The city of Naples makes it possible to enjoy all of the benefits of living in Florida without being stuck with the millions of people in the Miami metro area. Its location on the western shore is the home to about 20,000 people, while the entire metro area has about 322,000 people. It consistently ranks as a community as one of the wealthiest in the country, often in the top 10 cities in the United States for per capita income.
Naples also has the second-highest proportion of millionaires per capita to the population in the country.
The economy of the city is primarily based on tourism, although historically it was an agricultural community that began to thrive with real estate development. Because the community is in close proximity to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, it tends to be a popular eco-tourism destination all year.
If you are thinking about making a move soon, then these are the pros and cons of living in Naples, Florida, that you may wish to consider.
List of the Pros of Living in Naples
1. The job market is thriving in Naples.
Forbes ranked the Naples region as one of the best cities for job growth in the United States. You will discover that there is a wonderful combination of beaches, warm weather, and entrepreneurial activities awaiting your arrival. If you like to work in a way that combines nature, art, and good food, then you are going to find some excellent opportunities to further your career.
Because of the wealth that is in the area, you will find more opportunities in nonprofit organizations than in the average American city. Several significant private employers are also present, including a Fortune 1000 company.
2. You are going to love the weather in Naples each year.
Naples might be further south than most cities in the United States, but the temperatures are closer to continental conditions than something tropical. The average high temperature during the summer reaches 93°F, but the winter months are temperate with temps consistently in the 70s. The record high temperature as of 2017 was 99°F for the city. This combination of factors means that you will receive over 2,700 sunshine hours each year, making it one of the best cities in the state and country for that ranking as well.
3. There are still affordable places to live if you choose Naples.
The Golden Gate Estates neighborhood is an inviting place to live if you are trying to move to Naples on a budget. You can find acreage with a home large enough for everyone in the $250,000 range without much difficulty. If you were trying to find a spot on Pelican Bay for that price, then you wouldn’t even find a one-bedroom condominium on the market. That means you’ll need to add a few minutes to your commute each day, but this advantage will get you into a home that’s a lot more affordable than you realize.
4. Real estate opportunities are communal by design.
Naples has more than 100 different communities from which to choose if you want to start living here. Each one offers its own unique take on what it means to live in Florida. That means your final choice comes down to what your personal preferences are, and what you can ultimately afford. There are usually some HOA requirements that you’ll need to meet, and some of them can be restrictive. Make sure that you review all of the paperwork that comes with your property to ensure that you’re not getting stuck in something that will be inconvenient.
5. Naples provides an excellent golfing atmosphere.
One of the advantages that residents love about Naples is that several golf courses are available to use throughout the year. Many of them are self-contained businesses within a community so that you can live where you play. You can choose from equity or bundled packages based on the cost you prefer to pay. Some memberships can cost you well over $200,000 with annual dues and cart fees not included, which is why the cost gets bundled into the mortgage for some homeowners.
Equity memberships have fewer members, which means it is easier to get the tee time you want. It’s also a simpler process to sell your membership since the community and club are separate entities. You’ll find 78 active golf courses in Collier County right now.
6. Many of the neighborhoods and communities in Naples provide gated security.
Security is a significant concern for the people in Naples because of the higher levels of net worth that exist in the city. That’s why you’ll find most of the homes in the region offer gated protection and private employees. This advantage does more than prevent robbery attempts. You’ll see fewer salespeople and solicitors in these areas trying to make a quick buck. Traffic in the neighborhood is typically light, and strict building codes or HOA rules keep property values consistent.
You’ll need to pay HOA fees and usually a higher price for your home, but most people feel that the benefits outweigh the costs with this advantage.
7. You can enjoy a resort-style atmosphere when living in Naples.
Naples doesn’t have the massive, all-inclusive resort atmosphere communities that you can find on the other coast of Florida, but there are a few neighborhoods that come fairly close to that experience. Many of the opportunities that you’ll find in Naples are designed to provide you with a second home opportunity so that you can enjoy the warmer seasonal weather. Several activities and amenities are available so that neighbors can get to know each other. Many of them are centered around golf, but you can find everything from bowling trips to amusement park excursions on the list.
Communities like Village Walk, Verona Walk, and others designed by Divosta provide community pools, fitness centers, and even dedicated post offices.
8. It could be the perfect place to retire.
Women make up more than half of the population in Naples, up to 3% higher than the national population in some years. Seniors and retirees make up over 48% of the population base, which is considerably higher than the U.S. median of 13%. You’ll discover that many of the neighborhoods are more like retirement communities in the way that they approach life. If you’re ready to step away from your career and discover something grand, then Naples could be the perfect place to be.
It might be a different story if you are a young professional looking for an affordable place to raise a family.
9. Celebrity sightings are possible when you live in Naples.
Several celebrities have a first or second home in the city of Naples. Some of them might even be in the neighborhood where you want to purchase a home. These communities often throw barbecues or host gatherings where you can network, so people have run into Larry Bird, Buzz Aldrin, and Bob Seger over the years. Several golf professionals live here as well, so you might get a chance to chat with one of your favorite athletes on the PGA Tour.
10. You get to experience the primeval joy of swamp buggy racing.
Ed Frank is a famous guy in Naples because he figured out how to navigate the swamps in the region. He threw on some old aircraft tires to a what is basically a go-kart frame, and that gave life to the swamp buggy. It began as a way for hunters and law enforcement to drive through rough terrain, but it soon became an opportunity to do some racing. Three events happen annually, and there’s plenty of local beer for you to enjoy.
11. You won’t find a better sunset than Naples offers.
Miles of sandy beaches are awaiting your arrival in Naples. Since you’ll be facing the Gulf of Mexico, that also means stunning sunsets are a common sight here. Although the rain can dampen this benefit during the summer months, you’ll find that a quick walk along the shore with an evening breeze is a perfect experience.
12. The crime rate in Naples is very low.
The overall crime rate in Naples is 37% below the national average. If you’re concerned about violent crime, then the city’s statistics are 75% below Florida’s average in that category. It’s even 30% lower than the state average for property crime despite the high value of property in the area.
If you’re looking for a safe place to live in Florida, then Naples is a choice to consider. It ranks safer than 80% of the cities in the state and 65% of those in the United States.
List of the Cons of Living in Naples
1. If it isn’t sunny in Naples, then you can expect some heavy rain.
The summer season in Naples is also the rainy season for the region. The months of June, July, August, and September provide over 8 inches of rain on average. You’re only going to receive about 2-3 inches of precipitation per month outside of that time. Although the weather patterns are warm enough for you to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year, the hottest time tends to be the wettest one, which means you might spend a little less time cooling off on the local waves.
2. Traffic can still be problematic if you commute into the city.
If you like the idea of having a relaxed commute each morning, then living in Naples can be a problem if you live outside of the city. You’ll find yourself needing an extra 30 minutes to navigate along Golden Gate or Immokalee each day. Even when it isn’t rush hour, you will be needing an extra 15-20 minutes to run your errands. That means you need to add some extra structure to your schedule to ensure that you can always make it to where you need to be on time.
3. Warmer weather means the insects are larger in Naples.
If you like wildlife, then Naples will bring you to a habitat that loves spiders, frogs, lizards, and snakes. Because you are in close proximity to the Everglades and the coast, you’ll find the occasional alligator lounging around in places. There are occasional panther and bear sightings in the region, although they’re relatively rare. You may have heard about the need to have python hunters in the region because people are letting their pets loose.
The main issue that most people complain about is mosquitoes. It rarely gets cold enough in the winter to get rid of them entirely, so you need to be proactive about wearing repellent and protective clothing during the hours of dawn and dusk. With Zika and West Nile continuing to be problematic, this disadvantage is one to review.
4. You could be paying thousands of dollars each year in HOA fees.
The communities in Naples change their HOA fees frequently based on quarterly needs. That means this disadvantage can sometimes change for some homeowners. Several neighborhoods are also= quite affordable, with Alden Pines requiring only $30 per year. You could also find yourself in Altaira, which requires $2,309 per year and maintenance fees of $4,212 each quarter.
Several HOAs in the area charge over $4,000 per year in HOA fees. You generally receive more protected value in those neighborhoods, but it is essential to review the paperwork so that you’re not stuck with a $20,000 annual surprise.
5. Per capita spending in Naples is double the median income of the United States.
Everyone goes shopping to grab some groceries or pick up needed items. When you start living in Naples, you will quickly discover that many people are unafraid to drop large sums of cash on items. The per-capita spending in the city topped $115,000 – and that was in 2012. The average family in the United States only spends $13,000 per year. This issue might not be a disadvantage if you’re in that 7-figure income club, but it could be a disadvantage for the 40% of American households that don’t even have $1,000 in the bank right now.
6. You are going to need to learn how to like tourists in Naples.
Florida is a popular destination for tourists all year long. You’ll find that people are naturally attracted to Naples because of its sunshine and beaches. Although these folks bring a lot of money to help the local economy, you will also need to avoid them on their Segways when walking along a sidewalk. Some of the traffic issues you’ll experience in the city are directly due to this issue.
Although some local residents suggest that the bigger disadvantage of having tourists in Naples is that you see lots of people wearing socks with their sandals.
7. There aren’t many opportunities for kids in Naples.
Only 10% of the residents in Naples are under the age of 18, which places the city at less than half of the national average. You’ll have the McDonald’s Playland and some of the other typical parks and playgrounds for them to enjoy, but there isn’t a whole lot for families to do in the city. When you search for the best things to do in the city, the only options that aren’t a beach or park are the local library or the Golisano Children’s Museum.
Some people love this fact because it means there are fewer screaming toddlers at the grocery store. It also means that the economy is geared more toward retirees, so working families may struggle to find a foothold.
8. Housing costs are going to set you back a massive amount.
The median value of owner-occupied homes in Naples is over $700,000 right now. 56% of these properties have a value of more than $1 million. The only way that you can live affordably in the city is to purchase a condo, and builders are taking advantage of that fact by making that the primary real estate option. Houses make up less than 7% of the homes on the market that cost less than $1 million.
That level of wealth creates a desire to become an “anti-Miami” is some aspects. The city doesn’t allow neon signage, and the shoreline is kept pristine by keeping bars, cafés, and other amenities away from the sand.
If you have the money to live in Naples, then you can enjoy a good life. It’s really that simple.
When you need to live outside of the community so that your money stretches further, then you can own more property while spending more time with your commute each day. That makes it an affordable way to enjoy the thousands of hours of sunshine that shine down on this community every day.
Then there are miles of sandy beaches for you to enjoy. Since the winter weather never really hits this area, you can enjoy warm days, pleasant nights, and a year full of activities to enjoy.
The pros and cons of living in Naples, FL, will help you to decide if this community is the right place for you to be. Consider each point carefully so that you can find the perfect place to call home.
Blog Post Author Credentials
Louise Gaille is the author of this post. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Louise has almost a decade of experience in Banking and Finance. If you have any suggestions on how to make this post better, then go here to contact our team.