Moving is a big decision, especially so if you choose to move many states away from the life you've already made and grown comfortable with, like I did. That said, there's nothing like a fresh start away from it all--better yet, in a place that's almost akin to paradise. So, if you are wondering if it's a bad time to move to Florida, you'll probably find that the answer isn't a simple "yes" or "no".
While there is always the personal question of whether living in Florida is right for you (think of the heat, hurricanes, cockroaches, etc) there are several other things to consider before packing up and leaving the world you know behind. Perhaps most importantly is the affordability and housing market, the latter of which is currently booming.
Rent and house prices (as well as property taxes--and of course, home insurance) have been on the rise since the pandemic.
"During the pandemic, home prices have climbed at a record pace. The median price for an existing home reached over $363,000 in June 2021, a 23.4% year-over-year increase," CNBC reported.
However, buyers with good credit are finding that the market has very favorable low interest rates currently--down to the low two percent--nearly half of what they were few years ago.
Unfortunately, the low interest rates are not expected to last much longer for those who are even lucky enough to qualify. Plus, with the inflated rate that homes are selling for, the low interest rates may not really make a purchase worth it. If you need proof, the home I live in sold in 2008 for $70k is now estimated to be worth $180k--and that's without any big renovations or improvements made to the property.
Additionally, it seems that supply and demand is causing a price hike not only on homes for sale, but also rent in many Florida counties. Plenty of local renters have been reporting rent increases as much as double what they paid the previous year. (For those who don't already know it's not just the landlords being greedy, when property values inflate like they have been, so do the taxes and insurance rates--and considerably so.)
Normally you would be able to find cheaper housing outside of the cities, but with work-from-home being a more common option than ever, more people are in the market for those sort of properties which is also directly affecting the supply and demand prices.
On the flip side, there are still a few things Florida has going for it as far as affordability goes.
We still don't have state income tax, our gas prices are relatively cheap compared to many other states (I'm looking at you, Pennsylvania), and groceries are slightly lower priced than the national average.
But with all things considered, Florida has become one of the least affordable states over the past couple of years, especially for those who are on fixed incomes, have children, and rely on steady work. Remember, we don't have many union jobs here--and this is a "right to work" state.
Don't feel too bad if you can't move to Florida just yet, though! Chances are the market will crash eventually and it might be a good idea to wait and casually browse the market until then.