Efficient Land Transactions in Florida

Florida’s alluring advantages, including year-round warmth and no state income tax, make it an attractive place to lay down new roots. But, before packing up the moving vans, buyers need to carefully weigh the unique pros and cons of purchasing land in this Sunshine State.

In some cases, the platted development Efficient Land Transactions in Florida of wetlands, uncontrolled growth, and the inability or unwillingness of local governments to control large developments led to state action to protect the environment  Allan, Kuder, and Oakes 1976. These efforts have not always been successful; in fact, they often exacerbate problems by transferring ownership from private hands to public ones. Nonetheless, they have been essential to protecting natural resources in Florida.

As a result of the public interest in preserving conservation lands, many platted developments are being bought by the state, and many are becoming parks or wildlife refuges (Dodrill 1993). To speed up the process of buying platted land for conservation purposes, the Division of State Lands has created a bureau devoted to this work, Florida Forever. One of its functions is to facilitate the process by providing expert assistance with acquisition negotiations and closings.

Several studies have addressed the problems of platted development in Florida, and some suggest ways that these problems can be solved (Dodrill 1993; Allan, Kuder, and Oakes 1977). One option is to allow owners of platted lots to donate their properties to public agencies, which can then be developed as parklands or other environmental preserves. This has been done in the past at the circular Rotonda on the Cape Haze peninsula in Charlotte County (Alexander 1995).

Another option is to establish voluntary agreements between landowners and developers to avoid subdivision of wetlands, in exchange for public access to wetlands and other conservation lands that would have otherwise been subdivided. This has been successfully accomplished in several Florida communities, such as Lehigh Acres (Kohl 1984).

Other options include requiring that living spaces be elevated above the base flood elevation of the community, and imposing stringent building codes. These requirements can add significantly to the cost of construction.

Ultimately, the key to preventing future land problems is to prevent subdivision of wetlands, and that will require a strong partnership between the state, local governments, and the development industry (Parker 1986). The best approach probably lies in educating local citizens to the importance of wetlands protection and how a good planning process can prevent a land problem before it develops.

With the right property in a strategic location, owning land in Florida can be personally and financially rewarding over the long term. However, before packing up the moving vans, careful research and due diligence must be conducted to ensure that Florida dreams don’t turn into nightmares. Contact the seasoned team at Land Boss for help with the intricacies of buying land in the Sunshine State. With the proper planning, buying Florida land can be a positive experience for both part-time residents and investors alike.