10 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida

Are you looking for a place with a high quality of life as well as the affordable cost of living in Florida? You have landed on the right page. Everybody wants to live in a community where they can feel safe, where unemployment is not an issue, where they can have easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, recreation, medical facilities, and more.

Keeping the above points in mind I have sorted out the list of 10 cheapest places to live in Florida where you can enjoy warm weather, stunning landscapes, and gorgeous beaches without breaking your bank. Whether you are a digital nomad, an expat, a retiree or just moving to Florida to start a new life, you will find plenty of affordable places to live in Florida.

Cheapest Places to Live in Florida

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Cheapest cities in Florida to live

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CAPE CORAL: Cheapest Places to Live in Florida

Located in the southwestern part of Florida near Fort Myers, Cape Coral tops in our list of top 10 cheap places to live in Florida. With 400 miles of canals, the city is also known as ‘Waterfront Wonderland’. The population of Cape Coral is about 175,000. The lower crime rate makes it one of the safest places to live in Florida.

Why It is Cheap?

Housing expenses, utility prices, and healthcare in Cape Coral are lower than the national average. However, transportation and grocery might be a bit pricier but cheaper than nearby Fort Myers.

You don’t need to pay any income tax, estate tax, inheritance tax if you live in Cape Coral which is also good news for retirees who are on a fixed income. Definitely, Cape Coral is one of the least expensive places to live in Florida.

cheapest places to live in Florida
Cape Coral

Nearby Sightseeing

The year-round sunny weather is perfect for people looking to soak up some rays. You can go for a road trip to Walt Disney World, the Everglades, and the Keys at the weekend. There’s a variety of restaurants, waterparks, shopping choices, and nonexpensive entertainment like fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, and many more.

Cost of Living in Cape Coral

Cape Coral is surprisingly an inexpensive place in Florida where family homes can be found under $1200 per month for rent and a one-bedroom apartment can be rented for $900 per month (or less). The median home price is around $225,000. Based on all these factors, a single individual could be able to live comfortably on an average budget of around $1800-2000 a month.


FORT MEADE

If you’re looking for a safe place to live in Florida where median home prices for newer homes are lower, Fort Meade is worth consideration. Fort Meade is a small city in Polk County, located around 50 miles east of Tampa. With a population of about 10000 people, Fort Meade is a part of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan area.

Why It is Cheap?

The city might be in the rural part of the state but the great job opportunities and strong economical growth make the city a wonderful place for families, multi-generational families, and even solo professionals or expat. There is not much crime in Fort Meade and the great community and friendly people are the main USP of this city.

cheapest places in Florida to live
Fort Meade

Nearby Sightseeing

It is not far from either Coast, and there is decent shopping in the next towns, not so far from Fort Meade. Fort Meade offers several outdoor recreation activities like canoeing and kayaking. It also features several parks and historic buildings like Fort Meade Historical Society worth visiting.

Cost of Living in Fort Meade

Fort Meade is included in our list of most affordable cities in Florida for the low median home price and affordable grocery and healthcare.

Expect to pay around $1500-1800 per month to live a comfortable life.


EDGEWATER

Where are the cheapest cities to live in Florida? You can consider Edgewater if you want to live near the beach. Located between Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral Edgewater is a small town on the eastern coast of Florida. It is a quiet and safe place with affordable houses, good schools, and amazing job prospects. Above all, the violent crime rate is very low compared to other major cities in Florida.

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Why It is Cheap?

The city has an amazing home value to income ratio(2.8) if you’re looking for the cheapest town to live in Florida. It has excellent job opportunities and has a well-connected transport system that takes residents and workers to all major cities of the state at a reasonable cost.

Most affordable places to live in Florida
House at Edgewater

Nearby Sightseeing

You can access many Atlantic ocean beaches which are just a short drive away from Edgewater. You can go for a day trip to Orlando which is just an hour’s distance by car. So a day trip to the theme parks is definitely possible.

The Rotary Park shaded by oak trees, Smyrna Dunes Park, and prehistoric archaeological sites will keep you entertained. For more adventure enjoy camping in New Smyrna Beach RV Park and Campground which is just 4 miles away from Edgewater and one of the best campgrounds in Florida.

Cost of Living in Edgewater

If you are searching for the cheapest places to buy a house in Florida, Edgewater makes for a great choice. Living cost in Edgewater is not that expensive. From housing expenses to dining, utility bills, healthcare, goods, and services, everything is pretty inexpensive in Edgewater. You can expect to live here for less than $1800 per month.

READ ALSO: 10 Best Anti-Theft Travel Backpacks: Buying Guide


JACKSONVILLE

Jacksonville is not only one of the largest cities in the United States, with an estimated population of 911,507 it is the most populous city in Florida. Unlike many large cities in the US, Jacksonville has maintained its affordability. Jacksonville offers 850 square miles of stunning beaches, award-winning restaurants, and unique, cultural communities making it one of the best places in Florida to retire on a budget.

Why It is Cheap?

If you are planning to move to Florida, Jacksonville may be a perfect financial destination. You don’t have to spend big money to have fun in Jacksonville. The city is full of many amenities for residents to enjoy, including spectacular beaches, natural wonderlands, museums, and gardens. With average home prices, this is a cheap place in Florida to live in. If you’re a beach lover, you are lucky to own a house in Jacksonville.

The unemployment rate in Jacksonville is very low. It’s pretty easy to find a suitable job in Jax. The best part of moving to this city is its proximity to other major cities like Atlanta, Georgia, Alabama, etc.

cheapest cities to live in Florida
House in Jacksonville

Nearby Sightseeing

Jacksonville is one of the cheapest places to visit in Florida. It is a family-friendly city and offers countless outdoor recreational activities. Especially, if you love water, then Jax can be a heaven to you. Apart from its stunning beaches, you can spend a day at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, enjoy a day trip to Kingsley Plantation or explore Fort George Island Cultural State Park.  

Cost of Living in Jacksonville

The cost of living in Jacksonville is lower than the national average. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom studio in a normal area is around $900. Groceries, goods, and services can be really cheap. If you cook yourself, you can save a lot of money. With a monthly expenditure of $1800, you can expect a happy life with all the basic amenities.


ORLANDO

Who doesn’t like to live in a city with a casual, laid-back atmosphere with amazing attractions, spectacular scenery, and a plethora of job opportunities? In fact, it is a dream destination for many people. Orlando offers all these things and surprisingly this Central Florida paradise offers low-cost living. Orlando is also known as the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’. The city won’t break the bank with the median home price just at $233,000.

Why It is Cheap?

Housing is the main factor in the cost of living and median home prices are very favorable for individuals in Orlando. Groceries, utilities, and healthcare are also pretty affordable here. There are plenty of job opportunities in and around the Orlando metro area. Tourism, agriculture, digital media, and aviation sectors are booming right now. 

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Affordable Florida cities
Orlando Attractions

Nearby Sightseeing

There is no shortage of free attractions in Orlando. The city boasts several theme parks, concerts, farmers’ markets, and adventure activities. Orlando attracts more than 51 million visitors each year. Besides the popular theme parks, you can visit Kennedy Space Center and enjoy Boggy Creek Airboat Tour with your family.  

Cost of Living in Orlando

Stay far from the theme parks. You can find cheaper options on the outskirts of Orlando. One bedroom studio rent can be found under $1000 per month. With around $2000 per month, you will be able to cover all of your basic costs.


GAINESVILLE: Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

Home to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, Gainesville is one of the safest and cheapest places to live in Florida. It is a large city and located in Alachua County. Gainesville is an ideal destination when you’re searching that affordable big town feel. Offering all the necessary amenities for a low cost of living this city doesn’t break the bank with its affordable median home price.

Why It is Cheap?

The cost of living in this sunshine state city is 2% lower than the national average. Housing costs are lower as well as grocery and healthcare. Only the utility cost is higher than the national average.

Job opportunities are skyrocketing in Gainesville. Top employers in the area include the University of Florida and UF Health, followed by the Alachua County School Board and Shands HealthCare and North Florida Regional Medical Center.

Gainesville
Gainesville

Nearby Sightseeing

The city features several family-friendly attractions including public parks, lakes, scenic walking trails. You must visit Ichetucknee Springs State Park during the summer months and enjoy the cool activities in this popular Florida springs to beat the heat. Florida Museum of Natural History is also a popular tourist attraction in Gainesville.

Cost of Living in Gainesville

The average monthly rent in Gainesville is around $858. Even you can find one-bedroom apartment rent as low as $750 per month. The average home listing price in Gainesville is approximately $200,000, while the median sales price is around $120,000. 

Food cost can be slightly pricier, but overall you will see a significant reduction in cost while living in Gainesville. The monthly budget comes in at less than $1700 a month in Gainesville.


QUINCY

Quincy is a small city in northern Florida lies in Gadsden County. The affordable median home value($145,000) and lower crime rate makes it the best and affordable place to live in Florida. Once a tobacco manufacturing hub is now a hub of art and culture.

Why It is Cheap?

It is one of the most underrated cities in Florida. Because of its less population(7,972) and small size, Quincy is very affordable to live without breaking your bank. The unemployment in Quincy sits at 6%. Looking for the cheapest housing in Florida? Quincy is the city where most of the resident own their house. Health care services may be higher than the national indexes, but overall Quincy is a cheap Florida city to live in.

Houses in Quincy, Florida
Houses in Quincy, Florida

Nearby Sightseeing

Whether you love to experience the modern aspect or historical sites, you will definitely love this city. There is no shortage of natural trails, state parks, and museums. You can explore Apalachicola River Blueway National Recreation Trail, Lake Talquin State Forest, The Shade Tobacco Museum, and many more attractions during the weekend.

Cost of Living in Quincy

If you are looking for your dream home in Florida at cheap, look no further and move to Quincy. Food and utilities costs are also not that expensive. Overall, with a monthly budget of $1600, you could be able to live comfortably in Quincy, Florida.


DUNEDIN

If you are looking for a charming and relaxing lifestyle at an affordable price, you can settle to Dunedin which is located on the north-west coast of Florida. It’s considered one of the best places to live in Florida on a budget. Dunedin is a small beach town with good schools, low crime rate, low cost of living, average job prospects.

Why It is Cheap?

The downtown Dunedin area may be expensive but the outskirts of Dunedin is one of the cheapest areas to live in Florida. Even you can get a good deal to buy a house. There are also lots of affordable condos in Dunedin to rent. Housing, transportation, utilities, goods, and services are lower than the state and national average. This is definitely one of the reasons for being one of the cheapest places to live in Florida near the beach.

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cheapest places to live in Florida near the beach
Sunset in Dunedin

Nearby Sightseeing

The idyllic temperature and stunning white sand beaches made it a popular romantic getaway in Florida. Visit the nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, enjoy the surrounding nature, and watch the beautiful sunset. It is a heaven for nature lovers. You can visit Honeymoon Island State Park Dog Beach, a popular dog beach in Florida.

If you love entertainment this beautiful city in Florida won’t disappoint you. From the waterparks, golf clubs to scenic hiking trails like the Pinellas Trail, Dunedin is packed with recreational outdoor activities.

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Cost of Living in Dunedin

The cost of living in Dunedin is 8% lower than the national average. The median home price in Dunedin is $157,000 which is 5.8% lower than the state average. One bedroom studio rent can be available under $600 per month. One can expect to spend $1700 monthly to live in Dunedin.


BARTOW

Bartow is located 50 miles southwest of Orlando and 40 miles east of Tampa. With a population of nearly 20,640 and a median home price of $139,500, Bartow happens to be one of the affordable places in Florida to live in. It is very quiet and has good schools that offer IB programs. Being in the convenient location of Polk County, you can easily commute to work in Bartow.

Why It is Cheap?

Housing, grocery, transportation, and health expenses are lower than the state average as well as the national average. One bedroom studio or apartment rent can be available for $640 per month. Employment in Bartow is mainly fueled by the county, state, and city governments. The economy of Bartow is thriving and constantly growing.

Bartow County Courthouse
Bartow County Courthouse

Nearby Sightseeing

The city of Bartow and the surrounding area are filled with historical buildings and classic architecture. It is a perfect place for history buffs. Due to the city’s close proximity to Tampa and Orlando, you can go for a weekend trip to the famous theme parks and can have the best of these places. Visit the Polk County History Center, Municipal Airport Museum, Alafia River State Park, and much more.

Cost of Living in Bartow

The cost of living in Bartow is 12% lower than the state(Florida) average. The average home costing in Bartow is under $100,000. A single adult needs $1,700 per month to live in Bartow. This budget includes housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation, and taxes.

FAQ on Cheapest Places to Live in Florida

1. What city in Florida has the best job opportunity?

A: Orlando is the best city for students who are looking to move to Florida. It features various job opportunities such as statistician, cement mason, physician assistant, rodbuster, and many more. To find area-specific jobs, you can check out My Florida Jobs, Career Builders, or Indeed.

2. What is the safest city in Florida?

A: Satellite Beach area is less populated and the violent crime rate is very low compared to other cities in Florida.

3. Is moving to Florida a good idea?

A: Florida is a great place not only for retirees but also for people looking for recreational activities. You don’t have to pay any state income tax and the healthcare system and job opportunities are also good.

4. Where should you not live in Florida?

A: Every state has some good areas and some bad areas. If you are planning to move to Florida, try to avoid Opa Locka and Cocoa cities where the crime rate and poverty rate are very high. These cities have a low cost of living but you have to pay later.

5. What is the cheapest city in South Florida to live in?

A: You can move to Homestead in southern Florida where the cost of living is affordable, but the option is limited. You may consider Lake Okeechobee too, but the unemployment rate is high here.


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10 most affordable places to live in Florida

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33 Comments

  1. I am going to move to Florida and was looking for some affordable places to rent. It’s a very informative article and helped me a lot to find some safe and cheap place to live.

  2. Hey thank you so much for doing this page I’ve been planning on moving and I’m so happy I ran across your page here, it’s giving me A LOT of insight and definitely better choices to live than what I was trying. ??

    1. Thank you Melissa for your appreciation. I’m really happy to help you to find your new affordable home in Fl.

  3. Kristen Niestrom says:

    Hi can you please guide me on the following;

    1. Employment
    2. I want to rent and live in a safe area and where there is high employment
    3. What is the best way to find a job in the area you suggest?

    1. Hi Kristen, if you are looking for a safe place with a high employment rate, I’ll highly recommend Jacksonville, Gainesville, or Orlando. These cities are safe and perfect for newcomers. There are many job finding sites like Indeed, Career Builders, Monster which are perfect to find area-specific jobs.

  4. Considering moving to Florida. This helped out in finding the cheapest city to live. Especially on a fixed income.

      1. I’m going to move there to start over I’m 60 years old where can you tell me is the best place and the cheapest I have to be pet friendly

        1. Hi Luann, if you are looking for a cheap and pet-friendly place to live in Florida, I will highly recommend Jacksonville. Median monthly rent: $1,059
          Median home price: $185,700. For cheaper options, you may consider Ocala and Lakeland too. These three places are very popular among retirees. Wish you a happy and safe retired life.

        2. Teri La Chonce says:

          the entire article is literally a list of EXACTLY that!

  5. If employment is not a consideration for someone who is retired, what towns are most affordable and somewhat rural, or at a slower pace. What about Citrus county?

    1. Hi Kat, for a peaceful retired life, Citrus county is no doubt a good place where the overall cost of living is lower than the state and country average(Utilities cost is a little bit high though). Especially Homosassa Springs and Hernando are quiet towns full of nature and wildlife.

  6. Great and informative article! I am considering moving to Florida from the Oregon Coast, and at 73, it’s hard to start over when living on a fixed income. You have given me so much information; the cities you mentioned appear to be more affordable than the West Coast. The hot weather is a concern, as I’m not used to it. Is it cooler near a beach?

    1. Thank you Linda for your kind comment. I am really glad that the article helped a senior citizen like you. It is obviously cooler near the beaches, but most of them are expensive. I would suggest you to check Dunedin which is affordable and summer is not that hot.

  7. ashley radford says:

    Hello I am a single mom with 3 kids looking for a kid friendly safe neighborhood but something very affordable with good paying jobs

    1. Hi Ashley, Cape Coral and Dunedin both are comparatively safe places than other Florida cities. The crime rate of these places is lower than the state and national average. Both have lots of job opportunities. To find the area-specific jobs you can check My Florida Jobs, or Indeed.

  8. I wanted to know what places you recommend for a single 25 year old who just graduated with a nursing degree. I want somewhere affordable but still close to the city

    1. Hi Pamela, you can look for Cape Coral. You can find affordable accommodation and it has plenty of job opportunities for nursing graduates. The best thing is that the average registered nurse salary in Cape Coral is pretty high.

  9. I’m looking to retire in next few months in Florida and I love how u put the actual cost to live decent in certain areas. Any chance you can lead me to other areas actual cost for everything also. That’s the part I’m struggling with is leaving ct and running out of money.

    1. Hi Gary, It’s actually not possible to cover the cost of living of each city in a single post. Although, I’m trying to write about other cities, but as of now you can search the cost of living in x city on Google. You will definitely get some ideas. All the best for your retired life.

  10. Excellent information as we are planning to retire to Flordia. First to be snowbirds and find a fun n the sun affordable place to live. Where is the best area for lower cost housing? Is section 8 housing a option in Flordia? where to apply for senior low cost housing or section 8 housing? Thank you.

    1. Hi Janice, you can apply for section 8 housing only if you are a full time resident in Florida with low income and clean rental history. To apply for section 8 housing, you have to contact a nearby PHA(Public Housing Agency) office in your city. Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one PHA to increase your chances of getting approved more quickly.

  11. I am looking to move from Panama City beach Florida soon. I am pushing 60 years old and single so I need affordable, small town feel, local gatherings and by the water. I have a cleaning business so I will need condos, beach houses etc My income? Hec I would even work at apical pub, wine bar or something of that nature. I used to love PCB but it has become unbearable to live here with all of the tourist and price gouging

    1. Hey Donna. If you’re looking for affordable, small-town feel, Edgewater could be the best option for you. It is a peaceful safe town where you can buy condos at a very reasonable price.

  12. Hi I’m planning on moving to Fl but needed somewhere with alot of medical options and which is affordable cost of living

    1. Hi Shekyra, you can choose Cape Coral. It is affordable and has a very good healthcare system.

  13. I was looking at the Pensacola nicevillie, chrestview area. Moving from Utah have 3 dogs and will be needing work as I am setting out on a new adventure. At 48 years young or do you suggest different areas

    1. The housing cost in Pensacola are 27% lower than the national average and the utility cost are 11% lower than the national average. It is definitely a good choice. Moreover, it is safe and offers plenty of outdoor activities.

  14. Teri Lach says:

    This list is a very helpful part in my researching where to move to. IDK why everyone is asking you about affordable places to live when this is literally a list of affordable places to live! I’ll take this info, do other comparable searches including crime rates, COL, average age etc and hope for the best! Thanks for the info.

  15. Where would a safe and also wheelchair accessible and friendly place to live be on a budget of 800-900? For a 1-2 bedroom.

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