Moving From NJ to Florida: Everything You Need to Know

Moving from one place to another can be exciting and exhausting, both at the same time. You’re excited about the new beginnings and worried about everything that needs to be done in the process. From updating the DMV to planning what things you need to take with you, there’s so much that needs to be considered.  

If you’re planning to move to Florida from New Jersey, it’s a beautiful place to reside. Florida’s low cost of living, entertainment options, and beaches make it a quite preferable place for many people. From some of the top beaches to quality nightlife, Florida will always keep you entertained. All set to make your move? We have all the details ready for you!

How Many People Move to Florida Every Day?

Around 919 people move to Florida every day and of those 654 are from abroad. Since a lot of Californians are used to outdoor lifestyles, they find it pretty easy to transition to Florida’s lifestyle and environment.

Get Ready for Your Move to Florida

Florida

Moving Tasks

When you are moving, it’s important you take care of your paperwork and complete some administrative tasks. 

Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Florida DMV Change of Address

It’s especially important to notify the Florida DMV (FLHSMV) of your change of address so that you can legally drive your vehicle in Florida. When moving from New Jersey to Florida, you have to notify the Florida DMV within 30 days of your move. 

  • Surrender your plates and surrender your driver’s license to the New Jersey MVC before you move. 
  • You can only apply for a driver’s license and register your vehicle in- person at the FLHSMV. Online driver’s license application is not available to out of state drivers. 
  • Book an appointment at the FLHSMV in advance to avoid waiting lines.
  • Visit a dual service center for both driver’s license and vehicle registration applications.
  • Bring your Social Security Card, 2 proofs of residency and proof of liability insurance.
  • A vision test may be required.
  • A $48 fee +TX is required for a Class E driver’s license. 

For more information check out our article on how to notify the Florida DMV of an address change

Home Services in Florida

Electricity, Water, and Gas in Florida

Florida generates over 50% of its energy from natural gas making it reasonably priced. Florida’s energy is regulated by The Florida Public Service Commission and so service providers vary by location. You can find the electricity provider, natural gas provider and water provider in your area on The Florida Public Service Commission’s website.

Internet and Cell Phone in Florida

Florida has high-quality internet at reasonable prices and high speeds. You may need satellite internet if you live further away from the main cities. To save money on the internet and your cell phone plan, it’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. The best internet providers in Florida will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

Insurance in Florida

Car Insurance in Florida vs California

Florida has many uninsured drivers, forcing insurance companies to up their prices. Along with the many uninsured drivers in Florida, the yearly hurricanes and the dense population also affect the cost of car insurance, making it a bit higher than in New Jersey.

Health Insurance in Florida

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you won’t have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Florida proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Florida as your state and create an account.

Property Insurance for Hurricanes in Florida

Home insurance is not mandatory in Florida. However, if your property is mortgaged with a lender, the lending company may contractually obligate you to purchase insurance to safeguard the amount outstanding on the loan. Florida is quite prone to hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and floods. Getting insurance to protect you from spending on the damages caused by these natural disasters is a great way to get peace of mind when it comes to your home.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address Before Moving to Florida!

It’s important to change your address with all the providers listed in our complete change of address checklist to avoid delays in the reception of your benefits and in the set up of your home services. If you’re thinking about changing your address with USPS, don’t forget that mail forwarding does not actually change your address, it simply redirects mail. Mail forwarding will begin 7-10 business days after you sign up.There are two ways to change your address (set up mail forwarding) with USPS: online and in person.

Transportation

Moving from Ney Jersey to Florida is quite an important move. Get prepared by planning how you and your belongings will get there. 

How Far Is Florida From New Jersey?

Getting to Florida From New Jersey

The drive between New Jersey and Florida is 1100 miles long and will take you a bit less than 17 hours

The average cost to drive from New Jersey to Florida is around $140 one-way without counting your hotel stops on the way. The best scenic route from NJ to Florida is the I-95 through which you can explore the rich history, ocean views and towns along the East Coast. You will be passing through Maryland, Washington, DC, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia that all have scenic views and interesting things to see. Some of the places to stop between NJ and Florida are Chincoteague in Virginia by taking the Ferry from Cape May in NJ and Savannah in North Carolina.

If you would rather fly, the flight time from New Jersey to Florida is 2h40 minutes and the plane ticket will cost an average of $85. The cheapest time to fly to Florida from New Jersey is usually in the months of January and September. December, March and April are considered to be the peak times to fly to Florida.

If you’re taking a flight for your move from New Jersey to Florida and don’t know how to transport your belongings, check out the best long-distance moving companies below.

The Best Long-Distance Moving Companies to Florida

The best long-distance moving companies to Florida will have good reviews, insurance, great customer service and a straightforward booking procedure. Here are the 5 best long-distance moving companies for your move from New Jersey to Florida.

  1. Allied Van Lines
  2. Adams Van Lines
  3. North American Van Lines
  4. Atlas Van Lines
  5. American Van Lines

Transporting a Car From NJ to Florida

Transporting a car from NJ to Florida is an efficient way to save the time and money you would otherwise spend driving it down. The cost to transport a car from NJ to Florida is expected to be around $900 depending on the size, traffic and time of year.

To transport your car from NJ to Florida search for the best car shipping company that has excellent reviews, is fully bonded and insured, has great customer service and has many years of experience. Make sure you leave the gas tank ⅓ full and follow all the company’s recommendations and regulations.

Florida

Lifestyle

While Florida is for many things, here is what you should prepare yourself to.

Pros and Cons of Living In Florida vs California

Pros

  • Florida doesn’t have a state income tax.
  • Florida beaches are warmer than in New Jersey.
  • The cost of living in Florida is low (except for some places like Miami) as compared to New Jersey.
  • Florida is a diverse state, so you won’t have to worry about having difficulty fitting in.
  • Florida is a great place for retirees.

Cons

  • Florida has a higher crime rate than in NJ.
  • Summers can bring extreme heat and humidity. This heat might limit outdoor activities.
  • You can expect a lot of tourists in Florida.
  • A major negative point is that Florida is hit by hurricanes almost every year.
  • Some can cause a lot of damage and can be fatal.
  • Car insurance and home insurance are expensive in Florida.

Cost of Living in Florida vs The Cost of Living in New Jersey

The average cost of living in Newark, New Jersey per month is $4300 for a couple whereas the cost of living per month in Jacksonville, Florida, per month is $2825.

Expense

Newark

Jacksonville  

Rent – Mortgage

$1900

$1000

Utilities (gas, water, electricity, phone, internet)

$350

$300

Groceries

$800

$600

Entertainment 

$350

$150

Insurance (home, car, health)

$600

$650

Other (transportation, material goods)

$300

$125

*Cost of living is not reflective of the entire states, but of their respective major cities.

Sources: Numbeo1, Numbeo2, Numbeo 3, Numbeo 4,The Zebra1 & The Zebra2

How Much Is a House in Florida?

A house in Florida typically costs around $300 000 in 2021.

How Much Is Rent in Florida?

A 2-bedroom apartment in Florida typically rents for $1600.

What Is the Sales Tax in Florida vs New Jersey?

How Much Is the Property Tax in Florida?

The property tax in Florida averages at 0.98% whereas in New Jersey it is 2.42%.

The Best Places To Live in Florida

Some of the best places to live in Florida are:

  • Tampa: A very welcoming and friendly place with a low crime rate.
  • Jacksonville: Known for its strong job market and affordable housing.
  • Cape Coral: A lot of people are moving to Cape Coral due to a safe environment and a strong job market.
  • Miami: Miami is all about the vibrant culture and the beaches.
  • Gainesville: A safe place to settle and relax. Gainesville has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Florida.

Best Places To Retire in Florida

Some of the best places to retire in Florida are:

  • Naples: Naples is the best place to retire, not only in Florida but also in the south. It has high accessibility to medical centers, great recreational activities, and a senior-friendly environment. 
  • New Port Richey: It has a lot of retirement communities, medical centers, and recreational facilities. 
  • Orange Park: Relax in small-town culture. It’s ranked second highest for the availability of medical centers. 
  • Stuart: If you’re looking for a place with warm weather, Stuart is an excellent place to retire. It is also ranked the third highest for the availability of recreational facilities.
  • Brooksville: Known for a decent amount of retirement communities, recreational activities, and medical centers present in the area.

Best Place To Live in Florida for Families - Best School Districts in Florida

If you are moving to Florida with your family, you should look out for locations with top-notch schools for your kids. Some of the best school districts in Florida are:

  1. St. Johns County School District – Best known for its facilities, and a safe and family-friendly environment. 
  2. Sarasota County Schools – Second best in terms of health and safety, as well as environment.
  3. Okaloosa County School District – Best recognized for diversity and academics.
  4. Martin County School District – This district is great for college prep and activities.
  5. Clay County School District: Located in the Jacksonville area, this district is best known for its family-friendly culture.

Why Some People Regret Moving to Florida

While Florida is popular for the sunny beaches, vibrant lifestyle, and the fact that it doesn’t have a state income tax, some people actually regret moving there for the following reasons. 

  • The Weather: Extreme heat and humid conditions might limit outdoor activities and can be overbearing causing issues like dehydration. 
  • Retirees and Tourists: Florida caters more towards retirees and tourists, as compared to the rest of the working residents.
  • Insects and Bugs: You can expect a lot of bugs in Florida, such as termites, mosquitoes and wolf spiders.
  • Rising sea levels and global warming: Rising sea levels may create a problem for people having homes near the beaches as they may get flooded in the upcoming years. 
  • Prone to Hurricanes: Florida is known for its bad weather and the hurricanes that tend to hit Florida almost every year. This can cause a lot of damage, and since home insurance is considerably high, it can be quite a disadvantage.
  • Alligators: Florida has a lot of alligators that can sometimes get into your backyard if you live close to a slow-moving river.

The Weather in Florida

The weather in Florida is hot and humid. Summers in the state are generally very humid with temperatures averaging at 82 °F . Florida is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms so make sure you come prepared! Florida has several beaches which make the humid summers refreshing! During winter, the air is sometimes cold but not chilly.

Fun Facts About Florida

  • Florida accounts for 44% of the orange production in the US whereas California accounts for 51%. 
  • Florida is called the Sunshine state. This is due to its popular beaches and the hot and humid temperatures. 
  • The properties on the beachfront in Miami might be underwater in 2100!

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