Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Florida

Florida is best known for its incredible beauty, bubbly nightlife and stunning beaches. Let’s not forget the famous Disney World! Another great thing to consider is that unlike some other states, Florida does not require its residents to pay a state income tax. 

Overall, there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy year round in Florida!

So, if you are considering moving to Florida, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Florida of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Florida.

Moving to Florida: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Florida

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Florida, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Florida, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Florida? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Florida had an unemployment rate of 2.8%, which is the highest from 2.6% in April 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are taxi drivers, bartenders, and flight attendants.

Finding a job in Florida is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Florida from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Florida. Book a flight from your departure city to Southwest Florida International Airport or Orlando International Airport, depending on your destination within Florida.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Florida cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Florida may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Florida permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Florida, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Florida, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Florida

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

If you live further away from the cities, you will definitely need a car in Florida. In big cities like Miami, you can ride the Metrobus, MetroRail and MetroMover to efficiently and affordably get to places like the beach or the city center.

Exchanging your driver’s license

When you move to Florida, you will have a period of 30 days to obtain a Florida driver’s license. During these 30 days, you will be able to use your current license issued by a different state.

Register your vehicle

To register your vehicle, visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department (FLHSMV).

Change your address

When arriving in Florida, you will need to make the necessary changes to update your address with all concerned parties like the FLHSMV (see next section on driver’s license and vehicle registration). You should also update your voter registration on the MyFlorida website.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Florida is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Florida for easy access is Wells Fargo Bank. Florida’s residents has access to a whopping 508 offices of Wells Fargo Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not 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.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$140.33

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$467.00

Gym

$28.66

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Florida

Best places to live in Florida

If you are moving to Florida with your family, you should look out for locations with top-notch schools for your kids and affordable housing like Harbour Island.

If you are a young couple, you might want to consider living in Winter Springs, as it is a fun city where houses are affordable and there are a lot of amazing restaurants.

As a single person, you should consider living in Miami, where the party never stops!

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Florida is a straightforward process. 

  • 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.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Florida home value is $392,922, increased by 0.70% from 2022. Florida’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $369.57.

Finding an apartment for rent in Florida is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Florida.

Cost of rent in Florida

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Jacksonville (Outside of Center)

$1,436.40

$2,157.00

Cost of buying a property in Florida

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Jacksonville

$392,922

Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

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.

4. Cost of living in Florida

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,436.40

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($62.19 multiplied by 4)

$248.76

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$158.03

Internet with 60 Mbps

$71.84

Transit pass

$65.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$84.00

Gym membership 

$28.66

Total

$2,092.69

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Florida

The weather in Florida is relatively warm. 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.

6. What to do as a local in Florida

Locals in Florida love to spend time at the beach, at restaurants and on the golf course. As a newcomer, you should check out Disney World and discover all the beaches Florida has to offer. Kennedy Space Center and Universal Studios are also musts to do in Florida!

Some common grocery stores in Florida are: Publix, ALDI US, and Trader Joe’s.

The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.

Must-visit food places in Florida are Shake Shack, Chick-Fil-A and PDQ.

Visit the popular cities in Florida: Miami, Tampa Bay, and Orlando.

7. Fun facts about Florida

  • Fun Fact #1: Florida produces over 75% of oranges in the US and 40% of the orange juice supply in the world.
  • Fun Fact #2: The popular sports drink Gatorade was named after the Florida Gators.
  • Fun Fact #3: Florida’s official animal is the alligator.

Conclusion

Florida has a warm and sunny climate, which means it’s great if you like nice weather. Locals can do lots of outdoor things in Florida, like hiking, golfing, and exploring nature, and can visit Fort Lauderdale to check its upscale outdoor restaurants, bars, boutiques and luxury hotels. Florida is also known for its beautiful beaches and unique natural areas, making it a perfect place for people who love nature.

While moving to Florida has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Florida is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Florida. 

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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