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Thread: Chicago to South Florida

  1. #1
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    Default Chicago to South Florida

    Hi all! My husband and I were originally from Nashville, TN and made a move to Chicago, IL. We've been here for 10 years and are ready for a change. Renting our condo here and thinking of making our move to South Florida. No kids, one dog, one cat, late 30's, professional jobs but we love to play hard. On a typical weekend here in Chicago we go out to various clubs Friday and Saturday nights and stay in throughout the regular week days. Husband travels alot for work so I guess our first concern is my saftey (walking the dog at night, etc) while he is away. Next, he just needs to be near an airport for his travels otherwise he works from home. I am a legal secretary. We are used to having amenities close by, bank, grocery, restaurants, etc. (Self-contained) (I havent driven in 10 years, ha! but still have valid license)

    I understand that South Florida will be nothing like Chicago, and that is okay, but we are trying to figure out where about in South Florida might make us the most comfortable transition.

    We used to travel down to Ft. Lauderdale at least 6 times (for work) a year and have made many friends there (Lauderdale/Weston). I've done a little research regarding Ft. Lauderdale, but now I am wondering if Miami area might offer more for us.

    I imagine we would be looking for a rental house because of the dog (older German Shepherd and the cat) b/c I imagine the highrise rental bldgs. have lots of restrictions. Although it would seem safer.
    Any information would be much appreciated,

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Hi Jchiocha,

    There isn't a shortage of clubs here so I think you'll be happy. Most condos here don't allow pets as large as a German Sheperd. You will be better off in a house. Some areas that are nice and not far from the airport are Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens. These are very near airport and you can hop on the expressway and beach in South Beach for your weekend escapades in 15 min. Some areas of Coconut Grove and South Miami are nice and you can be at the airport in 20 min or less. The Roads is also nice and near I-95 so you can be at the airport quickly also. Of course, you will be needing a car for most of these areas, other than Miami Springs or Virginia Gardens. In case you move to one of those two areas, you can be like my shameless neighbors and walk to the nearest hotel that offers free shuttle buses to the airport. They do the same thing upon their return. Works every time. All depends on your budget of where you will be.
    Good luck with the move.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Miami may feel a bit more alienating to you than Lauderdale. The city of Miami is very different from Miami Beach, also, which may feel more welcoming than Miami. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to spend a little time in Miami next time you're down here, to see how it feels for you. Try to do the things you would see yourself doing here as a resident, as opposed to someone on vacation.

    The downside of Ft Lauderdale is that outside of the downtown area, you really need a car for everything. Not so in South Beach. South Beach also has more world class culture, whereas Lauderdale is more suited for suburban tastes. Suburban tastes aren't as bad as they might sound, though. The convenience and more laidback atmosphere can make it a more relaxing place once the intensity of big city life starts to become too overpowering.

    So, just spend a little more time in Miami on your next trip down and see how it compares for you.
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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Ft. Lauderdale is not suburban. I wish you guys who don't live in South Florida would stop saying that. West Broward, maybe. But in the City it feels like, unbelievably, a city. Chicago it is not. But it isn't some far flung suburb either.

    Ft. Lauderdale is like a normal American City, with a beach and nicer weather. Like Miami without as much traffic, cultural barriers, and slightly less inefficiency. If you've lived in America your whole life, I STRONGLY suggest Ft. Lauderdale as a place to relocate. It has everything you'd want out of a big city (save for maybe a pro baseball stadium), great nightlife, and a realyl convenient airport. Also, it is an exponentially easier place to live than Miami. Miami is fun and all, but you have to absolutely love insanity, inefficiency and crowds to deal with it. I'm weird, I stay here. Most Americans burn out within a couple years.

    Lauderdale, however, I think is a better option for you. Downtown there is a real downtown, with like bars and clubs and stuff to do at night. There are actually a good number of rental houses right near downtown, and they are affordable. Something you probably won't find in Miami. And safe. The airport is like 5-10 minutes away, you can walk to nightlife and all the amenities, and if you really want a taste of the ridiculous, Miami is like half an hour.
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  5. #5
    Gus
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Hi Jchiocha,

    I agree with Doug.

    Matt is also right, but he makes Miami sound worse than it is, in my opinion. =)

    If you're considering Miami and need to be close to the Miami Airport, you might consider Palmetto Bay. There's lots of nice houses with big yards. The drive to the Airport takes about 25 minutes with no traffic. It's close to the Keys, Downtown Miami, and South Beach. I'm guessing rental prices for a house are around $2,500 per month. The only downside is, there's not a plethora of real good restaurants. But if you're looking to enjoy a nice, safe neighborhood with good amenities, Palmetto Bay is a great place. The Drive to Weston takes about 50 minutes.

    Does Fort Lauderadle feel very different than Chicago? To me, there is something similar between the two cities that Miami and Chicago do not share, which is a good thing, If you're living life like an adventure and are looking for a change of pace.

    I am a legal secretary. We are used to having amenities close by, bank, grocery, restaurants, etc. (Self-contained) (I havent driven in 10 years, ha! but still have valid license)
    Hope you're OK with driving, wherever you decide.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    To be technical, Matt, the term I used was "suburban tastes". By that I mean it's more of a mainstream/fast food/mall kind of culture, whereas Miami is more exotic.

  7. #7
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Hahaha. Semantics, Doug. But I get your point.

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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Thanks tmtheu97, We are getting more excited about our impending move. OUr condo in Chicago goes for rent starting today. Thank you for the area/neighborhood suggestions.

    Jchiocha

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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Hi Doug: We actually have plane tixs for a "scouting" visit in May! We plan to visit the areas and hopefully sign on a rental somewhere. Looking forward to the trip and the move.
    Jchiocha
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago to South Florida

    Sounds good -- if you check out Ft Lauderdale, one of the best streets to start with is Las Olas Blvd. It has a nice downtown area, and a canal with yachts and a nice mall. Off Las Olas are several nice little neighborhoods to explore there. In South Beach, the best place to look is on the west side of Washington. Washington, Collins and Ocean are very congested with tourists -- but if you look further west, it's a different world! Very quiet and laidback. South of Fifth is another good area to check out.

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