Types of properties in Florida
Many wealthy people in the U.S. spend their retirement in architecturally attractive and beautiful homes in Florida, quite a few of which have their own boat dock and access to the Gulf of Mexico. For the constantly returning visitors from Canada or from the cold north of the U.S., who usually come here for the winter (snowbirds), having their own home in Florida is the optimal solution. After an average price drop of 40%, very favorable opportunities for a lucrative real estate purchase in Florida are opening up right now. 25% of all foreign U.S. real estate investors choose California or Florida. Florida is also a popular destination for Germans. More than 200,000 Germans already live in Florida or spend several weeks a year there. For individualists, owning their own property is the most exclusive type of an upscale lifestyle. Depending on capital strength, investment properties ranging from condominiums to luxury villas are available.
A condominium - also called condo - is comparable to a "Eigentumswohnung" in Germany. Since the owner owns both his residential unit and the common property, this type of ownership is also referred to as "hybrid ownership".
However, there are two different types of condo ownership - the condo in a community or in a cooperation (Coop).
Cooperation - Apartments in a Coop are owned by a company (LLC) or a trust. In contrast to a condo in a community, in a cooperation the owner does not acquire real estate in the real sense but shares in the company (comparable to a cooperative) that correspond to the value of the apartment. In this case it is interesting that the community of owners (coop board) often decides in an interview with party interested in acquiring shares whether the prospective buyer "fits" into the community of owners (however, according to American laws no one may be discriminated against). The community determines the common property and essential features of the condo. It is not only responsible for the maintenance of the common area, but also for the maintenance of the individual residential units.
Community - Apartments in a community are purchased directly by the future owner. He acquires a precisely specified condo and determines the interior design himself. The Home Owner's Association (HOA) is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the common property (common pool, clubhouse, paths, gardens, security service, etc.). In the case of large facilities, the project developers will often divide the entire area into several sub-divisions, in which only a certain type of development like condos, townhouses or single-family homes is permitted. A distinction is made between open and gated communities. While anyone can enter the grounds uncontrolled in the case of the open facilities, access to the "gated communities" is regulated by a security service. With "gated", there are usually restrictions on renting to be expected (only a few weeks a year).
Single Family Homes
Typical for Florida's single-family homes are the mostly single-story construction and the lack of basements. The property sizes are usually above average. Since Florida is in a hurricane zone, building codes have been tightened several times over the years. Today most houses are built in solid construction (concrete block) and meet the highest safety standards. In this respect, the hurricane problem is no longer an issue for discussion. Almost every house has a spacious pool (in-ground) as part of the patio (lanai), which is completely covered by a cage. So, you can enjoy the Caribbean feeling without the mosquito plague. The yard is usually easy to maintain with palm trees, bushes and extensive lawns.
In the upper price segment, the homes usually have Gulf access. The boat owner can quickly reach the Gulf of Mexico from his boat dock via the extensive system of canals. If bridges have to be passed on the way to the open water, the size of the respective boat may be limited and the ship owner must always pay attention to whether his ship fits under the bridge. The owner of a sailboat should always make sure that his dream home has so-called sailboat access (no bridges).
Townhouses are lined up, single or multi-story, independent house units with a common partition wall. Similar to condos, any common property is managed by a community of owners.