Florida Real Estate
Where To Find What You Want For How Much
Sept. 1, 2006 - As people undaunted by natural disasters migrate to Florida, Florida real estate continues to appreciate as the demand for housing continues to grow. With no town more than 90 miles from water, Florida attracts retirees and sports enthusiasts alike, people seeking sub tropical climate and vast acreages of pristine marshlands, rivers, beaches and forests.
The median price for an existing home in Florida reached $244,000 in February, somewhat higher than the national average of $210,000. With California at $551,000, and Maryland even at $290,000, Florida real estate is still a bargain for those boomers seeking to retire, or for those just wanting to take advantage of Florida’s lack of a state income tax. The good news is that prices, even in plush south Florida seem to be stabilizing, if not dropping.
Of course, the term “median” means that half the homes are more
expensive and the other half costs less. The Florida real estate market offers
a large array of housing opportunities in a wide variety of settings. With that
in mind, we will attempt to explore the Florida real estate market
by dividing the state into sections, and taking into account not just housing
prices, but also what each area has to offer.
South Florida Real Estate
With median prices in Broward County at $375,000 south Florida is the most expensive area in the Florida real estate market. Lifestyles of the rich and famous abound and the area is renowned for its decadent night life and a vibrant Latino community. You can party all you want at South Beach and enjoy the rich variety of dining and shopping opportunities in a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. From Ft. Pierce on down, the coast is lined with high-rise oceanfront condominiums averaging about 1 million a unit, with prices falling pretty dramatically going inland. Beware of traffic in south Florida. Interstate 95 is under perpetual construction and the drivers are typical of any international community.
Much of the draw to south Florida (as in most of Florida) is the water. Being only a few miles from the Gulf Stream, some of the best sport fishing in the country is right at your fingertips, and boaters are only a couple of hours from the Bahamas. Recreational boating, fishing and diving are a big part of the lifestyle here. And of course there’s the beach! Not as wide as some of the beaches further north, and not much surf (the Bahamas seem to block the good stuff) south Floridians flock to the beaches any chance they get. And with the sub tropical climate, just about everyday is a beautiful day at the beach!
And then there’s the Keys. In Monroe County you can get a half acre lot with a trailer on it for about $300,000. The good news is that if a hurricane comes through, you only have to replace the trailer. A sportsman’s paradise, Monroe is the slowest growing county in Florida, simply because there’s no more land to build on. The life style in the Key’s is slow and laid back. From Key Largo to Key West and Marathon in between, this is where people from all over come to get lost and get away from it all – including the homeless!
South Florida is really like a country of its own. With its international flavor and cosmopolitan atmosphere, it’s filling up fast and you will pay a premium for the high demand of South Florida real estate.