By Brian Wallace
In terms of influential areas in the United States, there are two clear leaders. California and New York have the biggest cities and the most explosive culture. The downside of that being that they’re incredibly expensive. Consequently young Americans aren’t really looking to settle down there. It’s just not realistic.
What this means is that young homeowners are flocking to many other areas. The desire to be in an interesting and diverse state that isn’t overly expensive is massive today. Florida manages to fit into this niche well. While it doesn’t have homes as affordable as the Midwest, cities like Tampa, Orlando and Miami keep people coming.
After all these cities may not be cheap, but Florida has a few ways to keep things cheap. First, there’s no income tax. It’s a simple thing to note but it leads to more money coming through every single paycheck. On top of this, there’s a lot of new housing being built in Florida. It’s a state with enough room to accommodate everyone that’s coming in.
This positions Florida as the second most popular housing market in the United States. Even better employment rates are great and still increasing in Florida. Small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive in Florida. In fact, the highest percentage of small businesses exists within Florida.
First-time homeowners and younger Americans actually are very common in Florida. It can feel like the vacation spot for older generations, but it’s rapidly becoming more than that. The percentage of homeowners who are first-time is 67% in Florida, that rate drops to 55% in California, for comparison.
A popular trend which America at large is loving and Florida accepts is remote work. 16% of all people within Florida worked remotely in 2022. Even for those who aren’t working remotely, the temperate weather keeps that very accessible. The daily temperatures in winter are high and the summer are low. Florida manages to be very pleasant all year round.
Of course buying a home is still an incredibly challenging process. There are different loans and down payments from company to company state to state. Florida has some of the lowest possible down rates, but there’s a lot of variance. For anyone using VA loans or DPA loans the process becomes very realistic and affordable. For those using conventional loans the process will rely much more on credit and other individual factors.
Overall though, the average home in Florida costs $392,000, a price that is by no means cheap. Although when looking at New York with an average price of $744,000, it seems a lot more reasonable. Even California has an average price over $50,000 higher. Yet clearly, it’s resting near the more expensive homes in the U.S. In contrast the cost of living in Florida is actually quite cheap. It hovers right around the national average, some areas in Florida really being quite affordable.
Like any state, Florida is not one uniform entity. Yet across the board Florida is interesting, livable and growing. For settling down or for building a life, there's a good reason homeowners are moving to Florida. The state isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely somewhere to keep one's eye on.
Brian Wallace is the founder and president of NowSourcing, a infographic design agency based in Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati, Ohio, and works with companies that range from small business to Fortune 500. Wallace also runs a local event to make the Louisville/Cincinnati region more competitive (#thinkbig).