If you are thinking about moving to the sunshine state are wondering when the best time to move Florida might be, we have an answer for you.
We’ve lived in Florida for years and moved from our home in Chicago. It has been the best decision we’ve ever made.
However, your life and circumstances might be different which is why we want to break down moving to Florida during various times of year and their associated benefits.
When does Florida have the most houses for sale?
If you are looking to move and want the most housing options possible, January through March presents the most inventory historically.
For example, let’s go back in time and look at 2016 to 2019 data when the market was fairly stable—prior to Covid’s inventory disruption.
As you can see below, the peaks of inventory typically happen in Florida from January to March. We used the Federal Reserve’s market research data for accuracy.
In most markets in the country, it’s actually the reverse with spring and summer being the most active with inventory increases. However, Florida plays by a different set of rules with an influx of relocations, snowbirds, and beautiful winter weather—winter and early spring become a very popular time to sell and buy homes.
If you are someone who wants to move to Florida but also desires to look at the most options, you’ll definitely want to consider January, February, or March.
When are homes in Florida the cheapest?
As the saying goes, there is no time like the present. Florida’s real estate market also obeys this same maxim. The best time to buy is as soon as possible.
If we look at the Federal Reserve’s data for Florida’s transactions house price index, you will see that the pricing for houses has continued to rise since 2013.
We choose to eliminate data from 2008 to 2012 as the market collapse created once in a generation anomalies.
Prices have historically risen in Florida year over year. The reason we think this is important is because the time of year you buy may not have a large impact over time—especially as the market increases.
More people move to Florida than any state in the country and this bodes well for long-term investment.
What months are best to move in Florida?
The most pleasant time to move in Florida is between mid-December and early March when the weather is nearly perfect. There are a few hot weeks sprinkled in here and there, but overall the weather is ideal for moving.
We moved to Florida in the month of July and it was hot. Was it unbearable? No. Are there cooler months to move? Absolutely.
Our son and his family moved here in the month of December and the weather was 75 degrees during his entire moving process.
Side note: Don’t worry about which month to move for weather. We’ve never had a client regret moving to Florida—regardless of the month. You are moving to the sunshine state and the sooner you come the better.
Is it worth relocating to Florida?
It is definitely worth relocating to Florida. Florida is growing by leaps and bounds and you aren’t alone in wanting to relocate to Florida.
We relocated years ago and have never looked back. Quite simply, moving to Florida was the best decision we ever made.
Here are a few reasons we believe it’s worth relocating to Florida:
Warm weather: Florida is known for its warm climate and sunny weather, making it an ideal location for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. In fact, you can be outside year-round in Florida to enjoy the activities you love the most.
Check out the weather below for different regions of Florida based on WeatherSpark’s data:
Outdoor activities: Florida offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including water sports, hiking, biking, golfing, and more. In other words, Florida is an outdoorsman’s paradise.
Check out all of the natural elements in Florida below. It’s one of the most ecologically diverse states in the country.
|Florida Outdoor Features||Florida|
|Total Miles of Coastline with Water Access||8,436 miles|
|Percentage of State Covered by Forests||50%|
|Number of State Parks||191|
|Number of National Parks||3|
|Percentage of State Covered by Parks||6%|
|Total Miles of Hiking Trails||2,670|
|Total Number of Natural Lakes||30,000+|
Beaches: Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with white sand and crystal-clear waters that annually make magazine top 10 lists for best beaches.
In fact, Grayton Beach in Florida just made the top beaches in the world list from the prestigious Travel & Leisure Magazine.
Low taxes: It’s simple, Florida has no state income tax and we think that is pretty awesome. The more money you make here, the more money you keep. There aren’t any graduated tax systems here like California, Hawaii, and New York.
Recently NPR analyzed tax data from 50 states and found that Florida has the 5th lowest overall tax burden in the country. Pays to be a Floridian—but not if your Uncle Sam!
Diverse population: Florida is a melting pot of different cultures and backgrounds, making it a great place to meet new people and experience different lifestyles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida is the 10th most diverse state in the country.
And you thought we were just all old people huh?
What to consider before moving to Florida
Moving to Florida is dream for many people and once you get here, you’ll be living a charmed a life.
But, there are select people who move here and find that they aren’t living the life they dreamed. In fact, the have a few regrets about moving to Florida.
You may want to check out our recent blog on 5 things to consider before moving to Florida.
The following are things you may want to consider before packing your bags:
Year-Round Warm Weather: There is no way around it, Florida is hot—all the time. Sure, there a few weeks sprinkled between December and March that feel like a fall day, but there are far more days over 85 than there are days under 85.
If we look at the weather graph below from WeatherSpark, you can see that the chance of muggy and humid conditions in a city like Orlando, Florida is far more likely than in a city like Los Angeles, California.
The Cost of Real Estate: If you are within 20 miles of a large Florida city (e.g,. Orlando, Miami, Tampa, etc) then you are going to find the cost of living for housing isn’t “cheap”.
Something we hear all the time from people when they have decided to make the move to Florida, “Shirley and Tom, we’d love to spend $200k on a house by water. Send us some listings.”
Well folks, that’s highly unlikely to happen these days. Florida is a highly desirable place to live and the #1 most relocated to state in the country.
There was a time when Florida was a bargain for sunshine, but those days have faded—especially if you want to live near an amenity rich area or an area close to water.
For example, if you look at the recent graph data from TD Ameritrade on the housing costs in Florida from 2020 to 2022, you’ll see that housing prices have outpaced the rest of the nation in Florida—by over 18%.
The Cost of Insurance: According to Experian, Florida is the 8th most expensive place for car insurance, sky-high home insurance costs, and according to Forbes health analytics Florida is the 4th most expensive state for health insurance.
So what gives? What makes Florida so expensive for insurance?
Florida has sky-high fraud. For example, Florida accounts for 9% of the home insurance claims, but a whopping 79% home insurance lawsuits. And most of the lawsuits—fraudulent!
Most Floridians play by the rule and you’ll find the culture of people to be refreshing, but a few bad actors have caused everyone to pay more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there too many people moving to Florida?
No, Florida is a huge state with an enormous capacity to grow. It is true that more people are moving to Florida than any other state, but it’s not an issue for the state.
Florida is the 26th largest state by land size in the United States, and so there is plenty of room to grow. Of Florida’s 3100 counties, most are rural.
Think about it like this: Florida is the 3rd most populated state in the country but only has two cities in the top 50 largest cities in the United States (Jacksonville #12 and Miami #44).
On the other hand, Florida has over 140 cities with over 30,000 residents. That means that Florida is a big state with lots of space and a fairly spread out population amongst medium-sized cities.
In the Florida density map below, you can compare the orange areas (highly populated) to the dark areas (sparsely populated) and you will quickly find that Florida has an enormous potential to comfortably grow.
Do you really save money moving to Florida?
You save money moving to Florida in a couple of ways.
First, Florida does not have a state income tax. If you are used to a state income tax between 5-10%, then you’ll definitely see some savings on each paycheck.
Second, Florida is an outdoor paradise and so it’s easy to play outside all year round. Many people experience a savings when they move from cold-weather states because they no longer have to pay for costly indoor experiences during cold months. The beach is free here!
Third, home prices can be less expensive depending on where you are moving from. If you are moving from the southern or midwestern United States, you probably won’t see much of a savings unless you are moving to rural counties in Florida. However, if you are moving from the northeast or west coast, you will most likely experience substantial savings.
Is it cheaper to live on the east coast or west coast of Florida?
I really depends on where you live on either coast. We will use the data below from Statista which shows Florida average home sale prices by city (dark blue = 2021, light blue = 2020).
There are three very expensive areas in Florida: Key West, Naples, and Miami-Fort-Lauderdale area. That’s one very expensive east coast, west coast, and southern community. If we exclude these three areas, then the difference between the east and west coast begin to neutral out.
For example, Port St. Lucie (east coast) is about the same price as Fort Myers (west coast) and Punta Gorda (west coast) is about the same price as Jacksonville (east coast).
Once you are clear the top 10 most expensive areas, there is a trend for the north Florida east coast communities to be quite affordable (Vero Beach, Melbourne, Daytona, etc). In addition, the Florida panhandle is also quite affordable in areas like Pensacola.