Do you dream of fishing the river or napping on white sands every day? Cape Coral, Florida, is a beautiful southwest Florida hideaway with excellent employment opportunities and stunning homes for sale. Cape Coral, nicknamed the “Waterfront Wonderland,” is one of the best places in the world for boating and sailing. On top of South Florida’s warm weather and beach scene, Cape Coral offers attractive financial benefits. This city enjoys diverse employment options, as well as zero state income tax, inheritance tax, or estate tax.
But is Cape Coral the right town for you? Read about the pros and cons, the area’s weather, and the best neighborhoods, below. You can also learn about how you can make your cross-country move exceedingly simple with expert assistance. Whether you’re anxious about moving art and antiques, shipping cars, or just undertaking the burden of a long-distance move, Great Guys can connect you with professionals who’ll make moving to Cape Coral easier than you ever dreamed! Just click Get Quote.
Living in Cape Coral, FL: What to Know Before Moving to Cape Coral
Are you interested in spending a lifetime with 183,000 other residents on Florida’s gorgeous Gulf Coast? It sounds pretty appealing to us! With both the stunning ocean and over 400 miles of canals, Cape Coral is the king of waterfront property. You’ll probably want to know a lot more before picking up and moving your life to this southwest Florida paradise. Here’s a summary of some pros and cons to get you started:
Pros and Cons of Living in Cape Coral
A few of the upsides of living in Cape Coral include:
- A relatively low crime rate compared to the rest of the nation.
- A lower cost of living than you might guess (with a median home price of $227,300), and no income tax.
- Beautiful weather and beaches for plenty of outdoor fun.
- Waterfront living opportunities (enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, the Caloosahatchee River, the Matlacha Pass, and many more waterways) like few places in the world.
- Public and private high schools known for their high standards and student performance.
A few potential cons of living in Cape Coral include:
- This place is “snowbird” central, housing many northerners seasonally and making the city more populous and traffic-laden during the winter.
- The weather isn’t for everyone, with humid heat all year round and scattered storms as well as hurricane and flooding threats.
- Pest control is necessary in Cape Coral, so learn about preventative measures you can take and hire a pest control company once you arrive.
- Young adults may be disappointed in Cape Coral’s nightlife, which has some bars but limited options.
- There are many rules and regulations surrounding moving to Cape Coral, so make sure your credit and criminal record are in check before making your move.
Avalara lists the combined sales tax rate of Cape Coral at a reasonable 6.5%. Cape Coral may not offer the very lowest tax rates in the nation — Best Places indicates that taxes in Tampa are 3.9% cheaper than they are in Cape Coral, but no matter where you are in the state, you’re going to enjoy that 0% income tax!
The average property tax rate in Lee County is 1.145%. For an assessed home value of $250,000, your property taxes would be $2,863. Remember, with a nonexistent state income tax and a reasonable sales tax rate, your overall tax rate shouldn’t pose too much of a hurdle if you move to Cape Coral.
News-press research explains that Cape Coral’s rent prices are higher than the state norm, with a median rent of about $2,000/month. You may be better off buying in Cape Coral if you plan to stay for more than a short period. For comparison, an average mortgage is about $1,179.
Zillow lists the median home price in Cape Coral at $227,300, which seems fair considering the unsurpassed amenities, beautiful climate, and great school system.
Cost of Living
Are you wondering how living in Cape Coral stacks up money-wise to the rest of the nation? Best Places provides an index that will give you a good idea of the cost of living in Cape Coral. While 100 is the average cost of living index nationwide, Cape Coral’s cost of living is 113.4. A 113.4 means that living in Cape Coral is slightly pricier than the national average, but with breathtaking beaches and endless waterways, we’re not surprised! Grocery prices come in very close to average, and utilities come in below average in Cape Coral, but housing and health costs drive up the cost of living in the area.
Weather & Natural Disasters
The Sunshine State? That’s right! You’ll need to keep your sunscreen on hand in Cape Coral with about 265 sunny days per year. Winters are short, and skies are mostly clear, but summers are long, humid, hot, cloudy, and often wet. The thermometer rarely falls below 44°F but bumps up to the mid-90s during the summer. Cape Coral gets about 53” of rain throughout the year.
You may be concerned about storms and hurricanes when relocating to Florida, and it is important to be prepared and educated about these natural weather events. When it comes to Cape Coral, hurricane damage and flooding pose the greatest threats.
Heavy summertime rain and storm surges often lead to serious flooding in Cape Coral. Cape Coral’s website provides flood maps for Cape Coral residents so that they can minimize the risk of personal and property damage. The city is also on top of their stormwater infrastructure to curtail home and building damage.
Draw up an emergency plan for potential flooding, and don’t skip out on insurance!
Economy & Job Market
Forbes places the median household income at $54,672 in Cape Coral and says that the largest industry is health care. Bestplaces.com shows that Cape Coral’s unemployment rate is 3.4%, which is slightly lower than the US average of 3.9%. Job growth looks good — it’s been growing slightly over the past year and is predicted to grow over 40% in the next ten!
If you’re hoping to score a job in beautiful Cape Coral, look at Citytowninfo.com for helpful information about accessible industries in the area. Some of them include technical services, construction, education, and retail. There are plenty of repairs to be done in such a humid and stormy climate, so painters, plasterers, and motorboat mechanics are always in demand. Some of the best employers in the area include:
- Affordable Roofing of SW Florida Inc.
- Coral Health Care Associates LLC
- First Home Builders of Florida LLC
- Viking Construction Corporation SW Florida
- City of Cape Coral
- Guerrieri Management, Inc.
How can you get a job when you’re coming from another state? Update your resume and be creative but honest about your capabilities and skillset. If you have friends, family, or any network in Cape Coral, reach out to them. Next, schedule a tentative visit during which you can approach businesses yourself or attend interviews. When your potential employers inquire about when you’ll be in the area, you’ll already have a planned visit
If you’re moving to a brand-new company, it isn’t realistic to expect your new employers to pay for your relocation. Some employers are less likely to hire out-of-state newbies if it means they have to offer a pricey relocation package.
Traffic and Transportation
Are you wondering about walking around Cape Coral? Walkscore gives Cape Coral a score of 17 and a bike score of 37, which are relatively low scores. Driving personal vehicles is the most popular transportation method in the area, but if you’re passionate about walking, the best Cape Coral areas for you might be Hancock, Pelican, or Caloosahatchee.
For individuals interested in public transportation, the city offers LeeTran trolleys and a bus system that includes a mini-bus system with door-to-door transport. The mini-buses operate Monday through Friday 7:30 am until 4:00 pm. To learn more about routes and regulations, visit the Cape Coral website, specifically their mini-bus service page.
Cape Coral isn’t well-divided by roads and neighborhoods but is organized by many smaller streets and mini-neighborhoods. Just a few of the major roads that run through Cape Coral include Del Prado Blvd, Santa Barbara Blvd, Skyline Blvd, Chiquita Blvd, Sands Blvd, Burnt Store Rd, Cape Coral Parkway, and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Traffic in Cape Coral can be congested when trying to navigate to or from popular places like Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel Island. Peak times can result in lengthy stints at the wheel, but traffic is nothing like that in major cities like Boston or San Francisco.
What to Do
With the exceptional scenery and weather, there are lots of things to do in and around Cape Coral. Here are some of the standouts:
- Yacht Club Community Park — This club is on the shore of the Caloosahatchee River and is a favorite of boaters and beach-lovers. Lay out on the beautiful white sand line, jump in the community swimming pool, or throw a fishing line right off the dock. The Yacht Club also hosts exciting community events and festivals periodically throughout the year.
- Rotary Park Environmental Center — This environmental center fills 97 acres of breathtaking salt marshes. Embark on a walking trail or bring the kids and dogs to one of the gorgeous parks. Not only is there open space, but the on-site environmental center also offers classes in gardening and exercise, as well as kids’ summer camps and other events.
- Sun Splash Family Waterpark — You can’t visit Cape Coral without an outing to this 14-acre water complex. There’re slides, pools for all ages, and thrill rides like the terrifying X-celerator — a 48-foot drop that accelerates to 30 mph! You’ll also find splash pads, volleyball courts, and plenty of other options for everyone.
- Museums and Culture — Seeking an indoor or historical activity? Visit the Cape Coral Historical Museum or the Southwest Florida Military Museum. Both will help you brush up on Cape Coral’s history and give you a better feel for the bygone days of South Florida.
- Park and Beach Fishing — If you’re an avid fisherperson, you won’t be disappointed in the variety of places around Cape Coral to drop your hook. The long canal route, the river, and the Gulf provide endless fishing opportunities for diverse varieties of fish. Freshwater or saltwater, 24-hour fishing is at your disposal at various locations throughout the area. Check out places like Four Freedom Parks or Bernice Braden Park, among many others for great fishing.
Schools and Universities
Education is a Cape Coral priority, so you can rest easy if you have a family or are seeking higher education yourself. Lee County Public Schools serve just over 7,000 students PK-12 and get a B- rating from niche.com. Some of the best schools in the area, according to Niche, include:
- North Fort Myers High School
- Pine Island Elementary School
- Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
- Diplomat Elementary School
- Trafalgar Middle School
You have access to great sports and academics in Lee County Public Schools, as well as some private education options like Trinity Preparatory School. Some of the higher education options in the area, listed by College Simply, include Southwest Florida College, Edison State College, and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Neighborhood Scout explains that becoming a victim of any type of crime in Cape Coral is 1 in 59. The crime index indicates that Cape Coral is safer than 40% of US cities. While the crime rate isn’t lower than the national average, it’s significantly lower than Florida in general. Cape Coral does offer safe suburban neighborhoods and a sense of security among its residents.
Utilities and Services
Arranging for all of your utilities to be up and running before you move into your Cape Coral home is very important.
- Electricity: Lee County Electrical Cooperative (LCEC). 239-656-2300 or 800-599-2356
- Water, Irrigation, Sewer: City of Cape Coral. Cape Coral City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. 239-574-7722
- Trash: Waste Pro. Cape Coral City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. 239-945-0800
- Natural gas: TECO only runs gas lines in downtown, Cape Coral. Users in other neighborhoods have a choice of several natural gas and propane providers that you can find on the Yellow Pages link below.
- Cable, phone, internet: Comcast. 877-426-7002, 239-676-0811
- Dish, DSL, phone, internet: CenturyLink. 1-800-788-3500
- Satellite internet, voice, PC services: HughesNet
- TV, phone, internet: Direct TV. 877-373-9168
You can check out a comprehensive list of services on Yellow Pages, or you can ask your realtor for names and contact information for the utilities you’ll need in your specific neighborhood. Once you have a list of utilities and services you’ll need, we recommend visiting the Lee County government website. The LCU website also provides information about establishing, transferring, or stopping services.
Best Neighborhoods in Cape Coral, FL
The city was developed in 1958 with a master plan so specific neighborhoods haven’t particularly evolved like they would in other cities. Various areas feed into the same schools. The schools in the neighborhoods listed here are rated average to above average. We hope the following information will help you get started in your search.
Neighborhood Scout reports that City Center’s median real estate price is $179,150, which is much less than the Cape Coral average and less expensive than 64% of all US neighborhoods. Rent is also cheaper than other areas of Cape Coral, with an affordable $1,195 average.
Which types of homes will you see in City Center? The majority of the housing consists of apartment complexes, primarily smaller studio to two-bedroom apartments. There are also single-family homes for sale, with most residences being built sometime between 1940 and 1999.
Something unique about City Center is that almost 50% of its residents live alone, which is significantly higher than the national average. Both single or widowed retirees or young professionals often come to live alone and bask in the beauty of South Florida. City Center also offers diversity, with a sizable Cuban and Romanian population. 13.3% of the population speaks Spanish, according to Neighborhood Scout.
How do people pay their bills in City Center? Sales and service jobs are big here, as well as executive and management occupations. There are other jobs in fields like tech support and manufacturing as well.
Some of the schools in the area include City of Cape Coral Charter School South, City of Cape Coral Charter School Authority, and Grace Community School.
Lakeview at Verandah
Lakeview at Verandah is a very exclusive community, south of Hancock Bridge Parkway and west of Orange Grove Blvd. You’ll find quality gated communities with beautiful lakeside properties. Most homes were built in the mid to late 2000s, meaning they’re fresh and modern. You’ll find homes for rent or lease here, as well as some apartments for rent.
What activities are there around Lakeview? You can enjoy nine miles of biking and walking trails with breathtaking scenery. There are also excellent golf courses, including the Old Orange Course and Whispering Oak. Don’t neglect the Tennis and Fitness Center with great amenities like aerobics, resort-style swimming pools, tennis courts, and even dining options. You’ll be hungry after your workout, so check out the Alligator Pear Restaurant or the Jesse Fish Lounge in the neighborhood.
Some of the schools attended by the members of Lakeview at Verandah include Cape Coral High School, Cape Coral Charter School, and Cape Coral Christian School.
According to Nextdoor, Pelican’s population is 3894, and 76% of its residents are homeowners rather than renters. According to Realtor.com, the median home price in Pelican is $280,000. This price is on the higher side for the Cape Coral or South Florida area. The average rental price is $1,285 if you prefer to rent or will be living here temporarily. This rental price is lower than 60% of other Florida neighborhoods. You’ll mainly find 3 or 4-bedroom homes throughout Pelican, built anytime from 1970 to the present. Some of the occupations that your neighbors enjoy include executive and professional jobs, followed by manufacturing and labor jobs as well as service jobs.
Pelican’s residents have plenty of places to shop and eat out. Enjoy a meal at Chen’s China Bistro or the Mexican Blu Agave Restaurant. You’re also close to Cape Coral Farmers Market, so head over there to buy up some fresh local produce. Of course, moving to South Florida is all about spending time in the sunshine, and there are boundless outdoor opportunities in Pelican for you and your loved ones to enjoy. It takes only minutes to get to the water for some fishing or swimming. You’re also a short drive away from the Yacht Club and the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.
Some of the best schools in Pelican include Oasis Charter Elementary school (K-5), Challenger Middle School (6-8), and North Fort Myers High School (9-12).
Turtle Run is east of 441. This residential community is made up of attractive waterfront properties, with a higher median home price of around $455,000. Turtle Run has single-family homes for sale, as well as apartment complexes available. Amenities are important to Turtle Run’s residents, so you’ll discover a wealth of places to dine, shop, and hang out. Ready to soak up some of that Florida sun? You can rent paddle boats, kayaks, or bikes anytime you want to go outdoors and play.
The public elementary school in the area is Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School, and the public middle schoolers go to Fort Myers Middle Academy. If you’re interested in a charter high school, look into sending your high schooler to Coronado.
You have access to all of the great Cape Coral activities here in Turtle Run. You’re close to the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, the Rotary Park Environmental Center, and the Sun Splash Family Waterpark. Whether you want to explore natural wonders or enjoy some thrill rides, you’re only a short drive from an entertaining activity.
Burnt Store Marina
Burnt Store Marina is located right on Charlotte Harbor, and is bound by Vincent Avenue and Durden Parkway. Like many other Cape Coral neighborhoods, Burnt Store Marina has both ocean views and a host of lovely waterways. Fishing opportunities are endless here. If you want to snag a snook, grouper, or tarpon, you’re going to be thrilled with Burnt Store Marina.
Burnt Store Marina’s website states that this neighborhood ranks as one of the top ten places to sail by Sail Magazine. Charlotte Harbor, just 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, is perfect for boating enthusiasts. There are both quiet places for a day in the sun as well as plenty of boating services and storage options. You can even sail out to beautiful barrier islands like Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island, or Cabbage Key, among others.
Redfin says that the Burnt Store Marina median home price is about $277,000. For some of the best water and boating in the world, many residents find this place relatively affordable. If you have kids, the schools you might want to contact include Christa McAuliffe Charter Elementary and Grace Community School.
Santa Barbara runs perpendicular to Santa Barbara Boulevard, bounded on the north by SW Pine Island Road and on the west by Cultural Park Blvd. You can find single-family homes for rent or purchase, as well as apartments available in this spectacular area. According to Zillow, the median price of homes is $254,900, while the rental cost hovers around the national average of $1185.
Santa Barbara is home to two large waterways and a greenway. It also hosts a popular strip mall and plenty of dining options, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Some of the schools Santa Barbara kids attend include Cape Coral High, Cape Coral Christian School, and Unity Charter School.
Unit 64 is in south-central Cape Coral, bordered by Cape Coral Parkway on the north, El Dorado Parkway on the south, Chiquita on the west and Skyline on the east. Unit 64’s population is about 916, with 92% of residents being homeowners according to the 2010 US Census.
What are Unit 64 neighbors’ favorite places to visit? Their claim to fame is the stunning Gloriana Canal. If you’re seeking direct sailboat access or sailboat access homes, you’ll find it all here in Unit 64. Unit 64 has plenty of shops and dining options and a variety of homes for sale. Do you dream of waterfront locations or Mediterranean style homes? Unit 64 could be the perfect place for you. South-central Cape Coral is full of quiet neighborhoods with palm tree-lined streets and waterfront views. Enjoy the scenery with the happy residents of Unit 64.
Jacaranda Pky / NE 7th Pl
This suburban neighborhood is mostly made up of small and medium homes, and some mobile homes as well. There’s a good mixture of owners and renters here. Neighborhood Scout says it’s looking good for people set on coming to the area, with real estate vacancy of almost 25%. Median home values stay close to the Cape Coral average, somewhere around $255,000.
There are many brand-new neighborhoods in the Jacaranda Pky / NE 7th Pl area, with over half of them built after 1999. The area is quiet, calm, and has lower crime rates than other neighborhoods in Florida. Students can attend Diplomat Elementary, Diplomat Middle, and Island Coast High School. You can bike and walk around this area, and just like other neighborhoods in Cape Coral, you are right on the water. From private islands to peaceful waterways, you really can’t beat Cape Coral.
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If you’re relocating to the incomparable Cape Coral area, aka the “Waterfront Wonderland,” let us connect you with professional cross-country moving experts. Great Guys Interstate Movers only uses reliable and responsible movers who are vetted, licensed, and insured. They’ll tailor your moving services to suit your needs and your budget.