Did you know that from 1967 to 1969, St. Petersburg, Florida, had sunny weather for a total of 768 days in a row, earning Florida a world record? Without a doubt, Florida is a great place to live if you want to get away from dreary winter days.
If you fancy moving to Florida, you most likely have many questions about buying a home, mainly if you are a first-time homebuyer. In this article, we’ll talk about the best time to buy a house in Florida and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Perks of Buying a House in Florida
Despite being a tourist destination and the home of many wealthy people, living in Florida is quite affordable. Florida’s affordability is primarily due to the following factors:
Although COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused a strain on the economy, it has benefited those looking to buy homes. At this time, it’s possible to get a home loan at lower interest rates than previously thought possible.
No Income Tax
Floridians are lucky when it comes to state income tax. While other states pay between four to eight percent of their earnings to the state, Florida residents pay absolutely nothing.
Reasonable Property Tax
When buying property, it’s essential to consider the property tax rate. While the national average is 1.08%, Florida has an average of just 0.98%. Of course, property tax varies depending on the county that your property is in, so make sure to check out the rate in your desired area.
Plenty of Properties to Choose From
With new listings hitting the market each day, there are always new deals and opportunities if you keep your eyes and ears open. Also, it’s possible to get an excellent deal on foreclosures or homes needing repairs.
Exemptions and Benefits for Florida Property Owners
The Sunshine State helps homeowners save money on their taxes and, in turn, be more likely to afford the home of their dreams in the long run. Here are a few of the most common exemptions in Florida:
Curiously, this exemption has been in place since the 19th century. It is available to those whose permanent residence is in Florida. Those who qualify must have lived at the property since January 1st of the tax year and cannot have rented the property for more than 30 days of the calendar year.
If you qualify for the Homestead exemption, up to $25,000 of the first $50,000 of your property’s value will be property tax-exempt. You may receive an additional exemption if your home is assessed at a value of $50,000 to $75,000.
Save Our Homes (SOH)
The Florida state constitution was amended so that homeowners could continue to afford their property taxes. This means that homes cannot increase by more than three percent each year.
Early Bird Specials
If you have the habit of doing your taxes early in Florida, you’ll be rewarded with a generous discount. Of course, if you want the maximum value (4%), you’ll need to file before the first of November.
If you are a veteran, law enforcement, first responder, or on active duty, you may be eligible for a tax exemption. Additionally, those who build a “granny flat” (housing for a parent or grandparent) on their property may be able to deduct all or part of the new construction.
Is It the Best Time to Buy a House in Florida?
Despite all the exciting exemptions and perks that Florida offers its residents, it may not be the best time to buy a house in Florida. In fact, some experts believe that Florida’s home prices will drop in the next few years, creating a buyer’s market. If this does happen, you will have wished that you had waited to buy your property.
That being said, if living in Florida is in your imminent plans, don’t put your life on hold while waiting for the perfect moment. You can surely take advantage of the exemptions, find an excellent home loan, and search for great deals on the market.
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