Moving From Colorado To Florida

Say hello to the Sunshine State as you get ready for your move from Colorado to Florida!

Florida has a lot to offer, from stunning beaches and a flourishing business scene to a diverse culture and excellent schooling. For anyone planning a move from Colorado to Florida, knowing what to expect out of your move is crucial. 

In this article, we compare Colorado and Florida to help you decide if the Sunshine State is the right destination for you. Plus, we cover key moving costs to consider, as well as what to look for in a long-distance moving company.

Keep reading to learn all about moving from Colorado to Florida!

Why is Everyone Moving to Florida? 

Florida has long been a hot spot for individuals and families relocating to a new state. 

According to the Italy America Chamber of Commerce Southeast (IACCSE), the number of people that moved to Florida in the early months of 2022 broke new records, exceeding even the former record high number reached in early 2021. 

The IACCSE further reports that one of the biggest indicators of relocations is license swaps from one state to another. As of July 2022, the six states with the most license swaps to Florida include:

  1. New York to Florida: 61,728 license swaps (up 12% from 2021)
  2. New Jersey to Florida: 10,580 license swaps (up 9% from 2021)
  3. Connecticut to Florida: 4,119 license swaps (up 4% from 2021)
  4. California to Florida: 9,645 license swaps (up 18% from 2021)
  5. Pennsylvania to Florida: 8,412 license swaps (2021 data unavailable)
  6. Illinois to Florida: 8,149 license swaps (2021 data unavailable)

In terms of why Florida is such a popular destination for relocation, many factors impact this reality.

These factors include: 

  • Expansion of Remote Work: Remote work began as a trend in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic but has persisted as a long-lasting alternative to traditional in-office work. With the continued growth of remote work, more people can relocate to states that better fit their needs without having to sacrifice their employment or careers. 
  • Year-Round Warm Weather: Florida is one of the few states that experience warm weather year-round. Though the more northern cities and towns in Florida can face the occasional cold chill, most areas in Florida stay mild throughout the winter, remaining between 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit even at the peak of the cold season. 
  • Growing Tech Hubs: Several cities in Florida are becoming more well-known as tech hubs, driving young and experienced professionals alike to take advantage of these new job markets. Miami in particular is transforming into an innovative tech hub that greatly values diversity, earning it the nickname of the “Gateway to Latin America”, according to Forbes.
  • More Entertainment Opportunities: It’s no secret that Florida has a lively entertainment and arts scene. From the major theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios to the many beach towns that bring in millions of dollars of tourism revenue each year, Florida is a lively state with much to do and enjoy throughout the year. 
  • Family-Friendly Neighborhoods: Florida is known for having some of the best school districts for both public schools and higher education. This is a big draw for families looking to relocate to a new state, resulting in many family-oriented neighborhoods found in the state.

Another major factor impacting people’s decision to move to Florida is the state’s low cost of living. This is an especially important consideration, as the U.S. economy continues to be rattled by inflation in 2022. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into this to examine how Colorado’s cost of living stacks up to Florida’s. 

Colorado vs. Florida: Cost of Living

For anyone that is considering a move from Colorado to Florida, it is important to compare the two states to determine what advantages moving to Florida has to offer. 

A low cost of living is one of the biggest benefits of moving to Florida. 

Bankrate reports that the overall cost of living in Colorado is 12% higher than the national average. Both Florida and Colorado can vary fairly drastically in different cost of living categories depending on where in the state you are looking to relocate. Overall, however, Florida tends to be the more affordable option. 

Let’s compare four factors that have a significant influence on the cost of living in each state: 

1. Buying or Building a House

When looking to move to Florida from Colorado, one of the first main hurdles is housing.

If you are planning on buying or building a home, there are many financial considerations to keep in mind, such as property costs and mortgage rates.

In Florida, the median price for a single-family home is $407,000, while the median price for a condo or townhouse is $305,000, according to Bankrate. For those looking to buy land to build on, the average cost of an acre in Florida is $28,961.  

Moving to mortgage rates in Florida, as of December 2022, the average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is 6.56% and the rate of a 15-year fixed mortgage is 5.82%. 

Comparatively, the median price for a single-family home in Colorado is $677,793, according to Bankrate. As for mortgage rates in Colorado, as of December 2022, these rates sit only slightly higher than Florida’s at 6.58% for a 30-year fixed mortgage and 5.97% for a 15-year fixed mortgage. 

Keep in mind that both Colorado and Florida are subject to major weather events. This can lead to property damage, driving the costs of buying or building higher as well. 

It is also important to note that mortgage rates and property prices can fluctuate significantly depending on the national economy and the inflation rate. Always do market research into the current real estate landscape and mortgage industry in a particular state before making a big move.  

2. Renting a House

Rental costs vary widely in both Colorado and Florida depending on where in the state you move. 

In general, smaller and more rural areas are much more affordable compared to the more developed and urban cities. However, with lower rent costs also comes fewer job opportunities and social events. 

With this in mind, the average cost of rent in Florida ranges from $1,843 to $2,929 in the bigger metropolitan areas like Tampa, Miami, and Orlando. Orlando tends to be on the more affordable end of the spectrum, while Miami is more expensive. 

In Colorado, the average cost of rent in major metropolitan areas can range from $1,137 to $2,119. Areas like Colorado Springs tend to be more affordable while tourism hubs in the mountains like Boulder represent the more expensive end of the spectrum. 

3. Utilities

Next up on the cost of living checklist is utilities.

In Florida, the average cost of utilities is roughly 3% higher than the national average. By contrast, the average cost of utilities in Colorado sits around 11% lower than the national average. 

However, this is not necessarily the most accurate representation of the cost of utilities in Colorado.

Colorado is comprised of diverse terrain, including both desert plains and alpine mountains. While the more southern areas of Colorado may not spend as much on utilities, the cities and towns of the north experience much more significant expenses during the winter months. 

For instance, the average cost of utilities in Colorado Springs is around $165 per month. Meanwhile, up north, the average cost of utilities in Boulder is roughly $215 per month. That’s around 26% higher utility costs when comparing southern Colorado to northern Colorado. 

Florida, on the other hand, has more consistent utility pricing throughout the state. On average, the monthly cost of utilities in Florida is around $180 to $185 per month. 

4. Job Opportunities

Both Florida and Colorado have booming job markets in their major urban centers. 

According to Enterprise Florida, the biggest industries in the state with great job opportunities include: 

  • Aviation and Aerospace
  • Cleantech
  • Defense and Homeland Security
  • Financial and Professional Services 
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Logistics and Distribution
  • Manufacturing

Additionally, Enterprise Florida reports that the state ranked as the third-largest civilian labor force in 2019, as well as the second-best state for business in 2020. 

Living in Florida Pros and Cons

Florida can be an excellent state to live in for numerous reasons, from pleasant weather to great opportunities for professional growth.

However, like all states, Florida is not without its disadvantages as well.

Here are the pros and cons of living in Florida:

Pros of Living in Florida

  • Year-Round Warm Weather: Say goodbye to winter, as Florida experiences warm weather throughout the year. For anyone that is not a fan of cold weather (or of the heating expenses that come with it), Florida offers some of the most pleasant weather you can get in the U.S. 
  • Lower Personal Income Taxes: Florida does not have a state personal income tax, making it one of the top relocation destinations for self-employed individuals, freelancers, and independent contractors. Overall, the lack of personal income tax can benefit most people and help to reduce costs associated with taxes at the end of the year. 
  • Diversity: Florida is one of the most diverse states in the U.S., with many different cultures, religions, and communities represented within the state. This makes Florida a melting pot where almost anyone can move and find the community they are searching for. 
  • Beach Accessibility: One of the most obvious benefits of Florida is the accessibility to the coast that the state offers. No matter where you are in the state, you are only a few hours away from a beach. With the coastal cities being some of the most popular, you will more than likely end up within an hour’s distance of the closest beach. 
  • Recreational Activities: Florida is home to many recreational activities, including a wide range of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. For water lovers especially, Florida offers some of the best water sports and water-themed activities to choose from. 

Cons of Living in Florida

  • Natural Disasters: Though the coastal culture of Florida is definitely one of the state’s biggest benefits, it’s also one of its drawbacks. Being surrounded by oceans on almost all sides, the state is subject to its fair share of tropical natural disasters, including annual hurricanes and the occasional tornado. This is particularly important to consider if you plan on buying property, as your property may be at risk of major damage in the event of a natural disaster. 
  • Transportation Costs: Transportation is one of Florida’s few shortcomings, as public transportation is somewhat limited and individual transportation is considered to be fairly dangerous. When driving in Florida, it is crucial to be highly aware of your surroundings to avoid accidents on the state’s busy roads and highways. 
  • Humidity: With Florida’s warmth comes humidity. Many people enjoy Florida’s spring, fall, and winter months but stay inside during the summer months, as Florida summers are subject to high temperatures and even higher humidity levels. Humidity is also another important consideration for anyone planning to buy property, as high humidity can lead to mold growth. 
  • Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs: Florida is home to a diverse pool of wildlife, both mammals and sea creatures. However, this wildlife diversity also includes a wide range of creepy crawlers. Depending on how you feel about bugs, this may be a pro or a con — either way, you will need to take the proper precautions to protect your property and belongings from infestation. 
  • Cost of Living: Compared to Colorado, the cost of living in Florida is relatively equivalent. However, Florida does sit above the national average in terms of cost of living, making it a more expensive state to choose to live in. Thus, if you are looking to move to Florida for affordability, you may need to do extensive research to find the most affordable places to live in the state.  

Best Places to Move in Florida

Florida has a plethora of great cities, towns, and neighborhoods to choose from. 

Overall, Southwest Florida is typically regarded as the best region in the state. Located on the western Gulf Coast side of Florida, this region experiences some of the most idyllic weather, is home to many stunning beaches, and offers several of the top neighborhoods within the state. 

Let’s take a closer look at three of the best places to move to in Florida: 

1. Tampa

Tampa is easily one of the top places to live in Florida.

This city is located in Southwest Florida and houses many great cultural centers, museums, professional sporting events, concert venues, and more.  

U.S. News ranks Tampa as the fifth best place to live in Florida, and the 39th best place to live in the U.S. 

Additional rankings that Tampa has earned include: 

  • #4 in Best Places to Retire
  • #6 in Safest Places to Live
  • #15 in Fastest-Growing Places

Tampa is even home to three of the top five neighborhoods named the “2022 Best Places to Live in Florida” in the Niche Best Places list

These three neighborhoods include:

  1. Spanishtown Creek in Hyde Park: Spanishtown Creek is a neighborhood within the larger Hyde Park area. This neighborhood is lively, with many great housing options and excellent public schools, as well as a thriving nightlife scene. 
  2. Harbour Island: Harbour Island is a neighborhood made up mainly of homeowners and is a very family-friendly area with great schools and a high average household income. Along with families, this neighborhood also attracts many young professionals. 
  3. Historic Hyde Park: Historic Hyde Park is another neighborhood found in the larger Hyde Park area. This area mixes an urban feel with suburban amenities, making it a popular location for young professionals and families alike. 

2. Orlando

Welcome to Orlando, also called the “City of Beautiful.” 

Though best known for the Disney Parks, Orlando is a tremendous city with much to offer for everyone from college students and young professionals to families and retirees. 

U.S. News ranks Orlando as the 13th Best Place to Live in Florida, as well as the 118th Best Place to Live in all of the U.S. Additional rankings for Orlando include:

  • #19 in Safest Places to Live
  • #25 in Fastest-Growing Places
  • #31 in Best Places to Retire

According to Niche’s 2022 Best Neighborhoods to Live in the Orlando Area, the top five best neighborhoods to live in Orlando include Park Lake/Highland, Downtown, Uptown, Thornton Park, and Audubon Park. Overall, Orlando is thought to have an excellent public school system and lively urban and nightlife scenes for young professionals and parents. 

3. Cape Coral

For families looking for a safe place to live in Florida, you can’t get much better than Cape Coral. 

According to Crime Grade, Cape Coral is safer than 70% of all cities in the U.S. Of the crimes that occur in Cape Coral, non-violent crimes (such as theft and burglary) tend to be more prevalent. 

From a cost of living perspective, Cape Coral offers cheaper overall real estate and rentals compared to other urban areas in Florida. The average median home value in Cape Coral is $237,400, while the median rent is $1,367, according to Niche.

Cape Coral is also a great place for retirees, as it was voted the #8 Best Place to Retire by WalletHub

Average Cost of Moving from Colorado to Florida

Now that you have a better understanding of all the key factors to consider when moving from Colorado to Florida, let’s discuss the total costs you can expect for such a move. 

The total final cost for a move from Colorado to Florida can vary depending on what costs you opt into versus which costs you choose to avoid. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $7,000 for a move between these states.

To better calculate the costs for your move specifically, create a budget that lists the costs for each of the following considerations: 

  • Moving Services: If you are planning on moving your belongings rather than selling items and buying replacements, you will need to calculate the cost of a moving service. You have three main options when it comes to moving services — full-service moving companies, moving truck drivers, and self-drive moving trucks. Full-service moving companies often offer the most bang for your buck, while self-drive moving trucks are often the least expensive option. 
  • Packing Supplies: Depending on what services your moving service provider includes, you will need to calculate the cost of packing supplies when planning your move. Packing supply costs can include boxes, moving tape, moving carts, and shipping fees (if you plan to ship anything). 
  • New State Documents: When moving to a new state, you need to transfer many of your official documents into the new state’s system. These costs are often not too high but can range between $100 to $500, making them important to include in your budget. Documents to transfer include licenses, license plates, insurance, and voting registration. 
  • Homebuying or Renting Costs: If you are buying a home, you will need to account in your budgets for any immediate costs, such as a down payment and your first month’s mortgage payment. For renters, many rental agencies require the first and last month’s rent upfront, as well as a security deposit, making the first month the most expensive in a new place. 
  • Transportation: Lastly, you need to consider your transportation costs not just for your belongings but for yourself as well. If you are not planning on using a self-drive truck service, you will need to calculate the costs for either driving your vehicle to Florida or purchasing a plane ticket and coordinating transportation when you arrive. 

Final Thoughts: What to Look For in a Long-Distance Moving Company

If you have opted to work with a full-service long-distance moving company, then you have already taken a huge step towards jumpstarting your move.

Full-service moving companies can help remove the stress involved with packing and transporting your belongings to a new location. Plus, these companies offer professional care that ensures your belongings are kept safe and handled by moving experts.

When looking for the right moving company for your needs, look for the following options:

  • Long-Distance Pricing: It is in your best interest to choose a moving company that specifically specializes in long-distance moves. This way, the length of your moving journey will often be considered in the base price, leading to lower overall distance and fuel fees.
  • Transparent Costs: Always work with a company that is upfront and transparent about its pricing model. If you do not look for transparency in a moving company, you can end up accruing tons of hidden costs that drive up your overall moving expenses significantly. 
  • Great Reviews: When in doubt, check out a company’s reviews. Former customers will have the best insights into whether or not a company is worth its weight in gold. 

To receive a free estimate from Peak To Peak Movers for your big move from Colorado to Florida click here.

Remember, the key to a great moving experience is proper planning — so get to the drawing board and start preparing for your big move!

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