Moving to Florida: Is It Right for You?

moving to Florida sign on a beach

If you’re considering relocating to another state, you might be like hundreds of thousands of other transplants and are considering a move to Florida. The Sunshine State consistently ranks as one of the top states in the country to relocate to, and for good reason: the incredible weather, the lack of state income tax, and the affordable housing all contribute to Florida’s popularity for those relocating.

Moving to Florida can be a great idea for many people. It offers a variety of climates and a number of different activities to enjoy. It is home to some of the most popular vacation spots in the US and has a thriving job market. However, it is important to consider the cost of living and other factors before making the move. In this article, we’ll discuss why so many people relocate to Florida and how to determine if it’s a good option for you.

Why Is Everyone Moving to Florida?

Moving to Florida? Florida has long been considered one of the best places in the U.S. to relocate to, and not just for retirees. There are a few things that make Florida so appealing for transplants, and we’ll discuss the primary benefits that draw people in below.

Florida coast line with condos

The Weather

Most people know that the weather in Florida is one of the biggest draws. The state sees an incredible 237 sunny days per year, which is well above the national average. Not only is sunshine the most common weather in Florida, but precipitation is concentrated and short-lived, and it very rarely ruins plans as it can in other states.

Plus, snow is a very rare occurrence in the Sunshine State. Not having to shovel snow or deal with road closures is a big draw for many people, especially those in retirement who might physically struggle to manage snow removal.

The Cost of Living

The cost of living is another massive incentive for transplants looking for a new home. The living index in Florida is just over 100, which means the average cost of living in the area is on par with the national average. Compared to other desirable states for relocation — like California with an index of 150 and Hawaii with an index of over 165 — Florida is considered very affordable.

This is one of the most common reasons why people so commonly move to Florida from New York, New Jersey, and other high-cost and highly populated states.

The Lack of State Income Tax

As mentioned above, Florida doesn’t charge any state income tax. This makes it a popular place for retirees who are on a fixed income, as well as those who continue to work and want to pay less of their paychecks to the government.

This is another reason why relocation to Florida is common from states with a high income tax. These include California, Hawaii, and New Jersey, which have the three highest state income tax rates in the country.

The Laid-Back Lifestyle

Finally, the laid-back lifestyle is a popular reason why many people move to Florida. Those fed up with the hustle and bustle of living in high-octane states and cities will find reprieve in Florida’s gorgeous beaches, generally friendly people, and slower pace of living.

Is Moving to Florida Right for You?

Doing your research before you make a big move is essential to make sure the area you’re moving to will suit you and your new lifestyle. While we’ve mentioned some perks associated with moving to Florida, there are some downsides to be aware of as well. Below, we’ll discuss a few things you should know about relocating to Florida before you commit to living in the Sunshine State.

It’s Hot!

While 237 days of sun each year is appealing to most people, the state’s southern location also means that the weather is usually quite hot. Temperatures in major cities like Orlando and Jacksonville routinely peak in the 90s in the summer months.

While dealing with the heat beats shoveling snow for many people, you should be prepared to invest in air conditioning and prepare for a change in how you enjoy outdoor activities. While rain will rarely ruin plans, the heat certainly can if you’re not prepared with water, sunscreen, and some reprieve from the sun.

Sinkholes Are an Issue

We’ve all heard horror stories about sinkholes under peoples’ homes and on major roadways. Unfortunately, sinkholes are more common in Florida than in just about any other state.

Florida is situated over bedrock that’s made of limestone and dolomite. When these minerals come in contact with water, they dissolve and easily get washed away. Over time, voids develop underground that can eventually collapse, swallowing the earth above it and affecting the surface.

Sinkholes like the ones you see on the news aren’t terribly common, but you should be prepared to deal with sinkholes if you’re moving to Florida. You might need to pay more for homeowner’s insurance if you live in a particularly susceptible area.

The Wildlife Is Unique

Every state has unique wildlife that can potentially cause issues for homeowners, but Florida’s alligators top the charts as one of the most difficult — and intimidating — to deal with. Alligators can pose serious danger for unwitting homeowners, which means transplants to the area need to be aware of their presence and understand what to do if and when they come in contact with one.

One specific thing to keep in mind is that backyard pools are common resting areas for alligators. Pools are more common in Florida than in most other states, given the heat, so be mindful if you do choose to relocate to the Sunshine State that you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

The Weather Isn’t Always Beautiful

The last downside we’ll mention about moving to Florida is the potential for extreme weather. While the majority of the year will bring hot, sunny days in the area, there’s also an increased risk of extreme weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms, cyclones, and flooding. Florida is in a prime spot to be hit by these, as it’s situated on the coast and in the south, from whence these major storms often originate.

If you do move to Florida, you should be prepared to lock down in your home if a storm is expected. Pay close attention to the weather reports and take storm warnings seriously. These weather events can also lead to above-average homeowner’s insurance costs.

Wrapping Up: Preparing for Your Relocation to Florida

If you’re sold on the idea of relocating to Florida, then you can look forward to beautiful weather, what is likely a lower cost of living, and a more relaxed lifestyle than you’re probably used to. The last step is to prepare for your move and ensure the relocation goes smoothly.

sandy beach in Florida

To begin, we recommend connecting with a local real estate agent to help you find a community and home to move to. The real estate in Florida is different than in other states, and a local agent can help you find a suitable city, avoid properties in high-risk areas, and find a home that hasn’t been structurally compromised due to sinkhole activity.

Next, we recommend looking into how you’ll carry out your relocation. It’s always beneficial and usually worthwhile to hire a long-distance moving company to move your belongings for you. This is especially helpful when your belongings arrive in Florida, as unpacking everything in what is likely to be hot weather and intense sunshine can be draining and potentially dangerous if you’re not prepared.