There’s a reason so many people flock to the Sunshine State.
Florida possesses a little bit of everything in its 65,000-plus square miles, from world-class cities to pristine lakes and sandy coastal beachfront. It’s got gorgeous weather year-round and there are friendly people of all sorts roaming around. Close your eyes and stick your finger anywhere on the Florida map and you’ll be happy living there.
Well, it’s not quite that easy. To find the best place to buy a house in Florida, you’ve got to consider several factors, like your budget versus the housing market, crime rates, and job opportunities. While Florida does present numerous quality options in terms of places to take up residence, some do rise above the rest.
Today, we’re going to help you find your perfect Floridian city. Whether it’s the glitz and glamor of Miami or the southern hospitality of Tallahassee you want, Florida’s got it.
Keep reading and see for yourself.
Kissimmee is a smaller city of 60,000 in central Florida, just south of Orlando. It’s probably best known for being the home of Walt Disney World, which does make it something of a tourist attraction. There’s a lot of economic growth outside of the tourism industry as well.
The unemployment rate is just below the national average, as is the cost of living. You can find affordable and attractive housing in the low $100,000 range, though the median house price is around $220,000. This is a housing market on the rise, with an appreciation of 10% in the last decade.
You can hit all of the major roadways to get anywhere in central Florida in a flash if you’re working up in Orlando or anywhere else. This with the entertainment and booming tourism industry make Kissimmee one of Florida’s up-and-coming destinations.
Let’s head toward the gulf and look at Lakeland. Situated just east of Tampa, Lakeland is surrounded by lakes all around (38 of them, to be exact), which gives it its name. It’s become a popular place to buy due to the low murder and property crime rates, which is among the lowest in the country for larger cities.
Between 2013 and 2017, Lakeland grew by 10% due to net migration. It’s a desirable spot because it mixes natural beauty with a bit of Florida History. There are at least 40 parks in Lakeland and lots of trails to run and bike along, enjoying the gorgeous Florida weather.
Being wedged in between Tampa and Florida means that you’ve got your share of attractions close by. Namely, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and the beaches of the Gulf Coast, all within an hour’s drive.
Tampa is the third-largest city in Florida, with nearly 400,000 in the city proper, but with all of the adjoining cities included, the metro area is almost 4 million. It’s situated right on the gulf coast and presents all of the positives and negatives of a major American city.
As with other Floridian cities, Tampa has experienced a boom over the last decade, seeing growth in the job market, especially in healthcare, finance, supply chain, and technology. Due to the comfortable weather, it also draws in a large retiree population and the resulting median age is 42.
There are numerous charming and historic neighborhoods and suburbs in Tampa, notably, Ybor City, Hyde Park, Channelside, and Riverview. The school districts are diverse and large, so you won’t have issues finding your kids a good school. And, the restaurant scene is huge in Tampa, so you’ll always have good food around.
Pensacola is one of the older cities in the southern part of America. Native Americans inhabited the region long before the Spanish came to Florida in the 16th century. Its nickname is “the city of 5 flags” due to the jurisdictional changes that it’s undergone during its history (the 5 flags are Spanish, American, British, French, and Confederate).
This area is probably best known for its natural beauty. Between the white sand of the gulf coast beaches and the trees and swamp of Big Lagoon state park, you’ve got no shortage of place to explore.
In terms of the numbers, Pensacola’s unemployment rate is right around the national average, the median home price is $175,000, and the average salary is just over $40,000. It’s a desirable place to live because it’s outside the hustle and bustle of central Florida, making it great for those that want a piece of the quiet life.
Orlando is yet another one of Florida’s major tourist destinations, possessing 7 of the world’s most popular theme parks in its metro area. It’s not just a theme park town, however, as there are many aspects of Orlando that make it a great place to live and work.
Downtown Orlando is home to many nightclubs, restaurants, and sporting events, while residential Orlando features gorgeous architecture, dating back to the 1920s. The theme parks are what brings in the 68 million tourists every year.
So, you can see how Orlando would be a desirable spot to open up shop. The average housing cost is just over $230,000, while the unemployment rate is under the national average. People move here to start businesses, work in tourism, or retire.
Southwest Florida is a treat due to its year-round gorgeous weather, the unbelievable arts community, and the sandy beaches that make the gulf so special. It’s still close enough to central Florida to get to the big shopping and entertainment destinations within a couple of hour’s drive.
Locals will complain about infrastructure and gridlock problems, but if you’re looking for a paradise to settle down in, this is it. Sarasota is a hotspot for retirees (the median age is over 50) and celebrities, but there’s a lot of opportunity for those working in healthcare, tourism, and running small businesses.
With a metro population of over 700,000, Sarasota gives you the feeling of an oceanside paradise with the functionality of a mid-sized city. You can find gorgeous houses in the mid $100,000s, but the median price for a home is nearly $240,000.
Miami is truly one of the most interesting and diverse cities in America. Having been a backdrop for so many films and TV shows over the years, Miami isn’t for people that shy away from the spotlight, it’s for those that seek it. It’s not all white beaches and nightclubs, though it has its share, Miami has become one of the business hubs of the US.
The area is notable for being on the southern tip of Florida and there are dozens of relaxing and beautiful natural areas surrounding the city itself. If you want the city life, you can’t do much better than downtown Miami, but the suburbs like Doral and Key Biscayne are perfect for families and retirees.
You could write a book on why Miami is a great place to purchase a home, but for now, let the gorgeous scenery and vibrant culture sway you. The metro population is just over 6 million, the median home price is just under $250,000, and the unemployment rate is right around the national average.
For something a little bit quieter, Tallahassee mixes urban and suburban life to perfection. This city of under 200,000 is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Florida by numerous publications. With great schools, diverse cultures, and a low cost of living, Tallahassee is perfect for young families.
You’ve got a little bit of everything in Tallahassee, from parks and wildlife refuges to museums and zoos. In terms of job prospects, you can work in education (there are two big colleges), hospitality, healthcare, or government.
Between the city life and the natural beauty surrounding Tallahassee, there will never be a shortage of things to do or see. Visit this website to find the best deals for housing in this northern Florida town.
9. Cape Coral
Cape Coral, located in between Tampa and Miami on the gulf coast, was a planned city, founded in just 1957. Since then, it’s grown to a population of nearly 200,000 residents and even earned a nickname, the “Waterfront Wonderland” because of the 400-miles of navigable waterways. It’s got the most miles of canals in the entire world.
As you may have guessed, people flock to Cape Coral to live lives of leisure. It’s easy to do that with yacht clubs, water parks, 30 other recreational parks, and 7 golf courses. Although the cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, Cape Coral is still a great place to buy because it never stops growing.
The population has grown by almost 40,000 in the last 10 years and there’s been a lot of job growth, especially in the healthcare industry. The median home price is $257,000, but the growth will push that up significantly, should you decide to sell in the future.
Finding the Best Place to Buy a House In Florida Isn’t Easy
With so many amazing cities, surrounded by lush greenery, lakes, and ocean, it’s hard to settle on one to call the best place to buy a house in Florida. Realistically, every one of these cities we’ve discussed here would be a great place to live, so you’ve got to figure out what your needs are and make your decision based on those.
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