I’m spending a few days in Florida, researching the recovering real estate market. Actually I’m here to spend a few days with my son, but while I’m here I thought I’d take a quick look at real estate. The Florida real estate market certainly has recovered. It was one of the first parts of the country to be hit hard when the real estate bubble burst in 2007, and it’s been one of the first to come back.
Property values bottomed out about a year ago when investors started snapping up premier locations that had been unfairly depressed, and now almost all of the best bargains are gone. There’s still a lot of inventory on the Florida market, and that’s in stark contrast to the low inventory that we’re experiencing in most of Monmouth County.
Lots of people from New Jersey like to retire in Florida, but here (in Fort Lauderdale) it’s a lot different than we’re used to in Rumson and Fair Haven. Yes, there’s a Whole Foods market and a Costco, plus all of the usual retail chains and restaurant chains. However, I haven’t found any of the independent small restaurants like the ones we enjoy in New Jersey, or any Italian, Asian, or Eastern European specialty shops. And the bagel shops here certainly don’t make them like they do in Brooklyn.
On the other hand, hunting and fishing seem to be very popular, and a lot more people seem to own firearms. Lenny took me to a HUGE Outdoor World store that had an indoor rifle range as well as an indoor archery range. We spent a fun-filled hour shooting arrows at a variety of targets, and on his last shot Lenny hit a small balloon and won some points towards a free session.
Life is good!