Living in Florida

Why Having a Community Garden Can Be a Good Thing

Interested in founding a community garden or becoming involved in an existing one? It’s a great way to meet neighbors and new friends, plus grow your own salad ingredients!

But the community-garden concept is more layered than the actual gardening aspect — although that’s the reason most of us love dabbling in the dirt to begin with, right?

First, you must find the ideal location. Second, you must get all the necessary approvals, permitting and paperwork taken care of, if applicable. Third, you must prepare the site. And fourth, you must have enough support — meaning other equally enthusiastic gardeners — […]

Go ‘Green’ at FishHawk Ranch

Energy-Wise, Quality Built
Learn more about EQ Factor

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Finding that new custom Florida home can take time. Given the choice, most of us prefer to slow down the process and research our options. Some of us, however, aren’t as lucky. We’re the ones who must make expedited moving decisions due to jobs, family issues or even retirement sneaking up on us.

Regardless of whether you should’ve decided yesterday where to buy your new home, or have time to deliberate between choices, we at ICI Homes can help you make that decision, especially if you’re targeting west Central Florida and the Tampa-St. […]

Need a New Family Home? Build With Us at Asturia

Learn More About Asturia

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Looking to relocate your brood? If you’re headed to the Tampa area — or only moving across Tampa Bay — there’s a place you should check out. We know because we build new custom homes there, and we at ICI Homes know the exciting neighborhood it’s shaping up to be.

That place is Asturia, a master-planned community northeast of Tampa, in Odessa, Florida. Asturia’s 536 acres are being developed slowly and in an environmentally sensitive manner. On the community’s southern boundary near its entrance, expect future shops, office space, and more.

The property is replete with wide, meadow-like […]

Live an Active Lifestyle at FishHawk Ranch

So, you’re seriously interested in FishHawk Ranch near the Tampa-St. Petersburg metroplex.

Outstanding choice! We should know. ICI Homes builds all over the Tampa area and as of this writing, are active in at least three master-planned communities in west Central Florida.

Trust us when we tell you that they’re all worth checking out. But here, we’re calling your attention to FishHawk Ranch, a 4,400-acre neighborhood tucked in Hillsborough County’s southeast corner. Tampa proper is a short, 30-minute drive away. Interstate 75 — a hop, skip and jump west from FishHawk Ranch — is your north-south gateway to the all of […]

Should I Buy a Home in a Gated Community?

Good question! Gated communities offer more controlled access, privacy and security than a non-gated community. But there are some potential pitfalls. If you’re unsure where to build your new custom Florida home, it’s time to do some homework.

We’ll help you sort through whether you should buy a home in a gated community.
Start with the good stuff.
There are reasons home buyers pay additional fees and annual assessments to live in a gated community. Prestige — let’s not be shy about saying so — is one of them. Certain addresses are where some folks want to live, which is A-okay.

One example […]

Six Reasons You Should Have a Summer Kitchen

One perk of living in the Sunshine State is that you can enjoy outdoor living year-round. Only the chilliest winter day (we do occasionally have one) may make you hesitate at the front or back door. Otherwise, it’s nearly always a good idea to jump in the pool, settle on the porch in time for sunset, or garden up a storm in the backyard.

May we add cooking to the list? In Florida, summer kitchens, aka outdoor kitchens, might be a pleasant surprise to those of you moving here from colder climates. But they’re a must-have staple for many new-home […]

Be a Good Neighbor

So, you’ve moved! You love your new Florida home, neighborhood and town. Chances are you did lots of homework (you’d rather not remember right now) before choosing and committing to your new environs. All that careful research paid off in a successful relocation. Now, you have another project: establishing yourself as a good neighbor. Here are our tips for becoming the kind of new neighbor you’d like to live next door to.
Don’t Be Stingy With Information
Sharing your contact information, whether it’s email addresses, phone numbers or social media handles, is a good way to introduce yourself and family members. […]

How to Meet Your New Neighborhood

In the market for a new custom Florida home? That means you’re also in the market for a new neighborhood. No matter why you’re making the move — for a new job, impending retirement or family reasons — acclimating to a new community takes time, even if you only move across town. New neighbors often = new friends, so it’s totally worth investing time to explore your new environment. Read on for tips on how to settle into your new world.
Be Approachable and Available
This is Common Sense and Manners 101, but it never hurts to be reminded. Moving takes […]

Six Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Space

If you’re looking for a new Florida home, don’t overlook the outdoor living opportunities that accompany it. The Sunshine State boasts a fabulous climate — likely one reason you’re seeking to relocate or retire here — so take advantage when you choose your home plan. Consider how you’ll use an outdoor living space, how you’ll maintain it and how to budget for it. Whether it’s a classic covered lanai or a gourmet outdoor kitchen, be sure you create space to enjoy the fresh Florida air. Here are six suggestions.

Light a Fire
“In balmy Florida?” you say? Absolutely! The cooler months […]

Create An Emergency Preparedness Plan

While Florida generally is a warm and wonderful place to live, it’s not immune to disasters from Mother Nature or mankind. Emergencies can happen no matter where you live, and you and your household should be ready to react. It’s easy to create an emergency preparedness plan for every home. We all should have one, right? Both for peace of mind and to make rebounding from any emergency situation a bit easier. Read on for the easy basics of compiling your own plan. 

Decide How to Respond
Since hurricanes are Florida’s best-known emergency risk, we’ll use that as an example. The first […]