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  1. #1
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    Default South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    I am planning to move to miami beach/south beach area (for few months atleast starting Jan) and want some thoughts about the locations. As I see it, there are three sections 1. south beach 41st street and lower, 2nd (let's call it miami beach) 96th to 41st street surfside and then 3rd North miami beach 96th street and up (sunny isles and aventuara). I want to select between these three areas.

    How much is the rent difference between these 3 areas? I would really like to be a block or two away from the beach and also have a good social scene. Which of these 3 areas would you pick and why? South beach seems like an obvious answer but want to confirm it and also see if there is a large difference in the rent in these three areas?

    Also, any negatives I need to know about these areas? e.g safety?

    On a side note, where does most of the international (non-Hispanic) crowd stay?

  2. #2
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    South Beach is where the social side you seem to want happens. But it is much more expensive to rent there. However, you get what you pay for. Everything is walkable and there are many people to meet. Mid Beach and North beach becomes much more residential. You can live in the high rises on the beach and hang out in the bars around 65th, they are full of locals. but I doubt you'll get much more than that for a social scene.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: South beach, Mid beach or North Miami Beach?

    Thanks a lot, Jess. How easy is it to commute from mid-beach to south beach without a car? Can I plan to stay in mid-beach and go to south beach as and when needed? Also, is there a good difference in rents between the two areas? like $100-200 a month (for sharing)? What's a ball park number for both areas let's say for a separate room (not fancy)?

  4. #4
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    That commute isn't bad. There's one bus that goes up and down Collins Ave., and you can take that during the day. At night, like for going out in South Beach and that, you're stuck with cabs. Which are expensive. You may want to look at that cost vs. the difference in rent.

    I believe a DECENT 1 BR in SoBe is going for around $1200-1700 these days. You can find a 1 BR in Mid-North beach for about $700-800. I'm not sure about the Sunny Isles/Aventura area. Lots of condos there, and it's not nearly as walkable as Miami Beach/Surfside (96th St and below). So, yeah, you're looking at probably a 400-500 a month difference between South Beach and other parts of the city.

    South Beach is still HEAVILY Hispanic, but you do see other Americans and Europeans there. Unlike in the City, where you can go days without seeing a White person. Mid Beach has a lot of Hassidic Jews, and is a heavily Jewish area. Further north in the northern part of Miami Beach it';s a lot of white families with money, and then Hispanics in the apartment buildings. You have pockets of other stuff thrown in, but that's about the breakdown. You don't feel the culture shock AS MUCH in Miami Beach as you do in the city, but it's definitely still there.

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    Default Re: South beach, Mid beach or North Miami Beach?

    Matt,

    Thanks a lot, that helps.

    What would u say about the "quality" (define the way u like it) crowd on the beach in these two areas? and the quality of the beach itself?

    I am not considering the "city", I am trying to decide which part of the Miami beach (south, mid, or north) I should stay in.

    Also, in general I want meet more international folks (than say Jewish or Hispanic), so which area would be good among these. And, would you say that if I go to events/clubs in the mid-beach area that it would be mostly Jewish? I am not being racist here just want to know what I am getting into. Also, how "Walkable" is the mid-beach?

    Finally, instead of living in 1 BR if you stay in 2 BR and share it with someone; are there significant benefits? Are there people who together rent say a big 3-4 bedroom apartments? Any $ benefit in that? What's a good way to be closer to the beach (1-2 blocks) but avoid ridiculous rent.

    Finally is there a lot of difference between a cost of apt. in a high-rise vs. say a 3-4 story apt. This might be obvious to you; to me it's not.

    Thanks once again,

    VP

  6. #6
    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    You might want to define "international", as you have said you want to meet more international folks rather than say Jewish or Hispanic. Given that many of the Hispanics and Jews in South Beach are international from Israel, Cuba, Domincan Republic, and scads of South American countries, how are you defining "international"?

    Glenn

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    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    Hi vpalande,

    The beach is beautiful in whichever area you choose! South Beach is more crowded, locals and tourists alike. On the weekend I've had to leave the beach once because the people there were pissing me off and just being totally rude. As in I had my towel on an area of sand and two women and their screaming kid set up camp one foot away from my towel, even though there were other open areas. I let Matt know and the consensus was hordes of people from Hialejiah and other parts invade South Beach for the day and it's not as enjoyable.

    I don't think mid beach is very walkable. If you want walkable you want South Beach or Brickell.
    Finally, instead of living in 1 BR if you stay in 2 BR and share it with someone; are there significant benefits? Are there people who together rent say a big 3-4 bedroom apartments? Any $ benefit in that?
    Yes there are financial benefits to having a roommate. You split the rent. For example, a one bed may be $1300, but a similar two bed may be $1900, so you can live in a nicer place on a tighter budget if you don't mind sharing a bath, living room, and kitchen with someone. You're trading privacy for money. And yes, people rent 3 and 4 room apartments. I think it would be fun to do with friends, but not sure I'd want to live with strangers. People have some horror roommate stories. And if your roommate can't pay their rent someone has to write the landlord a check and that person will be you.

    High rises vs. 3-4 stories

    In general nice high rises are more expensive than smaller 2 story buildings..more ammenities, better views, etc. But you can find low story buildings (The Courts) for example that will be more expensive than an apartment at the Floridian.

    I'm just curious, where are you relocating from? Just curious about the real estate differences...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    South Beach will have more international per square inch, but it's very hard to live a block or two from the beach there, and if you did, you would quickly tire of it because it's very loud and has constant traffic. If you want to live on South Beach, you should look on the western side where it's more quiet. Of course, that will mean a few more blocks to walk to get to the beach.

    On mid-Beach, which is north of 23rd until 63rd Street, the area tends to be predominantly orthodox Jewish. You may find a place closer to the beach, but there are only a few villagey sections, like the Arthur Godfrey corridor, for example, which is walkable. Other than that, you will be more car dependent than you would living in South Beach.

    North of 63rd up to 87th is the area known as North Beach. This area is predominantly Argentine and Brazilian. It is somewhat walkable, but doesn't have the excitement or the amenities of South Beach. You also don't want to refer to it as North Miami Beach, because North Miami Beach is a neighborhood that's really part of Miami and not even in Miami Beach.

    After 87th, you start getting into other towns, like Surfside and Bal Harbour. Surfside is a nice little family enclave. Bal Harbour is a kind of ritzy condo world with speed traps.

    So, no matter where you look, there is going to be some compromise. Just starting out, I would recommend that you focus on South Beach west of say Euclid and south of 15th. It's quiet, residential, close to all the shops, restaurants and nightlife, and walkable to the beach.

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    Cool Re: South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    I want to share with you guys an article. Without going into details; I want to experiment with the lifestyle mentioned below. (I do work for a reputed firm and willing to spend more than the Back-door Mark). But, this will give you an idea about what I am thinking, from accommodation perspective ONLY.

    Back-Door Mark: The Oracle of P.B. | WallStreetOasis.com


    @Glen: I see your point. I was thinking of Hispanic only from Mexico perspective. Other international would be Europe, Middle east, Russia etc.

    @ Christy: Don't know what that smile was for. Is my nickname funny? Thanks for letting me know the differences between the beaches. BTW, I don't know what Hialejiah is.

    Financial benefits of roommates seem good. How would you check their background before signing-up lease with them?
    I actually prefer smaller buildings than the hi-rise. So, that works.
    I am from Big D, Don't mess with Texas i.e., Dallas, Texas.

    @Doug: Thanks for the breakdown by area. That's a great info. I can tolerate some level of noise but yeah, too much would be , well, too much. I will surely consider location you suggested.

    Access to downtown is important although not a primary concern and would prefer not to use the car.

    Thanks a lot, Y'all. I am getting the hang of it.

  10. #10
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi vpalande, welcome to the forums. I'm just going to add to the great advice everyone has already given you here ...

    I have lived in all three sections of the beach -- North, Mid and South -- a total of about 15 years.

    For my money, the best bet is mid-beach. It is walkable along 41st street as far as your conveniences go but because it is a Jewish neighborhood and family-oriented, you have the benefit of peace and quiet. Yet a stone's throw away is South Beach with all its congestion and fun and craziness. You can get way more for your money up in mid-beach and your commute to SoBe will be much shorter.

    In my experience, and I think this still holds true, a mid-beach apartment will cost you $300 or so less than a South Beach apartment and it will be WAY bigger. I was paying $1100 for an 850 sq. ft. town-home style apartment with parking, a full kitchen, etc ; and that's not even what a junior studio/1 bedroom in SoBe will cost you with far less sq. footage!

    If you are interested in spending time in SoBe, then either move there or look for something between 23rd and 41st streets, preferably walking distance to 41st. The only drawback about that area of mid-beach is that there are not as many apartment buildings. But if you're persistent, you might find something.

    The beach around the 41st street area is not as congested as South Beach.

    Don't even bother with North Beach as you will waste time commuting and it's really not necessary. Rush hour from North Beach to South Beach and back is really congested so that "short" commute becomes longer. I did that for three years when I lived in North Beach and worked on Lincoln Road.

    I made up this map a while back. You may find it helpful:

    Miami Beach Map - Google Maps

    Mind you it ends at Surfside and doesn't even go to Sunny Isles, because those areas are not technically Miami Beach.

  11. #11
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    Quote Originally Posted by vpalande View Post
    I want to share with you guys an article.
    Back-Door Mark: The Oracle of P.B. | WallStreetOasis.com
    This link isn't working for me ...

  12. #12
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    As far as roommates go ... I would NEVER choose one unless it was absolutely financially necessary and even then it would have to be someone I know and trust. Moving in with a stranger in Miami is just a bad idea, period.

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    Default Re: South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    Maria,

    That's a great info, map, and advice. Coming from someone "who has been there done that" surely helps.

    Mid-beach seems certainly in my budget and expectations. You mentioned that the apartments are limited. Is that because it's mostly family? How did you find your apartment? If you would recommend say 2-3 apartment complex names; that might help. If it's just going to be me and I probably don't need more that 600 sqft, can you give me an idea of my rent? Is there a concept of paying guest in this area?

    Is cab the only quick way to travel to south beach? Also, what are the transportation options to travel to Miami downtown?

    The website for the link I provided you is down for a day. I highly recommend checking it out; say tomorrow.

    Thanks once again,
    VP

  14. #14
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi VP,

    When I say there aren't as many apartments it's because west of Indian Creek is mostly single-family homes. If and when you are ready, I can give you the number of someone who rents apartments in that area I'm talking about. Maybe he will have a vacancy.

    (Indian Creek is a body of water that separates the easternmost barrier island from the main island of Miami Beach in that area.)

    I found my apartment just by driving around and looking for a "for rent" sign.

    Yes, it's a super quick cab ride down to South Beach. And there are many buses to get downtown. If you have a bike, that's totally doable -- mid Beach to SoBe.

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    Default Re: South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    Maria,

    Thanks a lot. Is the area you are mentioning west of Indian Creek Dr?

    I will reach out to you when I am ready, most likely be in 4 weeks.

    Also, Doug on this website mentioned how it may be possible to "crash" pools of some of the hotels? Is this still possible without getting into a lot of trouble?

    BTW, the link should be working now. (It's hilarious but true;take it for what it's worth).

  16. #16
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    You can crash pools pretty easily, yes. Just look like you know what you're doing. Worst case scenario they catch you and kick you out. Just, you know, if/when that happens don't keep going back to that place or you may get in worse trouble.

  17. #17
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    LOL! What a great article. Well, I'm glad you don't want to bed every woman on Miami Beach

    So a studio 50 feet away from the beach? You can find that on mid-beach for sure, Collins Avenue north of 23rd street and also possibly south of 5th street in South Beach. Most likely if you rent in a condo you will already have a pool, so you wouldn't need to crash one unless you wanted to do it for social reasons. And some hotels have pool parties, too.

    Here's the article that Doug wrote: A Peek Inside South Beach

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    Default Re: South Beach, Mid Beach or North Miami Beach?

    Matt, thanks for the tip and advice.

    Maria, Thanks for reading the article. Yes, something like that; although I would expect that south of 5th would be expensive that north of 23rd.
    Also, I am not too confident about apt. building pools and how they are maintained. So would rather go to hotels which are a safer bet. Social is also one of the reasons.
    I did read the Doug's very insightful article.

    Maria I will reach out to you in a month of so and you can let me know if you know anyone who may have what I am looking for.

    Thanks Y'all,
    VP

  19. #19
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Very cool, VP. Look forward to hearing from you.

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