Whether you’re moving for work, school or simply to escape the harsh winters of the northern states, making a move to Miami, Florida is a decision you will never regret. Famous for its beaches, year-round sunshine, and a social scene that is second to none, Miami is unlike any other U.S. city. Here you’ll find the perfect combination of culture, relaxation and outdoor adventure.
From cuisines inspired by Caribbean and Latin American flavors to Cuban coffee that is sure to jumpstart your mornings, the food scene in Miami is almost an enticing as its shoreline. Once you’ve settled in and are ready to explore, be sure to check out the two National Parks that surround Miami. Visit the alligators, from a distance, in the Everglades, or snorkel America’s only living coral reef in Biscayne National Park. Food, sun, and adventure are waiting for you in your new hometown. Welcome to Miami!
What to Know Before Moving to Miami
The best way to prepare for a move to a new city is to gather as much information as possible. Here are some facts and details about Miami that are sure to help you in your transition to this beautiful city by the ocean.
The Miami metropolitan area covers three counties: Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County. Known mostly for its beaches and nightlife, Miami is also a significant leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, and the arts. Downtown Miami has one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the U.S.
With an estimated population of 463,347 in 2017, Miami is the 6th most densely populated city in the United States. The Miami metro area, which includes Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, is home to over six million people. Despite its large population, in 2008 Forbes named Miami “America’s Cleanest City” based on its excellent air quality, green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, and citywide recycling program. According to Colleen Harding with Income Realty Corporation, Miami is fast becoming one of the best cities in America to live in. Waterfront properties are always in high demand and because of this, Miami’s real estate returns are at a yearly 18.6%. Many neighborhoods have boats of condos in close proximity to single-family homes, duplexes, and multifamily properties that signal the diverse market that Miami caters to. Despite the pandemic, Miami properties are in demand due to low-interest rates and high buyer turnout.
Taxes and the Economy
Miami residents pay a sales tax of 6% and property tax ranging from 0.87%-1.12%. Those new to the Sunshine State may be pleasantly surprised to find that Florida does not impose a state income tax. The Gross Metropolitan Product for Miami is $257 billion, making it the 11th largest metropolitan economy in the U.S. and the 20th largest worldwide.
PortMiami, located in Biscayne Bay, is the largest passenger port in the world, and one of the largest cargo ports in the U.S. Known as the “cruise capital of the world,” this port has over four million cruise passengers and over 7.4 million tons of cargo pass through it each year. With all its activity, PortMiami is a significant contributor to the local and state economies.
Dozens of large companies, including Burger King, Celebrity and Carnival Cruise Lines, Lennar, and Perry Ellis International call Miami home, and the job market here is thriving. As of May 2018, the unemployment rate in Miami was 3.8%, slightly below the national unemployment rate. The leading industry, construction, had an 18.3% job growth rate in September 2018, beating the national construction growth rate of 4.2%.
Cost of Living
The median average income in Miami is $54,284. The cost of living in Miami is 15% higher than the national average, but it may be worth it for the proximity to the beach! While you can expect to pay less than the national average for health care and utilities, expect to fork over more in just about every category from groceries to housing to transportation. Thinking about buying a home? The median house here will set you back just over $350,000, which is more than $130,000 above the nationwide median home price. And the rent isn’t cheap either. Expect to pay anywhere from $1000/month for a studio apartment to $2700/month for a 4-bedroom place.
Transportation and Traffic
Miami’s primary highways, the Florida Turnpike, Dolphin Expressway (836) and Airport Expressway (State Rd. 112) are all toll roads that require drivers to pay via the SunPass system. The Palmetto Expressway (826) is a toll-free road. For traffic updates, drivers can use the Florida Department of Transportation’s 511 system. The 511 system gives 24/7 updates on all major Florida roadways.
With millions of visitors that flock to Miami each year, traffic can get congested. If you’d rather not sit in the driver’s seat during rush hour traffic, then you can check out one of Miami’s Public Transportation options. Miami offers a free light-rail system called the Metromover. The Metromover connects major hotels and businesses in downtown Miami, with stops along the way that include dining, shopping, and entertainment locations. The Metromover runs from 5:00am-midnight seven days a week. Or you can try out Miami’s public bus line, the Metrobus. The Metrobus operates over 95 routes with almost 1,000 buses operating 365 days per year. The bus system was designed to connect with the Metrorail and Metromover. Rides start at $2.25 per trip.
If sunshine and warm temperatures are what you are searching for, you’ve come to the right place! Miami has what is called a Tropical Monsoon Climate. Now don’t panic, that does not mean that the city gets hit with Monsoon-like winds and rain. What it does mean is that the average temperature is above 64.4°F every month of the year. The January temperatures average 69.2°F with lows rarely falling below 50°F. So, if you are used to sweater weather and snow boots in the winter, it might be time for a new wardrobe, but keep the rainboots handy. May marks the start of the wet season, which runs through October. With temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to low-90s, the high temps and higher humidity regularly stir up afternoon thunderstorms.
Things to Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Miami. The most obvious is hitting the beach. Miami Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in the world, and for a good reason. Known for its Art Deco district and wide sandy beaches, its southern end, South Beach, is also known for its pulsing nightlife. Aside from Miami Beach, the Miami metro area has dozens of miles white sand beaches, including those found at the Bayfront Park Beach, Hobie Beach, and Crandon Park Beach, to name a few.
If you want to slow things down a bit, you can stroll through the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove. This 34-room Renaissance-style villa overlooks a lush courtyard and is the definition of opulence. Once home to James Deering, a successful businessman, the mansion is now owned by Miami-Dade County and is open to the public. Feeling a bit wild? Head to the Miami Zoo. This zoo is the most extensive zoological garden in the state and the only sub-tropical zoo in the contiguous U.S. Its open-air exhibits and cage-free environment ensure visitors an up-close look at wildlife in all its natural wonder. Finally, sports fans will be happy that Miami boasts four major sports teams, including MLB’s Miami Marlins, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, the NHL’s Florida Panthers, and the NBA’s Miami Heat.
While there’s no shortage of things to do here, Miami isn’t all fun and no work. The Miami Metro area is home to 59 colleges, universities, and technical/vocational schools. According to the U.S. census, of residents aged 25 or higher, 26% have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. Not only is Miami home to Florida’s largest public university, Florida International University, it also houses Miami-Dade College, a community college with over 47,000 students. With a student population of over 15,000, the University of Miami offers 110 bachelors, 103 masters and 62 doctoral degree programs.
Best Neighborhoods in Miami, FL to Call Home
Now that you’ve decided to make a move to Miami, choosing the right location and neighborhood is next on your to-do list. Whether you’re looking for a family-oriented area or somewhere up-and-coming, you’re sure to find your perfect fit in Miami.
Miami Design District
Those looking for trendy, artistic areas, will find that Miami has lots from which to choose. As its name suggests, the Miami Design District is home to hundreds of galleries, showrooms, antique dealers, restaurants and bars. For those who crave some retail therapy now and then, a short walk through your neighborhood will bring you to the doorstep of retailers like Givenchy, Burberry, Cartier, Christian Louboutin, and Prada.
As of 2010, the population of the Miami Design District was 3,573. Served by Miami’s Metrobus system, the Design District is located south of Little Haiti and is proximate to many up-and-coming areas like Wynwood, Buena Vista, and the wealthy Upper East Side.
As one of the best areas for art and architecture, the Design District is also home to the Design and Architecture High School. A magnet school in the heart of the district, the Design and Architecture High School, US News and World Report ranked this high school the 15th best public high school in the nation.
So, if you are looking for a location that is as artistic as it is trendy, then the Miami Design District should be at the top of your must-see list.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood known as “The City Beautiful?” With its tree-lined streets, rich green landscapes, and expansive homes, this suburb of Miami is considered one of the best and most sought-after places to live in, in the entire state. With a population of 51,095, Coral Gable boasts over 140 restaurants and plenty of shopping options. With so many amenities at their fingertips, Coral Gable residents rarely need to leave their bustling little enclave.
In Coral Gables, education and employment go together. The University of Miami is not only located in Coral Gables, but it is also the town’s largest employer. Coral Gables is also home to the Bacardi brand, Del Monte Produce, and Capital Bank Financial headquarters, all of which are significant employers. The median household income in Coral Gables is $96,887, which is well above the national average.
Although you may be tempted to drive around your new hometown with the top down daily, there are a few other options. The City of Coral Gables has a free trolley that runs daily, Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. -8:00 p.m., giving residents a convenient and green transportation option. Once you’ve hopped on that trolley, there is no shortage of places to see or things to do in Coral Gables. Take a ride to the Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre and check out a main-stage or a children’s production. The playhouse has productions year-round and has stories that are dramatic and suspenseful to musical theater and comedies. Or you can head to the Coral Gables Art Cinema to take in an independent film, an international feature or a classic movie. After a film, you can make your way to the Miracle Mile where you can choose from dozens of bars and restaurants to cap off your night.
Known as the principal financial district, Brickell is also the fastest-growing residential area in Miami. With its upscale, luxury condos and high-rise residences, Brickell is the ideal location for those looking to be in the heart of the business of Miami. Brickell is also home to “Millionaires’ Row,” boasting some of Miami’s most expensive apartments and condominiums.
If you want to stay in Brickell, but are looking for a more suburb feel, then you need to check out South Brickell. South Brickell is primarily residential with single-family homes on one side and high-rise residential towers on the other. As of 2010, the population of Brickell was 27,776. Part of the Miami-Dade County Public School System, Brickell is also home to Florida International University, the largest university in South Florida.
Brickell residents heavily utilize the public transportation system here. It is used more in this area than in any other part of Miami and is part of the culture of the town. If you are looking for a place where you can have a car-free lifestyle, then Brickell is your kind of place. As one of the more pedestrian-friendly areas of Miami, residents can get to most places by foot or by bicycle. Biking and bike safety are important initiatives in this neighborhood. With more bike lanes and bike parking in the works, residents will soon have even more options for exploring their hometown.
We can’t talk about moving to Miami without talking about moving to the beach! While South Beach is known for its fantastic nightlife and celebrity sightings, North Beach is known for relaxation and escape. North Beach has all the beauty of its neighbors to the south, with less hustle and just slightly less bustle. With its wide, sandy beaches, North Beach is perfect for the outdoor enthusiasts. A flat boardwalk trail winds up to Surfside, allowing runners, bikers and even your four-legged best friend to enjoy the sights and sounds of coastal living.
North Beach is the perfect location for those that want to be steps from the big city, but still able to shut it out and enjoy quiet and tranquility. North Beach is made up of 13 neighborhoods, each with its distinct features, community centers, and local hometown feel. With a population of 43,963, it is also known as the “Crossroads of South Florida” because of its location near Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami proper. Many people who work in and around these locations call North Beach home.
As Miami’s oldest neighborhood, Coconut Grove has a charming, small-town feel that is perfect for young families. A seaside escape, Coconut Grove is also known for its abundance of parks and oak trees. Coconut Grove has an up-and-coming restaurant and art scene and beautiful single-family homes to explore and enjoy. This seaside village is also home to several annual outdoor festivals and events including the Annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival and The Great Taste of the Grove Food and Wine Festival.
With over 16 parks to enjoy, there is no shortage of things to keep kids of all ages entertained. Split between Northeast and Southwest Coconut Grove, as of 2000 the total population of both areas was around 19,000. Just a short 20-minute drive from Coconut Grove puts you in the heart of downtown Miami, where many residents work and play.
One of Miami’s most up-and-coming areas, Wynwood has transformed from a run-down neighborhood to one of the trendiest epicenters of Miami. At the heart of the Wynwood neighborhood are its art, fashion, and technology districts. Boasting works from fresh talent in both the art and fashion worlds, Wynwood is the perfect location for those looking to be in-the-know of the latest trends. With its vast number of art galleries, studios, and fashion wholesalers, it is no surprise that these industries are the main drivers of Wynwood’s economy.
Boasting a population of over 45,000, Wynwood is also served by the Metrobus and Miami’s free trolley system, making pedestrian traffic easy and accessible. Wynwood is part of the Miami-Dade County Public School System and is also home to the Miami Ad School. The Miami Ad School is a for-profit technical school is focused on art direction, copywriting, graphic design and photography.
How to Plan a Move to Miami
Congratulations on your upcoming move! We’ve put together a checklist to help you prepare for your move to the great city of Miami.
Two Months Before the Move
- Ideally, you should schedule your movers at least two months before your move date. Great Guys Moving can help you find a reliable Miami moving company 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our insured and vetted moving services will take the stress out of scheduling and planning for your big move to Miami.
- Along with hiring your movers, you should set a budget. Make a list of everything that you hope to buy or pay for before and during your move. Need a new sofa? Add that to the budget. New dog bed for Fluffy? Add it to the budget. If you are going to require lodging before making it to your destination, you should consider that expense as well. Planning your budget ahead of the move will reduce the risk of being surprised with unexpected expenses later.
- If you have children that will be changing schools, be sure to contact both their current school and their new school to find out what information each one needs before you move. If you are nearby, schedule a tour of your child’s new school, so they don’t feel anxious and overwhelmed on their first day.
- If you aren’t changing jobs, be sure to ask off work for the day of your move. If you are not able to move on a Friday or over the weekend, it may be a good idea to ask off for an extra day to get settled, if you are able.
- Purge, purge, purge. As Marie Kondo would say, if it no longer brings you joy, let it go! Go through everything…drawers, closets, attics, garages, those secret hiding places only you know about. Collect anything that is collecting dust or hasn’t been touched since your last move and put in a pile for an epic garage sale. Now is the time to downsize and maybe make a little extra spending money at the same time.
Six Weeks Before the Move
- If you are moving to Miami from another city or state, be sure to contact your doctor to find out what is needed to forward medical records to your new provider. If you don’t have a new provider yet, that’s ok. Giving your old provider a heads up will let them know that this will be coming down the pipe and will let you know what to expect when you are ready to make the switch.
- Contact your insurance agency. Whether you have renter’s insurance or a homeowner’s policy, find out what steps you need to take to ensure your new home and belongings have coverage from day 1.
- If you aren’t changing employers, let your human resources department know of your new address and find out if your move will affect your medical or dental insurance as well.
- Take photos or make diagrams of where your electronics were and how they are connected before disconnecting them. This step will help when you are facing a mound of wires that all look the same and you can’t figure out which wire goes with which electronic. Use twist ties to gather and organize lose wires before they are packed up.
- If you are using one of our auto shipping companies to transport your car to Miami, have your vehicle serviced before moving day. This step will be one less thing you will need to think about once your car meets you in Miami.
- If you are packing your items yourself, start by doing a little each day. Don’t leave everything to the last week. Go room by room, a little at a time so that you can take the time to decide what goes and what stays.
Four Weeks Before the Move
- Start contacting your utility companies. Make sure you have your current utility company turn off your service the day after your move and have your new utility company turn on your service the day before your move. You do not want to get stuck in your current location without power or water right in the middle of your move. At the same time, you want to make sure that your new home has everything in working order before you get there, so it is turn-key ready. Be sure to find out about deposits for new utilities ahead of time as well.
- Time to eat those leftovers! Use these next few weeks to clean out your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Donate any non-perishable items that won’t be making the trip to Miami with you.
- Change your mailing address. Visit www.usps.org or stop by your local post office to fill out a change of address notification.
Two Weeks Before the Move
- Contact your moving company and confirm pick-up date, time and location as well as drop-off date, time and location.
- Clean your carpets and floors. Now is a great time for that deep carpet cleaning you’ve meant to get done. The new residents will appreciate it, and that will be one less thing you have to think about in the weeks to come.
- As funny as it sounds, make sure you return library books and pick up dry-cleaning. There is nothing worse than realizing your absolute favorite suit is at a dry-cleaners’ five hours away the day before your first day at a new job.
- Fill any prescriptions you might need for the next few weeks. It is always a good idea to have a week or two of your medications handy in case there is a delay in transferring your prescriptions once you get to Miami.
- Go to your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or boutique before leaving town. While Miami is full of amazing food and hundreds of trendy shops, be sure to visit your favorites one last time before heading out of town. Think of it as saying goodbye to the old, and hello to the new!
- Be sure to spend time with family and friends that you will be far from once you make your move. Thanks to social media and apps like Facetime and Skype, we are never too far from anyone, but taking the time to give hugs and high-fives can make moving away from your loved ones a bit easier.
One Week Before Moving Day
- Pack a bag of essentials for the day of your move. You do not want to be awake at midnight the night of your move, exhausted and looking for your toothbrush. Pack items like shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and an extra set of clothes for each family member to have the day of your move. This step will keep you from scrounging around tons of boxes looking for your pajamas so that you can finally crawl into bed.
- Pack plastic utensils, cups, and plates to use in your new house on the first night. Take out is always a great idea your first night in a new home, but if the thought of going out in public after moving all day long is both frightening and exhausting, order some delivery and break out the paper and plastic utensils for your first picnic in your new home.
- Do a final cleaning of your old home.
- Do an initial cleaning of your new home.
- Make sure you have cash on hand for any unexpected expenses (which you probably won’t have because you made a budget!).
- Say good-bye to your old neighbors and hello to your new ones!
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Welcome to Miami! For assistance planning your Miami move, contact Great Guys Moving. We’re here to help you find a reliable and affordably-priced moving company for your Miami move! Request free quotes now.