Florida is one of the states in the United States of America. The population is about 21 million, which makes it the third most populous country in the U.S. The capital is Miami. It is the only state that borders the Gulf of Mexico and also the Atlantic Ocean. Moving to Florida is a definitely great option for you and your family too. But, before you hire a moving company, you should learn something about this beautiful state.
History of Florida
Before you move there, you should know its history. It was the first region of the U.S. to be visited and settled by Europeans, in 1513. Florida in Spanish means the land of flowers, Juan Ponce de León named it. In 1565, the settlement of San Agustín was established under the leadership of Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. That’s how it started. But, after 200 years, in 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain. Then, a large number of British settlers described as energetic and settlers with good character moved to Florida. And finally, on March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America.
Economic prosperity in the 1920s stimulated tourism to Florida. In 1939, Florida was described as very largely an empty state but after 1945 the population has grown. And now it has 21 million people. Definitely moving to Florida could be the best decision you made in your life.
Climate of Florida
If you love the snow and very cold weather, Florida is not the country for you. Average lows range from 65 °F (18 °C) to near 41 °F (5 °C). But on the other hand, during the summer, minimum temperatures range from near 70 °F (21 °C) to near 80 °F (27 °C). Florida’s nickname is the “Sunshine State” because it is the warmest state in the U.S. The average daily temperature of 70.7 °F (21.5 °C). The problem in Florida is hurricanes. Hurricanes pose a severe threat each year during the June to November. The most critical time is from August to October. This is one of the most important things to know before moving to Florida. Also, the humidity also makes Florida very comfortable for mosquitoes. Protect yourself from this little monsters.
Choosing a Location and a new home in Florida
Decide which region you want to live in. Florida is not a small state. Of, course you will choose a city where your new job is. But even the cities have a huge number of neighborhoods. For the beginning, if you don’t have your mind set on a specific city, and you do not have a job yet or you are working online, then it helps to understand that there are five distinct regions. What are the regions? Let’s start.
The Florida Panhandle
It is famous for its beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, southern charm, and friendly people. The terms West Florida and Northwest Florida are synonymous with the Panhandle. Historically, the economy of this region of Florida depends on farming, shipbuilding, forestry, lumbering, paper mills, import/export shipping at Pensacola. If you are moving for education, it is a good choice. There you can choose between Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida State University in Tallahassee and the University of West Florida. Each one of them is great.
North Florida does not have any officially designated boundaries or status. Additionally, two localized “directional” regions had emerged, North East Florida and North Central Florida. Jacksonville is the largest and the most popular and populous metropolitan area in North Florida. It has about 850,000 people. There you can see St. Augustine, Orange Park, and Fernandina Beach. Lake City is also an important micropolitan area. Tourism was a notable factor in Northern Florida’s economy. Other important industries included agriculture, education, military, and finance. In Northern Florida, you have a lot of attractions such as the Big Kahuna’s, Marineland of Florida, Florida State Capital, World Golf Village, Historic Pensacola Village, etc. On the other hand, if you love the nature, you can visit Ravine Gardens State Park, Big Lagoon State Park, Ocala National Forest, Osceola National Forest, and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
Central Florida is mostly flatland with significant amounts of open space and over 1,500 lakes and ponds. It is home to Disney World and Sea-world. If you are moving to Florida with kids, they will love it, for sure. Because it has also three zoos, the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Brevard Zoo and the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The estimated total population of Central Florida is 3,4 million people. The largest city by population is Tampa. Agriculture has occupied a large portion of Central Florida’s economy, and the tourism too. Now, The Tampa Bay area has become a center of high-tech manufacturing and research. It has a lot of private and public schools and universities.
It includes the populous Miami metropolitan area. Miami has the 400,000 residents and it is the largest city by population. Over 87% of all foreigners residing in South Florida come from Latin America. But, besides that, it is the only region of Florida where ethnic foods are as popular as general American cuisine. It is definitely the place for a good party, food, and drinks. You have a lot of fun things to do in South Florida.
The region includes four metropolitan areas:
- the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota MSA -750,000 population
- the Cape Coral-Fort Myers MSA -665,000
- the Naples-Marco Island MSA – 340,000
- the Punta Gorda MSA – 170,000.
Southwest Florida was largely ignored by commercial developers until the late 1800s, but now it is not the case. The warm winter climate draws tourists from across the world. Bonita Beach, Cape Romano, Naples, and many other beaches are the right place for having fun or just to relax and enjoy the sun. It has a lot of beautiful beaches and attractions. In one word, it is a place for everyone. Before moving to Florida, decide where you want to move. What is the best choice for you? Each region has something special.
Buy or rent a home?
After you decided where to move it is time to decide which type of housing you want. Renting a home may be cheaper at first. But, buying a house will be a better financial decision if you plan to live there for many years. Florida real estate can be pricey, search what you can afford first. The average home price in Miami is $300,000 while the average home price in the Panhandle is under $140,000. Hire a real estate agent and tell him what you want to have in your new home.
- Do you want a house or apartment
- City center or the suburb
- Furnished or not
- A budget
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms you want
- Open concept kitchen and dining room
If you buy or rent a small home, you can always rent a storage unit. Pick the right size self-storage unit and you can put there the things you do not use often. In Florida, you can find a home according to your wishes, for sure.
How to pack for moving to Florida
Florida has beautiful beaches. So, if you come from cold countries, do not pack thick jackets and boots. You will need sunglasses, sandals, t-shirts, and shorts. First, go throw each room in your home and decide what to take. Keep in mind that the apartment will be a different size. So, avoid the biggest moving mistakes and do not take everything.
- Label your boxes so it will be much easier when you unpack your items.
- Pack fragile items with air bubble foil to not break them. After that secure it with packing tape.
- First, pack the things you do not need before the moving to Florida. Pack like a pro and separate everything. You can donate and sell some items and make money. Florida has a lot of shopping malls so, if you do not take all your clothes you will have a good reason for shopping. The new country deserves new clothes and furniture.
- The safest and the easiest solution is to hire a moving company to transport your goods. You can pay a full-service and they will pack your belongings too.
Moving and packing with kids
We know hot packing can be so stressful and difficult. But, with a good organization, it is not a huge problem. If you have kids ask your friend or a family member to help you with them. They can go to the park, for example. Try to pack while they sleep. Or, if they are big enough to help you ask them to do simple jobs. That’s how they will be excited about a move. Maybe they can design their new room and tell you their wishes. The colors of the walls, new toys, etc. Before the move, organize a party for them. They can invite their school friends and friends from neighborhood too. So, they can give each other telephone numbers and a new address.
Becoming a Florida resident
If you are moving to Florida for education, you will have a student visa of course. Or, if you are moving because of a new job, your company will give you a work visa. This is for the people who do not live in America (who do not have American citizenship). But, however, even if you are an American citizen you should become a Florida resident too. Florida residency includes voter registration, in-state employment, a registered “declaration of domicile” in the county where you live. Also, you will need a proof of payment for utilities at your registered Florida address.
You should obtain a Florida driver’s license if you are planning to drive in the state of Florida. When you arrive at the Florida DMV office, you will need to show proof of insurance, also a proof of Florida residency, and the out-of-state vehicle title. Do not forget it, because you have only 30 days to obtain a Florida driver’s license from the date you first accept Florida employment, register to vote in Florida, or enroll your kids in a public Florida school. Also, register to vote, you can do it online.
Register your vehicle
To register your vehicle, go to a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles office. Bring a copy of your vehicle insurance card, proof of ID, and also a title for the vehicle. The vehicle will need to be inspected while at the DHSMV office. But, you cannot register your vehicle in advance. You can do it after moving to Florida.
We hope that we help you with your moving to Florida and that you have learned something new about this beautiful country. It is a good place for kids, retirees, college students..for everyone. Do not forget to take your swimming shorts and bikini. After the moving, you will be tired and exhausted. You deserve a vacation. Good luck with moving and with finding a new home for you and your family. Do not be scared to make this step, be brave, call a moving company and go.