Florida has long been considered the best destination for retirement. Warm, tropical weather lets you enjoy the great outdoors all year long. The vibrant communities and beachfront views lend themselves to a high quality of life. And because so many people consider it the place to spend their golden years, the hospitals are top-notch.
Of course, that’s not all Florida has to offer. This state, which experiences one of the fastest rates of annual growth, is known just as much for its family lifestyle as its booming nightlife. Depending on where you move, you might find everything from affordable neighborhoods with plenty of kids running around to upscale condos with streets that never sleep.
The Florida Real Estate Market
Because Florida is such a popular destination, home prices here tend to be a little steeper than the national average. City living (Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville) usually comes with higher real estate costs, while life in the smaller towns and outlying areas tends to be a little friendlier on the wallet. And of course, anytime you want to live directly on the water or overlooking it, you can expect to pay more for the privilege. Apartments and condos can soar well into the million dollar mark, especially if you’re looking for gated access and all the perks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find more affordable housing here.
Where to Live in Florida
Looking to get more for your dollar? Hoping to capture a certain kind of atmosphere in the place you call home? Then check out these up-and-coming Florida homes.
For a Smaller Beach City: Fort Meyers, which is located on the less popular side of the state (opposite the big destinations like Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale) is a tourist town, but not to the extent of its neighbors to the east. With just 65,000 residents and more real estate options, you can enjoy a quieter way of life that still puts you in touch with all the activities.
When Safety and Quiet Living Matter: Parkland, Florida was voted the safest city in the state—and with a population under 25,000 that’s made up primarily of families, it’s easy to see why. Although living here is a bit more expensive than many other locations, the great public school system and quiet setting make it well worth the investment.
For a Great Retirement: Whenever you talk about retirement in Florida, The Villages is likely to enter the conversation sooner or later. This entire community (located almost in the exact center, northwest of Orlando) is designed to be a place for active retirees to enjoy the weather, local lakes, and quality homes.
For Quality Big-City Living: If you don’t want to miss out on the big cities in Florida, but you want a setting that’s still safe and accessible, you probably want to stick to Fort Lauderdale. Efficient roadways, a fairly stable job market, and safe communities make it more appealing than many of the larger metropolitan areas, and it still has the benefit of all the activity of a main city center.