Florida

Florida is one of the greatest states to live in. See why so many people want to move to the sunshine state. Learn about Florida’s rich history, schools, lifestyle and what to expect when you make the move!

Love Fireplaces? How to Enjoy Them in Sunny Florida

If you’re planning a move to the Sunshine State from a colder climate, you might regret leaving one aspect of your former home behind — the fireplace.

It’s a common feature where winter is a prolonged experience, and sentimental attachments can make the parting more sorrowful. You might recall warming up before a crackling fire during holidays and ski trips, and think you’ll miss the coziness in a state where January often brings 70-degree days and sunny bicycle rides.

But fear not. Florida can have cool winter days — sometimes chilly ones if a strong cold front plunges our way — […]

How to Find Your New Jacksonville Area Neighborhood

You might be ready to move, or must move due to job or personal reasons.

It’s natural to streak ahead in your mind to what your next home will, or should, be. But equally important is where that home will be. And this is true even if the location of your next destination is predetermined by a career or life decision.

Let’s say you’re headed to Jacksonville and seeking a new custom Florida home. Jacksonville is a booming metro area with major natural resources, industries and, of course, Atlantic Ocean beaches.

There are innumerable places you can move in Jacksonville, and decisions […]

How to Enjoy Cooler-Weather Coziness in Florida

Without sweating to death.

It’s a real concern because fortunately, even when the thermometer drops a bit, a light jacket, sweater or sweatshirt usually is all you need for a bicycle ride or brisk beach walk.

Then you know what happens. You get outside, get warmed up, begin enjoying the physical activity — and you’re glad you remembered your deodorant.

If you’ve moved to the Sunshine State from a colder region, you’ll take it every day of the season. Florida winters are on the mild side, with occasional snappy winds that blow through with seasonal fronts, and very few freeze watches.

That’s all! […]

How to Shop for a Seasonal Florida Home

Are you a seasonable Florida resident or wannabe?

Once summer humidity retreats and leaves began turning brilliant colors, do you dream of bicycle rides on the beach? Shirtsleeve weather in January?

Do you vacation for extended periods in the Sunshine State, or frequently, and dread leaving?

Sounds like seasonal residency might be for you.

Whether you’d like to become a snowbird or just pop down any time you like without reservations, second-homeownership is a great way to go. The hassles of renting or hotel stays are no more, and you can create your own home away from home. The key is owning instead […]

Live Like a Floridian: Plan Your Outdoor Fire Feature

“A fireplace in Florida?” you say.

We at ICI Homes say a resounding, “Yes!”

Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are an ever-popular element in outdoor living spaces. They’re also a timeless design feature. In fact, gathering around dancing flames is a timeless tradition, and the crackling conversation, calming effect and perhaps some toasty marshmallows are pretty nice too.

But can you do this in Florida? Absolutely. The Sunshine State’s comfortable winters are punctuated by occasional chilly days, and cooler autumn and early-spring evenings are perfect times to light a match or gas flame.

Even after the cooling effects of a late summer thunderstorm, […]

The Pros of Choosing a Gated Community

You’re house hunting with us and know you want a new custom Florida home with all the latest features, construction materials and techniques.

Do you also want a gate?

It’s a good question to ask. Some of you will and some of you won’t, but you should know that gated communities are perennially popular, and never more than in today’s housing market, where they’re one of many must-have resident amenities.

Like anything, there’s no absolutes for everyone. However, as one of Florida’s largest homebuilders for more than four decades, we at ICI Homes can tell you that gated communities are very much […]

House Hunting? Why You Should Talk to the Neighbors

Searching for or building a new custom Florida home requires a massive amount of preparation.

There’s so much you have to know, and so much you probably don’t know, that all the websites and handouts and conversations with builders and real estate agents eventually run the risk of coalescing into a blur.

Add that to the fact that family, work and personal lives must continue humming along in the background, and you’ve got a recipe for house-hunting overwhelm.

There is one way to get the lowdown on potential new communities, however. Talk to the people who already live there. Those early settlers […]

Live Like a Floridian: Plan Your Outdoor Water Feature

If you live in the Sunshine State or are moving here, water might be prominent on your list of homeowner must-haves.

Florida beaches are important for many of us, followed by recreational options involving Intracoastal Waterways, creeks, lakes and well-known water parks.

Then there’s that Florida staple, the swimming pool. If you’ve never lived with a backyard pool and have the opportunity to build your own, go for it. They’re tons of year-round fun.

But, a swimming pool isn’t the only water feature you can incorporate into the outdoor living space of your new custom home.

Here are a few other suggestions of […]

Cool Ways to Get on the Water in St. Augustine

Unless you’re allergic to water — is there such a thing? — one reason you may be planning a move to Florida is so you can dwell near an ocean.

Or, a cool, calming river, lake or creek within view of your backyard. And there are few places to better enjoy Florida’s watery riches than the metro Jacksonville area, where the St. Johns River flows through its downtown, and the Atlantic Ocean is only a few miles east.

But you don’t have to live in Jacksonville proper to find the water. Nocatee, the master-planned community south of “JAX” that’s one of […]

Why Jacksonville is a Bit Different

If you’re considering a move to Florida because of career or other obligations, you understand immediately how crucial tourism is to the state’s economy.

It provides jobs, revenue, services and amenities, among other things. But, most of us likely don’t want to live right in the midst of a tourist area. That’s common sense and perfectly okay.

Good news! You don’t have to if you move to Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. There are many wonderful places to live in the state — which you’ll discover during your new home search — but few blend convenience with Florida’s spectacular natural beauty like […]