Best places to Live in Florida 2014 on a Budget 18   Recently updated !

If inexpensive living is what you are looking for when moving to Florida, these places are the Best places to Live in Florida 2014 on a Budget. Whether you’re retiring or looking to keep your home up northbest places to live in florida on a budget beach and buy an affordable second home in Florida, there are areas where you can still take advantage of the disastrous price drop that happened in Florida during the great recession. While there may be other areas that are still cheap, I choose these areas because they are also relatively safe and located close to the beaches and the activities people move to Florida for.

Best places to Live in Florida 2014 on a Budget, East Coast, Brevard County

Brevard County on Florida’s east coast suffered two big hits to it’s economy in the last several years when NASA mothballed the Space Shuttle program and the huge loss of real estate values during the last recession. The bottom for this area has been reached and the economy is slowly improving, but there are still a lot of homes and condos for sale under $100,000.

Besides being affordable, living in Brevard County means your are never that far from some beautiful beaches and golf courses. The Brevard County Manatees offers baseball fans affordable entertainment. Trips to the theme parks in Orlando aren’t difficult either since they’re only about an hour away.

There are about thirty miles of beach in the county. They are uncrowded sections perfect for fishing, collecting shells and just laying in the sun listening to the waves. There are also beaches with more going on that are close to bars an restaurants like you’ll see in this video.

If you will be moving to Florida but plan on driving back north often, Brevard’s location can be ideal. because I-95 runs right through it. It’s a much shorter trip back home than traveling from south Florida or the Gulf coast. For air travel, Melbourne International Airport in Brevard County has two major airlines flying from it. Just an hour away, Orlando can get you anywhere in the world.

If you are looking for a place to move to in Florida in 2014 that offers inexpensive living options in a safe relaxing environment, there are areas in Brevard County that may be just what you are looking for.

Click Here for the Best Places to Retire in Florida in 2015!

Best Places to Live in Florida 2014 on a Budget, West Coast, Charlotte County Florida

Like Brevard County on the east coast of Florida, Charlotte County was hit hard by the last recession and prices fell fast. The bottom has been hit here too and prices are increasing but there are still a lot of condos and homes for sale cheap in the area. There are many areas in Florida where there are still inexpensive properties, but they are mostly located in areas with high levels of crime or located out in the middle of nowhere, and after a few months you’ll be so bored you’ll be shoving sharp objects in your eyes for something to do.

Florida’s Healthiest Most Walkable Towns

Like Brevard County, you’re never that far away from beautiful beaches, golf courses, fishing and all the activities that make people consider Florida when thinking about relocating. Punta Gorda is a nice little town that was a “best places to live” pick many years ago by Money Magazine, when the state of Florida claimed most of the top picks. The town has a large manicured park with tennis courts right on the river waterfront. From the park you can walk to shops and restaurants at Fishermen’s Village. Here’s a video of Fishermen’s Village during the annual Pirate Fest (video was done by a gun advocate he discusses that at the beginning and end of the video, a warning for those who may be upset by that) that shows the village and fest well. On a side note, Florida now has over 1,000,000 people who can legally carry a concealed firearm.

Charlotte County also has a stadium that is the spring training facility for the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team and the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Charlotte may be a few hours from Orlando but it’s only a little over an hour from Busch Gardens in Tampa. Charlotte also has some nice beaches with clear warm water on the Gulf of Mexico in the Englewood area.

Charlotte County has it’s own small airport with a small number of major airlines offering flight, but the Tampa St Petersburg is probably the closest major airport with lots of flights, about an hour away. While Brevard County may be driven to from points north, a driving to Charlotte County may involve an overnight stay.

Florida isn’t for everyone as the high number of people moving out everyday proves. But if you’re committed to moving to Florida in 2014 and are looking for a place that’s affordable, safe and offers much of what draws people to the state, you will want to consider these two areas. Comments are welcome.


UPDATE: While most of Brevard and Charlotte Counties are still relatively cheap for Florida, but you must see:

The 5 Safest Most Affordable Places to Live or Retire in Florida in 2015


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18 thoughts on “Best places to Live in Florida 2014 on a Budget

  • Penny

    My husband and I are moving to Florida by the end of summer. We live in Dsm Iowa now. We’re trying to decide where we want to live there. Need something affordable as we live on a fixed income and we’d love something away from high crime areas and definately by the beach!! The beach is a must have. Apartment living isn’t for us as we have kitties that will be making the move with us.
    If you could send me some ideas and maybe some pics of homes including prices I’d really appreciate it. Can’t really learn that much on my computer. Houses, duplex, condos is what we’re looking for but preferably a house.
    Thank you,
    Penny & Bart Adkins

    • Ron Post author

      Hello Penny and Bart,
      I’m sorry but this blog isn’t a real estate services website, so I can’t send you homes, prices, etc. Before you do contact a Realtor, I suggest you decide on what area(s) you are interested in considering first, because 1) an agent will only be able to help in one specific area. 2) asking an agent what area is best won’t work because the answer you will get is the area that they sell homes in (that’s their job, they get paid for selling).

      An agent will tell you the area they sell in is best because they will make thousands of dollars if you buy there, from them. It may not be the best area for you, in fact it may be one of the worst. If it turns out to be an area you hate, the agent may win again if you list the home for sale with them. Happens all the time in Florida.

      Please do yourself a favor and thoroughly research any move. There are lots of people who move BACK to the mid-west from Florida. As far as what area in Florida, please read the post on this website about the “best places to retire in Florida in 2014″, I think between that and a re-read of this post “best places to live on a budget”, you may be able to narrow it down. If you could locate a Realtor in the area you want to move, that is originally from Iowa, that connection may be very beneficial. I hope you find a good and especially honest agent that is truly interested in helping you, as much as they are interested in cashing a commission check. Good luck.

    • betty

      Hi Penny,
      Did you find any info yet? My husband and I also on a fixed income, retired are looking for an apt to rent that is affordable. we live in Chicagoland and cant seem to find anything.
      I was wondering about where in Florida to research.
      Thanks and good luck to you.

      • Anonymous

        Port St. Lucie Florida is one of the cheapest with a central location. Not far from interstate 95 are large houses far below under 200k. Definitely exit Chicago. My villa in Deerfield Beach goes for more than a 4 bedroom home out there. I’m getting ready to dodge.

    • stacyehatessouthflorida


      • Pat

        Stacy… I agree with you from start to finish.. I moved to Florida ‘from’ New York 20 yrs ago & still dislike the state.. There are 67 counties in Florida & so far I have lived in 7 of them turned into a gypsy since I moved here which is definitely not like me at all.. Florida is a nice place to visit but I will never call it ‘home'; and to anyone that thinks living here is cheap forget that it’s not your grandma’s Florida anymore.. Owned a home here too & sold that as soon as I could & apartment rentals are not cheap & poorly managed.. Good luck to all that want to move here just do your research visiting a state is never the same as living in it especially during snowbird season when prices go ^…. Sleepless in Florida ..

    • Pat

      Penny, I am a senior living alone & also on a fixed income & I will tell you it is a struggle every month.. Just when you think you’ve mastered the art of living in Florida on a budget along comes reality.. It is not easy here in Florida the way the travel & tourism people make you think it is.. The only people that can afford to live in Florida are real estate agents..

    • carol b.

      I am looking for a place to I can afford. My husband and I need a Florida house or maybe an apartment. We now live in Maryland would love help to find a place please. Like to move in APRIL 2015 or sooner. Thank You. PLEASE HELP US FIND A PLACE APRIL 2015

      • Ron Post author

        Hello Carol,
        I am currently busy working on finishing another book, but I’m putting together a new team that will help people like you find the best area, agent and properties, in Florida or and almost anywhere else. The service will be free and should be available by January 1rst, 2015. The website address is in the back of the “Florida Move Guide” already in the resource section and a link will posted on this site when we start taking on new people again.

        I you want help sooner, choose an area you think is best. Unfortunately, crime is an issue. It has made finding cities and towns that are both affordable and safe (not just a sales pitch but verified by crime rate statistics) to recommend, harder to find every year. Safe but expensive is easier to find. Once you decide on an area, call and talk to different people until you find someone you’re comfortable with and feel you can trust.

        Selling, buying and moving many states away is a life changing event. I wouldn’t work with someone who treats it like just another commission check to cash. Florida is different. So if it were me, I would only work with an agent who has practiced real estate in Florida for many years, so they know the area, homes and issues unique to Florida well.

        Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • FloridaNative

    Living in Florida on a fixed income is nearly impossible. The cost of living is outrageous and things continue to get more expensive. Sure, we don’t have a state income tax, but those revenues are made up by taxing other everyday necessities. The crime rate is rising, the entire state is full of illegals, drugs and gangs are rampant. The immigrants come and jump behind the wheel of the nearest car, not bothering to get a license, much less insurance. No one speaks English in stores like Wal-Mart (employees AND customers) especially in South Florida, and everyone is extremely rude. Florida is known as a transient state: Watch America’s Most Wanted and COPS. Florida is mentioned at least once an episode as where a criminal has either committed a crime, fled to, or lives/lived in. You know you’re in the wrong place when COPS regularly rides along with the Sheriff’s department in the county in which you live (Palm Beach)

    If you like no change of season; hot muggy summers (all year round) and about three days of comfortable temperatures in the “winter”, bugs that spread tropical diseases and grow to the size of small house cats, then come to Florida. There are much more affordable, hospitable, safe states to move to. Unless you are uber-wealthy, then Florida is for you. I’ve lived here more than 50 years, and I’m moving north (out of the state) as soon as I can save up enough money to do so.

    Do yourselves a favor-DO SOME MAJOR RESEARCH!! I used to own a mortgage company. Research on the internet, don’t depend on someone who is looking to make money on whether or not you move to Florida (or any place for that matter) The place you decide to move to is where you’ll be calling home. Don’t leave anything to chance.

    • Ron Post author

      Comments from people who have lived in Florida long enough to know what it’s really like are always welcome. Thanks for making the effort to explain what your experience has been and the area you live in. Most people moving to Florida usually only come across websites that sell dreams (myths) so they can increase their bank account. While there are some areas that are more expensive than others, even towns that have lower home prices aren’t as inexpensive as some other states. Running the AC in Florida almost all year is expensive. I wouldn’t recommend southeast Florida for full-time Florida living. Thanks again for writing “FloridaNative”

  • sharon

    I have lived in the panhandle of Florida for the last 30 years, between Pensacola and Panama city. Due to the military in the area if you aren’t employed by the Dept. Of Defense or retired military prepare for low wages and no benefits or Choose a different area.

  • chris

    Hi Penny; don’t let the downers deter you from what you are looking for in Florida. I have lived, worked and run a business in Florida many years. I own an acre there near Crystal River. As far as new Yorkers go, they do not seem to fit in Florida because most, not all have an attitude of me first and are some what pushy. So no they don’t go over well with neighbors ect. I suggest you look at sites for repo’s, short sales on the web. Maybe there you can see a place you might like. otherwise take a vacation there and see if you like bugs, humidity, and the people you meet there/natives… I am currently in Tennessee and miss living in Florida. I hope to build there soon. There is nothing better then clean fresh sea air and relaxing there in whatever lifestyle you prefer. Just always remember to be prepared for stormy weather possibilities at least 6 months a year. Know that insurance for storms is very expensive so plan for that in you purchasing of a home. I wish you luck and also do not buy in any flood zone to help keep insurance costs down. hope you find what you are looking for and will be happy.

    • Lou

      You can’t learn what a waste of time sweltering swamp florida is from a vacation. I took lots of vacations here, that’s why I moved. Then every month I discovered something else I can’t stand. People here are grumpy and rude, not just from NY. It’s humid all the time. I’m taking a loss but I’m getting out of here as soon as my house sells. There are good reasons for all the downers, be wise and listen.

      • James

        Florida is definitely a different experience than what I was expecting. I do have to say that moving here was ultimately a regret of mine. The economy still suffers and real estate prices are continuing to increase – including rent.

        Orlando seems to be undergoing some remodeling, which is herding the less fortunate around town looking for reasonable rental rates. I live on a fixed income, only added to by work that I struggle to find, and I can tell you the previous poster who said it’s impossible was correct: it’s impractical.

        Unless you have 1000+ for 1 bed or 1300 for 2, don’t bother. Another poster mentioned some issues with the Mexican population. I will confirm that there is a large Mexican, Haitian, and Puerto Rican population here…that’s why the state is frequently dubbed a “melting pot”. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that their ethnicity is the problem. I do, however, feel that cultural differences as well as the choices of few to pedal their wares might be off-putting depending on how and where you have lived. Remember: crime is a colorless employer.

        All in all, if anyone is thinking of moving here I’d say think twice. There are better states with better employment laws (FL is a right-to-work, at will state that makes being an employer a walk in the park, while conversely employees can struggle and do nothing more than get a second job.

        We operate on or near the federal minimum wage, which is BS considering the rent bubble and the cost of living in the first place.

        The money saved on state income tax, as mentioned above, get spent on other government taxes, including utility, that Rick Scott jacked up on us.

        Good luck, but I’d stay put if I was considering moving here.

    • LM

      I disagree. I’ve been in the Orlando area since 2002 and I can’t say I have one close friend. Upon leaving NY, I was longing for the Southern hospitality and friendliness. It does not exist. People here are phony and cold. I’d take a solid straight shooting New Yorker over any one of these people, at least you can take them for who they really are. Unless you are moving with a large family, be prepared to be lonely and sad. Work is hard to find, even with a master degree and experience. Pay is beyond criminal. Drivers are uninsured and will crash into you. I’ve been hit four times in a decade compared to never in 35 years of living in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens! Neighbors and neighborhoods change over night. It’s not so much the Spanish speaking that is a problem, it’s the inconsiderate “cultural” behaviors that are appalling. The native red necks are no better. Lots of ghetto areas spread all throughout the state. Tread carefully before moving to Florida.

  • Roy

    I am a native Floridian as well and say honestly that the prices here are ridiculously high. I live in Broward county where yes, everybody here seems to be extremely rude. The weather is humid, but I prefer that to the snow myself. Spanish is a must to find decent employment. Driving is tremendously stressful as it seems that people here are just too busy to set their alarm clocks 5 minutes earlier so they don’t speed around you and if they do hit you, many do not have insurance. People here also think they are in such high demand and so important to the world that they can not put their cell phones down to drive properly and safely. My mother is in the process of moving to Tennessee due to the fact that after she retired, she can’t find an apartment for her budget, even in the transient areas. Unless of course, you would like to move to North Miami. Maybe in North Florida it is better. Miami has a phenomenal amount of crime as does much of South Florida. I can’t comment on the cost of living nor the politeness of people as I only been on vacation in those areas. Good luck on your search but my recommendation is, stay out of South Florida!

    • Hank

      I have to agree with everything said. I lived in South Florida from 1972 to 2007 and just moved back 3 months ago. It was a great place to grow up. However, if you are just moving here, you need to have a lot of money to live decently. The rents are outrageous and housing prices are also ridiculous. There are a lot of nice people, but the nasty ones stand out way more. I am so sad that I moved back here and can’t wait till I have the opportunity to leave. If you have a choice, stay where you are. Escaping winter weather only brings a whole new set of problems! I really miss the Southern hospitality I had the seven years I lived in Kentucky. My mellow has been soured in a short time. Good luck in whatever decision you make. Just remember, most of these posts show a lot of negativity, and for good reason =-]