Moving From Massachusetts To Florida – Expert Tips & Advice
Thinking of moving from Massachusetts to Florida? You’re making the right choice because the Sunshine State has a lot to offer you. With its sandy beaches, diverse culture, and vibrant entertainment options, Florida is a state that is far from boring. Plus, Disneyland calls this place home, and who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse?
Florida has many other advantages over Massachusetts. People have been slowly recognizing this and that’s why Florida has witnessed a lot of Bay Staters calling Florida their new home. What are those advantages, you may ask? Keep reading our article to find out more about all the changes that you’d encounter upon moving from Massachusetts to Florida.
If you’re moving to Florida, then get those sunscreen lotions and sunglasses ready because this state is warmer than most other states of America. You’ll receive approximately 2,800 hours of sunlight per year with humidity as high as 83%. It’s almost like summer all year-round in Florida. However, summers in Massachusetts are comparatively lenient and call for tourists to have warm swimming laps on their beaches.
Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak winters:
- Massachusetts in July– Average temperature falls in the range of 66°F to 77°F.
- Florida in July – Average temperature falls in the range of 74°F to 91°F.
Winters in Florida are pretty dry with the northern part occasionally receiving freezing temperatures. The state does not receive much rain, but instead, gets plenty of sunshine. That’s why tourists enjoy surfing on Florida’s blue waves during winter afternoons because the heat is not as intense as compared to summer. On the other hand, Massachusetts winters are pretty frigid, and some days witness below sub-zero temperatures.
Here’s the difference in temperature that you can expect during peak winters:
- Massachusetts in January – Average temperature falls in the range of 10°F to 24°F.
- Florida in January – Average temperature falls in the range of 56°F to 71°F.
If you’re moving from Massachusetts to Florida to reduce costs, then you’re making a wise decision because Florida is 16% cheaper than Massachusetts. In Florida, real estate, gas, and sales taxes are much lighter as compared to Massachusetts or the Codfish State. So, you’ll definitely feel your pockets jingling a bit more than usual here.
Gas in Florida costs 0.2% lesser than in Massachusetts. Per gallon, Massachusetts’ gas prices stand at $4.35, whereas Florida’s gas prices are at $4.34. This difference might not be that significant, but it’ll definitely help you in saving a relatively substantial amount every year as, after all, every drop makes an ocean.
You’ll save more on clothes and electronics in Florida since its sales tax rate is below that of Massachusetts. Florida has a flat sales tax rate of 6% throughout the state, although in some counties it can bump up to 7.50%. So with regard to sales tax rates, Florida has a slight upper hand over Massachusetts’s 6.25% state sales tax rate. For example, a pair of jeans in Massachusetts would cost $43.06, whereas that same pair would cost you $41.06 in Florida. In other words, you’d be paying 4.7% more in the former as compared to the latter.
As an added bonus, Florida has no state income tax! This comes as a huge relief from the 5% state income tax that Massachusetts has.
If you’ve been looking to buy a house, then your wish will come true in Florida because houses cost 36% less than the median costs in Massachusetts. Florida, on the whole, is blessed with immense land space and due to this, housing is affordable. We have mentioned the median prices below so that you can view the gap in the rates between Massachusetts and Florida:
- Median Home Value in Massachusetts (According to Zillow): $556,081
- Median Home Value in Florida (According to Zillow): $348,732
If buying a home is not on your agenda, then renting is the next best option. Rent in Florida is 36% lower when compared to Massachusetts, so this is another win for you. The average rent a Bay Stater pays is around $1,710 per month, whereas a Floridian pays an average of $1,092 every month.
However, due to the population boom in South Florida, apartments have become scarce. Here, average rent rates can go over $2,800 per month and can be expensive. However, apart from South Florida, the rest of the state has decent and sufficient housing options.
Also See: Best U.S. Cities to Rent
The cost of utilities is another important factor to consider when you’re looking for places to live. You’ll be saving even more by living in Florida because utilities are 14% cheaper as compared to Massachusetts! Here is a breakdown of the monthly utility costs in Massachusetts and Florida:
Massachusetts: Electricity – $128
Gas – $116
Water – $34
Sewer – $46
Cable & Internet – $77
Florida: Electricity – $130
Gas – $40
Water – $33
Sewer – $65
Cable & Internet – $77
When it comes to the job market, Florida is not found lacking. Its economy is so sturdy that it has the potential to become a separate country altogether. Florida’s primary economic contributors consist of the tourism, agriculture, healthcare, and space industries, generating billions of jobs for the masses. Therefore, it won’t be long before you find a lucrative job here because the opportunities available are endless. Here are some of Florida’s top employers that you should know about:
- Akerman LLP
- Fisher & Phillips LLP
- Greenberg Traurig
- U.S. Sugar
- North Florida Regional Medical Center
Although Florida’s economy is booming, the competition for lucrative jobs has increased due to a sudden influx of people moving to the state. Therefore its unemployment rate is a bit higher as compared to Massachusetts. To give you numbers, Florida’s unemployment rate is 4.4%, whereas Massachusetts’ rate stands at 3.9%.
Where salaries are concerned, you will earn a bit less in Florida as compared to Massachusetts. But, that won’t be a problem since its cost of living is also low. So, you’ll be able to afford all of Florida’s amenities with the income that you generate in the Sunshine State. To give you a better idea, we have put together the median household incomes of the two states below:
- Median Household Income In Massachusetts: $81,215
- Median Household Income In Florida: $55,660
Getting around Florida is pretty convenient due to its wide highways and decent public transportation system. Florida has a vast network of interstate and state highways, which many people use to commute intercity. In that regard, driving around Florida will be a joy, especially when you use the I-4, I-95, and I-75 to get around.
Buses are another cheap mode of commute in Florida. Major bus services such as Greyhound, Megabus, SHOFUR, GOGO Charters, Falcon Charter Bus, and RedCoach connect to most of Florida’s major cities. So, even if you don’t own a car, Florida’s bus transit system will take care of you.
As for rail transit, Amtrak Silver Meteor, and Silver Star are your only options. Tickets are slightly expensive, but they’re pretty efficient if rail transport is the only mode you want to resort to. Both these routes touch nearly all of Florida’s major cities as well, thus completing Florida’s holistic public transportation system.
- Low cost of living as compared to Massachusetts.
- Diverse economy; there’s always something to do in Florida.
- Efficient roadways and a reliable public transportation system.
- Affordable housing and rental options.
If you’re looking for a place that has a close-knit community and a more homely feel, then you can add Lakeland to your list of potential places to stay in. You might get to know your neighbors sooner than you think because of how open and warm Lakelanders are. So, get ready for barbeque invitations, christenings, and a lot more. This city gets its name from the 38 lakes that are within its region, and if lake views excite you, you can add another brownie point to Lakeland. Apart from that, its crime rate is low, meaning you don’t have to worry much about being assaulted while you stroll around Lakeland’s Munn Park. Rent is cheap in this mid-sized metro city, making it feasible for anyone who wants to enjoy a peaceful retirement.
Median Home Value: $237,720
Monthly Median Rent: $980
If you want to get closer to Florida’s east coast to live a more comfortable life and get some Vitamin Sea while at it, then Daytona Beach is the place for you. It’s a popular vacation spot among tourists who come here to beat Florida’s summer heat, and to enjoy its vibrant nightlife and chic restaurants. If you’re a racing enthusiast, you’ll know that the Daytona International Speedway calls Daytona Beach its home. When it comes to safety in Daytona Beach’s neighborhoods, it’s below the national average, and as far as education is concerned, many of Florida’s best high schools reside here. Therefore, if you think of starting a family in the future, you can do so in Daytona Beach.
Median Home Value: $278,900
Monthly Median Rent: $1,076
Orlando is known as ‘The City Beautiful’ and it’s no doubt that you’re going to have a ball living here. The plethora of amusement parks, shopping areas, and shows here are a testament to the vacation-style demeanor the city has. Orlando is also home to the University of Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort, and Electronic Arts (EA) – one of the world’s biggest video game franchises. Among all this grandeur, the city also has splendid weather, allowing tourists to enjoy its numerous pleasures. What takes the cake, however, is that its crime rate is well below the national average. If you want to live a life filled with opportunity and fulfillment, then you must choose Orlando.
Median Home Value: $338,974
Monthly Median Rent: $1,210
Also See: Moving to Orlando
Pensacola is known for its cultural diversity, and they’ve been awarded the nickname ‘The City Of Five Flags’ for this very reason. They even have a 10-day fiesta, the Fiesta Pensacola, to celebrate the cultural heritage that this beautiful city has. This festival usually happens in the beginning weeks of June, so if you’re moving to this city during that time, get ready to put on your dancing shoes. Adding to that, many people move to Pensacola to enjoy living in its natural beauty. The number of state parks and beaches within Pensacola are innumerable, giving people a wide array of places that will help them unwind. If you’re a person who loves the outdoors, then maybe you could add this city to your list too.
Median Home Value: $200,826
Monthly Median Rent: $1,020
If you’re looking for a place that has a more laid-back lifestyle, then Tampa is where you should shift to. Apart from its beaches, the place is dotted with various dining options, bustling shopping malls, and a variety of entertainment avenues. In addition to all those pleasures, you’d be glad to know that Tampa’s cost of living is lower than the national average. With top-ranked schools and a low crime rate, you could also say that Tampa is an ideal place to raise a family.
Median Home Value: $301,963
Monthly Median Rent: $1,120
- The heat in the region can be quite difficult and oppressive for people who are not used to steaming summers. If you’re a fan of the cold comfort of the winter, Florida weather can prove to be lethal to you. Therefore, always pack lightweight clothing and apply plenty of sunscreen.
- Since this is a long distance move we’re talking about, it is going to prove to be quite expensive. One thing you should always remember is to never sign a blank contract. It’s like asking for voluntary manipulation. To avoid anything of the sort from happening, it’s absolutely necessary to get everything in writing. From estimates, addresses and delivery dates, to any special costs – get them all on paper. Also, read your contract thoroughly and check if all your items are listed in the inventory. If you notice that one or more of your items are not listed in the contract, you can’t expect it/them to be transported to the said destination.
- Since Florida has an outdoor culture, you’ll be spending most of your days outside. One thing to look out for is bugs. While these bugs are typically not harmful, they can be quite a menace. The presence of swamps and sinkholes also leads to the breeding of various insects, bugs, lizards, etc.
- Florida only has two primary seasons; a long summer and a short spell of winter. You don’t get to witness the transitions between the four seasons or experience a beautiful fall season here. This could be disappointing to some.
- Florida is also quite prone to hurricanes, thunderstorms, hail, and lightning. So you need to take all the necessary precautions before moving into the Sunshine State.
Massachusetts is 1,347 miles from Florida. A long distance move of this nature is going to cost you a lot of money, regardless of the type of method you choose to move. To make this move, we estimate the cost to be roughly around $1,057 – $7,343. Many other factors such as time, location, size, and distance of the move are high influencers on the moving cost. You’ll get to know the full amount only by speaking to the company representative.
There are a couple of ways you can move from Massachusetts to Florida. You can hire a professional moving company and leave all the lifting, packing, and unpacking to them, or you can rent a container and do all the heavy-lifting yourself. The former is slightly heavy on the pockets, but it guarantees peace of mind and makes moving less strenuous. The latter is advisable only if you’re on a tight budget.
For a 2-bedroom move, here is what a professional moving company and a rented moving container would cost you:
Professional Moving Company: $2,207 – $4,640
Moving Container: $2,290 – $3,425
Florida is a wonderful place to move to. Its cost of living is low, public transportation is efficient, and has cheap real estate. However, we suggest that you hire a professional moving company to make this long-distance move since they’ll make your life much easier.
How Long Is A Flight From Massachusetts To Florida?
A flight from Massachusetts to Florida will take you around 2 hours, 45 minutes. Flying is a better option than traveling by road because the amount of strain and tiredness is reduced. Also, it’s more economical.
How Much Does It Cost To Move From Massachusetts To Florida?
You would need approximately $1,057 – $7,343 to move from Massachusetts to Florida. However, this is just a rough estimate. Other factors such as location, time, size, and distance are other important aspects that impact the net cost of the move.
How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Florida?
You would need approximately $30,825 per year to afford Florida. However, living with this salary is completely doable since the state’s cost of living is pretty low.