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What Should You Know If You’re Planning a Move to Florida?

If you’re thinking about moving to Florida, you’re not alone. Florida was among the second most popular state people moved to in 2016 and 2017, behind only Texas and ahead of California.

The population of Florida grew by more than 327,800 during that time. Census reports show that 900 people move to Florida every day.

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 move.

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 for beach-lovers.

Southwest Florida is located on the Gulf Coast, and it’s a place where you’ll find retirees but families as well.

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 state.

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.