City Living Guide: What is it like to live in Miami, Florida?
Author: The HOMEiA Team
Miami is the only major U.S. city to have been founded by a woman. Arriving in 1891, native Clevelander, Julia Tuttle bought several hundred acres along the bank of the Miami River in an area then known as Bay Biscayne. Her passion to build a community in her newly found paradise and single-minded drive to bring the Florida East Coast Railroad to Miami were the foundation for what is now a major cultural, economic, and financial center of the East Coast, and one of the most popular places to live in the state of Florida.
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Known for its dynamic nightlife, spectacular white-sand beaches, and thriving modern art scene, Miami’s culture is vibrant and diverse with a strong Caribbean and Latin-American influence. Looking for an exceptional place to eat? From Jean-Georges Vongerichten to Thomas Keller, some of the greatest chefs on the planet have planted their culinary flag in Miami. And, of course, it’s no surprise that some of the world’s best Cuban food calls Miami its home, as well.
Its reputation as America’s playground is well deserved. For more than twenty years, the Port of Miami has been known as the Cruise Capital of the World, holding the title as the largest cruise passenger port in the world. Boasting nearly 150 parks, gardens, playgrounds, and recreation areas, Miami is considered a Top 10 U.S. destination for both golf and deep-sea fishing, as well. Then, of course, there’s the coastline. From South Beach to Cape Florida State Park, some of the world’s most beautiful beaches can be found in Miami.
2. Cost of Living
Numbeo lists the average monthly cost of living for a family of four in Miami to be around $3,700 a month (excluding housing). For a single person, the cost of living drops to around $1,000 a month (also excluding housing). Homeowners in Miami often spend more than the national average. However, residents don’t have to pay income taxes or taxes related to pensions, Social Security, or inheritance. (Sales and property taxes still apply.)
Miami also boasts a vibrant housing economy. While the beautiful beach-front houses of the starts can run into the tens of millions of dollars, the median home value in this market (according to Zillow) was around $337,000, as of January 2019. That amounted to an increase of nearly 5% from the previous year.
63.3% of Miami homes are owned, and 36.7% are rented (the median property rent is $1,138)
The good news for potential buyers who are looking to purchase a home in Miami is that there’s plenty of available inventory around the metro area right now, while many other major U.S. cities are seeing significant decreases.
Areas like Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, and Pinecrest, are considered some of the safest and most family-friendly communities in the current market.
4. Safety & Health Care
Like their city, the people of Miami are known for their beauty. With it’s strong “beach-body” vibe, Miami is rated among the Top 10 Healthiest Cities in the United States. Most of the population makes time for some type of exercise in their daily routine, at least three times a week. This helps maintain Miami’s less than 23% obesity rate, compared to the national average of 39.6%. The Florida Department of Health offers a variety of state, county & community health efforts, and the hospitals and doctor’s offices of Miami hold high rankings in the health-care world.
As far as safety goes, the Miami Police Department works hard to ensures the well-being of people and property, and the reported crime rate is at a twenty-year low, thanks to outreach initiatives like the Citizens Crime Watch.
Miami enjoys the lowest unemployment rate of any city in Florida, at 1.8%. (compared to the US national average of 3.6%). The average monthly salary for Miami residents is around $2,700, after taxes. While manufacturing jobs are beginning to rival the city’s massive tourism industry Miami’s largest industries remain Accommodation & Food Services, Health Care, Social Assistance, and Construction. Miami’s job growth forecast over the next decade is predicted to be 42.7%, significantly higher than the US average of 33.5%.
As the 4th largest school district in the United States, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is comprised of more than 40,000 employees, 345,000 students, and 392 schools. The district is responsible for over 2,000 square miles of land, from the heart of the city to outlying suburban and rural areas. A true melting-pot of communities, Miami-Dade students speak more than fifty languages, and hail from over 150 countries.
Miami-Dade is home to seven of the top 100 high schools in the country (from a total of nearly 133,000 K-12 schools), as well as taking four of the top 10 slots in Florida, according to the annual rankings from U.S. News & World Report.
Similar to family housing, some of the highest-rated public schools in Miami can be found in the communities of Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Pinecrest.
Look, there’s no point in denying it…Miami’s hot, humid weather can be overwhelming, especially through the summer months. Air-conditioning is a necessity for most of the year, which will result in higher power bills. On the other hand, it’s never cold and, with temperatures averaging between 60 and 75 degrees in the winter, heating expenses are nearly non-existent. If you’re looking for a place where you can tan on the beach at Christmas, Miami is the city for you!
To sum up: As the sparkling star of the Sunshine State, Miami is a bustling, diverse, and exciting place to live. From artists to athletes, and everyone in between, you will find a healthy, vibrant community of like-minded souls.