ORLANDO — There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether to buy a home – including the prices within your chosen area, the appeal of the location, and how low interest rates are.
It’s unlikely that one of the top factors that buyers normally consider is property taxes. After all, every state imposes property taxes on home ownership, without exception.
But it’s also worth noting, according to a new study, that Florida outranks many of the nation’s largest states when it comes to property taxes – an added appeal in a state that can already boast of having one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, a growing jobs market – and a healthy and thriving real estate market.
Florida ranks ahead of many other states when it comes to real estate property taxes, according to data from the National Tax Lien Association.
That data was used by the personal finance website WalletHub for its just-released 2016 Property Taxes by State report.
The WalletHub report compares home and vehicle taxes across the nation, while noting that the average American household spends $2,127 on a combination of real-estate and vehicle property taxes each year.
In Florida, though, the rate is much lower. WalletHub noted that in Florida, the real-estate tax on the median house in the state was $1,718, while the real estate tax on the median U.S. house was $1,932.
This ranking is important, because it means that in the Sunshine State, in addition to many other amenities – the beaches and coastline, the theme parks, and a booming jobs market – there is less of a hit when it comes to paying property taxes.
In fact, Florida ranked much higher in the WalletHub study than some of the nation’s largest states, including Texas, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
As WalletHub pointed out, the states that pack the least painful punch when it comes to a property tax bite offer an added incentive to buyers – and renters, as well.
“Though property taxes might appear to be a non-issue for the 32 percent of people who rent their homes, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” the study notes. “We all pay property taxes, whether directly or indirectly, as they impact the rent we pay as well as the finances of state and local governments.”
Florida is also appealing, the study notes, since it is among the 23 states that do not require residents to pay a vehicle property tax. Again, this is a tax imposed on vehicle owners in some of the largest states, including North Carolina, Massachusetts and Virginia.
Central Florida is currently experiencing a housing market boom, with sales and home prices increasing, and inventory relatively low.
Builders are responding by investing in the construction of new residential developments like Posner Estates, a gated community in Polk County now under construction. Once Posner Estates opens in the fall, it will offer spectacular new townhouses for sale.
Posner Estates is being built near the Posner Park commercial plaza in Davenport, and will be surrounded by a picturesque conservation area, making this a peaceful and quiet oasis for the families living there.
At the time time, Posner Estates will be close to restaurants, shopping, golf, the theme parks and even downtown Orlando.
The development will include a club house, business center, community pool, picnic areas, a fitness center, and common areas.
An Flamand, the owner and broker at An Flamand-Orlando Vacation Realty, said it’s no surprise that builders are attracted to the dynamic environment in Central Florida, where the excitement of the theme parks is complimented by the nightlife in downtown Orlando and at CityWalk and Downtown Disney, and where the beaches are less than an hour’s drive.
An Flamand has an exclusivity contract to sell the homes at Posner Estate, and has already sold out the first phase of this exciting new development.
Part of that, she said, is because of the appeal this region has for foreign investors, who recognize that purchasing a home in the Central Florida market is a great long-term investment opportunity.
They also recognize, An said, that home prices and property taxes in Central Florida are also a great deal – considerably lower than in their native country, for example.
Florida is also one of just nine states with no income tax, another added benefit for people who chose and live, work and play in the Sunshine State, An noted.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..