Top Florida Cities for Growth & Why People Are Moving There

Top Florida Cities for Growth & Why People Are Moving There

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By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com

Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.

Florida recently dethroned New York as the third most populous state, and several Florida cities were ranked by the U.S. Census among the 20 fastest-growing cities in America. Here are the six fastest-growing cities and metropolitan areas in Florida and why people are moving there.

1.  THE VILLAGES

street scene in The Villages, Florida
Photo by Calmuziclover

A good portion of Florida’s incoming seasonal and permanent residents are snowbirds and retirees wanting to escape the frigid winters found up north. So it’s no surprise that The Villages, the state’s most popular retirement community, has become not only Florida’s fastest-growing city but the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation overall! Retirees adore The Villages’ quiet neighborhoods, minimal crime rate, numerous golf courses, and rec centers. And even though it’s larger than Manhattan, traffic here is less noisy and cumbersome—everyone gets around via golf carts!

2.  CAPE CORAL – FORT MYERS

Fort Meyers Beach
Photo by Paul Hamilton

Located amid a series of canals on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area is an alluring prospect for people who want to live on or by the water. The extremely affordable house market is hard to resist, as is the cost of living, which is approximately 5% below the national average. Fort Myers’ downtown area is also constantly developing, increasing local activity with the opening of new restaurants and retail outlets.

3.  NAPLES – IMMOKALEE – MARCO ISLAND

Aerial view of Naples, Florida
Photo by designatednaphour

Naples, Marco Island, and the unincorporated Immokalee are located in Collier County and provide excellent vistas complete with white sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. However, there’s much more to these cities than meets the eye. In 2014, Naples was named the top city in the country for future job growth by Forbes. Work is plentiful, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors. With an unemployment rate of 5.3%, Naples is abundant with career opportunities.

4.  ORLANDO – KISSIMMEE – SANFORD

Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida
Photo by Ricymar Photography

Orlando is well known as home to major tourist attractions such as Disney World and SeaWorld, but the immense population growth of recent years demonstrates this metropolitan area is much more than a vacation spot. Whether you want to live in the hustle and bustle of downtown or in a quiet surrounding neighborhood, this Orange County locale can satisfy people in many walks of life, hence why Forbes named Orlando one of the happiest cities for work in America! The city also sees a regular influx of college students, as the University of Central Florida has the largest undergraduate enrollment and second largest total enrollment numbers in the nation.

5.  NORTH PORT – SARASOTA – BRADENTON

Ringling Museum in Sarasota
Photo by Colleen McMahon

The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan area is bustling with neighborhood friendliness. North Port, for instance, has an annual event called North Port Newcomer Day to honor new and long-term residents alike, as well as provide insight and information for people considering a move to the city. The area is attractive to many with a low cost of living and multiple housing options to accommodate various living needs. Sarasota has been ranked by various publications such as Money Magazine and USA Today for titles such as “Best Small City in the United States” and “Great City for Retirees.” It’s also considered the state’s cultural capital due to its numerous opera houses, symphonies, art galleries, and residing artists!

6.  PANAMA CITY

Sailboats in Summer Harbor, Panama City, Florida
Photo by faungg’s photo

Gayle Oberst, mayor of Panama City, has proclaimed that her city has “has more than doubled in population in the past 10 to 15 years and yet we still experience that ‘beach attitude’ where you can watch the sunsets and sunrises; stroll on the beach; play in the water; or amble through acres of beautiful wooded natural Florida.” Between July 2013 and July 2014, Panama City’s population shot up by 4,158 people. Panama City is also home to the Naval Support Activity Panama City Naval Base, so the city receives a sizable number of incoming military personnel, as well.​

Relocating? Use Self Storage While You Find a New Home

Relocating? Use Self Storage While You Find a New Home

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By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Storage.com is your number one ally when moving to a new home. We’re here to provide you with useful moving tips and hacks, or additional storage whenever necessary.

Are you relocating before you have a new home lined up?  It’s not uncommon to need a temporary place to store your household goods while you complete the details of a move, including starting a new job, selling your old home, finding a new home, or waiting for a new lease to start.

Self storage is the answer when you find yourself between homes while relocating. Rent a storage unit to store your possessions until you can move into your new home.

man and woman moving items into a truck

How to Plan Storage When Relocating

Once you know your moving date, you can search for a storage facility with a suitable unit and reserve it for your moving date.

Finding a Storage Facility: Rather than calling all over to track down storage facilities where you’re moving, use our website to search for available storage in any location in the U.S. and reserve a unit online in minutes!

Selecting a Move-In Date: It might seem convenient to move in on the weekend when you don’t have work, but it’s also convenient for everyone else. If possible, pick a weekday when the facility will be relatively empty so you won’t be tripping over other tenants.

Helpful Storage Features When Moving

Planning self storage for moving is a matter of finding the right unit size and much more. Look for these key storage features:

moving boxes into a storage unitUnit Size: Are you relocating from an apartment? If so, chances are a 10×15 storage unit will be enough space to hold all of your stuff. Capable of holding the contents of three bedrooms, it can handle furniture, boxes, and any appliances you may be moving. For those relocating from a house, depending on the size, you’ll likely want to find a 10×20 or a 10×30 storage unit. For more information, use our unit size guide to determine how large of a unit you may need.

Flexible Lease: Hopefully your transition won’t last long, and you can find the ideal new home fairly quickly. Look for a storage facility that will give you a flexible, short-term lease on a weekly or monthly basis so that you don’t have to pay for storage longer than you need it.

Drive-Up Access: Does the storage facility you’re looking at have wide-drive aisles so your moving truck or trailer can fit? Does your storage unit have drive-up access for easy loading and unloading? The wide-drive aisles and drive-up access features makes your moving experience all the easier, so be sure to use these storage amenities during your relocation.

Climate Control: If you’re going to be moving to a hot and humid climate in the summer, find a storage facility that offers climate control. This feature maintains moderate temperature and humidity levels in your storage unit. It’s important to protect sensitive items, like wood furniture, electronics, books, and more, that may warp or become damaged during their stay in a muggy and overheated storage unit.

Facility Security: Lastly, and most importantly, find a storage facility with excellent security features so you’ll know your things are safe while in storage. While basic security such as gated access is great, be sure to look for more advanced amenities like video surveillance, onsite management, and alarmed units, especially if you’re unfamiliar with neighborhoods in your new locale.

Moving into a Storage Unit

Just like packing up boxes at home, how you go about packing your storage unit can also save you work and energy later on. Channeling your inner Tetris star, start by placing your largest items—couches, beds, tables, and appliances—toward the back of the unit. You won’t be needing these items while they’re in storage, so it makes sense to keep them out of the way.

At the same time, place the items you may need to get to closer to the door of your unit, like additional clothes or documents you may be storing. If space allows, it will also pay to leave an aisle in the center of your belongings, as it will make it easier access other items that are stored away.

Once all of your things are safely stowed away, you’ve got one less thing to worry about, meaning you can focus your attention on finding your new home! When you do find your new home, your storage unit will have everything ready and waiting to be loaded back up for its final destination. ​

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