Miami is one of the most popular cities in the United States and making a move there means you get to be a part of the action all the time. If you're newer to the area, you might be wondering what to expect when you get there. Many people have called Miami home for many years and have learned a thing or two about navigating the city. To make your move easier, we put together 8 helpful tips to keep in mind when you're moving to North Miami.
1. Prepare for Hot and Humid Weather
The weather in Miami is known for its warm temperatures year-round. If you’re moving to the area from a cooler climate, be ready for the oppressive summer humidity. The surrounding ocean, Everglades area, and swamp land result in extremely moist air. In August, temperatures often soar into the 90s, and with the humidity it will be uncomfortably warm. Needless to say, having air conditioning is a necessity in Miami.
Summer also is the rainiest time of year, with the most precipitation in June, August, and September. Late summer and early fall also are when the city is on hurricane alert. The driest and most comfortable months are December, January, and February, when temperatures usually hover around 60 degrees.
2. Check Out Miami Shores and Biscayne Park
This mostly white-collar and suburban neighborhood is found just north of downtown Miami. If you’re looking for a peaceful and safe community with recreational facilities, this is where you want to live. Some communities include membership to the Miami Shores Golf and Country Club and Aquatic Center, while performing arts venues, libraries, shopping, and dining are all found within a short drive of residential areas.
This area offers both luxury and historic houses that sit on spacious lots and tree-lined streets. However, the posh village atmosphere comes at a high price: Most homes sell for $500,000 or more.
3. Aventura is Ideal for Boaters
This coastal neighborhood in North Miami is a boaters’ paradise. Surrounded by water, there are marinas and private boat docks everywhere. With many houses, condo complexes, and apartment buildings on the water, housing costs here are higher than average. Expect to pay around $300,000 or more for a detached home or $2,000 per month for an apartment or condo rental. Many of the people who live in Aventura work in sales, management, and technology. Additionally, about one-in-ten of the area’s professionals telecommute.
When Aventura residents aren’t cruising the surrounding waterways by boat, you’ll probably find them golfing or escaping to an air-conditioned shopping mall. Featuring natural coastal water hazards, the scenic and challenging Turnberry Isle Miami golf course is found in the center of Aventura. The Aventura Mall is a large shopping center and one of the best places to shop in Miami since it has so much to offer. You can browse several designer brands, while the Promenades Shops and Waterways Shoppes both offer retail stores, boutique shops, and restaurants.
4. Golden Glades in Affordable
Perhaps one of the more affordable neighborhoods in northern Miami, Golden Glades, is north of downtown Miami and borders I-95. This Miami suburb is an older area, and most houses and apartment buildings are about 50 years old. Detached bungalow-style houses sell for around $150,000, while apartments are found for $1,000 per month.
Consistent with most of Miami, Haitian and Cuban families make up about 30% of the Golden Glades population, and the affordable home prices here attract many middle-income families. Expect your neighbors to work in the service industry, in sales, or as a clerk or receptionist. Additionally, many students flock to this area of the city to attend the nearby Barry University and Miami-Dade College North Campus.
5. Sunny Isles Beach is a Less Frenetic Version of Miami Beach
Welcome to Miami Beach scenery, but perhaps in a less frenetic environment. Cradled between Dumfoundling Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Sunny Isles is a 30-minute drive north of downtown Miami. Beaches, marinas, and boutique shops are found throughout this coastal community. High-rise apartment buildings, condominium complexes, and high-rise hotels line the eastern coast.
Your best bet for housing here is renting or buying a condo unit. Condominium prices are in the $250,000 range. While this may seem expensive, most complexes here offer full amenities, such as outdoor pools, fitness centers, and on-site marinas. It’s easy to feel like you’re on a permanent vacation at one of these complexes, but with less storage space than a house. You may need to find off-site storage for surplus furniture or recreation equipment.
The only downside to living in a tropical beach paradise is that other people will want to vacation there. Sunny Isles is popular among tourists and retirees escaping colder winter temperatures. If you’re one of these seasonal residents and you’re not fond of leaving your boat unattended during the rainy summer months, store your boat in an off-site facility.
The high tourist season here happens during the winter months, when the Sunny Isles population increases dramatically. Additionally, some businesses in this area close during the summer months when there are fewer tourists around.
6. Miami Lakes is Great for Young Families
If you’re moving within Miami from the Coconut Grove area, you’ll feel right at home in Miami Lakes. This upscale neighborhood with tree-lined streets, public parks, designer shopping, and fine dining offers plenty to do without having to travel downtown.
Miami Lakes is considered one of the best places to live for families due to its low crime rate. Attracting both professionals and young families alike, this area is great for establishing roots. You’ll find many single-family homes here, most with a backyard pool to help you survive the summer weather. Homes sell for around $400,000, while rent prices are typically about $1,500 per month.
7. Beware of Miami Traffic
No matter where you choose to live, there’s a good chance that you will opt for driving to work, shops, and restaurants. While public transit is available, it is not often used (or favored) by residents in northern Miami. Everyone seems to drive, but not everyone drives well. So traffic can sometimes be an issue for residents of this city, particularly if you live in one of the denser traffic zones. It may in your best interest to do some research on traffic patterns in various parts of the city before you relocate.
As with most major cities, you should expect major delays and frequent traffic jams when hitting the highways during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Residents commuting to the Northern Miami area will spend most of their time on I-95, Biscayne Boulevard, and the Palmetto Expressway.
8. Brush Up on Your Spanish
If you ever needed a reason to learn Spanish, moving to northern Miami may push you to do so. While speaking Spanish is not necessary to get through your day-to-day life, knowing Spanish is definitely an asset. With a predominantly Hispanic population, expect to hear Spanish spoken in public, at restaurants, and at your neighborhood coffee shop. If you don’t have a job before you move to Miami, beware that speaking Spanish is often required for people looking to work in the service industry.
The Latin culture has not only permeated the local language, food, and music, but it has also created a much more laid-back approach to life in general. Locals note that everyday interactions happen at a slower, more relaxed pace. Check-out lines often stall as the cashier engages in chit-chat with customers and restaurant reservations for 8 p.m. really mean that you’ll be seated at 9 p.m.
Moving is often exciting, but sometimes stressful (even if you are moving to sunny and lively Miami). However, with a little research, preparation, and some help from the professionals, your big move will become a smooth transition.