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  1. #1
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    Default Contemplating a move to Miami from Sarasota - ADVICE PLEASE!

    We are considering moving to maimi???
    We are a couple in our thirties and have a one year old and are expecting another child. We currently live in Sarasota and love Miami but just do not know if it is a smart move for us. We love the outdoors and nature but also love action and nightlife. Our TOP priority is our children as it should be and is this a good place to raise children and enjoy life? The schools are our main priority and have found that Pinecrest and Palmetto bay would be good choices although they are somewhat pricey. We have also heard positive things about Aventura and would consider this area as well. We will most likely rent at first. Any advice on areas, crime, schools, and quality of life here would be much appreciated.

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    Gus
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    Hi, LisaLisa4444, and Happy New Year!

    Sarasota is only 233 miles from Miami Beach. Mapquest says it's a 3 hours, 37 minute drive.

    Commenting about the quality of life is subjective.

    Have you visited Miami to judge the quality of life for yourself? Have you taken your kids to the Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and Aventura schools to see how they feel?

    I'm happy to offer more advice, but nothing's black and white.

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    Hi Gus and Happy New year to you too!

    Yes, we have frequented Miami for years. We go there quite often and have family in the surrounding areas. We love the action, etc. We have friends who live in coconut grove and have been to the pincrest and palmetto bay area a few times and like what we see so far. As for taking the children to the schools, our son is only one year of age and does not know whats even going on. The other one has not arrived yet. Right now we live in a town with few activites and many older folks. What we want to know is would you recommend raising kids in Miami? do you love Miami? What are the downsides etc etc.....
    Thanks!

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    Hi Lisa,

    Your question could not be more subjective! Living in Miami is great, however being from CT, I'm not sure I would want to raise children here unless I could afford to live in a select few communities. For example, Key Biscayne probably is one of the best choices in the country but is quite expensive. I would say most areas in Miami could not compare to Sarasota.

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    Thanks for your input. We have not looked into Key Biscayne but are leaning toward the Palmetto Bay/Pinecrest area. We have found the schools there to be A-rated. Do you know anything about these areas? Thanks again!

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    Gus
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    Lisa, yes, I love living here, but there are some downsides which I wrote about (see: 10 Things I Hate About Miami). Make sure to also read the comments in that link.

    I don't know anything about the Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest. Maybe Bryan does. I'll search too.

    "our son is only one year of age and does not know whats even going on"
    That made me laugh. Since he's only 1, I'd consider relocating here, but by the time he reached 6, I'd start thinking about moving.

    Miami's a tough city, and personally speaking, I don't want my kid toughened up like that.

    Next time you're in Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, you should poke your head into a classroom and see if it feels comfortable. Walk onto a high school campus and imagine your son going to school there.

    Back in 1981, my parents relocated us to Miami from San Diego. I was 13. We lasted 4 months. It was not a positive experience. From a kids point of view, it felt like waking from a blissful sleep with freezing ice water thrown on you.

    But nothing's black and white.

    If your lifestyle allows you to pick up and move, (which mine always has) go for it. You could have a fun five years.

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    Hi Lisa,

    I've lived in Miami for almost 13 years and had grandparents who lived very close to Sarasota. There is a huge difference between these areas. I think if I lived on the West coast I would have an itch to move to Miami also. However, I would definitely spend some quality time in Miami if you haven't already - not just a couple days, perhaps a couple of weeks. Drive around, visit the schools, go to the grocery store. My parents live in Estero now (between Naples and Ft. Myers). Whenever I go there, I feel that life is a little slower, less hectic.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Miami is farther South and temperatures can be 10 degrees warmer. You may not want to spend as much time outdoors as you do now.

    Crime? I found a great site that compares Sarasota crime rates to Miami. The numbers were surprising.

    As for different areas of Miami, I've lived mostly in South Beach and North Miami and wouldn't suggest either of these areas to raise children. When I first moved here, I spent a lot of time in Aventura and felt very comfortable.

    I'm happy to hear there's a school in Miami that's A-rated. Since I don't have any children, I don't have any first hand experience. I remember hearing on the news for a few years that kids are having a hard time passing the apptitude tests and want the tests to be made easier. I drew my own conclusion on that.

    Good Luck! Let us know if you have more questions.

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    Thanks again everyone for all your great advice. We have seriously taken it to heart and have concluded that Miami may NOT be the best choice for us. Is there another option on that coast that has a "family feel" good schools and safe neighborhood? any advice would be extremely helpful.

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    Palm Beach County is very nice, and only an hour away from Miami. I know many couples that moved there from here, and on the weekends utilize babysitters so they can still come to Miami to have some fun.

    Miami is great for children from ages 0-6 and 21+

  10. #10
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    Hi LisaLisa!

    Pinecrest is actually a very "nice" area of Miami. So nice, in fact, that the cops are jerks. But seriously, Pinecrest, while not being gated, is very protective of its family-oriented community. I think Aventura would probably be more appealing to me if I were in your shoes. It's closer to the beach for one, a lot more central and far more cosmopolitan. You might also consider South Miami or even the area where I live (Mid-Beach). There are a handful of educational institutions here, including Montessori.

    I think Miami can be rough, but really, it depends on what section of the city you live in and how involved you are in your children's lives, what schools they go to, etc; Like any city, there are "bad" areas and "good" areas. Personally, if I had kids, I would still raise them here, because I don't see how raising them secluded in a small town and/or elitist McMansion (read: Palm Beach) community is a good thing.

    Miami has its rough edges but it's not you'll be sending them to school in the Bronx. I only have come across a couple of bad eggs in my entire life growing up and going to school here.

    I was born and raised here but I spent three years in Venezuela when I was about 10 years old, back in the day when Miami was not so diverse. I cannot tell you what a difference that made in my childhood and my life. Being exposed to something radically different really opened my eyes and made me a better person. There could be no better learning experience than travel or living in a city with great diversity.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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    Well said, Manola. It's nice to hear your point of view having lived in Miami Beach almost your whole life.

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    Thanks again, It is nice to hear some positives from someone living in Miami. I have heard so much negative at this point it has scared us and now we are not sure what to do.

    I really do appreciate all your advice. I will keep you posted!

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    Hi Lisa!

    Wow. Moving can be scary. I personally live in Pinecrest and am very familiar with Sarasota as well. Hmm. My answer would be: it really depends...

    Why? Miami, well, you love it or you hate it.

    I for one, love it. I've been living here my entire life, born and raised. Now, it is a very large city and like anything has its pros and cons. Sarasota is a quieter life, some would prefer to raise kids in Sarasota oppose to Miami just because its not so hectic. Is Miami really all that dangerous like so many people make it to be? No. Like any other large city, don't start walking around town at 2am flashing your Rolex because chances are, maybe you'll get robbed. Do you know of any place where that doesn't happen?

    Pinecrest is great. You almost feel like youre in another world. It's peaceful, it's safe, it's very nice! I have many neighbors that are raising children that are the age of your children. Schools in this area are very good as well. Public and private--that would be your decision. Living in Pinecrest is a little/lot pricey and the taxes are sky high. These are some things to take into consideration. You can't really find a home in Pinecrest for much less than $700K. Give or take. Hmmm.

    I love Pinecrest! It's close to everything! You have supermakets nearby, malls, movies, restaurants, book stores. And just a half hour from the beach. It's a great location.

    There's a lot of traffic in Miami. The majority of the people are hispanic. You will go to some restaurants where they will automatically begin speaking to you in spanish. Does this bother you? Some people hate it, they move. I personally, love it. It's a matter of oppinion and preference.

    Many people have chosen to move to Weston and Wellington and other areas as such to raise their kids just because it's away from all the noise and fuss and they feel they can offer their child a more "wholesome" upbringing.

    Two different environments. Living in one or the other will not guarentee how well you are going to raise your children. Both ways is a risk. That's life; everything is a risk.

    Basically, is a decision to move to Miami something you and your husband are confident in?

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