So, I've been thinking over your question some more and here is an answer straight from the mind of a long-time Floridian resident/realtor:
1. Hurricane Season:
As we come up on, and into the Hurricane season, there are several things we do. First, go over the preparations that may have been done in the off-season. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. The time we have off-season is important for making life easier if a hurrican hits. Purchasing materials and equipment is usually cheaper, supplies are ample and the experience of a hurricane lets you know where improvement is necessary.
Once hurricane season is upon us we look into predictions for the season, though last year they predicted more hurricanes than the previous year and we were barely bothered by the season at all!! Forecasting hurricanes is imperfect and the best remedy is to be prepared.
The best places to investigate the hurricane season is:
weather.com (consumer site for weather)
(national hurricane center)
What are you looking for?
- A place to buy and sell later?
- A place for renting - on the coast or inland?
- Residential or commercial?
3. South Florida is a strong candidate for both residential and commercial investments. With the additional discount of a strong Euro, you could find plenty of properties from Palm Beach to Miami. The key here is, what are you looking for. Then, a realtor can point you in the direction of what area. South Florida is diverse in the nature of what is available in real estate. From condos on the beach, to condos on the everglades, small hotels in South Beach to multi-family properties in Ft. Lauderdale. An important element not yet revealled is, how do you want to interact with the property? Hands on or absentee owner?
Real estate is "Local" in nature, that is, every area of South Florida offers some opportunity and disadvantage, but the right property is found by knowing what the property means in your invest portfolio.
Insurance on the water is more expensive than on higher elevations inland. Even inland, insured properties may require and most notably should carry flood insurance. On an average home, insurance property may cost as little as $300/year. The State of Florida offers insurance for properties, and some private options are still available. It goes back to, what are you looking for and then the issue of insurance for that purpose is much easier to ascertain.
5. Rentals are available, either for year round occupancy or for the peak months when the tourists come in large numbers. What's so nice about Florida, and not just South Florida, is that along the coast are small towns with a small town feel. They are caught up in the megalopolis' of the state, but they some how manage to stay quaint and cozy. Delray Beach, Lauderdale by the Sea, Hobe Sound are a few in South Florida, others around the state like Captiva, Islmorado, Stuart, Palm Bay in other areas of the state.
I have covered your topics, and you will find that every realtor has favorite areas of their own. We all live in our areas for a reason and most of us do so because we love living there. I like South Florida because I have family, friends, the beach, the towns up and down the coast, the diversity of people - from South America, Caribbean, Europe, every part of the US, Canada and so on. The market has been tumbling for a few years, but in that down turn are opportunities for those who can see or benefit from them. The benefit of a weak dollar is investment from Europe and other areas. The downturn in South Florida is slowing, some areas are even beginning to show signs of a bottom, but that is yet to be declared until we see consistent numbers to that effect.
Investing in Florida is a great ideal - North Florida is different from South Florida, from the topography to the climate. The west coast has a Gulf beaches appeal - the sand is different, some areas are noted for the way Old Florida use to be. The northern reaches of Florida differ greatly east to west... South Florida still remains a strong area. If its the Atlantic beaches with a tropical feel you are looking for then its to be found somewhere in Palm Beach down through Broward and Miami-Dade.
Look at sites that offer business insights, South Florida Business Journal, sunsentinel.com, theherald.com
Professional Financial Planner - http://www.boblove.com
Other sites - floridamoves.com, coldwellbanker.com
In searching CNBC for financial news on Florida Real Estate, I found this link:
There you have it, take a look at what I've given you. If you are still interested in South Florida, give me a call at 954-612-0083 or email, email@example.com. If I can't help you after talking to you, I can find someone who can.