Home prices and the cost of living have risen dramatically in Florida over the past couple of years due, at least in part, to inflation and migration to the sunshine state from those who can work from home and retirees.
According to the real estate website Zillow, the current median home price in Florida is around $378,000, which is up around 15% over last year.
Still, there is one website that believes that there are still "cheap places" to live in the sunshine state. Probably not coincidentally, many towns that made the list are on the small side since rents and housing costs tend to be higher in larger communities:
Who was the Website and what were the Criteria?: The website strategistico, which is a travel and research website, recently released what it said were the 12 cheapest, safest places to live in Florida in 2023. It looked at cost of living, safety, unemployment, average home and rent cost, desirability, and access to amenities such as beaches, parks, and restaurants.
Strategistico looked at cities with a population of over 5,000, with costs of living and the average home price being below average.
Here were the cities that made the cut, starting from the lowest on the list and ending with the highest:
Lynn Haven: A suburb of Panama City in Florida's panhandle, living in Lynn Haven would give you access to nearby beaches, which are only about twenty minutes away. The population here is around 18,000, and the median home price is around $350,000.
Timber Pines: This community is located closer to central Florida about an hour from Tampa. Niche has named Timber Pines as one of its best places to retire, and it only has a population of just over 5,000. The median home price is around $315,000.
Edgewater: This is one of the larger cities on the list, with a population of around 24,000. However, this community is only 10 minutes away from New Smyrna Beach, so if you're attracted to beach towns, this may be a good choice. The median home price here is just under $340,000.
Fellsmere: This community is on the east coast of Florida, about 45 minutes from Port St. Lucie. Its population is under 5,000. The average home value in Fellsmere is around $325,000.
Haines City: This community is located in Polk County, which is in the central part of the state. It's a little bigger - with a population of around 29,000. Its safety rating is 17 percent better than the state average, and its median home price is just over $320,000.
Milton: Located in Florida's panhandle and only about 30 minutes from Pensacola beaches, Milton has a population of just over 10,000. The median home price here is just over $334,000.
Arcadia: This small town of only around 7,500 is a short drive to Fort Myers. It has one of the best safety rankings on the list and it has a cute downtown with boutiques and quaint restaurants. The median home price here is $299,000.
Lake Alfred: You won't find many large developments in this small town of only around 6,700. But you will find that it's the safest city on this list, and both Orlando and Tampa are less than an hour away. There are some lakes for recreation. The median home sold price here is just under $300,000.
South Daytona Beach: Strategistico says this community gives you all the amenities of the larger Daytona Beach without the cost. There are just over 13,000 residents here, and you'd have access to Daytona International Speedway and beaches. The median home price here is around $280,000.
Lady Lake: This community is close to the Villages, one of the nation's largest retirement communities. That means that Lady Lake offers a huge amount of nearby amenities. The population is just over 16,000. The median home price here is around $340,000.
Lake Wales: This community, also in Polk County, has a lovely historic district and is home to Bok Tower. It's home to a large lake surrounded by parks, and there are only 17,000 residents. The median home price is around $297,000.
Tavares: This city took the top spot because it is near Orlando, is situated among three major lakes, is fast-growing, and has a waterfront downtown. The population is a little larger, at just over 20,000. The median home price is around $325,000. (The picture at the top of this article is of Tavares.)
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