Where to buy a home in Florida is very subjective, of course. Here are some of the thought processes we went through when trying to determine where to buy a home in Florida.
Like many (most?) being on either Florida’s East Coast or West Coast certainly appealed. We did not buy there however, for a number of reasons.
Most of the year we live very near a high population area in Canada. The traffic on the freeway is intense. In some sections there are 16 lanes of traffic. From rush-hour, which begins sometime before daybreak until well after dark every day, all 16 lanes of traffic are mostly full or stopped. In our opinion this is an insane way to spend time.
The interstate highway down the East Coast Florida is I-95 and in many sections it is also multi lane. The west coast highway, I-75, once you get south of Dunedin, is no better.
Anywhere along the I-4 is rife with traffic and traffic delays.
We no longer are comfortable driving high-traffic highways every day and decided not to buy where there was never ending traffic.
A home in Florida on the coast?
To be completely frank, the cost of homes on either coast in Florida was prohibitive for us.
This may not be the case for you as everyone’s economic circumstances differ. Nevertheless, we decided early on that we did not want to be house poor. Purchasing a detached home on either coast, or even attempting to purchase a home in a 55+ park on either coast was out of our comfort zone.
Daily driving in the roadways on either coast did not motivate us to be there either. We have enough of high speed, congested expressways at home. How about a little peace and quiet?
About the weather!
During our home ownership in Florida, so far, we have had to survive a major hurricane that blew from the southern tip of Florida right up into the mainland of Georgia causing an enormous amount of damage in the lower one third of Florida, and significant flooding and damage in the north.
All the time the storm was raging all we seemed to read and hear about on the news was how either coast was bracing for record storm surges, and these came to pass, with the ensuring property and shoreline damage.
With the mean average height above sea level in Florida at about 3-6 feet we were a bit more comfortable located as we are over 100 miles inland from either coast. That didn’t mean we didn’t bear the brunt of the hurricane, but it did mean that we didn’t have to be too concerned about flooding as many folks owning homes on Florida’s coast had to as this major storm approached and impacted.
Is Florida warm enough?
Another thing about living in Florida that concerned us is that we travel to a warm place in the winter to be warm in the winter. Over time, we noted that folks living north of I-4, experienced a significant number of cold days in January, well into February, and sometimes even into March and periodically, rarely, they even had snow.
We wanted no part of that.
So we took the time to look at the average mean temperatures throughout Florida, and determined that the farther south of I-4 we were the greater the likelihood that we would not have winter weather in the winter months. For us it was a no-brainer. So we headed south down Hwy. #27 to get as far south of I-4 as we could and still find a nice place to live in the winter months as we figured out how where to buy a home in Florida.
The next question we needed an answer for is… what type of home in Florida. See information on that here!