Thanks to its endless miles of tropical beaches, its unmatched biodiversity, and its friendly and gracious people, Florida is an undeniably beautiful state. There are dozens of reasons to want to live in Florida, from the proximity of major attractions like Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center to its gorgeous climate and varied landscapes.
Yet, there are some things you should know before you invest in property in Florida. Thanks to the hot market, the humid environment, and a number of other factors, owning a home in the Sunshine State is not the same as owning property elsewhere. Here are some facts about real estate and home maintenance for hopeful Florida homeowners:
The Market Is Tumultuous
Most other states in the union enjoy relatively stable housing markets, with moderate inflow and outflow of homeowners throughout the year. By comparison, Florida’s housing market is a roller coaster of neck-breaking ups and downs. This is because Florida experiences surges in popularity, when people from all over rush to buy property, and then crashes of unpopularity when the same multitudes move way. Sometimes the seasons trigger this monumental shift; most out-of-state buyers come for the winter sunshine, but cannot abide the summer humidity and heat. Sometimes, the change occurs due to natural disasters, like hurricanes.
As a result, home prices can soar high above the national average or plummet far below them. Thus, to make the most of your investment, you should pay close attention to the patterns of the market and purchase property when Florida is experiencing an exodus. Then, if you do plan to sell your property and move away, you should wait until the market is again booming, which should not be more than a few years, or even months.
There Are Two Seasons
Most everywhere else in the continental U.S., there are four seasons: winter, when everything is covered in snow; spring, when flowers bloom and birds sing; summer, when it heats up; and fall, when the leaves change color. In Florida, there are two seasons: warm and sunny vs. warm and rainy. Alternatively, some Floridians joke about the real four seasons: the sunny season, hurricane season, lovebug season, and the tourist season.
If you have lived in Florida for a while, you might be used to this climate pattern; you might even like it. However, if you have only visited Florida for a particular season, most likely “winter” or the dry period, you might be horribly surprised by the other half of the year. You should consider planning a trip for the opposite season to what you have experienced, just in case you cannot handle the weather year-round.
Water Damage Can Be Serious
Whether or not you come from Florida, you should know that water damage is a persistent threat to Florida homes. Extending into the Caribbean, Florida is at risk for hurricanes nearly every year, and since climate change has escalated, the hurricanes are larger and more destructive than ever. However, what you might not realize is that hurricanes are hardly the primary cause of water damage; rather, the year-round high humidity and long rainy season cause water to pool in and around houses’ structural elements, constantly causing extensive problems.
Acquiring a Florida home warranty is a must when you buy property in the Sunshine State. This will protect your plumbing and septic tank systems from disrepair. However, for as long as you live in the home, you will need to be diligent about checking the exterior for cracks and evaluating the drainage around your property, which neither the warranty nor your home insurance is liable for.
Gators And Crocs Are No Joke
Florida is a haven of biodiversity, but if you think all that unique wildlife is confined to the Everglades, you are sadly mistaken. Alligators, crocodiles, giant snakes, and other large and terrifying beasts have been pushed out of their natural habitat due to rampant development throughout Florida. As a result, it is not uncommon to see a giant reptile ambling along a road or peeking out of a water hazard on a golf course. In fact, it is not unlikely that you will see a gator or croc near your home. You need to become familiar with gator and croc safety tips before you move in if you want to keep our family — fur-babies included — safe from attack.