Located on the sunny eastern beaches of Florida, West Palm Beach is a gorgeous vacation destination that many fortunate souls call home. Though the city has a slightly elevated cost of living, housing prices remain within reach of many Americans, even in this economy. West Palm Beach offers more than just white sand beaches and gentle waves. The city also has a lively culture, a strong sense of its history--as evidenced by its unique neighborhoods--and a diverse community. West Palm Beach residents enjoy an active outdoors lifestyle, with several golf courses nearby including Palm Beach Country Club and Breakers Ocean Golf Course. The city appeals to families, couples and young adults, as well as visitors from around the state and nation.
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Housing Stats As of July 2013 the median price for a home was $199,000, with the median sale price hovering around $175,000. This is an increase of 16 percent over last year. The median price in 2011 was $161,800. This shows that West Palm Beach is enjoying a steady incline in prices that ensures a stable housing market for years to come. The median age of 38 also helps stabilize the market, with most folks living in West Palm Beach looking to settle down rather than move around from rental to rental. Occupied homes are 52.1 percent owned and 47.9 percent rented (with an even smaller amount being rent to own). The vacancy rate is around 14 percent, which allows new buyers a wealth of options when selecting a home.
Outdoors Activities Florida is well known as a state full with recreational opportunities, and the inhabitants like to keep themselves very fit. Though swimming, surfing and snorkeling are especially common on the beach, there are other inland options as well. McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, lions, snakes and birds of all shapes and sizes. The Grassy Waters Nature Preserve offers canoeing and bird watching. Finally, the National Croquet Center presents a very civilized sport for guests who enjoy smacking some croquet balls around a field.
Arts and Culture West Palm Beach also has plenty of fascinating cultural experiences to discover. The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens not only has sculptures but also artwork, gardens and a lovely house on the grounds. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts hosts stunning dance, theater and musical performances, and it resides within a gorgeous glass walled building replete with glowing fountains. The SunFest, an annual art and music festival located on the waterfront, sees over 275,000 people each year and features famous singers and bands like Cyndi Lauper.
Neighborhoods There are at least 12 historic neighborhoods in West Palm Beach, each with striking architecture, unique elements and charming qualities. Some have new developments while others have finished building and occasionally sell off units as residents move out. The latter category can mean long waits for property and high interest from buyers.
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