Ever wanted to live in a state with hundreds of miles of beaches and one of the most notable art scenes in the country? Because that’s what you will get in Florida. But of course, there’s a lot more information that you would need if you decide to move to a different place. We are talking about information that goes much beyond the fantastic beaches and excellent nightlife. So keep reading on to find out more about moving to Florida and understanding whether this might be the right place for you.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Florida?
This is a state with the Gulf of Mexico on its western border and the Atlantic Ocean on its Eastern border. As if that wasn’t enough, it also has the Straits of Florida towards its Southern side. The hundreds of miles of beaches ensure that you never run out of a vacation spot.
Florida as a state is as multicultural as it gets. It has inherited multiple influences in its culture, some of which are African, European, indigenous, Asian and Latino. You would easily be able to spot it in the architecture and food.
If you are a bibliophile or even just the average literature enthusiast, you would be delighted to know that this is also the place that has drawn in writers like Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. But if you are someone who can’t sit for long in one place with a book in hand, Florida is well known for golf, water sports, tennis and auto racing. Plus, the possibilities at the beaches with clear water are endless.
Though it is affectionately called the ‘Sunshine State’, the nightlife here is equally brilliant. But that was to be expected in a state such as this that hosts such a beautiful amalgamation of different cultures and arts, making room for endless opportunities to have the time of your life again and again. Florida is the state where your heart will remain forever young. Which is quite intriguing, if you ask us. Especially considering how the state is sought after as a great place for retirees to live.
Crime Rate in Florida
It is one of the safest states in the US, with the chances of being a victim of a crime being 1 in 264, which as per Neighborhoodscout is a crime rate of 3.78 per 1,000 residents. This is a lower rate compared to the rest of the US. The property crime rate is 21.46 per 1,000 residents. These are the annual crime records of the state and from the look of it, paints a pretty optimistic picture for people who live there or wish to move there in the future. Of course, it boils down to the city and neighborhood you choose to live in. Let’s face it, some places will always be safer than others.
Being surrounded by water does affect Florida’s weather greatly. Its climate ranges from tropical in the southern states to humid and tropical in the northern and central parts.
In summer, the temperatures are hot but not that hot that it feels like hell. The maximum temperature ever recorded was 109 F (43 C). The average temperature would be 100 F (37 C). The tempering of the weather by the presence of its vast coastline is evident. Sounds like a good tan is available throughout the year.
See also: Most Sunniest Cities to Move to
Winters are snowless in Florida, and that might be disappointing to anyone who prefers the typical White Christmas. The coldest recorded temperatures have been 10 F (-12C or -10C) in Florida. These have mainly been witnessed in the northern and central parts of the state. Southern Florida rarely has temperatures going so low. But fog is quite common there, making sure that there is something to make it feel like winter.
Don’t forget that this is the flattest state of America. The low altitude and latitude will always be a part of the climate there. Quite in contrast to its nickname of the ‘Sunshine State’, Florida is also the lightning capital of the country. It has one of the highest average precipitation levels in the state, from late spring to early Autumn. This weather can take you by surprise if you get used to the sunny, happy-go-lucky feeling inducing weather first.
But everything has its perks and you might just grow to love these afternoon thunderstorms that seem to love this state. Although, if you live close to the coast, it might not always give you a great sense of security. Residents do tend to relocate temporarily when thunderstorms are expected. So that’s something to account for when thinking about moving to Florida.
Is Florida Expensive to Live in?
Of course this question needs to be considered. This is certainly the one question to rule them all. So what will your bank account look like if you move to Florida? How sunshiny are your expenses going to be if you were to move to the ‘Sunshine State’?
First and foremost, let’s talk about taxes. Fortunately, there is no income tax in Florida. But if you own property in the state, you would have to pay property tax. And for any other purchases, there’s a 6% base sales tax in addition to the tax of the individual county you might be in.
Cost Of Living In Florida
Florida, while not exactly being cheap, is not particularly expensive to live in either. There will be variables depending upon the city you choose to live in and the type of employment you have. But broadly speaking, the cost of living here is 2-3% less than the US average.
Speaking in terms of averages, a family of 4 would need around $3,500 per month for their household expenses whereas a single person would probably spend $1,000.
As far as food and groceries go, assume that you will be spending as per the national average, which is $3.33 on bread and $1.94 on a gallon of milk. Eggs would cost you $1.81 per carton and if you like fruits in your diet, bananas cost $3.36.
If you are someone with a strong preference for eating out, or just living life dangerously in general, healthcare expenses are lower than the US average. Keep in mind however, that said statement is a broad generalisation and can vary with individual cities. If you have pets, consider that you would be spending $50 every time you take them to the vet.
See also: 10 Cheap States to Move to
Buying A House
As per Zillow, the cost of buying a house in Florida would be between $300,000 to $400,000. This is, of course, subject to changes by the city and neighbourhood. Buying property in Florida is always a smart idea considering the high return on investment on Florida real estate and the investment opportunities offered by the state for each rental strategy.
For all the mentioned goodness of buying a house in Florida, keep in mind that the property tax charged is very high. While its average real property tax is 0.98%, which is arguably lower than the US average that is 1.08%, homeowners on average pay $1,072 for their property every year.
Renting A House
Renting is the more popular option for a lot of people and the cost of renting a house in Florida is generally a percentage of the property value. Landlords charge 0.8%-1.1% of the value of the house. If the house costs $100,000, the rent would be, on an average, 1% of that which is $1,000.
As per RentCafe, the average monthly rent in Florida is $767 for about 651 sq ft of an apartment. Again, these are just averages. Depending on the number of bedrooms, type of house and the city, prices could be lower or even more expensive.
Utility bills in Florida are on the higher side. Speaking in terms of averages, the residents of Florida pay $126.44, which is 13% higher than the national average of $111.67. If you are moving to Florida, consider that you would have to shell out $100 to $150 every month for utilities. This of course depends on the state. With respect to water bills, a one bedroom flat with one person living could reach up to $90 per month. But if you live in a 3-bedroom with roommates, it could be $135. Keep in mind that estimates vary by city.
Florida Economy and Employment Opportunities
Florida boasts of one of the largest economies in the world. While the average salary varies widely by the city, it is interesting to note that Florida has a poverty rate of 14%, which makes it the 17th lowest in the country. Also, a lot of the cities on the coast are the wealthiest per-capita areas in the US.
Florida is an evergreen pasture of employment opportunities, with the state being the hub of a number of ever-growing Fortune 500 companies. To add to that, there are plenty of employment opportunities in a number of sectors like trade, transport, utilities, leisure, hospitality, government and professional services, education, healthcare, real estate, finance, insurance and retail trade. The avenues are endless. It was once called the ‘Best State for Business’ by Chief Executive Magazine. Something interesting here is that, in Florida, the land of 20,000 CEOs, the medical practitioners make the most money.
To put a number on things, Florida has a per capita personal income of almost $48,000 with the state unemployment rate being 3.5%, 18th lowest in the US. To give you some more context, the Median Household Income in the Sunshine State is about $53,267 approximately. Remember that Florida has a minimum wage requirement that is adjusted annually for inflation. And to remind you once more, this state does not charge income tax.
The education system in Florida is a mix of public and private schools and colleges, including virtual schools. A lot of people here opt for traditional public schools, which are free and open to all students. Florida also has a huge number of private schools, though they may or may not be accredited. Moreover, in private schools, achievement tests are not required for graduating seniors.
As far as college education goes, Florida has 12 public universities which together form the State University System of Florida. Also, the Florida College System consists of 28 community and state colleges. The state also has many private universities which come together as the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.
The government is also supportive of and provides assistance for homeschooling. The FLDOE (Florida Department of Education) supervises the public education system – schools and colleges. It however, has no authority over private schools and colleges or the home schooling system.
Florida lists its official dropout rate from college as 3.4%, which is determined when a graduation rate is calculated based on the number of people who finished their four years of college. Needless to say, the system is not without its faults and a more accurate estimate would be 13.1%. Depending on whatever educational option you choose, Florida offers a path for that. So, this is an avenue you can feel secure about should you plan on moving to Florida for the education of your children or your own.
Getting Around Florida
There is a well-established network of thousands of miles of highways, 131 airports, an intercity rail system and some well connected public transport.
With 1,495 mi (2406 km) of interstate highway and 10,601 mi (17,061 km) of non-interstate highway, getting around Florida shouldn’t really pose a major challenge. Best part, it’s all maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation. Greyhound, Megabus and Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach are responsible for the intercity bus travel that uses Florida’s highway system. The buses do have great reach and accessibility within the state too.
See also: Florida DMV Change of Address
Number of public airports in Florida is 131. An interesting historical tidbit is that it was Florida that hosted the first airline flight on New Year’s in 1914. Going further back in history, it was on 28th January 1878 that a balloon flew over Jacksonville, which is called Florida’s first aeronautical event. Talk about a place with a ‘culture’ of transport.
A diesel-electric higher speed rail system called ‘Brightline’ runs from West Palm Beach to Miami, with Lauderdale on the way. There are plans to connect the line from Miami and South Florida to Orlando. More notable, however, is the Amtrak, which operates lines connecting the state’s biggest cities to northern points in the US and Canada.
Best Cities To Live in Florida
And why wouldn’t this city be at the top of the list? Is it possible to meet boredom in Miami? It hasn’t happened so far. If you want to shop, eat or be entertained, you can always go to Coconut Grove. If you are someone who is always on the lookout to assimilating more cultures, Little Havana might be your own personal paradise. And yes, there is the South beach. To have the chance to live in Miami at least once in your life is a dream.
Miami has high property prices and most people with incomes in the city prefer to live with other people or families in one house. The average monthly rent in this lively city is $1,679, while the cost of buying a house here is approximately $364,000.
Also read: Moving to Miami, FL
This is the city with Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. You can also visit SeaWorld or Discovery Cove. If you are someone with a preference for quieter amusement, you cannot miss the downtown. Amazing galleries, restaurants and boutiques are in abundance.
Orlando is being considered as one of the best places to buy a house in. Which is quite evident in the fact that $272,605 happens to be the average cost of buying a house here, as shared by Zillow. At the same time, renting a house here would be give or take $1,391 per month on an average.
See also: Moving to Orlando – Relocation Guide
Think family and beaches, think Sarasota. There’s the beach, the theatre, tropical urban oasis called the ‘Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ and a chance to go kayaking and explore Sarasota’s natural landscape. The place is nothing short of a slice of paradise. Depending upon the choice of neighbourhood, a house in Sarasota can cost anywhere between $250,000 to $350,000 or more. The cost of living in Sarasota has also been noted to be 9% more than the national average. On the other hand, average monthly rent here is $1,446.
See also: Moving to Sarasota
Is Moving To Florida A Good Idea?
We can say that it is not a bad idea for sure. Living in the hub of many cultures while being surrounded by endless opportunities for career growth in any sector of choice is a dream come true. But there are certain factors involved that must be considered to ensure that you do get the best of Florida without the worst. And that is an accurate assessment of your economic viability and how much you love tropical weather. Because why else would you not want to live here?
We don’t think that more needs to be said for you to know if moving to Florida is for you. Reach out to us for help with finding the right moving companies that can take charge of all your packing and moving needs successfully.
Also Read: The 10 Largest Cities in Florida