Florida is a favored spot for those seeking a sunny and warm place to call home. Nevertheless, not every city in the Sunshine State offers affordability to everyone. If you’re curious about which city holds the title for the most budget-friendly place to live in Florida, the answer might surprise you.
The City Which Has Been Named the Cheapest Place to Live in Florida
According to a ranking from a website that assesses the most economical places to reside in the United States, Live Oak, Florida, stands out as the most affordable option in the state. This small city, situated in Suwannee County, is home to nearly 7,000 residents and offers several attractive features:
Live Oak, situated at the intersection of Alligator Highway 90 and Alligator Highway 129, boasts a cost of living index of 77, which is 23% below the national average. The median home price in Live Oak is $103,900, a remarkable 44% lower than the Florida average.
In addition to its affordability, Live Oak is renowned for its natural beauty and historical attractions. The city is situated close to the Suwannee River, providing various opportunities for activities like fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Furthermore, Live Oak hosts the Suwannee River Jam, an annual country music festival that is the largest of its kind in the South.
Moreover, the median rent price in Live Oak is $725, which is 35% less than the Florida average. The median household income in Live Oak stands at $38,750, 29% lower than the national average. However, it’s important to note that Live Oak’s poverty rate is higher than the national average, reaching 24.8%, in contrast to the national average of 13.4%.
The city’s unemployment rate is 3.9%, which is lower than the national average of 6.0%. The crime rate in Live Oak is also relatively low, standing at 28.8 incidents per 1,000 residents, compared to the Florida average of 31.9 per 1,000 residents.
Live Oak is also home to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, which features amenities like camping, hiking, biking, golfing, and live music events.
Additionally, the city is in close proximity to several state parks, including Suwannee River State Park, Peacock Springs State Park, and Lafayette Blue Springs State Park, where visitors can enjoy activities such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, and wildlife viewing.
Other Affordable Places to Live in Florida
There are several other budget-friendly places to live in Florida besides Live Oak. Many cities in the state provide a low cost of living along with a good quality of life. Here are some of the other affordable options to consider, as suggested by various sources:
Cape Coral is situated in the southwest part of Florida, close to Fort Myers. It has a population of approximately 222,000 and a cost of living index of 99, which is 1% below the national average. The median home price in Cape Coral is $229,900, which is 10% lower than the Florida average.
The median rent price in Cape Coral is $1,250, which is 8% lower than the Florida average. It’s often referred to as the “Waterfront Wonderland” because it boasts 400 miles of canals, the highest number of canals in any city worldwide.
Cape Coral also maintains a low crime rate, a diverse population, and offers a wide range of outdoor recreational activities including fishing, boating, golfing, and biking.
Fort Meade, located in Polk County, is a small city with a population of around 6,000. It boasts a cost of living index of 80, which is 20% below the national average. The median home price in Fort Meade is $114,800, a figure that’s 50% lower than the Florida average.
Renting in Fort Meade is also more affordable, with a median price of $825, which is 31% lower than the Florida average. In terms of safety, Fort Meade is a secure place to reside, with a crime rate of 12.9 incidents per 1,000 residents, a rate 59% lower than the Florida average.
Moreover, Fort Meade has a rich historical background, having been the site of significant battles during both the Seminole Wars and the Civil War.
The city also boasts numerous historic buildings, including the Old Fort Meade Schoolhouse Museum, the Fort Meade Historical Society, and the Fort Meade Opera House.
Dade City, located in Pasco County, is a delightful town with around 7,000 residents. It boasts a cost of living index of 83, which is 17% below the national average. The median home price in Dade City is $145,000, making it 36% lower than the average in Florida.
For renters, the median price in Dade City is $900, which is 25% less than the Florida average. Additionally, Dade City is considered a safe community, with a crime rate of 18.5 per 1,000 residents, which is 42% lower than the Florida average.
Dade City is renowned for its historic downtown area, featuring charming antique shops, art galleries, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes.
Throughout the year, Dade City hosts numerous festivals and events including the Kumquat Festival, the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, and the Dade City Classic Car Show.
Florida offers a wonderful living experience for various reasons, including its pleasant climate, breathtaking scenery, and beautiful beaches. However, not all cities in Florida are budget-friendly for everyone.
If you’re seeking an affordable place to reside in Florida that still provides a high quality of life, you might want to explore Live Oak, Cape Coral, Fort Meade, or Dade City. These cities boast a low cost of living, a low crime rate, and an abundance of amenities and attractions to relish.