People understandably judge the affordability of a certain area by home prices. While this is a good indicator in many cases, Florida has some hidden or lesser-known expenses that are unique that many people don’t consider when planning to make the move here. It’s important to factor these expenses into your overall plan when looking to move to Florida. Below are a few examples.
The most unusual expense people find when they move to Central Florida are the fees that come with homeowners associations. While HoA’s exist outside Florida, they are much more prevalent here, and people are often surprised at how much they can add to your monthly bill. We discussed HoA’s in a previous article, so if you want to understand more about them, here’s the link. Every HoA has it’s own set of rules, and it’s own set of fees. Not all HoA’s are the same, however. You can find HoA’s that only charge $50 a month. By contrast, there are some that charge $500 a month or more. It depends on what services the association provides. 24 hour manned guard shacks in gated communities are going to cost more. HoA’s that provide lawn maintenance and landscaping are going to cost more. The main purpose of these HoA’s is to protect the value of the property by establishing uniform rules and guidelines for how houses need to be maintained.
Florida is the most expensive state in the U.S. for homeowners insurance with an average annual premium of just under $2000. Often times, the cost of the insurance is bundled with your mortgage, as the bank requires it to protect their interests.
It is also more difficult to get homeowner’s insurance because of the risk of hurricanes. After 2003, when the state was hit with three major hurricanes, many insurance companies stopped offering homeowners insurance in Florida. As a result, the price of insurance skyrocketed and has never really come back down.
Central Florida is known for its palm trees, (generally) great weather, theme parks, and world-class dining. But it’s also known for its traffic. As a result, those looking for less traffic tend to use toll roads.
There are several toll roads in Central Florida that you might find yourself having to use depending on where you live and where you’re going. They are:
- Florida’s Turnpike – Northern Coin System
- Martin Andersen Beachline West Expressway
- Martin Andersen Beachline East Expressway
- Seminole Expressway
- Southern Connector Extension
- Daniel Webster Western Beltway, Part C
- Wekiva Parkway
- Osceola Parkway / CR 522
- Poinciana Pkwy
If you’re wondering what your tolls would be, there’s a great online calculator at https://tollguru.com/florida-toll-calculator
According to the US Energy Administration Floridians on average pay about 13% more for electricity than the national average. Given our year-round climate, air conditioning certainly accounts for some of that. Pools are also a culprit – running pool pumps to keep the water moving takes up electricity as well. There are several power companies in Central Florida depending on where you live. On average, the cost is about $0.11 per kilowatt-hour
While Florida isn’t the most expensive state for property taxes, it’s also not the cheapest. In fact, it’s pretty much in the middle. According to WalletHub Florida ranks 26th in the country for property taxes. Of course, if you’re coming from the northeast, the tax rate in Florida is less than half of what you’re paying now, but for people in many other states, property taxes here are higher.