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May 17, 2024

Moving to Florida: The Ultimate Checklist

Florida dreams? Sunshine awaits! Research your town, find a realtor & pre-approve a mortgage. Budget the move & new place. Get a FL license, register your car & settle in (schools, daycare, healthcare). Join clubs & embrace the lifestyle (festivals, beaches, weather). This checklist = instant Floridian!

This blog is for educational purposes only, not an offer of credit or advertisement for current loan terms. It does not provide legal advice. Refer to our loan web pages or consult professional advisors for specific information.

Sunshine State Ready: Your 20-Point Moving to Florida Checklist

The allure of sunny skies, pristine beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene makes moving to Florida a dream for many.

Whether you're drawn by the promise of warmer winters or the thriving job market, moving to the Sunshine State can be an exciting journey.

However, a successful relocation requires detailed planning and preparation.

To help you out, we’ve created the ultimate ‘moving to Florida’ checklist—designed to help you through the essential steps for a smooth transition to Florida living.

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

Before the move

1. Research your new Florida community

Start with understanding the area you plan to call home. Look into local schools, healthcare facilities, shopping centers, and community activities. This research will help you choose a neighborhood that aligns with your lifestyle and needs.

2. Contact a local agent

Real estate agents familiar with the area you’re house hunting in can be a big help in using their connections and local knowledge to help you find the home you want.

3. If possible, secure employment before relocating

If you're not moving for a job, securing employment ahead of your move can ease financial pressures. Utilize online job search platforms, networking, and local Florida employment resources to find opportunities in your field.

4. Get pre-approved

Whether you work with a nationwide lender or a Florida credit union, getting pre-approved is always recommended before house hunting. Get an idea of what you can afford to ensure you search effectively and show sellers that you’re serious about the deal.

5. Find the right home

Decide whether renting or buying makes more sense for your situation.

Renting may offer some flexibility and the chance to explore different areas, whereas buying can be a very wise investment if you're committed to staying long-term.

Consider factors such as location, budget, and market conditions when making your decision.

6. Budget for the move and initial living expenses

Create a detailed budget that covers the major costs, including:

  • Moving expenses
  • Travel costs
  • The first few months of living expenses

Don't forget to include security deposits for rentals, down payments, or home repair and furnishing costs if buying.

7. Logistics: Movers, packing, and important dates

Choose a reputable moving company or plan a DIY move based on your budget and needs.

  • Begin packing early, focusing on decluttering and organizing your belongings
  • Set a clear timeline for your move, including key dates for service cancellations and address changes

Legal and administrative tasks

8. Update your driver's license and vehicle registration

Florida law requires new residents to obtain a Florida driver's license and register their vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency. Visit your local Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office to complete these tasks.

9. Register to vote in Florida

Ensure your voice is heard in your new community by registering to vote. This can often be done when updating your driver's license or through the Florida Department of State's website.

10. Review Florida's tax implications

Florida is known for its favorable tax laws, including no state income tax. However, familiarize yourself with other tax responsibilities, such as sales tax and property taxes, to manage your finances effectively.

11. Set up utilities and essential services

Research utility providers in your new area and arrange for services like water, electricity, internet, and cable to be set up before you arrive. This ensures your new home is comfortable and connected from day one.

Settling in after moving to Florida

Once you've moved to Florida, the journey of making it your home begins.

12. Get to know the area

Set time aside to explore your new neighborhood and discover local amenities. These could be your new favorite coffee shop, a nearby park, or a community center—places that might become part of your daily life and help you feel grounded in your new environment.

13. Schools and daycare

If you have children, enrolling them in school or daycare is a priority. Visit potential schools or childcare facilities to find the best fit for your family's needs. Engage with teachers and other parents to get a sense of the community and how you can get involved.

14. Healthcare locations

Finding healthcare providers is another critical step. Research local doctors, dentists, and specialists, and arrange to transfer your medical records to your new providers. This ensures you and your family continue to receive care without interruption.

15. Personalize your new home

Making your new house a home involves more than just unpacking boxes. Decorate and personalize your space to reflect your style and interests. This not only makes your environment more comfortable but also helps in the psychological transition of "moving in."

Building a new social circle

Building a new social circle is essential for feeling at home in Florida.

16. Get involved recreationally

Join local community groups, clubs, or other organizations that align with your interests. Whether it's a sports league, a gardening club, or a professional network, these connections can enrich your social life and provide valuable local insights.

17. Networking

Making new friends and networking professionally also involves being open and proactive. Attend local events, volunteer, or participate in community activities. These engagements are opportunities to meet people and form meaningful relationships.

Embrace the Florida lifestyle

Embracing the Florida lifestyle means engaging with local traditions and cultural events.

18. Enjoy community events

Whether it's a seafood festival, a historical reenactment, or a community parade, participating in these activities can deepen your connection to Florida's rich culture.

19. Take in the outdoors

Florida's natural beauty offers endless outdoor activities, from beach outings and boating to hiking and wildlife viewing. Exploring these attractions allows you to enjoy Florida's environment and understand the importance of conservation efforts.

20. Be prepared to adapt to the Florida climate

Adapting to the climate and seasonal weather patterns is also part of living in Florida. Prepare for the warm summers and mild winters, and understand the significance of hurricane season. These experiences are integral to the Floridian way of life.

Moving to Florida? We’ve got you covered

Moving to Florida is the beginning of an exciting chapter. As you settle in, explore, and connect with your community, you'll find that becoming a Floridian is an ongoing journey.

Each new experience enriches your understanding of this diverse and dynamic state.

MIDFLORIDA offers the loan options you need

Ready to start your adventure in the Sunshine State?

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA to begin your move to Florida and secure the financing you need. We have the experience and knowledge you need to help you through the mortgage process.


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