Are you looking for a place with a high quality of life as well as an affordable cost of living in Florida? Fear not, as we’ve scoured the state to find the most affordable places to live in Florida. Everybody wants to live in a community where they can feel safe, where unemployment is not an issue, and 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 the best and cheapest places to live in Florida where you can enjoy warm weather, stunning landscapes, and gorgeous beaches without breaking the 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 budget-friendly cities in the Sunshine State.
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But there are also some people who regret moving to Florida. It can quickly become a nightmare due to lack of research. You can click on the link to know more about it but in this post, we will only focus on the most inexpensive cities in Florida to live in.
Table of Contents
Best & Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida
1. Cape Coral
Cape Coral is my favorite city. I lived here 5 years before moving to California. Located in the southwestern part of Florida near Fort Myers, Cape Coral tops our list of the best affordable Florida cities. With 400 miles of canals, the city is also known as ‘Waterfront Wonderland’. The population of Cape Coral is about 222,000. The lower crime rate makes it one of the safest places to live in Florida.
Why It is Cheap?
Cape Coral’s low cost of living can be attributed to a variety of factors, including its large supply of available land, low property taxes, and relatively low cost of real estate. Residents can take advantage of a multitude of inexpensive outdoor recreational opportunities thanks to the city’s position in Southwest Florida.
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. Like any other Florida city, Cape Coral also has several pros and cons that you must know before moving here.
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 $2000 per month for rent and a one-bedroom apartment can be rented for $1400 per month (or less). The median home price is around $245,000. Based on all these factors, a single individual could be able to live comfortably on an average budget of around $2300-2800 a month.
2. 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 11000 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 economic 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.
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 the most affordable cities in Florida for the low median home price and affordable grocery and healthcare. Housing expenses are the main cause of Fort Meade’s lower cost of living index, which is 13% lower than the national average. Expect to pay around $2000-2500 per month to live a comfortable life.
3. Dade City
Surrounded by rolling hills, refreshing air, walkable streets, rare gorgeous downtown, and pasture lands, Dade City is the prime escapade location in Florida. The small town is an hour’s drive northeast of Tampa sitting in the hills of NE Pasco County. It has earned a name as Monarch City and the Tree City of the USA.
Why is it cheap?
This small town in Pasco County is home to 6,966 people. In terms of cost of living, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), Dade City is ranked 108 out of 273 cities across the USA which is 96.6% of the national average. The city interests seniors as it is considered the cheapest city to live in Florida with no burden of income tax.
So, Dade City is waiting for many adventures! Here you will find 16 acres of land at the museum – Pioneer Florida Museum examining and illustrating the state history in the liveliest manner.
Next, come to a movie setting Geddon Horror Park for a thrilling experience. Visit an extraordinary vintage antique store on Main Street. I would suggest coming to Saint Joe Road to get the most exhilarating zipline ropes courses.
Cost of Living in Dade City
The cost of living index in Dade City is 89.4 based on a US average of 100. Healthcare expenses in Dade City are 5% lower than the national average. Your expense for a doctor’s visit ranges from $100.00 – $112.37. Whereas veterinary visit is around $53.73 with drug costs around $447.16. On average, the median income of an individual is $24,436. The housing price is 13% lower than the national average, around $95,100.
4. Mount Dora
With charming historic attractive streets, wider sidewalks, and a unique combination of the cute landscape of hills and lakes, Mount Dora is one of the most cherished places in Florida. The town overlooks 4,500 acres of Lake Dora sitting on a 184-foot plateau with a beautiful green canopy of live oak trees making it so unique from others.
Why is it cheap?
Lake Dora has recorded a headcount of about 13,000 people with a very affordable cost of living. As per 2022 records of C2ER, the cost of living is around 94.7% of the national average making it an average of US cities, ranking 130 out of 273 cities in the USA.
However, the housing cost in Mount Dora is around $242,900 which is greater than the national median home value. Also, it is 11% safer than other US cities.
Renninger’s Vintage Antique Center sponsors an antique fair where more than 200 vendors set up their booths to celebrate. The Bicycle Festival and Christmas Festival in Mount Dora draw a lot of visitors here. Strolling through the very walkable downtown is so peaceful.
You can spend your weekend shopping at Renninger’s Flea and Farmer Market. How can you miss kayaking near Mount Dora? Enjoy the vibe of Rock Creek Run and Wekiva River.
Cost of Living in Mount Dora
The cost of living index in Mount Dora is 100.4 based on a US average of 100. The annual cost of living for a single adult is $37,103 annually. Single adults’ average health care is around $4,021, which is less than nationwide.
On the other hand, the average annual cost of childcare for two children is around $11,499, again less than the national average. A family of four spends $9,380 on average on food in Mount Dora.
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.
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 a well-connected transport system that takes residents and workers to all major cities of the state at a reasonable cost.
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 $2000 per month.
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 to live in Florida on a budget.
Why It is Cheap?
If you are planning to move to Florida, Jacksonville may be a perfect financial destination. Being one of the most affordable places in the US, 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.
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 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 but the living cost has increased after the pandemic. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom studio in a normal area is around $1100. Groceries, goods, and services can be really cheap. If you cook yourself, you can save a lot of money. With a monthly expenditure of $2200-2800, you can expect a happy life with all the basic amenities.
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. There are so many good places to live in Central Florida.
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. The tourism, agriculture, digital media, and aviation sectors are booming right now.
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
Orlando has a higher cost of living compared to the national average, primarily due to the city’s high housing costs. However, other expenses such as transportation, healthcare, and groceries are relatively affordable 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 for under $1400 per month. With around $2500 per month, you will be able to cover all of your basic costs.
Home to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, Gainesville is one of the safest and cheapest places to retire in Florida. It is a large city and located in Alachua County.
Gainesville is an ideal destination when you’re searching for 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.
The city features several family-friendly attractions including public parks, lakes, and scenic walking trails. You must visit Ichetucknee Springs State Park during the summer months and enjoy the cool activities in this popular Florida spring to beat the heat. Florida Museum of Natural History is also a popular tourist attraction in Gainesville. In the evening you can explore the vibe of clubs and taste hand-crafted beers.
Cost of Living in Gainesville
The average monthly rent in Gainesville is around $1200. Even you can find one-bedroom apartment rent as low as $1050 per month. The average home listing price in Gainesville is approximately $200,000, while the median sales price is around $120,000.
Groceries 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 $2400 a month in Gainesville.
So, are you determined to move to Florida? Here is our in-depth analysis of the 15 pros and cons of living in Florida.
Quincy is small but one of the most desired cities in northern Florida that lies in Gadsden County. The affordable median home value($145,000) and lower crime rate make it the best and most 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 in without breaking the bank. Unemployment in Quincy sits at 6%. Looking for the cheapest housing in Florida?
Quincy is a city where most of the residents own their houses. Healthcare services may be higher than the national indexes, but overall Quincy is a cheap Florida city to live in.
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. The average rent of a 2 bedroom home in Quincy is around $1500. Overall, with a monthly budget of $2200-$2500, one person can live comfortably in Quincy, Florida.
If you are looking for a charming and relaxing lifestyle at an affordable price, you can settle in Dunedin which is located on the northwest 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, a low crime rate, a 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.
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 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.
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 for under $1200 per month. One can expect to spend $2000-$2500 monthly to live in Dunedin.
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 most 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.
Related Post: 10 Fastest-Growing Cities in Florida
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 cost in Bartow is under $275,000. A single adult needs $1,800-$2,200 per month to live in Bartow. This budget includes housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation, and taxes.
On the east coast of Florida City sits the most vibrant city called Melbourne, famous for the beach and outdoor adventures. Also, it is the powerhouse of regional economic high-tech companies and subsidiaries along the “Space Coast”. From here you can easily visit Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.
Why is it cheap?
As per the latest US census, the current population in Melbourne is 87,261. This tech bomb town is wealthy in terms of history, culture, natural enthusiasm, and job facilities. Melbourne is considered 6% safer than USA cities, you have 1 in 35 chances of becoming a victim of property crime.
In Melbourne, you are always in the mood to stroll along the gorgeous Melbourne Beach Pier for some relaxation and peace. In the pine forest on 400 acres, the land sits the most popular Wickham Park welcoming people of every age. You can walk, run, ride on a horse, or do whatever you want. Set up your evening plans at Cocoa Beach Pier having fine seafood and enjoying the view.
Cost of Living in Melbourne
The cost of living index in Melbourne is 94.4 based on a US average of 100. The total cost of a single adult is around $33,980 a year which is less than the annual cost of living in other towns in Florida.
Furthermore, you can buy a house whose median value is around $155,300, less than the national median home value of $204,900. The average health cost and food costs of a single adult are around $3,937 and $ 3,280 per year respectively.
13. Vero Beach
Vero Beach is about sunshine, a sparkling ocean, a laid-back atmosphere, pristine sand, historical sights, eclectic shops, and cultural marvels. It sits along the Atlantic coast in Indian River County giving locals easy access to other coastal towns and national parks. From here, Miami it’s just 135 miles away.
Why is it cheap?
Vero Beach is home to 16,693 people and is considered the 232nd largest city in Florida. Vero Beach is considered 28% safer than other US cities. Here you have 1 in 68 chances to be a victim of property crime and 1 in 47 chances to become a victim of violent crime.
The historic downtown of Vero Beach is vibrant with cafes, restaurants, and shops where you can easily spend time strolling around. From there come to cherish time at Golden Sands Beach, Jaycee Park, or Wabasso Beach Park to enjoy the salty air.
Explore 18 acres of landscape discovering unique trees and waterfalls at McKee Botanical Garden. You can also go to many museums or Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Cost of Living in Vero Beach
The cost of living index in Vero Beach is 95.2 based on a US average of 100. Vero Beach is the cheapest place to buy a house in Florida as the median home price is around $341,423, which is 14% lower than the national average. On the other hand, the national median monthly rent is around $1,023. A single adult expense in Vero Beach is around $33,640 annually.
14. Plant City
In the northeast Hillsborough County of Florida between Tampa and Lakeland sits Plant City which was once called Ichepucksassa. Plant City already has fame in the world for celebrating the Florida Strawberry Festival. Also, the city draws visitors as it holds a strong position in the entertainment industry.
Why is it cheap?
Plant City is the 104th most populated city in Florida with 41,276 people residing. It is 13% safer than other US cities recording 26.91 crime rates (per 1,000 residents). Here you can enjoy a more suburban life with a simple standard of living. Walmart offers the most employment opportunity to the residents of Plant City.
Explore the downtown area, and go to museums and boutiques. You cannot miss out on Bing Rooming House African American Museum. Along West Baker Street, go to Parkesdale Farm Market.
When you are in Plant City, and tasting strawberries is a must! Enrich your history knowledge at East Hillsborough Historical Society. In the evening, enjoy the beauty of Community Park.
Cost of Living in Plant City
The cost of living in Plant City is 94.7 based on a US average of 100. As per 247wallst.com, the median home value in Plant City is around $154,300, less than the national average. Housing expenses are 33% lower whereas food and grocery prices are 7% higher than the national average. The healthcare cost of a single adult expense is on average $4,182 per year.
Along Florida’s famous Space Coast sits the greater Titusville which is famous for sunrise views, rocket blasts off and home to sea turtles. It is also home to five museums and well-known attractions like – Mims, Oak Hills, Port St. John, and Scottsmoor.
Why is it cheap?
Titusville is a small town in Brevard with good breweries, quaint shops, pizza places and hanging out places. It is home to 50,298 people in America. In December, the place feels so magical, the lights of Hope, and Christmas trees look so beautiful. The people here are so caring and very passionate about their community. It is considered 13% safer than other US cities.
Titusville is home to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you cannot miss Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, and the American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame.
You can go to Blanton Park, Chain of Lakes, and Pritchard House. You should have dinner at Shiloh’s Steak & Seafood, from where you get spectacular views of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Cost of Living in Titusville
The median home value here is around $130,500, less than the national average. In Titusville, you have to pay $910 a month as rent which is less than the $1,023 national median monthly rent. Hence, if you are in search of the cheapest rent in Florida, Titusville is a good search. If you earn $40,000 a year, you can easily survive here.
Here, I come to the end of the list of cheapest places to live in Florida, giving a complete insight into the cost, expenses, house price, crime rate, employment and healthcare. These places ensure excellent warm weather, varied outdoor activities, mouth-watering foods, a great place to hang out, job opportunities, good hospitals, schools, and a strongly knitted community feel.
What more can you want from a place?
FAQs: Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
1. What city in Florida has the best job opportunity?
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 famous for its warm climate, beach resorts, amusement parks and so many other attractions. It 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. You can also read the moving to Florida checklist and guide.
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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