Moving to Florida means sunshine, warm weather, and flip-flops. But many people who move to the Sunshine State want to live near the water. So, while communities like Orlando and Gainesville are popular, nothing beats waking up to pristine ocean views.
Nonetheless, you might be wondering whether living in a coastal Florida city is something you can afford. After all, isn’t it expensive and out of reach unless you’re making good money? Although some towns by the beach are higher than average, Florida can surprise you.
Many towns and cities by the beach in Florida are affordable. Some even have lower than the average cost of living expenses. Let’s look at some of those areas below!
The median household income in Florida is $55,660. While that is a decent income, it is lower than the national median of $67,521. Florida’s average cost of living index is 100.7. The national index is 100, so anything above that is higher than average.
However, many states have a cost of living index well above 100. So, Florida is not even a full point above the national index. In addition, housing, health care, and miscellaneous expenses statewide are all below 100.
Utilities, groceries, and transportation are slightly above 100. The highest is groceries at 106.4. Overall, Florida is not an expensive state, and there are no state income taxes to worry about.
But there are variances in prices among different beach cities. Miami is undoubtedly one of the most expensive. But Jacksonville and some communities along the Gulf Coast are more affordable than others. Regardless of where you are living in Florida, it’s important to know that if you ever do get behind on your rent there are options available to you. Check out this article by Simple Fast loans on ways to pay the rent if you are behind in Florida.
Pensacola is located in Florida’s northern panhandle along the Gulf Coast. It’s the state’s most western city and is in the central time zone. Most of Florida is in the Eastern time zone by comparison.
The median home value in Pensacola is $165,700 as of 2020. Monthly housing costs are around $932. The city is known for its Gulf Coast views and its Spanish and British history.
Palm Harbor is near the more well-known St. Petersburg or St. Pete Beach. Known for its golf courses and championships, Palm Harbor’s median home value is $216,000. Average monthly housing costs are $1,093.
Even though Palm Harbor may be less well known than its neighbor to the south, it does attract tourists. In addition, several state parks help draw visitors to the area.
Clearwater overlooks the Gulf Coast and gets its name from the color of the ocean near the city. The water is transparent sea green and washes up against white sand beaches. The median home value is $191,600.
Monthly housing costs are $1,040, and property taxes are low at around $1,680 per year. Clearwater is part of the greater Tampa Bay area and does attract college students for spring break. While affordable, it may not be as remote or quiet as some people like.
Fort Pierce is along the Atlantic coast of Florida. It features the National Navy SEAL Museum and a state park. Inlet State Park has a long stretch of beach that many residents and visitors use for summer swimming.
The area’s median home value is $100,100. In addition, the average monthly housing cost is $842.Not too bad for a beach town!
The median home value in Gulfport is $194,700, and the average monthly housing costs are $939. Gulfport is in Pinellas County along the Gulf Coast.
The city sits along Boca Ciega Bay. It is also a short distance from downtown St. Pete. So, if you want to go shopping or dine out at a new hot spot, you can!
Hobe Sound is on the state’s Atlantic side. It’s between the cities of Stuart and Jupiter. The median home value is $176,100, with average monthly housing costs of $845.
Hobe Sound is known for its beaches, golf courses, and parks. While this town does get a bit of attention from global travelers, it’s still quiet enough to enjoy.
Melbourne is a populated city on Florida’s Atlantic coast. It is home to several high-profile art museums and galleries. The median home value is $155,300.
Average housing costs in Melbourne run at $920. But annual property taxes are meager at $1,232.
Lynn Haven lies north of Panama City. There are a few parks in the area, and the median home value is $191,800. However, average monthly housing costs are a little higher at $1,136.
Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach is also located in Florida’s panhandle. The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park calls Fort Walton Beach home. Fort Walton Beach might be your next hometown if you like the Gulf Coast waters.
It’s also tiny and quieter than some of the state’s popular tourist destinations. The median home value is $179,600, and average housing costs are $969.
Here’s another Gulf Coast city. Are we sensing a theme? Most of Florida’s affordable beach cities are located on these pristine and gorgeous waters.
The median home value in Dunedin is $181,700, and the average monthly housing cost is $933. You’ll not only find famous beaches here but also pine forests and the Dunedin Causeway. This road links the town with Florida’s mainland.
Deerfield Beach is slightly south of Palm Beach County, home to West Palm Beach. You’ll find a few famous water parks here. The median home value is $153,600.
Average monthly housing costs are $1,115. In case you’re wondering, the town gets its name from the wild deer roaming the area.
This Atlantic coastal town is famous for its spring break parties and the Harley-Davidsons that ride during Bike Week. But if you don’t mind a little more noise and action, the average monthly housing costs are $846.
The average median home value is $141,600. Daytona Beach is also home to NASCAR races, including the Daytona 500.
Tarpon Springs is in central Florida on the Gulf Coast. The town has Greek history and features Greek shops. The average monthly housing cost is $928.
The median home value in Tarpon Springs is $195,800. Therefore, property taxes will run around $1,843 a year.
Vero Beach is a smaller town along the Atlantic. However, it’s still a popular destination for visitors who like to visit the city’s downtown sector. The median home value is $256,300.
Average monthly housing costs in Vero Beach are $909. Vero Beach also sits by the famous Indian Lagoon.
St. Augustine is on Florida’s northeast coast and faces the Atlantic Ocean. The city is one of the oldest in America and features a rich history. You’ll find a lot of Spanish Colonial architecture and French influences.
St. Augustine’s median home value is $260,800. The average monthly housing cost is $1,013.
You can still find good values in this city south of Tampa Bay. You’ll get Gulf Coast views and be near art museums and Siesta Key Beach. This beach was named number one in the United States.
Hey…when you’re number one, you’re number one. Despite all this, average monthly home costs are only $1,067. The median property value is $239,600.
Riviera Beach is in Palm Beach County along the Atlantic. The median home value is $192,600. Average monthly housing costs are $1,138.
In the area, you’ll find Manatee Lagoon and several water parks. There is also Peanut Island to explore.
Upper Grand Lagoon
The median home value in Upper Grand Lagoon is $220,700. This beach town is in Florida’s panhandle and gives residents access to St. Andrews State Park. You can also take the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise for good measure.
Average monthly housing costs in the city are $1,138. Upper Grand Lagoon has some of the panhandle’s best beaches. So, plan to be amazed at your new residence!
Believe it or not, there are more affordable Florida beach towns and cities we left off this list. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room here! But, with some research and determination, you can afford to live by the sea.