Moving to Florida From California: How to Make the Move and What to Expect

Are you dreaming of a switch from the West Coast to the sunny shores of Florida? The prospect of moving from California to Florida isn’t just about a change in scenery; it’s a shift in lifestyle and cost of living. While both states offer beautiful beaches and warm weather, the financial contrast is stark. With California’s charge of living soaring 41% higher than the national average compared to Florida’s mere 1% above, the move becomes an appealing prospect for many.

In this guide, we’ll navigate everything from the best Florida cities, local climate, and lifestyle to the logistics of making this relocation a reality. Join us as we delve into what to expect and how to seamlessly transition from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf or Atlantic Coast.

Reasons people choose to move from California to Florida

There are numerous reasons why individuals and families decide to leave California and settle in Florida. One of the primary motivators is the cost of living. While California has a reputation for its high cost of living, Florida offers a more affordable alternative. The lower housing prices, absence of state income tax, and overall lower expenses make Florida an attractive destination for those seeking financial relief.

Another reason people choose to move to Florida is the weather. California may have its share of beautiful weather, but Florida boasts a year-round tropical climate with warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. The appeal of living in a place where you can enjoy outdoor activities and beautiful beaches throughout the year is hard to resist.

Additionally, Florida’s thriving job market is a significant pull factor. The state has a strong economy with diverse industries, including tourism, healthcare, and technology. Many individuals find better career opportunities and job prospects in Florida, which can significantly enhance their quality of life.

Is It Worth Moving to Florida from California?

Moving to Florida from California offers several advantages, such as a strong economy, good job opportunities, and no state income taxes. Conversely, you may experience lower median household income and higher homeowner’s insurance costs. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of making the move:

Pro: Strong Economy and Good Job Opportunities

Florida boasts the fourth-largest economy in the United States, making it an attractive destination for companies from various industries. Major sectors include aviation and aerospace, financial and professional services, IT, and manufacturing. The thriving economy and competitive tax climate create a favorable job-seek environment.

Con: Lower Median Household Income

While the cost of living in Florida is generally lower than in California, the median household income is also lower. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Florida for 2016-2020 was $57,703, compared to California’s $78,672. However, the lower cost of living in Florida can help offset the difference in income.

Pro: No State Income Taxes

One significant advantage of living in Florida is the absence of state individual income taxes. Unlike California, where tax rates can reach 12.3%, Florida residents enjoy a lower overall tax burden. It’s important to note that property taxes in Florida are slightly higher, but the trade-off can still be favorable for many individuals and families.

Con: Homeowner’s Insurance Is Pricey

While Florida offers more affordable homes than California, homeowner’s insurance is significantly higher. Average premiums in Florida are nearly three times the national average due to factors like roof-replacement fraud and costly litigation. It’s essential to factor in this expense when considering your overall budget.

Pro: Homes Are More Affordable

One significant advantage of moving to Florida from California is the affordability of homes. The typical home value in Florida is around $407K, nearly half the cost of homes in California, which average around $765K. This price difference allows individuals and families to find more affordable housing options in Florida.

Con: Tourists Love Florida

Florida’s popularity as a tourist destination means dealing with a constant influx of visitors. Spring breakers and vacationers from different parts of the country and the world flock to Florida’s beaches and theme parks. While this boosts the local economy, it can also increase traffic and crowds, particularly in popular tourist hotspots.

Pro: Orlando’s Amusement Parks

If you’re a fan of theme parks and entertainment, moving to Florida opens up a world of possibilities. Orlando, in particular, is home to world-renowned attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, and more. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or love all things magical, Orlando offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure.

Con: Hot and Humid Climate

Florida is known for its warm weather and high humidity levels. Summers can be particularly muggy, regardless of your location in the state. While winters are relatively mild, the humidity remains higher than in California. Expect average summer highs around 90 °F and lows between 75 °F and 80 °F. Winter temperatures vary, with cooler temperatures in the northern parts of the state.

Pro: Highly Rated Beaches on Both Coasts

Florida’s status as a peninsula means it offers stunning beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. From the warm waters of the Gulf to the surfer-approved Atlantic waves, Florida has a beach to suit every lifestyle. Say goodbye to chilly Pacific waters and embrace the year-round beach life.

Con: Hurricane Season Is a Fact of Life

Living in Florida means dealing with the reality of hurricane season. From June to November, tropical storms and hurricanes can develop in the Atlantic Ocean. While some areas are more prone to landfall than others, the entire coastline has experienced the impact of hurricanes at some point. Educating yourself on hurricane safety tips and preparing for potential weather events is crucial.

Pro/Con: Florida Is Flat

If you’re used to the hilly terrain of California, you’ll notice a significant difference when driving in Florida. The state is famously flat, with the highest natural point reaching 345 feet above sea level. While this may make driving less exciting, you can save money on gas due to the need for elevation changes.

Researching and planning your move

Thorough research and planning are essential before starting your journey from California to Florida. Start by gathering information about Florida’s different cities and regions to determine which area suits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as climate, cost of living, job opportunities, and proximity to amenities.

Next, create a detailed moving plan with a timeline, budget, and checklist of tasks to complete. Research reputable moving companies or decide if you prefer a DIY move. Obtain quotes, read reviews, and compare services to ensure you choose the best option. It’s also crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for moving to Florida. Ensure you have the documentation, such as a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of residency, to avoid any issues upon arrival.

Finding a new home in Florida

One of the most critical steps in moving to Florida is finding a new home. Start by researching the housing market in your desired area and determine your budget. Consider factors such as the size of the house, neighborhood safety, proximity to schools and amenities, and any specific requirements you may have.

Utilize online real estate platforms and work with a local real estate agent with expertise in the Florida market. They can assist you in finding suitable properties, scheduling viewings, and negotiating the best deal. Once you’ve found your dream home, thoroughly inspect it before committing. Consider hiring a professional home inspector to identify any potential issues or repairs that may be needed.

Packing and preparing for the move

As moving day approaches, it’s time to start packing and preparing your belongings for the journey. Begin by decluttering and removing any items you no longer need or want. This will help streamline the packing process and reduce the overall volume of your belongings.

Create a comprehensive inventory of your possessions and organize them into categories. Label all boxes clearly, indicating the contents and the room they belong to. This will make unpacking and setting up your new home much easier.

Gather all necessary packing supplies, such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and tape. Start packing non-essential items well in advance, leaving only the essentials for the days leading up to the move. If you need more time, consider hiring professional packers who can efficiently handle your packing process. This can save you time and ensure that your belongings are packed securely.

Hiring a moving company or DIY moving

One of the crucial decisions you’ll need to make is whether to hire a professional moving company or opt for a DIY move. Each option has pros and cons, so evaluating your needs and circumstances is essential. Hiring a moving company offers convenience and peace of mind. Professional movers have the expertise and equipment to handle your belongings safely and efficiently. They can also provide additional services such as packing, loading, and unloading, alleviating much of the stress associated with moving.

On the other hand, a DIY move can be more cost-effective, especially if you have a limited budget. It gives you more control over the process and can be a rewarding experience if you enjoy hands-on tasks. However, remember that DIY moving requires significant time, effort, and physical labor. Whichever option you choose, research and select a reputable moving company or adequately prepare for the challenges of a DIY move.

Moving your belongings and vehicles

Several options exist when moving your belongings and vehicles from California to Florida. If you’ve hired a professional moving company, they will handle the transportation of your household items. Ensure you discuss the logistics, insurance coverage, and delivery timeframe with the moving company in advance. If you opt for a DIY move, you can rent a moving truck to transport your belongings. Research truck rental companies, compare prices, and reserve a truck well in advance to secure availability.

When it comes to your vehicles, driving them across the country can be an adventure in itself. However, if you prefer to fly or if you have multiple vehicles, you can also consider shipping your cars. Research reputable auto transport companies and obtain quotes to determine the most cost-effective and convenient option.

Setting up utilities and services in your new home

Once you’ve arrived at your new home in Florida, it’s time to set up utilities and services. Contact the local utility providers to arrange for the connection of electricity, water, gas, and internet services. Schedule these connections in advance to avoid any delays or interruptions.

Additionally, update your address with the necessary entities, such as the post office, your bank, insurance providers, and any subscriptions or memberships you may have. This will ensure your mail is redirected and you get all important communications.

Adapting to the Florida lifestyle and culture

Moving to Florida means embracing a unique lifestyle and culture. The Sunshine State offers a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere, emphasizing outdoor and leisure activities. Take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, try new foods, and explore Florida’s diverse communities.

Florida is also known for its diverse population, so be prepared to interact with people from various backgrounds and cultures. Embrace this diversity and be open to learning from others. Building connections and friendships with locals and fellow transplants can significantly enhance your experience.

Exploring the attractions and activities in Florida

Florida has many attractions and activities, making it an ideal adventure destination. From the magical world of Disney in Orlando to the stunning beaches of Miami, there is something for everyone. Visit the famous theme parks, such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens, and experience the thrills and wonders they offer. Explore the natural beauty of the Everglades National Park, where you can witness unique wildlife and take part in outdoor adventures.

For beach lovers, Florida’s coastline is a paradise. Spend your days soaking up the sun, swimming in turquoise waters, and indulging in water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Remember to visit the Florida Keys, where you can enjoy stunning coral reefs, picturesque sunsets, and a laid-back island lifestyle.

Dealing with the weather differences between California and Florida

One significant difference you’ll notice when moving from California to Florida is the weather. While California enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and dry summers, Florida has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters.

Be prepared for the humidity, especially during summer, and always carry sunscreen and stay hydrated. Invest in lightweight, breathable clothing that is suitable for the tropical climate. Prepare your new home for the weather by ensuring it is well-insulated and has proper ventilation, and consider installing ceiling fans and air conditioning.

Adjusting to the cost of living in Florida

One of the primary reasons people choose to move from California to Florida is the lower cost of living. However, it’s essential to understand that the cost of living can still vary depending on the region within Florida that you choose to settle in.

While housing prices may be more affordable in Florida, other expenses such as groceries, healthcare, and transportation may not see the same reduction. Research the cost of living in your desired area and create a budget that reflects your new financial circumstances.

Making new friends and building a support network

Building a social circle and support network can be challenging to move to a new state. However, Florida offers ample opportunities to meet new people and make friends. Join local clubs, organizations, or sports teams that align with your interests. Attend community events, festivals, and gatherings to connect with like-minded individuals. Additionally, consider joining online communities and social media groups for newcomers in Florida to seek advice and recommendations and make connections.

Remember to be patient and proactive in your efforts to build new relationships. It takes time to establish meaningful connections, but with a little effort, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by a supportive network.

The Best Cities to Move to in Florida

Florida offers diverse cities, each with its unique charm and lifestyle. Whether you prefer the Atlantic Coast or the Gulf Coast, there’s a city in Florida to suit your preferences. Let’s explore some of the best cities to consider when making the move:

Jacksonville – North Florida (Atlantic Coast)

Situated on the Atlantic coast, Jacksonville offers hot summers with lower humidity, making it an ideal choice for those seeking warmer weather without extreme moisture. With 22 miles of beaches, excellent fishing opportunities, and beautiful historic neighborhoods, Jacksonville has something for everyone. Explore the Brooklyn neighborhood, which dates back over a century, for a taste of the city’s rich history.

Daytona Beach – Central Florida (Atlantic Coast)

Daytona Beach is known for its incredible beaches and vibrant motorsports scene. The city hosts numerous races at the famous Daytona International Speedway, attracting racing enthusiasts worldwide. In addition to its motorsports heritage, Daytona Beach is considered the festival capital of Florida, with over 60 music, art, and pop culture festivals held annually.

Orlando – Central Florida

Orlando is the place to be if you’re a fan of theme parks and entertainment. Home to iconic attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, and LEGOLAND, Orlando offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Apart from its world-famous parks, Orlando boasts excellent shopping options, an international airport, and a thriving culinary scene. While not directly on the coast, you can reach famous beaches like Cocoa Beach within an hour’s drive.

Tampa Bay – Central Florida (Gulf Coast)

Tampa Bay, comprising Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, offers a mix of metropolitan and beach lifestyles. Whether you prefer city living or beachfront relaxation, you’ll find it in Tampa Bay. The region offers a vibrant restaurant, nightlife, and opportunities for pro sports games and live shows. Clearwater and St. Petersburg are known for their stunning beaches, attracting tourists worldwide.

Miami – South Florida (Atlantic Coast)

Miami is a culturally diverse city, home to residents from various backgrounds, including Cuba, Haiti, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, Miami offers a bustling nightlife, renowned art museums, music festivals, and incredible cuisine. Explore the vibrant neighborhood of Little Havana and immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture. Miami also boasts its international airport and one of the busiest cruise ports globally.

Naples – South Florida (Gulf Coast)

Naples is a luxurious city known for its high-end shopping, top-class culture and arts, and exquisite dining options. The city’s waterfront setting, with both beaches and a bay, makes waterfront dining popular. Nature enthusiasts can explore attractions like the Botanical Garden, Swamp Sanctuary, and Bird Gardens. In 2022-2023, Naples was ranked the 12th best place to live in the country and the 6th best place to retire by U.S. News & World Report.

Tips and Tricks: Moving to Florida From California

Once you’ve decided to move to Florida from California, it’s essential to plan and prepare for a smooth transition. Consider the following tips and tricks to make your move as seamless as possible:

  1. Take Care of the Basics: Before you embark on your move, handle essential tasks such as changing your address, obtaining a new driver’s license and vehicle registration, canceling utilities in California, and enrolling with service providers in Florida. If you anticipate using toll roads frequently, consider getting a SunPass for convenient pre-paid toll payments.
  2. Adjust to Different Surfing Conditions: If you’re a surfer, be aware that the Atlantic Coast of Florida offers better surfing conditions than the Gulf Coast. However, with a short drive, you can access the other side of the state and catch some waves. Consider exploring new water sports like kiteboarding, which is popular on the Gulf Coast.
  3. Embrace the Flip-Flop Lifestyle: Flip-flops and sandals are a staple in Florida due to the year-round warm weather. Embrace the casual and laid-back style by investing in comfortable footwear. While you’re at it, grab a Tampa Bay Buccaneers shirt to show your support for the local sports team.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Florida’s high humidity levels mean you’ll sweat more than California. Stay hydrated by carrying water with you wherever you go. Some people find adding electrolytes to their water helpful in replenishing lost minerals.
  5. Be Weather-Wise: Florida enjoys sunny and beautiful weather most of the time, but staying informed about hurricane season (June to November) and the wet season (May to October) is essential. Monitor weather reports and plan accordingly to avoid unexpected downpours or severe weather conditions.

Making the Move with PODS

Consider the convenience and flexibility of using a portable container service like PODS when making a long-distance move. With PODS, you can pack and load your belongings at your own pace, and they’ll transport your container to your new Florida home. This allows you to enjoy a more flexible schedule and even explore exciting destinations like the Grand Canyon, Austin, or New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Conclusion and final thoughts on moving to Florida from California

Moving to Florida from California is an exciting journey that offers new opportunities, a vibrant lifestyle, and beautiful surroundings. You can ensure a smooth and successful relocation by thoroughly researching and planning your move, finding a new home, and preparing for the transition. Embrace the Florida lifestyle, explore the diverse attractions and activities, and be open to building new friendships and connections. With a positive mindset and a willingness to adapt, you’ll soon thrive in the Sunshine State. Moving to a new state is significant, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance and support. Good luck with your new adventure!

Moving from California to Florida? Secure Space offers stress-free moving solutions! Our secure storage containers ensure a smooth transition to your new Sunshine State home. Pack at your pace, and our experts will safely transport your belongings. Start your journey to Florida with confidence. Contact Secure Space today to explore our moving solutions and make your relocation hassle-free!

Storage Unit Size Guides

5×5 Storage Unit Guide

5×10 Storage Unit Guide

10×10 Storage Unit Guide

10×15 Storage Unit Guide

10×20 Storage Unit Guide

10×25 Storage Unit Guide

10×30 Storage Unit Guide

New SecureSpace Self Storage Facilities

Checkout Some Of Our Teams Favorite Articles

SecureSpace Self Storage