Whether you are building a new home or buying a resale home in Florida, taking the back yard or lanai view into consideration is a must. It takes some getting used to but alot of our Florida living and relaxing happens in the privacy of our backyard. You hardly ever see a pool located anywhere but the back yard and a lanai, most likely screened, is where we Floridians spend much of our down-time. Mid Gulf Coast weather is so mild there are rare days when you don't go outside. Personally, my husband and I start the day with coffee on the lanai or our backyard patio, perhaps have an outdoor afternoon break from clients and computers and spend many evenings relaxing, drinking wine, mojitos, or tea while watching the sky and water change colors. Hubby likes to catch the news or watch sports out there too. Outdoor TV's on the lanai are also quite common and you might as well have an outdoor fridge full of your favorite cold beverages to go along with the outdoor kitchen that gets plenty of use all year long.
Now that we've established that the lanai gets used as another main living area, can you imagine the wildlife activity that happens if you have a pond, river, bay or ocean to observe throughout the day & evening? We regularly have a show of white or brown Pelicans, Bald Eagles, Roseate Spoonbills, Cranes, Storks, Ibis, Ducks, Turtles, and many more native creatures. We used to have 2 neighbors who raced mini hand controlled boats until they had a disastrous crash one day. The friendship survived but the boats got hung up to retire in their respective garages. Alas, we still don't have gators but nature always finds a way and it's only a matter of time. My opinion only, if you have the option of water vs. a wall vs. a backyard neighbor or even trees, water wins out every time. Conservation land is a whole other topic to be explored later.