The Top Six Questions Buyers Ask About Moving to Florida
Moving to Florida for many people is like going to another country. The climate and lifestyle are uniquely different and typically unlike anything you have experienced if you have never lived in a warmer weather locale. If you are considering relocating to Florida and specifically Northeast Florida, you are likely to have questions and MANY at that. Here are some of the most commonly asked ones, and with answers:
1. Are there alligators?
They do exist in these parts. Where they are and where you will see them depends on where you live. They tend to like large retention ponds or lagoons near golf courses. If you leave them alone, they will likely do the same. The chances of them coming up to your front door? Not so much.
2. What about those lizard looking things?
These are called geckos. The good news is they are harmless. They love to eat bugs and they move fast. They can find their way inside through small openings, especially around doors and windows. They can be tough to catch and will climb walls and ceilings. Household pets are often fascinated by these small critters and love to chase and play with them.
3. Are there bugs and are they bad?
Well it is Florida and so that means mosquitoes and “no seeums.” You don’t see them but you feel them when they bite. Everyone’s tolerance for these varies — some people are more bug prone versus others. Dryer sheets come in handy for keeping them at bay!
4. What about hurricanes?
It is no secret where we are geographically located. That being said, Northeast Florida has been historically situated in an advantageous location that is largely immune from hurricanes and tropical storms. The last direct hit was Hurricane Dora in 1965. However, risk of storms are a reality of living here. The good news is that there is a lot of advance weather watching that goes on that will provide a heads up if there is a potential risk. Owning a weather radio is essential in these parts. Keep this website as a handy reference: National Hurricane Center
5. Speaking of hurricanes, do I need flood insurance?
The answer depends on what flood zone the property is located within. How do you look up what flood zone a property is located? Go to FEMA. Flood zone X typically does not require flood insurance but flood zones A, AE, AH, and AB due. Is it obvious what zone a property may be located within? Not necessarily, and it is not always properties located closest to the water. How much does it cost? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the average cost of flood insurance in 2014 was $700.
6. How is the weather?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not all flip flops and shorts ALL the time. So, don’t ditch your cold weather clothes just yet. Well, maybe some of the heavier ones. We do have some seasonality and temperatures tend to drop in late fall into early winter. While it is nothing on the level of needing hats, scarves, and gloves — but long sleeves, fashionable boots, and generally lighter coats and jackets can be worn. While everyone up north longs for wamer, sunnier days, Floridians are often glad to have a brush with cooler weather.