Moving to Florida is one of the right decisions one can make in the United States. Whether for employment opportunities, a retirement destination, education advancements, and all sorts of relocation purposes, the Sunshine State is a place to be.
According to a series of researches, Florida receives about one thousand visitors on a daily basis, and this influx is studied to be for different purposes including beach bums, empty-nesters, tourism, and other numerous opportunities available in the state.
Ranging from various side attractions to warm climate; immigrants from various states and countries troop into the Sunshine State. With about 67% and 40% production of both United States’ and world’s oranges respectively, Florida earns respect in citrus and Vitamin C production.
If you are a new grad or retiree and you are aiming to have bigger paychecks and low-tax income, Sunshine State is one of the seven US states to settle down.
According to stateofflorida.com, Florida recorded a whopping sum of 87.3 million immigrants in the year 2011 alone, which made the state the top travel destination globally, and this trend has continued to date. There’s no doubt the Sunshine State is one the top anticipated place for many people.
However, if you are considering moving to Florida, you would need some important information about the place to help you prepare your mind towards your move to Sunshine state.
Moving Feedback has put together this moving guide to educate you about different side attractions in Florida. What and what you need to know before relocating to the Sunshine State. Relax and read through this article.
Guide to Moving to Florida
In Florida, there’s no dull moment and no shortage of activities to keep you busy. With an excellent approach to adventure and rocky life each day, the state is an exceptional place to relocate to. Florida is home to over 600 miles of picturesque beaches including Mickey Mouse and sunshine.
In Florida, you will find financial experts who will help you manage your resources and investments; hence, it is one of the best destinations for American retirees. If you have concluded to move to Florida, below is Moving Feedback‘s rundown guide about all you need to know about the Sunshine State. Follow up with your areas of interest to move to Florida.
1. Florida Employment Market
Florida employment rate has continued to grow over the last seven years compared to last decade. According to WalletHub, the unemployment rate in Florida is currently 5% as against what it was in the last five years. With a minimum wage of $8.25/hour as recorded by minimum-wage.org, the state is one of the best places to go for gainful employment. Despite the high population of 21,312,211 residents, Florida continues to lead in the job market.
According to SunSentinel, Florida’s alarming rate of employment has been linked to tourism, housekeeping, construction, spa, restaurant, medical, and automotive industry. For example, there is a high demand for massage therapists, bookkeepers, and skilled labor. The mean starting wage for high skilled jobs ranges from $14 to $23 per hour. There is no talent waste in the state, even if you can make the kids happy, you are in for a big deal in Florida.
2. Florida Weather
Just as it is usually referred to, the Sunshine State is known for its constant sunshine. However, the truth remains that Florida weather can be complicated as against its nickname sometimes. Due to its sub-tropical climate, while most Southern Florida State does experience mild weather conditions in the winter, some northern cities experience cold snaps which are short and mild.
Also, Florida do experience hot, sunny, and humid summers, and as well as regular rainstorms with the storm not last longer than 40 to 45 minutes during the summers. So, if you are moving to Florida, prepare to enjoy the most favorable weather.
3. Florida Housing
When one is moving to a new place, housing is very important. This is one of the first arrangements made by every traveler when he or she had made up his or her mind to relocate to somewhere new. A place like Florida has a great housing package for newcomers.
According to Realtor.com, Florida house sale costs an average of $200,000. Houses are sold at a range of $50,000 to $400,000, based on the city or county. For instance, Abodo states that one can rent a one-bedroom apartment at an average of $1,150/month in highly populated areas.
Florida is equipped with fairly new housing (houses built between years 2000 – 2010). Being one of the tourism-heavy spots and also one of the fast-growing states, there are always ongoing construction works all over the state. Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa are currently the most populated cities in Florida. Hence, the cost of housing is expected to be higher in those cities.
4. Florida Colleges & Universities
Many people move to Florida for educational advancements due to the state’s quality education. Florida has a number of colleges and universities you can consider if you are moving for educational advancements. Some of the largest universities in Florida include Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and the University of Miami in Tallahassee, Gainesville, Orlando, and Miami respectively.
Thinking of what are those things that attract people to Florida colleges and universities, surveys show that college students enjoy Florida sunny climate, good tuition packages for in-state public school attendees, amongst other factors. Florida university games are parts of experiences Florida students cannot do without. Everyone always looks towards the time.
5. Florida Fun and Various Side Attractions
Florida is equipped with varieties of attractions and adventurous places which bring fun and make your stay full of entertainment. Florida homes one of the largest national parks – Everglades National park, being the third in the United States.
If you want to see threaten wildlife animals including the American crocodile, Florida panther, and others; Everglades National park is the refuge to them all. If you are in for fun, ensure you come with your tennis shoes and some raw meat for bait when you are coming.
When you visit Orlando, you will see many of Florida’s side attractions such as Theme Parks, Sea World, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World. While Theme Parks is the most popular in the city, Disney World is the best place for children and adults adventure with Epcot Center having international architecture, shops, cuisine, and a lot of activities to make your visit fun.
Another place worthy of mentioning is Sea World that homes different marine life such as manatees, turtles, and dolphins. Coming to Miami, South Beach is another must-visit place in Florida. South Beach is home to a variety of art deco architecture displays and parks.
Among the museum centers in Miami, World Erotic Art Museum and as well as the Miami Holocaust Museum are one of the most visited places in the state. When you move to Florida, don’t miss unlimited viewing at Universal Studios. The studio is known for blockbuster films including Twister, Terminator, Ghostbusters, Jaws, amongst others.
6. Cities in Florida
Florida is equipped with small, medium and big cities with varieties of opportunities and side attractions. It has many beautiful beachside towns with city life. Florida is one of the quiet places to live with cosmopolitan, fast-paced lifestyle in St. Petersburg and Miami. With over 186 cities in the state, Sarasota is one of the top 100 city ideas to live.
It provides various outdoor activities including kayaking and fishing which make it a home for cultural and culinary scenes in the state. Another city worthy of mentioning is Gainesville. This is where the University of Florida is located with enough youth and college fun throughout the year. Other popular cities to mention including Tampa, Orlando, Hialeah, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Cape Coral, amongst others.
7. Getting around Florida
You can explore entire Florida if you so wish. You only need a vehicle to get around most of the cities of Florida. The Sunshine State has many roads linking most places together with major highways including 75 and 95 interlink and striking bridges such as the Bridge of Lions, the Sunshine Skyway, and the Seven-Mile Bridge which can feed your eyes when you get stuck in traffic.
Another road you can use to criss-cross the cities is A1A. You can criss-cross from the state’s East Coast to Key West along with the countless beautiful beach towns up to Daytona. Along the same road, don’t forget to take note of the ocean views through your car window. However, the road trip routes are usually underrated in the nation, but it is one of the best routes.
8. Things to do in Florida
There are many things to keep you busy in Florida. I promise you; there will be no dull moment with lots of outdoor and wilderness areas to explore. The Sunshine State is popular for its beautiful crystal-clear springs, beaches, jungle-like parks, rivers, and lakes. You cannot be tired of the seasonal fishing, Paddle-boarding, swimming, golf, and kayaking.
You will enjoy unlimited fun with Universal Studios and Walt Disney World in Orlando. If you are one of the fans of the Magic Kingdom and book series, Universal’s Harry Potter World are places to start your fun day to the fullest.
9. Weird Laws
If you are serious about moving to Florida, it is advisable to be aware of the state laws. Generally, all states have their own unique laws; especially some laws are weird and outdated; yet, they still exist in some states. Florida is not an exception to weird laws, and it is essential to know cons of the land before moving to the Sunshine State. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. According to onlyinyourstate.com, below are Florida weird laws:
- Public building doors must open outwards: It is forbidden to open doors of public buildings inwards. However, this law seems to make sense, for it helps in preparation for high tropical storm winds. Though the law is somehow weird, it helps in some areas.
- There is a fine for tying an elephant to a parking meter: In fact, the elephant will be fined the same amount like an unattended car.
- Salon courtesy: Women who sleep under hairdryers and as well as the salon may be fined. It is advisable to come to the salon with any interesting items that can keep your eyes opened throughout your stay under hairdryers.
- It is illegal to sell your kids: The law forbids kids trade. If you are tired of your burdens, you can’t just get them disappeared easily by selling your kids.
- Horse theft is punishable by hanging: Apart from getting punished for stealing a horse, cheating on a test is also punishable under Florida law.
- It is illegal to sing while wearing a bathing suit: This is one of the reasons everyone flocks to beaches, as there is no means of suffering Beach Boys off-key renditions.
Essential Tips for Prospective Florida Immigrants
Having read the guide above, you would think if there are still things to be known. Yeah! You would need following moving tips for a safe and cost-effective relocation to Florida:
Choosing the Right Place
Florida has a large mass of land with many cities and boroughs. Each location is known for one thing or the other. The state is equipped with different kinds of people. It’s large with lifestyles, landscapes and cultures.
If you want to really enjoy your stay in Florida, the key is to move to the right place of the state where your passion lies. Choose Orlando if you want to be close to significant tourist spots and theme parks or if you don’t like such activities, avoid the location.
Consider Miami and Southeast Florida if you love the vibrant, Latin-influenced culture hopping nightlife and beaches. Go for the western coast of Florida for ample golf courses and exceptional fishing waters. Florida Panhandle is your match for amazing under-the-radar beaches and laid-back small town lifestyle. There are many other location considerations you should factor into your decision to move to any part of Florida. Just make sure you choose right to make your move worthwhile.
Avoid Moving In Summers
If you have not researched it, know it now – summers are very hot in Florida. If you have made up your mind to move to the Sunshine State, it is advisable not to move during summers if possible. On a daily average temperature, Orlando is as high as above 90oF from the month of June through August.
Moving furniture and boxes in heat and humidity during Florida summers time makes the entire moving process uncomfortable and stressful, not to talk of the associated possible dangers of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The best time to plan moving to Florida is from November through May.
Weigh both Pros and Cons
While there are available opportunities in Florida, there is also some drawbacks to consider when moving to the state. Weigh the pros and cons and see a way out to maximize both to suit your move.
The benefits of moving to Florida cannot be overemphasized including abundant wildlife, low housing costs, non-tax income, beautiful scenery, and ample beaches. However, don’t forget to prepare for ways of surviving over 90 degrees weather (which usually relief after a while), snow, hey, etc.
Beware of Sinkholes
I know you might have heard about pythons, hurricanes, flying roaches, and alligators. Sinkholes are other kind of creatures that are worth fearing in Florida. They can swallow up vehicles which is a sign that they are dangerous creatures.
Beware of where you move to, as some grounds of Florida are porous and are prone to infrequent collapse. Most times, you may not predict when and where it may happen. Every state has its own dangers, but it is advisable to be more careful anywhere you go, especially as a newcomer.
Pros and Cons of Living in Florida
Regardless of where your move leads you to in Florida, there are some merits and demerits that apply to most of the state’s population just like in any other cities of the world. Relax and reflex on how the factors might affect your daily routine now and in about five years to come.
For example, can you really endure the heat? Even though factors like this may look unnecessary, however, the weather condition is capable of affecting how you live your life beyond what you may imagine. Nevertheless, Florida still remains one of the best cities to live and enjoy your stay. Let’s look at both pros and cons of living in Florida.
Pros of Living in Florida
Let’s first consider why Florida should be your next location. Below are some great things that Florida has in stock for you. You have to decide whether they are worth considering out of other states of the United States.
- No income tax from the state
- Lower housing costs than most part of the nation
- Top-level beaches and much outdoor entertainments to be enjoyed
- No snow, everywhere is warm all through the year
- Discounts are given to Florida residents to acclaimed beauties
- There are many communities committed to snowbirds and retirees.
Cons of Living in Florida
Now let’s see why many people have a lot of excitement about moving to Florida but end up vacating the state a couple of years later. Maybe they are tired of any of these disadvantages. Can you cope with the following?
- Hurricanes and excessive heat and humidity
- Florida is very flat and has no mountains and valleys
- The state has more tourists and temporal residents than other states
- Higher insurance costs in the state than anywhere else in the country
- Presence of larger bugs, snakes, and alligators in the state
Top 11 Cities in Florida
Individual looking to relocate to Florida and needs the best place to live will have to consider the pros and cons of living in the state. The city you choose may have an impact on how long you choose to reside in the state. You may prefer living close to the Keys rather than the Pan Handle.
A major benefit of choosing Florida as your new state of residence is that there are many good cities and metropolitans that will compete with all of them closer to a beach where the fun resides.
To prepare you, we have compiled some of the popular cities in Florida. Choose some areas that interest you in different parts of Florida. Get ready to spend a few days in each of the cities to get a real look and feel of where you might end up living. The 2016 United States Census Bureau data was used to determine the population stats, and home prices are received from Zillow.
1. The Pan Handle — Pensacola
Pensacola is a community with friendliness to the military and has many military bases located in it. The town is relatively small, but it is a nice spot for young people starting up a family due to its feel and openness to white beaches located on the Gulf Coast and top-rated school systems.
- Average Home Price – $136,300
- Population – 53,779
2. North Florida — Jacksonville
Jacksonville is the city with the most population in the state and one of the largest in the United States. The downside is that the city has more residents than in other cities. This implies that you can easily make friends with people here as there are different people from different countries, all gathered here.
If you are looking for a place that offers bustling, culture, as well as lower cost of living in Florida than the state’s average, Jacksonville is where you are heading next on your move.
- Average Home Price – $154,700
- Population – 880,619
This city might be a bit far from the beach compared to other cities in Florida; however, it has its own pecks. This city enjoys a college-town feel as well as a boost in its nightlife. Tallahassee might work just fine for you if you enjoy watching a live college football game or visiting a developing downtown area.
- Average Home Price – $168,800
- Population – 190,894
4. Central Florida — Orlando
Orlando is one of the central parts of Florida and is one of the top tourist centers in the United States and arguably one of the popular and visited places in the state. However, you will get more than FastPass at a discounted rate to Disney World and other attractive places if you choose to move to Orlando. Day trips are done in the central location without wasting time.
- Average Home Price – $171,000
- Population – 277,173
5. Western Florida — Clearwater
Clearwater is located on the West Coast of the state and is one of the best destinations for the nation’s retirees. The feeling in this city is similar to the close-knit as well as life moving at lower space here. Everything in Clearwater, such as houses and shopping centers, is located close to one another, which makes it easier for retirees to socialize and get around.
- Average Home Price – $208,400
- Population – 114,361
6. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is very much closer to and located on the south of Clearwater. Every weekend in the city seems like an event or festival in St. Petersburg and is also known for its social life and diversity. Enjoy the advantages that come with living in the Tampa Bay area without missing all the action in Tampa.
- Average Home Price – $185,000
- Population – 260,999
You will be right in the middle of the Tampa Bay Area when you relocate to Tampa. Access to active professional sports lives – one of the major reasons to move to Tampa. The number of locally-owned restaurants in Tampa, as well as multiple festivals, is also what you will enjoy. Employment in Tampa is also on the high side.
- Average Home Price – $187,400
- Population – 377,165
8. Fort Myers
Fort Myers is a fast-growing town which is just a few hour drives from Miami to south and Orlando to the north. Residents in Fort Myers have more day trip options all across the areas of the state due to its location on the Gulf Coast, unlike those who are living in the far north. Known for its diversity, the city is full of expatriates and many cultural experiences that will widen your knowledge.
- Average Home Price – $204,100
- Population – 77,146
The small size of Sarasota makes its housing and rent a bit higher and thus make it a more expensive city to live than most other parts of the state. With the trade-off annual residents’ access to some international-level beaches as well as other activities, the city is more than just a destination for retirees and tourists.
- Average Home Price – $272,800
- Population – 56,610
10. Southeast Florida — Fort Lauderdale
Some of the important factors that make Fort Lauderdale a base for young professionals and developing families are because the city is family-oriented and high employment opportunity. Do you like boating? Yacht’s life in this city is one of the best.
As a matter of fact, more than 40,000 residents choose to live on the water in one of the various waterways in the city. The multiple inland waterways in the city make it earned its name as the Venice of America.
- Average Home Price – $289,300
- Population – 178,752
You probably have Miami beaches on your list of places to visit if you have ever been to a general break trip during spring as an adult. Miami is a large city area and thus may not be the best location for tourists and nightcrawlers. Just like any city, poverty, injustice, and crime are also present in this city.
However, Miami’s culture is more than any other culture that exists in any other city in the state. There are many Spanish-speaking cultures from Mexican, Columbian to Cuban.
- Average Home Price – $303,000
- Population – 453,579
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prevent moving scams in Florida?
The bad news is that south Florida, all through the state and the entire nation, are facing scams. Regardless of any mover you choose to hire; we always recommend that you dig a moving company thoroughly.
Let your major concentration be on aspects like the estimated pricing, availability of supplemental insurance, and adequate licensing. Also, confirm their reputation as a quality moving company through online reviews.
Why should I conduct thorough research before relocating to Florida?
Due to the recent pool on Gallup, most Florida residents don’t see their state as one of the best places to live in the country. You may probably end up feeling the same way if you are planning to relocate there. Conducting research before moving will clear your doubt and feel confident about where you are moving to.
What are the average water temperatures of the beaches in Florida?
Check the National Oceanographic Data Center website to check the chart of median water temperatures at beaches in Florida for Atlantic Ocean temperatures as well as Gulf of Mexico temperatures. In general, the water temperature anywhere in the state will be warm enough for swimmers between the month of April and October.
What are the median temperatures per month in Florida?
Check the United States Climate Data to find out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation for the 117 cities in Florida.
What are the things I need to know about wildlife in Florida?
Florida is a home for various kinds of intriguing wildlife in the universe, and that is why it attracts many visitors, researchers, and environmentalists. Although the number of crocodiles, snakes, alligators, bears, sharks, and other wildlife in Florida is not quantifiable, it is rare for any of these wildlife to attack anyone as reported by the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Although the case is said to be rare, we always recommend that visitors take time to know more about Florida’s fauna. Please check www.MyFWC.com for safety tips and further information.
How can I know which beaches and state parks accommodate pets?
All Florida state parks allow domestic pets in some day-use regions. The pets must be on a hand-held leash of six feet long or shorter and also behave well all through the visit. Pet owners are expected to take care of their pets and nicely get rid of their droppings. No pet is allowed on the cabins, playgrounds, beaches, bathing areas, concession facilities, or park buildings.
Pets’ restricted areas may differ from one park to another. Read more to know about Pet policies in Florida State Parks. Check www.BringFido.com to find out which park in Florida allows dogs. You will find the top 10 dog beaches in Florida on this website, as well as many other cities.
What is a proper proof of vehicle insurance in Florida?
You may use any of the following document’s original or copy as a proof of vehicle insurance:
- Auto insurance card from Florida
- Florida insurance policy
- Certificate of insurance
- A detailed original affidavit duly signed by the insured driver
What do Florida SHOTS mean, and how does it work?
Florida SHOTS, which means State Health Online Tracking System is a free, centralized online immunization registry across the state that assists parents, schools, and health care companies to monitor immunization records.
Request for a personal ID from your health care provider so you can check the immunization history of your children as well as print a copy of Certification of Immunization known as DH Form 680 in Florida for your children.
What is the Drug Court in Florida?
To limit the number of addicted individuals and to enhance rehabilitation, a drug court system was introduced in the state of Florida, and it concentrates on the treatment of addiction rather than incarceration. The state believes it can lower recidivism on non-violent, first-time offenders through the treatment and also help give the opportunity to the defendant to have control over their lives once again.
Florida is the first state in the country to establish a drug court system in the year 1989, while other states have followed the part after seeing the outcome.
What happens if a Drug Test turns out Positive?
Beating addiction is very difficult. Fortunately, the state understands this, and even though a single positive drug test won’t lead to the removal of a defendant from the program, it may, however, lead to more enhanced treatment.
However, the defendant may be removed from the drug court system, and the case is reclassified if tested positive again while in the program. This implies that the case will pass through normal criminal court channels.
Who controls the affairs of moving companies in Florida?
Any mover performing local moves in Florida is required by chapter 507 of Florida Statutes to register with the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
Can I use my disabled parking car permit from the U.K. while I am driving in Florida?
Disabled parking car permits from European countries are not recognized in Florida for parking in spaces allocated for disabled persons. A citizen of another country in Florida as a visitor can get a temporary disabled parking permit from the state.
Once you arrive in Florida, kindly visit the office that produces Driver’s license Tag (or locate the nearest one to you by checking www.flhsmv.gov/offices) and come with the following items:
- A copy of the two sides of your permit or your international disabled parking permit
- Your passport for ownership verification of the international parking permit
- Your driver’s license given by your residential country
- $15 payable by cash or credit card.
Welcome to Sunshine State
Wow… You are one step away to Florida. We have taken you through your way to Florida. All you need to know about moving to Florida has been covered extensively in this post. You know your purpose of moving to the great state; however, you are in for big things that are happening in Florida. Don’t forget the beach, the summer heat, the low income tax, Florida various parks, the weird laws, and much. Moving Feedback will keep feeding you with more informative content to help your move. Have a nice stay in Florida!