Moving to a new city is a significant change for anyone, but even more for families with children. The smoother the transition the faster you and your family can adjust to your new surroundings and become part of your new community. Your housing needs are a major part of creating a new life in a new city and we can help you make this transition as smooth as possible. In this section you will find some information that will help you with your decisions and adjustments.
Cost of living Comparison: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx
ABOUT GREATER MIAMI:
Greater Miami is the area that encompasses all of Miami-Dade County bounded on the North by Broward County where Ft. Lauderdale is located; on the South by Monroe County with the Florida Keys; on the East the Beaches and the Atlantic Ocean and on the West the Florida Everglades. Miami-Dade County with its 35 municipalities including the City of Miami, is the second largest county in the US and 8th most populous, with almost 2.5 million people.
Miami has some of the finest beaches in the world and is known for its temperate winter climate. With natives from over 110 countries represented in the population of Greater Miami, some consider Miami the prototype of the international city of the future. Miami is a great place for people who want be exposed to different cultures, food, music, art, etc.
Miami is more than just a tourist destination; the Brickell Area is the financial center of the Americas. With the Port of Miami, it is also a center of trade; many multinational companies position themselves here to have a stable base to reach markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Port of Miami is among America’s busiest ports and recognized throughout the world with the dual distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas.
Ranked as one of the top-five best interconnected cities in the world, Miami is ahead of San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The (Network Access Point) NAP of the Americas makes Miami the only city in the US where Optical, Ethernet, MPLS, Voice and Internet traffic is handed off in a single location. The convergence of telecommunications infrastructure is why global carriers, ISPs and other Internet-related businesses and enterprises have chosen Miami.
This is also a center for health care for Latin America. The Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami has become a major research institution and home to many world renowned researchers and specialists. People from all over the world come to Miami for the fine medical care at UM Hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and others.
During the winter, the world comes to Miami to play as residents and visitors alike flock the Sonny-Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne; the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, the Grand Prix and the NASCAR Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway; the CA Championship Golf Tournament in Doral; Miami Book Fair International and the Miami International Film Festival in downtown Miami. Miami is becoming recognized in the art world with activities like The annual Coconut Grove Art Festival -- held outdoors on the streets of historic Coconut Grove, is one of the nation's largest, attracting over 325 artists, and Art Basel – Miami Beach, which attract serious art critics and art lovers from all over the world.
Downtown Miami and Brickell area are home to many high rise buildings with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the Beaches also offer many luxury apartments with dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. With a series of islands between Miami and the Beaches with a mix of houses, apartments and condos, there are dwellings of every shape and size with waterfront views and boat access. Miami offers great fishing, sailing, boating and a wide array of water activities and sports.
With lots to offer in the form of professional sports, Miami is home to the Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, Miami Heat and Florida Panthers. Miami also offers great College sports being the home of the National Champions Miami Hurricanes. There is also plenty of entertainment as the Miami Arena welcomes numerous performers. Whether it is classical music, ballet or contemporary music, the Adrienne Arsht Center has it all. But if that does not meet your need for culture there are other theaters, museums you can enjoy. Miami has something to offer to everyone who comes to visit or better yet, to live here. Let us show you the Miami we know!
Greater Miami has evolved from a tourist town with a Central Business District and satellite suburban bedroom communities to becoming a major metropolitan city with several specialized business districts with high concentrations of hi-rise residential, office buildings and retail spaces.
The Metrorail is an overhead transit train system that travels from the South in the Kendall area through Downtown Miami and ends in the North in Hialeah with twenty-two stations. That system is linked with the Metromover System which is also an elevated system with multiple stations connecting at the Brickell and Government Center stations in Downtown Miami. The rest of the stations are linked to various local bus systems. Currently under construction is the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) which is located adjacent to the Miami International Airport. People with mobility limitations may qualify for the Special Transportation Service (STS).
The MIC is giant centralized transportation hubs that will provide seamless access to all modes of transportation, including Metrobus, Metrorail, Tri-Rail which connects Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties; Amtrak, Greyhound, tour buses, taxicabs and rental cars. An automated people mover will connect the MIC to the airport. This station and the connection to the Metrorail system are scheduled to be completed by April 2012.
As Miami’s transportation infrastructure improves we will see more concentrations of hi-rise living with services within walking distance. We will also see central walkable single family neighborhoods become in higher demand and higher price.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA HOUSING:
South Florida is located in a hurricane zone and we experience annual hurricane seasons beginning June and ending in November. Some years we are visited by hurricanes, but most of the time they miss our beautiful city. The two biggest concerns in South Florida are wind and floods and the highest concentration of both are east of US-1 highway. In the event of a category 3-5, the authorities often require homeowners east of US-1 to evacuate those areas. There are also some flood areas on the west and South parts of Miami-Dade County. But since we don’t have mountains or dams, we don’t have flash floods or deep water except near the coast due to storm surge. Storm surge occurs when wind pushes the water against the coast raising water levels as high as 18 feet abover normal tides. When buying property in South Florida you should always ask about the flood designation for the area. The areas least prone to flooding are zoned X or X-500. Other flood zones may not flood but properties are required to carry flood insurance if they are financed.
In 1994 as a result of Hurricane Andrew, South Florida building codes were completely re-written and currently Miami-Dade County has some of the most stringent hurricane requirements in the world. All properties built or extensively remodeled after 1994 meet these new standards.
Typical South Florida single family houses consist of reinforced concrete block structures (CBS) with stucco finish for the walls and wood trusses for the roof structure with plywood sheathing. Some older homes (1920-30’s) or homes built prior to 1994 may be wood frame in part or all. The typical roofing materials used in South Florida are asphalt or fiberglass shingles and roofing membranes with concrete or clay tiles in various shapes. The roof tiles that have demonstrated greatest resistance to wind are flat. However well installed metal roofs have performed best in previous hurricanes. A few single family homes have reinforced concrete roofs, but there are very few. The best insurance rates are reserved for properties with reinforced masonry walls, impact resistant windows and doors and concrete roofs.
Typical doors and windows must be protected against wind borne debris or be impact resistant. Houses in the lower price range under $500,000 will usually have hurricane shutters. The easiest to install are accordion shutters. Houses in the $500,000-$750,000 may have either impact resistant windows and doors or shutters. A majority of newer or remodeled houses above $750,000 tend to have impact resistant windows and doors. Many houses in the million plus range also have emergency generators that may power part or all electric systems in the house.
Typical South Florida Multi-family Buildings are reinforced concrete structure with concrete block and stucco. Buildings over 20 stories in height may be steel structure and or a combination of both concrete and steel. Older buildings before 1995 may not have hurricane protection for windows and buildings built after 2005 may have impact resistant windows and doors. In any case you should find out how the buildings are protected against wind borne debris and in hi-rises you will want to know if they have emergency generators to run the elevators and emergency systems.