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It is exciting to live somewhere only people of your age group reside and that makes moving to Sun City Center, Florida, a 55+ planned community just south of Tampa special.
Considered as one of the best places to retire in the US, Sun City Center has no gates and fences as it is completely safe under the direct observation of police through a robust volunteer neighborhood watch team.
But is everything perfect in Sun City Center? While you read this, I assume that you are seriously considering moving to Sun City Center and might be curious to know more about the place.
We have done a detailed analysis to find the pros and cons of living in Sun City Center, Florida.
Our findings will help you make a fair and final call about living in Sun City Center.
Read Our Florida Moving Guide before moving to Florida
Before we delve into the details, let’s see some quick facts about the place.
Sun City Center Facts
- Area: 16.61square miles
- Population: 30,952
- Density: 1,964.08/sq mi
- County: Hillsborough
- State: Florida
- Median income: $43,369
- Median age: 72.3
- Median home price: $243,700
As we’ve seen the basic facts, let’s see the major pros and cons of living in Sun City Center.
|Great winter weather||Chances of hurricanes are high|
|Designed for all needs||Lack of diversity|
|Great golfing options||Grandchildren cannot stay with you|
|Drive golf cart everywhere||Strict homeowner associations|
|Medical care is nearby||Dense population|
|It is a great location|
|There are plenty of activities|
|Amazing nature around|
|It is safer here|
|Low cost of living|
We will see the pros and cons of living in Sun City Center in detail.
The Pros of Living in Sun City Center
Great winter weather
One of the best things about Sun City Center is the climate. The city experiences annually 244 days of sunshine plus 54 inches of rain, which is twice the national average. The perfect combination of rain and sun keeps the area lush with green. The daytime temperature may exceed the 90s in summer but winters are warm with the temperature hanging around the 60s.
Designed for all needs
Specially designed keeping in mind the demands of residents, Sun City Center has all amenities inside, including health facilities, restaurants, shopping venues, churches, and a post office. This means you don’t need to step outside the town limit for anything.
Great golfing options
Florida is the golfing capital of the world and it is no surprise that every town in the state has amazing golfing opportunities. Sun City Center is no different. There are 11 golf courses within the SCC area and if you are ready to drive a little, another 38 courses are waiting for you within a 20-mile radius. While all the golf courses within the SCC area are private, about 26 courses outside the area are open to the public.
Drive golf cart everywhere
One of the biggest merits of living in Sun City Center is the facility to drive your golf cart anywhere within the premises. You can take them through roads and most stores have cart parking facilities. These golf carts are usually inexpensive to purchase and maintain. You don’t even have to pay Florida for registration on the cart.
Medical care is nearby
Sun City Center has every facility within its premises and this includes medical care. The South Bay Hospital inside SCC is good enough with a large group of doctors to handle almost every medical case including emergencies. Though it is not on the list of best-ranked hospitals in Florida, South Bay Hospital receives average reviews and caters to the medical needs of the residents. For specialty needs, there are several top-ranked hospitals in nearby Tampa Bay, including Tampa General, St. Joseph’s, and AdventHealth.
It’s a great location
The location is a big plus of Sun City Center. It is just 30 minutes southwest of Tampa Bay. This makes it convenient for residents to drive to Tampa Bay for all needed amenities, including big hospitals, airports, and entertainment. Even Disneyland is just 1.5 hours away from SSC. For beach lovers, Apollo Beach is just 15 minutes and Bradenton Beach is just 45 minutes away. Drive an hour and you will be even at Siesta Key.
There are plenty of activities
There’s no shortage of activities in Sun City Center. The town has every resource to keep its residents active and engaged. Fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, volleyball courts, parks, and billiards room make its community center one of the best in the state. The community center also supports 60+ clubs including fitness, arts and games, and more.
Amazing nature around
Sun City Center is drenched in scenic beauty and there are plenty of places to escape from the heavy traffic. The 2,400-acre Little Manatee River State Park is home to some of the most pristine swamp habitats in Florida. The park has over 18 miles of trails, a campground, and full amenities. At the southeast and east of SCC, the 1600-acre Bullfrog Creek Mitigation Park is another fabulous place to explore nature’s beauty.
It is safer here
While we discuss the pros and cons of living in Sun City Center, Florida, the low crime factor cannot be missed out. The crime rate is one of the lowest in Florida and Sun City Center is safer than 48% of US cities. The city reports 1.31 crimes per 1,000 residents and your chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 765, whereas it is 1 in 264 in Florida.
Low cost of living
While Sun City Center offers every facility to its residents, it may surprise you that the town is highly affordable for everyone. You can own a home or rent one in SCC at a lower budget than most places in Florida. Housing cost is 25% lower than the national average. Similarly, everything including transportation, groceries, and healthcare costs less in SCC.
Moving to Sun City Center is not all about positives. Every location has got its perfections and let us see some factors that the residents won’t enjoy in SCC.
The Cons of Living in Sun City Center
The chances of hurricanes are high
A big drawback of living in Sun City Center is the high hurricane risk. The city of Tampa Bay is one of the top cities with a high chance of a hurricane attack. The area has an 11% chance of being hit by a hurricane each year. Fortunately, Sun City is not directly on the water but 5 miles off the coast. This reduces the damage level but still, the impact may be felt.
Lack of diversity
Most of the population in Sun City Center – about 89% is White. As SSC being a retirement community, the median age is 75. This means, most people you will see will be elderly White folks moving in golf carts. The neighborhoods are diverse but due to strict regulations, children cannot move inside SCC.
Grandchildren cannot stay with you
If you love your grandchildren to be at home, think twice before moving to Sun City Center as the regulations do not permit grandchildren lower than 18 years inside. A major reason for this restriction is that children can be troublemakers and the senior residents in the neighborhood might find them disturbing. However, grandchildren above 18 are welcome here but cannot stay for more than 30 days a year.
Strict homeowner associations
You might be impressed while knowing that SCC has not just one homeowner association (HOA) but the 17-mile city is divided into 100 plus neighborhoods and OAs. This means there are 6 HOAs per square mile inside SCC.
To stay in SCC, you need to follow the rules by HOAs, some of which may seem a bit harsh. While in SCC, you’ll always feel that you are under continuous watch.
Once a calm and silent city, Sun City Center grew exponentially in the last decade and the population density is now 1,300 square miles. The density in SCC is 231% more than in Florida and as a result, it always seems crowded. While for most people, the population growth is a good sign as it has prompted the opening of more restaurants and shops, the drawback is that you always feel in the middle of the crowd. The traffic has become so terrifying that most senior people think two times or more to decide whether to go out.
Tip: While you move home, the safety of your household belongings will be the priority. A trustworthy moving company at your side can make you relaxed during the process. Here are the top-rated movers in Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the HOA fees in Sun City Center, Florida?
Homeowner Association fees inside Sun City Center are a modest $300 per year (just $25 per month).
Are Emergency Squad and Security Patrol part of the Sun City Center Community Association?
No. They are independent 501(c) (3) organizations that depend heavily on volunteers from Sun City Center.
Tips – Awesome checklist for a new home for you