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Moving to South Florida from New York is incredibly common. In 2021, over 30,000 people switched their driver’s licenses from NY to FLBoth young professionals and senior citizen retirees from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been flocking to Florida all year long for a number of reasons like warmth, relaxation and a change of scenery. Whatever your reason for choosing to relocate down south, there are plenty of nuances to prepare for.

We talked to Richard Ibeh from Florida’s The Altman Companies, who specialize in real estate development across the country, but especially in their South Florida home. “Being in the multifamily rental industry, a main part of our job is to educate potential out of state residents on moving to South Florida,” Richard says. “Whether their choice of moving is work-related, family-related or just simply choosing to move to the sunshine state.”

We discussed many of the appealing traits of the state, as well as some of the more challenging facets. Keep these factors below in mind while you prepare for your move to South Florida.

 Welcome to Florida

Planning the Move

The distance between NYC and South Florida is roughly 1,100 to 1,300 miles, depending on your exact starting and ending points. The drive could take around 18 to 24 hours. Long distance moving can be a huge hassle, so we want to walk you through the process. 

Like every big move, you should start planning a few months in advance. Call prominent NYC Movers and ask for a free quote. Gathering a number of moving quotes should help you navigate how to budget the move. The average cost of a move from Manhattan to Miami starts at around $3000, but there are ways to save money on this long distance move. 

Typically, people move to Florida during the winter months. Therefore, we recommend putting some of your bulky winter stuff in storage up on the East Coast. This will help with the unpacking process when you arrive in the Sunshine State and will help achieve a lower cost move. Pricing can vary depending on the volume of your move, so the less volume, the better!

A full-service moving company can assist you with all your packing needs like providing packing materials and making sure that everything is packed safely; professional packing services can also help ensure that you have easy access to all of your most crucial belongings upon arrival to your new home.

Professional movers are equipped with plenty of moving tips and tricks that can help make your moving experience efficient and stress free. 

Get Ready For the Warm Weather

Many New Yorkers decide to live out the final years of their lives in the sunny confines of cities like Boca Raton, while others abandon the cold big city for a vibrant tropical Miami experience.

They don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing. South Florida is maybe the hottest part of the state, if not the United States. “Average temperatures in the 90s and reaching 100+ degrees in the summer months, add in humidity and you’ve just explained Miami in a nutshell”, Richard says. “It can be extremely uncomfortable and dangerous for strenuous activities such as moving so always, and I mean always consult with a professional trained team of movers to assist you with relocation.”

Richard is right: for amateur movers, completing a strenuous and excruciating task like moving in the southern Florida sun can lead to health complications. We recommend leaving it to professional movers like Oz to load up the moving truck and get the job done.

If you must move yourself, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and set aside enough water to keep you hydrated throughout the moving day, or try moving in one of the colder months where outdoor temperatures could be easier on you.

Florida’s climate should affect what you pack as well; don’t feel a need to bring heavy winter coats, gloves, snow shovels or antifreeze. Most Florida natives have never seen a snowflake drop in their home state their whole lives; temperatures on a typical winter day in South Florida could be anywhere from 50 to 70 degrees.

When it comes to packing, a good policy is “More swimsuits, less snow boots.” Unfortunately, Florida’s nice weather does come with an unfortunate side effect; the warm climate has become a breeding ground for tropical storms. When moving into a new home, take whatever preparations would need to be made for a storm into consideration. Make sure you can feel safe inside your home if a storm were to hit. 

Moving long distance to Florida

Lower Taxes & Better Cost of Living

“When people think of South Florida they think of it as their favorite celebrity’s second home, the Versace mansion or where all the world’s richest people dock their yachts.” Richard says. And he’s right; South Florida life is well-represented in the media as being luxurious, and at times extravagant. However, Florida’s cost of living is not as high as it seems; CNBC's rankings indicate 22 US states have a higher cost of living, like South Dakota and Vermont.

What makes Florida’s cost of living so low, but its quality of life so high? A huge factor is Florida’s lack of state income tax; a booming tourism industry fueled by amusement parks and awesome beaches help keep the state’s economy moving. Keep this in mind when looking at new homes. Your pockets may be a little fuller than expected day-to-day in Florida due to the low taxes. 

Little Havana in Miami Florida


South Florida is a bit of a hub for many immigrant communities and cultures, and in that way, is quite similar to NYC. “We are home to millions of people from around the world so there is no shortage of culture and art.” Says Richard.

Try a Cuban Sandwich in Little Havana, or take in a Colombian soccer match at a bar in Miami-Dade to experience a bit of the region’s international flavor. “I always advise new residents to take a trip to Wynwood and Midtown to see live art being displayed from artists around the world.” Richard tells us personally.

There are vibrant communities for cultures from all over the world in South Florida to explore, and taking advantage of all of it should definitely be on your agenda for after your move. 

Moving to South Beach, Miami Florida

The Beach

When you think of South Florida, you probably think of “the beach." Though New York City is also home to a number of beaches, you can’t quite compare the two. “South Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country”, Richard says.

The way the land is set up in South Florida, you are never too far away from a beach; most of the time it’s just a 20 minute drive away. With so much coastline to work with in South Florida, there’s a beach where you can try pretty much any water activity that you want. “Whether you like to swim, snorkel, jet ski, or exercise you will definitely fall in love with the amazing beach scenery”, Richard continues. From Key West to Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm beach, there is seemingly no end to the beaches in South Florida.

Still, it’s unlikely you’ll be spending every day at the beach; there is plenty else to do. A lot of the time, Florida Residents will top for dip in a pool like the one at Altman’s Altis Kendall Square instead of heading to the beach. 

 Atlis Kendall Square Pool, Florida


Florida’s unusual climate makes it more suitable for many different kinds of wildlife across the state, especially within the confines of the everglades. Animals like gators, lizards, and insects are much more commonly found within Florida, especially in areas like Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Tampa.

For nature lovers, a walk on the wild side of Florida can be a very rewarding experience. More than 80 species of butterflies can be found at Butterfly World, located in Coconut Creek, the “butterfly capital of the world”.

An even more immersive experience in nature can be found at Everglades National Park, with boat tours and effervescent hiking trails. For those less fond (and more afraid) of such creatures, make sure to be prepared for unexpected encounters with some bug spray. 

If you are not into wildlife refuges, you can always check out Disney World, Universal Studios and many of the other Florida theme parks for some good family fun.  

Coconut Creek Butterfly World


Unfortunately, South Florida lacks any significant public transportation infrastructure. Miami-Dade county has a few public transit options, but ultimately most Floridians use personal cars to get around, like in Los Angeles.

Cars provide some additional freedom in transportation, but needing to find parking or drive at wee hours are certainly drawbacks. For a night out on the town, whether taking in a play at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, or taking in a drink at one of Miami’s hottest clubs, you may want to try a ride-sharing app like Lyft or Uber.

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