Some good answers out there for you already regarding this question from our qualified local agents. Only one person replied that called our tax system a scam that obviously doesn't get it...but thats to be expected I suppose. Almost every state offers a homestead exemption for primary residents. If people are feeling scammed here, its probably because they fail to recognize that they are recieving a benefit in their home town as well. Being that Florida does not have a state income tax, the state has found that it can subsidize its budget through the sales tax that people that are locally consuming goods are paying, since they are localy paying these taxes they recieve the incentive of home ownership and therefore are granted additional taxe benefits. In addition, there are laws in place that protect families from being taxed OUT of their homes. Being that Florida has been a natural attraction to the aging population that often finds themselves on a fixed income, its important to protect those homeowners with a reasonable tax based on a value from a time in which they purchased the home. Long time residents taxes are far reduced from those taxes more equivalent to todays property values. Its all relative! Florida is home to many nationalities and foreign investors and many have purchased in Florida and continue to do so. So for that reason if others are still buying here, it really cannot be as bad as you might have heard. Like many other aspects of the real estate purchase there are of course differences in a transaction between areas, between states, and between countries. Sometimes, it just cost more to live some where, but generally you tend to get what you pay for. All I know, is that it is Florida here every day, and for many buyers living outside of Florida, that fact alone is enough to make these "added expenses" worth while. Either way its a personal choice that must go into the consideration to buy a home anywhere. As a buyer it will either be worth it, or it won't, thats the beauty of choice. For every reasonable budget there will be pros and cons to every purchase, and these compromises will have to be independently decided during the purchase process to stay on budget. Generally speaking taxes will range between 17 - 21 dollars per thousand of taxable value, and property insurance is typically about 1.5 - 2% (because of higer replacement value costs then we can currently purchase a home for) of value depending on use of the propety and deductibles, and condition of the property. The most important thing is for the buyer to have these conversations with their professional REALTOR, so that they can be better advised during the search process. There should be no surprises, as these details will come out later in the process before your "committed" to buy. Be careful you dont let the cart pull the horse or you can end up overwhelming yourself in the detail of a property before you are even pursuing the property. At this time of change in our market, you will find yourself missing out on the best homes by sitting on the sidelines "Paralyzed by preperation". Don't underestimate the value of the INSPECTION period. Trust in the process and in your agent, as they will help you find the right property based on the surface requirements, then they will look for a reason NOT to fulfill the contract terms in order to over disclose any and all details so that the buyer can be confident that all consideration has been made and to continue with the purchase is still to their ultimate best advantage.
Good Luck with your search! Its a great time to buy, and Florida is a great place to live, visit, or invest.