Largo Real Estate

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Florida's Pinellas County, while inhabited for centuries by the Timucua and then explored by the Spanish, did not see its first permanent white settler until 1823. That year a former surgeon in Napoleon's army, one Count Odet Phillippe, came in, looked around, and remained. Others--among them the Belchers, McMullens, and Wilcoxes--followed during the rest of the 1800s. In 1886 the railroad came through, and settlement formalized.

Largo's Ups and Downs End in an Up

Named for a nearby lake that was drained 50 years later, the town of Largo grew fairly quickly. Officially incorporated in 1905, it was the first town in Florida and the second in the country to be governed by a town manager style of leadership. Toward the end of the 1920s, Largo was hit hard first by a winter freeze and then by the Great Depression.

After World War II, however, prosperity returned. Since then the population has swelled to more than 75,000 and the city expands primarily by opt-in annexation. Redevelopment of downtown Largo is in progress, with a cultural center, central park, and new library recently built. Now poised in its own right, and by virtue of its proximity to St. Petersburg and the Gulf coast, Largo is a delightful place to settle, raise a family, attend school, and start a business.

Just south of Clearwater, Largo is primarily residential. Tourism, services, and some high-tech industry, as well as shipping of seafood and citrus, drive the local economy. Property values are strong, with the median house value cited in the last census at $88,800. In the recent real estate boom, this translates to a range of perhaps $120,000 to $600,000. If Largo seems an attractive possibility--as well it should--you'll probably want to link up with a local realtor to make the most of your search for a house to call home.

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