Moving to Florida or Louisiana? Tips for Going the Distance

In 2020, according to a survey by Move.org, Florida was the No. 1 destination for people moving out of state. 

Forty-two percent cited affordable housing as the reason for the relocation, while another 48% said the move was because of income loss due to COVID-19 (and Florida has no state income tax, so there’s that). The Office of Economic and Demographic Research for the state of Florida estimated that over 308,000 people moved to Florida in 2020. 

In Louisiana, on the other hand, the state saw a population growth of 2.7% since the 2010 census. If you’re considering either state, here are some tips for going the distance when relocating to Florida or Louisiana. 

Weather

People heading south to Florida or Louisiana are often chasing the warm temperatures. However, some people may be unprepared for just how different the weather is. 

For example, both Florida and Louisiana summers can routinely reach temperatures of over 90°F, and that’s before humidity kicks that up to feeling like 120°F. Nights don’t cool down much, and humidity can take a toll on people with breathing problems.  

The Atlantic hurricane season (which includes Florida, Louisiana and the Caribbean) runs from June to November each year, with the peak being in August to October. Northerners more acquainted with blizzards will get a quick lesson on the installation of hurricane shutters and evacuation routes, as well as the necessity and contents of emergency supplies. 

When planning your relocation, timing is always important, so if you don’t want to be schlepping furniture when it feels like 120°F, plan accordingly.

On the positive side, you won’t need to bring your snow boots, parkas, snow shovels or wool sweaters. You can probably also leave the flannel sheets and heavy duvet behind.

Insurance

Florida has the Everglades, lakes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana has the bayous, Lake Pontchartrain, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico. Both are considered tropical climates, and did we mention hurricanes? 

Know what all those things have in common? Water, sometimes lots of it. House insurance in both Florida and Louisiana does not include any flood protection. If you want flood insurance, you have to buy that separately, which can be pricey, depending on where you are located. 

When you are budgeting for your move, make sure you factor in the cost of separate flood insurance.

Housing

Houses in both Florida and Louisiana typically do not have basements. For people accustomed to having the lower level of the house for storage, this can come as a shock. Louisiana also tends to be short on closets. 

Another difference you will notice is the type of building materials. Hurricanes and floods are formidable adversaries, and homes need to be built to withstand the winds and other elements. 

You will notice lots of cinderblock, cement foundations and in Louisiana’s case, houses on raised foundations. There are not many wood-frame foundations in either location because termites are a constant menace, and they like to eat wood. (Add termite damage to your home inspection checklist.) 

Virtually every swimming pool in Florida is going to be enclosed in a strong fence. It’s not to keep the people in; it’s to keep the gators out. It doesn’t stop the little lizards, but they are harmless. 

And if you need renovations, you might find the pace is a little different than what you are accustomed to, so laissez les bon temps rouler (a Cajun French phrase for “let the good times roll”) and accept the slower pace.

Checklist When Moving to Florida or Louisiana 

When you move to a new state, there are several things you need to do right away once you have established residency: 

  1. Get a new drivers’ license. In both Florida and Louisiana, you have 30 days from the day you move to the state to apply for a new drivers’ license. In Florida, you must apply for insurance with a Florida-based insurance agent within ten days of moving. 
  2. Title and register your vehicles. You have 30 days to title and register your vehicles once you move. If you have a lien on your vehicle (you are still making payments, for example), you may have to get a letter from the lienholder giving permission to title the vehicle in your new state of residence.
  3. Register to vote. Changing your voter registration is another way of establishing residency. Also, voting is important.
  4. Update your address with the IRS. They will find you anyway, so you might as well update your address as soon as possible. Different states have different state tax rates, so it makes sense to update your information quickly.
  5. Health Insurance. Did you know that you can’t keep health insurance from your old state when you move to a new state? You don’t want to find out the hard way you no longer have insurance. You can get some information from Healthcare.gov about your options and what you need to do. 
  6. Learn about your county. If you move to Florida, you will need to know what county you are in. In Louisiana, it’s parishes. Things like emergency alerts, evacuation warnings, weather alerts and other things are done by county/parish rather than city or town. If you are waiting to find out if Shreveport is in the path of the storm, you could find out the hard way. 

Easing Your Transition with Self-Storage

Moving is stressful at any time, and moving from one state to another is next level. Did you know that making use of short-term self-storage can simplify your transition

Before you move, you can stage your existing house for sale by boxing up many of your personal belongings and putting them in self-storage so that potential new owners can visualize their stuff in the space. If you use proper moving materials and label the boxes, you will be steps ahead for the actual move. 

Once you get to your new home, self-storage is a great way to make renovations in your new home simpler, and if you are downsizing in the process, using a self-storage unit can give you some breathing room as you decide what to keep, sell, donate or purge. 

If you are moving to a completely new place with a new climate, it could take a bit of time to find out what you need and what you can part with. 

For example, people face unique storage issues in Louisiana, including the climate and weather, not a lot of closet space, indulging in seasonal outdoor gear and more. To find out more, see: 5 Unique Storage Issues in Louisiana.

For people joining the influx into Florida, it could take a while to find the ideal new home with all the competition out there. Short-term self-storage rental can ease your transition. 

Plus, Florida has unique storage issues as well, including the climate and weather, those who have watercraft or RV for fun and more. For more, see: 6 Unique Storage Issues in Florida

The pandemic proved that people can work anywhere, and people are taking advantage of that. If you are moving to Florida or Louisiana, Storage Post has you covered. 

We have multiple locations in Florida or Louisiana, and amenities such as climate-controlled units, drive-up or indoor units, parking spaces and oodles of packing and moving supplies. 

For more, find out all the ways that Storage Post can make your move easier, and then give us a call.