Florida is one of the most visited states in the country, with numbers that would make even entire countries blush. In 2019 for example, a staggering 131 million visitors graced the Sunshine State, according to state figures – about 5 million more than the previous year.
Florida is one of the most touristy places in the US. But many are also lured by the good weather to move south and put down roots there. New Yorkers in particular seem to have a high affinity for the state, attracted by the lower cost of living, lack of state income tax, and more expansive space. The weather is the cherry on top.
In Q3 2020, for example, New Yorkers (more than any other citizens) planned to hire an interstate moving company and head to Florida, accounting for the largest number of home searches at 27%, a trend that has been ongoing for several years now. But with moving comes the small of costs – how much does it cost to relocate and settle in Florida?
Cost of Moving to Florida
This depends on the city or state you’re in. Long-distance moves tend to be a bit pricey all-round, though. For instance, if you are moving from NYC to Florida, you can expect to shell out anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000.
There are many variables that determine the exact cost you end up paying. These include the amount of belongings you’re moving; the exact distance of the move (Florida is large); and extra services like packing and moving supplies. The best way to determine how much you’re looking at is to get an individual moving quote from the mover. Just make sure you’re dealing with professionals licensed to handle and experienced in interstate moves.
Cost of Settling in Florida
The cost of living in Florida might be affordable or pricey depending on where you’re coming from. For example, if you’re migrating from Kentucky, chances are you’ll feel the costs are higher than what you’re used to. If you’re coming down from New York – well – the whole reason you’re moving to the Sunshine State is probably because it’s cheaper.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The cost of living in Florida will also depend on the particular area you have in mind. Some are super expensive and the domain of Hollywood types (one of the biggest drivers of the high cost of living, by the way) while others are very reasonable.
While cost of housing in Florida might be slightly higher than the national average ($254,607 vs $248,857 respectively according to Q4 2020 figures from Zillow) the state largely compares to the national average on other aspects like utilities, groceries, and general expenses. Important also to keep in mind is that at the time of writing, Florida has become one of a few states that is increasing its minimum wage to $15/hour.
This, however, is a target that needs to be achieved by September 30, 2026. Presently, the figure will go up by a dollar from ($9 to $10) and rise incrementally over the years. The minimum wage (not to be confused with the living wage) in the US is currently at $7.25, meaning Florida is not doing too bad for herself.
Places to Live in Florida
It would be remiss to discuss living in Florida and not mention the best places to live in. Usually, this will vary on the individual’s pocket and desired lifestyle, so make sure to do your own homework on places you feel are more suited for you. Some popular places to consider include the usual culprits – Miami, Naples, Orlando, and Tampa.
Affordable places you should think about include Kissimmee, Palm Coast, Palm Bay, Cape Coral, Orlando, and Gainesville. If you can stretch it, Miami, Miami Beach, Key West, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, and Southwest Ranches make up for the more expensive places to live in the state.