5 Desirable Cheap Towns in Florida

Lots of People Want Affordable Better Places to Live in Florida, But They’re Hard to Find Right Now!

It’s unusually hard to find affordable, high quality of life places to live in Florida right now, because this current Florida housing bubble has been inflating for over 10 years.

Allow me to explain…

I’ve been selling real estate since I was in my 20’s and now I’m 39 (my family says I’m much older but they don’t get it. I don’t have birthdays anymore, I only have anniversaries of my 39th).

The point is I’ve been in the business a long time and I’ve talked with 1000’s of buyers from many different states, different walks of life, etc.

While people may come in all kinds of shapes and colors and disagree about many things, when it comes to choosing where to live, we all basically want the same things.

  1. We all want to live in a community where we’ll feel safe.
  2. If we have children, we’re all concerned about the schools they’ll attend.
  3. If we need to work for a living, we all want to know we’ll be able to find suitable employment.
  4. We all want decent access to goods and services that we require to meet our needs. This can include grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, recreation medical facilities and more.

Since we all want the same things, we’re all looking to rent or buy in the same Florida cities and towns because they have what we want. Not all places do.

Right now, there is still more demand for housing in desirable places in Florida, than there are available homes for sale or rent to meet that demand.

When demand is greater than supply, prices go up.

Most of the people shopping for homes in Iowa today, are likely from Iowa.

Most of the people shopping for homes in Florida today are from Florida, and from just about any other state you can think of, as well as people from other counties.

Since unemployment and interest rates are at historically low rates, this means more of us have the ability to buy or rent right now.

So housing prices are going up in Iowa, but prices have really skyrocketed in Florida because people from all over are moving to the state, just like they always do when the economy is great.

So If You’re Looking for a Nice Cheap Place in Florida, I Have Some Bad News, Some Worse News and Some Good News for You.

The bad news…

Are you looking for a safe place that has a great school district, plenty of jobs to choose from, many different places to dine, drink and shop, that’s also near the beach or theme parks?

Well, there are places exactly like that in Florida, but because far too many of us want that, there aren’t enough places there to go around. So most of the places we want to live are not affordable right now for most people who want to move to Florida and keep their expenses low.

Even worse news…

If you find a cheap place in Florida that’s still cheap today after the market has been hot for years, there’s usually a good reason it’s still cheap.

What could that reason be? Well, lets take #1 from the list above of things we all want when we’re choosing a place to live “We all want to live in a community where we’ll feel safe” as an example.

Since we avoid places that we feel are unsafe (we don’t usually choose war zones for vacation), those places will have lower home and rental prices because of low demand. Just like when a recession hits and nobody is buying cars, the dealers offer 0% financing, $1000’s in rebates and slash prices. Low demand = low prices.

Here’s an example done June 18th 2019, of a place in Florida with low home prices and the likely reason why:

Lake City Florida– Homes for sale starting at $40,000 and a murder rate higher than Chicago, where you had a 1 in 14 chance of being a crime victim (property or violent crime) which is more than double your chances in the Windy City (based on FBI reporting for 2017).

Now the good news…

  • We’ve had a recession or downturn roughly every 7 years since the US was founded. We are now, as of June 18th, in the midst of the longest economic expansion since World War II. That’s a really long time ago because it was before I was born. So we are way overdue for a recession and when it happens, housing prices in Florida will collapse.
  • If you need to move to Florida before then, I have identified 5 places that have lower starting housing prices that also meet all of the requirements for desirability to be chosen for inclusion on this site. Those requirements are the same as the list of what we all want, from the beginning of the article. Prices quoted are from when this article was originally written, they may be higher or lower than available currently.

The 5 Cheapest (+Best) Places to Live in Florida With Videos!

*Prices may be much higher (thanks to this ridiculous market we’re in) or lower (like after the next recession, we have them every 7 years on average and we’re way way overdue) when you read this article.

In random order…

1) Cape Coral Florida

  • One of the best affordable places in southwest Florida
  • One of the more affordable (but still not cheap) places for a waterfront home with access to the Gulf of Mexico for people who plan to own a boat.

There were lots of condos available for under $100,000 and single family homes started in the low $100’s at the time this article was researched. There were brand new construction homes with 3 bedroom 2 baths with a garage starting around #150,000. They were not large homes but they’re priced about $100,000 less than the Florida and US median sale price. If you buy one of these lower prices homes or condos while interest rates are still fairly low, your total housing payment would likely be less than the $1500 a month it would cost to for the average rental here.

The population of Cape Coral is about 175,000 but it doesn’t feel like a city. The property and violent crime rates are low (unlike nearby Fort Myers which is not on any of our best places lists) making it one of the safest places to live in Florida. All other quality of life scores are also higher than average for Florida.

Cape Coral has over 400 miles of canal which is more than any other city on the planet. If you plan on buying a home for your boat, be sure to buy from an agent who has a boat and knows the waterways. Otherwise, you could end up paying a fortune for a home that would take you half a day just to get out to the Gulf. By that time it will be time to head back in.

I’ve had people tell me they thought Cape Coral was an ugly example of urban sprawl. Others love how much home they were able to get for their money compared to other places in southwest Florida. If you’re looking for a safe place to live in Florida where home prices for newer homes are lower, Cape Coral is worth consideration.

Terry Bradshaw in a promo video about Cape Coral

In the Florida Move Guide I cover lots of the reasons people move to Florida only to eventually move back. Here are just 2 things to be aware of before moving to Cape Coral. These will be the only negatives of living in Florida I will be covering in this article.

Algae…

Water levels…

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2) Edgewater Florida

  • One of the most affordable safe places along Florida’s east coast.
  • Close to Atlantic beaches.
  • Close enough for day trips to theme parks in Orlando.

This is a great choice if you’re moving to Florida on a budget and want to be near the beach or you’re a NASCAR fan. Mostly quiet uncrowded beaches are just minutes away and if you want more excitement, Daytona Beach isn’t far either. Edgewater is right off I-95 so trips north are convenient. Affordable, very safe, good schools, average job prospects all add up to a town worth serious consideration.

What? You never heard of Edgewater Florida. Well that’s one sign it may be a good place to live! Edgewater is a town of about 18,000 about 17 miles south of Daytona Beach just off I-95. Edgewater’s violent crime rate is far lower than the national average.

It’s just a short drive from Edgewater to many warm wonderful Atlantic Ocean beaches. It only takes about an hour to get to Orlando. So trips to the theme parks for a day are entirely possible. Move to Florida and be close to both the theme parks and the beaches? How jealous will your friends be when you call them in the middle of winter and it’s snowing there and you tell them you just got back from Disney and are now heading to the beach?

Edgewater is a town where there’s a lot of single family homes for sale for less than $100,000. Some are smaller older places that are closer to $50,000 that would be ideal for snowbirds or vacation homes. Rentals are hard to find so monthly rates are high. But if you intend to by a home cheap, this is currently a great place to look.

See a video about Edgewater, Florida

Book on Florida

3) Sebastian Florida

  • One of the most affordable safe places along Florida’s east coast.
  • Close to Atlantic beaches.

Continuing south on I-95 from about 100 miles or an hour and a half from Edgewater you’ll find the own of Sebastian. Sebastian also offers it’s residents a choice of some wonderful beaches to enjoy and is ideal for beach lovers and water-sport enthusiast.. Many of these beaches aren’t on the radar of the tourist yet so the aren’t quite as crowded during the winter. Nearby Sebastian Inlet State Park is known for it’s surfing and fishing and natural beaches. Also in the area is the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge offering some of the best bird-watching, fishing and sight seeing in the area. It’s an ideal place to take relatives and friends when they visit.

Homes and condos start in the low #100’s in Sebastian. Rentals in this area are in short supply so prices are higher than Florida’s average. Areas with inexpensive home prices and low crime rates are rare in today’s Florida but both Sebastian’s property and violent crime rate are considerably lower than the national average. Cheap, safe and near the beaches is hard to beat.

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4) Dunedin Florida

  • A more affordable place near west coast beaches.
  • One of the safest most walkable downtown’s in Florida. Leave the car at home.
  • Lots of affordable condos here if that’s your desire.

Bikeable, walkable and just plain likable this is one of the safest towns in Florida that’s close to both beaches and a major city. This was also a pick on our best small towns list. A quick check showed there were still some condos here priced under $100,000, but the better single family homes under $200,000 were selling quickly when this was written. A small town with good schools, low crime, low cost of living, average job prospects near beaches and all the amenities you could want, Dunedin is what most people move to Florida for, but never really find.

See a video about Dunedin, Florida

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5) Coconut Creek Florida

  • An more affordable place for condos in south east Florida
  • May be ideal if you’re looking for a place with a more diverse population.

Located between the much more expensive cities of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Coconut creek is just a short drive from some of the best beaches on the east coast of Florida. It also offers easy access to major Southeast Florida employment, shopping and entertainment centers. Coconut Creek’s property and violent crime rate are lower than the national average. Actually, it’s violent crime rate is far lower.

If your Florida dream involves condo living where all the hard work is done for you, then this town may be where your dream can come true, for less. There are a ton of condos on the market for under $100,000 in Coconut Creek at the time this was written. If you’re still a youngster (under 55 years of age) be sure to check for age restrictions on who can own the condo. Although there were a few small single family homes for around $100,000, most were twice that or more.

Coconut Creek is safe community close to world class beaches. It’s somewhat diverse. About 16% of the population is African American and Hispanics account for about 25%. It’s less than an hour to Miami and anything you could possibly want to see, buy or do. The Miami metro area is expensive but Coconut Creek is an affordable option especially if you’re looking to live a condo lifestyle.

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Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

  • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.

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49 thoughts on “5 Desirable Cheap Towns in Florida”

  1. I’ve been a Floridan my entire life. I enjoyed reading this article more than I can tell you. I moved from the farming community in the Redland to Highland Beach, three months ago. I have buyer’s remorse. I wish I’d have sought your advice before my giant mistake. Now I’m looking for what I wanted in the first place. What my (friend) realtor convinced me I did not want. A single-family home on the ocean NOT the townhouse I’m stuck in! I take full responsibility for this mistake, I let others change my strong Irish head. It won’t happen again! Thanks again for your terrific writing.

    Sincerely,
    Trish

    • Hello Trish,
      Well it worked out for her, didn’t it? Your friend/agent sold you something you didn’t want, now she gets to sell that again (additional $$$$$ for agent, loss for you) and get you into another places (more $$$$$ for agent, loss for you ). Plus you get to pack and move again!

      Buyers have to protect themselves these days more than ever. Remember, the agent is the “expert” because they spent 2 weeks getting a license. They know what’s best for you. And most importantly, it’s always a good time to buy (for the agent). They were telling people it was a good time to buy right before the market dropped 40-60% in Florida when the last bubble popped. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t someone right now in Afghanistan saying it’s a great time to buy.

      Hope things work out much better with your next move Trish. Thanks for sharing your story.

      Just so everyone knows, as spelled out in our terms of service, this is not a real estate services website and we do not get involved in buying, selling, renting or any other real estate services on, or through, this website. Thank you.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

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    • Hi Patricia, my name is Helena. I appreciate your comment. I live in New Jersey and looking to move down to Florida. I read that Coconut Creek is a good area to relocate but Ill mostly appreciate your thoughts on it!! :) !!! Thanks again..p.s i can’t wait for st. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE!!

  2. May be time to update this article? Nothing under $100k in Edgewater except mobile homes in parks. Right now there is nothing affordable in Florida -I live here and know this isn’t the right time to buy but can barely afford the rent because of how out of control that is. Willing to drive to work and still no reasonable rents.

    • Same. I want to buy but too expensive. Rent is so high now.

  3. Great article and comments Ron.
    I am trying to move back for healthcare I can’t get in TN for rare hereditary autoimmune disorder I fell ill with 3 years ago. My companion and I both have family there and my disease is treated in many places in FL. I reno and remodeled my home in SE TN to sell, but got sick before I could list it. If I don’t get treatment, I will succumb to this.
    Our budget is small. 100k with no HOA fees, less than 100k with HOA. Have 2 small pets under 10#. Family cannot help with housing.
    I am going to read your guide. We are looking for less than 100k in a safe area. Prefer near a beach but not mandatory. My breathing is better near the ocean.
    Should I assume that I can’t afford anything decent in FL and look to other states? Tornadoes terrify me as do brushfires.
    Any suggestions? I wish I wouldn’t have invested in this house in TN. Never ever thought I would get sick and be forced to stay here. Bedridden 3+ years and I am still young.Thankyou.

    • Hello Maggie,
      As you know, I’m not a doctor. But finding a nice home in a desirable safe area near the beach in Florida for under $100,000 in this market is probably not possible. Finding a home like that in the middle of no-where in FL wouldn’t be a sure thing right now. Because of covid, people having been buying in the middle of no-where in just about every state, pushing the prices up. Given the little info you provided (please don’t provide any more because this isn’t the place) I would probably deal with the most important issue first, my health, by renting if I had to, in the best place that my doctor(s) recommended, then worry about buying later because maybe I’ll be healthy and working which can change everything. Good luck Maggie.
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
    • Maggie Are you old enough to live in a 55+ community, you or your companion? If so, you could live in a 55+ community purchasing a mobile home. There are some really lovely communities in Port Orange and Daytona Beach. My husband and I live in one here in Port Orange and are 5 miles from the beach. We purchased our beautiful home for $18K and they allow pets!
      You do have to pay “lot rents” but they vary in cost and are still very reasonable. The community we live in looks like a regular neighborhood, homes look individual. sidewalks, mature trees etc.
      I hope this is helpful. If you are of the correct age, just google 55+ communities, Volusia County. Best of luck to you and improved health. God Bless.

    • Hi! Wishing you well in your search. But if you, especially Maggie, are still looking to relocate to Florida, it is so expensive, and inventory is very low or non-existent. I did recently hear that Avon Park, Highlands County was voted the least favorable to live in, in Florida because there isn’t much to do there, and the cost of housing is lower. It is a very quiet area, but it might suit your needs. Again, sorry if this is very late. Take care!

      • Many people rely on these lists for real insight. So If I see a place that’s recommended in a comment and it’s one of the worst places to live in Florida, I’ll reply to that comment. Avon Park Florida does has some pretty cheap homes, but don’t you wonder why in the hottest real estate market Florida ever had, there are still some places that are really cheap? Avon Park has high crime, high poverty, failing schools, etc. There’s a huge difference between cheap(er) places to live that offer a high quality of life, and places you’ll probably regret moving to right away. Afghanistan is really cheap right now too…
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        Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

        • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

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      • Many people rely on these lists for real insight. So If I see a place that’s recommended in a comment and it’s one of the worst places to live in Florida, I’ll reply to that comment. Avon Park Florida does has some pretty cheap homes, but don’t you wonder why in the hottest real estate market Florida ever had, there are still some places that are really cheap? Avon Park has high crime, high poverty, failing schools, etc. There’s a huge difference between cheap(er) places to live that offer a high quality of life, and places you’ll probably regret moving to right away. Afghanistan is really cheap right now too…
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        Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

        • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

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  4. Hi Ron,
    I just finished reading your excellent Florida Move Guide. The hurricane chapter is eye opening and something the vast majority of people thinking of moving to Florida never even think of, so thanks for your insights on this rarely discussed (big) negative about living in Florida! I have just one question for you and I do hope you will reply to it: As far as I have read in your book and this website, except for a mention that you lived near the Gulf of Mexico, you have never stated what specific city(s) or town(s) you lived in during your time in Florida and I think it might benefit your readers just to know what city(s) you lived in (in)Florida? Thanks for writing a realistic book and not just another puffery, Chamber of Commerce boosting book about moving to “paradise”, which in my humble opinion Florida has not been since at least the 1970’s and I have been visiting Florida regularly since that decade! Thanks Again!….Tony

    • Not only Florida has changed, but other places have changed since the 1970s.

  5. What are safest, warmest and economical places in Georgia for retirees/seniors to live?

  6. What are the best places for retirees/seniors to live

    • The best places for retirees/seniors to live in Florida can be found on this list, but they aren’t cheap places to live. All of the places on my lists are better places to live, but that list adds the additional requirement of having a medical facility that is highly rated by Medicare (not easy to find in Florida). The problem is that most people want the best for as little as they can spend, but when I name a place, demand for housing there grows and that pushes rental and home prices up.
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
  7. Hi Ron,
    I am looking for a place around Miami where I will not be harassed or abused. I have lived around a lot of the country. Looking for a good safe place.
    Thanks
    Les

    • Hello Les,
      Safe places to live in the Miami area are not cheap, but the best places are in this article.
      All of the places on all of my lists have crime rates lower than the national average, but this list offer some of the safest (and best). Again, there are less expensive places to live in Florida that suffer from high crime rates and therefore lower demand for homes resulting in lower pricing, but I don’t recommend or list them on this website.
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.
  8. Are any if the space coast beaches on your lists.?

  9. Hi Ron,

    What are your thoughts on Palm Coast? Do you think it is a wise decision to move there? Any feedback is appreciated.

    • Sorry, but Palm Coast does not qualify for this best inexpensive places to live list or any other list we have.

  10. Hello Ron

    What about Anna Maria Island? I vacationed in Bradenton and traveled almost daily to Anna Maria.. Bradenton or on Anna Maria? Thoughts?

    Thank you

    • Hello Vivian,
      Anna Maria would qualify for consideration for most of our best places lists, but certainly not for the above cheapest list because it’s one of the most expensive places to live in Florida. Bradenton is far cheaper overall but would not qualify for any list because of high crime rates and other low ratings.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
  11. Don’t move here if you don’t like hot weather (6 -8 months). My neighbors complain all summer long and I tell them to move back north (to which they respond they hate the weather up north!). The cost of living here is much less than up north (especially states like NY and MA that have state income taxes, high property taxes, high auto insurance, etc.. People complain that the salaries are lower – but your $16 an hour at Burger King isn’t going to go far in Boston area!

    Food prices are pretty much the same everywhere. If you can sell a quart of milk for $2 in OH, why sell it for less here?

    Traffic is terrible in urban areas – same problem up north.

    Crime is always on increase, especially in urban areas (as population increases, so does crime).

    Storms, hurricanes come here. Every area of the country has weather problems. Example: CA has wildfires, mud slides, earthquakes, flooding, and high prices and state taxes.

    We also have some poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions – same as southwest or other areas that are warm. They don’t want to live where it’s cold, either.

    I left northeast weather 37 years ago. And, if we have to hear how great everything is up north, we charge $20.

    • Snowstorms don’t level entire towns like hurricanes do. You don’t have to evacuate your home when they’re calling for snow. Global warming: Winters in the northeast are getting milder, Florida’s heat and humidity are getting worse. Don’t believe in global warming? Move to where it’s already hot like Florida and live there a few years. Buy the cheapest home you can find so maybe you won’t lose too much when you move back.

  12. What are the most affordable housing inland not on coast?

    • Hello Anna,
      There are reasons that some places have the “most affordable housing” in Florida, whether they are on the coast or inland. Home prices are a result of supply and demand. The more desirable, the higher the demand will be as well as prices generally. If people find an area to be undesirable (whether that’s a particular neighborhood, section of town or an entire city) because of high crime rate or other reasons such as being next door and down-wind of a sewer plant or dump, prices will be lower.

      I recommend looking for the most affordable home you can find, in any one of the best places lists on this website so you enjoy a place that offers a higher quality of life. Some places are cheaper to rent in and some it’s cheaper to buy. All of the best places on this list are inland and may work for you if you can find something you can afford. Good luck Anna.
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
    • I found a place in the Sebring area. Its immaculate! Gated, in a small town! Do you want to be near a huge city? No crazy traffic here. Homes that when new were 150-200k are now under 80k! Some are only 20k! You want a deal in a well kept and very nice 55 community in Florida? Try Sebring.

      • Sebring Florida is not recommended and is not on any of our best places to live lists, including the above least expensive list. There are great places to live in Florida for less, and then there are cheap places that are low priced for a reason. The reason? Supply and demand, most don’t want to live there so demand is low causing real estate prices to sink. The “Homes that when new were 150-200k are now under 80k! Some are only 20k!” you wrote about are a great example. You report this after 10+ years of rising prices into bubble territory elsewhere in Florida.

        A small town located anywhere, even Florida, with a violent crime rate twice the national average, is not what most are looking for.
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        Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

        • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Mike send me some pictures to my email

  13. I was wondering what you thought the real estate prices will do while we are still in this pandemic? Do you think prices are going to stay stable or drop? And when do you think we will see the bottom

    • Hello Blade,
      So you want to know if the covid-19 pandemic will cause Florida homes to become cheaper? I wrote an entirely separate article on that subject, but the short answer is yes, a major financial disruption like we are going through now can only cause currently inflated Florida home prices to become less expensive. How much more affordable and when it will happen is also addressed in the article.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
  14. Love your article!! Are you still selling real estate? I’m looking to buy in a couple months. I’m a single mom of three on a pretty tight budget (150-200k). Thinking about the Cape Coral area. Another question… I am a 100% Total & Permanent disabled veteran, is there a property tax exemptions?

    • Hello Carissa,
      First of all, thank you for your service to this country. There is an additional tax exemption available for disabled veterans, in addition to the standard for Florida residents living in their primary home located in the state. More information about all of the property tax exemptions available that can make living in your own home in Florida more affordable, can be found on this page at Nolo.com
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      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
  15. Hello Ron.

    Thanks for your posts/information regarding So. Florida Living. My wife and I are planning to purchase a home in Florida around September/October of this year. It will be our retirement home. We were considering Ft. Myers as it is where her sister recently purchased and it would be nice to be near family. I am concerned about the crime rate in Ft. Myers.
    In our near 30 years of marriage, we have visited Sarasota more than several times and are very comfortable there but price has always been a consideration.
    I am starting to look closer at Venice, being a spot in between both locations and I actually like an older crowd!
    I am curious what your thoughts are towards housing cost and availability in September as a result of the current state of our country as a result of Coronavirus…

    Thanks for any input you can share

    • Hello Bob,
      When the economy is good, Florida home prices usually rise far faster than they do in other states. During recessions, they usually sink farther and faster. We likely are at at the beginning of a new recession according to articles such as this one from the WSJ

      However, the current economic downturn is unlike any other. Every day people normally want to move to Florida, and people who previously moved there want to move out (after the FL honeymoon is over). Just one of the many issues unique to this recession is, some people can’t sell their home to move to Florida because their state has closed real estate offices. Also, people who have decided that moving to Florida was a mistake, may not be able to buy a home where they want to move to for the same reason, real estate activity is order to shut down, and the state may have a more serious problem with covid-19. How this will effect supply and demand for Florida homes, and therefore prices is not exactly clear because it’s something completely new.

      Florida home prices don’t move up or down daily as fast as the stock market, but they do tend to follow what happens on Wall Street, just months behind. I do think Florida real estate prices will be more affordable in Sept/Oct, but that’s 6 months away. Just 2 months ago (this was written on 5/1/20) we still had the best economy in this country’s history.

      Fort Myers and Sarasota are not recommended on this website because of crime rates, although it’s easier to avoid problem areas while in Sarasota. Venice is one of the safest places to live in the US today, crime-wise, and is highly recommended by us and has been for years. However, housing is not cheap there anymore.

      The Florida Move Guide says that moving near friends or relatives already in the state, increases the long term chances of satisfaction for all involved because it can help reduce the isolation many feel after moving to Florida, away from loved ones.

      Good luck Bob.
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
  16. I noticed you recommend North Port and Punta Gorda on this site. What about Port Charlotte? I see it is located near both.

    • Hello Tyler,
      Port Charlotte’s property and violent crime rate are estimated to be far higher than the national average. To Qualify for our “best” lists, both rates must be lower than the national average.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
  17. My family and I will be moving to Florida in the next month or two to be closer to my daughter. She lives in Navarre, so we have been looking around that area. It seems that Pensacola’s cost of living (especially housing, which is our first cost priority) is significantly lower than Navarre or any of the other towns around her. But Pensacola seems to get a lot of bad reviews. Is it really that bad? I am a retired military and have heard that the VA in Pensacola is good, so I am torn. How do the towns around Navarre (center of gravity of our search due to my daughter) rate for housing costs and safety?

    • Hello Chris,
      The Florida Move Guide explains how during good economic times, the number of people who move to Florida daily increases. This demand pushes real estate prices up faster than most other states. As of the July 2019, this current US economic expansion has lasted longer than any other in our nation’s history. This is why prices are so high right now in Florida in any area that is a desirable place to live. We “normally” have a recession every 7 years or so in this country, and that’s when prices in Florida usually drop faster, farther than other states. The likelihood of a recession in the next month or two is remote, so that won’t help you.

      However, even during boom times in Florida, places that have lower demand due to some undesirable quality of life factor, can still have lower housing cost. Higher crime rates is one such undesireable factor because most avoid moving to such places, and move out if they can, reducing demand and therefore prices. Navarre has crime rates below the national average, Pensacola has crime rates significantly higher than the national average. If someone buys a home in an area where crime could increase, this could negatively affect the value of their “investment” and their quality of life. I always look at what a place will likely be like in 3, 5 and 10 years from after I sink my money into that community.

      The other issue with trying to buy a reasonably priced home in a highly transient state during boom times when far more people are moving in, in that area, is that it is “sparsely” populated, compared to other areas of the 3rd most populated state in the country. There’s mostly just smaller towns in that area (there’s nothing wrong with that of course, that’s what lots of people prefer) so there is normally just a small number of places available for rent or sale at any given time. This website gets a lot of traffic every day, and if I put a high quality of life small town with affordable home or rental prices in this reply to your comment, the pricing will shoot up almost overnight because it won’t take many new buyer in that market to outstrip the supply. This most affordable article is the most visited page.

      The good news is the Florida Move Guide says a high number of people who move to Florida end up moving out. But when you move near relatives or good friends already in Florida, it increase the chance of all involved of being happier with their move long term. Good luck Chris.
      _____
      Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”

      • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.
      • Is there a better state to relocate to or a better retirement lifestyle for you than moving to Florida? You’ll know after reading How to Retire Happier.
    • Is Dunedin, Florida prone to sinkholes?

  18. Hi there,
    I’m in a long distance relationship from UK > FL, we’re both 18 and I’m taking a gap year before college while he attends Pensacola state since it’s nearby to where he’s living. He’s getting an apartment set up in Pensacola for now (though I’m a little worried as it’s pretty dangerous and I’m from a small British town that really safe). When I apply to colleges and see what I like (I’m studying foreign languages), we’re going to move together and he’ll just switch to another college nearby.

    could you recommend me some areas that are student friendly (affordable wise and interesting wise) and relatively safe? be that with considering nearby colleges or not.
    Here are a few things that interest me just so you get the full idea of my preferences: lots to do without too much driving (preferably places to walk to like gyms, malls/shops, restaurants, clubs, etc., if not, decent public transport to an area like that would be great too), not too far from the beach, hot, diverse (as I’ll be language learning) and safe-ish.

    Apologies if my preferences are too particular, it’s okay for them to not all be met but the most important I’d say is the lots to do somewhat locally and diversity.
    Thanks!!

    • Commute xs are critical for students and remember every day in the afternoon in Florida you will get clobbered by a thunder storm with a torrential down pour. Tourist season and college overlap,traffic will triple in volume.

  19. Thank you so much for your advise. Makes me take a second look at leaving up north for Florida home but if I did this was wonderful advise!!

    • Florida is getting NY prices for rent….the places are old and do not offer much
      I moved here from NY the only reason I did was I am on the beach, that gets old real fast.
      The traffic is awful I am in Broward. Don’t buy a condo you have absolutely no rights I asked to see the “Official Records” of my condo , there weren’t any. I went to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations so corrupt as well as Broward Judges. I lost my case because I couldn’t afford a retainer of 20,000. I sued my association for the stipend of 500.00 for denied access of the “Official Records per Florida Statues 718.111 . The association after 35 yrs raised our maintenance , in Florida a condo association can take out a loan to fix up anything without a vote from the condo association members . Our condo board took out a three million dollar loan, my share 41, 500 if anyone on this board wants to buy in a condo, you give up your rights. Don’t do it, unless you can keep your mouth shut and turn away from corruption. Surprise….this is reality. Buy in a condo , shut up and give the board the money

      • Hello DK,
        It may be too late for you, but the Florida Move Guide warns that the dream of moving to Florida and buying a condo so everything is taken care of, is extremely tempting but it only works out for some and doesn’t work for many of us long term. The book also explains how to get a better idea, before we move, if it will be right for us.

        Everyone buying a condo in Florida should have the opportunity to review the condo docs. Many buyers don’t bother examining them but doing so can avoid expensive issues. This is especially true if you’re buying a condo because you believe it will be less costly because your expenses are “fixed”.

        The book also warns what can happen when people move to Florida “for the beach”. A condo near the beach where all the maintenance is taken care of for us so all we have to do is lie on the beach works great for vacations in Florida, or a three month summer at the beach in the northeast.

        I hope things work out for you DK, but if your Florida dream doesn’t work out, you won’t be the first it happened to. Or even the millionth.
        _____
        Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy” of Zeus Press Inc

        • Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide. Avoid expensive mistakes.

        _____

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