The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Florida

Table of Contents

There’s no doubt about it: the Sunshine State is calling your name! If you’re contemplating a life filled with warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a thriving economy, moving to Florida may be your dream.

Ranked as the fastest-growing state in the United States, Florida offers a remarkable quality of life, diverse job opportunities, top-rated public and private schools, and a cost of living index that competes favorably with the national average.

From coastal cities like Fort Lauderdale and Key West to bustling cities like Miami, every corner of Florida is a popular destination that caters to diverse lifestyles and tastes. Before you make this significant life decision, it’s important to have all the right information at your fingertips.

Dive into this comprehensive guide and equip yourself with valuable insights to help you navigate the Florida real estate market, job scene, and everything.

The Ultimate Guide To Moving to Florida

Florida is not just about the sunny climate and beautiful weather. This southern gem has more to offer than meets the eye. This guide delves deep into key topics that potential Florida residents should consider. From cost of living, job market, housing costs, schooling, and healthcare to an abundance of recreational activities—we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a business owner eyeing the state’s robust economy and business-friendly climate or a parent considering the quality of public school districts and universities such as the Florida State University and the University of Central Florida, Florida has plenty of opportunities.

For sports fans, you will enjoy watching teams like the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Heat. Additionally, the warm climate, coupled with the state’s natural beauty, theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, and world-renowned beaches like Clearwater Beach and Siesta Key, make Florida an attractive destination for families and retirees.

Here’s a snapshot of what living in Florida looks like:


  • No individual or corporate income tax
  • Affordable cost of living index compared to the national average
  • A booming job market with a lower unemployment rate
  • Beautiful weather year-round
  • Diverse culture and excellent culinary scene
  • Abundant recreational opportunities, theme parks, and natural beauty


  • High demand for housing can drive up home prices
  • Exposure to natural disasters like hurricanes
  • Higher than average crime rates in some major cities
  • High summer temperatures and humidity

Whether you’re seeking the daily excitement of city amenities in Miami or the relaxed, beach-oriented lifestyle of Vero Beach, this guide offers a comprehensive look at what moving to Florida entails. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into various aspects of life in the Sunshine State and provide expert insights to help you make an informed decision.

What the Sunshine State Offers

The allure of Florida extends far beyond its sunny climate and beautiful beaches. With a robust economy, diverse job market, and a lifestyle that suits the young and the old, Florida is a haven for people at every stage of life. For young professionals, Florida offers a thriving job market with exciting opportunities in healthcare, technology, and tourism sectors.

Cities like Tampa and Orlando are known for their fast-growing tech scene, while Miami boasts a strong finance sector. The state’s robust economy, affordable living, and no state income tax make it an attractive destination for young professionals seeking growth opportunities and financial stability.

Conversely, retirees find solace in Florida’s relaxed pace of life, excellent healthcare facilities, and plenty of recreational activities. The state is home to numerous 55+ communities, especially in areas like Fort Myers and Sarasota, providing retirees with an active lifestyle surrounded by peers. The warm weather, ample golf courses, and beach access make Florida a perfect destination for retirees.

The Housing Market

Regarding the housing market, Florida offers various options catering to diverse budget ranges and preferences. The state’s real estate market is as diverse as its residents, offering a mix of luxury homes, affordable housing, and rental properties. According to the Census Bureau, the median home price in Florida is slightly lower than the national average, making it an affordable choice for many.

However, it’s important to note that housing costs can vary greatly depending on the area. Coastal cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale command higher prices due to their desirable location and amenities.

On the other hand, inland cities like Gainesville and Ocala offer more affordable options. When choosing your Florida home, it’s also worth considering factors like crime rates, school districts, and job opportunities.

Luxury Homes

Florida’s luxury real estate market is as vibrant as the state itself. With its spectacular ocean views and high-end amenities, Miami is a hotspot for luxury real estate. South Beach and Brickell are popular destinations for high-end condos and penthouses.

Naples and Palm Beach are also sought after for their luxurious beachfront homes. These areas offer a rich mix of culture, style, and breathtaking scenery, making them prime locations for those seeking luxury in the Sunshine State.

Affordable Homes

If you’re looking for more affordable housing options, Florida still has plenty to offer. Areas like North Port, Cape Coral, and Port St. Lucie offer homes well below the state’s average cost. These communities offer excellent quality of life with access to good schools, job opportunities, and local amenities.

Despite being one of Florida’s major cities, the city of Tampa also offers affordable housing options, particularly in neighborhoods like Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights.


Renting is also viable in Florida, especially for those who prefer flexibility or are still exploring different areas before settling down. Cities like Orlando and Jacksonville offer many rental options, from single-family homes to apartments and condos.

For those seeking the coastal lifestyle, cities like Daytona Beach and Clearwater offer beachfront rentals at reasonable prices. Rental rates can vary based on location and property type, so it’s essential to research and compare options.

Tax Incentives

One of the main reasons for moving to Florida is the state’s favorable tax climate. Notably, Florida is one of the few states in the United States that does not impose a state income tax, a considerable benefit for both individuals and business owners.

This exemption applies not just to wages but also to Social Security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and other forms of retirement income. Additionally, the state has a corporate income tax rate that ranks among the lowest in the nation.

The combination of no personal income tax and low corporate tax rates makes Florida an appealing destination for both working professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to maximize their income and growth potential.

Outdoor Lifestyle and Climate

Florida’s sunny climate and beautiful weather offer an active outdoor lifestyle that is hard to resist. The state boasts a subtropical climate with warm winters and long, hot summers. This makes it perfect for outdoor activities year-round, from golfing and tennis to boating and beach activities. The presence of numerous parks, trails, and wildlife preserves further adds to Florida’s outdoor charm.

But living in the Sunshine State also means being prepared for some weather extremes. Florida is known for its unpredictable weather patterns, and residents can experience intense heat, frequent thunderstorms, and even hurricanes. Despite these weather fluctuations, the state’s average temperature remains relatively mild, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a warm climate.

Living With Hurricanes

While Florida’s sunny climate is a major draw, it’s essential to know the state’s susceptibility to hurricanes. Florida is a hurricane-prone state, with the hurricane season typically running from June 1st to November 30th.

Living in Florida requires some degree of hurricane preparedness, including understanding evacuation routes, having a disaster supply kit, and considering hurricane-resistant features when buying a home. Many residents also invest in comprehensive insurance policies covering hurricane and flood damage.

Culture and Dining Out

Florida’s diverse population brings a rich culture and an exceptional culinary scene to the state. The state’s culture is a melting pot of influences from various parts of the world, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean.

This diversity translates to a thriving culinary scene where you can enjoy everything from authentic Cuban sandwiches in Miami to conch fritters in Key West. Dining out in Florida is a true gastronomic adventure, with abundant fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and unique local specialties.


Living in Florida gives residents the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife species. The state has many unique fauna, from the iconic Florida alligator to the manatee, dolphins, and many bird species.

However, as with any area rich in wildlife, respecting these creatures and their habitats is essential. This includes keeping a safe distance from wildlife, not feeding wild animals, and taking precautions to avoid attracting wildlife to residential areas.


Florida is a paradise for sports fans. The state has numerous professional sports teams, including the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat, the Florida Panthers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Aside from professional sports, Florida’s pleasant weather and excellent facilities also make it a favorite destination for outdoor sports like golf, tennis, boating, and fishing. Whether you’re a basketball fan or a passionate golfer, Florida’s sporting lifestyle has something for everyone.

Overall Cost of Living in Florida

When it comes to the overall cost of living, Florida stands out as an affordable option when compared to many other states in the US. Florida’s cost of living index often sits just around or slightly below the national average, making it an attractive destination for families, retirees, and young professionals.

The housing cost, which includes the median home price, is one of the primary drivers of this affordability. Even in bustling cities with a high demand for housing, like Miami and Tampa, the average cost of a home often falls below the national average.

However, potential residents should also be mindful of some unique life costs in Florida. The state’s warm weather means that air conditioning is not just a luxury but a necessity for most of the year, leading to higher electricity bills.

Similarly, home insurance costs can be higher due to the risk of natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding. Moreover, property taxes, while not the highest in the nation, can be a significant expense depending on the location and value of the property.

Living With Tourists

Living in Florida means sharing your home state with many tourists, particularly in areas near popular destinations like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Florida’s world-renowned white-sand beaches. While tourism fuels a robust economy and creates plenty of job opportunities, it also affects residents’ daily lives, especially in high-traffic areas.

During peak travel seasons, locals can expect larger crowds at attractions, increased traffic, and longer restaurant wait times. Furthermore, in regions like Orlando, home to many theme parks, the high volume of tourists can lead to increased costs of goods and services.

However, many residents adapt to the influx of visitors by altering their schedules, such as visiting popular attractions during off-peak times or taking day trips to less-crowded areas. Despite these challenges, many Floridians appreciate the vibrancy and economic benefits tourists bring to their state.

Ups and Downs of Moving to Florida

Like any other place, moving to Florida comes with its advantages and potential challenges. However, the endless sunshine, beautiful beaches, and economic opportunities make the Sunshine State a popular destination for many. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons:


  • No state income tax, leading to increased savings.
  • A warm climate year-round, perfect for outdoor activities and sports.
  • Beautiful beaches and natural beauty provide a high quality of life.
  • Affordable housing options in both urban and suburban areas.
  • Diverse cultural and culinary scene, driven by a rich blend of cultures.
  • A plethora of job opportunities, thanks to a booming economy.


  • High insurance costs due to the risk of hurricanes and floods.
  • A constant influx of tourists can cause crowding and increased prices in tourist areas.
  • Extreme summer heat can lead to high A/C costs.
  • Some parts of Florida have high crime rates.
  • Property taxes can be significant, depending on the area and property value.

FAQs: Moving to Florida

Florida’s allure goes beyond its sunshine and beaches. Here, we tackle some frequently asked questions about moving to Florida:

Is it worth relocating to Florida?

Especially if you love warm weather, beautiful beaches, and no state income tax. Florida offers a high quality of life, a diverse job market, and a cost of living that’s close to the national average.

What do I need to do before moving to Florida?

Before moving to Florida, it’s essential to do some research. Understand your preferred cities’ cost of living, job opportunities, and the housing market. Remember to account for hurricane season and the need for appropriate insurance.

How much do you need to live comfortably in Florida?

The amount required to live comfortably in Florida varies depending on the city and your lifestyle. However, on average, a yearly income of around $50,000 to $70,000 can offer a comfortable life for a single person.

Do you save money moving to Florida?

Yes, you can save money moving to Florida, especially due to the lack of state income tax. Housing costs are also generally lower than in many other states, but remember to factor in costs like air conditioning and insurance.

How do I choose a city to live in Florida?

Choosing a city depends on your personal preferences. Consider factors such as job opportunities, schools, cost of living, safety, proximity to beaches, and local amenities. It might be helpful to visit different cities before making a decision.

What is a good part of Florida to move to?

There are many wonderful areas to live in Florida, depending on your lifestyle and preferences. For families, suburbs like Weston and Palm Harbor offer great school districts. For young professionals, cities like Miami and Tampa provide bustling nightlife and job opportunities.

Do you pay property tax in Florida?

Yes, you do pay property tax in Florida. The rate can vary greatly depending on the county and the property’s value, so it’s important to factor this into your budget when considering moving to Florida.

End Notes on Moving to Florida

Moving to Florida presents a vibrant mix of beautiful beaches, warm weather, and plenty of opportunities for families and professionals.

The state’s bustling cities, robust economy, affordable cost of living, and tax incentives make it an attractive destination. However, like any major decision, it’s essential to research and consider factors like housing costs, the impact of the sunny climate, and living with the influx of tourists.

The key takeaways from this ultimate guide to moving to Florida are:

  1. Florida offers diverse real estate options, from luxury to affordable homes.
  2. The state has unique tax benefits, including no individual income tax.
  3. It boasts a sunny climate, beautiful beaches, and many outdoor activities.
  4. Florida’s cost of living varies, but overall, it aligns with the national average.
  5. Living in a tourist hotspot can influence your daily lives, particularly in theme park regions.

Ready to make the Sunshine State your new home? Start by searching for properties in your favorite area or community. You can also contact a local eXp real estate agent to help you navigate the housing market and embark on your home buying journey.

Sign up to get alerts of new property/house/condo listings as they come on the market, or attend open houses in your favorite city if you plan to be in the area at any point. Enjoy the process of making Florida your new home!

Get alerts to open houses and new properties near you!

Start a search and sign-up to receive instant, weekly, or monthly alerts.