Living on the beach in Florida is a dream for many people. They long for the cool ocean breezes, soft, warm sand, and laid-back lifestyle that epitomizes coastal living. Some people are not content with dreaming and want to turn their dreams into reality. For those willing to make that life-altering decision, here are five tips to help you transition from the daily grind to the relaxing way of life you’ll find at the beach.

Choose Your Location Wisely

Spend time researching where you are going to live at the beach. Popular tourist destinations may show up in your searches, but they should not be your first pick. It may be fun to visit these hot spots, but you don’t want to live where other people vacation. Not only are these tourist traps crowded, but they often are ridiculously expensive.

Look at the smaller counties and towns. There are plenty of houses or beach-side apartments in Brevard County, which has 71 miles of beachfront, John F. Kennedy Space Center, and no major urban center. Satellite Beach is a charming town in the area that’s off the beaten path but still lets you experience beachfront living at its best.

Lean on the Locals

Don’t jump into a new community blindly. Spend time there and get to know the locals. You’ll quickly find out who has the friendliest neighbors, which areas have the best schools, and how far it is to the grocery store. Developing these relationships can help you discover the hidden gems known only to local residents.

Find Affordable Housing

Finding affordable housing may seem difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Local realtors can match you to dream accommodations that fit both your budget and your lifestyle.

You can also look online for housing. Regional Facebook groups and Craigslist offer owner-listed deals if you’d rather not work with a realtor. Don’t forget to ask locally in-person—residents often know how to find the best deals.

Practice Patience

Beach life may seem carefree, but moving to the beach is different than vacationing there. Go in with a realistic mindset and prepare for common challenges that come with moving. Your first dream apartment may be out of your price range or may fall through at the last moment. Finding a new job and establishing a new social circle may also take some time and effort, so be patient during this transitional phase of your life.

Pack Winter Clothes

Most think people in Florida wear t-shirts and shorts year-round, but that is not always the case. Locations on the coast can get surprisingly chilly during the winter months thanks to shorter days and stiff ocean breezes. Florida winters can average around the low 50s—you won’t need three layers of clothing like your northern counterparts, but you’ll still need a winter coat and essentials like jeans, sweaters, and boots.

Making a big move anywhere can be stressful, but fulfilling a dream can help make it worth it. If you’re ready to take the next step and move near a sunny Florida beach, remember these tips throughout the process. And don’t forget your sunscreen!