With gleaming skyscrapers, plenty of sunshine, and an endless supply of palm trees swaying the breeze, it is hard to pass up the opportunity to move to Miami. This city is a melting pot of cultures and offers fantastic sports teams, countless entertainment venues, gorgeous beaches and parks, and year-round comfortable weather. Not to mention, it is a major center of finance, commerce, and television, and there are dozens of Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, so finding a promising career is not all that hard. The only thing that might be standing in your way is the lack of funds to get here. Well, unlike some major cities, you can actually move to Miami pretty cheap.
Sell Your Car
Unless you plan on living on the outskirts of the city, you will find you really do not need a car in Miami. This will save you from paying for a car payment, insurance, fuel, and parking. It may also help you afford an apartment in a more desirable location. Public transportation is readily available, and the city is both pedestrian and bike-friendly. Add in the sunshine, and you have no reason not to exert a little energy for your morning commute. Plus, as of 2009, all new construction in the city requires bike parking, and according to Walk Score, Miami is the eighth most walkable major city in America.
Rent a Room
Unless you are extremely familiar and comfortable with the area, your best bet is to put your belongings in storage or a moving container and rent a room or stay in an extended stay hotel while you find a place to live. There are many fine lines in several neighborhoods that separate good and bad areas. Jumping into a decision is not a good idea. You will probably want to hire a cross country moving company because parking is limited. You do not want to be carrying everything from the moving truck to your apartment around the block and up the stairs while you leave the truck unattended. There are very affordable movers in Miami; this will be money well spent.
Free and Cheap
You can survive on minimal spending money in Miami if you know where to find the free and cheap stuff.
- Internet – Unsecured Wi-Fi is not as easy to find here as you might hope. Most coffee shops and hotels require a purchase to get a secure code. However, the public libraries have Wi-Fi.
- Happy Hour – The quickest way to make friends without dealing with a huge tab is to know where the great happy hours are in the city. A few include Area 31, Gordon Biersch, Grill on the Alley, Raw Bar & Grill, Yard House, Mojito Bar, Level 25, Bar Louie, and Duffy’s Tavern.
- Free Activities – Simply walking around the city or enjoying the parks may be entertaining enough for you. However, there are plenty of attractions that are free to residents either all the time or on select days. A few include Pinecrest Garden, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Gold Coast Railroad Museum, and most art galleries. Plus, there are plenty of free festivals throughout the year.
If you do a little digging, you can find a cheap apartment in a decent neighborhood in Miami. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. There is a reason why the apartment is empty. There are a few neighborhoods you want to stay absolutely clear of, no matter how low the rent is. These include Opa Locka, Liberty City, Overtown, Carol City, Goulds, Hialeah, North Miami Beach, Doral, and Kendall.
Although Coral Gables is pricey, you can find affordable living just outside the neighborhood. Cuttery Bay and Saga Bay are great if you have kids, and if you need to be close to the financial district, then The Roads is an old but nice neighborhood. Additional places to look for cheap housing include Gables, Coral Groves, Coconut Grove, Downtown, South Beach, Biscayne Park, Pinecrest, and Fisher Island. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a surprisingly affordable condo or apartment for rent through private owner in one of the most expensive neighborhoods.
Need help planning an affordable move? Follow these tips to ensure your move is as affordable and stress-free as possible.