This might be one of the most expensive posts that I write about saving. I hear people talk all the time about moving to Florida to be closer to Walt Disney World. My family and I did it ourselves; twice. That said, this is not a decision that you should make spur of the moment. I’d like to give you a few things to consider.
Let me first give you a little bit of background. We didn’t move just to be near Disney. We had an opportunity where most of the country was a possibility, and we needed a change. There were other reasons why Florida made sense for us. The reason we did it twice was that my husband was transferred. Ten months after we (sadly) moved away he was offered a position back in Florida, and we knew that we had to go back. The Orlando area had become home, and we don’t plan to move again.
Since this is part of my Sunday Savings Series, first I’d like to advise you to consider the cost. Whether it’s across the street or across the country, moving is expensive! There are obvious things that will cost money, such as a place to live and getting your belongings to your new home. There are things you might not consider, such as a deposit for utilities. Before you even consider moving, make sure that you can afford it. Calculate the cost, and then expect it to cost more. Something unexpected always seems to come up.
One plus is that there is no state income tax in Florida. (Thank the tourists for that!) There are other taxes, including sales tax. The amount you pay for sales tax will depend on the county. That’s is something you might want to know before you start to look for a new home, because you can save money by shopping in a place with a lower sales tax.
One big factor if you’re thinking of moving is the weather. Winters are why people move to Florida. That’s part of the reason why we picked Florida to begin with. I grew up in New England, and I did my time in the snow! But the nice winters come at a price. Summers are brutal, especially the first one. We moved the first time on August 1, so we were hit with it immediately. I never knew what humid was until then! I’m glad we moved during the summer, because we knew what to expect a year later. When we first moved I knew that Florida had strong storms, but I was still taken by surprise. I never knew that it could rain that hard, and I never knew that it could stop that quickly! I’ve learned to live with the storms, especially since they often bring rainbows. For some people, the daily summer storms are too much. They realize that Orlando isn’t for them.
The other severe weather that you need to be aware of is hurricanes. Since our move there were many storms predicted that weren’t too bad. Then Hurricane Irma hit. That one went directly over our house, and we had some damage. It was nothing that couldn’t be fixed, but it did teach me to take the warnings seriously.
One of the great things about living in Florida is the Florida Resident discounts! These have saved me quite a bit of money. If you’re hoping for a discount on a Walt Disney World Annual Pass, keep in mind that new Annual Passes are not for sale right now. There is no word on when they will be sold again.
The good about living near Disney is obvious. Since we have Annual Passes, we can go to Walt Disney World all the time! I have passes for some of the other local parks as well, although Disney owns my heart. You don’t have to have a theme park ticket to enjoy Walt Disney World, I love exploring the resorts and look forward to the day that we can do so once again without a room or dining reservation.
There is also so much to do outside of Walt Disney World! If you love the ocean there are several beaches within two hours. You can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and set over the Gulf of Mexico. There are fantastic restaurants, great shopping, lots of attractions, and the Orlando area has an active nighttime scene.
There is something for everyone to do in Central Florida. If you are thinking of moving to the area, just don’t do it spur of the moment. Instead, weigh all the options and make a pros and cons list. You just might discover that Florida is for you, just like my family and I did!