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Who bought a Florida home in 2013? The answers might surprise

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Published Feb. 11, 2014

Who bought a home in Florida last year?

A lot more single women than single men, for starters. A lot more suburbanites than city folk. And many who intended to move in with their parents or grown children.

We mined the Florida Realtors' newest Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, a survey of hundreds who dove into the Sunshine State's housing market in 2013, to learn more about where and how Floridians are living today.

* * *

Typical home bought last year in Florida

1,900 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, built in 1996

* * *

Typical Florida home buyer

A married couple in their mid 50s, earning a household income of $82,100, who had been in their previous home for nine years and very likely started their search on the Internet. They spent 10 weeks looking for a home and visited 10 homes before deciding to buy.

* * *

Florida buyers

27 percent: Bought their first home (38 percent in the U.S.)

31 percent: Earn a household income lower than $55,000

19 percent: Were single women (6 percent were single men)

31 percent: First-time home buyers who were single women (7 percent were single men)

* * *

Florida sellers

10 percent: Had their home on the market for more than a year

10 percent: Bumped their asking price down four or more times

5 percent: Tried to attract buyers by offering to give away a car, flat-screen TV or other incentives

$25,000: Typical equity earned from selling

* * *

Location location location

44 miles: Median distance of move from old home to new home (18 miles was the U.S. average)

19 percent: Moved more than 1,000 miles (12 percent in the U.S.)

52 percent: Bought in the suburbs

14 percent: Bought in a small town

11 percent: Bought in an urban area

11 percent: Bought in a rural area

11 percent: Bought in a resort

* * *

What they bought

$192,000: Median home price in Florida ($208,000 in the U.S.)

60 percent: Bought a home bigger than 2,000 square feet (U.S. average of new home in 1973: 1,660 square feet)

13 percent: Bought a home smaller than 1,500 square feet

27 percent: Bought a home built between 1959 and 1985

* * *

Money matters

30 percent: Made at least a 20 percent down payment

28 percent: Paid less than 5 percent down

19 percent: Made no down payment

59 percent: Paid less than asking price

* * *

Along the way

8 percent: Said the hardest part of buying a home was saving for the down payment

21 percent: Said the hardest part of buying a home was paperwork

32 percent: Said student loans delayed them from saving for a home

39 percent: Cut their spending on nonessentials to afford a home

46 percent: Said getting a mortgage was more (or much more) difficult than expected

* * *

Motivations

25 percent: Bought a home to take care of aging parents

15 percent: Bought because adult children were moving back in

10 percent: Of repeat buyers said they bought a home because they wanted something smaller; the same percentage said they bought because they wanted something bigger

Follow trends affecting the local economy

Follow trends affecting the local economy

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46 percent: Said homes are a better investment than stocks

Compiled by Times staff writer Drew Harwell

Source: Florida Realtors, U.S. Census