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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Tallahassee, FL

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A low-key and sunny Southern lifestyle with a mix of Spanish and Native American historical roots, Florida's capital city has a unique culture separate from the rest of the Sunshine State.

If you're contemplating a move to this Northern city in the Florida panhandle, take a look at the following guide for useful tips on moving to this city. The information provided will help making your decision as easy and stress-free as possible.

Tallahassee Climate

Get ready for the sun, new Floridian! The humid subtropical climate that characterizes the city comes with long hot summers that are known for heavy midday downpours. The average temperatures stay between 80 and 90 degrees; however, Tallahassee sometimes records temperatures above 100 (approximately three days annually).

Winters here are short and generally mild, with averages in the 50's, but known for some temperatures in the 20's. There have been several snowfalls recorded in the area over the last 100 years as well, but the last was recorded in 1993.

Tallahassee Neighborhoods

If options are what you need in choosing a new residence, Tallahassee has an abundance of subdivisions sprawling various different neighborhoods throughout the city and beyond.

Popular neighborhoods in the Northeast part of the city include Southwood and Killearn Communities, comprised of Killearn Lakes and Killearn Estates. Residents enjoy a more suburban lifestyle here, with green parks, serene walks and a plethora of community activities. Conveniently located in close proximity to I-10, Killearn offers golf courses, trails for hiking and walking, and picturesque parks.

For dining, shopping and cultural events, Tallahassee's downtown area has plenty selections to suit your entertainment needs. Several local businesses thrive in the area as well, including Bank of America, FedEx, UPS and Merrill Lynch.

Registering Your Car

If you're becoming a permanent Floridian, you have 10 days to register your car in Florida from the date you begin working in the state, or register a child in a Florida school. You must have proof of ownership of your vehicle, verification of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and proof of Florida insurance requirements.

You have 30 days to transfer your existing out-of-state driver's license to a Florida driver's license. To do so, you will need your primary identification, proof of Social Security Number and two documents verifying your Florida address. The Florida DMV issues over 400,000 new resident licenses per year, and advises you to know your requirements and have your documents ready prior to going to the office.

Tallahassee Schools

Leon County Schools operates the public schools in the city of Tallahassee, serving well over 30,000 students in the area and steadily growing since 1991. The district has 23 elementary schools, eight middle schools, six high schools, six special programs and six charter schools, and is currently a grade "A" school district in the state of Florida. Leon County Schools continues to rank above the national average in standardized tests like the SAT and ACT.

For new residents seeking a college education, the largest and most prominent higher education facility in Tallahassee is Florida State University, more commonly referred to as Florida State or FSU. The university has 15 separate colleges and 39 centers, labs and institutes among these colleges. FSU is also a comprehensive doctoral research university and a flagship to the State University System of Florida.

Other notable higher education facilities are: Barry University of Adult and Continuing Education (Tallahassee campus), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Flagler College (Tallahassee campus), Florida A&M University, ITT Technical Institute, Keiser University, Lewis M. Lively Area Vocational-Technical School, Saint Leo University and Tallahassee Community College.

Tallahassee Employment

As of January 2013, unemployment in Tallahassee dropped to 6.6 percent, making it 1.3 percent lower than the national average. If you're relocating to Florida for new employment (especially in education or health care services), Tallahassee may offer more opportunities than other US cities. According to information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tallahassee has gained about 4,000 jobs since May 2012.

Top employers in the area include the State of Florida, Florida State University, Leon County Schools, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, and various other employers in the education and health care services sector.

Living Costs in the City

Overall, moving to Tallahassee will most likely save you a fair amount of money, as the cost of living is slightly below the national average, as is costs for utilities. However, utility bills can be hefty in the summer months, averaging $300-$400 for a three-bedroom home. Ceiling fans may help you cut some electric costs, so keep that in mind while house/apartment hunting.

The median family income was approximately $57,000 annually as of 2011, and the median home price was $144,000. One bedroom apartments can run anywhere from $500-$1,200 per month. Make sure you ask the property manager what amenities come with the apartment (some may cost more due to included utilities).

Tallahassee Moving Resources

Tallahassee moving companies and storage companies are ready to help you with your move, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Florida. Be sure to get estimates from multiple moving services before you make your decision (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Tallahassee Transportation

For mass transit/public transportation options in the Tallahassee area, commuters can use the StarMetro, a bus service throughout the city. The service offers text alerts to customer cell phones regarding bus arrival times, and also offers a Dial-A-Ride paratransit service for customers 60 years or older, or disabled customers.

CSX provides train service from Tallahassee stations to other parts of Florida. After Hurricane Katrina, Amtrak suspended its Sunset Unlimited service between New Orleans and Orlando, and has yet to be restored. The closet Amtrak station is in Jacksonville, FL.

Commuters generally have their own personal vehicles for daily travel, and use main highways such as: Interstate 10, US 27, US 90, US 319, SR 20, SR 61 SR 363, Capital Circle Beltway and Apalachee Parkway.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Alive with festivals, concerts, parades, museums and cultural organizations, Tallahassee has diversity for everyone. The council on Culture and Arts for the region supports local public art, writing and dance which fills the city on a daily basis.

From March through November, residents and tourists can enjoy fresh homegrown produce and organic items at the Downtown Marketplace, including poetry month in April and SPRING FEST, an avenue of artists.

As a new resident, you'll find a variety of different restaurants to choose from, ranging from seafood to southern fusion to French pastries. In addition, many downtown events host food vendors from all over the state, like the annual Food and Wine Festival or the Springtime Jubilee in the Park.

Tallahassee Relocation Tips

  • Public transportation in the area is limited, so owning a personal vehicle is ideal for living in this area.

     

  • You won't pay state income tax as a Florida resident, but there is a State Sales Tax, Tangible Tax and Intangible Property Tax.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on March 1, 2013

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