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Moving From California To Florida: Benefits, Cost & More

Even though it’s all the way on the other side of the country, Florida is a popular destination for many Californians to move. Nearly 30,000 people relocated to the Sunshine State in the latest year of census data. If you’re wondering whether moving from California to Florida is right for you, here’s everything you need to know.

    Best Movers from California to Florida

    A cross-country move is a major endeavor. Make sure you work with a reliable moving company who can make the process easy and affordable. Here are the best movers ready to serve any move from California to Florida:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    Allied Van Lines

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    North American Van Lines

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support
    Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
    International Van Lines
    Best Full-Service Mover Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,400 – $5,400 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $4,200 – $7,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $2,100 – $3,100 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 2,000 mile two-bedroom move. Cost can vary significantly based on move weight and distance. Be sure to request a free quote to get an accurate estimate for your move.

    Should You Move from California to Florida?

    If you’re looking for a change of pace and scenery, then Florida can be an attractive alternative to life in California. Great weather, low unemployment rates, and a significantly lower cost of living could lead to a higher quality of life. Here’s everything you need to know to decide if making this move is right for you:

    Housing Costs

    Housing costs are significantly lower in Florida California. The Sunshine State offers housing at only 2% above the national average, while California’s housing costs are 139% above average.

    California Florida CA to FL
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $683,996 $297,390 -$386,606 (-56.5%)
    Avg. Rent (source) $2,542 $1,620 -$922 (-36.3%)
    Utilities (source) $401 $344 -$57 (-14.2%)


    • Home Cost. On average, you could save nearly $386k by moving to Florida. The state is currently the 25th most expensive state in terms of home ownership, putting it squarely in the middle of the pack. If you can afford to purchase a home in California, you can afford a much larger home in Florida.
    • Rent. Average rent in FL is also much more affordable than CA. You stand to save as much as 36% every month by making the move.
    • Utilities. $57 per month may seem like a small amount of money, but annually that’s $684. Over five years, you could save $3,420 on your utility bills.

    Cost of Living

    Florida’s cost of living sits around the national average, while California is consistently around 50% above the national average. Housing aside, other amenities are fairly reasonable in both states. Still, you can enjoy some extra money in your pocketbook in Florida, with total average savings of 14.5%:

    Expense CA to FL
    Groceries -2.7%
    Restaurants -6.5%
    Transportation -15.3%
    Childcare -30.9%
    Entertainment -20.0%
    Clothes -11.3%
    Average Savings -14.5%


    • Food. Groceries and restaurants are roughly equivalent between the two states. Still, small differences can add up over time.
    • Childcare. If you are raising a family or plan to, childcare will be one of your largest expenses. You can save as much as 30% in Florida. For example, a private preschool in California is $1,100 but only $750 in Florida.
    • Taxes. Florida is one of only a handful of states that has no income tax. Keep more of your earnings in your pocket rather than handing it over to Uncle Sam. California, however, has a bracketed tax system with rates as high as 13.3% for top earners. Both states have a higher sales tax than the national average, but FL beats CA again here, with a rate of 6% vs 7.25%

    Weather & Climate

    California’s weather patterns and zones are far more diverse than what you’ll experience in your new home. While California encompasses everything from desert to alpine climate zones, Florida has an almost exclusively humid subtropical climate. Its long hot and humid summers are bookended by a mild and wet winter.

    California Florida CA to FL
    Average Temp July 87.1 88.98 1.88
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 69.13 15.63
    Average Sunny Days 69% 67% -7%
    Average Daily Rainfall (in) 1.69 3.64 1.95


    • Sunny Summers. Both states enjoy beautiful sunny summers, with average temperatures in the upper 80’s. Keep in mind that Florida can be much more humid than California, so it is more of a muggy heat, which can be uncomfortable for some.
    • Hurricanes. Florida’s prominent location along the Gulf of Mexico exposes it to many severe storms. Hurricanes bring high winds, flooding, and heavy rainfall. If you’re planning to live along the coast, it’s important to ensure your home meets all standards and that you learn proper evacuation routes.
    • Comfort Index. California is one of the most comfortable places in terms of weather, boasting a high comfort index of 8.7. Florida, however, has one of the lowest ratings, at 2.8. The summer heat and humidity can be stifling, and there’s nearly double the rain compared to CA.

    Job Opportunities

    During your move from California to Florida, you’ll be relocating between two thriving states. Florida generates more than one trillion dollars in gross state product annually. With the number of domestic and international traffic to Florida’s ports, trade and transportation are two of its major employing industries. Along with healthcare, hospitality and tourism, and education, these industries offer plenty of opportunities for employment in most locations throughout the state.

    • Unemployment Rates. There are many employment opportunities in the Sunshine State. At 3.5%, the state is just under the national average unemployment rate of 3.9%. California, meanwhile, is above that average at 5.1%
    • Median Wages. Unless you can work remotely and keep your salary, you will likely make less money working in Florida. The state’s average salary is $51,909, which is 16% less than California’s average of $62,356. Still, considering housing costs are 30-57% less and general cost of living is about 14% less, you can still make more money in Florida.

    Things to Do

    Both California and Florida are flooded with tourists every year, and for good reason. California’s many national and state parks, Hollywood, and 800+ miles of beaches are just a few of the state’s many attractions.

    Florida, for its part, has more than 1,300 miles of coastline, including its Gulf Coast beaches and the Keys. The cities are known for their nightlife, premium restaurants, and culture, while the many theme parks and resorts are readily accessible for more family-oriented fun.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    The two states have a lot in common, but there are some differences:

    • Laidback Lifestyle. Both states are seen as more laidback destinations, with plenty of tourist attractions. However, they both offer plenty to long-term residents.
    • Cultural Diversity. Both have high immigrant populations, which has dramatically shaped their culture. This is especially true in the metropolitan areas, which are distinct in temperament and attitude to rural areas.
    • Politics. Politically speaking, you should brace yourself for a far more contentious election season than you’re used to. Florida is a battleground state, with a dramatic urban-to-rural split. Depending on your leanings, this could influence where you choose to live.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move from California to Florida

    The drive from Sacramento, CA, to Orlando, FL is 3,000 miles. Other trips between the states will range from 2,000 to 3,000 miles. Moving across the country can be expensive. We hope this information can help you budget for your move.

    Average Moving Costs

    The cost figures here represent average price points, derived from real data from top companies. Before booking with any moving company, you should get quotes from multiple movers. This will allow you to compare rates and get the most affordable option for your needs:

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $2,400 – $5,400 $6,200 – $9,200 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $4,400 – $7,400 $10,900 – $13,900 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,700 – $5,700 $7,800 – $10,800 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $2,100 – $3,100 $4,100 – $5,100 Free Quote
    PODS $2,200 – $3,200 $4,200 – $5,200 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $2,000 – $2,700 $2,300 – $3,000 Free Quote


    Cost Factors

    There are several factors that influence your moving cost, including:

    • Move Distance & Shipment Weight: These are the factors that determine your “line-haul charges” for long-distance or interstate moves. These factors will have the most significant impact on your final cost.
    • Season: Moving season peaks in the warmer months, between May and September. If you schedule a move during this time, then you may have to pay increased rates.
    • Advance Booking: If you book a move within a week or a few days of your move date, then you may be billed more for the sake of convenience.
    • Service Requirements: Add-on services, such as packing, vehicle shipping, or custom crating, can substantially inflate your move cost. Consider what you’re comfortable doing yourself and what you absolutely need assistance with.

    Best Places to Live in Florida

    If you haven’t decided on where you want to move within Florida, then the following locales may be worth your consideration. They each represent some of the best that the state has to offer:

    Valrico, FL

    Valrico is a suburb of 38,000 just outside of Tampa. It provides just about everything you could want. The amenities of a larger city are well within reach, but residents are still afforded a reasonable price for housing, along with a quieter suburban atmosphere. The schools here are also highly rated, which makes it a good place to raise a family.

    Find Top Valrico, FL Moving Companies

    Oviedo, FL

    This Orlando suburb of 40,000 presents a community feel with plenty of diversity. Consistently rated among the most livable communities in Florida, Oviedo boasts plenty of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Its scenic and historic downtown area adds even more small-town charm, which makes the slightly above-average housing costs worth it.

    Find Top Oviedo, FL Moving Companies

    Sarasota, FL

    Sarasota is a city on Florida’s Southwestern Coast. It’s home to 54,000 residents and offers a bustling art and culture scene alongside beautiful beaches. With such amenities, the cost of living here is extremely affordable. Whether you want to rent or own a home, you should be able to find an option that fits your budget.

    Find Top Sarasota, FL Moving Companies

    St. Petersburg, FL

    St. Pete, as it’s called by locals, is Florida’s fifth-most populous city. The aptly named “Sunshine City” in the “Sunshine State” sees 361 days of sun every year. Its idyllic location on the shoreline allows residents to access beautiful beaches year-round, while a thriving arts district offers plenty in the way of other diversions. Affordable housing makes this an excellent place to call home.

    Find Top St. Petersburg, FL Moving Companies

    Orlando, FL

    The “Theme Park Capital of the World” is home to nearly 307,000 residents. Each year, it hosts tens of millions of visitors to Disney and Universal resorts, feeding a thriving tourism industry. A low unemployment rate, low cost of living, and top schools have led to this city growing 29% in the last decade.

    Find Top Orlando, FL Moving Companies

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    You should thoroughly vet any moving company before you book. Here are some of the main factors you should consider as you look for the best company to help you move from California to Florida:

    • Service Profile: When you take inventory of your home at the start of the moving process, you should make a list of any add-on services you could need. Ask your agent about the availability and costs of these services during the estimate process.
    • Agreeable Pricing: Getting multiple quotes from different moving service providers will help you to establish a reliable baseline price for your move. The more quotes you get, the more likely you are to book at the best possible price.
    • Well-Reviewed: Moving companies everywhere heavily depend on positive customer feedback to land new clients. You should look into reviews for each mover you consider. Reliable sources for this feedback include social media, Google, Yelp, and Better Business Bureau.
    • FMCSA Registration: Your interstate move from California to Florida will fall under federal jurisdiction. All such moving companies must be registered with the FMCSA. Per this body’s regulations, these movers must carry valid USDOT and MC numbers, which can be used to look up a provider’s complaint history and registration status through this link.
    • Workers’ Compensation: All moving companies must carry this policy, which protects you in the event of a work-related injury during your move. Without such coverage, you could be held liable for damages.
    • Released Liability Coverage: This provides for a baseline level of reimbursement in case your goods are lost or damaged during a move. At $0.60 per pound, per item, it won’t cover the value of most goods. You can supplement this with valuation coverage from your movers if you have high-value items included in your move.

    Start Planning Your Move Today

    You should begin planning your move around eight weeks ahead of time. Conduct a full inventory of your home and begin scheduling free quotes with movers. Between the six-week and one-month mark, you should aim to have your move fully booked. Exploring your options early on will help ensure that you choose the best option for your California to Florida move. Start by requesting free quotes from these top cross-country moving companies:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

    Best Moving Add-ons

    • Local, Long-Distance & International Moves
    • Direct Carrier to All 48 Continental US States
    • Storage Options Available

    Most Reliable

    • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
    • Long-Distance Moving Only
    • Packing & One Month Storage Included

    Best Insurance Options

    • Local, Interstate, Local, & International Moving
    • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App
    • Low-Interest Financing Available

    Most Competitive Pricing

    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Moving from California to Florida FAQs

    Should I schedule my California to Florida move during the winter?

    Considering that California and Florida both experience hot weather during the summer and summer is often peak moving season, moving during the winter could be worth considering. Extreme heat could hinder your movers’ ability to work, which could put them and your belongings at risk. If you must move during the summer, then you should have plenty of water available for your movers when they’re in your home.

    Is housing affordable everywhere in Florida?

    Florida is ranked #25 for home ownership costs, making it nearly on par with national averages. That said, the cost of housing is higher in Florida’s urban areas. This is particularly true in the Miami metropolitan area. You can easily find more affordable housing in more suburban or rural areas.

    Can I get a discount for my cross-country move?

    If you book with a larger mover, discounts are easier to come by. Some carriers package multiple moves onto the same truck. This will lead to later delivery times but will almost always save you money.