Florida is more accessible than it seems

Florida is more accessible than it seems

In 2022, Florida became one of the record holders of the real estate market in the United States. Potential buyers are concerned about the extreme popularity of local residential properties: excessive demand generates various negative market situations. However, the prospects are good for those who want to buy real estate in Florida. Let's explain why this happens by giving a few stereotypical fears that are either incorrect or insignificant in reality.


Everything is expensive

Perhaps the most common statement about apartments in Florida and other real estate is that they are extremely expensive. Sometimes, this is true – a 2-bedroom apartment of 130 m2 in the gated community of Fisher Island comes for $2.9-3 million. However, there are not so many similar places with extremely expensive real estate. Even in Miami, one of the most popular cities in Florida, the property does not all come with such a large cost. Those people who make broad statements such as "it's expensive here" when referring to the state in its entirety forget that Florida is big and diverse.

The total area of the state is 170,000 square kilometres. It has nearly 1,000 cities and towns, and the population at the end of 2022 was 22 million, which is the third most populous state in the USA. Therefore, every buyer can find a suitable housing option here at the best price. Here are only 2 examples of locations with inexpensive real estate in the state:

  • Tallahassee, the state capital. Despite its high status, it is far from the largest city in Florida and not as popular as Miami. Housing prices are moderate here, and the total cost of living is lower. The median cost of a house in this city is about $276,000. For example, you can buy a 4-bedroom house of 153 m2 which was built in 2011 for just $265,000.
  • The state’s largest city is Jacksonville, with a population of almost a million, and if you count the surrounding area - it is 1.7 million. The median cost of housing in the city is about $300,000. For $290,000, you can buy a 3-bedroom house of 130-180 m2 in almost any area of the city.

Florida is more accessible than it seems

Laws protect the seller

The laws on buying and renting real estate in the USA are considered more protective towards the interests of the owner. However, if you take a closer look at local laws - the buyer has numerous rights and tools to work in the real estate market. We will mention only 2 convenient tools for the buyer, although there are more:

  • Multi-Listing, or MLS (Multiple Listing Service). A system that allows any licensed real estate agent to make transactions with the entire database of real estate for sale. Simply put, the realtor you choose can prepare a contract to purchase houses for sale in Florida in the listing system. There are several listing systems in Florida, and they cover the majority of the country's housing market. Thus, the buyer can choose an agent who protects his interests in any transactions with any property.
  • Anyone might know that foreign nationals have the same right to purchase real estate in Florida as US citizens. As a result, they may incur equally detailed contracts with many conditions. In general, despite the strict requirements of the community to its residents (for example, storm sewers or air conditioners on the roof), the system of mutual rights and obligations in the contract makes life easier for a conscientious property owner. It is much easier to entrust the developed judicial and executive system of the United States to deal with a neighbour or a management company than to solve these issues without resources.

High taxes: true or not

Taxes in the USA cannot be called low. However, foreign buyers of real estate in Florida are no less disadvantaged than US citizens:

  • Foreign homeowners are taxed in the same way as Americans. They do not pay any additional fees.
  • There is an extremely popular Florida Homestead – a tax deduction of up to $50,000. This also applies to foreign nationals. A homeowner can submit documents confirming his residence at the specified address on January 1 of this year and that it is his main place of residence – and receive a reduction in the tax base by $25,000 per house and a discount on other taxes by another $25,000. This reduction results in lower tax rates and savings, as the tax increase is severely limited, and Florida lags behind real estate price increases. This does not apply to investment properties or "holiday homes".
  • Overall, housing taxes in Florida are lower than the national average. The average property tax rate in the state is 0.8%, while the average for the United States is 0.99%. Predictably, when applied to the specific location, the averages vary greatly from county to county, and 0.68% of the median tax in Baker County is much more pleasing than 1.29% in Alachua County.

Florida is more accessible than it seems

Unusual lifestyle

If the buyer is going to move to the USA, he may think that the environment will be different and alien in lifestyle or attitude. This may scare some people away, but these fears are unfounded.

Firstly, the USA is a country of immigrants. Although there are so-called "old families" whose genealogy goes back to the first settlers, in real life most of them are no different from other Americans. Most of your neighbours in Florida will be representatives of the first or second generation, coming here from all over the world. Therefore, in the USA, every beginner can find a circle of communication with which he will be comfortable.

Secondly, it is in Florida that there are various diasporas. Of course, in a small village, there may be few people who speak your native language. However, in Miami, Tampa or Orlando - there will be no such problems: the circulation of local newspapers has several thousand copies, and tens of thousands of people are in numerous groups on social networks.

Thirdly, you can find a comfortable lifestyle with advantages which will cover the temporary inconveniences of an unusual environment. As Florida is considered a “paradise for pensioners”, there are communities for people aged 55+. For example, The Villages near the city of Orlando sold 3,923 houses to pensioners in 2022 alone. The community attracts retirees with its good climate, constant medical supervision and diverse communication. The most attractive feature is a quiet life without fear that the landlord will revise the terms in the contract, or the cost of housing will become unaffordable. In these conditions, the phrase "the best state for retirees" which is sometimes used for Florida, is filled not with a pejorative but with a benevolent meaning – it is warm and cosy here, and you can build a predictable way of life at any age.

Buying foreign real estate is difficult

A layman can conduct a housing deal in Florida. However, understanding the variety of local real estate laws as well as finding and choosing suitable housing options and properly making a transaction is a time-consuming task. To hand over your trust to reliable real estate agencies is to relinquish all the difficulties, as they allow the client to choose a property from various options. To try otherwise would be like fixing a Swiss watch yourself, which would be pointlessly difficult. To purchase foreign real estate, it is better to entrust all the necessary documents and the legal side of the transaction to professionals. They will carefully check all the documents and help you purchase the type of real estate in Florida that suits you perfectly.

Florida is more accessible than it seems

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