Florida has always been one of the states with the highest number of new residents. And that number was exaggerated in 2020 and 2021.
Once the pandemic hit and millions of Americans started working remotely, the decision to leave the frozen winter wastelands of the Midwest and the Northeast was very easy.
As a result, Florida is booming. Home prices are going up, just like in other states. But there is still plenty of opportunities to buy a new home in Florida.
Are you considering moving to Florida? The year-round sunshine and warm winters are a huge draw. But there are a few other things you need to know before you make the leap to the Sunshine State.
Keep reading below to learn more about this coastal state before buying a house in Florida.
1. Coast Means Traffic
With thousands flocking to Florida every month, there are two main reasons people make the full-time leap. They want warm weather, and they want to be near the beach.
The good news is that you’ll get warm weather everywhere in Florida, not just on the coast. So Central and Northern Florida are great options if you don’t feel the need to live right by the beach.
If you do want to be near the coast, which most transplants do, then you can expect traffic. Lots of traffic.
Florida’s coastal counties have some of the highest traffic congestion. And that’s in large part due to the number of tourists in the state during the winter and spring.
If you work remotely and don’t have to commute each day, then it’s easier to cope with. If you do need to commute, be prepared.
2. Hurricane Season Is Real
Many aspiring Floridians seem to forget that hurricanes are a real threat in Florida. But Florida gets more than twice as many hurricanes as any other state.
Hurricane season extends from summer into early autumn. This is the rainy season, the humid season, and the buggy season as well.
When you make the move, you’ll want to purchase a hurricane kit, just in case you’re stuck at home for a day or two without any utilities.
Many people who are lucky enough to afford two homes will spend their summers outside of Florida, heading back to the Midwest, to avoid the excessive humidity and risk of hurricanes.
3. Choose a Home With a Lanai
Bugs are another real problem in Florida. Mosquitoes come out in full force in the summertime, making it a pain to enjoy time outside. But most people are familiar with mosquitoes.
It’s the noseeums that surprise first-timers in Florida. These tiny bugs can hardly be seen, but they bite and make it a pain to be outside on days without a breeze blowing throw.
This is especially true for Florida homes near a lake or river, or those that have some type of water feature nearby, like golf course ponds.
Still, Florida is the best because you can be outside year-round. If you’re looking at houses for sale with pools, make sure to choose one that is screened in.
That way, you can enjoy your swimming, hot tubbing, relaxing poolside, and grilling without worrying about bugs.
4. Flood Insurance Might Be Required
Much of Florida’s coastal cities lie in a floodplain. Floods happen every year and cause tremendous damage.
If you live near the coast, here’s what your insurance company thinks of your home. It’s not a matter of when your house floods, it’s a matter of when.
In certain areas, flood insurance is non-negotiable. You need it in order to get a mortgage. And the closer you are to the water, the more expensive it’s going to be. Make sure to factor that into your budget before signing on the dotted line.
5. High Closing Costs
On top of floors insurance, there’s another thing you can expect a decent amount of money on when buying a new home in Florida. Closing costs in the state are much higher than in many other areas.
While not as high as areas like Washington DC or the surrounding states, closing costs in Florida average around $8,000, so plan ahead for this expense as well.
6. There are Countless Snowbirds Here
It’s no surprise, but a huge portion of people living in Florida in the winter is gone by April or May. Florida is the most popular snowbird state.
Those who are retired have been coming to Florid for 2-6 months out of every year to “winter” while keeping their home up north for the summertime.
Snowbirds are so common that entire communities are built and cater to snowbirds. If you buy a new Florida home in one of these areas, you can expect many of your neighbors to be gone for months at a time during the summer.
If you aren’t overly social, then you might actually see this as a benefit. But if you need lots of people around at all times, try choosing a neighborhood made up of full-time residents.
7. The Fun Never Stops
It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, there are countless ways to enjoy yourself in Florida. That’s why everyone’s moving here.
If you have a boat and like to fish, you can spend almost 365 days on the water. The only time you need to get off is when bad weather is blowing through during hurricane season.
There is an abundance of inshore waters and mangrove-lined waterways that are perfect for kayakers. Snorkeling can be done on both the Gulf and Atlantic coast to see an abundance of marine life.
And inland, there are plenty of ways to have fun as well. There is an abundance of hiking trails throughout the state. Hunting is also very popular, due to the sheer amount of public land in the state of Florida.
What’s going to be your favorite activity in the sunshine state?
Find Your New Home in Florida Today
Countless people are going to buy a new home in Florida this year, as they pursue a happier, warmer life, free from the burdens of a northern winter. Will you be one of them?
If you want more tips and tricks like this, or need additional advice for finding your new Florida home, then make sure to visit our blog to read some of our other articles.