Texas and Florida have seen a steady increase of new residents moving from other states for years. US Census data shows that Florida is the most popular state to move to, with over 601,000 new residents in 2019 alone. And Texas comes in at number two with around 560,000 new residents in 2019.
Then this trend kicked into high gear when the 2020 COVID outbreak shook up the housing market. Suddenly, many workers had the freedom to work from home, allowing buyers the opportunity to relocate to new states.
And despite the pandemic that had most of the country on lock down, Florida's Office of Economic and Demographic Research reported that between April 2020 and April 2021 the state grew by approximately 329,717 new residents. And there was a lot of movement to Texas according to U-haul’s migration data.
Those of us in Texas and Florida were already noticing the increase and feeling the effects before the latest numbers came out. The two states have quite a bit in common, so it’s easy to group them together when considering the pros and cons of moving to either state. Here’s what people moving to Texas and Florida need to know about homeownership before they rent a U-haul truck.
Pros of Homeownership in Texas and Florida
The weather is a primary reason why many people are moving to Texas and Florida, particularly if they’re moving from northern states. Northerners are tired of the long gray winters with the frigid temperatures and hazardous snow. And while Texas did see a deadly winter storm in 2021, the winters in Texas and Florida are comparatively warmer and sunnier. That means homeowners get to enjoy much lower winter utility bills in these moderate climates.
Homeownership is also comparatively affordable in Texas and Florida. Median home values in 2021 have been lower than the US average in both states. The Census’ data shows that the median sales price for new single-family homes in October 2021 was $407,700. The National Association of Realtors data shows that the median price for existing single-family homes was $353,900 during that time.
The Texas Real Estate Research Center’s October 2021 housing report shows that the median sales price in the Lone Star State for all single-family homes was $301,900. At that same time in Florida the median sales price was $358,950 for all homes.
Residents of Texas and Florida also enjoy comparatively low taxes. In fact, neither state charges a state income tax. Of course, you’ll still be required to pay federal income taxes on any earnings. And additionally, other taxes (like sales taxes and property taxes) might be a little higher than other states, which can offset some of this benefit.
Cons of Homeownership in Texas and Florida
Living in Texas or Florida isn’t all sunshine and beaches. There are a few cons to consider as well.
First, all the sunshine can be accompanied by extreme heat and high humidity. Florida is the hottest state in the country based on average year-round temperatures, with summer temps reaching average highs of 92 degrees. Texas is the fourth hottest state in the US with average highs of up to 101 during the month of August. Pay special attention to air conditioning systems when house hunting, and keep your A/C unit well maintained.
Another weather-related consideration for Texas and Florida homeowners is hurricane season. Hurricanes can cause substantial damage to property because of high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Homebuyers looking in hurricane zones should look for signs of water damage from previous hurricanes. Flood insurance can be added to your standard homeowner’s insurance policy for added protection, and may be required for some properties. There’s also the option to purchase an inland area home where there is less hurricane risk, but always check to see whether a home is in a flood zone.
One last potential con of buying a home in Texas or Florida is the high level of buyer competition. With so many people moving to both states, the real estate markets in Texas and Florida are hot. Many listings are getting multiple offers, and many homes are selling for more than the asking price. In fact, as of May 2021, Texas homes are selling for an average of 2.1% above the asking price and that trend has continued in metros like Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin.
Do You Want in on These Hot Markets?
Real estate agents in Florida and Texas are enjoying the fast pace of these hot markets. Lots of people are looking to move to these states, and they need local real estate professionals to help them. You could be the one to help new residents find their dream homes!
Enroll in an affordable online real estate course to get started on the path to your new real estate career today.