5 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
Looking for the cheapest places to live in Florida? With a mix of warm weather, low taxes, and more affordable homes when compared to other sunny states in the US—Florida is an attractive option. And if you do your research, picking the right state can help you keep your overall living costs low.
Here is our guide on choosing where to live in Florida when you’re on a budget. Starting with, why Florida?
The Perks of Living in Florida
The third-most populated state in the country and one of the fasted growing, Florida enjoys around 237 days of sun every year. But sunny weather isn’t the only reason to move to Florida, here are a few other reasons why it should be on your list when you’re choosing where to live.
Low Unemployment Rate
Florida’s unemployment rate is about 4.4, which is lower than other sunny states like Texas and California. Plus Florida’s labor force growth in 2021 reached a 5.4 percent increase over the year, compared to 0.8 percent nationally. That means that there are plenty of jobs up for grabs.
Florida has no state income tax and a state sales tax rate of 6 percent, compared to 7.25 percent in California or 6.25 percent in Texas. These low tax rates are great for keeping living costs low and saving for retirement.
You can also find more affordable homes in Florida with an average home value of about $297,390. Of course, California is notorious for high home costs, with an average home value of about $683,996. In Texas, home values are still slightly cheaper.
Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
With all of the above perks in mind, there is still the task of choosing where to live within Florida to keep living costs low. Here are a few areas worth considering.
1. Biggest City—Jacksonville, FL
If you’re looking for a bigger city feel, then Jacksonville might be for you. With a population of over 900,000 it’s the largest city in the state, over other top cities like Miami and Tampa. It’s also the cheapest place to live in Florida, with the median home price of about $270,000.
2. Best Beach—Sarasota, FL
While not the cheapest city in Florida, Sarasota is still affordable compared to many other large cities in the US. It’s also home to Siesta Beach, which is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the US. You can find new construction homes in Sarasota starting at around $292,000.
3. Top Recreation—Orlando, FL
If you’re looking for the best in entertainment across Florida while trying to maintain low living costs, Orlando is a great spot. With new construction homes in Orlando starting at just over $300,000—you’ll pay slightly more, but get a lot back in return, including the opportunity to be a regular at Orlando Studios.
4. Best Up & Coming—Lakeland, FL
Trying to get ahead of the trend? Lakeland might be a great option for you. With lots of room for growth, it’s still one of the cheapest places to live in Florida. The cost of living in Lakeland is about 13 percent lower than the U.S. average and some experts expect the growth of the job market in Lakeland to outpace the U.S. job growth rate. New construction homes in Lakeland start in the low $200,000s.
5. Overall Great Mix—Tampa
While not one of the cheapest places to live in Florida, Tampa can still be pretty cheap. You can find new construction homes in Tampa starting in the upper $200,000s. Plus Tampa is home to a few well-known beaches and the popular entertainment park, Busch Gardens
Whether you’re choosing where to live based on sunny weather or exploring affordable cities for first-time home buyers, Florida is a great state for keeping your living costs low. And considering a life beach-side sounds pretty attractive, don’t you think?
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