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Miami, FL: Where to Move and How to Find a Place

Many people fall so in love with the area that they ultimately make the move to Miami
April 11, 2007 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 43 Comments

From the Miami Relocation Guide.

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So it was winter. You had just gotten done scraping the ice off your car and driving through snow-lined streets and were walking through a negative 5 wind-chill to your office when you slipped and cracked your ass on a sheet of hard ice. And that, my friend was the last straw. So you decided to pick up and move to Florida. But not just any part of the Sunshine State, oh no! You wanted to go to the hottest, sunniest part of Florida. But you had never heard of Naples so instead you decided to move to Miami. It’s warm. There are beaches, there’s nightlife. How could this POSSIBLY be a bad idea?

Bienvenidos, Welcome to Miami, Florida USA

Oh, recent transplant. Dear, dear recent transplant. Your enthusiasm and naiveté amuse me to no end. Since this is the first installment of my relocation guide, I am going to go ahead and let you know the main theme of this whole thing right off the bat: MIAMI IS IN NO UNCERTIAN TERMS NOT LIKE MOVING TO ANY OTHER CITY IN THE US. Hell, it isn’t even moving to the U.S.

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What you must understand is that if you are from another part of the country, no matter if it’s some self-proclaimed “melting pot” like New York or LA or Dallas, you will experience culture shock when you cross the Dade County Line. Miami is the only major city in America where government and business are run by people of another culture. And that culture is not one you are going to be used to. So buckle up and don’t unpack too much, because without the proper instruction you, like so many Americans who think this might be a fun place to live, will not make it through your first year.

Oye! Miami’s nothing like New York or LA

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Now, I am not going to make it sound like this is an awful place to live, but you have to have the right mindset in order to survive in this city. It is not the fast-paced, competitive mindset of New York, or the laid-back mindset of LA, but more the frenetic, anything goes mindset of, oh, say, El Salvador. If you are not 100% comfortable with Latin culture save yourself some U-Haul miles and stop when you get to Orlando. This theme will be prevalent throughout all parts of this guide, beginning today with an overview about where to move and how to find a place. Where you move will depend on your lifestyle and budget, but most importantly on where you work. Because commuting in Miami could very well be the worst part of living here. When you are young and single, this is much easier as you are not hampered by things like schools and affordable houses. 

In the coming weeks, we will examine the different living options for different demographics and which is the best for them. Be it the young and single (aka the only people who should really consider moving here) or those trying to start a family, everyone has a neighborhood in Miami that can be right for them (see: map). 

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While some American transplants have difficulty making the transition here, there are many people who become acclimated to the culture and do quite well. And if you fall into that second category, you may find this guide to be immensely helpful as you will not be hampered by things like language and cultural barriers.

No matter what your demographic, there is a part of Miami that can be right for you. I say “can” because if you are not prepared to move to this city, you will dislike any part of it you decide to call home. The most important things to remember are living close to where you work, quality of life and cost of living. There are less-expensive areas that can still be fun and convenient, but the more you spend the easier your life will be. Much like everything else down here.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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43 Comments on

"Miami, FL: Where to Move and How to Find a Place"

Michelle says:

Matt, I can’rt wait to hear more. You have hit it on the nose so far. smile

Posted on 04/12/2007 at 6:34 PM

Jess says:

Hello Matt,

I’ve read a few segments that you have written thus far, and I found them really helpful.  It makes me feel better that I’m not the only English/French speaker who is having trouble with the mostly Spanish speaking environment here.  Thanks for making me feel less alone. smile

Posted on 10/13/2007 at 9:32 AM

Monica Evelyn says:

Matt,

Your are hilarious and honest.  I am moving from LA to Miami soon and find your articles incredibly helpful.  You even have my Miami friends hooked.  Can’t wait to read the next one.

Posted on 07/11/2008 at 4:25 PM

Liliana says:

Matt,

Im a 22 year old female, single and with no children; Ive lived in Los Angeles California all my life and thus far- something has been missing in my life. Im getting ready to move and start somewhere “fresh”. Im willing to transfer my school credits to a new College, start a job and make a whole new group of friends. Thank You for making this easy! : )

Posted on 06/26/2009 at 7:38 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Did you have any questions, Liliana? We will be happy to answer them but I might suggest you pose them in our forums (use the “Discuss” tab on the top of the page) so that more people will see them and be able to answer.

Posted on 06/27/2009 at 2:14 PM

dan says:

i want to go so bad and start over aswell, but the spanish thing has got me so nervious! doesnt sound like getting an early start on it would be a bad idea… commin from stl MO, maybe??

Posted on 07/23/2009 at 6:03 PM

Mike says:

I would love to live in Miami for a while.  I currently live in Atlanta and currently learning Spanish so I guess with all the Spanish I’d be speaking down there I’d eventually become pretty fluent in it.  Thanks for the info.  The Workplace Spanish article was funny, yet informative.

Posted on 09/29/2009 at 6:45 PM

Jessie says:

What’s the best area in Miami for a low rent (700-800) white single pretty & petite broke college student that doesn’t want to get kissy sounds made at her wherever she goes or raped…or shot? TG for this website.

Posted on 01/14/2010 at 2:18 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I answered your question in the topic you posted on the forums.

Sadly, this is Miami. If you are female (and especially if you are white and blonde) you are going to get kissy noises and whistles everywhere you go. Yet another lovely aspect of living in a predominatly Latin-cultured city. Every white girl (who lives outside South Beach) I know complains about it to no end, and the bars are no better.

But insofar as being attacked, you are safe in many parts of the city.

Posted on 01/14/2010 at 5:37 PM

Ray says:

I’m actually planning on moving to Miami temporarily for graduate school next year. You state that Miami is unlike any city in the country, but have you ever been to New Orleans? How would a New Orleans transplant like myself who grew up in a creole, french/latin-speaking, pseudo-caribbean, laissez-faire corrupt culture in a nearly year-round hot, humid climate fare in Miami? That’s a mouthful!

Posted on 07/15/2010 at 11:24 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Ray, I’ll be honest, I do not know much about New Orleans past the French Quarter and Katrina. But from what I’ve heard from people I’ve met who grew up there, it still feels like America. Diverse, but American. You’d do ok here, but it’s a lot more crowded and there’s a lot more Spanish. N.O. is probably a good warm up for here, but not as good as, say, San Juan.

Posted on 07/16/2010 at 8:15 AM

Silvia says:

I wonder, as a native Spanish speaker (and having lived in Mexico for more than 6 years), would you say that I would feel more at home that most Americans? I’m really tired of the corruption, bad traffic and burglary in Latin America, and your article really scared me a bit. Besides I am married and have a two-year old child.

Posted on 11/07/2010 at 12:12 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Yes, you definitely would feel a lot more at home here than most Americans would. The being said, if you are tired of corruption and petty crime, Miami may not be the place for you. It’s better than Mexico (I think), but pretty bad.

Posted on 11/08/2010 at 7:36 PM

sam says:

hi we are a british couple with 2 young children that will need to go to a goood school and live near a synagouge, can you reccomendd any decent areas

Posted on 01/29/2011 at 2:27 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

If those are your main concerns, I’d say Kendall is probably your best bet. There’s a few synagogues there, and the schools down there aren’t bad. Miami Beach is probably the most Jewish-friendly area, insofar as being able to walk to synagogue, but the public schools out there are not so good. Now, if you want to pay for private school, Hebrew Academy and Holtz Jewish High School are both in Miami Beach, real close to all the synagogues.

Posted on 01/31/2011 at 2:15 PM

Marlana says:

Do you know any areas where i can find affordable housing for a young single 22 year old?

Posted on 02/16/2011 at 4:37 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Define “affordable.” Also, you may want to post this question in our Relocation forums to get a better range of responses…

http://forums.miamibeach411.com/living-relocating-here/

Posted on 02/17/2011 at 11:19 PM

julio says:

Great website, Matt. 

Is it possible to find a small apartment in a nice area, if possible close to a beach, with around $150.000?

many thanks!

Posted on 06/16/2011 at 8:49 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Do you mean to buy at $150,000? Or to rent at $150 a month? Your writign is confusing there.

Posted on 06/20/2011 at 10:35 AM

walt miller says:

got a job transfer from the post office and im looking for a two bedroom condo or townhouse in the Miami area. im not a high rise type of person however i want to be in a nice area. will commute from ft lauderdale Any suggestion ( 900 to 1200 range) coming from Connecticut on Aug 20th

Posted on 07/07/2011 at 7:11 PM

walter Miller says:

that $900 to $1200 per month

Posted on 07/07/2011 at 7:13 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Where is your job, exactly, Walter? The only decent area I can think of where you’d find anything even remotely in that range would be Kendall. Which is a far-slung suburban shit hole of a community, but will at least fit the bill of what you’re looking for. That said, if your job is anywhere north or east of there, and you work normal hours, your commute will be beyond unbearable. But if you’re working in Kendall or Pinecrest or South Dade or something, it would definitely be a good option.

Past that, for a 2 BR, especially if you want a townhouse, you’re gonna have to refocus your price range up around $1400. Maybe a little more. You could get a decent 1 BR apartment in your range in a lot of the city though. So if you’re willing to scale down you might have better luck.

Posted on 07/09/2011 at 5:10 PM

Adam says:

Matt, I am getting ready to relocate and am looking for something in a nice area that is not too far out in the middle of BFE. I was able to find something within my budget on Key Biscayne. I know nothing about it. Is it nice? Is it full of old people? I currently live in Sarasota and I hate this place because everything shuts down at 9pm. I am basically looking for some place that is nice, but not too far away from the main drag if I wanna go out for sushi late.

Posted on 09/27/2011 at 1:53 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Adam, Key Biscayne is nice, but it is a bit of drive even to get just to Brickell. Like maybe 15-20 minute drive depending on where you are in KB. There’s not much to do nightlife wise out there. Great recreation and phenomenal views, but not many bars and a handful of restaurants.

To get to South Beach is half an hour (and a prohibitively expensive cab ride). Coconut Grove is also probably 15-20 minutes. So, yeah, it’s gonna be a little more exciting than Clearwater. But not the most vibrant part of the city either.

Posted on 09/28/2011 at 10:39 AM

Racheljai says:

hi matt
Im a makeup artist from britan looking to move to miami with a friend. We both have jobs available with our companies so We want to work to save but have fun (live life a little) were 2 girls at 24 from britan where do you recommend to live? thats safe,close and of course cheap smile

Posted on 01/18/2013 at 7:39 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Close to what? It really all depends on where you’re working. Once you know where you’re going to work, we can give you a better idea where to live.

Posted on 01/20/2013 at 10:53 PM

Racheljao says:

We would be working in the south beach area, either the macy store or another that i cant remember the name of ha but i know its in a strip of shops a few blocks away from south beach.

Posted on 01/24/2013 at 5:32 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Cheap, you’re not going to find anything close to South Beach. Maybe the Mid-Beach to North-Beach area. A bit of a trek to South Beach, but one bus and not too bad. Those areas aren’t up there aren’t the best, and I wouldn’t call them “fun” exactly. But they are affordable.

Posted on 01/26/2013 at 6:51 PM

Jess1123 says:

Hello I am a single female planning to move to sobe (or close) in August. I am looking for some kind of clerical work and an apartment between 8-900. Is this possible???

Posted on 02/28/2013 at 9:42 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hi Jess - It’s hard to find a studio or 1 BR in South Beach for that price right now. Maybe over summer you might, but still that’s pretty low inventory. Off the Beach it’s easier, maybe in Coconut Grove or South Miami somewhere.

Further north in the Beach you can find that too, like up around the 70s.

Posted on 03/03/2013 at 4:41 PM

Jess1123 says:

And further north (the 70’s) how is the neighborhood? And I there a decent amount of clerical or office jobs available?

Posted on 03/03/2013 at 8:05 PM

Jess1123 says:

Sorry one more question, if i find a place further north is there any university’s close by?

Posted on 03/03/2013 at 8:32 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

It’s an ok neighborhood up there. I wouldn’t leave my doors unlocked or anything. And if you’re female I wouldn’t suggest walking down the street alone late at night. But it’s not terrible.

As far as clerical and office jobs, I wouldn’t say there are very many up there, no. Maybe if you could find one in one of the hotels or something. But if you don’t speak Spanish those are more or less impossible to come by.

FIU North isn’t ridiculously far from there, but it isn’t close either. There’s nothing I’d describe as “close” to that area in terms of schools, no. Maybe Barry University in Miami Shores, but that’s private.

Posted on 03/04/2013 at 6:32 PM

Hugo says:

How much is the rent around the Miami airport area or within 10 miles of it.. Looking for an affordable apartment or studio no more then 700.

Posted on 06/22/2013 at 12:12 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Depends where near the airport. I’d say it would be hard to find something in that range up near there though. It’s a lot of houses and such. Little Havana/Hialeah area.

If you look further into Little Havana you might be able to find something in that range. It won’t be very nice, but you can at least afford it.

Posted on 06/22/2013 at 2:03 PM

Autumn says:

Hi Matt, are you still responding to questions about moving to Miami? Would love to ask you a few…

Posted on 08/10/2014 at 12:58 AM

Angel says:

U sound like an ignorant racist ass whole

Posted on 03/12/2015 at 6:46 PM

Dagoddess says:

Hi i am a mother of two young children living in Daytona Beach Fl, but I think I made a big mistake moving here. I am a New York Native and I Do not think Daytona Has the Money Making opportunities that Miami has. I also do not have much as I cant make much here and am getting by on the check to check lifestyle. I hate it!!! I want to move to Miami because one I d not wish to go back up north at all and two I do enjoy the faster life style.Not NY fast but you get my point I hope. Any who I know the jobs will not be hard for me to get as I have an extensive background in customer service. I just need a place to live for cheep and decent until I can get planted. If i stay here I will waste away broke!!!!  I dnt want to stay here. Help

Posted on 06/27/2015 at 6:25 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hi Dagoddess - I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re struggling financially in Daytona, Miami is gonna be even worse. The cost of living here is a LOT higher, and the salaries do not keep pace with it. Fair? No. But this is not a place to move if Daytona has become financially difficult

Posted on 06/28/2015 at 10:02 PM

Dee Down says:

Hi. I’m a newly hired public school teacher for a south Florida district and I am having trouble finding an apartment for August 1st.  Do you have any suggestions or advice?

Posted on 07/14/2015 at 11:35 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Hi Dee! Much of that depends on where you’re working and your budget. You may want to ask this in our discussion forums and get more answers, and more details.

http://forums.miamibeach411.com

Posted on 07/16/2015 at 4:22 PM

tanya says:

I am a pretty single Esthetician and from Eastern Europe I want to move close to Miami beach where do you recommend is a safe area for a hot single European girl?

Posted on 08/17/2015 at 10:53 PM

Usman Khan says:

Hi,

Can someone tell me what is the standard security deposit of a studio apartment in Miami?? I am looking for a studio range 850 USD.

Posted on 02/29/2016 at 2:27 AM

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