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Pensacola Escambia County, Santa Rosa County
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:36 AM
 
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What are some of the nicer towns or areas in the rural inland parts of the FL Panhandle? Areas with lower crime? Farming areas?
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Alabama
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Crime is not a serious concern in the rural parts of the FL panhandle.

The biggest agricultural areas in terms of cash crops (cotton, peanuts, etc) are the northern halves of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the western panhandle, and Jackson and Holmes counties in the eastern panhandle. Vast swaths of the panhandle are dedicated to commercial pine tree farming.

Marianna, Chipley, Blountstown, Bristol, and DeFuniak Springs are all nice towns in their own way.

Quincy has an "old money" section with incredible turn of the century architecture, but the majority of the town is pretty run down.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:54 AM
 
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Thanks FSUMike. What about the area around Jay FL and areas immediately north of Milton and Pace? How would you compare the rural areas and inland small towns of the FL Panhandle to those of inland Baldwin Co AL? What are the affects of hurricanes inland? And are insurance rates significantly less?

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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A lot of those areas are typical lower income small towns with the usual issues you get with small town poverty. Mostly of the sort you can work around- opioid abuse, domestic violence, etc. Just keep an eye on the kids who often don't have a ton of recreational opportunities other than sneaking off to drink and smoke in the woods and know who your childrens' friends and parents are.

As Mike said, it's a lot of timber, cotton, and peanuts up here. If you're interested in timberland, there are probably still significant impacts from Hurricane Michael in the eastern panhandle and I would be concerned about tree health in that area even if the timber looks somewhat good now.

Chipley has some really nice older areas and Marianna, while not as nice, is big enough to have a good number of bigger small town amenities.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Thanks FSUMike. What about the area around Jay FL and areas immediately north of Milton and Pace? How would you compare the rural areas and inland small towns of the FL Panhandle to those of inland Baldwin Co AL? What are the affects of hurricanes inland? And are insurance rates significantly less?

Thanks!
Jay is very small. It has one blinking stop light. It's surrounded by farms and natural gas wells. They love their community and are very supportive of their school, but it's exclusive and parochial. Black people around here are taught to stay away from Jay - whether they would truly be in danger there is doubtful, but that's the reputation it has.

Immediately north of Milton/Pace is more wooded. It's a nice area. I've always thought the Allentown community was very idyllic - that's the area around Central High School.

The towns on the Alabama side (Robertsdale, Loxley, Elberta, etc) are nice. I would say the rural areas are more diverse. There are more rural Hispanics and blacks on the Alabama side, I believe; while the rural parts of FL are more exclusively white - especially in Santa Rosa county. Escambia county, FL does have some rural black communities. Also, Baldwin County has Fairhope which is a gem.

Property taxes are significantly cheaper on the AL side, but AL has a state income tax while FL doesn't. Having lived in both AL and FL, I have found the overall tax burden to be less in Alabama.

Hurricanes can definitely do damage inland. Trees get knocked over, roofs get blown off, etc. Insurance rates get cheaper north of I-10.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:46 AM
 
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Great info again thanks FSUMike.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:54 AM
 
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Also, how would you compare and contrast some of the panhandle towns and areas we are talking about to rural North FL areas like Live Oak and Suwanee River area?
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Alabama
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Also, how would you compare and contrast some of the panhandle towns and areas we are talking about to rural North FL areas like Live Oak and Suwanee River area?
You mentioned Live Oak which is probably my favorite small town in FL. It's more for sentimental reasons though than anything real objective.

I love the Suwannee River region - both the river and all the springs nearby.

High Springs is also a great little town. Palatka is nice but quite a bit bigger than LO and HS.

I don't care for Jasper as it's pretty run down.

The agriculture in NE Florida is much different from NW. NE Florida is more timber, plant nurseries, sod, and livestock. The soil isn't nearly as good and there are tons of lakes (mostly old sinkholes).
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Floribama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUMike View Post
Jay is very small. It has one blinking stop light. It's surrounded by farms and natural gas wells. They love their community and are very supportive of their school, but it's exclusive and parochial. Black people around here are taught to stay away from Jay - whether they would truly be in danger there is doubtful, but that's the reputation it has.

Immediately north of Milton/Pace is more wooded. It's a nice area. I've always thought the Allentown community was very idyllic - that's the area around Central High School.

The towns on the Alabama side (Robertsdale, Loxley, Elberta, etc) are nice. I would say the rural areas are more diverse. There are more rural Hispanics and blacks on the Alabama side, I believe; while the rural parts of FL are more exclusively white - especially in Santa Rosa county. Escambia county, FL does have some rural black communities. Also, Baldwin County has Fairhope which is a gem.

Property taxes are significantly cheaper on the AL side, but AL has a state income tax while FL doesn't. Having lived in both AL and FL, I have found the overall tax burden to be less in Alabama.

Hurricanes can definitely do damage inland. Trees get knocked over, roofs get blown off, etc. Insurance rates get cheaper north of I-10.
It's still a lot higher in FL, even north of I-10. I own property in McDavid and Walnut Hill, and the insurance is nearly double what I pay for similar property in Escambia County, AL.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:23 PM
 
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LILLIAN Alabama was where I was raised as a child until I was about 16 years old when my father passed away, you just go over the bridge and you’re in Pensacola Florida and don’t have to pay taxes for food as Alabama does. It’s beautiful not much crime at all affordable and the people Would be very welcoming as well. There’s a KOA in Lillian just passed the KOA I don’t remember the name of the area but it’s very peaceful and a great place for anyone to live.
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