Florida is a great opportunity, especially for limited income, however, if you don't educate yourself on the risks, you may get mushed.
Easy button is to drive around A LOT on vacation, to get a sense of which area you like, as each area is very very different, then rent for a year, and then listen to all the complaining.
become a savy insider, rather than being a sucker yankee stuck with a collapsed association or bundled golf course, bankrupt county, high crime area, high flood risk zone, chinese drywall, out-of-state-owner/non homesteaded tax ripoff, and so on.
the only new construction worth looking at in SWF is Stock Development products, otherwise buy existing, all facilities in place, check health of association, crime, flood zone, liens, talk to neighbours - capital outlay or mortage is the bait, watch out for the monthy support costs - taxes, insurance, hoa, cable, electric, which can be minimized if you go non-hoa, and if you are in the 50-100k range, 50k is pulled out if you are homesteading. Lots to read and learn...check out city data forum fort myers
I thinkt the smart money is with renting now, unless you have some money you want to hide from madoff and your investment "advisors"
that being said, if you get your location right and are smart about it, Florida is indeed paradise