June 23, 2022 Posted in City Guides
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Moving From California to Florida – Similarities and Differences

Is it better to live in Florida or California? Will I be happier in the Sunshine State, or should I stick to the Golden State? More Californians seem to be moving cross country to FL for plenty of reasons. Read some pros and cons of moving from California to Florida.

An aerial view of a city in Florida Cross Country Moving Company logo Is it worth moving to Florida from California? Check out the verdict here

To avoid relocation depression when you decide to move to a new state, call a cross-country moving company and do your research. You can find many sources that compare living in Florida vs California, but we ensured to sum it up here, so you don’t have to look elsewhere.

Florida or California? That Is the Question

People list different reasons for relocating in every stage of life. Some want the best for their furry friends if they’re relocating with a pet; others want the most out of a city’s nightlife and entertainment scene. There are also parents with small children looking for the safest and most optimal space for their families. In short, priorities vary.

You could consider all these reasons when choosing to move to FL from CA. If you want more opportunities to enter the entertainment industry, staying in CA will prove better. If nightlife is your priority, FL, and especially Miami, will make you happy with your choice.

Overall, when you ask what states are people moving to from CA, FL will be the most common answer. It’s simple: the weather is similar, they’re both coastal states, and they have beaches along state lines. They’re close to vacation destinations (CA to Mexico and Hawaii, FL to the Caribbean) and have many theme parks for family fun. That’s why many Californians become Floridians with a simple decision and the help of long-distance moving services.

What Do I Need to Know About Moving to Florida From California?

Before you get started on booking your packing services, think if you want to move to a big city or somewhere a bit more rural. There aren’t any different tips for packing for FL, except to bring lots of sunscreen and patience when some harsher weather hits.

Florida’s counterpart to California’s earthquakes is occasional hurricanes. These states frequently endure natural disasters, but FL has advanced warnings for hurricanes, which is logical considering a vast part of their architecture is right on the coastal line.

What’s also nice to know about FL is that they officially have cleaner air than CA. While both states have loads of cars and motor vehicles, FL seems to be healthier for people. Generally, FL’s weather is more humid, reducing the UV ray damage to the skin.

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The Best Guide to Benefits and Disadvantages of Moving From California to Florida

Some common relocation mistakes include Californians judging Florida’s lifestyle because of differences that don’t matter. It’s tough to criticize, yet be the most expensive state in the country, have the highest income tax, and be heavily polluted.

Still, people from CA can go all out on criticism when it comes to Florida’s political orientation and some conservative rules regarding the LGBTQ+ population; San Francisco is an openly allied city for people in this group, while the most recent controversy in FL came from the “Don’t say gay” bill.

If you’re an ally or belong to the LGBTQ+ population, FL may not be the friendliest place. Legislation-wise, you won’t have much fun; bureaucracy may get the better of you in the smallest aspects (perhaps someone might ban you from renting an apartment if they wish). You can read more about this in the tenant rights against discrimination.

However, housing is much cheaper in FL – around 16% cheaper, to specify. Overall, your lifestyle will cause less damage to your wallet here, so you can earn your money and spend it without worrying about what you’ll eat tomorrow.

FL Is More Conservative, and CA Is More Liberal

Do you remember when COVID first hit in mid-2020? We’d be surprised if you didn’t; it’s the most recent global crisis we’ve had and still carries consequences. Back then, when states all over the US made COVID-related restrictions, Florida’s governor didn’t implement any preventive measures or ban movement because of his attitude toward the rules.

Generally, most conservative views and resistance in the US come from FL and its government. Both states have their good and bad sides in politics, but FL takes the title of one of the most conservative, or better said, one of the reddest states.

That doesn’t mean you’ll encounter a conservative at every step of the way when you move there, but you will have to put up with some rules and regulations based on their government’s decisions. If things like these bother you, this may be the moment to ask yourself: Is moving to Florida a good idea?

Where Do Most Californians Move to in Florida? A Guide to Popular Cities In the Sunshine State

Which is the best place to live in Florida? You may be looking to avoid Miami even during the best time of the year to move, which is summer, but you won’t have a tough time choosing an alternative. FL is a big and diverse state with many affordable living options and picture-worthy views.

The best cities to settle in FL, according to US News Real Estate, are:

  • Naples, with a quality of life score of 7.4/10,
  • Sarasota, with 7/10,
  • Melbourne, and no, not the one in Australia, but the one in the Sunshine State with a score of 7/10,
  • Jacksonville, with a score of 6,7/10
  • Tampa, with 6,9/10,
  • Pensacola, with a score of 6,6/10.

Miami ranks 14th best, with a score of 5,5/10 because of the most expensive median housing cost and general comfort of living.

View of beautiful Miami Florida skyline through palm trees Miami is expensive, but it has a lot of amenities and entertainment options

The Housing Cost Is Generally Lower in the Sunshine State

One of the answers to why are so many Californians moving to Florida is also the biggest reason someone might want to move – the average housing cost. Our house hunting tip for anyone looking to settle in the US is to look for housing outside of CA and consider Florida’s numerous opportunities.

If you’re relocating alone, you may get lower rents for an adequate apartment structure, but the utility cost will surprise you. FL has around 2% higher utility charges than CA, but it’s not so high that your expenses come to pretty much the same level; while utilities are cheaper in CA, nothing else is.

According to Numbeo, the difference in the utility cost between Los Angeles and Miami is quite high. If you live in a 900-square-foot apartment, your utilities can average around $140 monthly in Miami and around $120 in LA.

Monthly Apartment Rent Cost In Various FL and CA Cities

Is it cheaper to live in FL or CA? To figure out your relocation budget, here’s an overview of average monthly rents in Los Angeles and Miami, two of the most representative cities in these two states, and their capitals, Sacramento and Tallahassee. The information was taken from Numbeo’s city cost comparisons.

Home type / City Los Angeles, CA Miami, FL Sacramento, CA Tallahassee, FL
1-bedroom (in city center) $2,500 $2,500 $1,800 $1,300
3-bedroom (in city center) $4,400 $4,600 $2,900 $2,200
1-bedroom (outside of city center) $1,700 $1,800 $1,400 $1,000
3-bedroom (outside of city center) $3,500 $3,100 $2,300 $1,700

Is Florida Better Than California? Well, FL Has No Income Tax

A question that often falls under the relocation essentials category is: “Are Florida property taxes higher than California?” The average effective rate of property taxes in CA is 0,73% and 0,83% in FL. While CA has a slightly lower property tax rate, their income taxes make up for that difference quicker than you can say IRS.

One of the biggest motivators and benefits of relocating to FL is the fact that they don’t have an income tax. In CA, residents pay between 1% and 12% of income taxes, so the difference is pretty big. Whoever you ask the question, “what are the pros and cons of living in Florida?” they will give you the no income taxes answer.

As far as property taxes go, as a renter, you may not have the burden of paying for this. However, if the landlord in your new home wishes to do so, they can include a percentage of property taxes into the rent agreement; it’s still significantly less than fully participating in the expenses

Entrepreneurs Move to Florida From California to Establish a Business for Less

While Miami may not be the most affordable place to live, it’ll still significantly reduce how much you give daily. We recommend getting a job before relocating, but if you can’t or don’t have the time to search, find a home in Sarasota or Orlando, where the job market is highly competitive and always open for new employees.

Finding work remotely might be challenging for someone relocating for the first time. If you want to try being your own boss in FL, you’ll be happy to hear that the odds are in your favor as the state’s entrepreneurship levels have risen significantly since 2019.

Even better, the same research shows that startup companies in FL had an early survival rate of as much as 78%. If you’ve always wanted to start a business and work for yourself, FL could easily be the mecca for that. New companies arise every day in this sunny place.

FL Has a More Varied Nightlife and Entertainment, but CA Is More Age Diverse

Florida vs California living can also be compared for people that want to make new friends as soon as they land in their new home. Making connections in the business and entertainment world will be equally challenging in both states, but Floridians tend to be warmer and more accepting.

In CA, especially Los Angeles and San Francisco, people often become friends by association. It’s who you know, not where you go. Still, to get to the first layer of those circles, you have to mingle with people, and in FL, that’s much easier than in CA.

Florida’s nightlife will entertain you, give you more than you expect, and even surprise you. Their parties never stop, and you don’t have to be exclusive to get in – as long as you’re willing to have fun and forget about your worries for the night, you’re good.

Why Are People Moving to Florida? Typically, It’s Older People That Want to Retire Well

You might just learn now that many retirees across the country opt for Florida’s green golfing plains and white sandy beaches to spend their old days. That sounds like a pretty stress-free relocation, but hearing there are many old folks may divert you from making FL your first choice.

Sure, older people want to retire well, and who wouldn’t? After so many years of hard work and struggles, they finally get to rest, relax, and take their time to enjoy their well-earned pensions. But, for someone young, that could cause some anxiety about relocating to FL.

Don’t worry because the latest census done in FL suggests that this state’s diversity numbers are growing. You can see more about that in the news in the video below.

Get Cross-Country Movers to Assist You In Your Move to FL

If you’ve made your decision well in advance, you can call companies that offer cross-country moving services without worries, research how much to ship a car from Florida to California, and book a car shipping service. If you’re still undecided, you might have some time for a last-minute move, but count on using your movers’ storage service.

Long-distance movers present the cheapest way to move out, even when you start wondering if you should move back home. Wherever you’re more willing to spend your days in the sunshine, a long-distance moving company will help you do it.

Professional cross country movers carrying a sofa Relocation experts can pack and prepare your entire house for a move

Overall, California vs Florida Living Comes Down to Costs and Demographics

You may be weighing the pros and cons of relocating to FL from CA because of the supposed high amount of retirees and conservatives. However, that can be solved by choosing a more adequate city or neighborhood for your needs. You don’t have to be trapped somewhere you hate just because it’s cheaper.

You’ll save a lot of money and open more opportunities for yourself by living in one of Florida’s many sunny towns. Take the time to mull over the pros and cons, think of the beaches and the great weather, and take the leap.


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