Gainesville, Florida Real Estate on the Rise

By: Phil Laboon

With appreciation rates still at 19%, Gainesville Florida boasts the fourth quickest appreciating real estate market in the nation. The city's many honors include the following; one of the Top Ten Cities in the USA for Outdoor Activities (2005), Most Technologically Advanced City in Florida (2005), Silver-Level Bicycle-Friendly Community Award (2004, 2005), #3 Mid-Market City (2004), #11 of the Top 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life (2003), and the Gold Well City USA Award (2003). Gainesville's own University of Florida is the state's oldest and largest university with 16 colleges and over 150 research centers. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university within the top fifty in its esteemed annual college guide, The university boasts an exceptionally high freshman retention rate of 94%, indicating a market of returning upperclassmen looking for off-campus housing.

Conveniently situated, Gainesville is less than an hour drive from either of Florida's coasts, facilitating day trips to the beach. Orlando's theme parks are just two hours away, as are Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Tampa.

There's plenty to do in Gainesville, between visiting historical sites and museums, several theaters, golfing, and biking. And football season is a constant activity due to the University of Florida Gators' cult-like following. In fact, as a means to hydrate the Gators, Gatorade was invented and the UF team still gets a share of the profits.

Gainesville also gave birth to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as a well-known punk-ska scene that includes bands such as Against Me! and Less Than Jake. A relatively cheap place to live, the city offers moderately priced cuisine and all the cheap beer and drink specials of any major college town. Home prices are low, with median prices less than $150,000 for a single-family home and monthly apartment rent at around $600.

Gainesville is located in the growing Alachua County that features eleven other incorporated cities. Gainesville's 111,000 residents comprise over half the county's population. Over 65% of the county is wilderness, including scenic lakes, forests, wetlands, and trails, yet the area is still easily accessible by major roadways. Four major highways-I-75, U.S. 301, S.R. 26 and U.S. 441-all travel to Alachua County, linking it to the coasts and the major Florida tourist attractions. And Gainesville Regional Airport is only five miles from downtown Gainesville, and is serviced by two major commercial airlines.

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