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  1. #41
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    Hi Twiggers,
    Congratulations on your new job with UM. Which department will you be working in? I know a lot of people in the History Department. I agree with Maria regarding South Miami. I did a preliminary search of that area and Schenley Park, another area popular with UM professors, but didn't find anything @ or under $1200. There is an 1100 square foot place on Le Jeune (in Coral Gables) that looks pretty nice, though Le Jeune is a busy street. Most of the dog parks are in Coconut Grove, but South Miami is pretty dog friendly. There are several outdoor cafes that bring water bowls out if you bring your dog with you.

    Regarding time for a search, mid-April should be fine You will have more inventory at that time as landlords put their units on the market in anticipation of students and visiting professors ending their lease at around the time UM gets out in May. I would recommend working with a Realtor since you are looking at a lot of areas, but I am a Realtor so I am biased . Matt is correct, landlord pays commission. A Realtor can forward available listings beforehand so you can preview at your leisure and then decide which ones you want to schedule appointments for. UM also has a website for rentals, but I think it is mostly for students. Get the word out to members of the department you are going to be working in. A lot of professors that leave on sabbatical or for fellowships often rent their places out while they are gone. Good luck in your search!

  2. #42
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    I forgot about the off-campus housing list at UM. Twiggers, if nothing else, give that a shot. I know a few post-docs who found housing through that

  3. #43
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    ilovesofla: Thank you so much for the info!!! I need to get into the MLS listings soon to get an idea for prices. I thought I remembered seeing some stuff around $1200, but it might be one of those places that is on the edge of a bad neighborhood (which I don't want). Once I compile a nice list I'll be able to pull out the map!

    Regarding realtors: Do landlords prefer to avoid using a realtor? Are you more likely to get the landlord to negotiate if you don't use a realtor?

    xtina: I did check that once and found a couple complexes on there that might be good....I'm not opposed to living surrounded by undergrads...I work with them after all!

    Oh, and I'll be in the psych department.

  4. #44
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    A lot of landlords rent through Realtors, those are the listings you see on the MLS. When landlords give a Realtor a listing, they agree on a commission up front and that commission is shared between the listing agent (representing the landlord) and the renting agent (representing the tenant). If they are listing with a Realtor and you don't have your own, then the listing agent gets the full commission. Some landlords do list on their own, which is why several current renters/authors on this site recommend driving/walking around and writing down numbers (this is easier to do on South Beach due to size). Market rents are market rents though, so a landlord listing on their own or through a Realtor can only charge what is typical for their area. A Realtor can check what the rental rates in the building or neighborhood are and give you an idea of what the rental rate should be. I found that landlords are usually willing to negotiate either way, especially if you have a good credit score.

  5. #45
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    SoFla: Thank you for that information!!! We definitely do a great credit score (upper 700s/low 800s) and liquid cash for paying deposits, etc. I wonder, then, whether it might be easier to find a realtor to help us.....I'll have to think that over. We won't be at all familiar with the area and it might save time!

    Do you think it is more common to see realtor-based listings for non-complex (the big huge apartment complexes) places? Or more common for landlords to list themselves?

  6. #46
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    Hi Twiggers, it is definitely easier to negotiate with a private landlord. At least I've always been able to. I know many landlords use realtors, but I think it's always better to rent from the person you're going to pay money to every month and with whom you're going to have a contractual agreement with. Also, realtors may obviously skip potentially great places that aren't listed. I would say go for both -- but do a little of your own exploration as well. Some apartment complexes (like Mayan towers) have their own rental office so you don't have to bother with a realtor.

    I just did a cursory look and found a few things in the nice parts of South Miami

    Here is a building around the corner from mine in the heart of S. Miami: http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/apa/997063101.html

    Here is a $1200 duplex in a nice area west of South Miami but you'd have to drive to UM (still very close!) http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/apa/997493088.html

    THis is $1375 2 bdr, super close to UM http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/apa/990087047.html

    You can usually tell who is a listing agent in Craigslist. They might post ad just to lure you into using their services to cover a certain area. I don't like the ads that don't post the address, because then you can't see what the REALLY mean when they say "Close to UM/Sunset Place" But if they post an address, that's cool, because you can say I want to see a unit in that particular building and if they have none available, then you can continue on in your search.

  7. #47
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    Thanks Maria! I appreciate the advice. Since we'll be down there for 6 days, we may have enough time to do research ahead of time ourselves, spend a day with a realtor, and then just drive around and look for signs in the areas. Based on comments here, I think we are going to restrict ourselves to Gables, S. Miami, and Coconut Grove....which should help a little bit. There is really no point in looking at expensive areas we can't afford, or areas that won't work for us because of parking, etc.

    Thank you for the apartment listings. We're hoping to find a 2/2 (makes it a bit harder) or a 2/1.5....but these streets give me an idea of where to be looking!

    The ads on Craigslist are so non-specific a lot of the times! Then they have all these ones on there now that when you click on it, it turns out to be a foreclosed home, etc.

    I've been tracking airfare, and since we're not coming until April I'm going to hold off purchasing until sometime next month/early March to see if prices come down...although at $159 roundtrip (O'Hare -> Miami) it's a pretty good price, just not on my preferred airline. I think we'll likely stay on S. Beach so we can be tourists for a bit...and will probably Priceline a hotel room to save money.

  8. #48
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    I'm a licensed Realtor; and, I've used an agent (other than myself) twice.

    I like the service.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by twiggers
    SoFla: Thank you for that information!!! We definitely do a great credit score (upper 700s/low 800s) and liquid cash for paying deposits, etc. I wonder, then, whether it might be easier to find a realtor to help us.....I'll have to think that over. We won't be at all familiar with the area and it might save time!

    Do you think it is more common to see realtor-based listings for non-complex (the big huge apartment complexes) places? Or more common for landlords to list themselves?
    Both are common. There are a lot of buildings that are strictly rental buildings and have their own rental office on site. Some of them work with Realtors if they bring in a tenant, others don't. Whatever you decide, pick one or the other. If you are running around looking at properties and have a Realtor also looking for you, you may end up with a lot of properties that you have seen already. If you are driving around anyway, you are goin to find a lot of rentals listed by Realtors anyway.

  10. #50
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    Thank you so much SoFla :-) I really appreciate the advice!

  11. #51
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    Just bumping this up so I don't start a new thread.

    We are only 99 days away from moving!!! We have also decided that we are coming down for 7 days in April (cheaper to fly Wed - Wed), one of the days will be spent at UM giving a talk and getting to know the place!

    As we get closer to that April date I may have more questions, but for now....I am curious as to whether we'll have a problem renting a place mid-month? We are moving on May 17th, and will likely arrive in Miami and want to move in around May 20th. Will a landlord do a partial month? Or does it really all depend on availability? I wouldn't want to have to pay for May 1-20 since I won't be there (as it is my current home has not sold and I'll likely be paying the mortgage after I move down there, which really sucks). I just don't want to stay up here one day longer than necessary either!

  12. #52
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    You can start mid-month. Landlord will probably prorate the rent for May so that you pay for the days you are in the apartment in May but future rent payments will be due on the first of the month. Your lease would probably go from June 1 through May 31, 2010.

    I am happy you are excited about your move down here! Good luck!

  13. #53
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    Hey, You should go ahead and try workng wth a realtor. They can emal you propertes so you can get a sense of the rental market. They can take you out your frst day, show you around, and descrbe the areas for you. Great way to begn your apt search. Then look on cragslst for the for rent by owners, and make appontments. Then drve around areas you lke, and look for the "for rent" sgns. Old school landlords tend to use the newspaper, so you may want to check that out as well! Good luck!

    Oh, and be prepared to go through a condo approval process. So far the process sucks for me. Crossng my fngers and hope to fnd out on Mon!

    Sorry for spellng errors..my "eye" key s broken. :(

  14. #54
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    Thanks SoFla and sungal! I was worried that someone might not want to rent to us in the middle of the month! Since we'll be looking in mid-April they'll probably be wanting 5/1 leases. Although, with this economy they might be grateful for any rentor!!!

    Does anyone have any recommendations about where to even start searching for a realtor to use?

  15. #55
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    Twiggers, the main property management realtors in South Beach are Regatta Realty, Keystone and Chrisken. There are also a few others, but those are the top 3. It is often easier to negotiate with a private landlord because there are less middlemen and fees.

  16. #56
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    Twiggers in my experience I have been able to negotiate pro-rated rent if I moved in on an odd day besides the 15th or the 1st of month. Just make sure this all gets in writing.

  17. #57
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    THanks Doug and Maria! I am tossed up about what the best thing to do is? Try to arrange one day with a realtor, one day using Craigslist, one day just driving and calling landlords? I don't want to waste a realtor's time...but at the same time, I want to maximize my week in Miami. I also want to try and negotiate as much as possible (likely will want to negotiate monthly rent PLUS nonrefundable pet deposit). I should also say that we are pretty picky and that limits us a bit....I mean, we want a 2/2 (will take a 2/1.5), lower level, 2 parking spots, central A/C, must take pets (small dogs under 20 lbs), laundry inside or onsite, provide all appliances. A pool would be a plus.

  18. #58
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    I have another silly question:

    What do women wear down there during the different seasons? I remember living in CA, is it similar? Does clothing ever change throughout the year, or does everyone wear the same thing all year round?

    Summers = dresses, skirts, capris, shorts, flip flops/sandals, tank tops
    Winters = longer thin pants, jeans, short sleeve tops, runners/regular shoes, sometimes even long sleeve sweaters on cold days

    I'm curious as to what I can store up at my parents house and never need in FL (trying to save storage/closet space). I know I will be packing up all the winter outerwear, but unsure whether I should pack up all the long sleeve sweaters and stuff.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by twiggers
    I have another silly question:

    What do women wear down there during the different seasons? I remember living in CA, is it similar? Does clothing ever change throughout the year, or does everyone wear the same thing all year round?

    Summers = dresses, skirts, capris, shorts, flip flops/sandals, tank tops
    Winters = longer thin pants, jeans, short sleeve tops, runners/regular shoes, sometimes even long sleeve sweaters on cold days

    I'm curious as to what I can store up at my parents house and never need in FL (trying to save storage/closet space). I know I will be packing up all the winter outerwear, but unsure whether I should pack up all the long sleeve sweaters and stuff.
    I know it sounds silly, but save some of your long sleeves and sweaters because we do get an occasional "cold" day here. When I first moved down I laughed at all the people bundled up for 60 degree weather, but the next winter I was one of them.

    But basically I think you are spot on with your list of clothing there....

  20. #60
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    As far as arranging your time, I would allow one day with a realtor. Preview the properties before via email and narrow down about 6 or 7 you want to see. While at home, call the craigslist for rent by owners and schedule those properties the 2nd day. Then browse the for rent signs in the area you like the 2nd day, making appointments to view on your third day- morning. Allow the afternoon to go back to maybe the top 2 apartment for a second look.

    As a timesaver, when viewing an apartment, if you see something you don't like immediately leave. For example, the first apt I saw had the bedroom window right infront of the nextdoor large condos's trash room. Imagine the stench!

    Oh, and be sure you ask if you need to get approved by the condo board, what the process is, can you see an application, etc.. but if it's a small building your realtor may not know. Remember to negotiate the rent..and bring your checkbook!

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