Tired of obsessively controlling governors and COVID restrictions, millions of Americans are packing up the SUV and heading south – specifically to the Sunshine State. What does Florida have to offer for those who seek freedom? Well, a lot.
Let Us Count the Ways
Right-minded Americans are feeling the love in Florida in several areas. First, the Republican-led state Senate just passed a bevy of new election laws that place restrictions on vote-by-mail. Second, those in the America First political camp can not stop talking about Governor Ron DeSantis, including former President Donald Trump. Should DeSantis throw his hat in the ring for president or on a ticket as vice president alongside Mr. Trump? Top this off with the lure of sun and beaches to those who have been stuck inside for over a year, and it’s easy to see why lovers of liberty have Florida on their minds.
On what is commonly known as the Sun Coast of Florida – the areas just off the Gulf of Mexico – the real estate market is smoking hot. Dr. Robert Dietz, senior vice president for the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), points out that the cost of lumber has been on “a roller coaster ride” this year. “In talking to builders, rising lumber costs for a newly built home could be pushing prices up $15,000 or more,” said Dietz. Low inventory in the new home market is boosting prices for resale homes. Real Estate Agent Heidi Haber of Coldwell Banker in Sarasota described the sizzling seller’s market to Liberty Nation:
“Buyers are having to realize that a smaller inventory means they have to act fast. In many cases, people are overbidding the asking price. Those who want to build are paying more because of a material shortage, and buyers are waiting longer to move into their homes because new construction can’t keep up with the demand. It’s just a very tight real estate market at the moment.”
During the long, dark winter of 2021, Florida was the go-to spot for the lonely and pale. Despite statistics showing the state posted its lowest tourism numbers in more than a decade, those who did venture south were smitten with freedom fever. Noting that “so much was open” and that “people in Florida aren’t obsessed with masks” gave many a reason to want to stay. Writing in Forbes, Christopher Elliott remarked: “One of the first things you notice when you drive into Florida is that masks appear to be optional. Outdoors, almost no one is wearing them. Indoors, you might see a few more people with face coverings.”
Experiencing the warmth of the sunshine and a decidedly welcoming bent toward personal freedom has driven many to consider the option of leaving their restrictive northern states for good, in favor of warmer and friendlier climes. As Americans seek freedom-friendly environments in places like Florida, governors of states experiencing a mass exodus might want to re-think their draconian policies that are driving people to move out. Perhaps the greatest gift that resulted from the pandemic is an awakening of personal liberty and a rejection of what many believe to be government tyranny. As Benjamin Franklin once quipped: “Freedom is not a fit bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.