Florida consistently ranks as one of the top inbound states, meaning that more people move into the state than out of it each year. In fact, estimates show that nearly 1,000 people relocate here each day! Reputed as a top destination for retirees (especially those from the North), Florida is also famous for its warm weather, lack of income taxes, and thriving economy, among other things. If you’re thinking of following the popular trek from New York to Florida, here’s our advice to prep for your long distance move South:
What to Know Before Moving to Florida
1. Florida Has Strange Weather
The gorgeous weather is one of the primary factors that attract people to Florida. Although Floridians enjoy sunny weather most of the year, this state is prone to thunderstorms as well as tropical storms and hurricanes that blow in from the Atlantic. It is also important to note that Florida can experience extreme temperature fluctuations and high humidity.
2. It’s a Zero Tax State
If you hate paying taxes, then you will love living in Florida. The Sunshine State is one of just seven states that does not assess a state income tax. And while the cost of rent and utilities is slightly higher than the rest of the country, overall, the cost of living here is relatively low (especially compared to New York City).
3. Public Transportation is Limited
If you zip around New York on the subway, be aware you will need a car to get around most of the places in Florida. However, some cities do have decent transit systems. If you rely on public transportation, consider living in Miami, which scores well not only for transit but also gets high marks for walkability and bike-ability.
4. Buying a Home Might Be Easier
The average cost of a home in Florida is around $200,000, which is slightly higher than the national average. However, it’s still a lot more affordable than purchasing a home in NYC, where the median home price exceeds $600,000.
5. Florida Boasts Lots of Outdoor Attractions
If you love spending time outside, then Florida’s an excellent choice for you. Not only is Florida home to 1200 miles of sandy beaches on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coast, but it also boasts 160 state parks and three national parks. Here, you can enjoy activities like hiking, kayaking, camping, swimming, fishing, and more practically year-round. Additionally, Florida has several other fun attractions including Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios.
6. It Has a Strong Economy
Not only is Florida a great place to play, but it’s also a great place to work. As of October 2017, Florida’s unemployment rate was just 3.6%, or .5% lower than the U.S. unemployment rate. Thriving international trade, tourism, space, agriculture, construction, and service industries bolster the state’s healthy economy. If you’re looking for somewhere with abundant job opportunities, Florida is a fantastic option.
Top 5 Cities in Florida to Call Home
If you’re looking to relocate to Florida from New York, you may be curious about which metropolitan areas are best. You know you love the weather and the relaxed, vacation-like vibe in the state, but what about home prices, communities, and school districts? Here are the top 5 cities in Florida to call home:
1. Miami Beach
With approximately 90,000 residents and a fabulous, fun history, Miami Beach, part of the larger Miami metro area, is the perfect place to settle down. You’ll enjoy great restaurants, access to entertainment, and safety in this waterfront city. From South Beach to Biscayne point, Miami Beach has several vibrant communities to call home. Each neighborhood has something different to offer, so you’ll be able to find the right fit for your lifestyle. The median house price for Miami Beach is $387,400, making Miami Beach an affordable option for relocation.
On the other side of the state, Tampa is a small city with lots of potential and lovely Gulf Coast beaches. With approximately 335,000 residents, it’s a little more than three times the size of Miami Beach population wise. It’s also been ranked consistently as one of the top places to live in the country. In Tampa, you’ll find easy access to excellent healthcare, great food, and affordable prices. The cost of living is less than half of what you’ll pay in Miami Beach, with a median home price around $175,000.
Orlando is not just a tourist favorite; it’s a resident favorite, too. With excellent school districts and proximity to some of the best amusement parks and entertainment in the world, Orlando is a solid choice for relocation. The median home price in Orlando is just $181,900. With a population of over 277,000 residents, Orlando has a thriving local community.
If you’re looking for fantastic shopping and a relaxing, older community, Naples is a solid choice This small town of 21,000 residents sits about 40 miles south of Fort Myers, near the Southern tip of the state. Residents here enjoy proximity to the Everglades National Park, miles of white sand beaches, and beautiful weather for outdoor pursuits. Celebrity sightings here are common as many rich and famous people maintain homes in this picturesque area. However, you don’t have to be well-off to afford to live in paradise; the median home price in Naples is $328,000. If you’re looking for big city convenience with small town charm, you’ll find your ideal home in Naples.
5. Coral Gables
For access to top education, top hospitals, and utmost luxury, Coral Gables is a prime destination. The median home price in Coral Gables is $754,500, but the high price tag is not unwarranted. Home to just over 50,000 residents Coral Gables has a highly educated population, many of whom work, attend or are alumni of the nearby University of Miami.
Regardless of where you choose to relocate to in Florida, there’s a town for every budget and lifestyle. Some advantages in moving from New York to Florida include lower cost of living, no state income tax, and a moderate climate. Becoming a permanent snowbird is nothing to be ashamed of. But consider picking a home with extra rooms for guests as your friends and family members will be eager to visit you down South.
Tips for a Successful Interstate Move from FL to NY
You’ve done it. You’ve decided to move from snowy New York to sunny Florida. Before moving day rolls around, here are some tips to make your transition from cold to hot more comfortable and safe.
Schedule Your Move
It’s never too early to start planning the logistics of your move. If you want to skip driving a rental truck the more than 1000 miles from New York to your destination in Florida, now’s the time to book a long distance moving company. No matter who you hire, make sure they are licensed with the US DOT and carry insurance to protect your goods.
A licensed, interstate moving company, Imperial Movers frequently helps New York City residents with out of state relocations, and New York to Florida is one of our most common routes. If you book your move with us, we’ll send an in-home estimator to assess your moving costs, then provide you with a free quote for your move. We’re here to make your Florida relocation seamless.
Purge Your Old Wardrobe
When you arrive in Florida, and it’s already 90 degrees, you won’t want to stress about finding just the right style on a tight schedule. Take your time and research the best warm-weather clothing for you and your family beforehand. This forethought will save you money and help you feel better.
Before your move, go through your closet and dresser and purge all that cold weather clothing you’ll no longer need. Reducing your wardrobe before your relocation will help you cut moving costs, and will make getting organized in your new home much easier.
Let the Packing Begin
Once you’ve downsized your belongings, it’s time to start packing! About a month out from your move date, gather boxes and moving supplies, then start boxing up your least used items. We always recommend packing out-of-season clothing, décor, books, and other non-essentials first. As the moving day draws near, you can pack the rest of your closet and tackle the kitchen and bathrooms.
As you pack, make sure you take the time to create labels for each box that describe what’s inside. This step not only helps the movers know where to unload boxes, but it will also help you stay organized as you unpack.
Prepare for the Sun
While living in New York, sun protection probably wasn’t on the top of your to-do list. As you finish packing, make sure you throw some sun protection in your essentials bag. For the ultimate shield from harmful rays, the Florida Department of Health recommends wearing a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves along with broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready
Before embarking on your cross country move, be sure to get a tune-up for the road trip ahead. Experts recommend topping off fluids, checking your tires and wiper blades, and performing other necessary services (like an oil change or tire rotation).
Your vehicle is essential to your active life. When you move to Florida, make sure to pay attention to your car or truck’s needs after you arrive. You will need to top off your fluids more often and ensure that you have sunscreens that block the sun’s harmful rays while driving and when you are parked.
Pack an Essentials Box
If you’re passing your belongings off to a moving company, it may be a few days or longer until everything arrives at your new home. For the interim, pack an essentials box or bag with the things you’ll need to survive. This bag could include several pairs of clothing, toiletries, linens, a blow-up mattress, and a few kitchen items.
Get Used to High Utility Bills
Living in New York, air conditioning isn’t all that crucial. In Florida, however, having a good AC system is a matter of survival. In most parts of Florida, you’ll be running your air conditioning unit most of the year. Warmer weather means higher utility bills throughout the year and more frequent servicing and maintenance as well. Ask your realtor or neighbors which company they recommend for assistance you when you arrive.
Carry a Water Bottle
The Institute of Medicine reports that about 75 percent of Americans don’t drink the recommended eight cups of water daily and are chronically dehydrated. Don’t become a victim of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke. In a warm climate like Florida, you will want to drink plenty of water at consistent intervals throughout the day. This recommendation is especially true when the temperature rises to 90 degrees and above. You also might want to avoid hot drinks like coffee; opt for iced coffee instead.
Have a Plan for Unpacking
After your load arrives, the task of getting everything unboxed and organized might feel daunting. Instead of panicking, devise a systematic plan for unpacking, one room at a time. Start with the most important spaces, like your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, before moving on to secondary places, like the office, spare guest room, and living room. As you unload each box, break it down and move the cardboard and other packing supplies to another area so they won’t clutter your workspace. Before you know it, you’ll be unpacked and ready to enjoy life in Florida!
Following these tips for your move will help you arrive in Florida in style and thrive in its inviting, warm climate. We wish you the best in this new phase of life for you and your family.