From Skylines to Sandy Beaches: Why people are swapping NYC for the Sunshine State

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Change is coming. Can you see it? The droves of individuals and families who are considering moving —and have even leaped — from the Gotham city to beach bum status. For some, change is hard; for others, it’s just a matter of proper planning. Future transplants are waving goodbye to the Empire City as we speak. Some are still on the fence — should you stay, or should you go? This article is for you too.

With everything, there is a season. And in this ever-changing world, some NYC residents have had enough of what the concrete jungle has to offer. New Yorkers, expats and the like are making BIG moves to the South, indicating that their season in the big apple has come to an end. Kinda like when you’re breaking up with someone — you “just know” when it’s time to move on.

2020 has been a tough year for most. We can’t catch a break, but New Yorkers have an even bigger story to tell. From the ridiculous cost of living to the uptick in crime, people are growing weary. And this was BEFORE all of the COVID related anxiety during mass transit. But can you blame them? There’s only so much you can take, and the stress factors can make or break your love affair with the city that never sleeps.

Let’s make sense of it: Why are some NYC snowbirds ready to nest among the everglades? And why are young millennials walking away from the hype of living in one of the world’s most beloved cities?

It’s all about the Benjamins

With these fragile times and economic pitfalls, some folks are re-evaluating what’s most important to them — their stability, family and finances. Especially during the quarantine — if the walls could talk, we would hear countless New Yorkers ready to embrace a change of scenery, preparing to turn in their winter parkas for leopard two-pieces.

Among the many reasons for the move to Florida is the increase in rent prices in NYC. They are saving money on rent and creating more opportunities for their families. This pandemic may have been the worst thing since 9/11 — but out of the ashes comes much beauty. There’s no problem with slowing down for a bit and taking some self-inventory. It’s a no-brainer for some who desire to swap high rent prices for more quality time with their kids. Florida can offer this opportunity for those families.

Most of us know just how unique New York City is. The flashing lights, the glitz, the glamour of world-class shopping, and numerous cultural attractions. Just thinking of street food and the many restaurants makes my stomach growl. But for some, heading South is a more delicious option when the difference in housing costs can afford mom to stay home with the kids while dad works. It’s a matter of perspective and personal choice.

Employment

Thankfully, there are more opportunities to work from home now than ever before, and this has made quick relocation possible.

For the wealthy and middle class, this is not so much a concern. But there is one thing money cannot buy — peace of mind. So, if you feel confident about your financial situation and think this move will make you happier, then you could be on the right track.

There’s nothing worse than moving to a new state and having to struggle financially. Start saving NOW so that you have the funds to start a new life and do it with a sense of security, without any uncertainty. The confidence in your finances should be an essential factor to consider. Do you have work lined up already? A steady source of income? Once you get all of this lined up, you may see yourself taking long walks on the beach soon.

Cost of living

If you could save a thousand bucks in monthly expenses, would you? Another irresistible draw to the South is the cheaper cost of living. Individuals and families alike are finding the savings too huge to pass up. The extra money is significant at times like these. Everyone’s situation is different, but having the freedom to invest a little extra money where you designate it vs. lining your landlord’s pocketbook every month sounds pretty good to a lot of New Yorkers right now. Another perk is that FL offers a longer growing season for all of the gardening enthusiasts who love farm-to-table meals.

Weather

After years of commuting in winter snowstorms, transplants are taking advantage of the fun in the sun. Some find the cascading sea of palm trees more appealing than the congestion of tall buildings. A common complaint in NYC is about the long winters and seasonal depression. On the other hand, the hefty amount of sunshine and pleasant weather in Florida will have you smiling in no time. Having the beach at your fingertips could be just another reason to tip the scale in Florida’s favor.

Taxes

If you make Florida your new home, the tax benefits are hard to ignore. With zero state income tax for residents, this can offer up enormous savings for New York City residents earning larger figures and currently paying higher city and state taxes.

Yes, rent is indeed cheaper in FL than in NYC. Still, with the ever-increasing housing shortages, the rent continues to climb in FL, leaving many homeless and in need of shelter even after relocating. It’s always a good idea to do rental and real estate market research, and take into consideration increasing rates.

If you’re buying a home, consider all of the costs associated with living out of your suitcase until you find something. Whether you’re living with family, friends, or renting an apartment or hotel, there are always extra costs associated with not having a home to call your own. Write up a financial worksheet so you can see the cost of living differences between the two states. You may find that groceries are relatively expensive in the South vs. the North. Or how about the price of gasoline? You could be in for a shocker with the differences in cost. Living in New York does not require you to run an AC for multiple days in the year. Likewise, in Florida, there is no need to heat your home in the winter. So, your monthly utilities are something to consider.

For many, the financial benefits of relocating from NYC to FL outweigh everything else. But that doesn’t diminish life in the legendary city of dreams. There are still some die-hard New Yorkers that wouldn’t relocate if you paid them to. For them, New York, New York is STILL the city that is so, so nice they named it twice.

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