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  1. #1
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    Question Looking for affordable and safe area to live

    I have 2 job prospects in Miami. One company is located in North Miami Beach and the other is around the Design District. I've been commuting 5 hours each way from Ocala to Miami for interviews and meetings...The drive is not fun...

    I'm looking for affordable 1 bedroom/1 bathroom apartments within close range of either company (Miami-Dade, North Miami Beach, Miami Shores, Design District, Miami Beach, North Miami, Aventura, Brickell and Biscayne area), but have been coming up short and empty handed. Not knowing the areas, I don't know which ones are safe and good to live in. I've checked out a couple of places already and figured out they are not in the best area (ghetto). I'm in a bit of a rush to find a place to live and move by mid July, which doesn't really give me much time.

    Being from Chicago, I'm new to Florida and don't know anyone. Suggestions/input would be a big help.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Hi Chynadoll im also a Chicago transplant. Welcome! Define affordable for us so we can give you specific advice.

  3. #3
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    Hi nefrocatracho! Another Chicagoan to another

    As far as affordable and being on a budget, I'm looking for a max of $700 a month rent.

  4. #4
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Frankly NMB is not very nice. I think the nice part of Aventura is probably too expensive, as is Brickell. North Beach in Miami Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, and North Bay Village might be an option depending on how far south you want to go. Design District and neighboring Midtown you might be able to find a one bdrm in that range, though others here might know better. The surrounding hoods are bad though.

    Regarding safety, it's relative of course. If you lived in Chicago and got around the neighborhoods a lot, you will not be impressed with Miami crime, despite the stereotype. If you lived in the burbs, well, your perception might be different.

  5. #5
    rk
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    You can use this "areas" map as a rough guide:

    http://tinyurl.com/2btpcf2

    (disclaimer: I did not create the map)

  6. #6
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Oh wasn't that map done by Twiggers? I think the best bet for a "safe/nice" area would be to do a share.

  7. #7
    rk
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    No, that map was created by someone named Cris over at the City Data forum with help from other forum members. It's actually pretty detailed and you can blow it up like any map to get a closer view. Of course you should only use it as a rough guide, and there is considerable variation sometimes from block to block, or even building to building.

    Sharing will definitely get you a better place, at the slight risk of ending up with someone you don't get along with.

  8. #8
    Full Member crcossel's Avatar
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    $700 seems really low. We have been looking for places too and haven't seen anything that low.

  9. #9
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    If you look in the northern part of Miami Beach, like 70th-85th Street, you can probably find some stuff if you're willing to go up to $750. That area isn't bad, a lot of working class Hispanic families. Not unlike little Havana. And the commute from there to North Miami Beach isn't bad at all.

    North Miami is terrible. Avoid it. NMB isn't great either.

    If you end up in the design district, Little Havana isn't a bad drive and not an AWFUL area. Price range is similar to that part of the beach I mentioned. If you are female, these are areas I wouldn't make a habit of walking around alone at night, but other than that you're probably ok. Though car break-ins and the like are fairly common.

    I did the drive to Gainesville every week the first 4 months of this year. Totally feel your pain.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking for affordable and safe area to live

    Quote Originally Posted by crcossel View Post
    $700 seems really low. We have been looking for places too and haven't seen anything that low.
    Matt's right. I moved to the Normandy Isle area of North Beach. It's a fairly safe area, close to essentials and bars, restaurants and I pay $700 a month for a 1-bedroom. There are quite a few apartments for rent in the area and many older buildings are being renovated. Between 71st and 95th, there should be quite a few options between $700-950 a month.

  11. #11
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for affordable and safe area to live

    Quote Originally Posted by DCtoMIA View Post
    Matt's right. I moved to the Normandy Isle area of North Beach. It's a fairly safe area, close to essentials and bars, restaurants and I pay $700 a month for a 1-bedroom. There are quite a few apartments for rent in the area and many older buildings are being renovated. Between 71st and 95th, there should be quite a few options between $700-950 a month.
    I agree, and include Bay Harbor Islands and North Bay Village in that, those are likely your best options. Otherwise, as others said, consider a 2 bedroom and a roomate

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone for your help. After continuous search, I realized I do have to up my rent amount which now would be in the range of $700-$800. The mid $700 would be ok, but the high $700- up to $800 would be somewhat pushing it for me, though if its a nice place that's worth it and included utilities then I'll make the sacrifice.

    it would be nice to live in the Miami beach area, but I've noticed the price gets higher.

    I did think about a 2br, which if the rent was split it would be cheaper, but being new to the area I don't know anyone. For starters though I'd rather live alone.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    One thing to do would be to look through the Miami Herald classifieds. You're likely to find older landlords (who aren't internet savvy and are still willing to pay to place ads) who might have 1-bd garage or mother-in-law type apartments. They may be asking less than the current market rate.

  14. #14
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    In the 7-800 range, you are unlikely to have utilities included. Remember that FPL is often in the 80-150 range, and cable and Internet is around 100. Just so you can budget accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    In the 7-800 range, you are unlikely to have utilities included. Remember that FPL is often in the 80-150 range, and cable and Internet is around 100. Just so you can budget accordingly.

    @ Matt. Thanks, I'm definitely taking everything into consideration into my budget. I read in another post that you live in Little Havana. How is the area? There's an apartment on W Flager St. that's on my list to check out.
    Last edited by Chynadoll_25; 07-07-2010 at 02:49 PM.

  16. #16
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    I think Doug's idea is great!
    Last edited by sungal; 07-07-2010 at 02:48 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Thanks -- I've just noticed that there are some older people out there who've been renting out detached units on their property for decades and they don't necessarily follow the market trends....so you're more likely to find cheaper rents! Of course, it may be a pain if you need to get something repaired...

  18. #18
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    My Grandmother counts as one of these people. She was somewhat out of touch with market rents, and never wanted to raise the rent much for a "good tenant". Her tenants would give her little gifts during the holidays, bring her homeade goodies on occasion...that's all it took to get half price rent. She's also had horrible experiences with people damaging things and going through evictions, so I guess she's thankful to get tenants that pay something and don't cause her any problems.

  19. #19
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Little Havana is ok, depending where you are. Like the location is great, and it's not that bad of an area. But it's a little run down and you get some sketchiness. If I were female, I wouldn't walk around there late at night, but otherwise it really isn't too bad. And it is definitely the best location for the money in Miami.

  20. #20
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    When I was here 10 years ago doing a month long rotation, I rented a coach house for $550. That was in middle beach. Sure it was small but it had everything a normal one bedroom would have. If you don't mind living in someone else's backyard, it's another option

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