Florida has always been a Mecca for luxury real estate. Despite the current housing debacle, Florida continues to attract the affluent with its laid-back lifestyle and sun-drenched climate. Many luxury housing seekers, however, have become leery of coastal properties, largely due to recent hurricanes and the ensuing effect on insurance rates. As a result, many are finding that inland Florida has desirable trappings of its own.
The semi-rural areas, once relegated to orange groves and farming, are beginning to sprout neighborhoods containing luxury homes. Areas between Clermont and Lake Wales are growing in exponential proportion. The neighborhoods range from gated, exclusive developments to golf and country club developments. Many luxury homes are springing up in communities surrounding the “Chain of Lakes” in Polk County. Vacation homes fill residential communities in Lake and Polk Counties down the State Road 27 corridor. These have become ever popular with visitors from the United Kingdom, who enjoy all the luxury that the dollar to pound ratio affords them. To them, the value is tremendous for the properties they are able to acquire, and because they are willing to rent them out as vacation homes they win both ways. That is, they develop cash flow and retain equity.
The appeal for this inland property is great. One may contract builders with proven success in already played out regions, such as West Palm Beach or South Beach. The property taxes are a fraction of more popular areas and they are centrally located, within three hours of 85 percent of the state. There are also those contractors who take influence from the aforementioned ones. They are less costly and, in many cases, offer similar luxury and quality. For those wishing to save money and still have some modicum of luxury, there are builders like Maronda Homes and Mercedes Homes, who offer vaulted ceilings and spacious floor plans in moderately priced homes.
There are many different styles of homes, but the Mediterranean and Spanish architecture take precedence in the luxury market. It is common to see ceramic tile roofs, large sweeping arches for doorways, solariums, and courtyard style drives. Of course there are a myriad of pool designs, ranging from the mundane to the exotic.
Florida is a cornucopia of luxurious homes and living. It is, by far, one of the most desirable places in the country to live.