Why Buy A Home In Southwest Florida?
Despite the pounding tropical rain during the summer and the strong, gusty autumn winds, Florida remains one of the top 10 population growth states for over a decade. It takes more than a storm to deter residents and potential residents from the sunshine state. Are you currently considering moving? Maybe you’re asking, why buy a home in Southwest Florida? It is common for people to come and visit and fall madly in love with Southwest Florida’s white, sandy, pristine beaches and breathtaking Everglades. You want to buy your own piece of paradise! Today our expert team of residential real estate agents will share some insider tips about why to buy a home in Southwest Florida.
1. No Income Tax
Taxes… No one likes paying taxes. They eat away at your paycheck and impact what you can and cannot afford to do and what you can and cannot afford to buy. Why buy a home in Southwest Florida? Well Florida is one of seven states that do not have any income tax. No income tax can save you substantial money over the years, especially if you sit in a high-income tax bracket. It also means social security retirement benefits, income from an IRA or 401k, and pension income are not taxed. In addition, Florida’s constitution prohibits the state from forcing any individual income tax, so income tax won’t be coming to Florida anytime soon. Who doesn’t want a higher disposable income to spend money on things you want and enjoy?
2. No Estate Tax
Not only does Florida not have an income tax, but they also don’t have an estate tax. Hopefully, you plan on living for many years to come, but you can rest easy knowing that when your time comes, Florida has no estate tax. An estate tax is also known as the death tax. It is the tax charged when an estate transfers to another person after the owner passes away. As of 2005, Florida no longer charges estate tax.
3. Homestead Exemption on Property Taxes
The money just keeps flowing! In Florida, you will receive a homestead exemption on property taxes for $50,000, decreasing the property’s taxable value. What does this mean? More money in your pocket!
4. Protect Your Assets
Owning a home in Florida is relatively low risk, as the state will ensure that your investment is safe by offering various asset protection benefits. For example, in Florida, the Homestead creditor protection benefit means that no creditor can force the sale of your homestead just to satisfy a judgment.
5. Lower Real Estate Taxes
Florida wants to welcome you with open arms and lower real estate taxes! The Florida real estate market has a 0.83% property tax, which puts it substantially lower than the national average of 1.07%!
6. Employment Opportunities
As of February 2022, Southwest Florida’s unemployment rate was down to 3.9%! Compared to the nation’s 6%, that is very impressive! In addition, in 2020 Southwest Florida commercial market sat at #1 nationally per the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As a result, investors are comfortable making moves here in Florida, which boosts the local economy, thus helping provide more jobs. This means that job creation in Southwest Florida is strong. The government, community, and business leaders in Southwest Florida are collaborating to create a strong economy with high-wage, stable jobs.
Southwest Florida Employment Statistics:
- The GDP of Southwest Florida (Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA) is over $34.5 billion. And it keeps growing!
- According to the BLS, job growth in the construction, professional and business services, and education and health services sectors remains strong.
- The unemployment rate in the region is 3.9%.
- Collier and Lee, the two largest counties in Southwest Florida, boast job growth of 6.2% and 4.6% year-over-year.
- The average household income in Cape Coral-Fort Myers is $62,240. It keeps growing by 10.9%!
7. Ideal Weather (Mostly)
Yes, moving to Florida might save you a lot of money, but what are the other appeals to the state? Well, Southwest Florida has some incredibly beautiful weather. With ten months of sunshine and warmth, it means you can enjoy a morning stroll on the beach most days of the year. During the day, the temperature stays above a mild 60 degrees and rests above 40 degrees at night. While it is very humid, you can’t beat the sunshine!
8. Quality of Life
While financial and career stability are wonderful draws, what else does Southwest Florida have going for it? In addition to balmy beach days, U.S. News and World Report place Fort Myers (the largest city in Southwest Florida) as the 100th best place to live and the 7th best place to retire in the U.S.
Important Quality of Life Stats:
- Southwest Florida boasts a tropical climate, water, wildlife, and an ecosystem of preserves, sanctuaries, swamps, and estuaries.
- Major cities include Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, and Marco Island.
- World-class theme parks in Orlando are about a three-hour drive from Fort Myers.
- Everglades National Park, Edison Ford Winter Estates, and the Babcock Wilderness Preserve are all in Southwest Florida.
- Lee Memorial Hospital, NCH Baker Hospital Downtown, and Gulf Coast Medical Center are among the three best hospitals in Florida.
- The “Golfing Capital of the World,” Southwest Florida, has more than 150 golf courses.
- Are you a sports fan? The Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rangers all hold spring training in Southwestern Florida.
9. Know What You’re Getting Into
It is essential to have someone credible, honest, and knowledgeable about the area helping to guide you in your purchasing journey. A trusted real estate agent can offer insight into the market and help you ask the right questions. Our real estate team wants to help you save money on closing costs and prevent you from experiencing any of that nasty “Buyer’s Remorse.”
Florida is a High Closing Cost State
What does this mean? Most buyers don’t know this, but the Florida real estate market has high closing costs, especially when you purchase from builders and developers. You can easily see some examples of these higher closing costs when purchasing a new construction property.
In Southwest Florida, when you purchase a newly built home, the builder or developer will expect you to pay the documentary stamp taxes, a pre-set amount into the community’s “cap” fund, the owner’s policy of title insurance, and an (occasionally) a 1.5% fee for their costs. On a $300,000 home, these fees can equal over $10,000. Therefore, it is important to have someone help you navigate and negotiate a fair deal.
Deed Restricted Communities
It can feel very intimidating to purchase a Southwest Florida home in a deed-restricted community. Many condos, homes, and properties in Southwest Florida sit in a planned development, both gated and non-gated. Homeowners associations govern these communities. Recorded documents will determine how you may use your new property. These rules are especially important to consider when purchasing a home to rent, a vacation home, or a second home. In addition to following the rules, you will pay a certain monthly or annual fee. This homeowner’s association fee goes towards the upkeep and maintenance of the community’s common elements.
Let’s Buy A Home in Southwest Florida!
While it is important to have a trusted real estate agent working alongside you, there remain so many wonderful reasons why you might want to move to Southwest Florida! Come and experience for yourself how breathtaking our Florida sunsets are, the warm sand between your toes, and the cool shade of palm branches. If you want to buy a home in Southwest Florida, call Jim Westerfield today! See what past clients have to say concerning their experience with Jim and his team. We look forward to helping you find your piece of Southwest Florida paradise!