Moving to Florida? Locals Say Stop

Are the out of state home buyers ruining Florida?

A survey of over 1,000 Florida homeowners found that 73 percent of Floridians believe that too many individuals have come in from out of state, resulting in increased prices and no inventory, putting pressure on the housing market for locals.

Many Floridians are frustrated by out-of-state home buying competition and believe they are being priced out of the market and 51% of those polled are thinking of leaving the state entirely, while 67% are considering a move to more affordable areas within the state.

However, the influx of out-of-state buyers has not changed how the majority of the polled Floridians feel about their state. Forty percent said it did change how they feel, with 60% saying it did not.
It’s no surprise that out-of-staters want to move to the Sunshine State. The reasons are the weather, amenities and taxes but I clearly remember the state being the butt of many jokes through the years and even called “FloridUH”. It’s funny how the tide changed.

Living in Florida: Concerns

Some properties purchased last year in our local market are now available at an 80 percent higher price. Some out-of-stater home buyers are purchasing these homes because it is still less money than where they are from. This increase in homes prices is making it more difficult for the locals who live and work here to purchase homes and live a comfortable life.
Another concern, the locals have is what type of people are moving in to the area. I can only speak for the people that are calling me directly and I can say that my customers ask how do the locals feel with all of the out of stater home buyers moving to the area. I find it interesting that they care.
People can be protective of their home towns or areas that they have lived in for a long time and are not comfortable with any type of change. I understand and respect that but let’s remember we are one country free to move from one state to the next which is what is so wonderful about the good old USA.

Florida Astounding Growth

St Augustine and St Johns County has seen a lot of growth and is the 10th fastest growing county in the U.S. with a 40% increase in the last 10 years so I can understand that the locals are a bit concerned so let me tell you what I am seeing as someone meeting people moving to the area everyday.
People are relocating to Florida for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is politics; they are tired of what has transpired in their home states and cities and simply want to live their lives as we all do.
My experience has been that no one is looking to change anything here in that aspect but with this influx of people moving to Florida, we are seeing a lot of development and some would say over development.
The locals are seeing what was once forest land cleared for new housing or commercial development resulting in the area feeling overcrowded.
Of course with growth comes opportunity, which means more jobs. So is that a bad thing? Probably not but growing in a responsible manner is something we would all like to see so if you have concerns about this, call the people who control it, your city and county commissioners.

While Florida has always been a transplant state, and St Augustine has always been a tourist stop. St Augustine has maintained a large population of Florida Natives with multiple generations raising their families here. For those considering St Johns or even Flagler county, please try to remember that. This isn’t Miami or Fort Lauderdale; it’s always been a smaller and more community-oriented town.
With that being said it’ll likely be a bit of an adjustment for you if you move here. It will feel more laid back then where you came from and that’s cool for you but just know that the locals are not seeing it the same way with an increase in traffic and unfamiliar faces. Even I used to see the same faces around town all the time but that’s not the case anymore. The locals are seeing their small town fade away so if you are moving here from out of state, do the southerly thing, say hello,give a wave, be courteous on the roads and leave that “in a rush where you came from”mindset behind you.

Home Prices in Florida

With people moving in from states like California and New York where housing is very expensive, we are seeing homes selling in St Johns County Florida for well above asking and driving home prices up. Is this a bad thing? Well it depends, if you are local and own a home, these increases have given you more equity in your property.

But and there is always a but; What about the local homebuyer? These home prices have affected things in a negative way for them. They’ve been priced out of the market, and their rental rates have risen in pace. This huge growth will also effect tax assessments, resulting in higher property taxes. The good news is that if you own a homestead, your property taxes will only rise by 1.4 %.

Closing Thoughts About Living In Florida

Of course, with any change there are positives and negatives and different perspectives but as for the people moving here, I can only speak from my own experience and what I can tell you is I am meeting some pretty cool, so all I can say to the locals is to not be too quick to judge because you could honestly be missing out on meeting your new best friend. We all want to live happily and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us and how lucky are we to live in a place that affords us that opportunity everyday.

You can’t stop change and I’ve lived enough places to experience that, but all of those experiences and all of the people I’ve met along the way have always been a positive thing for me personally so I can only hope the changes I’m seeing in this once quiet town will be a positive one as well.

I hope that helps to give a little perspective to both the locals and people moving into the area.

Thanks for tuning in and I’ll catch you on the next one.

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About the Author
Kim Devlin
Kim Devlin is Your St Augustine Realtor. A Relocation Specialist serving Northeast Florida, St Johns County and Flagler County. She enjoys sharing real estate tips and local insight on communities and living in St Augustine Florida. Tune in weekly and be sure to subscribe to her monthly newsletter.