Moving to Florida? Here’s what You NEED TO KNOW!

Moving to Florida: What You Need to Know Before Making the Big Move

Are you considering moving to Florida? Many misconceptions surround the idea of relocating to the Sunshine State. Before you make a big move from out of state, let’s dive into what you really need to know.

The Allure of St. Johns County

St. Johns County is appealing to many looking to move to Florida. With its old Florida charm, temperate winters, and welcoming communities, it might just be the ideal location. However, there are a few key points to consider before you pack your bags.

Choosing the Right Location

Many homebuyers desire to be within walking or biking distance to the beach while also wanting newer homes with modern floorplans. Here’s the thing: coastal areas around St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, Jax Beach, and Palm Coast are mature, with older homes dominating the market. These homes, while charming, often have separate living and dining areas and can come with higher insurance and flood zone considerations.

It’s crucial to balance your wishlist: proximity to the beach versus the type of home and community you seek. There are numerous options 15 to 40 minutes away from the beaches. If you need more information about locations, please let us know. Focus on what is more important: location or floorplan.

Understanding the Cost of Living

Florida’s home prices have surged, and many homebuyers assume living here is inexpensive. However, the reality is different. In St. Johns County, the median price for a single-family home is $495,000. This price typically gets you a very nice three-bedroom, two-bath, two-car garage home, though it varies by location and home age.

The Importance of Insurance

Insurance costs are another critical factor. The age of the home significantly impacts insurance costs. Another thing, home insurance is vital in St. Augustine, Florida, due to the area’s susceptibility to severe weather and flooding, the financial protection it offers, and the peace of mind it provides homeowners.

Property Taxes

Property taxes in Florida can be a shock. In St. Johns County, the average tax rate is 1.28%. Property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, which is typically lower than the market value but still higher than expected. For example, a home assessed at $500,000 will have about $6,300 in property taxes annually. Additionally, if you are in a CDD community, you can add a fee on top of your property tax bill, ranging from $1,500 to $4,500.

Housing Market Misconceptions

Another misconception is that home prices are dropping significantly. While values are stabilizing and even dropping slightly, they are not plummeting. Interest rates and demand play a large part in determining home values. As of March 2024, demand remains strong even with rates in the high 6s. We monitor this closely, so if you have questions about specific neighborhoods or cities around the St. Augustine area, just reach out.

Considering New Construction

Many people opt for building new homes in St. Johns County. With options from builders like Pulte Homes, Richmond American, Lennar, Toll Brothers, ICI, and DR Horton, there are many choices. However, the process isn’t always smooth. Builders are doing their best, but issues can arise. They have floor plans and designs you can choose from, but these are not 100% custom homes. Customer service can vary greatly between builders.

Builders control the closing date, so it may not be feasible if you have a specific timeline in mind. Despite this, many builders here locally offer great experiences. If you’re considering building a home or want more information on new construction options, I have videos to share or we can set up a time to chat.

Florida Is Not Just for Retirees

Florida is often thought of as a retirement destination, but that’s not the whole story. In Northeast Florida, you’ll find a diverse population. Young families move here for the schools, professionals relocate for the weather and virtual job opportunities, retirees enjoy the warm climate, and many seek a winter getaway. There’s something for everyone.

Ready to Move?

Suppose you have questions about moving to Florida, especially Northeast Florida. In that case, whether you’re buying, selling, or just dreaming about a move, my team and I are here to be your go-to resource and to make your transition as smooth as possible. Contact us today to start your journey to the Sunshine State!

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.