The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Boca Raton

Thinking of moving to Boca Raton? It’s a beautiful city with a lot to offer, but it’s very expensive. You’ll need some helpful tips before you start planning.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Sep 7, 2022
If you’re considering moving to
Boca Raton
, be ready for a high cost of living, beautiful beaches, legends of pirate gold, and the occasional hurricane. If you’re looking for sun, sand, storms, and silver spoons, then Boca Raton might just be the spot for you! 
Boca Raton,
Florida
was officially established in 1895 when Spanish explorers gave it its name and began settling there. But the city, affectionately known as the Mouse Mouth, existed many centuries before that as a home to thieves, pirates, and persecuted natives. They used the area’s seemingly treacherous rocky waters to keep enemies away. 
Today, those waters are a favorite recreation spot for thousands of happy residents and vacationers. In fact, Boca Raton is widely considered one of the best places to live in America—if not the world! 
To secure your piece of this white-sand paradise, you’ll need to have your finances in very good condition, as Boca Raton is an expensive place. You’ll also need to plan your move carefully ahead of time, which is precisely what
Jerry
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What you need to know about Boca Raton before you move

On Florida’s southeastern coast, you’ll find Boca Raton, a tiny patch of paradise that 98,776 lucky residents call home. World-famous for its cuisine and its gorgeous beaches, the Mouse Mouth is an ideal place to move—if you can afford it. 
Before you set off for BC’s sandy shores, there are a few things that you should know

1. It’s extremely expensive

As has been mentioned, Boca Raton has a reputation for being paradise on earth—but paradise doesn’t come cheap. The cost of living index (COLI) in the Mouse Mouth is 128, which means it’s 28% more expensive than the national average
To give you some context, the most expensive place to live in the U.S. is Manhattan, which has a COLI of 237. On the other end of the spectrum,
Fort Wayne
, Indiana has been named the nation’s most affordable place to live, with a COLI of just over 78
In Boca Raton, you’ll find all the amenities and luxuries of a truly wealthy lifestyle—just so long as you can afford them. On the bright side, you’ll enjoy Florida’s 0% income tax and extremely low cost of utilities

2. There are plenty of jobs 

A large percentage of Boca Raton residents move there for retirement. That being said, however, there are plenty of jobs available if you’re looking for a career opportunity. 
The past year has seen poor job growth (-6.61%), but that is largely due to the recent economic troubles related to the global pandemic. As we move out of quarantine and into the future, Boca Raton is expected to see a staggering 43.8% future job growth—which is dramatically higher than the national projection of only 33.5%. 
You should be aware that most of the jobs in Boca Raton would be considered skill positions—you’ll need a certain degree of expertise in your area to thrive in the city. 
Most jobs are in the fields of education, business administration, finance, real estate, and the sciences. However, there are also a lot of positions in artistic fields, entertainment industries, and culinary pursuits

3. You may have difficulty finding a home

With how in-demand Boca Raton is, it’s not surprising that it’s difficult to find a home for sale in the area. Approximately 1,000 people move to the city each year, and they all need a place to live. 
That being said, the housing market isn’t as cut-throat as you might expect—at least, not in every category. Homes typically only stay on the market for 29 days before selling (which is incredibly fast), and the average selling price is up more than 20% from last year (now it’s $685,822). According to RocketMortgage, Boca Raton is currently a balanced market
How can these things all be true at the same time? The answer has to do with the different levels of demand for houses based on their size
The availability of three and four-bedroom houses is down a combined 7.7% since last year. If you're looking for a smaller home—say, a two-bedroom house—availability is up 9.2%

4. It’s a great place to raise a family

Boca Raton is an excellent place to raise a family. It’s a safe place with a crime rate that’s nearly 40% lower than the Florida statewide average
Violent crime is especially low. In the Mouse Mouth, you have a 1 in 450 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. As soon as you leave the city, that jumps up to the Florida average of 1 in 258
The best part about raising a family in Boca Raton, however, is the city’s renowned education system. From grade-school children in the highly-regarded
Palm Beach County Public School District
to college students at the prestigious
Lynn University
or
FAU
, Boca Raton offers all age groups excellent education options

5. It’s bright, warm, and sunny—until it’s not. 

Like many places in Florida, Boca Raton is known for its warm sunny days and pleasant tropical weather. If you’re headed to BC for some fun in the sun, you won’t be disappointed. The average temperature is between 60°F and 90°F
The winters will likely be your favorite time of year. The skies are clear, the air is warm but mild, and those cool Atlantic breezes are always refreshing. 
In the summer, however, things will change—and not for the better. At least, not unless you’re a fan of oppressive heat, tangible humidity, and cloudy skies. Most of the area’s 60 inches of average annual rainfall come during the summer months. 
These frequent storms might be a refreshing relief from the heat—especially if you happen to be a pluviophile. But those pleasant rainy days can quickly become dangerous tropical storms and hurricanes
Along with those storms can come flash floods, damaging winds, and electrical damage
In Boca Raton, the weather will be your best friend one minute and your bitter enemy the next. You’ll need to have quality homeowners insurance (or
renters insurance
as the case may be), and always keep one eye on the weather forecast. 

6. Beautiful beaches

Another thing that Boca Raton is known for is its gorgeous and nearly-pristine beaches. More than two miles of the most stunning white-sand beaches you have ever seen line the BC area. 
And you won’t have to worry much about the dangers of swimming in the ocean since professional lifeguards constantly patrol the beaches.

7. Pirates, thieves, legends, and buried treasure 

If you’re a fan of interesting history, exciting legends, or treasure hunting, then you’ll love Boca Raton. 
As was mentioned earlier, BC is often referred to as the Mouse Mouth nowadays—but that nickname is a softening of its true moniker. The actual translation of the Spanish phrase “Boca Raton” is closer to “Rat’s Mouth,” a subtle but telling difference. 
The original Spanish explorers originally named BC for the treacherous and often deadly jagged rocks in its bay, which protruded like teeth from the water. 
Long before it became the Rat’s Mouth, though, BC was known by another name—Thieves Inlet. Due to its dangerous waters, BC wasn’t officially colonized until 1895. Before that, it was home to many Tequesta Native Americans who were falsely accused of theft
Many of the area’s most famous pirates and privateers—those intrepid enough to brave the jagged rocks—made Thieves Inlet their hideaway. 
Among these early visitors was perhaps the most famous pirate ever to sail, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Local legends say that, before Blackbeard was killed in 1718, he buried his last and largest hoard of plundered treasure in the white sands of what would later become Baco Raton. 
Who knows, if you move there, you might be the one to finally uncover Blackbeard’s lost treasure. That would certainly help with those steep housing costs! 

Finding a place to live in Boca Raton

The first thing you’ll need to do when moving to Boca Raton is to find a place to live. As mentioned above, this will not be an easy task.  
At the moment, the average selling price for a home in BC is $685,522, and as of August 2022, houses only stay on the market for an average of 29 days—that’s not a lot of time to find a place and secure your purchase. 
If you are looking to buy a home, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first is that you’re far more likely to find a house with one or two bedrooms than you are to find a 3-bedroom or 4-bedroom house. 
Once you hit five or more bedrooms, however, houses tend to stay on the market a bit longer. Of course, for a larger house, you’ll be looking at a higher listing price. 
Here’s a quick overview of the average cost of homes in Boca Raton based on the number of bedrooms (information published by Champagne & Parisi Real Estate):
  • Average price for a one-bedroom house: $236,857
  • Average price for a two-bedroom house:$537,581
  • Average price for a three-bedroom house: $1,207,139
  • Average price for a four-bedroom house:$1,854,689
  • Average price for a five-bedroom house:$5,314,552
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to rent a place, then you’ll find that things are much more affordable. While housing costs in Boca Raton overall are significantly higher than the Florida average, the rental prices are actually a bit lower
Using figures reported by BestPlaces.net, Let’s take a look at the average monthly rent for apartments based on the number of bedrooms: 
  • Average rent for a studio: $1,049 per month 
  • Average rent for a one-bedroom: $1,275 per month
  • Average rent for a two-bedroom: $1,579 per month
  • Average rent for a three-bedroom:$2,121 per month
  • Average rent for a four-bedroom: $2,576 per month
If you’re going to be moving to Boca Raton, it’s probably a good idea to rent a place there first. That will give you time to sample the local culture, decide if it’s the right fit for you, get a more concrete idea of the cost of living, and find just the right house before buying

Moving to Boca Raton checklist 

Once you’ve either closed on a house or signed a rental agreement, it’s time to get ready for your move to Boca Raton. Moving can be chaotic and stressful at the best of times—you might find this checklist helpful in keeping everything organized. 

Before you go

Before you can head off and
settle into a new home
, make sure to do the following: 
  • Decide how you’re going to move. Are you going to
    pack all your things
    into a rental truck? If so, you should
    arrange a U-Haul
    . Are you going to hire a moving company to handle things for you? If so, you should be careful who you hire—
    finding a good moving company
    is trickier than you’d think. Or maybe, you’re the clean-slate type of mover who likes to get rid of most of your belongings and only take a few bags—in which case you’ll need to know
    where to donate your unwanted items
  • If you are taking a U-Haul, but you don’t want to do everything yourself, you might consider
    asking your friends for help
  • Before you go, make sure that you
    notify the right places that you’re moving
    that you’ll be leaving. You’ll want to give your landlord and your employer plenty of advanced notice. Your insurance provider and utility company should also know, though they usually don’t need to know until it’s almost move-out day (it depends on their terms of service).
  • You can hold off contacting the post office until after you’ve moved—but make sure to leave a forwarding address.
  • If you own a car (and you're going to keep it), you might want to
    ship it
    to Boca Raton and take a plane yourself, depending on how long the drive is. If not, you’ll want to buy some snacks, prep a playlist, and get ready for a good old-fashioned road trip! 

After you get there

When you get to your new home in BC, you’re probably going to want to settle in for a good long rest after your trip—but the work isn’t done just yet. Before you can kick off your boots and enjoy that beachfront view, there are one or two more chores to do. 
  • If you moved with a car from another state, you’ll need to be sure to
    register your car
    in Florida and
    update your auto insurance
    information. 
  • If you haven’t already done so, you should purchase homeowners insurance or renters insurance as soon as possible. Your mortgage lender or landlord likely requires you to do so—and it’s an important precaution for protecting your belongings and your wallet. 
  • Contact the appropriate parties to update your mailing address/voter registration as well as your healthcare information. 

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in Boca Raton

If you just gave an involuntary groan after remembering that you need homeowners or renters insurance, don’t worry—you kind find great coverage for really low rates pretty easily. 
Most importantly, you can do so without calling anyone on the phone, leaving the house, or filling out any paperwork. All you need to do is download
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Jerry will help you find the best deals on auto insurance, and then, as a final trick, it will help you
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