second most common kind of housing, accounting for just under 9% of homes; Bayview Trailer Court, for instance, has a great location right on Escambia Bay. Anyway, nearly 20% of homes are renter-occupied, which is lower than Florida's average but still high enough that renting won't be a problem. The amount of time you need to land a home for rent depends on what you want. Winter is the best time to look, but there are enough openings throughout the year, so it doesn't matter too much when you search. Allot two weeks for houses and mobile homes, and three weeks or more for apartments and condos.
A Note about Disasters
Pace is in an ocean storm area, and you should consider buying hurricane insurance, especially if you get a place near the water. While it's quite unlikely you will ever need it, it could save you if a hurricane comes. If you live on the bay, some landlords may even request that you purchase it. Flooding can become an issue if you live in an older house, so be aware of that. Before you rent a place, ask for proof it is up to code for protection against hurricanes; if it's not, get insurance!
Completing the Rental Deal
Pace's population surge has created some competition for homes in ideal locations. If you really want a particular place, have all upfront expenses on-hand, like one month's rent and a security deposit, to prove to the landlord you are serious. If you want to show you are really serious, show your credit score, proof of income and residence history. This will make the landlord (you most likely will negotiate with an individual owner) prefer you over other potential tenants.
Your choice of neighborhood impacts everything from your view to whether or not you can walk to the grocery store. Think of this choice like fishing. Where you drop your line can make all the difference.
Woodbine: In the northwest part of town, this neighborhood is less densely populated, but features popular eateries like Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subs.
Spencer: This northeast neighborhood is close to Santa Rosa Commons and Patriot Park. Houses abound.
Central Pace: Pace Area Recreation Park, Chet's Seafood and close proximity to stores on Caroline Street highlight this area.
Floridatown: With Escambia Bay right there, this is the most desired spot to live. You can find apartments, condos, mobile homes and houses in this neighborhood.
Whether you are heading to Bass Hole Cove to fish or going for a meal somewhere on Caroline Street, driving is the preferred mode of transit. Walking and biking work within the city, but Pace is immersed in the lifestyle of the greater Pensacola-Milton area. Like every true Florida town, Pace loves swimming in pools and lounging on the beach. Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola is truly one of Florida's best places to beach bum, and folks from Pace definitely take advantage of all these beach spots. When within the boundaries of Pace, locals enjoy everything from bowling to massages. If you ever need to speed up your oceanfront lifestyle, you can; grab a cup of coffee at Coffee Break and head out on the high seas!