Boca Raton Real Estate

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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A sleepy town from 1838 to the 1920s, Boca Raton, Florida has since evolved into something of a legendary cosmopolitan tropical paradise. Stretching along the southern Atlantic coast perhaps an hour north of Miami, Boca was first and for several hundred years home to the Calusa Indians. The name Boca Ratones--literally Rat's Mouth--began appearing on European maps during the 18th century, but referred to an inlet just north of Miami.

By the beginning of the next century, the name was applied in error to what is now Boca Raton in 1838. The settlement was not reached by railroad until 1896, when civil engineer Thomas Moore Richards built the first house there. Not until California socialite Addison Mizner came to Boca in the 1920s, however, did the opulent beachfront residences we associate with the name and the Boca Raton Resort and Club start rising. Now a large and vital community with more than 700 palm-studded neighborhoods, Boca Raton is home to a population of some 75,000 with a median age of about 43.

Boca Raton Today

Of the approximately 32,000 houses in Boca, the vast majority-24,000-are owner occupied. Turnover is low. On a given day, for example, you might find 2,500 properties on the market, of which less than half will be single family homes. Once you eliminate listings over $1 million, you might be left with 500, ranging from about $250,000 up. About half will be half a million or less.

Don't hope to find any beachfront homes for sale, however. The last five miles were sold to the city in 1994 and subsequently developed as Ocean Strand for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. But the 27 square miles of Boca Raton offer many other fine properties. As ideal for younger families as it is for retirees, Boca offers its residents the year-round tropical climate typical of Florida, exquisite Atlantic beaches, a strong school system, splendid public parks, and a host of community and recreational opportunities.

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