Friday, August 12, 2022
Here are 10 pros and 10 cons for those looking to move to Florida.
Beach in Florida

Florida is the state that people are moving to, rivaling Texas. With over 211,000 people moving there in 2021, we expect that number to increase even more in 2022. What's also interesting is that most of those looking for real estate in Florida are not retirees. In 2020, 65 percent of movers were between ages 25 to 44.

One look at Florida, and it's easy to see why: beautiful beaches, warm weather, and plenty of things to do around the state. However, with that said, there are also disadvantages to living in Florida. So if you're considering a move, knowing the good and the bad before making your residence in the Sunshine State is critical.

The Pros of Living in Florida

With Florida, there's no shortage of advantages to living here. Some of the pros that come to mind include:

1. The Winters Are Mild

Let's discuss the most obvious reason people move here: the weather. While some love walking in a winter wonderland, many would rather not shovel snow off their driveway or have to commute before the snowplows come out.

The average temperature can depend on what city you live in, but winter rarely gets under an average of 65°F. While snowfall can happen, it's pretty rare, light, and the ground is usually too warm for it to stick. Living in the south part of Florida, you can experience beach weather all year long.

Of course, the weather isn’t perfect, which we’ll discuss in the cons later in this article.

2. Taxes are Low

Next to death, taxes are one of life's only guarantees. However, Florida is a state where you don't have to worry as much. One reason for this is that Florida lacks a state income tax. Because it has a strong economy, Florida earns its revenue through sales taxes and other means. State sales tax in Florida is 6 percent, which is average. So while you still have to pay that federal tax, no state tax means one less thing to worry about with your finances.

Of course, each city has its own tax laws, so do your research if you're considering moving to the area with the lowest taxes.

3. Unemployment Rate Has Gone Down

When considering moving to a state, one concern people have is finding a job if they don't have a job lined up already. With Florida, you do not have to worry about unemployment as much. While the job market can always fluctuate, Florida has seen steady job growth recently. Its unemployment rate has dropped from 5.1 percent to 4.4 in the past year, and we only expect it to increase for the time being. With a growing economy, you can not only find jobs but lucrative ones at that.

4. Finding Beaches Are Easy

Life really is a beach in Florida, with its coastline measuring thousands of miles. How long its coastline stretches can depend on the measurement method, with the Congressional Research Service measuring 1,350 miles of coastline. Meanwhile, the NOAA measures Florida with 8,436 miles. Either way, Florida has tons of beaches. Whether you're going to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, you can't go wrong. There's usually a beach a short drive or walk away, especially if you live in one of the major cities.

5. The Sports Culture is Amazing

Every state claims their sports team is the best, but Florida has many iconic teams representing almost every sport imaginable.

You have the Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Orlando Magic, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Orlando City SC, and the list goes on and on. In 2019, Florida's sports industry was valued at $57.4 billion. So there's no shortage of sports games to watch, sports bars to visit, or meeting people with similar interests as you in sports.

6. The Biodiversity is Amazing

When you think of Florida’s flora and fauna, you may imagine an alligator swimming in a swamp, some palm trees, and maybe a manatee. However, Florida is a state where the biodiversity is quite immense.

For example, did you know that over 26,000 square miles of Florida consist of forests? Also, did you know Florida is home to over 3,000 wildflowers and 2,800 native plant species?

Florida is also home to many animal friends, including 4,368 known animal species. So if you love being in nature or taking photos of animals, you're in the right state.

7. You’ll Have a Green Thumb Here

One great thing about Florida is that the weather is always right to grow something, be it flowers, fruits, or veggies. So if you've considered making your own garden so you can eat right and know what you're putting in your body, you've come to the correct state.

Florida is known for oranges, with the industry worth $867 million in 2019. However, you can grow oranges right in your garden for the best sweetness imaginable.

8. It’s a Diverse State

Florida is the 8th state for diversity in the US, both racially and culturally. People from other US states, and other countries, move to Florida. This means that you'll be surrounded by many people who are different from you, allowing you to gain new perspectives. Even if you're not a people person, the diversity lets Florida be a state where you can find a variety of diverse cultural attractions, including food, festivals, art, and much more. You can expand your horizons quite a bit while living in the same state.

9. The Water Themed Activities Are Endless

We mentioned beaches, but there are more than beaches in the Sunshine State. For example, you can go sailing. You can snorkel and see the aquatic life that's underneath. You can swim with dolphins. Kayaking and seeing a diverse array of life is also an activity you can try. Fishing is also a pastime in Florida. If you have some money, you can cruise to the Bahamas. Finally, you can go diving and see Florida's reef, which is over 350 miles. It's the only coral barrier in the continental US that's alive and is the world's third-largest.

10. The Fun Never Ends

Finally, the pro to living in Florida is that you can always find something fun to do. If you feel like there’s nothing to do in Florida, then you’re not looking hard enough.

Besides the many beaches and parks, Florida is home to quite a bit of nightlife, from clubs to nightly walks across its beautiful city. Not to mention, you're a skip and a hop away from some of the biggest theme parks and attractions in the world, which include Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and other iconic parks.

With Florida, you’re never going to run out of fun activities to do. That’s why this state is considered one of the greatest for fun and entertainment. No matter your preference, you’ll find something to do here.

The Cons of Living in Florida

Now, we'll discuss the drawbacks of living here. While some would consider Florida to be a slice of paradise, the truth is that no place is perfect. So here are some downsides to living in Florida.

1. The Weather Has its Downsides

Since we began our pro list by describing the advantages of Florida weather, it would be fitting to describe its disadvantages at the beginning of the cons of Florida.

Mild winters mean intense summers. As a result, you'll be running your air conditioner quite a bit in your car and home. Unless you have a house or car that has an energy-saving AC, or you live in an apartment or area with affordable electricity, you're going to be paying quite a bit. You pay around $50 monthly in air conditioning for your home alone.

Outside, you may suffer if you're not used to hot summers. With cold winters, you can keep putting on clothes to warm up, but with a hot summer, shedding clothing will only get so far! Also, with the humidity, you're going to be feeling the heat of summer. You'll even feel it after the sun goes down.

Of course, the many pools and oceans of Florida mean you can cool down. However, life is not always in a pool or at a beach, so stay hydrated and find ways to keep cool during the heat of summer.

Oh, and did we mention the hurricanes? You probably know that Florida is prone to hurricanes, destroying homes and flood areas. While every area of the world has its natural disasters, hurricanes are quite the beast.

Of course, you can research which areas of Florida are least prone to hurricanes. For example, Orlando is relatively safe in that regard. However, there's still a threat, and due to this threat, you may be paying more for insurance.

2. The Tourists

Florida has over 100 million tourists yearly. This is to be expected, as people come here for a summer or winter retreat or to have some fun at the theme parks.

However, this doesn't mean tourists can't be annoying. If you live in an area with a high tourist attraction, you may be annoyed by the extra traffic and people asking you for directions. Not all cities in Florida will attract tourists, but if you live by an area with a beach or another unique attraction, you’re going to encounter some.

Of course, some people don’t mind the tourists. In fact, if you own real estate in Florida, you may be able to make some extra money through Airbnb and other methods.

3. The Crime Rate isn’t Best

When it comes to states with violent crime, Florida is the 25th state with the most violent crime. Florida has 383.6 violent crimes per every 100,000 people. While the crime rate has declined in the past ten years, there are still areas prone to violent crimes.

When moving to Florida, researching your new town’s violent crime rate, as well as neighborhood crime rate, is vital. Like any other state, Florida has some areas more prone to crime than others.

4. The Traffic and Poor Public Transportation

As you may expect, Florida is not the best with traffic.

For one, it's a state where public transportation could be better. It can depend on where you are, but generally, you're going to need a car when living there, unless you're in the heart of the city.

During peak season, traffic can congest the road, mainly if you live in an area where it's prone to tourism. So, for example, you're going to be annoyed if you live in Orlando during the peak season of Disney World!

Also, you have to consider how many traffic accidents there are. Florida has the third-highest rate of traffic fatalities, with 2,950 fatal crashes in 2019. It can be deadly on the road, from the aging population with lowered reflex to those tourists not knowing where to go.

5. Not the Best Healthcare

While every state in the US has a flawed healthcare system, Florida is near the bottom. While there are worst states according to the US Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Florida is relatively low. Ranking 36 out of 50, Florida has its problems. From expensive hospital bills to being unable to book an appointment, you may have trouble should you need to see a doctor.

With that said, not all hospitals in Florida are bad. Doing your research beforehand can save you much trouble.

6. It’s Pest-Ridden

There are no times in Florida with mild winters when bugs go away for a while. So instead, you're going to have to battle flies, mosquitoes, fire ants, and other pests. In fact, many people who move to Florida are shocked by how many pests there are. Touristy spots know how to deter pests, but you might not know how as a homeowner.

Besides bugs, you may also have to deal with other invaders, such as lizards, rats, and snakes. Because of this, you may have to spend more money on pesticides and call an exterminator. Don't leave home without some mosquito repellent, or you'll regret it.

7. It’s Flat

You're not going to get a good hike in Florida as you would in Colorado, but you might not realize just how flat Florida is. The highest elevation point in Florida goes to Britton Hill, 345 feet.

While there are many trails in Florida, you’re not going to get an elevated hike here. You can get a good workout in through swimming, but you might as well donate that hiking gear if you live here. For inclines, you're better off running up some stairs or looking for a gym with a treadmill that has a steep slope.

8. Cost of Living is Higher

While Florida has lower taxes than some states, you might be paying the money you saved through lower taxes on other living costs. Florida ranks 27 out of 50 for the states with the lowest cost of living. It's not the most expensive state, but it can be a shock if you live in one of the more affordable states.

Of course, costs can depend on what area of Florida you're moving to, with the resort or touristy cities costing much more.

9. It’s Going to Become More Crowded

Besides the traffic, which we've mentioned before, you also have to think that with more people moving to Florida, you have to deal with more people. It's not just traffic but packed restaurants, trouble finding housing, and perhaps future problems such as water shortages. If you frequently say that people should stop moving to your state because it's full, Florida may not be the best state.

10. House Prices Are Rising

Because many people are moving to Florida, you may have trouble finding a good home for a reasonable price. Over the past year, the prices have increased quite a bit, with some areas increasing upwards of 25 percent.

If you're an investor, this is excellent news. However, if you're someone looking to find a home in Florida, this can be a problem. Obviously, pricing can depend on where you live in the state. However, if you want to move to an area with everything this beautiful state has to offer, you might have some trouble searching.

One way to find an affordable home is to talk to a Florida real estate agent who knows the area. We can help you if you’re searching for homes in Florida. Talk to us for more information.

Conclusion

Like any state, Florida has its share of good and bad things about it. However, by doing your research, planning your move, and preparing for the worst, you can enjoy what the state has to offer while avoiding its drawbacks. There's so many great things in Florida that plenty of the pros do outweigh quite a bit of the cons. 

 


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