The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Orlando

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If you’re looking for a place to live with plenty of entertainment options, mild winters, and reasonable living costs, Orlando might just be the destination for you. Just be prepared to endure heavy traffic and that hot, humid subtropical weather.
For people considering moving to Florida, Orlando is often an obvious first choice. After all, its theme parks, weather, and wildlife make it one of the world’s most visited cities—in fact, 2021 set a record with a number of 118 million visitors!
If you’re thinking about making a move to Orlando yourself, there’s a lot to look into before deciding whether it’s right for you. Courtesy of Jerry, the top-rated app that helps you save on the right car, home, and renters insurance, here’s what to know if you’re considering making “the City Beautiful” your next home.
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What you need to know about Orlando before you move

Tourists from all over the world flock to Orlando to enjoy all it has to offer, while others love it so much that they become year-round residents.
There’s great food, plenty of theme parks, abounding outdoor recreation, and more—and the city just keeps on growing! For the right person, Orlando might just be the happiest place on Earth.

1. The cost of living is pretty standard

Moving to Orlando might be more affordable than you think! 
Orlando’s cost of living index is 103.3, making it just 3.3% higher than the national average. Compare that to San Francisco’s astonishing cost of living index of 244, and Orlando suddenly looks much more budget-friendly!
Let’s take a look at what those costs look like across different categories.
The average rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Orlando is $1,700-1,800 per month. If you’re looking for more space, a 2-bedroom apartment could cost you about $2,200 per month. The average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment is about $2,700.
While you’re roaming about the city, you could expect to spend about $5 on a cup of coffee, and the same goes for a pint of beer. A spicy chicken sandwich meal from Checker’s could cost you about $6, and a dozen eggs from the grocery store could cost about $3 to $4.
The median income in Orlando is about $55,183. Florida’s minimum wage is currently $10 per hour. If you stick around long enough, you’ll see that increase to $15 per hour by 2026.

2. There are plenty of job opportunities in Orlando right now

It’s probably no surprise that a big share of employment here is in the leisure and hospitality industry, but Orlando is home to a pretty wide variety of sectors, including healthcare, transportation, business and professional services, digital media, and technology.
So, depending on your line of work, you could have a number of good prospects for your next job in Orlando. In fact, it’s regularly been deemed one of the country’s top cities for job seekers over the last several years.
The Orlando area’s workforce is said to have increased by about 6% from April 2021 to April 2022. The number of jobs available in the private sector in Orlando during that same period increased by about 9%. 

3. All your entertainment dreams can come true

Are you allowed to say that you’re bored if you’re living in Orlando? There’s a reason tourists flock to Orlando, so in theory, you shouldn’t have to worry about it too much. 
You’ll have some of the world’s most popular theme parks within driving distance. Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Orlando—the list goes on. As you get used to being an Orlando resident, you can learn tips and tricks to get great deals on visits to a lot of these places, especially during the tourism off-season. 
In the city, there’s a little something for everyone. Even if theme parks aren’t your go-to, there’s plenty of entertainment across the city, including a diverse mix of parks, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, performance venues, and nightlife entertainment options. 

4. It’s a great place to expand your educational horizons

Orlando isn’t all fun and games, okay? Who says you can’t learn a little while you’re here, too? 
Orlando has a good number of highly-rated K-12 schools, which can make it a great option to consider for families. 
Beyond that, the Orlando area is home to dozens of higher ed institutions, including the University of Central Florida and Valencia College.

5. You’ll need to get used to the weather

If you’re living in Orlando, you’ll need to be prepared to endure that humid subtropical climate. Central Florida has hot and humid summers with temperatures that can linger in the 90s. 
You’ll also want to be prepared to deal with lots of rain (an average of more than 50 inches each year) from summer to early fall, which will probably be welcome when you’re ready to cool down!
On the plus side, if snow isn’t your thing, you’ll probably love Florida’s mild winters. But the winter months can get cooler than you might expect, with highs and lows that can range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees.

6. Crime rates are pretty average for a city of its size 

Orlando’s property crime rate is lower than the national average, and it’s also lower than what’s considered average for other cities of similar size. Violent crime has overall been on a significant decline in Orlando since the late 2000s. 
Of course, crime rates can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, so if safety is a concern for you, you’ll want to pay attention to data by neighborhood as you’re researching places to live.
However, motor vehicle theft is higher than the national average at more than 300 incidents per 100,000 residents. This makes it essential to have the right insurance if you drive a car in Orlando. 

7. Driving isn’t always the most convenient option

As an Orlando resident, you can expect to deal with congested traffic pretty regularly (you can thank a growing population and the tourism industry for a large share of that!). 
However, depending on where you’re headed, driving in Orlando might still end up being your best transportation option. Avoid morning and late afternoon rush hours when you can!
In other cases, you can get familiar with Orlando’s public transportation options, including the Lynx bus system and the northbound and southbound SunRail system.

Does Orlando live up to the hype?

Whether it’s worth it to live in Orlando is a pretty subjective question. If you’re wary of humid, rainy summers, heavy traffic, or busy tourist seasons, this might not be the city for you.
But if you’re looking for virtually endless entertainment options and mild winters, it’s hard to go wrong with Orlando. 

Finding a place to live in Orlando

Orlando’s population has been on the rise, which could potentially make it harder to find a place to live. 
A good share of Orlando’s residents are renters, but if you’re looking to buy your next home in Orlando, according to Realtor.com, Orlando’s median home sale price in 2022 is about $365,000
If you’re not having much luck and want to expand your options, popular suburbs near Orlando include Doctor Phillips, Heathrow, Oviedo, and Lake Mary.
As you’re selecting the perfect Orlando neighborhood for your next chapter, start by determining a reasonable budget and make a list of neighborhoods with home sales or rent prices within that range. From there, you can narrow down your options by zeroing in on factors that are important to you, like school ratings, proximity to work, nearby amenities, or crime and safety trends
Orlando has more than 100 different neighborhoods. Depending on what you’re looking for, here are a few to consider: 
  • Most iconic neighborhoods: Downtown Orlando, Park Lake, Winter Park
  • Best neighborhoods if you’ve got kids: Rowena Gardens, Audubon Park, Thornton Park
  • Best neighborhoods to buy a house: Audubon Park, Thornton Park, Lake Nona Central
  • Best neighborhoods for foodies: Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, College Park
  • Best neighborhoods if you want to keep your car: Park Lake, Thornton Park—or the suburbs
  • Most affordable neighborhoods: Haralson Estates, Malibu Groves, Richmond Estates
It’s a good idea to visit Orlando for a bit before you move so you can experience some of the ideal neighborhoods for yourself.

Moving to Orlando checklist 

So, you’re officially doing this—you found the right place for you, and you’re moving to Orlando! 
Now comes the work of getting ready for your big move. As you make all those necessary preparations, here are some suggestions to help your transition go smoothly.

Before you go

Ahead of your move to Orlando, here are a few items to add to your to-do list: 
  • Book a reliable moving company to get your belongings to your new home safe and sound. If you’re unsure where to start, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers helpful tips to avoid falling victim to moving scams.
  • Reserve a U-Haul if you’re handling your move yourself.
  • If you’re preparing for a long-distance move, consider arranging to ship your car.
  • Let important contacts know you’re moving—that includes your landlord, your employer, your insurance provider(s), and utility provider(s). 
  • Update your address and set up mail forwarding with the USPS so you don’t miss any important communications.
  • Make sure your new renters or homeowners insurance policy will be active and ready to go once you’ve moved in.
  • Buy that one-way Orlando plane ticket, or download your podcasts and get your playlist ready for your big moving road trip!

After you get there

Once you’ve unpacked the last box in your new Orlando home and have started to settle in, there are a few more things you’ll want to take care of: 
  • If you’ve moved to Orlando from out of state, you’ll need to re-register your car in Florida and update your car insurance if you haven’t already.
  • Start exploring your new home! Now that the moment you’ve been waiting for is already here, get ready to enjoy good food, good entertainment, and experience Orlando like a true local.

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in Orlando

Moving costs can really add up. If you’re looking to make more room in your budget to help compensate, it might be worth revisiting your current insurance policies. It doesn’t have to be a pain, either! 
The insurance super app Jerry can help you find the amount of coverage you’re looking for at the best available rates, whether that’s for car, renters, or home insurance.
You could even find additional savings by bundling multiple policies!
Another thing that makes the Jerry app great is how easy it makes the insurance shopping process. They handle the hard work for you, like handling all that tedious paperwork, and once you find the right coverage option, they can even walk you through setting up your new policy and canceling your old one.
Later, as you approach your renewal period, Jerry can even send you new quotes from top insurance providers to help you make sure you’re still getting a good deal.
No wonder Jerry’s the top-rated insurance app!
“My policy covers two people and four cars: a truck, SUV, convertible, and muscle car. Jerry helped me go from paying $308 a month to $125 a month with the same coverage. I’m loving the savings.” —Jocelyn A.
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FAQs

Whether it’s worth it to move to Orlando is largely going to depend on what you can afford and what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for. 
If you’re looking for mild winters and a wealth of entertainment options in a place with a pretty reasonable cost of living, Orlando’s definitely worthy of consideration.
How much you should save for your move to Orlando depends on your lifestyle and where you’ll be moving to. If you’re paying for movers to help you, you could expect those costs to range from several hundred dollars to several thousand
If you had a one-bedroom apartment in Orlando for $1,700 per month and wanted to spend no more than a third of your income toward rent, you’d want to aim to earn at least $5,100 per month.

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