In what should come as a surprise to no one here, Southwest Florida is home to a lot of Snowbirds. 20.97% of the homes in Southwest Florida are second homes.

The team at Madison Trust Company “analyzed data from U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey and ranked all of the combined statistical areas of the U.S. on the percentage of homes there that are meant just for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. These aren’t vacation home rentals, they are homes that are strictly used by the homeowner as a second residence to live in, or use, when they choose.”

That’s a remarkable number. 1 in 5 homes here in SWFL are someone’s “other house, or vacation house”. It’s facts like that which definitely raise our property values and continue to make living here unaffordable for many. The Northport area isn’t much better with 14.53% of it’s homes being second homes. Miami is just under 8% and about 6 and a half percent of the homes in Orlando are vacation homes. Nationwide, 2.39% of all residences in the United States are second homes.

Here’s a look at where we stack up.


Most Second Homes 3


Will Hurricane Ian affect Southwest Florida second homes?

That’s some data that isn’t in yet. But judging by the crowd at Fort Myers Beach and on the roads last weekend, the snowbirds are here. There’s a lot of rebuilding to be done on the barrier islands.  However, who’s buying isn’t yet known. Certainly, Southwest Florida is changing.

Here's 20 Cities in Florida Where You can Live on $3,000 a Month

Inflation has crunched everyone’s budget. But the dream of moving to Florida is as strong as ever. Based on the latest census, cities in Florida are seeing both young and old flocking to the sunshine state. According to the latest report by the U.S. Census Bureau, from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022 Florida’s population increased by 1.9 percent. In the census, Florida is the third most populous state in the union and saw an increase of 416,754 people over that one year span. That’s a lot of people coming to our state, and that’s what pushed up rents. But they are coming down a little.

Vacancy rates in some Florida cities are creeping up to near 5%, which puts pressure on what landlords can charge. And that’s helping some.

 GOBankingRates “analyzed data from Sperling’s Best and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the average cost for utilities, healthcare, groceries and one-bedroom rents in cities throughout Florida. Cities were then ranked based on their total costs in these four categories, the percent of the population that was 65 and older and the cities’ livability scores, as determined by AreaVibes.” In the data they excluded cities with low livability scores (ie high crime).

The data was originally compiled for seniors looking to retire, but there’s a strong wave of work-from-home families moving here too. So let’s make this a little more open, but remember for the monthly expenditures – this is for one-bedroom rentals. And bare bones spending. I’m in Estero and I couldn’t imagine living on less than $5K a month. But can you live on just $3,000 a month without selling a kidney? You can.

So if you’re looking at cities in Florida for retirement, or looking for a place to move to work from home, here’s the list.

And because things live forever on the internet, the list was compiled on December 18th, 2022. Life moves fast. These lists can change quickly. Some of these places have already passed the 3K/month threshold.

And one other thing to remember if you’re moving to Florida. We drive very fast on the interstate.

  • 19. Fort Myers

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,592

    The hurricane wrecked a lot of housing so it may be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

  • 18. Coconut Creek

    • Monthly expenditures: $3,242

    City of Coconut Creek

    One of the Best Places to Live In, Coconut Creek, is a city with a unique environmental consciousness located between Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton.


  • 17. Boca Raton

    • Monthly expenditures: $3,321

    Above the 3K threshold because a one-bedroom is going to be more than 2K a month.

    Boca Raton, FL | Official Website

    Follow us on social media, check our city calendars and sign up for alerts to experience the best of Boca Raton.


  • 16. Bradenton

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,785

    Welcome to the Friendly City!

    It’s no accident that our unofficial logo is a pair of sunglasses and our motto “The Friendly City.” We’re pretty friendly, and we believe that our future really is that bright. We are located along Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the greater Tampa Bay area and north of Sarasota.


  • 15. Clearwater

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,578

    City of Clearwater

    Published on January 04, 2023 The city of Clearwater is hiring Variable Clearwater Beach Lifeguards. The city of Clearwater has a need for temporary variable employees to supplement our permanent workforce. These variable employees are invaluable in meeting the mission of the agency. Pay for the Variable Beach Lifeguard is $15.81 per hour.


  • 14. Panama City Beach

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,330

    City of Panama City Beach, FL | Home

    eNotifications Service Request Code of Ordinances Jobs Title VI Non-Discrimination and ADA Transition Plan


  • 13. Sarasota

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,648

    City of Sarasota | Home

    City Hall 1565 1st Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 | (941) 263-6000 | Contact Us | Pay Online Social Media Info - Custodian of Public Records - Advisory Board Members eMail Portal Flood Information City Websites Accessibility Statement


  • 12. Pembroke Pines

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,967

    The City of Pembroke Pines Official Site

    Pembroke Pines is known for arts and culture, outstanding schools, exciting South Florida lifestyle for all ages, cultural diversity, numerous parks and forward thinking in an ever-changing world.


  • 11. Maitland

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,808

    Maitland, FL | Official Website

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  • 10. Melbourne

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,383

    My brother lives here. Housing prices were low enough for him to afford a custom golf cart to drive the kid to school. Yes, they bring their kid to school on a golf cart. A lifted golf cart.


  • 9. Casselberry

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,642

    Casselberry, FL - Official Site | Official Website

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  • 8. Sunrise

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,759


  • 7. Altamonte Springs

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,545

    Altamonte Springs, FL - Official Website | Official Website

    Altamonte Springs is a city born of innovation, fiscal responsibility and progressive ideas. The City has worked hard over the years to remain debt free while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in Florida.


  • 6. Lake Mary

    • Monthly expenditures: $3,042

    Lake Mary, FL | Official Website

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  • 5. Palm Bay

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,369

    Palm Bay Florida - Things to Do & Attractions in Palm Bay FL

    Palm Bay is one of Central Florida's best kept secrets, a hidden gem rich with natural resources enjoyed by those adventurous enough to discover all this area provides.


  • 4. Winter Garden

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,339

    Winter Garden, FL | Official Website

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  • 3. Lakeland

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,401

    My uncle lives here. They love it.

    City of Lakeland | Home

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  • 2. Largo

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,637

    City of Largo, Florida

    Welcome to Largo, FL


  • 1. Port Orange

    • Monthly expenditures: $2,497

    Almost 25% of the residents are 65+ but that also means that 75% aren’t. Port Orange is about a 6 mile drive to Daytona Beach.

    Port Orange, FL | Official Website

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Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.