There are plenty of reasons you
might be thinking about it or already planning your move to Florida. Many
people move there because of work and job opportunities, as well as the
wonderful weather and the relatively low cost of living.
As with anywhere, if you are
going to be relocating, there are some logistics you’ll have to think about in
addition to the fun stuff.
The following are some important
things to know if you’re moving to the Sunshine State.
Getting Your License
If you’re coming from a big city where you didn’t have to drive, chances are that’ll change in Florida. If you’re preparing to drive in Florida, regardless of your experience out of the state, there are things to keep in mind.
If you’re new to Florida and you
have a license from your previous state that’s valid, you have to convert to a
Florida license. Before you can enroll your kids in public school or accept
employment, you need a valid Florida license or get one within thirty days.
There are different types of
licenses, with the most common being Class-E. If you’re under the age of 18,
you do have to go through the state’s graduated licensing program.
Along with a generally low cost of living, Florida has low taxes. It’s one of only a few states that don’t have a state income tax.
Gas taxes are higher than most
places, however so be aware of that if you drive a lot. The Florida sales tax
rate is 6 percent, and there is a property tax based on the market value of
your home as of January 1st of any given year.
Along with no state income tax,
there is no estate tax or inheritance tax in Florida.
Know the Downsides
Weather, cost of living, and
beaches are all some of the pros of living in Florida. The housing costs are
lower than many parts of the country as well. Beyond the pros, it is important
to be well aware of the cons as well so you can prepare yourself before making
The weather can be a pro, but
also a con during hurricane season. There are also a lot of tourists who can
make day-to-day life more of a hassle in some areas. Insurance may also cost
more in Florida than other parts of the nation.
Differences Between Regions of the State
If you’re still on the fence about moving to Florida and you’re comparing your options, you’ll see there can be huge differences in lifestyle depending on where you are in the state. For example, the Panhandle area tends to be quiet and relaxed, and there are a lot of military families because of the bases in the area. The school systems are well-rated, and the beaches are beautiful.
North Florida includes the major
city of Jacksonville, and while there are the perks of a big city, there’s not
as much natural beauty that you might typically associate with the state. Some
parts can have a more industrial feel.
Central Florida is where many of
the state’s tourist attractions are, but houses here tend to be reasonably
priced. Western Florida is one of the top parts of the state for families, and
Clearwater is often named one of the most beautiful destinations in the country
Southwest Florida is located on
the Gulf Coast, and it’s a place where you’ll find retirees but families as
The, of course, there’s south
Florida. If you want a vibrant, international feel you might pick somewhere
like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The restaurants and nightlife are great,
although you might not want such a bustling atmosphere. The homes also tend to
be more expensive in some of the south Florida cities than other parts of the
Finally, while the job market in Florida is strong right now as is the case throughout most of the country, many positions are in the hospitality industry. These might not always be the most high-paying jobs, and their availability can fluctuate. If you have decided Florida is the place for you, you’ll likely enjoy what the state has to offer as long as you go into your new adventure informed and prepared.