Guide to buying property in Florida

  • 12 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Planning to invest in the USA? Florida remains the most
popular destination in America on, attracting almost two-thirds
of all enquiries from buyers. But do you know your Disney from your Davenport?

Read part one of MoveWorldwide‘s guide to buying property in Florida:


The Essentials


Florida easily earns its nickname “The Sunshine State”,
clocking up roughly 3,000 hours of sunlight every year. The state has a climate
of two halves:  the North is subtropical,
while the South is less humid. Rain can still be expected in the summer along with
storms – Florida has the highest number of lightning strikes and tornadoes per
area in the US – but home buyers can rest easy: property damage is low compared
to most states.



Almost two-thirds of Florida’s citizens were born in another
state – the second highest in the US – while many come from other nations. Why
is Florida property such a
popular place for home buyers? The coastal location is the main attraction, the
sunlit beaches combining with its array of theme parks to create an ideal
holiday destination. 23.2m tourists visited Florida in 2000, which shows its
appeal to both second home owners and property investors alike.



Florida is one of the larger states east of the Mississippi,
spanning two time zones as it reaches from Caribbean countries (such as Cuba
and The Bahamas) to its neighbouring states of Georgia and Alabama. Because of
its ocean location, the peninsula is caught between subtropical and tropical
waters, which gives the area a pleasant climate that can be felt both in the state’s
green hills and on the sandy beaches.



Go back several decades and Florida was an agricultural
state, where cotton, cattle and citrus ruled. But all that changed in 1971,
when Walt Disney opened up his eponymous theme park. Since then, tourism has
dominated the economy. As a result, the number of properties in Florida has
increased exponentially, with hotels and parks springing up across the state.
Florida also has a strong research sector, with the second-largest
concentration of medical facilites in the US.




Kennedy Space Center

A short drive from Orlando and you can travel across the
galaxy with the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. At the launch
headquarters, residents can escape the hum-drum of city life by touring
cutting-edge space exploration facilities, viewing historical rockers,
experiencing interactive simulators and meeting veteran astronauts. This NASA
technology hub, which is eight times the size of Manhattan, may be in the heart
of America but it is the closest residents can get to outer space.


Walt Disney World

The world’s most-visited entertainment resort, Walt Disney
World is without a doubt the most well-known attraction in Florida. The resort
spans 30,080 acres, including four theme parks, two water parks, 23 official
on-site hotels and several golf courses. Founded in the 1960s, Walt Disney
World has since outgrown California’s Disneyland Park,  forever transforming the state’s economy and
adding buy-to-let investment potential to properties in the surrounding


The Everglades

While families flock to Disney World, locals may prefer the
quieter pace of The Everglades. Adorning the southern part of the state, the
wetlands experience floods and fires but they are also home to the Everglades
National Park. The park, which protects the largest wilderness east of the
Mississippi River, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its
endangered ecosystem of plants, freshwater fish, crocodiles and birds draw in 1
million visitors every year.




Florida’s busiest airport is Miami International, which
serves the south of the state. The airport, 13km from Downtown Miami, is a hub
for American Airlines and the main gateway between the US and Latin America,
where many home buyers come from. The second biggest airport is Orlando
International. Major routes come from the UK, Canada and Germany.



Amtrak provides the main intercity train services in the US,
connecting Florida with other mainland states. Stations cover all the main
towns within Florida, from Miami and Orlando to Jacksonville and Kissimmee. For
those in Lake Buena Vista, the Walt Disney World Monorail System will also
ferry visitors around at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.



Car rentals may not be necessary for tourists visiting
Florida’s beaches, but for those needing to travel across the state for work or
pleasure, Florida’s expressways are indispensible. The majority of the roads
are toll-based, although interstate highways are free of charge. A SunPass can
be purchased from supermarkets and other vendors to save 25% on toll rates.


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