The Pros & Cons Of Living In Brandon, FL
City life can be great - but it isn’t for everyone. If you work in Tampa, you may want more space and a simpler life while still hoping for a relatively short commute. Enter the nearby Tampa suburb of Brandon, Florida.
Brandon is an unincorporated community located just 11 miles from Tampa. It is more affordable than Tampa, meaning you can typically get more house for your money. However, some people dislike the traffic, which has grown as the region has become more populated.
At Eaton Realty, we collaborate with our clients to help them find the best home for their needs. We know that lots of factors - like how much time it’ll take you to run to the grocery store and the quality of local schools - go into the decision to buy a house. Our goal is to help you find the right house in the right community for you and your family. Reach out today to talk to a West Central Florida real estate agent.
All about Brandon, Florida
Located just 11 miles east of Tampa, Brandon is a largely residential community in Hillsborough County, Florida. In 2020, this unincorporated, census-designated community had a population of 114,626 people. Its close proximity to Tampa - and two interstates, I-4 and I-75, make it an incredibly popular choice for people who would prefer to live in a suburb.
Brandon was founded in 1957 when a man named John Brandon arrived from Mississippi. What started as a small community quickly grew when the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad came through the area. In 1890, a surveyor named the community in honor of John Brandon.
While Brandon was initially a more rural community, it entered a period of rapid growth in the 1960s after the Brandon Chamber of Commerce was formed. When I-75 was extended to bring traffic through the area in the 1980s, the population increased even further. Today, the 35 square mile community continues to grow as more people seek to live close to the city - but not directly in it.
Brandon is the birthplace of chain restaurant Beef O’Brady’s. It is also home to the Hillsborough Community College, Emmaus Baptist College, the Florida Academy for the Performing Arts, and the Hillsborough County Fair. It also has a popular shopping and entertainment district, including the Westfield Brandon Mall.
So, is Brandon the right place for you to live? There is a lot to love about this bedroom community - but there may be better choices based on your specific needs.
What’s Great about Living in Brandon?
Brandon might be a great choice if you are looking for a quieter, more affordable place to live than the city of Tampa. Brandon is close to the city but has a much more residential feel.
Housing in Brandon tends to be less expensive than in Tampa. In November 2023, the median sale price for a home in Brandon was $340,000 - compared to $432,950 in Tampa. The median rent in Brandon is $2,113 per month, while the median rent in Tampa is $2,200 per month. Brandon has a wide range of homes, from townhouses to luxury homes. You can also find both older construction and newer builds.
Close Proximity To Tampa
One of the biggest draws of Brandon is its proximity to not only Tampa but also MacDill Air Force Base (making it a great choice for anyone who wants to live off base). Taking either the FL-618 Selmon Expressway or East State Road 60, you can be downtown in 15 to 20 minutes. It is typically a 25 - 35 minute drive to Tampa International Airport.
Brandon is part of the Hillsborough County School District, which is considered a strong and diverse district with relatively low student-to-teacher ratios of 16 to 1. Seven public elementary schools are Mintz, Buckhorn, Kingswood, Schmidt, Yates, Brooker, and Limona. Burns, McLane, and Mann Middle Schools and Brandon High School serve older students in the community. In addition, there are a number of private schools in Brandon, most of which are religious schools.
Plenty Of Things To Do
There are lots of things to do in the Brandon area. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can spend time at the Alafia River State Park, home to more than 20 miles of mountain biking trails, horse trails, and hiking trails, plus fishing, canoeing, picnic areas, and campgrounds. Fun, active experiences are nearby, like TopGolf, SkyZone, and iFly - plus the ever-popular Dave and Busters.
Ultimately, Brandon is a great place to live if you want to be close to Tampa but outside of the hustle and bustle of city life. Because Brandon was founded more than 250 years ago, it has a unique mix of homes - not just developments - giving it a certain charm. Moving to Brandon, Florida might be a good idea if you want a bigger house for your money. A Hillsborough County real estate agent can show you some options within your price range to help you better understand what Brandon has to offer.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Living in Brandon?
As the Tampa region has grown, what were once more rural areas of Hillsborough County - like Brandon - have grown rapidly. For many people, this is a downside of living in Brandon. The community’s growth has slowed over the past decade, but it is still much more crowded than it used to be. If you want to move away from busier city life, you may need to go further than Brandon.
Brandon’s growth brings us to a related point: traffic. One of the primary complaints of people who live in Brandon is that traffic can be bad. Having major highways around the community is convenient. However, it also creates a fair amount of congestion in the region - particularly because most people commute to work.
Lack Of Employment Opportunities Within The City
There isn’t much industry in Brandon itself. As a result, most people live in Brandon and commute to work elsewhere, such as Tampa or MacDill Air Force Base. While this isn’t a problem for most people, if you want to live where you work or be within walking distance to work, Brandon probably isn’t right for you.
Mostly Chain Restaurants
The shopping and entertainment in Brandon are great, but they’re largely chain restaurants and shops. You will probably have to look elsewhere if you want more unusual finds.
Bottom line: if your goal in living in the suburbs is to have a more peaceful life, then Brandon might not be for you. While the houses are great and there is plenty to do, Brandon has a fair amount of traffic and is fairly busy overall. Your Lithia real estate agent can work with you to find a community that better meets your needs.
Thinking about Moving to Brandon? Give Us a Call!
Everyone has a different concept of the perfect community. While some want to be right in the thick of things and would be thrilled with a downtown condo, others prefer a more rural home with lots of land. The key is to work with a Realtor who truly listens to you to find a home that’s right for you.
Eaton Realty works with buyers and sellers throughout Hillsborough County from our offices in Lithia. We know every client is unique, so we never take a one-size-fits-all approach to real estate. We will listen to your wants and needs and consider your budget when helping you buy a house in the greater Tampa region.
We are here for you if you want to buy or sell a house in Brandon or the surrounding areas. Learn more by filling out our online contact form, or call us at 813-672-8022 to talk to a real estate team member.