Florida is becoming the hottest real estate market in the US.
Not only are natives on the move around the state, but a recent influx of out-of-state buyers has many new people calling Florida home. This article acts as a sort of “heads up” to new residents.
Florida is unique and has so much to offer. We love our state and hope you do too!
There are alligators everywhere.
Lakes? Yes. Canals? Yes. Ponds? Yes. Slightly deep puddle? You better be careful. In Florida, it is safest to assume that every body of water has a gator in it and act accordingly. It’s not an unusual occurrence to have gators end up in pools, retention ponds, and other unlikely places. If you encounter a gator, DON’T FEED IT. Feeding gators removes their natural fear of humans and, as a result, makes them more dangerous. Large gators will be relocated by Florida Fish & Wildlife if they are too close to residential areas.
Pro tip: don’t walk your dogs close to lakes- many have lost beloved pets to gators popping out and grabbing them.
The mosquitoes are huge.
During the summer in particular, the mosquitoes get really bad. A lot of us native Floridians invest in citronella candles, bug spray, and screened porches for this reason. Don’t be alarmed if you see a truck driving slowly in your area spraying insecticides off the back- those are the mosquito trucks and they help curb the crazy summertime boom in the mosquito population.
Termite coverage on your home is essential.
In Florida, it’s not “if” you get termites, it’s “when”. Even with a termite and pest provider, Florida homes are almost guaranteed to acquire some of these destructive pests at some point or another. Get yourself a good termite provider, never miss an annual inspection, and keep an eye out for the signs of a termite infestation.
You might need flood insurance.
We are a low state, and many areas are just slightly above sea level. Homes located in certain flood zones are often required by insurance companies to get flood insurance on their homes. Flood insurance is not cheap, so it is an important consideration prior to purchasing a home in Florida.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy supplies or evacuate for hurricanes.
Natives like to joke that we don’t get out of bed for anything lower than a Category 3, but it is always prudent to be prepared. Hurricane season runs from June through November. Many storms develop, but not all of them make landfall or maintain their hurricane force winds when they make landfall. However, any storm can potentially cause a lot of damage and should be taken seriously. Stock up on hurricane supplies such as water, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable foods at the beginning of the season as opposed to right before a hurricane hits- it will save you a lot of frustration when preparing to ride out a storm. Similarly, if you plan on evacuating, plan to do so a few days ahead of time. Florida is a peninsula and the only way out is to drive north. I-95 and I-75 often experience significant backups in the days and hours leading up to a strong storm, so have a plan for you and your family to leave a few days ahead of time.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
They don’t call us “The Sunshine State” for nothin! As amazing as it is to have bright sunny days, the UV rays can cause significant damage to your skin and even cancer. Be sure to keep sunscreen on you and lather up!
Pro tip: Keep sunscreen in your car and use a daily moisturizer with SPF in it!
Keep an umbrella on you.
Florida is known for unexpected showers, particularly in the afternoons. Keep a little umbrella in your car or bag so you don’t get caught in the rain!
Your air conditioner is now your best friend.
Your new best friend needs routine checkups and service so that you don’t get caught sweating through the summer. A/C units are one of the most important investments you can make for your Florida home!