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Citrus County Florida Cities/Towns ----Beverly Hills, Black Diamond, Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, Crystal River, Floral City, Hernando, Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, Inverness, Lecanto, Pine Ridge, Sugarmill Woods

History

Citrus County was created in 1887. It was named for the county's citrus trees. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895.

Approximately mid-state, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles north of Tampa and 60 miles northwest of Orlando.

Lakes: Countless small lakes and ponds, plus these named lakes with boat launches:

• Big Lake Henderson  • Little Lake Henderson  • Lake Holathlikaha  • Lake Rousseau

• Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes     • Lake Hernando

Rivers: Seven Outstanding Florida Waterways run through the county:

• Crystal River • Homosassa River • Halls River • Chassahowitzka River • Withlacoochee River (72 miles of navigable water running through 7 counties) • Salt River • St Martins River

Springs: 

The county is home to dozens of springs, from beautiful King Spring, Homosassa Spring, Chassahowitzka Spring and Three Sisters Springs.

Gentle Manatee Giants

Citrus County’s relatively warm, spring-fed waters attract North America’s largest manatee gathering each winter. The largest concentration can be found in the Crystal River but they are also found in the Homosassa River. A thousand-pound manatee in the wild, often with a baby or two alongside, is unforgettable. They react to the close-at-hand presence of swimmers, divers and waders with characteristic good nature. Citrus County is the only place in North America where nature lovers can legally swim and snorkel with these docile giants.

Bountiful Birding

Birding in Citrus County can include anything from a flock of whooping cranes following an ultralight aircraft to soaring eagles to nesting sandhill cranes. Of course there are red birds and blue birds and every other color of the rainbow. Many Citrus County public parks and preserves have huge avian populations. The Great Florida Birding Trail has 445 official sites and 23 of them are in Citrus County. Get started on this story at the official website, FloridaBirdingTrail.com.

Looking For A Seafood Supper

Citrus County bay scallops can be found in the shallow Gulf Waters of off the coast during the recreational scalloping season that runs from late June through late September. The meat from a bay scallop is small, white and tender. Local guides help visitors find and collect scallops and tell them what the harvesting limits and regulations are. Once you’ve got your limit, take your bounty to one of the county’s local eateries where you eat your catch – can’t get any fresher than that! Story possibilities include the usual W’s plus recipes and beachfront cookouts.

Florida’s Fishing Grounds

Salt or fresh…amateur or professional…Citrus County is a fisherman’s dream. Folks who want to trailer their own boats find excellent launch ramps and an assortment of waterside restaurants, fuel stops and boatyards. It’s only a short run to the open Gulf and as much adventure as you like. On your own it’s a great experience, but there’s nothing like a charter with an experienced guide to ensure a great day and a great catch.

Anglers seeking freshwater adventure have a very good chance of landing a bass that will look like a whale in the photograph if you hold it in front of your body at arm’s length. The Tsala Apopka chain of lakes near Inverness is a great place to begin.

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Real Estate News

Latest Realty News from NAR

November 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.99 percent this November, up 19.1 percent compared to 4.19 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in November moving the index down 10.6 percent from 161.0 to 144.0. The median sales price for a single family home sold in November in the US was $260,500 up 5.0 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 80 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
  • The payment as a percentage of income was up from last month at 17.4 percent this November and up from 15.5 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.8 percent of income. The Northeast had the second highest payment at 17.1 percent followed by the South at 16.8 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the Northeast recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 8.2 percent. The South had an increase of 3.8 percent while the West had a gain of 2.4 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 1.6 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in affordability of 14.4 percent. The South had a decline of 9.3 percent followed by the Midwest that fell 9.2 percent. The West had the smallest drop of 7.2 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all of the four regions. The Northeast region had the decline of 5.5 percent. The South had a decline of 2.0 percent followed by the Midwest with a dip of 1.8 percent. The West had the smallest dip in affordability of 0.7 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 181.9. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.0. For comparison, the index was 148.8 in the South, and 146.4 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently up while credit availability is down. Rates are higher this month but are still historically low. Home prices are up 5.0 percent while median family incomes that are growing 3.0 percent. The job market is steady. More inventory is welcome on the lower end of the market whereas there is more supply of inventory for high priced homes.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Throwback Thursday: First-Time Homebuyers Then and Now

In 1981 when NAR first started tracking the data, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 29.  They made up 44 percent of all homebuyers.  Sixty-eight percent of first-time buyers were married couples, 12 percent were single female and 13 percent were single male (seven percent were other).

In contrast, in 2018, the average age of a first-time homebuyer was 46 and they accounted for 33 percent of all homebuyers.  Fifty-four percent were married couples, 18 percent were single female, 10 percent were single male, and 16 percent were unmarried couples (two percent were other).

In 1989, first-time buyers largely rented an apartment before they bought their home at 80 percent, and 15 percent lived with parents, relatives, or friends.  In 2018, the share of first-time buyers that lived in an apartment before they bought their home slipped to 71 percent while the share of those that had been living with parents, relatives, or friends previous to buying rose to 23 percent.

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