Florida, known as the Sunshine State, is a popular destination for tourists and retirees alike. With its year-round warm weather, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder people flock to this southern state. However, many potential residents might worry about the cost of living.
So, I decided to take an in-depth look at the cheapest places to live in Florida, where individuals and families can find affordable housing, low living expenses, and still enjoy the best that Florida has to offer.
- 16 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
- Need to Know More about the Cities in Florida or other parts of the United States?
- Final Thoughts
16 Cheapest Places to Live in Florida
Nestled in the heart of Florida, Ocala offers a high quality of life at an affordable cost. The housing market is relatively inexpensive, with a variety of options such as single-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes.
The city also boasts a low cost of living, with affordable groceries, utilities, and transportation. It is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Ocala National Forest, which provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities.
Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a vibrant and youthful city with a low cost of living. The presence of the university keeps the rental market competitive, making it easier to find affordable housing options.
The city offers a range of amenities, including parks, cultural events, and a thriving local music scene. Gainesville also has a low unemployment rate thanks to its diverse economy and employment opportunities.
Located between Orlando and Tampa, Lakeland offers an affordable alternative for those looking to live in central Florida. The cost of housing in Lakeland is below the state average, with a range of options available, from apartments to single-family homes.
The city has a charming downtown area, several parks, and numerous lakes for outdoor recreation. Additionally, Lakeland boasts a lower crime rate compared to other larger cities in Florida.
DeLand, situated in Volusia County, is a small town with a rich history and a low cost of living. Housing in DeLand is affordable, and the city offers a variety of options, including historic homes, apartments, and townhouses.
The city is known for its picturesque downtown area, lined with unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. It also hosts regular events, such as festivals and farmers’ markets, which contribute to its vibrant community spirit.
5 Fort Pierce
Situated on the east coast of Florida, Fort Pierce offers a low cost of living combined with the charm of coastal living. The housing market is relatively affordable, with options ranging from beachfront condos to single-family homes.
The city has beautiful beaches, a historic downtown district, and a lively waterfront area. Fort Pierce is also known for its numerous parks, nature preserves, and recreational activities, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.
6 Panama City
Panama City, located in the Florida Panhandle, offers an affordable coastal lifestyle. While the housing market has seen some fluctuations due to recent storms, there are still affordable options available. Panama City has beautiful beaches, state parks, and a bustling downtown area with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.
Known for its pristine white-sand beaches and emerald waters, Panama City is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The city offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from sunbathing and swimming to water sports like jet skiing and parasailing. St. Andrews State Park and Shell Island provide opportunities for nature lovers to explore diverse ecosystems and spot wildlife.
Panama City also boasts a vibrant downtown area with charming shops, restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene. With its beautiful beaches, recreational opportunities, and lively atmosphere, Panama City is a coastal paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The city also boasts a lower cost of living compared to other coastal cities in Florida, making it an attractive choice for those seeking an affordable beachside living experience.
Located in Central Florida, Sebring is known for its scenic beauty and a relatively low cost of living, making it an attractive place for those seeking affordability without compromising on quality of life.
The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with numerous lakes, parks, and outdoor recreational areas. The abundance of affordable or free outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and camping allows residents to enjoy an active and fulfilling lifestyle without spending a fortune. The city is also home to Sebring International Raceway, where residents can experience exciting motorsports events at affordable ticket prices.
Situated in Lake County, Florida, Leesburg offers a low cost of living combined with a pleasant small-town atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment or buy a home, the housing market in Leesburg is generally more affordable compared to larger cities in the region. The city also offers a range of retirement communities and senior living options for older adults at reasonable costs.
Leesburg is known for its medical facilities and hospitals, providing accessible and affordable healthcare services to its residents. The cost of healthcare in Leesburg is generally lower compared to larger metropolitan areas, which can significantly contribute to overall cost savings, especially for retirees or those with ongoing healthcare needs.
Located along the St. Johns River in Northeast Florida, Palatka is a charming city with a low cost of living, making it a cost-effective place to live.
The city offers affordable housing options, including historic homes, apartments, and townhouses. The cost of purchasing or renting a home in Palatka is generally lower compared to larger cities in Florida, allowing residents to find affordable living arrangements that suit their budget.
Florida is known for its favorable tax climate, and Palatka is no exception. The absence of state income tax and relatively low property taxes can help residents save money and stretch their budgets further.
10 Avon Park
Situated in Highlands County, Florida, this small city is known for its affordability.
It offers a range of affordable housing options, from single-family homes to townhomes and apartments. The cost of purchasing or renting a home in Avon Park is generally lower compared to larger cities in Florida, making it an attractive destination for individuals and families looking for affordable housing options.
Avon Park boasts a relatively low cost of living allowing residents to maintain a comfortable lifestyle while keeping expenses in check.
Next, on my rundown of the Cheapest Places to Live in Florida, Inverness, located in Citrus County, Florida, is a small town known for its scenic beauty and a lower cost of living in its single-family homes, condos, and apartments.
It is surrounded by natural beauty, including lakes, rivers, and nature preserves. The abundance of affordable or free outdoor recreational activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching allows residents to enjoy an active lifestyle without spending a significant amount of money.
Located in Polk County, Florida, Bartow offers cost-effective housing options for individuals and families. The city offers a range of housing choices at relatively lower prices compared to larger cities in Florida, allowing residents to find suitable accommodations that fit their budget.
The city is home to various industries and job opportunities, which can be advantageous for individuals seeking employment or looking to establish businesses. The presence of job opportunities within the city reduces commuting expenses and allows residents to maintain a more affordable lifestyle.
Arcadia, Florida, is a vibrant and picturesque town located in DeSoto County.
Known as the “Heart of Peace River Valley,” Arcadia offers a perfect blend of rural charm and modern amenities for those on restricted budgets. With its historic downtown district and preserved architecture, the town showcases its rich heritage and southern roots.
The Peace River, flowing nearby, provides endless recreational opportunities, including kayaking, fishing, and nature trails. Arcadia is renowned for its annual rodeo and livestock events, attracting visitors from far and wide. The community thrives on a strong sense of unity and hospitality, making Arcadia a welcoming, tight-knit, and cost-effective place to call home.
Starke, Florida, is a small and charming city nestled in Bradford County.
Known for its rich history and southern hospitality, Starke offers a quaint and peaceful atmosphere to its residents and visitors alike. Surrounded by scenic landscapes and dotted with majestic oak trees, the city exudes a timeless beauty.
Starke boasts a close-knit community where neighbors become friends, and family values are cherished. The area’s natural beauty provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, with nearby lakes and parks offering fishing, boating, and hiking adventures. With its warm climate, friendly locals, and a strong sense of community, Starke is a true gem of northern Florida, especially for those on a budget.
Clewiston is a city located in Hendry County, Florida, and offers a cost-effective living environment for its residents. The city offers a range of housing choices, including single-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes, at relatively lower prices compared to larger cities in Florida. This affordability allows residents to find suitable accommodations that fit their budget and contribute to a lower cost of living.
Clewiston boasts a lower cost of living compared to many other areas in Florida, which allows residents to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without the high price tags associated with larger cities, enabling them to save money and have a higher quality of life.
The city is known for its agriculture-based economy, particularly the sugarcane industry. The presence of job opportunities in agriculture and related fields can be advantageous for individuals seeking employment. The availability of jobs within the city reduces commuting expenses and allows residents to maintain a more affordable lifestyle.
Located in Pasco County, Florida, Zephyrhills is a city known for its affordable living environment. The cost of housing in Zephyrhills is generally lower compared to larger cities in Florida, making it an attractive destination for individuals and families looking for affordable living arrangements. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, Zephyrhills provides options that fit different budgets.
Basic expenses such as groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare services are more affordable in Zephyrhills. The lower cost of living allows residents to allocate their funds towards other needs or savings, contributing to overall cost-effectiveness.
This has led to the city becoming a popular retirement destination, thanks to its affordable living options and active retirement communities. These provide residents with access to amenities, social activities, and healthcare services catered specifically to their needs. Retirees can enjoy a fulfilling and affordable retirement lifestyle in Zephyrhills.
Zephyrhills offers a range of outdoor recreational activities at affordable prices. The city is known for its skydiving facilities and has become a popular destination for skydiving enthusiasts. Additionally, it is surrounded by beautiful natural areas, providing opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and boating—all of which can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.
Need to Know More about the Cities in Florida or other parts of the United States?
Then check out our comprehensive guides to the Cheapest Beach Towns in Florida, the Best Places to Retire in Florida, the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, or the Best Places To Live In Florida For Families in 2023.
Or, how about the Cheapest Places To Live In California, the Cheapest Places to Live in Georgia, the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, the Cheapest Beach Towns In California, the Cheapest Places to Live in Texas, the Cheapest Places to Live in North Carolina, the Richest Cities In California, the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia, or the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta?
Florida may be known for its luxurious beachfront properties and high-end resorts, but there are plenty of affordable places to live for those on a budget. The cities of Ocala, Gainesville, Lakeland, DeLand, Fort Pierce, Panama City, and the others I’ve listed all offer affordable housing options, a low cost of living, and a range of amenities and attractions.
Whether you’re a young professional, a family, or a retiree, these cities provide a more affordable way to experience the Florida lifestyle without breaking the bank. So, pack your bags and embrace the Sunshine State’s affordability in these hidden gems.
Have fun in the sun!