Florida is renowned for its stunning beaches and excellent vacation potential. But more and more people are eager to plant roots in the Sunshine State. Whether you’re drawn in by the warmer climate or the rich culture, it’s a great place to settle down. But there are some things you should know before you relocate to Florida. Let’s take a look at what it’s really like to live in this state and what you should prepare for if you plan on making the move.
1. Different Parts of the State Have Completely Different Atmospheres
Florida has been categorized as a haven for retirees. It also has a reputation for being a party mecca. The truth is, this state is hard to put in a box. There is a large senior population but it also does draw in crowds of young party-goers too. It really depends on what region of Florida you’re in. North versus south, west versus east – each corner of the state has a little something different to offer.
Southern Florida is home to well-known cities such as Orlando, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. You’ll notice that this region has a heavy Latin American and Caribbean influence. It’s a very diverse area with a rich culture. This is also where our best nightlife is. The southern region tends to be a lot warmer than up north.
Northern Florida is a bit slower pace than the south. Tallahassee, our state capital, is located up north as well as Florida State University. This region is heavily influenced by southern culture so country music and authentic BBQ are staples. The north is a lot more temperate than the south. Believe it or not, this part of the state can even get snow in the winter.
2. Prepare for Hurricanes
Before you make the move to Florida, be sure to read up on hurricanes. A hurricane, or tropical storm, is a low-pressure storm system characterized by heavy rain and high winds. Again, the severity of these tropical storms will vary depending on what part of the state you’re in. The southern region tends to get the brunt of the impact. Hurricane season typically runs from June to November. It can be a difficult and dangerous time. Luckily, once we make it through those months, we have beautiful weather for the rest of the year.
3. Know the Cost of Living
While the cost of living is a little bit higher than average in Florida, it is still a fairly doable place to live for people in a range of financial situations. Some cities are cheaper than others to live in. For instance, bigger cities such as Miami can be fairly pricey. Smaller cities like St. Augustine, on the other hand, are cheaper. If you’re moving from extremely expensive regions such as New York or California, you’ll find that Florida is overall a cheaper place to live.
4. Understand the Local Housing Market
As more people make the move out to Florida, there is a higher and higher demand for housing. There’s a vast array of options fit for all kinds of different lifestyles. With such a high senior population there are plenty of gated communities and retirement homes. There are also many hubs for young adults and family communities. As of 2020, the median home price was 290,000. This is slightly higher than the national average which was 272,400 that year. Keep this in mind when planning your move to Florida.
If you need a realtor to guide you through the St. Augustine housing market, get in touch with me! I would be happy to show you the ins and outs of the area so you can find your Florida dream home.
5. Sinkholes Are Prevelant Here
Florida is built on limestone and dolomite deposits making it susceptible to karst landforms. Since these minerals erode quicker than other harder rocks, caves, disappearing streams, underground drainage systems, and sinkholes are common. Sinkholes can be especially problematic for those who call Florida home. Unfortunately, cars and even homes can sink into the ground without warning. While it isn’t a frequent occurrence, it is something to keep in mind if you move to Florida.
6. Be Sure to Bring Your Tent
With regions like the famous Everglades National Park and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida has no shortage of beautiful natural spaces to enjoy. It is a hidden gem for the avid outdoor enthusiast. Those who enjoy trekking, camping, and snorkeling will love the Sunshine State! Close access to the ocean and other waterways makes this state especially compelling for people who love water recreation and fishing.
7. Respect the Local Wildlife
As you likely already know, Florida is teeming with wildlife. Residents are used to run-ins with all kinds of creatures. Alligators, lizards, droves of birds and sea life call the land and seas near Florida home. If you are easily spooked by wildlife, Florida might not be the place for you. Living here means learning to coexist with the animals that thrive here too.
8. Be Aware of the Political Atmosphere
Florida is considered a swing state. That means this state is a huge target for political advertisement come election time. Expect your fair share of unprompted calls and knocks on your door from would-be politicians. You’ll also notice a barrage of political ads during presidential elections.
9. We Have a Rich History
The history runs deep in the state of Florida. It’s actually home to some of the very first European settlements. In 1513, Ponce De Leon landed on the peninsula and established colonies for Spain. Eventually, Britain acquired the region in 1763. It was peacefully transferred over to the United States in 1819.
10. Get Used to Tourists
It’s no secret that tourists from all over the world flock to Florida nearly year-round. When you live in a state with some of the most renowned theme parks and beaches, a revolving door of visitors comes with the territory. As of 2019, tourism accounted for 76% of Florida’s total grand revenue collections. While it might not always be pleasant to have strangers wandering around your backyard, they are a vital part of our economy and the overall culture of this state.
1. Best Places
5. Smart Asset
6. Florida Department of the Environment
7. The Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research