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Checklist for buying a house in Florida and home prices

There is no legal requirement to hire an attorney when buying a house in Florida although such services are usually recommended when dealing with the real estate market. In terms of charges, closing costs, which include your mortgage set-up fees, legal costs, transfer fees and property registration typically amount to 4.5% of the sale price. This will fall if a purchase is being funded without a mortgage. There are no state purchase taxes but owners must pay 1% of the value of the property in an annual tax.

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Living in Florida

With up to 248 days of sun per year, Florida’s warm climate is perfect for those who crave outdoor living. Whether it’s relaxing on the beach, spotting the state’s abundant wildlife amid the Everglades or hiking in its many state parks, the options are almost limitless. The Sunshine State also stands out for its cities. The culturally rich Miami boasts world-famous beaches and iconic art deco architecture, the state capital Tallahassee is steeped in history and Orlando attracts thrill seekers the world over with its abundance of theme parks.

Education

Florida has an outstanding higher education system with its colleges being ranked the best in the nation three years in a row. The state recently announced a 9.5% increase in its college graduation rate in the past five years while also cutting the cost of pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Top universities in the state include Gainesville’s University of Florida, Tallahassee’s Florida State University and the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

Activities

The state offers abundant outdoor pursuits. With hundreds of miles of pristine coastline, Florida’s wealth of beaches, bays, islands and estuaries are perfect for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, camping and more. Florida’s 320 freshwater springs are a nature lover’s paradise with the waterways being home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the likes of alligators, otters, the loggerhead musk turtle and even manitees. Meanwhile, Orlando – dubbed the theme park capital of the world – offers thrilling family adventures at each of its major theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and Legoland Florida Resort.

Culture

Florida’s cities are bursting with museums, concert spaces and galleries. The state has a longstanding reputation for being a creative hub, ranging from Miami’s Art Deco Historic District to the plethora of museums on the Gulf Coast and memorials to its literary heritage, including Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home. St Petersburg’s Dali Museum boasts the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s works outside Europe, while the Perez Art Museum in Miami offers a modern and contemporary setting for its 20th and 21st Century exhibits. Beyond the arts, Florida’s National Naval Aviation Museum is the largest of its kind in the world, while sports fans can catch a game at one of its three NFL, two NBA or two Major League Baseball teams. The state also has exceptional golfing facilities with nine championship courses.

Accessibility

Road: Two of the largest roads in Florida – I-75 and I -95 – traverse the state north to south with the former providing access to Georgia and the latter stretching up the entire eastern seaboard. I-10 links western Florida to Alabama and the Gulf Coast.

Rail: Florida’s main cities are well-served by commuter metro systems while Miami benefits from inter-city rail links. The Amtrak Auto Train offers the option of transporting you and your car non-stop between Washington DC and the edge of Orlando.

Air: The state’s largest airports are Miami International, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International, Orlando International and Tampa International.