In this post Ben shares his top 9 things you need to know BEFORE moving to Winter Haven.


Ben's top 9 things you need to know before looking at homes for sale in Winter Haven

1- The Highway systems are too small for our population. Roads like I-4, 95 and 75 have very heavy traffic. You need to use an app like Waze or similar that will give you travel time WITH traffic. 

2- Bad Drivers! We have our share of bad drivers. Please be safe, put your seatbelt on, and put your phone down. Pay attention to your surroundings. 

3- Seasonal Allergies! We have loads of plant and trees that have heavy pollen loads when they are blooming. Those April showers bring May flowers, and with the beauty comes the pollen. Many over the counter medications such as Zyrtec-D or Allegra can help with the congestion and runny nose.

4- Hurricanes! While hurricanes can be a scary weather event, You generally have time to prepare for them, they are tracked for weeks, and you generally have days to get ready as the “cone” tracks where it is going. What really gets your in trouble is when a storm rapidly intensifies and you are not prepared. But when a Category 2 is chugging along, you know what to expect. Being inland 60-80 miles also means the storm is weakened significantly before it gets to our area. Most of our issues are downed trees/power lines and localized flooding. Most locals grab some beer and settle in for a hurricane party. 

5- The Weather. It’s HOT. You need sunscreen. You need to stay hydrated, and don’t overdo it. We have afternoon showers - It can be a beautiful blue sunny day then bam a huge rainstorm that lasts 10-20 minutes then its bright blue skies and steamy hot again.

6- Homes need updating. A lot of the homes in our area need updating. They were built in the 60’s-70’s and have not been updated over the years. Some of the 40-50 year old homes have only been renovated once, or not at all. If you are not buying a new construction home you may want to budget a remodel.

7- You become the vacation destination for out of town friends and family - so size your house correctly!! Make it too small for overnight guests, or make sure you have room to accommodate! And remember they are on vacation so watch out for day drinking! You may have work to do and they want you to be on vacation with them. When they are ready to buy here give them my number!!

8- Yardwork! Taming the jungle that is your yard can get to be a lot of work. With the afternoon showers and days of sun we get, it can turn into jurassic park QUICK! If you love landscaping and gardening, you will love it! IF you don’t you may want to look into a lawn service or a townhouse or condo where the association handles it. 

9- Bugs and Pests - We have large bugs! Palmetto Bugs (Roaches) they are large and they can FLY. Termites. You want to be sure you get a WDO inspection, as termites can cause significant damage to all of the wood in your home. Spiders - Orb spiders, Daddy long legs. - Lizards and Geckos, but they eat the bugs so you don’t want to run them off! If you are afraid of bugs, Florida may not be for you, or you’ll have to get over your fear! GATORS! But they don’t want to mess with you. 


    - Tinted Windows - It’s legal here, If you have leather seats and you run to Publix to get a pub-sub, when you get back to your car you’ll burn your legs off. A good window tint with UV protectant will keep your car much cooler. Even on your home, window tint can save on your power bill.

    - Buy a generator. We talked about it earlier in tip 4 but you’ll not regret having a generator when the power is out and your freezer is full. I personally even have a portable a/c that we can run to keep cool, because hurricanes are summer events so its HOT. Most locals buy a bunch of beer and have a hurricane party up to a category 3 Hurricane. 

    - Make a friend with a boat! There are lakes everywhere and the weather is ideal most of the time for lake life or going to the sandbar.