Guide to Choosing the Perfect Florida Community

You know you’re moving to Florida. Maybe you even know what part of the state, or which city. You just don’t know where in those locales.
But, choosing the perfect community for your new Florida home doesn’t have to be a dice roll. Answering a few questions will help you distill those factors that are important when searching for a new home.

Follow these guidelines to distinguish which Florida community is right for you.

Appearancelakeside-streetscape

How do you want your new Florida community to look? Some master-planned developments offer similar design elements among their home plans while other developments feature wildly different architecture on each lot.

Do you want sidewalks? Traditional cast-iron mailboxes? Colorful landscaping? If you’re not into stucco and most homes in a certain development are stuccoed, well…Appearance matters. Decide what design traits resonate with your household.

Affordability

How much will you spend on your new Florida home? Most of us operate within budget parameters, especially for major purchases. Knowing your budget narrows your choice of communities.
You won’t waste time falling for a neighborhood outside your budget. Nor do you have to “settle” for a community you like less, because you’re (smartly) toeing a financial line.

Instead, examine how much house you get for your money in each community, then weigh that along with each community’s attributes. Using your budget parameters as a guideline helps you align practicality with preference — and find an affordable home in a great setting.

Security

We all need security, so first, determine your family’s comfort level. Do you and yours prefer a gated community or specifically want no gate. Do you want lots of streetlights or do prefer less intrusive nighttime lighting?

Second, know which home-design elements make you feel secure and look for them in community plans and model homes. Security system? Impact-resistant glass?
Third, talk to folks who live in communities you’re considering for your new Florida home. They can provide real information about a community’s on-the-ground security.

Activity

Whether you’re the social type — or only want a neighborhood pool — research the amenities offered in prospective communities. Master-planned developments typically offer everything from golf and tennis complexes, to neighborhood clubhouses and basketball courts.

A community with a social calendar also may host neighborhood-wide activities such as cookouts and garage sales.

Future Planning

This is where you ask, “who’s in charge?”

Communities that haven’t been “built out” usually are led by their developers, who should have materials that illustrate how a community will look once it’s finished. Make sure you’re happy with that vision.

In “built out” communities, determine whether homeowners associations exist and how involved they are. Do they display only minimal interest in community affairs? Are assessments forthcoming?

Know who’s in charge of future planning and ask those folks questions important to you.

Instinct

Heed it. Your inner compass usually points the way. If answers to the above questions seem to lead back to certain communities or neighborhoods, your instinct may be at work. But, don’t allow it free rein. Do the research, then make your decision using appearance, affordability, security, activity, future planning and instinct as equal guides.

Ready to find your perfect home? As Florida’s Custom Home Builder, ICI Homes is ready with master-planned communities throughout the state. opens in a new windowClick here to get started.