Getting Ready to Move to Florida
There is much that can be said for the state of Florida – a place that is rich in history, home to several unique ecosystems, and features a near-unrivaled climate, so it’s no wonder that you’re planning to move there. Whether you’re moving to the Keys, South Florida, the Gulf Coast, or the Panhandle, moving to Florida is sure to bring you a change of pace. But, as you ready yourself for relocating to the Sunshine State, you’ll want to make sure that you stay organized and on top of the wide variety of tasks you’ll need to accomplish to execute a flawless move to Florida.
Whether you’re relocating to a new rental or are purchasing a home in Florida, you’ll want to dedicate yourself to the planning effort prior to beginning your move. With the help of SmartMove, you can get help planning your move and find great specials while you’re at it. Read on for a complete guide to moving to Florida to get ready for your impending move.
Help and Services for Moving to Florida
The best way to start preparing for your Florida move, is to research moving companies. You’ll want to check out online reviews of moving companies in your area that offer moving services to Florida. Eventually, you’ll narrow your options down to a list of finalists that offer a winning combination of reliability, efficiency, affordability, and great customer service. Thankfully, SmartMove offers a great, free moving checklist and access to a free online tool to help you find reliable moving companies that serve the Sunshine state.
Once you have narrowed the field down to a few finalists, you’ll want to get an estimate or “order of service” from each company so you can make an educated decision. Once you’ve selected the best moving company for your needs, make sure to get an official “bill of lading”—a contract for moving services. This contains much of the same information as an order of service, but is legally binding, like a contract, and may help keep everything working smoothly during your move. Keep your bill of lading in a secure place until your move is completed.
You can also elect to handle some or all of the physical moving by yourself. There are many truck rental services that allow you to pick up a truck or trailer where you live now, pack it up with everything that you possess, and drop it off once you’ve reached your new home and unloaded. Additionally, there are several services, like PODS, that will drop off an empty container at your home, then pick it up and ship it to your new Florida home once you’ve filled it up with your worldly possessions.
Regardless of whether you hire professionals or complete some or all of the move yourself, make sure to check with your employer to see if they offer relocation assistance or will reimburse any of your moving costs. Also, make sure to check with a tax professional, as your moving expenses could be tax deductible or qualify you for a credit of some sort once next April comes around.
Cable Providers Available in Florida
No matter which part of Florida you will make your new home in, you will have great Internet, TV, and phone providers to choose from. There are six cable providers offering services in the state of Florida—Armstrong, Spectrum, Comcast, Cox, Mediacom, and Suddenlink. To learn exactly which TV, Internet and phone service providers are available in your area of Florida, count on SmartMove. We’re here to help you learn more about moving your existing service or setting up new TV, Internet, and phone service before (or after) you arrive in the state.
If the cable provider that you currently have is also offering services in your new home, getting set up could be as simple as transferring your services from one address to another, through SmartMove.
Energy Providers Available in Florida
Just like with your TV, Internet, and phone service, you’ll want to do some advance prep to get your utilities set up prior to your Florida move. That way, you won’t have to hassle researching your options, setting up accounts, and scheduling service calls while you’re unpacking in your new home.
Where you live in Florida will determine what your options are, regarding purchasing electricity. There are four major investor-owned electric companies in the state. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) covers Eastern and South Florida; Gulf Power Company (GPC) covers Northwest Florida; Duke Energy covers the Big Bend and Tampa Bay areas, along with other parts of Central Florida; and last, Tampa Electric Company (TEC) covers Hilsborough County.
Additionally, several cities and areas in Florida are covered by non-investor-owned utility companies. If you are relocating to Monroe County, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Homestead, Jacksonville and the surrounding areas of Northeast Florida, the Lower Keys, Osceola County, Lakeland, Lake Worth, New Smyrna Beach, Ocala, Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Tallahassee, Big Bend, or Vero Beach, then you may be able to purchase public utility power. Check the Florida Energy Systems webpage for further information.
Important Florida State Agencies and Resources
Moving across country, or even across town, can be one of the most stressful things you will ever have to deal with. But, with a little help from SmartMove and some careful advanced preparation, moving to Florida doesn’t need to be overwhelming. SmartMove has a handy moving checklist that will help you stay on top of all your moving-related tasks—things like registering your vehicle(s) once you settle into your new home and getting your Florida ID.
Once you get unpacked and get your cable and other utilities set up, you’ll need to visit a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles office to get your vehicles registered and your state ID or driving license. In the state of Florida, new residents are allowed thirty days to exchange their out of state ID for a Florida one. Florida allows some people to exchange their valid out of state driver’s license for a Florida license without knowledge or driving tests. Vehicles must be registered within thirty days of new residents establishing residency, beginning work in Florida, or placing their kids in a Florida public school.
Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice.