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I found the perfect house i wanted after only a week or two of searching. It is two blocks down form a big florida lake, and the house has 2020 square feet. I got the house dirt cheap because the previous owners had added a second story to the house, but after the built it they did not bother to put up drywall or anything on the floor. So the realtor did not add the other roooms in the estimate.
The original house was built in 1918 (which, for florida, is ANCIENT) and had sence had 4 more rooms added onto it.
Our metro area is about the same population, but apartments/flats are purely rental. There are a few condominiums (owned rather than rented), but these are generally in the townhouse style. Virtually all people who own rather than rent opt for a standalone home. $1 million would buy a mansion here, with money left over.
An option that is growing in popularity is the "villa" - a condominium-like development of similar (though usually not identical) stand-alone homes for which all exterior maintenance, lawn care, etc., is handled by an owners association. It offers the hassle-free living advantages of an apartment, the investment and tax advantages of a house, all without having to share walls with noisy neighbors. Buildable land is almost unlimited here (some farmer will always sell his cornfield), though desirable river or wooded locations are more expensive.
It is going to be a nice change moving over there than from the downtown area of orlando. Going to be nice and quiet...aaah.
You people who pay a million bucks for an apartment are nutty.