Hugely popular with investors from the US and overseas, the value driven Florida property market has continued to grow in recent years, despite the more challenging global economic climate.
Being positioned on the eastern seaboard of the United States, combined with the year round temperate climate – have made Florida an incredibly popular tourist destination for people from Europe, which has created high demand for property for sale in Florida. Particularly popular for the British, French and German – Florida benefits from close links to South and Central America in having a large, multicultural Hispanic atmosphere.
The state of Florida occupies a long strip of land which reaches out into the Gulf of Mexico – from the southernmost to the northernmost tips of the state measures around 750km. Florida is the southernmost state of the entire United States, positioned on the south east edge of the eastern coast.
The capital city of the state is Tallahassee, in the northern stretches of Florida on the mainland of North America. Settlements are primarily concentrated around the coasts, with Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami all built at the shoreline. The exception to the rule is Orlando, one of the most visited cities of the state and home to a significant celebrity/Hollywood influence.
Florida has an increasingly large population for a state of its size, at almost 20,000,000 residents. This figure makes Florida one of the five most populated states in the country and in the top ten of most densely populated states – all this despite being not being in the twenty largest states.
The majority of residents were born outside of the state, a testament to the tourism credentials of Florida. Properties for sale in Florida are in high demand as the area is something of a retirement retreat for ex-serviceman, as well as immigrants from other countries. Only 58% of Floridians are Non-Hispanic White, 16% of the population are Black or African American and 17.1% are White Hispanic. Wealthy living, warm weather and proximity to other tourist escapes make Florida a popular place for expatriation. Many Americans own second homes in Florida.
In pop culture, Florida is perhaps most famous for being home of the Kennedy Space Station and the famous Universal Studios. A number of other tourist attractions including the vast amusement parks that the state if so famous for, the Miami metropolitan area and high volume of golf courses continue to pull people in to the southern state. Daytona is one of the country’s most prestigious motor racing tracks, whilst the world’s largest Disney resort is also found within Florida. Famous for its fruit-bearing climate, Florida has been producing and exporting Florida Oranges for decades and they are widely considered to be the best oranges in the world.
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Florida is in the south east of the United States and spans over 65,000 square miles of land, mostly a between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Within the state of Florida there are many different cities and states that cover this beautiful area; each with their own history and charm.
Currently holding the title of highest population in the state of Florida and largest city by area in the United States, Jacksonville is located in Duval County along the east coast of America. Tourism is very important to the city and it has various historic land marks and events for tourists to see such as The LaVilla Museum or The Jacksonville Maritime Museum.
Miami is a major hub for commerce, culture, media, entertainment, international trade and finance and contains the largest number of international banks in the United States. Located in Miami-Dade County, Miami sits on the coast of the Atlantic sea and the in the south east of Florida. The city of Miami has been ranked as America’s cleanest city and is also known as the “Capital of Latin America”.
Home to more than 4.3 million people, Tampa is located in Hillsborough County on the west coast of Florida, near the Gulf of Mexico. The city has a series of museums such as the Tampa history centre, Tampa Museum of art, and the Tampa Children’s Museum.
The City of Orlando is located in the heart of Florida, with a population of over 2 million and is often called “The Theme Park Capital of the World”. The city is where the famous Walt Disney World is located; opening in 1971 the city of Orlando was the preferred choice for the park, beating out Miami and Tampa.
Florida plays host to many of the world’s most famous attractions and landmarks, each with its own unique and fascinating history. Florida's most famous attractions and landmarks are visited each year by millions of tourists from around the world.
Kennedy Space Centre
The John F. Kennedy Space Centre was formed in 1962 and named after the President of the same name and it is located on Merritt Island in Florida. The centre has a visitor’s complex that has approximately 1.5 million visitors per year; which began as small trailer containing displays.
Basic admission to the space centre includes tour bus transportation to the observation deck of launch complex 39 which has views of both launch pads around the Kennedy Space Centre.
Admissions for this fantastic space attraction start from $50 for adults and $40 for children which includes all the IMAX space documentaries, all exhibits and shows, the Kennedy Space Centre tour bus and a 2nd day for free to use at the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame if used within a 7 day time limit.
Everglades National Park
The Everglades is a U.S. National Park that hosts the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. and is visited by over 1 million people each year and has more than 1.5 million acres of land. The Everglades National Park consists of 6 different ecosystems that include, fresh water sloughs and marl prairies, tropical hardwood hammocks, pineland, cypress and mangrove, coastal lowlands, marine and estuarine.
The park spans over the three counties of Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier and there are plenty of activities for people to take part in such as hiking, camping, boats and jet skis, although the water vehicles are only prohibited in certain areas due to the protection of manatees and other marine animals. The park contains four visitor’s centres along the hiking trails and costs $10 per private vehicle which grants access for 7 days.
Fort King Site
Named after Colonel William King who was Florida’s fourth infantry commander, the site is located near what would become the city of Ocala which is in the north of Florida. The fort was constructed in 1827 and became unused in 1829. The site has a history of serving as a base for the United States removal of the Seminole and was a centre for military operations due to its centralised location location.
Today the site has no remains of the fort, which has since been salvaged for building materials - meaning that it is now 37 acres of vacant land amongst a residential area. The site opens to the public from sunrise to 7pm and contains a heritage centre, interpretive trail, and picnic facilities.
Bok Tower Gardens
The park began in 1921 and consists of a 250 acre garden, a 62m tall singing tower with carillon bells, two different trails, and a visitor’s centre. The tower was built in 1929 upon the Iron Mountain, one of the highest points in Florida which is estimated to be 90m above sea level. Surrounding the tower is a 4.6m koi pond and although the interior is not open to the public, the tower still makes a great point of interest around the gardens.
These famous attractions are just part of the reason why so many people to choose to invest in property for sale in Florida, either as a holiday home or an investment property.
Florida is a state with a long history and the land it occupies dates back to the 16th century. During the 16th century, Florida was inhabited by major Native American groups that controlled the land such as Apalachee, Timucua, Ais, Tocobaga, Calusa, and Tequesta.
Florida was the first part of continental America to be visited by European explorers who came over with a Spanish conquistador called Juan Ponce de Leon who spotted the peninsula and named the land La Florida; which means flowery land.
Spanish explorers settled on the land and introduced the Christian religion around 1559 and other elements of Spanish life like travelling by horse and the Spanish language. In 1565 a Spanish colony of St Augustine was established. It was eventually burnt to the ground by the English who controlled Florida from 1763 for 20 years and divided the land into two; East Florida and West Florida.
Spain acquired both East and West Florida after the British were defeated by the American colonies and many Americans moved there after Spain offered grants to those who settled there. What followed was many years of conflict with the Indians, which brought about the Seminole war, which resulted in the Americans controlling East Florida.
In 1821 President James Madison was given authority to take possession of East and West Florida and in 1822 East and West were merged together. 1845 saw the state become the 27th state of the United States of America as a slave state and many of the Seminoles were moved to the west.
Known as “The Sunshine State”, Florida has a climate that is controlled by the fact that every part of the state is close to the sea and has a true tropical climate; which means high temperatures in the summer months are around the low 30s Celsius and around 4-7 degrees Celsius at the beginning of January.
Since Florida is of sub-tropical climate, the state rarely gets snow and frost is only present during the winter months.
Storms and severe weather can be common in Florida, with lightning, thunderstorms, hurricanes and tropical storms due to its sub-tropical climate - it is also unusual for hurricane season to pass without incident.
During the winter, Florida gets a lot of attention from tourists due to the temperate and climate, which helps to drive the demand for properties for sale in Florida.
The wildlife in Florida consists of many different species of marine animals, mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates all with rapidly growing populations thanks to the large amount of wildlife parks and nature reserves in the state.
The state takes wildlife very seriously both encouraging the increase of populations and hunting certain breeds of snakes that are not native and have been released into the wild.
Similar in culture to the rest of the U.S, Florida’s culture has been influenced by immigrants coming from Latin America and Europe and since Florida has a large tourist industry, this can affect culture also.
Florida has its own cuisine which is called Floribbean; similar to the culture, the cuisines are influence by the immigrants that have come to Florida. These dishes are heavily influenced by traditional Caribbean food and include many similarities including spices, seafood, poultry, fruits, juices and the way that the food is prepared and cooked.
Florida even has several unique music genres including Florida breaks; a genre of break beat music, and Miami bass; a sub genre of hip hop music.
Sport in Florida is very popular with many different sports teams that represent the towns and cities in the state such as the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Jacksonville Jaguar who are the most American football teams in the state. Baseball teams in the state include Miami Marlins, and the Tampa Bay Rays and taking part in the NBA are the basketballs teams the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. During spring, around half of Major League Baseball teams carry out spring training in the state of Florida where they are organised into what is called the “Grapefruit League”.
Most of Florida’s economy is powered by the tourism that the state attracts, with a lot of the jobs and money coming from attractions and theme parks; an area which Florida excels at. The Kennedy Space Centre is one major attraction for people not just in the state or the country but from all over the world.
Additionally the film industry has had a massive impact on the state, with popular studios such as MGM and Universal Studios. Universal Studios has become a major tourist attraction itself and contains a theme park as well as film and television studios, where many movies and television series are filmed.
Florida’s tourism is also drawn in by the beauty of the state itself, by vacationers looking to experience some of the best beaches in the U.S, such as Miami and Daytona Beach.
Over the past century construction, international banking, sciences, healthcare, aerospace and defence have help the economy in Florida, contributing greatly to what makes this state so attractive to investors and locals looking to relocate to a warmer climate. People who work in Florida can also benefit from the fact that Florida doesn't impose personal income tax on the people that work there.
The state’s tourism alone makes owning a property here a great prospect, especially for those looking to invest in a buy-to-let holiday home.