Moving to Florida is a whole new ballgame compared to just vacationing there. Here’s what you need to know about moving to Florida and what to expect when you get there.
Should You Move to Florida?
Whether you’re planning to retire in Florida, move there for work or relocate to be closer to family, know that you’re not the only one moving there. Of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., 14 are located in Florida, with 11 of them among the 25 fastest-growing cities in the United States. Florida offers a rich selection of places to move to, each with its own unique charm.
You can also find beach cities and inland lake towns that cater to various lifestyles. These areas are suitable for those in need of a convenient commute for work, or they may be an ideal location to work in the tourism industry, or even a peaceful setting for raising a family or retiring.
How to Move to Florida
If you are dead set on moving to Florida, it’s advisable to secure a job beforehand. While Miami is a center for international commerce, Orlando offers major employment opportunities in amusement parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.
For those uncertain about which part of the state is right for them, consider renting in different cities for shorter periods, such as a year or six months. This will allow you to explore places like Tampa, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville, among others. Over time, you’re likely to find the place that feels like home.
Keep in mind that a significant portion of native Floridians are renters, which can make buying a home, especially at an entry-level price, a bit challenging due to strong competition from investors. It may be easier to enlist the services of a real estate agent to find a rental, given the many tasks you’ll be juggling during your move.
Moving to Florida Costs
The cost of moving to Florida, like any out-of-state relocation, can vary based on multiple factors. On average, it may cost you between $3,000 to $7,000 to move to the Sunshine State. However, the actual expenses will depend on the quantity of your belongings and the distance between your current location and your new Florida destination. If the initial cost estimates seem high, consider tightening your budget and explore more cost-effective methods to make your move more affordable.
Picking the Perfect Florida Home
Aside from the stunning landscapes, Florida offers a variety of cities to suit every lifestyle. For the young professionals thinking, ‘Should we move to Florida?’ Let me remind you, Miami offers a vibrant cultural scene and an exciting nightlife. In addition to that, the city of Tampa is well known for its high-tech industries and boasts an annual pirate-themed event, Gasparilla.
Tallahassee provides opportunities in government and finance, along with picturesque “canopy roads.” If you’re looking for a city with big amenities and a strong sense of community, St. Petersburg is an excellent choice. For retirees, there’s The Villages, a massive retirement community with a very active adult population. The list of cities in Florida is extensive, catering to wide range of preferences.
Florida’s Job Market and Economy
Florida’s job market is thriving, with an unemployment rate consistently below the national average. The state has a reputation for being business-friendly, and it offers opportunities in nine key industries, spanning areas like clean technologies, aerospace, fintech, agriculture, logistics, hospitality, and healthcare. This robust job market means there’s a place for everyone in Florida’s economy.
Florida’s economy is also the fourth-largest in the United States, with a Gross State Product (GSP) of $1.3 trillion as of 2022.
Pros and Cons of Moving to Florida
While Florida is famous for its popular vacation destinations, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. To help you decide whether Florida is right for you, try comparing the pros and cons of moving there to see if any outweigh the others.
- No state income tax Florida’s lack of state income tax means you’ll keep more of your earnings to cover living expenses.
- 825 miles of sandy beaches With over 800 miles of pristine coastline, you’re never too far from a beautiful beach.
- Warm and sunny weather Enjoy a year-round warm and sunny climate that’s perfect for outdoor activities.
- World-class amusement parks Florida is home to world-renowned amusement parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.
- Scorching heat and humidity Florida’s tropical climate can result in scorching heat and high humidity, especially during the summer months.
- Hurricanes and rainfall Be prepared for hurricane seasons and occasional heavy rainfall, which can lead to flooding.
- Flat landscape (if you like hills) Florida’s terrain is relatively flat, so if you prefer hilly or mountainous landscapes, it might not be your ideal location.
- Bugs, gators, and snakes—oh my! Florida’s diverse ecosystem comes with unique challenges, including encounters with various insects, alligators, and snakes.
What’s It Like to Actually Live in Florida?
Living in Florida has its unique charm. Many residents describe a “Honeymoon phase,” where everything feels like an extended vacation, even after experiencing some of Florida’s quirks. While Florida has its share of challenges, such as unpredictable drivers and a hot, humid summer, it remains a wonderful place to live.
Your day-to-day experience can vary depending on your location within the state. Northern Florida offers a more traditional Southern experience, while Miami provides a vibrant melting pot of Caribbean and Latino influences. Inland areas can get scorching during the summer, while coastal living offers cool breezes and the potential for hurricanes. Hence, evaluating flood potential is a crucial practice for anyone residing in Florida, especially along the coast or rivers, ensuring a well-prepared evacuation plan long before hurricane season arrives.
How Much It Costs to Live in Florida
Florida’s large cities offer a wide range of housing options, from studio apartments to luxury waterfront villas. However, the cost of living can vary significantly between cities. For instance, Miami is the second most expensive place to live in the United States. According to the U.S. News Housing Market Index, the median home price in the Miami metro area is $500,000, with median rent at $2,871 as of March 2023. This surpasses the national median home price of $401,000 and rent of $1,996.
Conversely, the Tampa Bay metro area is more affordable for homebuyers, with a median home sale price of $366,000 and rent at $2,098. A significant attraction for those moving to Florida is the absence of state income tax, which means you’ll have more income to cover your living expenses, including rent or mortgage payments and utilities.
What to Know About Moving to Florida
Here are a few things to know before moving to Florida:
Choose a City: Your choice of city depends on your budget, lifestyle, and proximity to work, family, and the beach. Research different cities to find the one that aligns with your needs and preferences.
Find Work: Florida’s healthy job market means you can find employment opportunities online through job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed.
Create Work: If you’re an entrepreneur, make sure to register your business with the state and county.
Find Schools: For families with children, researching the best school districts in Florida is crucial. Online tools like GreatSchools can help you compare and select the right school.
Find Housing: If you’re planning to buy a home, consider working with a local real estate agent to find a property within your budget.
Prepare for Tax Changes: Florida has no state income tax, but it does have a state sales tax. Be aware of taxes on specific items like cellphones, beer, wine, and gas.
Update License and Registration: Don’t forget to update your driver’s license and vehicle registration through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Update Your Will: Florida has specific requirements for wills, so make sure to update your will to meet these requirements and protect your legacy.
When considering a move to Florida, it’s crucial to be well-prepared and informed about various aspects of the state. Things to know when moving to Florida include researching specific regions, understanding job markets and housing costs, preparing for hurricane season and acquainting yourself with the state’s tax policies. With these steps in mind your move to the Sunshine State can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Q : Should I move to Florida?
A : The decision to move to Florida depends on your specific needs and goals. Consider factors like job opportunities, lifestyle, and family priorities to determine if it’s the right choice for you.
Q: What should I know about moving to South Florida?
A: Moving to South Florida offers a vibrant lifestyle, but be prepared for the tropical climate and higher living costs. Research your specific location, job opportunities, and housing costs for a smooth transition.
Q : What is Florida like?
A : Florida is a diverse state with warm weather, stunning beaches, and a mix of city life, outdoor activities, and retirement options. It offers something for everyone, from vibrant cities to relaxed coastal towns.
Q: What are some tips on moving to Florida?
A: Research specific locations, job markets, and housing costs. Be prepared for hurricane season and understand Florida’s tax policies and tropical climate.
Q: What to know before moving to Florida?
A: Before relocating to Florida, it’s essential to research the many regions, job markets, and housing costs to match your needs and lifestyle preferences. Weigh the pros and cons, align your decision with your specific goals, and seek local expertise for a smooth transition to the Sunshine State.