Key West is a place where many people go to experience a little slice of Caribbean paradise. But, it can also be a great place to live and work. Find out if it’s right for you with this guide to the cost of living in Key West. Cost of living in Key West, Florida summary Average
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Key West is a place where many people go to experience a little slice of Caribbean paradise. But, it can also be a great place to live and work. Find out if it’s right for you with this guide to the cost of living in Key West.
Cost of living in Key West, Florida summary
Average cost of a one-bedroom apartment for rent in Key West is $3,475 per monthAverage cost of utilities in Key West is $207.50 per monthAverage annual salary in Key West is $43,000 per yearCost of living in Key West is 23.5% higher than in Miami
The cost of living in Key West, Florida, is higher than the average cost of living in Florida. Because Key West is a place where many people go to experience a little slice of Caribbean paradise, it also means you can expect to pay more. Key West, Florida, residents can expect to pay more for rent, utilities, food, and entertainment. Find out if it’s right for you with this guide to the cost of living in Key West.
Key West, Florida housing costs
Cost of living refers to all the things you pay for in order to maintain your lifestyle. This includes things like where you live, transportation, health care, social activities, and food. Key West is an island, so many goods like groceries and clothing cost more than the national average because of transportation costs. Key West is also small, with a population of 24,000, so finding a place to live can be expensive and competitive.
Key West is the second most expensive city in Florida. According to Best Places, on a U.S. average of 100, Key West scores a 154.8. It scores 114.5 for groceries, 145.4 for health care, and 274.1 for housing. The only areas where it falls below the national average are utilities and transportation. So even if you have a modest lifestyle, the cost of living in Key West can be expensive.
When compared to other large cities, Key West may be more affordable. Specifically, the cost of living in Key West, Florida, is 11.5% cheaper than in New York, New York. However, when you compare the cost of living in Key West, Florida, to Miami, it costs approximately 47.9% more. Miami is Florida’s second-largest city by total population.
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Key West, Florida, is $3,475 per month. However, the cost of renting an apartment in Key West varies, depending on the number of bedrooms and location.
Here are the average rental rates for an apartment in Key West:
Studio apartment: $4,708 per monthOne-bedroom apartment: $3,475 per monthTwo-bedroom apartment: $2,963 per month
You also need to be aware of additional apartment rental fees that vary in each apartment complex. Ask your property manager about pet fees, elevator fees, parking fees, HOA fees, and rental deposits before signing a lease.
Finding cheap apartments in Key West, Florida
The cost of living in Key West, Florida, may be expensive, but with a little research, you may be able to find a property within your budget. To find the cheapest rent in any city, create a customized search on Zumper. Filter results by highlighting your specific needs for an apartment. Think about the number of rooms you need, what neighborhood you prefer, whether the apartment is pet friendly, and other amenities that are important to you. Also, you need to set a minimum and maximum price you are willing to pay and try not to adjust it when searching.
Having a roommate is always a good way to save on rent and utility costs. Splitting the cost of a two-bedroom apartment is cheaper than renting a one-bedroom apartment or even a studio apartment. You can also save money by splitting other costs of living expenses such as furniture and groceries. Some people may also offset the cost of living in Key West, Florida, by living on one of the northern islands.
If you are willing to get creative and live somewhere other than an apartment, think about renting a mobile home. Key West has quite a few mobile home parks where you can rent out an entire mobile home on a monthly basis. Or, you could make a more substantial investment by buying your own mobile home or RV and renting it out a lot. It may be smaller than an apartment, but staying in a mobile home can be a great way to save money.
Cheapest rent in Key West
Key West is about 4 miles wide and 2 miles long, with only 8 neighborhoods. Here are the most accessible neighborhoods to rent:
Stock Island: This is the area just outside the entrance of Key West and is quickly growing to become the unofficial “suburb” of the Keys. This residential area has the largest variety of apartment complexes in Key West. The only catch is that this area is extremely popular, so apartments go fast.Historic Old Town: As the names suggest, this neighborhood is the principal part of Key West, with the infamous Duval Street running through it. This is where all the restaurants, shops, and nightlife are located, so if you work in hospitality it’s a great place to live. There are few apartment complexes in this area, but you can rent the upstairs or downstairs of a historic Key West home.Bahama Village: This 12-block residential area is full of colorful homes that house the first Bahamian settlers that came to Key West in the early 1800s. The houses may be small but they are cozy.
Average salary in Key West, Florida
Living in an expensive city such as Key West means you need to have a good job lined up. Key West has a low unemployment rate of about 1.5%, which is lower than the year prior which was 3%. Competition is fierce, so it’s a good idea to visit Key West and ensure you can find employment before moving. In order to get a better understanding of the average salary for a job in Key West, here are the annual salaries for some jobs:
Some of the most common jobs are tourist-related, such as hotel clerk, cashier, or server. Again, the competition for these jobs is intense, as some people work two or three jobs to afford the higher cost of living in Key West, Florida.
The average salary in Key West is $43,000 per year or $20.67 per hour. This is lower than the state’s average salary of $76,570 per year. The minimum wage in Florida is slightly higher than the national average. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, whereas Florida has a minimum wage of $10 per hour.
Transportation costs in Key West, Florida
Transportation is another cost of living in Key West, Florida, to consider. There is a bus system with five routes that travel through Key West, Stock Island, and the Lower Keys. Tickets for the bus system are $4 for a one-way trip.
Having a car is common in Key West, but remember that gas is usually more expensive than on the mainland, and parking may cost extra in your apartment complex. The average cost of your insurance premium in Key West, Florida, is $177 per month. Because Key West is so small, you may walk, ride a bike, or ride a scooter to any areas you need to visit.
Key West, Florida, utilities
As Key West is the southernmost point in the country, it can get hot! You will need to factor in the cost of air conditioning when renting an apartment, as it will probably run all year long. The average cost of utilities in Key West is $207.50 per month. Also, many apartments in Key West are historic, which may mean their window sealants and air conditioners may not be the most modern. Try to find a place that is recently renovated so you don’t waste utility money cooling the outside.
Key West, Florida, food costs
Food in Key West, Florida, can be more expensive because of the added costs of shipping goods to the islands. Key West residents can expect to pay $21.11 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant or $115 at a mid-range restaurant. Even grocery costs are more, like milk at $4.45 a gallon or $4.22 for a loaf of fresh white bread.
Other expenses to consider when living in Key West, Florida
You’ll also want to consider other costs when moving to Key West, Florida, including child care and taxes. The average cost of child care in Key West is around $700 per month. Florida doesn’t charge state income taxes, so you can save there. However, you’ll be subject to 7.5% sales tax.
Key West ranks as one of the most expensive cities to live at in Florida. The average cost of living in Key West, Florida, is 23.5% higher than in Miami, Florida.
A person living in Key West, Florida, needs to make as much as $19.98 per hour for a one-person household or $28.57 per hour for a two-person household to live comfortably. Households with more people, higher-than-average costs, or children may need to earn even more when living in Key West, Florida.
Key West, Florida, can be one of the most expensive places to live in Florida. However, some people may share rent with roommates or find housing on one of the other nearby Florida keys.
Although Key West can be expensive, it’s a small price to pay for living in what many people consider paradise. If you’re smart about where you rent, have a roommate, and line up a good job, living on island time will be a breeze.
Browse hundreds of Key West apartments for rent on Zumper and find your next home.