Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving from New Jersey to Florida

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. 

Get Ready for Your Move to Florida

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1. First steps before moving to Florida

Finding a job

Many people move to Florida, whether they have a profession or not. The beautiful weather and scenery are sufficient reasons for them to leave everything behind. If you’re one of these people, don’t worry, as Florida offers opportunities in industries such as tourism, construction, healthcare, and education, which are all in high demand for employment.

Getting there 

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.

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.

Must dos before your arrival in Florida

  • Update Your Address: Changing your address is a crucial step when relocating. You can easily set up mail forwarding either online or in person before your move. Remember to update your address with various organizations, including the SSA, DMV, and home services. To ensure you don’t miss any important notifications, refer to our comprehensive change of address checklist, which covers all the places you need to update when moving.
  • Weather Preparedness: Be ready for Florida’s hot and humid weather. Check local forecasts and pack accordingly, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the region’s climate variations.
  • Apartment Hunting: Plan ahead by researching and scheduling apartment visits before your arrival. This proactive approach will help streamline your housing search process and ensure a smoother transition.

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. 
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
  • Roaming around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily transit pass to save money.

Florida’s inefficient public transit system can be attributed to its challenging terrain, making subway construction impractical. Additionally, the prevalent car culture and the concentration of residents near the coast have reduced the emphasis on developing extensive public transit options.

Type of fare

Rate

Single ticket

$1.75

Daily pass

$4.50

Weekly pass

$20.00

Monthly pass

$65.00

JTAFLA (Sept 2023)

Exchanging your driver’s license

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.

Setting up a bank account 

When moving to Florida from New Jersey, it’s essential to establish a local presence by setting up a bank account. This state follows the same procedures and regulations as in other states. Wells Fargo Bank has more than 500 branch locations in Florida, and it is convenient for every local because it is accessible.

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 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.

The healthcare costs in Florida are as follows:

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$140.33

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance (average cheapest)

$196.66

Gym

$28.66

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Florida

Best places to live in Florida

Florida is ranked among the best cities in the United States with a flourishing world-class economy, low crime rates, and affordable real estate market. There are lots of cities that offer reasonable costs of living and a comfortable environment guaranteed to fit every lifestyle. With that in mind, if you are moving, here are the top 10 best places to live in Florida in 2024.

City

Characteristics 

Oviedo

Many recreational activities

Satellite Beach

Great for families

Sebastian

Best for safety & low cost of living

Fort Myers

Many job opportunities in healthcare, retail, education & tourism sectors.

Melbourne

Best for young professionals

Palm Bay

Affordable cost of living

Sarasota

Best for medical sector workers

Naples

Best place for luxurious lifestyle

Gainesville

Best for excellent education & healthcare facilities

Pensacola

Best for tranquility

Setting up home services 

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. Discover the best Internet providers in Florida.

Utilities

Cost

Basic

(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment

$152.40

Internet

(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

$43.00

Total

$195.40

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Should you rent or buy?

The cost of a house in Florida in 2023 generally falls around $295,910. If you’re considering renting, a 1-bedroom apartment in Florida typically rents for approximately $1,277.91 outside the city center. When it comes to sales tax, Florida levies a 6% sales tax, while in New Jersey, it’s slightly higher at 6.625%. Lastly, in terms of property tax, Florida averages around 0.98%, whereas New Jersey has a higher property tax rate of 2.42%.

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.

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Cost of rent in Florida

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Jacksonville (Outside of Center)

$1,277.91

$2,157.00

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Florida

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Jacksonville

$295,910

Zillow (Sept 2023)

4. Cost of living in Florida vs. New Jersey

Florida cost of living

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,277.91

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($63.41 multiplied by 4)

$253.64

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$152.40

Internet with 60 Mbps

$43.00

Transit pass

$65.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$84.00

Gym membership 

$28.66

Total

$1,904.61

Numbeo (Sept 2023)

New Jersey cost of living

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,800.00

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($73.75 multiplied by 4)

$295.00

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$166.25

Internet with 60 Mbps

$83.33

Transit pass

$110.25

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$79.99

Gym membership 

$52.50

Total

$2,587.32

Numbeo (August 2023)

5. 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.

6. What to do as a local in Florida

People who live in Florida their whole lives or move there often choose this place because of the beaches. Locals adore spending time at the beach, where they can relax and hang out, enjoying a budget-friendly activity. Additionally, residents take full advantage of the waterways, including the coastline, lakes, rivers, and canals, for boating and fishing. 

Golf, with its year-round playability due to the fantastic weather, is another popular sport, fitting in perfectly with the local enthusiasm for sports, especially football, as Florida boasts many sports teams.

7. 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!

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. 

  1. The Weather: Extreme heat and humid conditions might limit outdoor activities and can be overbearing causing issues like dehydration. 
  2. Retirees and Tourists: Florida caters more towards retirees and tourists, as compared to the rest of the working residents.
  3. Insects and Bugs: You can expect a lot of bugs in Florida, such as termites, mosquitoes and wolf spiders.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. Alligators: Florida has a lot of alligators that can sometimes get into your backyard if you live close to a slow-moving river.

Pros and Cons of Living In Florida vs. New Jersey

Pros

Cons

  • 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.
  • 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.

Conclusion

Moving from New Jersey to Florida involves key considerations. Florida’s appeal, including its low cost of living, draws around 919 daily newcomers. Secure employment in industries like tourism, construction, healthcare, or education. Plan your travel, whether a scenic 1,100-mile drive or a 2-hour flight. Update your address with relevant organizations and prepare for Florida’s hot, humid weather. 

Handle tasks upon arrival, such as obtaining a local driver’s license, setting up a bank account, and acquiring health insurance. Consider the cost of living, whether renting or buying a property, and protect against hurricanes with property insurance.

In need of a moving company? Check out the best movers for your move to Florida from New Jersey.

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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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