South Florida’s Historic Neighborhoods
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While south Florida’s rich culture can be defined by many things, there’s no denying that we live in one of the most culturally diverse states in the nation, with a variety of other heritages making their impact on our cities and neighborhoods. With all this diversity at our fingertips, we can experience these cultures by visiting locally owned, ethnic restaurants or attending cultural events on the weekends. All of this makes up Florida’s own unique culture, and we believe a great way of experiencing all that’s unique to Florida is to visit historic neighborhoods. Below, we’re talking about a few of our favorite, most picturesque areas of south Florida, where they’re located, and a brief history on each, so you can take the perfect trip down Florida’s memory lane.

Coconut Grove- Miami, Florida

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Photo via coconutgrove.com

     Just south of the bustling downtown area of Miami is the quiet, quaint, and secluded neighborhood of Coconut Grove. Established in 1873, this area is known as “Bohemia by the Bay”, and derived its name from one of the first settlers who noticed the abundance of coconut palm trees! Throughout its history, Coconut Grove was a family-oriented community, opening many historic schools and churches that still exist today, and served as a home to many stationed military members and their families during World War I. Today, it stands as a huge artistic and business hub, incorporating its history into the modern day influence of the 21st century. Click here for a historic walking map to explore the area, and visit their website to learn more about events happening in the community.

Old Floresta- Boca Raton, Florida

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Photo via realtor.com


  In October of 1925, the famous Addison Mizner ordered his development company to begin construction on some 29 houses that would be known as the Old Floresta neighborhood. Mizner began this project to get the ball rolling on building developments in Boca Raton. Situated just west of the beautiful Mizner Park, Old Floresta is the perfect neighborhood to take a stroll through to get some design inspiration, and to take in the beauty of some of the most charming homes in south Florida. Click here to learn more about this neighborhood’s unique history and how it played a large role in the development of the city of Boca Raton. 


Old Town- Key West, Florida

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Photo via Old Town Trolley Tours

     Probably one of the most well-known historic areas in southern Florida, the old neighborhoods of Key West represent the most notable parts of Florida’s beginnings, from the arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon in 1521 to playing a major role in the Industrial Revolution and the development of the railroad transportation. Today, Spanish and Cuban influences still reign, now incorporated with the seaside-village feel that makes it a huge tourism destination. Explore this historic area by taking an Old Town Trolley Tour, and visit the website for all the tools you need to plan your next exploration vacation.

Want more than just to visit these and other historic neighborhoods? Contact our team to see if there are any historic homes on the market in your area!

Finishing up a Florida Summer
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As August winds down and September slowly approaches, most people around the country are reminded that the summer season is coming to a close. Even here in Florida with our seemingly eternal summers, there’s no doubt that the feeling of summer coming to its end can be felt. In this in-between-seasons phase that we’re in right now, there’s nothing better than to make the most of the time and soak up every little bit of summertime left; in this blog, we’re highlighting a few unique mini-excursions you can make right here in Florida so you can do just that. Don’t forget to explore the My Concierge Florida web page to find one of our services that can help you while you’re away enjoying the sunshine.

Explore a Small Town: Gulfport, Florida

   Photo credits: GulfportFlorida.us

Photo credits: GulfportFlorida.us

Where can you go in Florida that has the feel of a cozy little beach town without all the parking meters and crowds? Visiting a small town like Gulfport, Florida will give you all these characteristics and more! By venturing to a smaller, lesser known town in your own home state, you’ll experience seaside living in a more relaxed, serene manner, and (best of all) you won't be breaking the bank. Gulfport specifically is located on the west coast of Florida, just west of St. Petersburg, and was named one of the “5 Great Lesser Known Places to Retire” by USA Today. Stay here on a Tuesday to experience the Tuesday Morning Fresh Market, and after a stroll on the beach, take a detour along their popular Art Walk. Click here to learn more about Gulfport & its activities.

Experience Nature Like Never Before: Bioluminescence Kayak Tour

   Photo credit: BK Adventure

Photo credit: BK Adventure

If you’ve lived in Florida long, you probably have been around your fair share of beautiful beaches and historic nature paths. While these take up the bulk of Florida’s nature scene, there’s so much of this state’s nature that goes unnoticed, like experiencing bioluminescent plankton in central Florida. Starting at $55 per person, take the whole family or a group of friends to Indian or Banana River (just east of Orlando) and embark on an unforgettable kayak ride as you watch these glowy, microscopic creatures light up the night. Click here to learn more.

Get into Local Culture: Miami Spice Month

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If you look long and hard enough, you’ll find some amazing culture and food- based festivals and events going on right around the corner. Going on this month in Miami is Miami Spice Month, where select restaurants showcase their best dishes at a reduced price to those who crave exploring the food scene of South Beach. When events like this come around at the end of summer, make it a stay-cation to fully immerse yourself into everything the city has to offer. Learn more about this foodie event & participating restaurants by clicking here.

The Affordable Housing Crisis & You
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From the lasting impacts of Hurricanes Irma & Maria coupled with telling statistics, it is clear that Florida, along with most of America, is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. For homeowners and non-homeowners alike, just hearing the word “crisis” can cause some concern, and straightforward information to educate yourself can be hard to find. That’s why in this blog, we’re highlighting the main statistics you should know about this ongoing issue, give you hope and insight as to how real estate agents are helping to combat the crisis, and show you what you can do during this time.

What’s Going On

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Put simply, Florida and many other states across the country are in this affordable housing crisis because supply isn’t meeting demand. According to Keller Williams, the housing market is missing over 2 million homes this year. Why is this happening? Labor, resource, and land costs are at an all time high, discouraging builders and prompting them to abandon these affordable starter homes that new prospective homeowners usually purchase.

Home prices historically grow at around a healthy rate of 4% a year, according to economists; this year, they’re looking to get close to 6%.

A substantial student loan debt is common among those who are factually at the age to become homeowners, subsequently pushing the age for when the current generation buys starter homes back several years.

As a result of the above, the amount of people buying starter homes or upgrading to larger homes has decreased, and the price of rentals are also increasing significantly.

How Real Estate Agents can Help Solve the Problem

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Getting involved: A number of real estate agents are joining the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee. As described on their website, “The National Association of REALTORS® advocates every day on behalf of the nation's 1.3 million REALTORS® and 75 million property owners. NAR is widely considered one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the country. We work for you by advocating for federal, state, and local policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to own, buy, and sell real property. We also work with you, by providing a wide variety of resources to foster and harness the grassroots strength of the REALTOR® Party.”

Political Advocacy: In Florida specifically, there was a trust fund created in 1992, titled the “William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund”, with the purpose of aiding affordable housing initiatives by taking a portion of taxes paid on real estate transactions. Lately, however, the Florida legislature has designated only a very small portion to these initiatives and instead is using it for other priorities. Real estate agents and community members alike can voice their concerns on this matter to help assist during this time.  

What You can do to Help

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Check out this article by Forbes Magazine titled, “How You Can Help Fix America's Affordable Housing Crisis (And Earn Returns In The Process)”.  Don’t hesitate to contact Collins & Company with any questions you may have on this matter!