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Move to Florida Guide (2023) - Things to Know Before Moving

Moving to and Living in Florida Guide: Discover the pros and cons, cost of living, best places to live, and why people love to move to Florida.

Move to Florida Guide (2023) - Things to Know Before Moving

Lots of people are moving to Florida. With so many great places to choose from, there’s a lot to think about for people moving to Florida. In this post, I will discuss the most important considerations, pros and cons,  job opportunities, and all other things you need to know before moving to Florida in 2023.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Florida

Moving to Florida is a big decision that comes with many pros and cons to consider. On one hand, Florida offers beautiful beaches, warm weather, and no state income tax. But on the other hand, the high cost of living, humidity, bugs, and hurricanes are certainly factors that give some people pause. Check out this list of major pros and cons of living in Florida:


  1. No state income tax
  2. Mild winters
  3. Florida is a popular vacation destination
  4. Affordable housing
  5. Diverse population
  6. Strong job market
  7. Access to beaches
  8. Sports culture
  9. Always something fun to do
  10. Abundant water recreation
  11. Beautiful nature and wildlife
  12. Can grow fruits and vegetables at home
  13. Retirement destination
  14. Tourism industry
  15. Aerospace industry


  1. High cost of living
  2. Low healthcare rating
  3. Above-average crime rate
  4. Prone to natural disasters like hurricanes
  5. Need a car - bad traffic
  6. Hot and humid
  7. Flat landscape
  8. Lots of bugs
  9. Overcrowded cities
  10. Hard to find affordable housing now
  11. High homeowners insurance
  12. Risk of flooding
  13. The high population of elderly drivers
  14. Public transportation lacking
  15. Water quality and cost

Deciding whether or not to move to Florida requires carefully weighing the pros and cons. The Sunshine State offers warm weather, beautiful beaches, no state income tax, and an affordable cost of living.

However, the high humidity, summer heat, crowds, traffic, risk of hurricanes, flooding, and bugs could be dealbreakers for some. While Florida appeals as a vacation destination, living there year-round is a big commitment.

Consider your preferences and needs, and decide whether the pros outweigh the cons for your lifestyle. Florida offers a lot to love, but it also comes with substantial downsides. Determine what's most important to your happiness before committing to a move.

Best Places to Live in Florida

Orlando on an unusually light traffic day.

Here are 10 of the most popular places to live in Florida

1. Sarasota - A cultured Gulf Coast city with high marks for amenities, low crime, and outdoor recreation. Known for its arts scene, golf courses, and white sandy beaches.

2. Melbourne - A Space Coast city with a charming small-town feel. Family-friendly with great schools, parks, and beach access.

3. St. Petersburg - A vibrant waterfront city with a thriving arts district, professional sports, and a pleasant climate. Close to Tampa.

4. Naples - A wealthy Gulf Coast town with high-end shopping, dining, and golf. Gorgeous beaches and nature preserves.

5. Winter Park - A historic Orlando suburb known for its classic charm, Rollins College, and outdoor cafes/boutiques.

6. Fort Myers - A city in Florida located in the southwest with beaches, nature preserves, and a lively riverfront district. Great for boating and fishing.

7. Weston - An affluent planned community near Fort Lauderdale. Top-ranked schools and family amenities. Close to Everglades.

8. Jacksonville - A large metro area with southern charm. Job opportunities, affordable homes, mild weather, and beach access.

9. Coral Gables - A beautiful Miami suburb with a Mediterranean flair. Upscale shops and restaurants. Great nightlife.

10. Palm Coast - A planned community on the northeast coast. Laidback lifestyle with trails, golf, and close proximity to St. Augustine.

Settling Down in Florida

Here are some tips for settling down in Florida:


Decide what kind of community you want - urban, suburban, small town, or rural. This will help narrow your home search.

Rent before buying to test out neighborhoods. Be prepared for seasonal rent increases.

Consider a condo as a lower maintenance option. Be sure to check out the condo fees so those won’t be a surprise.


The climate has hot, humid summers and mild winters. Prepare for afternoon thunderstorms.

Outdoor activities are popular year-round like boating, golf, tennis, swimming, and beachgoing.

Florida is a large state. Choose a home base near the amenities you want, but be aware that there may be a long drive for getaways.


Florida has no state income tax but a 6% sales tax. Property taxes vary by county.

Car insurance is higher in Florida than in other states. Shop around for rates.

Budget for hurricane preparedness. Plywood, a generator, and other supplies are common expenses. When a storm is approaching, you may not be able to get any of those things at a store.


Meet neighbors right away to establish connections for information and assistance.

Join community groups, religious organizations, or social clubs to meet people.

Patronize local businesses and get involved as you settle in. This helps build roots.

Be ready to adapt as you learn the Florida lifestyle. It's a state with much to offer new residents who take the time to integrate into the community.

Relocating to Florida

Here are some tips for relocating to Florida:


Decide if you want to live near the beach or inland. Coastal areas are more expensive.

Research flood zones and hurricane evacuation routes when looking at homes.

Factor in homeowner's insurance. Florida has some of the highest rates in the U.S. due to storms.


Outdoor activities are popular year-round. These include boating, fishing, swimming, golf, and theme parks.

Expect a more casual dress code compared to other states. Lightweight clothes are a must.

Marina Jack Yacht Basin in Sarasota

Travel and Tourism in Florida

Here are some key facts about travel and tourism in Florida:

Tourism is one of Florida's biggest industries, employing around 1.5 million residents.

In 2019, a record 131 million visitors traveled to Florida, the most of any U.S. state. The top destinations were Orlando, Miami, Tampa, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys.

Popular activities for tourists include theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld), beaches, golf, fishing, boating, museum visits, nightlife, and shopping.

Major airports include Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Fort Lauderdale Airport, and Tampa International Airport.

Top attractions are the Walt Disney World resorts, Universal Orlando Resort, Kennedy Space Center, South Beach in Miami, Key West, Busch Gardens, and Legoland Florida.

Major events that draw visitors include Art Basel in Miami, the Daytona 500, the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, Spring Break, and the Florida-Georgia college football game.

Overseas visitors are an important market, especially from South America and Europe. Miami is a gateway city.

Tourism employs about 12% of Florida's population and many jobs are seasonal.

The tourism industry suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic but has rebounded close to previous levels. Cruise ships have resumed sailing.

Weather in Florida and Geography

Here's an overview of Florida's climate and geography:

Florida has a subtropical climate, which means hot humid summers and mild, dry winters. Many parts of Florida have been devastated by hurricanes in the past, though if you stay in one place, it's not necessarily a yearly occurrence.

The state is a large peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. This provides over 1,300 miles of coastline.

South Florida has a true tropical climate due to its proximity to the tropics. The Florida Keys experience only a slight winter season.

North Florida has more of a humid subtropical climate with cooler winters, occasional freezing temperatures, and less humidity.

The Sunshine State gets abundant rainfall and has an annual wet and dry season rather than true winter and summer.

The wet season is May through October with hot temperatures and the highest humidity levels. Afternoon thunderstorms are common.

The dry season is from November through April with lower humidity, cooler temperatures, and less rain.

The interior central portion of the state has rolling hills with more elevation. Coastal areas are flatter.

Due to the peninsula being surrounded by ocean, Florida has a high vulnerability to hurricanes from June to November.

The unique shape also means no location in Florida is more than 80 miles from the coast.

Job Market and Business in Florida

The number of jobs in Florida has increased by 2.1% in the last year. Here is an overview of the job market and major industries in Florida:

Tourism is a huge part of Florida's economy. Major employers are hospitality, entertainment, transportation, and food services.

Healthcare is another large industry. Major hospitals and research facilities provide many jobs. Nursing shortages are common.

Finance and insurance also employ many, especially in South Florida. Miami is the banking capital of Latin America.

Aerospace and aviation have a significant presence, including NASA and defense contractors on the Space Coast.

Florida's warm climate supports major agricultural production like citrus fruits, tomatoes, sugarcane, and tropical fruits.

Construction is strong in Florida's growing real estate market.

Tampa and Jacksonville are hubs for shipping and logistics with major ports.

Manufacturing is growing in high-tech, medical devices, and defense contracting.

Tax incentives make Florida appealing for headquarters like finance and foreign firms.

Job growth is above average but low wages can be an issue.

What are some cons of living in Florida that I should know before moving?

When considering moving to Florida, you'll want to weigh some potential downsides like hurricane risks, hot humid summers, traffic congestion, and the high cost of homeowner's insurance. However, Florida is also home to beautiful beaches, warm weather, and no state income tax, so consider whether the pros outweigh the cons for your lifestyle.

Does Florida have a state income tax?

No, Florida does not have a state income tax, which is a major perk for residents and one of the top reasons to move to Florida. However, there is a 6% sales tax that helps offset the lack of income tax revenue. When moving to Florida, you'll avoid state taxes on salaries, investments, Social Security, and retirement income.

What are some important things to know before moving to Florida?

Some key things to know are that Florida has a high cost of living, especially for housing and homeowner’s insurance. There is also the risk of hurricanes from June through November. On the plus side, Florida has warm weather year-round, making it attractive for beach vacations and water sports. Job growth is strong in Florida, especially in tourism, healthcare, and construction. Consider your must-have amenities and climate preferences when choosing an area of Florida in which to settle down.

What should my moving to Florida checklist include?

Moving to Florida checklist should include contacting moving companies for estimates, researching communities and home prices, comparing health insurance rates, looking into flood zones and hurricane evacuation routes, obtaining a Florida driver's license and plates within 30 days of becoming a resident, finding local service providers like doctors, changing your permanent address for accounts, and registering to vote in Florida.

What are the major universities in Florida?

Florida is home to many excellent higher education options. The largest public universities are the University of Florida in Gainesville and Florida State University in Tallahassee. Other major schools include the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida International University in Miami, and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. There are also several reputable private colleges throughout Florida.

Wrapping up

Learning about the State of Florida will help you to make a good decision about which area to move to. Learning about the employment market will give you a realistic idea of what to expect. publishes one or more informative blog posts per week about moving to Florida and Living in Florida. Subscribe to receive notices about new blog posts.

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