Welcome to the best St. Pete Real Estate Blog in St. Pete and possibly the known universe. As the Downtown part of our city changes dramatically, our historic neighborhoods stay mostly unchanged. These areas are kind of like a time capsule – a look back into a different time in human history where things probably moved a little slower and air conditioning wasn’t invented yet. How did people do it???
I am so glad you’re here for my 2023 revise. I’m going to update this blog and the corresponding neighborhood blogs to reflect the current state of our market. This is especially true now that the market is shifting somewhat significantly to be a bit more buyer friendly which is a welcome reprieve after the past few years of white hot real estate madness. If you have any questions while you’re reading this or just want to shoot me (Chris, the best buyer’s agent in St. Pete and possibly the world, solar system, galaxy and known universe) a text or give me a call my number is 727-307-1111. OK here we go
There are plenty of coastal cities in Florida with mostly modern homes that are built to withstand intense hurricane winds. This is especially true on the east coast where the threat of a direct hurricane hit is much more common.
Luckily in the Tampa Bay area we are somewhat protected from the worst hurricanes that typically form in the Atlantic Ocean. This is most likely why we still have a huge amount of historic homes that were originally built about a century ago.
What’s the benefit of having neighborhoods that are filled with old homes? Isn’t it easy to assume that newer is typically better? When it comes to home ownership that’s not always the case.
Historic neighborhoods bring people together. Instead of a cookie cutter neighborhood where all homes are essentially the same, historic home owners have an inherent pride of ownership when it comes to the history and customization of their homes. This provides a great common ground when it comes to relating to your neighbors that also have a passion for the history and home remodeling.
With that said, you most likely found this article because of your interest in historic homes and neighborhoods in the St. Pete area.
Good news for you – The City of St. Petersburg commissioned a team of videographers to produce a really well done mini-documentary series. Each of these neighborhoods has a video which are all featured in this article.
My goal for this article is to give you a quick synopsis of each area to compliment these Living Local videos. I’ll also be linking a more in-depth article for each neighborhood if you decide you’d like to learn more. Without further adieu, here are The Top 6 Historic Neighborhoods In St. Pete, Florida.
6. Euclid St. Pauls
I have a vivid memory of the first week I moved to St. Pete and was still in the state of mind where everything was brand new and mesmerizing. I was thankful to be starting a new life. I biked through this neighborhood on a nice day and it was my first time seeing a historic neighborhood in St. Pete. I remember the massive trees shading the brick streets along with the perfect temperature and birds chirping. It was serene and I felt the most at peace that I had felt in a long time.
I think that neighborhood gives the people that live here the same feeling everyday. With that said I think this neighborhood is many times overshadowed by the more well known areas listed below so I figured I’d post it first on the list.
I connected with the vice president of the ESPNA neighborhood association and got some good info from her. They have their own website where you can learn a bit more about the neighborhood. I didn’t realize that they do monthly porch parties at neighbors homes, a yearly “Haunted Hike” that’s essentially a ghost tour around the end of October, neighborhood walks and a summertime bike crawl and also a back to school event. This seems like a very family friendly area and from what the VP told me – it’s a younger demographic.
5. Historic Old Northeast
It’s a gorgeous neighborhood with brick lined streets, mature trees, a close proximity to our amazing Downtown area, an active neighborhood association that regularly puts on events and even a neighborhood tavern and coffeeshop for locals to spend time at.
You will also notice how few compromises there are living in this area. I had mentioned earlier how close this neighborhood is to Downtown St. Pete. It’s also walking distance to a huge waterfront park on Tampa Bay with running trails, volleyball courts, baseball fields and acres of green space where events are regularly held.
To the west of Old Northeast are all the conveniences of 4th street which include grocery shopping, fitness centers, restaurants, and retail. 4th Street is always seeing new developments and on the other side 9th street (also known as MLK) is also an up and coming commercial district with many new planned commercial developments in the works.
I’m not the best at telling stories but here’s one of my favorites. A few years ago I hosted a couch surfer from England and I took him on a tour through the Old Northeast neighborhood. He told me that the white picket fences and well manicured lawns truly embodied what he thought was The American Dream. I can’t say he was wrong, Old Northeast is about as good as it gets.
If you’d like more information on the Old Northeast neighborhood, feel free to look at this more in depth article I put together – The Top 8 Reasons To Move To The Old Northeast Neighborhood.
4. Historic Old Southeast
You’re definitely paying for location to be in the proximity of Downtown and in a neighborhood with a beautiful waterfront park. I paid just under 400k for my home, however if that same house was in Old SE it would be atleast 600k. There’s a few differences – Old Southeast has an amazing local market where you can get tasty sandwiches, poke bowls, craft beer and wine whereas my neighborhood has a 24 hour 7/11 with scratchy lotto tickets and natty light. I’m OK with that though, I’m in my early 30’s and have time to upgrade to Old Southeast one of these days. Hopefully to a nice home with a rental unit which is something we don’t have in my neighborhood.
Living here you will mostly only see local traffic driving through and maybe the occasional folks that are on their way to enjoy the beautiful 14 acre waterfront park in Old Southeast the overlooks Tampa Bay.
What I like about this area is it’s close to Downtown St. Pete, but still a bit more affordable than Old Northeast. There’s also potential to buy homes in this area with legal rental units. Whether it’s a home with a guest house, a duplex, triplex or quadplex, this area is a great place to own a home with rental potential.
It’s close to Downtown and also close to University of South Florida St. Pete so the demand for rentals will always be strong. What’s interesting is that most of these homes you’ll find that are legally zoned for rentals are primarily in these historic neighborhoods. They were grandfathered in however in 2022 the city of St. Pete just authorized the ability to build Auxiliary Dwelling Units to help combat the lack of housing in the area so I imagine we’ll be seeing these rental units pop up in other neighborhoods as well.
Would you like to learn more about The Old Southeast Neighborhood? Here is another in depth article I put together – Top 8 Reasons To Move To The Old Southeast Neighborhood.
3. Historic Roser Park
It’s kind of like when you see a movie where the main character is lost in the desert. He sees a tropical oasis in the distance and can’t believe his eyes. It seems so unbelievable – an oasis in the desert, and it is because it was just a mirage the whole time. This is what Roser Park is like, it’s a hilly neighborhood that seems very out of place, but fortunately it is not a mirage.
The streets are about a century old and extremely uneven in parts. Some people may think it’s an inconvenience but I think it really adds to the character of the neighborhood. Plus you won’t have to worry about anyone racing through your neighborhood on these roads.
With the exception of Old Northeast, Roser Park is one of the closest Historic neighborhoods to Downtown St. Pete. It’s also more affordable than Old NE. on average. Parts of this area are still up and coming so it may be a good place to look if you’d like to buy a home that will appreciate over time.
There are also more small homes that are better suited for a young professional rather than an established family that could buy a larger house in the Old Northeast.
Want to learn more about Roser Park? Great because I also wrote a Top 8 Reasons To Move To Roser Park article for your reading pleasure.
2. Historic Uptown
Speaking of up and coming areas that are experiencing appreciation – Historic Uptown still has a lot of upward potential in the St. Pete real estate market.
The home density is not a bad thing in my opinion. It’s still has the characteristics of a historic neighborhood – narrow brick roads and mature trees. You won’t see anyone tearing through here with their car going too fast.
This neighborhood has a younger population because there’s an abundance of multi-family units – some residential being duplex, triplex and quadplexes and other commercial properties are mostly 5-10 units. Lots of service industry folks live in these rentals and younger people adds to the charm of the area in my opinion.
If I ever have the opportunity to buy a multi-family property, this neighborhood is going to be the first place I look. It’s also worth noting that none of this area is in a flood zone.
If you’d like to learn more about Historic Uptown, here is a more depth article The Top 8 Reasons To Move To Historic Uptown.
1. Historic Kenwood
First let’s start with location. A big concern for people who buy homes in the area is flood zone designations. Kenwood is located at one of the highest elevations in Pinellas County. Flood insurance is becoming increasingly expensive and if a major hurricane ever comes through, you will want to be away from the surge zone at the highest elevation possible.
Another reason why it’s so in demand is it’s affordability compared to neighborhoods like Old Northeast. It is still an established, somewhat expensive neighborhood however it’s on average a bit more affordable. Both the homes and lots are smaller in Historic Kenwood, in my opinion that just means less space to maintain.
This neighborhood is famous for it’s dense concentration of 1920’s Craftsman style bungalows. Kenwood actually has the highest concentration of Craftsman bungalows in the entire state of Florida. These bungalows are typically pretty small which is why the owners are so talented in maximizing the use of space. I’ve always loved anything cozy and a lot of these Craftsman bungalows are the epitome of cozy.
Be sure to check out the tour of homes in Kenwood called Bungalowfest. I try my best not to talk in extremes but Bungalowfest is amazing. The amount of homes on the tour is usually between 20 -30 and they all have their own unique charm. Kenwood also has a program called Artists Enclave which allows residents to sell art and teach art classes out of their homes. It also allows them to rent their guest houses as artists studios.
Looking to learn a bit more about the Historic Kenwood neighborhood? Check out The Top 8 Reasons To Move To Historic Kenwood.
What I realized when writing this article is that the vast majority of the historic neighborhoods in this area are centered around our Downtown area. It makes sense that back in the day the majority of residential development in our city was centered around the place of commerce.
Now that we live in the future things have changed a bit. It adds a lot of character to our city seeing these peaceful historic neighborhoods juxtaposed with modern buildings and tall skyscrapers.
Like anything in life, owning a historic home has it’s pros and cons. The downside is monetary – typically higher maintenance and insurance costs. You will need to be pro-active about treating termites.
When you finance a home it will be necessary to get a clean 4 point inspection which makes sure the 4 major systems – roof, HVAC, plumbing and electrical are in good enough condition to be insurable. Depending on the condition of the home, financing like FHA and VA may be a bit tougher to obtain. Don’t let any of that scare you off though, these are all issues we can navigate.
The upside is owning a piece of history that you’re proud of. Enjoying the timeless architecture on a daily basis with the reading nooks, lofts and other unique spaces that add character from this time period.
As you can see these historic homes will allow you the freedom to live in a beautiful neighborhood. When entering these homes it’s almost like a time machine takes you back to a more simple time. This simpler time where life moved a bit slower and all was right in the world. Wouldn’t it be great if you could recreate that feeling at your home? Ready to get started? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out via call/text at 727-307-1111.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in St. Pete soon!