Punta Gorda has a small-town feel, waterfront parks, a working system of pathways for walking and cycling, and a chain of shops and restaurants. Everything a small family needs in a flourishing, laid-back neighborhood.
And that's not all! The average cost of property here is below the national standards. Being the engine that powers the larger Charlotte County, Punta Gorda FHA homes for sale, whether for investment or as a new home for your family, has its advantages. Here's a closer look at some of those benefits.
Some Background About Punta Gorda, Florida
A little history about the place you want to move your family to can help put everything into perspective.
Punta Gorda is a Spanish word meaning "Fat Point." From the direct translation, you can tell Punta Gorda has excellent potential. It lies as a "Fat Point" jutting out into Charlotte Harbor – one of the largest natural harbors in the US. It is considered the hidden treasure of Florida.
The city sits centrally between Sarasota to the north and Fort Myers to the South. It's a fantastic location with easy access and comfortable driving from a significant locations like Orlando, Miami, and Tampa.
The Florida sunshine glitters over the city for most of the year, attracting tourists and new residents who come to Punta Gorda for its famous lifestyle.
Besides the unique and robust resident real estate, the city also offers business all-year-round clientele comprised of locals and international and domestic tourists.
The convenient location of Punta Gorda, the diversity of real estate, the warm weather, and numerous attraction make this an excellent place for a young family or retirees looking for a climate that goes easy on their bodies and presents lots of attractions and activities to take up their free time.
Punta Gorda is a small city with a tight-knit population of 19,981 as of 2021, spread across 21 miles of land. That translates to about 1,291 people per square mile, which is decent. The city is growing at a rate of 1.43%, so there are no worries about feeling cramped anytime soon.
The median age for homes in Punta Gorda is 65 years. It's one of the reasons the city is laidback, peaceful, and serene. A majority of the population in the city is Caucasian, which comprises over 90% of the population. However, minorities have increased, with African Americans, Asians, and others increasing in recent years.
The Climate and Weather
Whereas some locations have significant real estate, the only way you can tell that Punta Gorda FHA homes for sale are a wise investment is by considering the climate and the weather. Being in Florida means you get that elusive sunshine with golden sunsets on daily for most of the year. The area scores big in these aspects.
On average, Punta Gorda has 267 days of sunshine, with the best months for outdoor activities and fun being February to early May and from mid-October to December. These are also the same months that tend to have many tourists.
Safety and Security
The safety and security of the new city weigh heavily on your decision to invest and live here. Luckily, Punta Gorda is ranked one of the safest places in Florida. Neighborhood Scout has it ranked safer than 41% of the cities in the US. With a crime rate of 14.69 per 1000 residents.
According to Niche, the residents in the city rank the possible as very visible and responsive, and about 50% think of the city as pretty safe with little to no crime to speak of.
If you're particularly cautious about safety and don't want to take any chances, you can look into the safest neighborhoods in Punta Gorda with the lowest crime rate.
These include Babcock Ranch or Ridge Harbor, Punta Gorda South, Tropical Gulf Acres, and Gilchrist or Pirate Harbor. Overall, the northern part of the city is considered safer.
The Cost of Living
One of the reasons families are moving to this area, making Punta Gorda FHA homes for sale a significant investment, is the favorable cost of living. The average cost of living here is 5% lower than the national average. Also, homes here are cheaper, going for as low as 17% lower than the national average.
The utility prices are also lower than the national average. The only higher costs are transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices. However, considering Florida's no income tax, you can easily stretch your dollars.
For the sake of perspective and to give you a picture of how much you stand to save by living here, states like California take up to 13.3% in state income tax. Because Florida has no income tax requirements, you can keep more of your income. You can improve your quality of life without a salary increase.
Here are a few averages that can help you manage your monthly budget or manage your mortgage when you purchase a home in this city:
- The median price for homes in Punta Gorda is $331,861
- The median rent is $1,014 per month
- Energy bill $167.55 per month
- Phone bill $184.37 per month
- Gas $4.92 per gallon
These prices are not static. They are subject to change depending on inflation and other market factors and are provided as a guideline. Before purchasing, ensure you research to check if the prices have changed and whether they are within your scope.
Healthcare and Amenities
Florida has some of the best hospitals in the country. Institutions like Jacksonville Memorial Hospital, AdventHealth Orlando, and Tampa Bay.
Although none are in Punta Gorda, some fantastic healthcare facilities are here. The most notable is Shorepoint Health in Punta Gorda, Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Golisano Children's Hospital of South West Florida in Fort Myers, and HealthPark Medical Centre in Fort Myers.
In case you're thinking of bringing your parents or grandparents when you purchase property, and they need some assistance living independently, the city has some great options you can look at.
Besides the hospitals, there are over a dozen assisted living facilities in the Punta Gorda area. They will be comfortable here, and you can save money on the long drives and see them more regularly. The warm weather might also turn out to be good for them.
The Education and School System in Punta Gorda, Florida
The population of Punta Gorda is generally well-educated. That's possible because there are three universities in the city. These are:
- Western Michigan University
- Florida SouthWestern State College
- Florida Gulf Coast University
There are also two technical schools within the city:
- Charlotte County Technical Center
- Southern Technical College
Besides the impressive institutions of higher education, Punta Gorda also has an excellent education system that caters to students from a young age. The city has a balance of quality public and private institutions that you can look into depending on your preference.
Sallie Jones Elementary School
This is a public district school. It has over 670 students enrolled from PK to Grade 5. It is one of the city's highest-rated schools, with a 15:1 students per teacher ratio.
Other notable institutions you can look into depending on the academic level of your children include:
- Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School
- Charlotte High School
- Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
- Punta Gorda Middle School
Best Things To Do in Punta Gorda, Florida
Now that you have all the tricky stuff checked out, it's time to dive into the fun part of Punta Gorda. As a tourist city, rest assured you will be spoilt for choice when looking around for things to do in the city.
To make it easier, let's divide them into two categories:
Punta Gorda has enough activities for all families. Whether you're an adrenalin junkie looking for your high-octane event or a laid-back just looking to spend some time together, the city has something for you.
Take a boat tour
In Southwest Florida, you're surrounded by water. And being a boat lovers' haven, you will notice a lot of boats around. A boat tour should be at the top of your activity list. The tours are so many and unique to suit every taste, budget, and activity.
You will have difficulty choosing where to start, from airboat tours to sunset cruises and even wilderness eco-tours.
Punta Gorda doesn't have beaches. But you can enjoy a piece of the Gulf of Mexico that the Southwest is known for. The beaches are just across the bay. A short 30-minute drive and you're there. It's a great place when looking for fun but inexpensive activities.
Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center is the place to be for lovers of nature. It is teeming with nature in water and on land with many exploration opportunities. This is one of the best places to be as a family in Punta Gorda.
There's so much to do here; you could easily spend an entire day here and not realize it. The center manages Alligator Creek and Cedar Point, where you can find over 8 miles of hiking trails and other recreational activities.
Activities for kids
The beauty of Punta Gorda is you don't have to drag your family to activities they don't fancy. There are some age-appropriate options as well that your kids will love.
The Peace River Wildlife Center
This non-profit wildlife refuge is a haven for animal lovers. It also serves as an education center for curious minds who want to soak in as much information about the residents as possible.
The kids can watch birds and other wildlife as they hear stories about the rescued animals and learn more about them. Owls, eagles, and hawks are typical here, but you can also see other species.
Laishley Park is a 17-acre family and pet-friendly park. It's located along Peace River and offers plenty of activities for kids. The kids can run around, have fun with their pets, or lounge around. The wide-open spaces are perfect for sports.
Most activities here are cheap, so you don't have to worry about denting your pocket for a fun day out. The kids can cool down at the interactive water fountain if it's a hot day. There picnic tables where you can wait and watch your children as they have fun.
This is a popular spot for its playground and sports facilities. The facility supports kids of all ages with its slides, basketball courts, tennis courts and other amenities.
It's also ideal for sightseeing and picnicking. You can also work out here if you're a fitness buff and want something out of the gym.
Best Places to Eat in Punta Gorda, Florida
Being a fishermen's village, Punta Gorda offers a vast selection of seafood. But because of its diverse population and visitors, it offers other cuisines, including hand-crafted pasta, savory steaks, and American comfort food.
It is the home of marinas and tons of fantastic restaurants. But if you had to pick one that is the most diverse and gives you that vibrant and fantastic pace of life that Punta Gorda is known for, it would have to be:
Carmelo’s Italian Ristorante
This award-winning dining establishment specializes in authentic Italian cuisine. With an outdoor sitting area set in a beautiful garden, a full-service bar, elegant décor, amazing live music and incredible food, you will love everything that this restaurant offers. It's a great place to feast with your family.
For seafood lovers, there are shrimps, limoncello, and scallops. There's also a signature entrée with capers, garlic, cream sauce, pasta, and other elements that are finger-licking good.
Best Neighborhoods to Live in Punta Gorda, Florida
So, if you're considering buying a home in Punta Gorda, what are some of the best neighborhoods in which you should consider setting up your family?
Punta Gorda Isles
Punta Gorda Isles is one of the best places to live in the city, especially if you're a boater. The neighborhood was developed as a deed-restricted golf and waterfront community save for a few houses set on St. Andrews Golf Course.
The homes in this community are on wide canals and have access to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico, which is why it is a boater's paradise.
The style of homes here ranges from luxurious waterfront estates to single-family homes and maintenance-free condos and villas. You can also find undeveloped sites for re-sale by private owners and for new home construction.
Burnt Store Isles
Burnt Store Isles is a newer community than Punta Gorda Isles. It is also a deed-restricted community within the Twin Isles Country Club, formerly Burnt Store Country Club.
Like Punta Gorda Isles, this beautiful waterfront community has boating docks behind the homes. It has easy access to Charlotte Harbor through a series of easy-to-navigate canals to get you close to nature.
You can see the beautiful Twin Isles golf course from the homes and villas in the community, and you have easy access to it.
Most of the homes here were built after 2000, so they are still update-to- and don't require many upgrades. You can still find vacant lots here or purchase an existing home.
Burnt Store Meadows
This is a growing and deed-restricted community. It is bounded to the east by US-41 and to the west by Burnt Store Road. It is a family-favored community with various amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, schools, and recreation centers.
Most homes here are newer, with lush greenbelt areas or a small lake. There is a limited amount of condos available in the community, or you can opt to buy vacant and available land to build new homes.
While in Burnt Store Meadows, the beautiful white sand beaches are only minutes away. The presence of Interstate 75 open up the community to other larger cities in the area, like Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples. Getting to any of them shouldn't be a problem. If you have a boat, the nation's largest estuary, the Charlotte Harbor, lies to the north.
With some of the best neighborhoods providing access to world-class golf courses and private canals that open up to Charlotte Harbor, it's hard not to see yourself living here. Punta Gorda FHA homes for sale are an excellent investment for any family. The area has plenty to offer, especially for those who love the finer things in life.
The low living costs and the fact that Florida is a no-income-tax state are more reasons to consider looking into the real estate opportunities that Punta Gorda offers. If you have your dream home all mapped out, you can buy a vacant and available lot and build your home!