23 Best & Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

By: ROS Team

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If you’re looking for a great place to call home, you should consider Florida. The Sunshine State has something to offer everyone, from sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters to world-class theme parks and vibrant big cities. To help you narrow down your options, we have compiled a list of the best affordable places to live in Florida and cheap places to live in FL.

Florida is an excellent state to live in if you prefer warm weather, sandy beaches, and lots of sunshine. It also has a decent mix of major coastal cities and smaller towns to choose from.

Florida is also home to some of the most affordable places to live in the country, so you can live and experience all that it offers without breaking the bank.

Top 23 Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

1) Melbourne12) Tallahassee
2) Tampa Bay13) Daytona Beach
3) Pensacola14) Homosassa Springs
4) Sarasota15) Palm Coast
5) Gainesville16) Jacksonville
6) Naples17) Cape Coral
7) Marco Island18) Bartow
8) Boca Raton19) Saint Petersburg
9) Key West20) Palm Bay
10) Panama City Beach21) New Port Richey
11) Port Charlotte22) Dade City
23) Kissimmee

 

1. Melbourne

The city of Melbourne is located in Brevard County, Florida. It is the largest city in the county and the seat of government. Melbourne is also the home of the Florida Institute of Technology. The city has a population of over 76,000 people, and it is growing rapidly.

Melbourne is one of the safest cities in Florida. The crime rate in Melbourne is much lower than the national average. The city also has a lot to offer its residents outdoors. The city has over 100 parks, and it is located close to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Melbourne is also home to several museums and art galleries.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Melbourne Beach Pier
  • Check out the Eau Gallie Arts District
  • Explore the Florida Institute of Technology campus
  • Visit the Historic Downtown Melbourne area
  • Visit the Foosaner Art Museum
  • Take a walk or bike ride on the paved trails at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park

 

2. Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a bustling metropolis known for its diverse culture and wealth of amenities – from professional sports teams to cultural attractions like Busch Gardens Africa and the Salvador Dali Museum. With over 4 million residents, this area offers endless opportunities for employment, education, nightlife, shopping, and more. Tampa is also home to the University of South Florida, one of the top-ranked universities in the nation.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Busch Gardens Amusement Park
  • Go on a cruise around Tampa Bay
  • Visit the Florida Aquarium,
  • Explore the historic Ybor City District

 

3. Pensacola

There are many reasons why Pensacola is one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. The weather is amazing, with average temperatures in the 70s and 80s year-round. The beaches here are beautiful, and there’s always something to do, whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or nightlife.

Pensacola is also a great place to raise a family, with great schools and plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved in the community. Finally, the cost of living in Pensacola is relatively low compared to other cities in Florida.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Pensacola Museum of Art
  • Check out the Pensacola Lighthouse
  • Go for a walk on Santa Rosa Island
  • Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum
  • Take a stroll down Palafox Street

 

4. Sarasota

This popular tourist destination boasts a thriving economy, an outstanding quality of life, beautiful beaches, and plenty of recreational activities for residents to enjoy. Sarasota is home to the Ringling Museum of Art, a renowned circus museum where visitors can learn about the history and culture of the circus. The city is also well known for its up-and-coming art scene, with galleries and studios popping up all over town.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Ringling Museum of Art
  • Take a walk through the botanical gardens
  • Visit the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
  • Watch the dolphins at the Sarasota Dolphin Research Center
  • Take a boat tour of the bay
  • Shop at St. Armands Circle

 

5. Gainesville

Located in north central Florida, Gainesville offers an ideal balance between small-town charm and big-city amenities. From its iconic football stadium to its unique dining and entertainment options, this vibrant city has something for everyone. It’s particularly popular with students as it’s home to the University of Florida – one of the top universities in the country.

Home to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, Gainesville is a vibrant college town with plenty of culture and activities. The cost of living is 3% lower than the Florida average, making it much more affordable for most people.

Things To Do

  • Visit the University of Florida campus
  • Check out the Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Take a stroll through the Gainesville Botanical Gardens
  • Visit the Kanapaha Prairie
  • Discover all there is to do at Lake Alice

 

6. Naples

With its white sand beaches, championship golf courses, luxury shopping options, and upscale restaurants, Naples is the perfect destination for beach lovers and luxury seekers alike. The city boasts world-class museums and galleries, a performing arts center, plus plenty of parks where visitors can explore nature at its best.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Naples Zoo
  • Kayak in the Ten Thousand Islands
  • Take a walk on Fifth Avenue South
  • Take a boat tour of the Naples Bay
  • Visit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

 

7. Marco Island

This picturesque island on the southwest coast of Florida offers an ideal location for those seeking relaxation and exploration. From stunning beaches to fishing charters and kayaking trips to art galleries – this island truly has something for everyone. With direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and Everglades National Park nearby, Marco Island is a great place to experience both outdoor adventure and coastal beauty.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Marco Islands National Park
  • Take a boat tour of the 10,000 Islands

 

8. Boca Raton

Located between Miami and Palm Beach counties, Boca Raton is a popular destination for both tourists and residents alike. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, this city offers incredible views of the ocean with plenty of beach access points. Along with its white sand beaches, Boca Raton also boasts great shopping – from small boutiques to upscale malls – as well as numerous dining options, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Boca Raton Museum of Art
  • Stroll through the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center
  • Check out the city’s beautiful parks, like Sugar Sand Park and Red Reef Park

 

9. Key West

For those seeking an island paradise in the United States, look no further than Key West. This charming island is located at the southernmost point of Florida and offers visitors stunning sunsets, crystal-clear waters, beautiful coral reefs for snorkeling or scuba diving trips, plus excellent restaurants and nightlife scenes.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Hemingway House
  • Enjoy the sunset at Mallory Square
  • Take a stroll down Duval Street
  • Check out the fort at Key West National Historic Site

 

10. Panama City Beach

This coastal city is known for its white sand beaches, emerald waters, and great entertainment options. Be sure to check out St. Andrews State Park, Shipwreck Island Waterpark, or the Gulf World Marine Park – all popular attractions in this area. With its warm breezes and laid-back atmosphere, Panama City Beach makes a wonderful vacation destination for families and adventurers alike.

Things To Do

  • Visit Pier Park
  • Swim in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
  • Rent a pontoon boat and explore the bay
  • Charter a fishing boat and go sport fishing
  • Take a dolphin cruise
  • Visit Zoo World

11. Port Charlotte

This small city on the Gulf Coast has an average home price below $3,54,000, along with low property taxes and rental rates. It also has a growing job base, plenty of shopping and dining options, and no shortage of outdoor activities.

12. Tallahassee

The capital city of Florida is one of the most affordable places to live in the Sunshine State. With an average home price below $2,82,000, it also boasts low property taxes and rental rates, not to mention its strong job base and access to state government activities.

13. Daytona Beach

The popular tourist destination on Florida’s Atlantic Coast is surprisingly affordable for those who call it home. With an average home price of less than $2,75,000, it has plenty to offer for those looking for a low-cost place to live in the Sunshine State.

Whether you’re looking for an urban center or a beachside paradise, Florida has something for everyone on almost any budget. With these six cheap places to live in Florida, you don’t have to sacrifice your quality of life in order to find a place that fits your budget.

14. Homosassa Springs

Homosassa Springs is a smaller city situated approximately 90 minutes north of Tampa, on the west coast of Florida. It has a population of around 13,791 people and an area of less than 25 square miles.

In January 2022, the median listing home price in Homosassa Springs, FL, was $249,000, representing a 44.5% price increase from the previous year’s worth. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical listing property price per square foot was $154. The median price of a home sold in the area is $229,500.

15. Palm Coast

Palm Coast, located on Florida’s east coast, is a half-hour south of Jacksonville. The city is easily accessible from U.S. Route 95.

If you’re looking for the perfect blend of city conveniences and outdoor activities, then look no further than Palm Coast. This vibrant city features miles of beachfront living with plenty of nearby waterways to explore, plus a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options as well. The city boasts top-rated schools and is home to Florida State University’s main campus in nearby Daytona Beach.

Approximately 89,800 people call Palm Coast home; the population is spread out across a land area of slightly over 96 square miles.  U.S. Census data shows that Palm Coast’s population rose by 19.4% percent since April 2010.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Palm Coast Lighthouse
  • Take a walk on the Flagler Beach Boardwalk
  • Tour the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area
  • Check out the MarineLand Aquarium
  • Take a stroll through the European Village

Top Neighborhoods

1) Palm Harbor

Palm Harbor is a popular neighborhood for house buyers who can afford to purchase a home in the $409,000 to $599,000 price range.

2) Cypress Knoll

Palm Coast’s Cypress Knoll Golf Club is just down the road from this part of town. For house buyers who can afford a property in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range, Cypress Knoll is a popular community to live in.

3) Lehigh Woods

In the Lehigh Woods area, house buyers who can afford to purchase a property in the $314,000 price bracket will find plenty of opportunities to do so. This neighborhood features a playground, basketball courts, and a skate park.

 

16. Jacksonville

Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida, with a population of 911,507. It’s also the most affordable city on Florida’s northeast coast. Interstate 95 runs directly through the city, and Savannah, GA, is two hours away. The city is home to many major airline hubs; therefore, it’s a city that sees a constant flow of people from all over the nation.

Home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and MLB’s Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, this city has it all – from outdoor activities such as fishing and kayaking to cultural attractions like theaters and museums. What makes Jacksonville unique is its incredible arts and entertainment scene featuring everything from small independent galleries to major venues like the Florida Theatre. The city is also home to prestigious colleges such as the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.

The median home price in Jacksonville was $275,000 in January 2022, an increase of 18.5% from previous years. The average price per square foot for a home on the market is $173. Jacksonville has a rent-to-income ratio of 4.28, which indicates it’s also inexpensive to rent an apartment in the city.

Things To Do

  • Visit the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  • Take a cruise down the St. Johns River
  • Sample local cuisine at one of Jacksonville’s many restaurants
  • Catch a show at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
  • Tour historic buildings and neighborhoods like San Marco and Riverside

Top Neighborhoods

1) Northside

This neighborhood is terrific for households with kids. The area is near the Jacksonville Zoo and Talbot Island State Park.

2) Riverside

This neighborhood is booming with shops and restaurants, making it ideal for young professionals and those who enjoy city living.

3) San Marco

This arts district area features lots of shopping and entertainment. San Marco Square has European statues and a fountain. Several art galleries and restaurants can be found along the river.

4) Southside

The Southside neighborhood is a terrific place for families or first-time homebuyers. There’s a lot to offer residences in shopping, eating, and entertainment.

17. Cape Coral

Cape Coral has cheaper housing costs, utility bills, and healthcare costs than the national average. With an average home price of just over $4,30,000, this city on the Gulf Coast is a great option for those looking for affordable living in Florida.

Cape Coral is in the southwest part of Florida near Fort Myers, Cape Coral is one of several large cities in the state that are linked by Interstate 75.

An estimated 200,972 people live in Cape Coral, which covers an area of slightly over 119 square miles. In January 2022, the median listing property price in Cape Coral, Florida, was $400,000, 42.9% higher than in 2021. The median listing price per square foot was $238. The median price of a property sold was $380,000.

Top Neighborhoods

1) Gator Circle

This community was built in 2004 and contained mid-sized houses with a monthly rent of $1,300. There are many things to do in the immediate region, including Yellow Fever Creek Preserve and Del Tura Golf & Country Club.

2) Sunset Pointe

This is a newer neighborhood with a hundred single-family residences ranging from a monthly rent of $1,300.

18. Bartow

With an average home price of $2,65,200, Bartow is one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. The population of Bartow is 19,447, and the median income is approximately $44,297. The thing that makes Bartow an affordable place is the fact that you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city for as low as $600.

Bartow is a short drive east of Tampa Bay along Interstate 4. As of the last U.S. Census, 21,147 people lived in Bartow (up by 17.3%), approximately 53 square miles.

In Bartow, FL, the median listing price of a home was $279,200 in January 2022, up 31.6% from 2021. The average listing price was $171 per square foot, and the average cost of property sold was $215,000.

Top Neighborhoods

1) James Towne Place

Homes in this area tend to be smaller, but they’re still reasonably priced.  Houses have an estimated $379,960, which is around $202.54 per square foot. The neighborhood also has Spessard L. Holland Elementary School, Bartow Middle School, and Bartow Senior High School.

2) Griffin Landing

Griffin Landing is a neighborhood of single-family homes with a wide range of architectural styles, sizes, and budgets ranging from $385,000.

19. Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg lies on the west coast of Florida near Tampa and Tampa Bay. The city’s population is around 265,351, and it spans 131 square miles.

The standard house price in St. Petersburg is $284,100, while the median family income is $45,483. So buying a property in the region is a little more expensive.

Top Neighborhoods

1) Bayway Isles

This subdivision was developed in 1968 and is only 12 minutes from downtown St. Petersburg. It has just 200 single-family homes, most of which have views of the Gulf of Mexico or the waters of one of the state’s many canals.

2) Colonial Place

The cost for the 7 Studio Apartments in Colonial Place currently ranges from $825 to $1,351; the average rent is $1,139.

20. Palm Bay

The city of Palm Bay can be found on Florida’s eastern coast, near the middle of the state, Palm Bay is just over an hour away from Orlando via Interstate 95. Palm Bay covers 101 square miles and has a population of 115,552. Palm Bay’s average monthly apartment rent is $1,331. Location, size, and quality all play a role in the cost of the rent.

Top Neighborhoods

1) Waterstone

There are a lot of single family houses in this suburban neighborhood. Many of the properties are located near the city’s primary school and the coastline.

2) Parkside West

A one-bedroom apartment in Parkside currently costs $1,513 a month, a 32% increase since 2021. This neighborhood has a high school and several parks, including a dog park and disc golf facility, all within walking distance from nearby homes.

3) Magnolia Park at Bayside Lakes

This neighborhood features small streams near several of its home residences. There’s also a public tennis court and a couple of parks for neighborhood residents to enjoy.

21. New Port Richey

New Port Richey is approximately an hour’s drive north of Clearwater and about an hour’s drive northwest of Tampa. The city is located near Interstate 75, making it convenient for commuters to work in larger cities.

There are 16,737 people in New Port Richey, Florida, and the city covers an area of slightly over 5 square miles. In January 2022, the median listing home price in New Port Richey, Florida, was $259,900, representing an increase of 29.9% since 2021. The average listing price per square foot was $187, and the median price of a property sold in this area was $252,000.

Top Neighborhood

1) Key Verde Estates

This neighborhood is a pricier option for those searching for bigger homes. There are houses available to rent from $2,100 to $4,495 monthly.

2) Riverside Village

Single-family houses of all price points can be found in this neighborhood with rental rates of $1,300 monthly.

22. Dade City

Dade City is located between Orlando and Tampa, and more than 7,000 people live within its 6 square miles. The population has seen a steady increase; population growth has increased by 13.8% since April 2010.

Top Neighborhoods

1) Highlands

Mid-size houses are available at a fair price in this neighborhood, conveniently located in the heart of Dade City. The average monthly rent is $575.

2) Leahs Acres

This neighborhood consists of spacious single-family houses. Houses for sale in this neighborhood start at around $74,900 and have an average monthly homeowners association fee of approximately $38.

23. Kissimmee

Kissimmee is located in central Florida, just south of Orlando. This is a beautiful location and only a short drive from most of the major highways in the region.

Nearly 72,000 people call Kissimmee home; the city’s total size is little more than 22 square miles. There are 3,496 people per square mile in this area.

In January 2022, the median listing property price in Kissimmee, Florida, was $350,000, representing a 30.6% increase from previous years. The median listing price per square foot for a property in the area was $192. The median price of a property sold was $327,500.

Top Neighborhoods

1) Breckenridge

Warm swimming pools, floor-to-ceiling windows, spectacular vistas, multiple-car garages, and central air conditioning are among the amenities available in Breckenridge homes for rent, ranging from $1,250 to $2,350.

2) Brownwood Acres

For those looking for a new home to buy, Brownwood Acres is a neighborhood in Kissimmee that offers a variety of stunning styles, different sizes, and accessible rates to pick from. Brownwood Acres homes for sale are priced from roughly $700,000 to $1,000,000.

Average Rent Costs in Florida

Rent costs in Florida are skyrocketing because of the state’s reputation as a vacation spot for the affluent and famous. The average apartment rental in Florida City is $690. The cost of rent varies based on numerous aspects, including location, size, and quality.

Average Moving Costs to Florida Using Local Moving Company

The average moving costs to Florida using a local moving company range from $80 to $100 per hour for a crew of two movers and a truck. Factors like home size, additional services, and distance contribute to the overall cost. Obtain quotes and plan for a seamless and budget-friendly relocation.

FAQs of Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

Which Cities In Florida Offer The Best Value For Retirees?

There are many wonderful cities in Florida that offer retirees excellent value for their dollar. Some of the best include Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville. These cities have a great mix of affordable housing, ample recreational opportunities, and a welcoming climate.

Are There Any Small Towns In Florida That Are Considered “Budget-Friendly”?

Yes. Some small towns in Florida that are considered “budget-friendly” include Williston, Archer, and Keystone Heights. Each of these towns has a population of fewer than 5,000 people and offers plenty of affordable housing options as well as a variety of businesses and services.

What Is The Cost Of Living Like In Florida?

The cost of living in Florida varies depending on the city you choose to live in. In Miami, for example, the cost of living is higher than in smaller cities such as Pensacola. Apart from the cost of housing and food, other important factors to consider include transportation costs, healthcare costs, and taxes.

Why Do People Love Living In Florida?

People love living in Florida because it has a great climate, there are lots of things to do, and the cost of living is relatively low.

The climate in Florida is mild all year round, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer. This makes it a great place to live year-round.

Additionally, Florida has plenty of activities to keep residents entertained, including theme parks, beaches, golf courses, and more. And finally, the cost of living in Florida is much lower than it is in other states on the East Coast.

What Is The Cheapest Place To Live In Florida?

The cheapest place to live in Florida is probably somewhere in the rural Panhandle region. The cost of living there is much lower than it is in more populated areas like Miami or Orlando, and you’ll have plenty of room to spread out. Plus, the climate is mild and pleasant year-round.

Conclusion:

There are a couple of reasons to like living in Florida, a few being the absence of a state income tax and the beautiful weather year-round. In addition, there are lots of affordable places to live in Florida, which, in combination with a diverse population, excellent food, and a wide choice of amusement parks and other activities, makes it a beautiful city to live in and visit.