Category: Moving to Miami
February 22, 2021
6 Minute read
When you’re moving to Miami, nobody thinks to tell you these things, simply because they’re second nature to Miamians. But after talking to so many newcomers, we realized that what might be obvious to us locals is SHOCKING to someone from out of town. So we put together this list of 7 things you need to know before moving to Miami.
1. Public transportation in Miami doesn’t compare to other cities
Pictured: Miami metro mover
Public transportation is alright in Miami, but it doesn’t compare to cities like New York that have it all figured out.
Miami has one main metrorail that goes from Dadeland in South Miami, all the way up north to the Airport & Hialeah area. Once you get downtown, there are “metro movers” that take you in a loop around the city. Although it’s rumored that they want to extend the metro to go to South Beach (and we won’t even get into the tunnel Elon Musk wants to build under Brickell), the metro stays on the mainland, meaning you can’t take it to the beach or anywhere too far north, south, or west.
To get to Boca or West Palm, you can transfer from the metro to the Tri-Rail, and soon the Brightline train will take Miamians all the way up to Orlando.
Miami does have some city buses and a free trolley system, but most people prefer to uber when it comes down to it.
Because of all this, Miami is ranked number 52 on a list of 100 cities for its public transportation.
2. If you live in Brickell/Downtown, you don’t really need a car.
Even though the public transportation isn’t the best, if you choose to live in Brickell/Downtown or even some other areas of Miami, you really don’t need a car.
Downtown Miami and Brickell are extremely walkable – together they are only about 2 miles from the north end to the south end (thats about 1/5 of Manhattan). Between the 2 areas there are hundreds of restaurants & bars, office & apartment buildings, shopping, leisure, and almost anything else you could need.
If you live AND work in Brickell & Downtown, you’ll find yourself using your car maybe once a week – and at that point, a lot of people decide it’s not worth it. Since there are so many Uber drivers here, you can almost guarantee that one will show up within 5 minutes of being called.
3. Living in Miami is actually a lot cheaper than you think
If you’re used to paying New York city rent, you’re in for a treat. Most people moving to Miami are pleasantly surprised that they can spend much less than they’d originally expect to shell out.
For example, a nice studio apartment in the Brickell/Downtown area might cost you $1800/month, where the same apartment in NYC would cost you at least $3000.
And while the cost of living in the hospitality capital of Florida might be higher than other counties, Florida residents save a lot of money because they don’t have to pay state taxes!
4. Most buildings have AT LEAST a pool, gym, and 24 hr valet/security
Pictured: Brickell Heights pool
On top of these cheaper prices, you get SO MUCH MORE for your money than you would in many other cities.
Most buildings in the Greater Miami area were built after 2000, so they’re newer, nicer, and have way more nice features. For example, most units have washer/dryers so you don’t have to share with your neighbors.
It’s not uncommon, especially in buildings built after 2010, for buildings to have gorgeous 5-star resort-style amenities. This includes hotel-style pools with cabanas and towel service; state-of-the-art gyms with yoga, spinning, crossfit, and more; indoor or outdoor children’s playrooms; full service spas with saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and cold plunges; club rooms with arcade games, golf simulators, or bowling; full service business centers; private movie theatres; outdoor leisure areas, and more.
5. Everyone runs on “Miami time”
Miami might physically be in the Eastern Standard Timezone, but there’s a thing called “Miami time” that seems to be the norm down here.
If you’re moving to Miami from the northeast, this will be extremely frustrating because you’re used to being punctual and expecting everybody else to do the same.
However, that’s not how “Miami time” works. People on Miami time will show up at LEAST a half hour late to your appointment. If it’s for a social event, it will be even later.
And once you’ve lived in Miami for a while, you’ll be so used to it that you might start showing up late too. So a bit of advice is, if you want to have people over at 7:30, tell them to arrive at 6.
**Side note – Double L Group prides ourselves on always being on time to appointments. We have a little scooter we ride around so we can beat the traffic and zip from our office to anywhere in Brickell/Downtown in under 10 minutes 😁
6. Spanish is the first language in some areas
Pictured: Main strip of Little Havana
If you’re moving to Miami, it’s time to dig up your old Spanish books from high school! The first thing many people notice after moving to Miami is that almost everybody speaks Spanish. On top of the large bi-lingual population, there are lots of people living in Miami who don’t speak any English. Sometimes this can make communication challenging, but you’ll be surprised how much Spanish you can pick up if you pay attention!
7. You can spot manatees & dolphins in the Miami River and Biscayne Bay
You may be used to seeing a squirrel on your morning walk, but what about a manatee or dolphin? Now THAT’S what I call living in Miami! People who grew up here are barely phased by Miami’s unique wildlife. Passing by an iguana or 2 on the way to work is NBD for them. But if you’re just moving to Miami now, you’ll be shocked to see all the animals you’ve never seen in the wild before (we even have peacocks!).
Now that you know these 7 facts, you’re practically a local!
Know somebody else who is moving to Miami? Share this article to make sure they’re prepared!
And if you’re a first-time home buyer, you won’t want to miss our First Time Home Buyers Guide, which outlines the 7 painless steps you can take to become a homeowner