Cheapest Places to Live in Florida

by Wesley Masters | Published: Jan 24, 2024

While Florida boasts stunning coastlines, the vibrant Miami scene and the enchanting Disney World, there's a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed—its affordability. Beyond the glitz, Florida is a budget-friendly haven, especially for those looking to rent.

With its unbeatable quality of life, a rich culture and a plethora of amenities, the Sunshine State is home to some of the most pocket-friendly places. Our in-depth exploration unveils five cities that epitomize this blend of affordability and the quintessential Floridian lifestyle: Lake City, Milton, Leesburg, Zephyrhills and Tarpon Springs. Get ready to discover the charm of Florida without breaking the bank.

Lake City, FL

Lake City, with a population of 12,166 and a high score of 97.548, offers an affordable living option in Florida. With a median income of $40,397 and a median home value of $117,300, Lake City provides a low-cost living environment. The asking rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is approximately $975, which is quite reasonable.

Known for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities, the city is situated near the iconic Suwannee River. Aside from its affordability, Lake City offers a lot to its residents, such as the beautiful Alligator Lake Park and the charm of Olustee Park located downtown. Its closeness to I-75 makes commuting easy and quick. With a rich history dating back to the 19th century, Lake City features historic architecture, including Victorian-style homes and buildings.

Cheapest places to live in Florida: Affordable cities, like Milton have a median household income of 134900. It

Milton, FL

Located in the Florida Panhandle, Milton, with a population of 10,259 and a score of 97.1542, is yet another feasible option when considering the cheapest places to live in Florida. A median income of $62,561 and a median home value of $134,900, coupled with a 2-bed asking rent of $1,250, makes Milton a sensible choice for those seeking affordability and comfort.

Besides, Milton isn't just about inexpensive living; it's a city rich in history and natural beauty, with Blackwater River State Park nearby for outdoor enthusiasts. The downtown area features well-preserved historic buildings and a welcoming atmosphere. Milton is known for its scenic beauty, with outdoor enthusiasts enjoying activities such as canoeing and kayaking.

Leesburg, FL

Nestled between the scenic Lake Griffin and Lake Harris, Leesburg paints a picture of affordability with its population of 23,142 and an impressive score of 95.6708. Boasting a median income of $38,026, a median home value of $160,000, and a reasonable 2-bedroom asking rent of $1,329, Leesburg stands out as a practical choice for those seeking an affordable yet comfortable lifestyle.

Beyond the numbers, this charming city is renowned for its annual Bikefest, adding a vibrant touch to its cultural scene. Residents also find solace in the Venetian Gardens Park, a picturesque haven that enhances the overall living experience in Leesburg. This city seamlessly combines affordability with a rich tapestry of events and natural beauty, making it a standout destination in the realm of cost-effective living in Florida.

Zephyrhills, FL

In the heart of Florida, Zephyrhills stands out as an inviting haven with a population of 16,062 and an admirable score of 95.4962. The city boasts an affordable living option with a median income of $36,799 and a median home value of $117,200. With a 2-bedroom asking rent hovering around $1,650, Zephyrhills proves that economical living doesn't mean compromising on quality.

Conveniently situated near the intersection of I-4 and I-75, commuting is a breeze, providing easy access to bustling cities like Tampa. Embracing the outdoors, Zephyr Park and Waterplay add to the city's allure, offering residents a delightful space for recreational activities and community engagement. Zephyrhills embodies the perfect blend of affordability, accessibility and a vibrant lifestyle in the heart of Central Florida.

Cheapest places to live in Florida: affordable housing and affordable places are found in Tarpon Springs. With a score above the national average, this quaint town has great low living costs.

Tarpon Springs, FL

Nestled in the embrace of its rich Greek heritage and famed natural sponge harvests, Tarpon Springs emerges as a distinctive gem with a population of 25,389 and an impressive score of 95.3992. Beyond its cultural allure, the city presents an affordable living option, with a median income of $53,713 and a median home value of $231,900.

For those considering the rental route, the asking rent for a two-bedroom apartment is approximately $1,300. Tarpon Springs unfolds a tapestry of attractions, from the historic Sponge Docks that reflect its Greek influence to the scenic beauty of Fred Howard Park and Anclote River Park. The city seamlessly weaves together cultural richness and natural wonders, offering residents a unique and vibrant living experience that goes beyond the conventional Floridian charm.


The cheapest places to live in Florida were ranked based on its median home price and median asking rents for studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Before ranking, inputs were normalized, and weights were applied using a 1.25:1 ratio of asking rents to home prices. Data on asking rents are from Rent.

Cities without data for one- or two-bedroom asking rents or a population of less than 10,000 were removed from this ranking. Any other missing values were zeroed and did not impact the final score.

Categories: Renters

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