The area is a popular location amongst expats, and relocating to Tampa Bay offers great opportunities. Tampa is located in the county of Hillsborough in Florida. It is 170.6 square miles (441.9 square kilometers) in size, is situated along the western coast of the state, and has a population of close to 353,000 people (2013 estimate).
The city is of great importance to the county, and is particularly well known for having one of the largest ports in the country. With a growing population, Tampa is becoming increasingly popular and downtown areas are amidst significant regeneration projects.
Tampa has a fairly mixed demography and although the primary language is English, a significant proportion of individuals living in the city speak Spanish, French, or Italian at home. There is also a strong LGBT presence in Tampa; the area is home to the gay cultural center that is known by the locals as the GaYbor District.
With an average annual temperature of 22.4°C (72.3°F), Tampa has a humid, subtropical climate. There is a possibility of rainfall all year round, and records show that it is usually raining for around 106 days of the year. Thunderstorms are common throughout the warm, humid summers, with temperatures reaching highs of 32.2°C (89.9°F).
There is an average of 246 sunny days in Tampa annually. Tampa does not usually get any snow; this is in great contrast to the nation’s 27 inches each year. The potential for rainfall in Tampa on the other hand is much higher than that of the rest of the country, recorded at an average of 47 inches per year, compared to 37 inches for the whole of the U.S.
The city is commonly divided into North, East, South, West, Downtown, and New Tampa, and there are a great number of neighborhoods for expatriates to choose from when moving to Tampa. The price of housing varies depending on the neighborhood that you are considering, and it is recommended that you contact a realtor to assist your housing hunt. There are a great number of apartments on offer, but townhouses and single family homes can also be found around the city and in the greater Tampa Bay area.
A handy place to start your search may be Realtor.com, a national website with a great number of listings in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Times is the city's main newspaper and offers a more regional focus with its lists of houses and apartments.
The popular property website Zillow.com states that house prices in Tampa are rising, with the average house sold at around 140,000 USD, and the average price to rent at around 1,195 USD. These figures are lower than the average prices for Florida as a whole. Both houses and apartments are offered on rental agreements, and there are many websites listing these properties that expats moving to Tampa can choose from.
Before moving to Tampa Bay, you will of course also have to take care of administrative matters, most importantly your visa for a stay in the US. In our dedicated articles on Visa & Administration in the USA, we have collected all you need to know about the different US visa categories, the application process, US customs regulations and more.