There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Florida:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Florida, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Sunshine State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Florida that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Florida at the moment? That would be Pembroke Park according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Florida for 2019:
- Pembroke Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Winter Haven (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tavares (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Palm Springs (Homes For Sale)
- Pahokee (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Orange City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- St. Cloud (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Belle Glade (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Brooksville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fellsmere (Photos | Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
For more Florida reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Florida
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Florida
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Florida
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Florida for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Florida. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Florida with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Florida with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 915 cities and towns in Florida, only 215 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 215 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Pembroke Park is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Sunshine State.
Read on for more on these places.
The Timucua and the Calusa were the earliest known inhabitants of the land that would become Winter Haven. Both of these groups were deeply impacted, by war and disease, from the Spanish conquest of Florida in the early 1500s. The Timucua were particularly affected by the expedition of Hernando de Soto. By the 19th century, both these groups no longer existed. During these expeditions, the Spanish explorers claimed the entire peninsula of Florida for the Spanish monarchy
The city was founded by newspaper and railroad man Alexander St. Clair-Abrams in 1880 and named for a Portuguese ancestor. In 1883 a post office was established, which was followed by a hotel, three stores, a sawmill, and eight cottages in 1884. While St. Clair-Abrams did not achieve his dream that Tavares become the state capital of Florida, in 1887 the city was named the seat of Lake County. St. Clair-Abrams later chartered a railroad to run from Tavares to Orlando. In 1919, Tavares incorporated as a town.
In 1957, Florida House of Representatives member Ralph Blank, Jr. of Palm Beach County introduced legislation to establish the village of Palm Springs. The bill passed unanimously and Palm Springs was chartered on July4, 1957. The town was likely named after the resort city of Palm Springs, California.
Pahokee was incorporated in 1922. The name “Pahokee” means ‘grassy waters’ in the Creek language. Local residents refer to Pahokee as “The Muck”, which refers to the mineral-rich dark soil in which sugar cane, citrus fruits and corn are grown by agribusinesses. It was known as the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the World” in its heyday, when the city enjoyed thriving commerce.
Orange City was incorporated as a City in 1882. The city was named for the thousands of acres of orange groves in and around the city. Twelve years later, the Great Freeze wiped out the orange groves that the town was named for.
During the 1870s, Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia took an interest in developing the region while on fishing trips with Henry Shelton Sanford, founder of the city of Sanford. Disston contracted with the Florida Internal Improvement Fund, then in receivership, to pay $1 million to offset its Civil War and Reconstruction debt. In exchange, Disston would be awarded half the land he drained from the state’s swamps. He dug canals and, in 1886-1887, established St. Cloud sugarcane plantation, named after St. Cloud, Minnesota, although many long-time locals state the town was named after Saint-Cloud, France, located fairly close to Paris.
The existence of Belle Glade is related to the federal project of draining the land around Lake Okeechobee, the acreage to be used for agriculture. The town was built in 1925 and destroyed three years later by a hurricane which killed thousands of people. The town was subsequently rebuilt. The area around Lake Okeechobee is fertile and farming has been an important industry.
Fort DeSoto, established about 1840 to give protection to settlers from Native Americans, was located at the northeastern edge of present-day Brooksville on Croom Road about one-half mile east of U.S. Highway 41. The fort was also a trading post and a regular stop on the Concord stagecoach line which ran from Palatka to Tampa.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Florida for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Florida. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 915 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Florida reading, check out: