The City of Milton has a lot to offer especially towards young families and retirees in Santa Rosa County especially when it comes to finding a home.
“The one thing that I noticed when I was going door to door was that there was a lot of young families,” said Milton Mayor Wesley Meiss. “If you are just starting out then this is a great place to be.”
In addition to having many municipal services, including utility services, Meiss said citizens also have local elected representatives in the Milton City Council to contact should a concern arise.
“You have council members in each ward and a mayor you could get in contact with,” Meiss said. “There is a lot of advantages as far as that is concerned. If you just live in the county, you just have one commissioner for that one area.”
Meiss also mentioned the affordable housing prices as another factor to living in Milton.
Local Realtor Nancy Brown said the average sales price for a single family residential home in the City of Milton is around $90,000 with the highest sales price being $193,000 (as of September 1, 2015).
Outside the city limits, cost might be a little higher in the 32570 zip code. Brown said the average price for a single family residential home is around $144,170 and the highest sales price being $325,189.
Milton’s Planning Director Randy Jorgenson agrees.
With new homes either being planned or currently under development in other parts of the county near Escambia, Jorgenson said affordable housing might be more difficult to find.
“We are not the bedroom community that other parts of Santa Rosa County are,” Jorgenson said. “The commute from (Milton) to Pensacola is 45 minutes, it’s not a hop, skip and a jump. If you live off of Chumuckla Highway or Willard Norris Road it’s 20 minutes,” Jorgenson said. “People are choosing to live here for other reasons and one of those reasons are the pricing points.”
With the growth in Pace and other surrounding areas, including Milton, Jorgenson said economic increase could lead to a burden on the taxpayers, in not only expanding roadways and utility services due to population growth but also accommodating the public school system with a growing student population.
“Growing can cause pain, if it is not managed well,” Jorgenson said. “Infrastructure is a tremendous cost.”
While Brown, who has worked in real estate in the Santa Rosa and Escambia County region for the past 13 years, agrees with Meiss and Jorgenson on the attractiveness of Milton to young families. The Milton High School graduate said retired military also want to live in Milton.
“Military is a big driving force behind sales transactions in Milton,” Brown said.
While city sees a lot of military families moving to the area, thanks to nearby military installations, Brown said many choose to return to Milton following their military service.
“They went through flight training years ago and then they want to come back and retire.”
In addition to the affordable housing prices, Brown said warmer weather and even the hospitality factor is part of bringing retired military personnel back to the region.
“The southern lifestyle is lost in other parts of the country and that lifestyle is attractive to people,” she said.