First, let me start off by saying that I’m not giving out legal advice. I’m a realtor who specializes in representing real estate at The Colony Golf & Bay Club here in Bonita Springs, Florida. This information is mainly to provide a helpful overview of why I think moving to Florida is a great retirement choice.

Now if you’re close to retirement age or simply want to own a home in another state, you may be wondering where you should move. Well, here are four reasons why I think Florida makes the perfect choice.

1. No State Income Taxes: There are obvious advantages to becoming a Florida resident. The first, and most well known is that Florida has no state income tax. However, to be fair, there are other states that offer this advantage; like our neighbor across the Gulf, Texas. Where Florida differentiates itself from other states is Florida’s homestead protection.

When you’re looking for residency, the safety that homestead protection provides should give you peace of mind that even in troubled times the homestead protection will not be subject to change. The homestead protection comes with advantages beyond just the homestead exemption. It protects a Florida resident from losing their home, no matter what the value, to a creditor or any other lien except for mortgages. While I’m sure your goal in retirement isn’t to file for bankruptcy, it’s good to know your Florida home will be safe.

2. Property Tax Savings: It’s no secret that states in the Northeast and Midwest have the highest property taxes. Florida, however, has implemented protections that prevent property taxes from uncontrollable increases. Also the Florida “Save our Home Act” provides for a homestead exemption on a Florida residents primary residence. Once qualified for the exemption, the assessed value of the property for taxes purposes has an exemption of the first $50,000 of taxable value for all taxing entities. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes, including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes.* Also, and probably more importantly, once your Florida home is homestead the assessed value for tax purposes can’t rise more than 3% in any given year. So over a long time frame your Florida home’s market value will increase more than its assessed value deriving equity from the difference which you do not pay taxes on.

3. Great Weather Year Round: Many of my clients from the Midwest or Northeast aren’t fans of the cold winters. If you share their sentiment, I’m guessing it won’t require much persuading to get you to move to Florida. Even if you consider yourself a Snowbird heading down to Florida for the winter, it will let you escape that dreadful cold and those punishing snow and ice storms. You’ll get to enjoy perpetual summer, sunshine, amazing beaches, golf and gorgeous sunsets.

4. Amazing Homes: Bonita Springs offers some amazing master-planned communities which feature a host of amenities for just about everyone. The Colony Golf & Bay Club, for instance, offers spectacular high-rise and mid-rise towers, custom single-family homes, villas and classic coach homes. Representing both buyers and sellers, I feel privileged to specialize in offering real estate within this luxury community. The first question I ask people isn’t “How much square footage are you looking for?” it’s, “What’s important to you and your family in your Florida agenda?” While this private, gated community in Bonita Springs, Florida defines grandeur and elegance, I realize that what usually inspires people is the lifestyle offered, including social opportunities, activities, sports and recreation, as well as security. And that’s exactly the reason why I specialize in The Colony.

Ready to retire or purchase a second home? Stop by for a tour on your next trip to Bonita Springs, Florida!

 

* Source: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/taxpayers/exemptions.html

 

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