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The Swamp Peddlers : How Lot Sellers, Land Scammers, and Retirees Built Modern Florida and Transformed the American Dream
by Jason Vuic




Overview -
Florida has long beckoned retirees seeking to spend their golden years in the sun, but, for many, the American dream of owning a home there was financially impossible. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called installment land sales industry appeared out of nowhere to hawk billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners. For only $10 down and $10 a month, working-class pensioners could buy a piece of the Florida dream: a graded homesite that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result created Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others--sprawling exurban communities with no downtowns and little industry but millions of residential lots.

As Jason Vuic recounts in this raucous history, these communities allowed generations of northerners to move to Florida cheaply, but at a price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; developers cleared forests, drained wetlands, and built thousands of miles of roads in grid-like subdivisions, which, fifty years later, played an inordinate role in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

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    The Swamp Peddlers (Hardcover)
    Published: 2021-06-21
    Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
    $95.00
 
 

More About The Swamp Peddlers by Jason Vuic

 
 
 

Overview

Florida has long beckoned retirees seeking to spend their golden years in the sun, but, for many, the American dream of owning a home there was financially impossible. That changed in the 1950s, when the so-called installment land sales industry appeared out of nowhere to hawk billions of dollars of Florida residential property, sight unseen, to retiring northerners. For only $10 down and $10 a month, working-class pensioners could buy a piece of the Florida dream: a graded homesite that would be waiting for them in a planned community when they were ready to build. The result created Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Deltona, Port Charlotte, Palm Coast, and Spring Hill, among many others--sprawling exurban communities with no downtowns and little industry but millions of residential lots.

As Jason Vuic recounts in this raucous history, these communities allowed generations of northerners to move to Florida cheaply, but at a price: high-pressure sales tactics begat fraud; poor urban planning begat sprawl; developers cleared forests, drained wetlands, and built thousands of miles of roads in grid-like subdivisions, which, fifty years later, played an inordinate role in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.



This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469663333
  • ISBN-10: 1469663333
  • Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
  • Publish Date: June 2021
  • Page Count: 272


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