The state of Florida is an iconic vacation destination for travelers worldwide. Home to waving palm trees, exotic beaches, and sunshine all year long, who wouldn’t be tempted to visit this North American paradise?
Some sightseers are starting to lay down roots in this sandy shangri-la, packing up their lives and crossing state lines to sample a taste of utopia.
In fact, Florida’s population of nearly 22 million consists of an estimated two-thirds non-native Floridians, according to recent census data. That trend is projected to grow in the years to come.
It is easy to see why, when you examine all the things that make the “Sunshine State” such an appealing place to call home!
A Tropical Climate
The most obvious benefit to moving to Florida has got to be the gorgeous weather. Come on, it is called the Sunshine State. If vacationing in your own backyard sounds like the ideal lifestyle for you, Florida may be your dream home destination.
On average, Florida has the mildest winters in the Continental United States. During the winter season, the daily temperature ranges from lows of 65 F (18 C) to nearly 77 F (25 C). The tropical climate makes dining on delectable fresh produce and seafood like crab, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sugarcane, and avocados a daily affair.
Spend every day sunning yourself on the beach – or, if you like, take a hike in the woods. Although Florida is famous for sunshine and waves, it’s not short on trees, either. There are several state parks in the region, including Little Big Econ State Forest, Seminole State Forest, and Etoniah Creek State Forest.
With an average of over 200 days of sun per year, Florida is a great place for homeowners who love the great outdoors! However, a warning: watch out for tropical storm weather around mid-May – that’s when Florida sees the highest number of tropical storms and even hurricanes, which can devastate communities.
When you think of Florida, you may not consider it an exceptionally affordable place to live at first glance. South Beach, Miami, home to the stars, may not be within the reach of most regular folks, however many smaller cities fall well below the national average cost of living.
The cost of living in Florida is below the national average, with health services at two points below the national average and miscellaneous services at three points below the national average. Florida also has no state income tax, which translates to more money in your pockets every month.
Additionally, Florida residents receive discounts on many local attractions such as theme parks and fairs. For Disney fans and homeowners with kids, this could mean frequent trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando, or relaxing at a Disney resort for a few days. There are hundreds of local resorts and hotels which offer discounts to Floridians!
A Diverse Cultural Landscape
Florida is a region with a diverse cultural makeup, with residents hailing from all around the country and the world!
With two-thirds of its residents coming from out of state, you won’t be the only non-native Floridian among your neighbors. Additionally, there are a variety of languages spoken in the region, with residents and travelers coming from neighboring Caribbean and South American nations.
The sports culture is alive and well in Florida. Home to three professional football teams, two professional basketball teams, two professional baseball teams, and two professional hockey teams, there is never an off-season for sports fans. Popular teams in the state include the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, and more. There are also great schools such as University of Florida and Florida State University which offer college-level sports for students to participate in.
Jobs & Opportunities
Florida has a diverse landscape when it comes to employment opportunities. From commercial divers to physicians, it seems there is a spot for everyone in the sun.
Construction work, cleaning, and amusement or recreation-related employment rank among the most popular professions state-wide, according to Senior Job Bank. Also high on the list are forensic science technicians, personal care workers, and pest control workers.
Florida’s highest paying jobs wouldn’t shock anyone who has walked the star-spangled beaches of Miami and observed its inhabitants. You guessed it, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the highest paid employees in Florida, followed closely by anesthesiologists, and orthodontists.
Industries within the Sunshine State are expanding to create new jobs as well. There is news that Disney may relocate lost jobs to Orlando from California’s theme park location after the vacation mogul began laying off thousands of employees in October of 2020.
Thinking of Moving?
Florida is undoubtedly a great place for a variety of homeowners from all walks of life to create the lifestyle of their dreams. However, it’s important to do some thorough research before picking up and leaving it all behind.
Consider what you desire in a home – do you need lots of space? What is your budget like? What kind of view would you prefer? The average home in Florida is typically about 1,375 square ft. and costs around $192.10 per square ft. which is around $264K for an average purchase price.
How far are you willing to commute to get to work, or drive your kids to school or activities? The average commute in Florida is about 26 minutes. It is also important to note that with more than 700 miles, Florida has more toll roads than any other state.
These are important details to keep in mind when planning your move. Remember that any move is complicated and requires critical thought and months of planning, budgeting, and even visiting the region ahead of time in order to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings! It may also be a good idea to start out by renting before you invest in a house, just to get your feet wet first.
Florida is a wonderful place for families, retirees, young people, and folks who want to develop their careers. Come explore the abundant natural beauty, eclectic communities, succulent fresh produce, and endless entertainment!