Moving to Florida Pros & Cons of Retiring or Living in Florida Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:23:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Best Places to Live in Florida Inexpensively in 2016 Sat, 14 Nov 2015 18:29:41 +0000 Where’s the Best Place to Move in Florida to Live Inexpensively?

You’ve just got home from a vacation in Florida and you loved it. So now you want to move to Florida. Or it’s starting to get cold outside where you live now and you’re thinking it’s time to move somewhere warmer. So now you’re ready to make the move but there’s just one problem. Money.

You can only make your dream of living in the sunshine state happen if you can find a city or town with low homes prices. Or a place with low rent prices. Of course, the place has to be safe. Maybe it has to have good schools and decent job opportunities also.

And of course, this place in Florida you’re picturing has to be a great place to live. A town that’s fun to live in with plenty to do. Maybe it has to be near the beaches or theme parks. Well, that’s a lot to ask but you’re in luck. There still are a few great places to live in Florida that are affordable but they’re getting harder to find due to rising prices.

Please Note: There may be cheaper homes in areas with serious crime problems. There may be inexpensive housing in areas with almost nowhere to shop or anything to do but swat mosquitoes. Places like that won’t make our list. These towns must be cheap, safe and worth living in!

These are the places that I would recommend to my friends and relatives. Well, after I read them the “moving to Florida riot act” and they fully understood all of the pros and cons of living in Florida and still wanted to move. Why did I chose the following towns?

First, both the property and violent crime rates have to be lower (preferably much lower) than the national average. That way you’ll most likely be moving to a town that is just as safe as where you live now, or safer. The town must have more shops, restaurants, recreation and entertainment possibilities per resident than in the rest of Florida. Add in better schools, employment prospects and lower home and or condo sale or rental prices, and what do you have?

The Best Places to Live in Florida Inexpensively, that’s what!

So here they are, the Best Places to Move to in Florida for cheaper living:

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Edgewater Florida

What? You never heard of Edgewater Florida. Well that’s one sign it may be a good place to live! Edgewater is a town of about 18,000 about 17 miles south of Daytona Beach just off I-95. Edgewater’s violent crime rate is far lower than the national average.

It’s just a short drive from Edgewater to many warm wonderful Atlantic Ocean beaches. It only takes about an hour to get to Orlando. So trips to the theme parks for a day are entirely possible. Move to Florida and be close to both the theme parks and the beaches? How jealous will your friends be when you call them in the middle of winter and it’s snowing there and you tell them you just got back from Disney and are now heading to the beach?

Edgewater is a town where there’s a lot of single family homes for sale for less than $100,000. Some are smaller older places that are closer to $50,000 that would be ideal for snowbirds or vacation homes. Rentals are hard to find so monthly rates are high. But if you intend to by a home cheap, this is currently a great place to look.

See an Edgewater Florida Area Video

Sebastian Florida

Continuing south on I-95 from about 100 miles or an hour and a half from Edgewater you’ll find the own of Sebastian. Sebastian also offers it’s residents a choice of some wonderful beaches to enjoy. Many of these beaches aren’t on the radar of the tourist yet so the aren’t quite as crowded during the winter.

While Sebastian is probably too far from Orlando for theme park visits accomplished all in one day, this area is ideal for beach lovers and water-sport enthusiast. Nearby Sebastian Inlet State Park is known for it’s surfing and fishing and natural beaches. Also in the area is the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge offering some of the best bird-watching, fishing and sight seeing in the area. It’s an ideal place to take relatives and friends when they visit.

Homes and condos start under $100,000 in Sebastian. Rentals in this area are in short supply so prices are higher than Florida’s average. Areas with inexpensive home prices and low crime rates are rare in today’s Florida but both Sebastian’s property and violent crime rate are considerably lower than the national average. Cheap, safe and near the beaches is hard to beat.

See a Sebastian Florida Area Video

Coconut Creek Florida

One drawback of living in Florida for people with lower incomes is that the areas where rental and home prices are inexpensive, are usually also the areas with a crime problem. That’s especially true in Southeast Florida. Sure, if you have a half million or more for a home you can find a great town to live in that’s also safe. But if you don’t have deep pockets you usually won’t be living in those areas, unless you move to Coconut Creek.

Coconut Creek is a rare gem. Located between the much more expensive cities of Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Coconut creek is just a short drive from some of the best beaches on the east coast of Florida. It also offers easy access to major Southeast Florida employment, shopping and entertainment centers. Coconut Creek’s property and violent crime rate are lower than the national average. Actually, it’s violent crime rate is more than 50% lower.

If your Florida dream involves condo living where all the hard work is done for you, then this town may be where your dream can come true, for less. There are a ton of condos on the market for under $50,000 in Coconut Creek at the time this was written. If you’re still a youngster (under 55 years of age) be sure to check for age restrictions on who can own the condo.  Single family homes will run you at least $100,000. Rentals start around $950 a month. A safe community, nearby world class beaches and within an hour of anything you could possibly want to see, buy or do? And a condo for $35,000?

See a Coconut Creek Florida Video

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Best Places to Live in Florida in 2016 Fri, 06 Nov 2015 00:59:49 +0000  So you’ve started to think about moving to Florida.

Or maybe after thinking about it for a long time you’ve made up your mind to finally move forward with your plans. So now you just need to find the best place in Florida that would be right for you.

So What Makes a Place in Florida One of the Best to Live in?

This is the criteria we used:

  • A low Crime Rate. Sure, if you live where there’s a high crime rate you won’t have to buy a newspaper. You can just watch the events unfolding through your front window. However, in thirty years of selling homes, no one told me they wanted to live in an area with a higher crime rate than where they were moving from. To make this list, a town’s violent crime rate must be lower than the national average, which is much lower than Florida’s average because the state has one of the worst crime rates in the country.
  • Lots of Amenities. A town that has a low crime rate but is boring or inconvenient (drive an hour to get to the nearest store or restaurant?) to live in doesn’t qualify. The town must have more shops, restaurants, entertainment and recreational opportunities per resident than most other cities or towns in Florida. Preference will be given to towns with a higher percentage of locally owned businesses.
  • Better Schools. The school system must be average or better for Florida. Preference is given to towns with better than average schools. We put out a separate best places list specifically for families who’s priority is living in the best school districts in Florida.
  • Better Employment Opportunities. Same here. Job opportunities must be average or better than most of Florida with a reasonable commute (25 minutes). Preference is given to towns with better than average employment options. We have a separate best places list specifically for people who’s top priority are places with a higher number of employment possibilities.
  • Home Sale and Rental Prices. The truth is, if we just put out a list of just the highest scoring towns in Florida, it would be a list of towns only the wealthy could afford to live in. This is just pure math. Real estate taxes are based on home values. A town of 25,000 people living in homes worth $600,000 will pay a lot more in taxes than 25,000 people living in a town where the homes are worth only $150,000 on average. That extra tax money in the $600,000 town can pay for more police officers, police cars, parks and bike paths, etc. So it will score higher because it will likely have a lower crime rate and more recreational opportunities. The people that live in all those $600,000 homes will likely have higher incomes that will support more restaurants and shops in that town.

For the purposes of this list we picked towns with a range of affordability.

Here are the Best Places to Live in Florida 2016

Naples Florida

Naples Florida

Naples is located in deep Southwest Florida, almost due west across Alligator Alley from Miami. It has a population of about 20,000 but many of it’s residents own more than one home and won’t be in town during Florida’s long humid summer. Naples made our best places to live in Florida for golfers list because the town has more golf courses than just about any other town in the US. This town has among the highest quality of life scores in every category measured. That could be why there’s only one other town in the US that has attracted more millionaires residents than Naples, per capita.

Naples has a uniquely beautiful and walkable historic downtown offering art, culture and many fine shops and dining options. It has beautiful beaches and a well known fishing pier that goes out into the Gulf of Mexico. Many eco-tourist choose Naples as their base while exploring the Everglades National Park, the Ten Thousand Islands or the other numerous state and national parks in the region. You’ll need about a million to think about buying a home here, although there are places for much less, but they’re miles from downtown and the beaches.

Particular Negatives: Hurricanes and storm surge pose a higher risk to people and property in towns like Naples that are right on the coast of the warm waters of the Gulf. Naples sits just 3′ above sea level. According to a majority of climate scientist, you may need a submarine to get to your home at some point in the future.

Particular Positives: If you can afford to live near downtown Naples, you will enjoy the best quality of life available in Florida today.

See a Naples Florida Video


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Winter Springs Florida

Winter Springs Florida

Winter Springs is about 15 miles northwest of Orlando, just a few miles off of I-4. Like many of our best places to live in Florida it’s a smaller town just outside of a major city. Winter Springs has a population of about 35,000.

If you are moving to Florida because you’ve enjoyed vacations to the Orlando area with all of the theme parks, restaurants and shopping, then Winter Springs may be the ideal place in Florida for you. It’s close enough to enjoy all that Orlando has to offer including employment options but it’s far enough away so that it doesn’t suffer from it’s negatives, like crime. Winter Springs crime rate is 50% lower than the national average. Orlando’s violent crime rate is 250% higher than the national average.

When you’re a tourist it’s great to stay at a hotel as close to the tourist attractions as possible. If you’re going to live in Florida as a resident, choosing a great place to live that’s not too close to the major tourist attractions but close enough for occasional trips to them, usually works best for most people. The least expensive condos in Winter Springs start around $75,000 and may be ideal for snowbirds that love Orlando. Single family homes currently start under $150,000.

Particular Negatives: Frequent accidents turn the already congested routes between Winter Springs and Orlando into parking lots.

Particular Positives: High school graduation rates are almost 10% higher than the national average. Towns in the center of Florida like Winter Springs experience less damage and evacuation risk from hurricanes.

See a Winter Springs Video


palm beach florida

Palm Beach Florida

Palm Beach is located north of Miami on an island separated from West Palm Beach and other nearby towns by the Intracoastal Waterway. This small town of about 11,000 is a beachfront playground for the wealthy, but there are more affordable options. Like Naples, Palm Beach nearly maxes out scoring of nearly every possible quality of life factor.

You’ll find some amazing shops and top notch dining in Palm Beach. Many rich and famous people call the island home or own a get-away mansion here. The population swells about 400% during the winter months when the islands social life kicks into high gear.

Amazingly, you don’t have to have a spare few million to own in Palm Beach unless you want one of the islands many spectacular properties. Starter condos can currently be had for under $200,000. There are currently homes available here for less than $400,000. Rentals start under $1500 a month. For that investment you’re getting more than just a place to live, you’re buying an incredible lifestyle unlike anywhere else in Florida.

Particular Negatives: With only 7′ of height separating you from the massive Atlantic Ocean, you are at higher risk from evacuations and damage from hurricanes, sea level rise and flooding. Ask best selling author Tony Robbins about flooding. Palm Beach is also close to being in the 50 mile evacuation zone of the St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant that sits right on Atlantic Ocean.

Particular Positives: Palm Beach has a crime rate that’s just a fraction of the national average (that’s NOT true of West Palm Beach and other nearby towns off of the island). You can live a unique island lifestyle that most people only dream of.

See a Palm Beach Video


Dunedin Florida

Dunedin Florida

Dunedin is located on Florida’s West coast just north of St Petersburg and west of Tampa. Dunedin has a population of about 35,000 people. It offers access to some great beaches including Caladesi Island State Park which is often ranked as one of the best natural beaches in the world. Dunedines business district is very walkable and safe, and almost every shop and restaurant is a locally owned unique independent business.

Whether you like to watch sports or participate or, Dunedin may be the ideal town for you. You can swim at the beaches, boat or kayak. Take a walk along the 40 mile bike path runs through the town. A major league baseball team holds spring training here and nearby Tampa hosts many major league sport teams.

This is a special town that is ideal for full-time Florida living that’s still affordable for most people. Condos start at about $50,000 and single family homes can currently be found for about $150,000. Dunedin is close enough to Tampa and St Petersburg to be able to enjoy all that those major cities offer including employment, but far enough away to maintain a small town feel.

Particular Negatives: Towns on Florida’s coast have a higher risk of evacuations and damage from hurricanes and sinkholes are common in this region.

Particular Positives: Dunedin’s beautiful beaches aren’t as well known as many others in Florida so they don’t get quite as overcrowded during the winter. Dunedin is one of the few towns in Florida with a strong sense of community. The lack of fast food franchises on every corner and big-box shopping centers with huge parking lots makes the town more attractive than most in Florida. The lack of view blocking high-rise buildings along the waterfront, is refreshing also.

See a Dunedin Florida Video

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