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  1. #1
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    Default Just took job in Miami, where should I live?

    I just accepted a job as a sales rep for a medical company and all of Miami is my territory. I'm thrilled to move there, but I've never been and have no idea where I should live. We currently live in Tampa and will make our move in December. My fiance will be transfering to Florida International University to finish her last semester of school at the south campus so we will need to live within about 30 - 40 minutes of there at most. The campus is basically where the Turnpike and 41 intersect. We can live anywhere as long as it's close enough for her and as for me, I will need to be in an area where I can get to highways quickly because I'll be driving all day. I can afford somewhere around $1600 a month in rent and do not want to be in an appartment complex or condo building. I need a townhome with a garage or single family with a garage. We're young (sort of) I'm 30 and she's 25 so we'd like to be close to nice restaurants etc... (Don't care about night clubs as much). All I do know is I don't want to be so far west that I'm bordering Aligator Alley! I'd greatly appreciate any ideas as to which areas of town I should be looking in. I keep hearing about Coral Gables... Any ideas?
    Thanks so much in advance,
    Sean

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hey Sean, Coral Gables is a good idea because it's so centrally located. It's convenient to the freeways and has a lot going on. The Miracle Mile area is really nice and walkable. There are also some peripheral neighborhoods if the real estate isn't in your budget, like Shenandoah, toward the southeast. I also have a friend that lives close to the Palmetto Freeway, near Bird Road, and he likes his location.

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    Thank you for the quick response Doug, I really appreciate it. How long do you think it would take to drive from Coral Gables to FIU during rush hour?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanhynds
    Thank you for the quick response Doug, I really appreciate it. How long do you think it would take to drive from Coral Gables to FIU during rush hour?
    Well, the good news is that you could take Bird Road and avoid the freeways entirely. There is some surface street congestion, but Bird Road moves pretty fast. You'd be looking at a commute between 20 and 30 minutes.

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    Wow, that's not bad at all. Do you think $1500 will get a 3 bed townhome with a garage?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    3 bd? That might be a bit of a stretch. $1600 might get you 2 bedrooms, probably not 3. But I can't really answer that question authoritatively, only tell you where you can find the answer! Check out listings on miami.craigslist.org and in the Miami Herald classified. The paper copy of the Miami NewTimes is useful, but they use backpage.com for their online ads.

  7. #7
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Are there even townhomes available in Coral Gables? I would think affordable 3 bed townhomes with a garage are further away in a more suburban area.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Like we usually tell people, it's really crucial to come out on a scouting mission and drive through the neighborhoods yourself to see what's out there. Some people also put out for rent signs for places you'll never find advertised online or in the paper.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, sungal. you can def. find townhomes like that in the Gables. But $1600 for 3 bedrooms is a pipe dream. You could get a 2 BR townhome without a garage (covered common parking, perhaps) for that price. The Gables ain't cheap. You can also rent houses there too, but then you're going to start getting into the $2000 range. But you can probably get 3 bedrooms and a garage too.

    Oh, and Bird Road is AWFUL. It can take 15-20 minutes to get from Red Road past the Palmetto at rush hour, which is only about a mile and a half. FIU is about four miles past that. On streets with lots of lights and crazy drivers. The Dolphin Expressway, while not always free flowing, is typically your best bet to get over to FIU from the Gables. I'd suggest living as far north in CG as you can so you can catch the Dolphon (SR-836) quickly.

    But as Doug said, a scouting mission is essential before you move.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    Quote Originally Posted by seanhynds
    Thank you for the quick response Doug, I really appreciate it. How long do you think it would take to drive from Coral Gables to FIU during rush hour?
    Well, the good news is that you could take Bird Road and avoid the freeways entirely. There is some surface street congestion, but Bird Road moves pretty fast. You'd be looking at a commute between 20 and 30 minutes.
    I'm not too sure about that. Westward traffic is pretty congested during rush hour. I would say at least 45 minutes, probably an hour.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    On Bird Road...or the Dolphin Expressway? If Bird Road is too congested, there's always Miller Road and SW 24th St...or you could take Dixie Hwy South to SW 72nd St and then head north on SW 107th Ave. I've used those routes to visit my friend who lives at Bird Road and SW 72 Ave on many occasions and was surprised how fast I was able to get across town without having to get on the freeway. If one is crowded, at least there are alternatives.

  12. #12
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    If you're headed to FIU from the Gables, you're choices are basically Flagler, Eight Street, Coral Way, Bird Road and Miller Road, depending on what part of the Gables you live in.

    They are all going to be congested because so many people live in the western suburbs.

    Matt is right where it can take 20 minutes just to get from Red Road to the Palmetto on Bird Road.

    It takes 20 minutes to get from my mom's house near Coral Way and 62 Ave. to Costco, which is near Flagler and 82 Ave.

    FIU is on 107 Ave.

  13. #13
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    I've used those routes to visit my friend who lives at Bird Road and SW 72 Ave on many occasions and was surprised how fast I was able to get across town without having to get on the freeway. If one is crowded, at least there are alternatives.
    72 Ave is not 107 Ave.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    True, but unless Sean was taking night classes at FIU, he would be traveling against traffic during rush hour. The people in the western suburbs tend to travel east in the morning and west in the evening. If he lived in Coral Gables and had day classes, he would be traveling west in the morning and east in the evening, in the opposite direction...

  15. #15
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug
    True, but unless Sean was taking night classes at FIU, he would be traveling against traffic during rush hour. The people in the western suburbs tend to travel east in the morning and west in the evening. If he lived in Coral Gables and had day classes, he would be traveling west in the morning and east in the evening, in the opposite direction...
    That is true but FIU is a commuter school so many of the classes they offer are at night. Or at least after 5 p.m.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Drat, Carlos, foiled again! I concede!

  17. #17
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    Well it is my alma mater.

    I remember trying so hard to choose classes in the early afternoon so I wouldn't have to deal with rush hour, but some times it has impossible.

    And I attended both the north and south campuses, so it was either traffic on Coral Way or traffic on I-95.

    And this was in 94 when traffic wasn't as bad as it is today.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    So there you have it Sean, see if you can get day classes at FIU and you'll do okay living in the Gables.

  19. #19
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    Hi Sean ... welcome to the forums!

    Since you will be traveling all over Dade county and your fiancee is going to FIU South, why not just live close to campus? There are not many townhomes in Miami but definitely duplexes and such. Mind you, this is not my optimal recommendation as far as location, but if commuting is such an issue for you, you might look around Sunset or Kendall Drive near the Palmetto or the Turnpike for example. Anywhere near 107th ... I know you don't want to live in a complex but there are many there with spacious apartments that service that community. Some complexes have the "townhome" feel and would be in your price range. These are not the most exciting neighborhoods but you have to compromise if commuting is an issue for you.

    You might also consider South Miami near Dadeland, which puts you close to the Palmetto. Again, not optimal as far as traffic goes, but at least you are close to South Miami/South Coral Gables and Pinecrest, where there are plenty of nice restaurants and such. A friend of mine rents a big 3 bedroom apartment behind Dadeland for your price range -- it has a terrace, pool and multiple parking spaces.

    I think you should focus more on making your daily commute easier because on the weekends and at night you can always go elsewhere for entertainment. Spending too much time in your car is going to make life miserable here and will defeat the purpose of living in a "fun" neighborhood.

  20. #20
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    Wow, you guys are awesome. THANK YOU! We are coming to town on a scout mission from Nov 20-26 so hopefully we'll be able to sign a lease by Thanksgiving. My fiance Amanda will be taking day classes at FIU, so if I understand you all correctly it sounds like traffic won't be too bad for her??? And wow, the Gables do sound expensive. I appreciate all the suggestions but an appartment is not an option because I absolutely need a garage. (And because I HATE appartment complexes). I don't care if it's a duplex, villa, townhome, single family etc... Also I need a home office so a straight 2 bed won't work. I need a 2 and a den or a 3 bed. The other side to this is that I currently live in a suburb called New Tampa in an awesome gated community in a huge place, but it's BORING as hell! It takes 35-40 minutes to get downtown where the real action is. We badly want to live somewhere fun for a change. I don't mean night clubs, but nice restaraunts, cafe's, bars and stuff would be cool. With all this being said (and Amanda needing to get to class in 30 minutes or less, where should we focus while in town on our scout mission? Are there any periferial areas near enough the Gables that still have a lot of action that I can find a 3 bed with garage for $1600? Also can anybody referr me to a good realtor that specializes in finding rentals?
    THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! I'm so glad this website exists! I owe each of you a drink!

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