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  1. #1
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    Default Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Hi everyone,

    I have been stalking this board for over a month now, and I just want to say how helpful it has been in getting a good vision of Miami areas, and what areas we would want to move to or stay away from if we end up there.

    I am currently waiting on a possible job offer, I will know for sure next week for sure, but considering we will most likely only have 2 months to find housing once I accept, I decided it was time to post on here with some of my questions.

    So, a little about me and my family... my husband and I are an interracial couple, and we have one 17 month old son and an English bulldog. I would be taking a job working at MIA airport. We decided we will most likely rent a 2 bedroom condo for at least the first year, but would also like a house, if we found one we liked in our price range. My husband will most likely not have a job coming in, so we want to make sure we stay in the under $1600 range for monthly rent... more if utilities are included. I will be commuting to the airport, and will have flexibility on my hours. I would like to keep my commute under 45 minutes during rush hour. Coming from DC, I am used to horrendous traffic, and 45 minutes to me is fairly reasonable. We would like to live in an area that is relatively safe, and has parks/playgrounds that we can walk to, or take a short drive to. Would like to be closer to the beach, and a place that is obviously pet friendly for the 1 dog. I am not really a fan of suburbia, but my husband likes it more than I do... We would like to be able to be fairly close to some restaurants and/or nightlife, and would love to not be to far from a grocery store. We live IN DC now, so are used to some crime and inner city living. My husband wants to get away from the hood living though, but I prefer to live in a neighborhood that is a bit more lively as far as things to walk to/take a short drive to... I am not a fan of cookie cutter or yuppie neighborhoods and since we have a young child I would like it to be a bit family oriented. We are not concerned about schools yet since we have a few years to worry about that, however once my husband finds a job, we would need to find a daycare (we prefer in home daycares vs. centers). Would like to have a place with a pool, or live near a community pool. Also, since we are an interracial couple, we would like some diversity.

    So some areas we have narrowed it down to are:
    Coconut Grove
    North Beach/Normandy Isles
    Mid Beach (if we can afford it)
    Bay Harbor Islands
    Miami Shores/El Portal

    We will have two cars, but if we can find a place near a metro train stop, I would consider getting rid of one of them, since I could just take the train to work.

    Am I missing any areas that we should look? Do I seem "on point" as far as these areas being good for my family and in our price range?

    Lastly, I would really appreciate some recommendations on realtors to use to find a condo/home, that will work hard with us, since we will have limited time to look at places, and since we are out of town. I know sobespace is a realtor, and I would love to get your contact info if you are able to help us out.

    Thank you all for all of your great advice!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    I think Coconut Grove would be my choice out of the neighborhoods you listed. $1600 may be do-able for a two bedroom, but it's been a few years since I've lived there so I could be wrong. The Grove seems to have everything you are looking for and not a completely horrible commute to MIA.

    As for diversity, the majority of people living in Miami are of Central/South American decent. So, diversity in the sense you are physically in the United States and everyone is speaking Spanish. That's diverse I guess. In the sense that you will live in neighborhoods with people from all different backgrounds, not so much.

    All and all, a much better place to live than DC though.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Thanks fake_sunglasses. I appreciate the insight. Living in DC, I am used to non English speakers... I live in an area with a lot of Spanish speaking/Central American people (Petworth, just north of Columbia Heights). When I first moved to the DC area, the Spanish got on my nerves, but I got used to it quick.

    Its nice to hear that you think Miami is better than DC. My husband and I are so over DC, the ridiculous cost of living, the people who make ridiculous amounts of money and act like its nothing, the crazy commutes, etc. I never thought I would dislike it here, but having a kid changed my perspective on everything about this city. Its just too damn expensive... We need a change. If we get lucky and my husband can find a job (even a low paying one), we should be able to afford closer to $1800, but im not betting on it, after doing research on the job market down there.

    My husband has been a hobby photographer for awhile, and we are going to see if he can possibly start a business down there if we move. He does IT for DC Public Schools now (makes crap for money), so ideally he could find an IT job... but if not, I guess we can just hope he can get some photography gigs and start building a portfolio.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    I actually used to live in Petworth. I think Washington DC is the exact opposite of Miami, in every possible way. If you are looking for a change, you will definitely find it in Miami.

    Have you spent much time in Miami before? Had a chance to visit the potential areas you may want to live in?

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Thats surprising! Nobody never knows about Petworth! Haha... although right now the Petworth scene is building up momentum, so it may be the next Columbia Heights. I own a house there that I bought about 6 years ago, so I am going to rent it out for a few years and hope that the DC real estate scene, especially in Petworth, continues to sell like crazy and for unbelievable amounts of money, so my investment can actually pay off.

    I have spent only a week in South Beach. Of course I loved it... lol. I was pregnant at the time, so it wasn't like I was partying it up, and I still could see myself living there. My husband loved it as well. I really didn't feel like it was a CRAZY party place... which actually surprised me. I felt very comfortable actually. We even went during Spring Break... I guess everyone's perception is different depending on where you have lived.

    I really enjoyed the fact that it didn't feel like the US. I am definitely not under any illusions that my initial vacation perception could change, but given the fact that both my husband and I hate DC right now, I am sure we will do fine in Miami.
    The plan is to probably stay in Miami for 5 years or so and then possibly move back to DC. I work for the government, so I can always find a job back in DC, if we absolutely hate it there. Given the fact that right now, I am the breadwinner, my job will be what determines our location. That said, I am really hoping my husband can start to get some type of career going in Miami, at least better than our current situation.

    We have not got to visit any of the areas we are looking, as we stayed in South Beach, down near the Clevelander, and didn't have a rental car. But if I get the job, we will be probably coming down at the end of March to look around, and figure out where we want to rent.

    In what way do you feel Miami is the exact opposite of DC? The people? The lifestyle?

    Other than the expense of DC, my husband hates the inner city living, the congestion, and he kind of dislikes the people. As for me, I just hate not being able to enjoy life outside of work. I work shift work, so my schedule is constantly changing, and I have NO social life. All my friends live strewn about the area in VA or MD, and its impossible to do anything with them, unless I have to drive an hour. And we are always broke, living paycheck to paycheck. We are lucky if we get to go out to dinner once every 3 months. Its just not a place for a couple who ended up with a kid at 30. Most parents wait until there mid to late 30s, and then have nannies raise their kids while they are out making 300K a year and working 70 hour weeks.

    Not really the lifestyle we want... we are still young, and would like to enjoy being a young family.

    My husband and I are both from Detroit... so initially we loved DC (or at least I did). There were actually things to do! I could handle the cost of living as long as I was single... but once we got married, and we couldn't have roommates, things got really expensive fast. Take that, and an unexpected pregnancy (best surprise I ever got though), and we were doomed.

    We have even considered moving back to Michigan (crazy, stupid I know)... but we just want to have some type of life that doesn't involve worrying about the bills getting paid.

    Anyways, I am rambling on... but yeah, we are so ready to get out of here.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Also wanted to add that we love OLD homes/architecture... anything with character. So we are not looking for the highrises or anything brand new. Ideally, we could afford to rent an old home that has been updated, but doesn't need to be a full on renovated home.

    What is the Shore Crest neighborhood like?

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    You mean Pinecrest? Or Miami Shores? Those are both good family areas, but Pinecrest can be a BRUTAL commute.

    Houses with character don't really exist here. This city has ZERO sense of historic preservation except when it comes to the art deco district in Miami Beach. So in terms of a house, there's nice places but nothing old and interesting. Doesn't really exist here.

    And please, if you're thinking of moving read this first:

    http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/before-moving

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Hey Matt,

    No definitely not Pinecrest... Miami Shores. Too bad about no historic homes though That is one of the few things I will always love about the DC area.

    Thanks, I will take a look at that link.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Jujubee, best of luck on your move! Any real estate in DC seems to be selling like crazy, and seems like the Columbia Heights overflow will make your investment in Petworth a great idea.

    How is DC the exact opposite of Miami? Oh jeez, where do I start. Well, just think of anything in DC, and honestly will be exactly the opposite in Miami.

    People in Miami are not career obsessed as those in DC. You will NEVER start off a conversation in Miami with "so what do you do?" If you are burnt out by DC professional life, Miami should be a welcome change. However, DC is a highly educated city. Miami is not. Another way these cities are polar opposites-I saw recently DC was one of the top 5 "ugliest cities" based on physical attributes (I wholeheartedly agree.) Miami has been called many things, but ugly doesn't usually get tossed around.

    You should be forewarned, living in Miami is basically like living in a wealthy Central American country. If you have ever cursed DC local government for horrible metro service, you ain't seen nothing yet. Simple tasks like banking, grocery shopping, can make you lose your mind. People move at a slow pace in Miami. Nobody is really ever in a hurry.

    Also, if you are not of hispanic decent, you may sometimes feel like an outcast. The US likes to portray Miami as this rich, diverse city. In reality the city is diverse among Central and South Americans. You will hear Spanish all day, everyday.

    Having said all this, I love Miami and would take it over DC any day. In the end, it's like comparing apples to oranges.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Quote Originally Posted by fake_sunglasses View Post

    People in Miami are not career obsessed as those in DC. You will NEVER start off a conversation in Miami with "so what do you do?".
    I have to respectfully disagree with this. This is all people ask. Because they are obsessed with money, social status, and getting things for free.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    I think there is obviously a vast distinction between Miami and Miami Beach. Jess, I agree that South Beach lives up to many of its stereotypes. But everyday life in mainland Miami does not have a one track, career minded vibe comparable to say a Washington, DC, or even various scenes in New York. Sure, NEVER was a bold statement, and I am sure I have started out conversations in Miami with this introduction. But my point was that in Miami there are plenty of people working to live, get by, than the opposite.

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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Thanks for the input everyone...

    Can anyone send me any good realtor's contact info?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Possibly Relocating for Job to Miami from DC with family

    Take a look at this map to get a feel for the quality of different Maimi neighborhoods:

    http://tinyurl.com/2btpcf2

    (disclaimer: not my map, though I like it a lot)

    Shorecrest is a good area, but you don't have to go too far west before it goes downhill. (Shorecrest is roughly north of NE 79 Street, south of NE 90 Street, and east of US 1)

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