Aleluya, Real Estate Developers Spend Millions in the Bible Belt -- West Coast of Florida

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South Florida is a hot real estate market and now smaller counties on the west coast of Florida, six hours north of Miami, Florida, are starting to reap the benefits. North Florida, far from the hip Miami Beach scene, once nick named the bible-belt, is reaping the benefits of higher land prices in major cities in South Florida (Miami, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Boca Raton, Ocala, Tallahassee, and Weston). As developers search for cheaper land to build they are venturing to smaller counties in North Florida with populations of less than 2,500 that still have affordable land prices with acres going for less than $10,000, a steal by developers and first time investor standards. - As land developers feel the price squeeze in South Florida, they are seeking to capitalize on the ability to build and buy for less in small west coast counties that are looking for growth and to profit from the booming Florida real estate market with property prices way below major cities.

The same way many during the gold rush went digging to find the glimmering gold dust in the west, land developers, the new property cowboys, are heading to the west coast of Florida for cheap land buys to build condominium developments and single family homes.

Ocala and Tampa have become popular among developers in the past 8 months as more buy up land. Their good fortune is spreading now to surrounding west coast counties that are banking on their new popularity.

If you haven't heard of Jena, Chiefland, Cross City, Steinhachee, Suwannee River, Fanning Springs, Andrew, take a look at Map Quest or Yahoo Directions for a reference point. These small counties are becoming more popular than Ft.Lauderdale and Brickell, in Miami, as buyers go West to the new frontier to buy up land treasures at 90% less than prices in South Florida.

Cross City, population 2,500, land area 1.9 square miles, 35-40 minutes west of Gainsville, is one of the new land Florida hot spots on the west coast. This small county has some of the best land in Florida and when it is placed on the market the properties fly.

Much of the land has been owned by Florida families for over 80 years. They are now parting with it because of the hot Florida property market. Keller Williams Real Estate in Miami, Florida, is quickly listing many of these properties and making millions for west coast property owners. KW Realtors saw the trend and quickly began a marketing program for the land to interest potential buyers and seller.

"Our brokerage just listed 320 acres in Cross City, Florida, at $10,000 an acre, totaling $3,180,000. We've received hundreds of calls. You can't find these deals in South Florida any more, "says Vladimir Golik, Broker/Owner of Keller Williams. "The acreage is well located adjacent to the Airport, and is suitable for condo development, single family homes, even agricultural. The Property is on highland, which not much land is in North Florida. Another big plus is accessible from highway RT 19, that is a big plus when so much land in west and north Florida is on paved roads."

Jena Beach is another popular west coast Florida investment area. Jena was named one of the fastest growing counties in Florida by Florida Trends magazine. This fishing town is Hampton-like during the Summers, and property prices are soaring just like the Hamptons.

Jena, with access to the Gulf of Mexico and great marinas is a boaters paradise that is well situated for pre-construction condo development with shop opportunities or straight commercial land use. There is currently a condo development project in the Jena area, BridgePoint Condominiums, average price is $350,000-$600,000, the first phase has already sold out (

Golik, also has eight acres available in Jena that was just listed for $2.7 million, just waiting for the right developer, as he says.

As land prices continue to rise in South Florida the move is on to the west as land prices continue to rise in South Florida the move will continue west toward the Gulf of Mexico, the last of the virgin Florida water.

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Vladimir Golick
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