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Florida Moving Guide

The step-by-step guide to simplify your move to Florida.

Transitioning to a new city, let alone a new state, can be very stressful to say the least. There are so many items to juggle from securing employment, finding a new place to live, selling your existing home, scheduling movers, getting the kids enrolled in a new school, obtaining your new driver’s license and plates, locating a new family doctor and dentist, and the list goes on and on... For your convenience, below is our step-by-step checklist to help simplify your move to Florida.

Checklist for future Florida residents.

( INITIAL planning stage )

  • Start Researching Florida's Cities
    Before you hop in a car and start driving all over Florida, we recommend doing some initial research online to discover Florida's popular destinations to learn what each offers local residents. A good starting point is our page comparing Florida's West vs East Coast where you will learn the growing cities that many are moving to, the average age per capita in these cities, as well as an overview of real estate prices per square-foot for these locales. Also be sure to check out our how expenseive is it to live in Florida page where we overview the median sales price of homes for Florida's 22 MSA city regions, including the cost of living.

    Once you decide which Florida coast you'd like to further explore, we then recommend visiting our city pages to learn about the awards and accolades that each city has received in recent years, as well as our TOP 10 reasons why many are moving to these respective areas. You will also learn about the attributes each city offers such as lifestyle, amenities, employment, real estate and healthcare just to name a few.
  • Begin Looking at Employment Options
    Unless you're retired with an income stream or have won a recent Powerball lottery, there's a good chance that you'll need to find employment upon your relocation to Florida. As part of your initial research, you'll want to begin looking at available jobs and careers in your targeted cities. As a quick overview, the largest sectors which drive the Florida economy include tourism & hospitality, real estate & development and defense & homeland security. To view all major sectors of Florida's economy, and the top employers within each, visit our Florida's Major Industries & Largest Companies page.

    As a general rule of thumb, you'll find greater employment opportunities within the larger metropolitan areas such as Tampa Bay, Orlando or Fort Lauderdale-Miami as this is where the majority of the larger financial, insurance, technology and healthcare companies are based. Smaller to mid-sized cities such as Sarasota, Naples and Vero Beach are more retirement destinations and thus employment opportunities tend to be more service based which cater to the retirement demographic.
  • Come Visit Florida
    Once you've narrowed your city choices down to one (or several), your next step is to visit these destinations. There's no better way to experience the sights and sounds of a new place than to check it out first-hand. Visit the local restaurants, the area's top beaches, the top-selling Florida communities of your desired locale, as well as popular local attractions to get a feel for the overall vibe of the town, including the traffic situation. Most importantly, engage people in conversation. Ask what they like most about living there. Ask what they like least. Are people friendly? Does the city feel like home to you?
  • Connect with a Relocation Expert
    A great way to discover a town and its offerings is to connect with a local relocation expert who regularly works with people who are moving to their part of Florida. As local residents, these Realtors (who focus on relocations) are able to provide you insights and to answer any questions you may have about living in their respective city. They can also provide you with a very accurate measure of real estate prices as well as the annual cost of living. Our Florida relocation experts can also help you identify the best places, top neighborhoods and overall best opportunities for housing options while you're visiting their city. Also be sure to check out our Florida real estate page where our experts provide their current market outlook, trends and relocation advice.
( AFTER you find a place to live )

  • Begin Planning Your Move to Florida
    Once you finalize a closing date for the home you're purchasing, or secure a move-in date for a place you'll be renting, you're next step is to start planning your move to Florida. You'll want to start deciding what items you’ll be bringing as well as start reaching out to movers to find out their respective costs and availability. Be sure to check out our how to save on your Florida moving expense page where we overview popular moving options and ways to reduce overall moving costs.
  • Arrange for Your New Utilities
    As a rule of thumb, it's typically a good idea to start reaching out to your new utility companies two to three weeks ahead of your scheduled move-in date. This allows the utility companies plenty of time to schedule service for any setup services or equipment that might need to be setup or installed.
  • Enroll the Kids in a Florida School
    If you're moving to Florida and you have kids, you’ll definitely want to get them enrolled within your local school district. For your convenience, below is a link to the Florida Department of Education to help you locate your local school district.
    Locate Your Florida School District
    Best School Districts in Florida
  • Register to Drive in Florida
    This action is only required if you’re moving to Florida from out of state. As part of being a brand new Florida resident, you will need to establish your Florida driver's license as well as register your vehicle with the state. The links are included below for your convenience.
    Get Your Florida Driver's License
    Register Your Vehicle in Florida
  • Register to Vote in Florida
    It's your civic duty to vote! If you're moving to Florida from out-of-state, you’ll definitely want to register to vote. This can easily be done online at the link below. As a heads up, you will need your new Florida driver’s license or Florida ID Card issed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.
    Register to Vote in Florida
  • Find a Florida Doctor and Dentist
    When moving to a new state, it's important to locate a good family doctor and dentist when you need healthcare services or regular check-ups. Below is a great web site which will help you find Florida physicians and care providers throughout the state. You can search by specialties as well as read patient reviews.
    HealthGrades.com
( ONCE you've moved in )

  • Grow Your New Social Circles in Florida
    Once you've moved into your new Florida residence, you're likely eager to start meeting new faces and to grow your new social circles. For those with type “A” personalities, meeting new faces and getting involved may come easy, but for others, not so much… We encourage you to check out our Quickly Grow Your Social Circles in Florida page where we overview the best ways for seniors to start making new friendships upon their Florida relocation.

Discover Florida's Most Popular Cities

Choose an area below to learn more.
Pensacola, FL Coastline
Tampa Bay, FL Skyline
Sarasota, FL Skyline
Downtown Venice, FL with Palm Trees
Lakewood Ranch, FL Housing Community
Fort Myers Downtown Street lined with Palm Trees
Orlando, FL City View
Jacksonville, FL Skyline along the River
Fort Lauderdale, FL Skyline
Miami, FL Coastline with Beach Umbrellas