Nearly everyone now knows Walton County is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. For years now Walton County has had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Florida. It also enjoys the influx of over 4 million annual visitors flocking to its white sandy beaches. Anywhere one goes today in Walton county there are signs seeking workers. With plenty of high-paying jobs, loads of visitors and all of this annual growth, this has created one huge problem, no affordable housing.
The average rent for a standard 3 bedroom home is now more than $2,000/month from Freeport and South Walton. The average cost of a new 3 bed/2 bath home is more than $400,000 in this same area. Add to this one last driving factor of a Hurricane stricken Bay County right next door and now there’s a HUGE demand for “Quality Affordable Housing”. Whether renting or buying, the challenge is the same. There are one-bedroom apartments, although rare, renting for $1500+/month. In Freeport, there are currently less than 7 available rental units on the market with the demand needing 30+ per month.
The main limiting factor for Walton County’s continued growth is both infrastructure and affordable housing. With this in mind there are several projects in Freeport now that are addressing this need. One of them is the revitalized 40+ acre multi-family community the Verandas in Freeport. Just off of Hwy 331 near schools, the Verandas subdivision has answered this need for affordable housing, but is also offering the quality. A beautiful pool with amenities and large community yards across the street from Freeport Elementary School are a few of the many features of this beautiful subdivision.
The Townhomes are very affordable and start at $174,900. All units are 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths with standard features included at no additional charge: stainless steel kitchen appliances, quartz countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms, Rheem high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, crown molding, window coverings, LVP upscale flooring, front and back covered porches, and many others. There are also affordable rentals in this complex that start at $1500/month for a 3 bed/2.5 bath unit.
Buyers will find the taxes extremely low at an average of $61/month. Insurance for most units is less than $65/month. Estimated monthly costs of electricity and water/sewer are under $150/month. The homeowners monthly cost is $75/month and includes all landscape and yard maintenance, pool and amenity maintenance, HOA administrative costs and subdivision upkeep.
The model just opened in September, and more than 74 units have already sold. There are 3 floor plans, one unit includes a full garage. Prices range from $174,900 to $209,900. So with the average rent for a 3 bed/2.5 bath home in Freeport $1650+/month; an average mortgage payment (with a 20% down payment) would be less than $950/month. Including HOA dues, insurance and taxes, the average cost of ownership would save a buyer $400+/month and they would OWN their home. The Verandas has 3 local lenders that offer very easy home-buying packages for all those interested.
Come visit today, the model is open daily from 11-5 p.m.
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