Let’s not beat about the bush, Florida has an image worldwide. And while part of that image is sun, sand, and sea, there are also some common negative misconceptions we sometimes encounter in our travels. Here are the top four, and our responses to them – you might just be surprised!
1) It’s Tacky
Many people who haven’t been to Florida think it’s a fairly tacky destination. Many people who have been to Florida think it’s tacky also. We’d argue both are misguided, and the latter probably went to the wrong part of Florida. The fact is, Florida is a huge state, and it’s stunning. Old Florida- the untouched, undeveloped, natural side of Florida- offers more than 900 freshwater springs and 161 state parks.
There are 11 national parks/shorelines/preserves including the UNESCO World Heritage Site- Everglades National Park. In places such as these you can have unique encounters with nature such as kayaking through mangrove tunnels, tubing down oak-canopied crystal clear rivers dotted with manatees, or venture out on air boats to view alligators sunning on lake beds.
The Gulf and Caribbean waters offer opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Hiking and off-road biking can take you past watering holes for migratory birds or offer glimpses of armadillos, wild boars, and deer. With 1200 miles of coastline, there are so many beach experiences to be had, you can choose from those loaded with amenities or go so remote you hardly see another soul.
2) There’s No Culture
Since our hometown of Sarasota is known as the cultural capital of the state we shall begin by sharing that our city has its own philharmonic orchestra, ballet, opera house and performing arts center which hosts internationally-recognized talent and Broadway shows.
John and Mable Ringling of circus fame bequeathed to Sarasota one of the most beautiful museums in the United States. Art Basel, which began in Switzerland in 1970, began its winter edition in Miami in 2002. West Palm Beach is also a center for arts and history with the acclaimed Antique Row, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, and the Norton Art Museum. In terms of historical heritage, St. Augustine is the oldest European colony in the United States and has fascinating living museums, the Castillo de San Marcos, and a quaint colonial town center.
Throughout the state, it’s possible to find some of the most highly acclaimed and ethnically diverse restaurants in America. Yes, it is also possible to get a burger at a diner and watch an open air movie – a particularly American pursuit with cultural charm all its own.
3) It’s All About Disney
Of course Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the other theme park attractions surrounding Orlando are a major tourist draw, and see millions of happy families pass through their gates each year. However this represents a TINY fraction of the whole which is Florida. Away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks are sleepy seaside towns, pristine natural wildlife habitats, quiet coastlines, and fishing spots aplenty.
The tourism industry and rental markets don’t revolve solely around Disney, but also the beaches, boating, birding, shopping, fishing, water sports, and vibrant city life. If you don’t love the technicolor Disney experience, you don’t even have to lay eyes on it. You can come and find the Florida which speaks to you. Believe us, it’s there, you just have to discover it far from the madding crowd.
4) Property is Expensive
We hear this so often from buyers considering investing internationally. European buyers assume their money will go further, and they’ll get a cut price deal in Spain, Italy, Greece and France, or even Ireland. Not only are those markets rocky, but they don’t offer the kind of returns we are seeing over and over again in the Florida market, as well as the growth.
With entry points as low as $100,000 and a truly transparent, smooth and legalized buying process, your investment is secure in Florida, and if you buy well, it should also be growing and earning you money. We have clients who pay for their yearly vacations, cover the costs of their house, grow their equity, and have money in their pocket from their Florida holiday home investment- lifestyle, financial, and long term returns we’re not sure many other places can offer.
If you’d like to receive a hand-selected list of properties which match your criteria for an investment or holiday home please complete our referral form, and one of our Realtors will send you a personalized list within 24 hours.
Find the Perfect Realtor
We understand the uniqueness of international buyers’ needs and have created a system to personally match you with a local realtor that speaks your language, understands your needs, and can hand pick properties to fit your goals.
If you’re not sure which area of Florida might meet your needs please fill out our Location Finder, and one of the team will help you with suggestions.