Tips on Moving to Miami, FL: Ultimate Relocation Guide

Thinking of moving to Miami? Miami is an exciting hub of media, entertainment, finance, and gorgeous weather! It’s a famously clean city, home to South Beach, and a popular vacation destination for many. If you’re considering moving to Miami (and wondering about the cost of living in Miami, as a result), you’ve come to the right place!

And you’re not alone! Thousands of people have made the move to Miami over the last few years — including Priscilla who moved there from New York. You can find out more about her experience and what movers she’d recommend in her moving experience.

Miami is a super exciting spot to be, for many reasons. It’s the only U.S. city to act as an Art Basel host, and the city also boasts a stunning design district with art deco-inspired architecture.

Moving to Miami, FLPhoto Credit: Danny Navarro

It’s also the center of Cuban-American heritage, and has been called the “Capital of Latin America”. This Florida city is known for being a “melting pot” with many cultural influences from its the Caribbean, Haitian and Hispanic residents.

Miami has a lot to offer but it can be an intimidating city if you don’t know your way around. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! If you’re making the move to Miami, you’re in good hands.

We should first note – if you’re in a different state, outside of Florida, be sure to check out our list of the best interstate movers. You’ll also want to use our moving cost calculator as a way to estimate the cost of your move, so you can prepare your moving to Miami budget for moving day!

Now, in the words of Will Smith, Welcome to Miami!

Everything about relocating to Miami

And if you’re looking for more info on moving to Miami, check out our Miami move cost guide.

Quick Miami snapshot

    • Miami has a population of 439,890.
    • With an average 1 bedroom rent price of $2,396 per month, Miami has seen its average rent increase in the past few years. The average cost to renters in the metro area continues to increase, especially with recent inflation from the past couple of years.
    • Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, so your purchasing power will be between 5-10% higher. But remember, property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country.
    • The rental market in Miami is less expensive than Los Angeles, and much less expensive than New York City, but Miami cost of living is still comparable to other major cities, when it comes to lifestyle costs, food costs, and healthcare costs.
    • Also, it’s good to keep in mind the high numbers of Hispanic Miami residents. 60% of Miami’s population is Spanish-speaking, with 30% speaking only Spanish. You may want to brush up on your Conversational Spanish 101 skills before moving to Miami.

    Here’s a drone tour of the city to help you get your bearings.

Okay, now that you’re sold on moving to Miami, let’s talk about how to move your things!

How to move to Miami: Costs and considerations

If you want to get an idea on the cost of different moving services, check out our moving costs calculator.

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You also may want to take a look at our moving out of state guide for more info and tips to consider when making a long distance move. If you’re moving from, say, San Francisco, all the way to Miami, it’s going to be a much different moving experience than if you’re moving from Orlando to Miami.

Miami has extremely nice weather all year round. But you should note that hurricane season runs from June-November, so you may run into some storms if you try moving to your new home in Miami during the summer or fall.

moving to miami map of the US

Here are a few things to consider if you plan on hiring a moving company when moving to Miami:

  • Miami Beach has a Freight/Alley Loading Parking Permit Program. The permits may be purchased at the City’s Service Center.
  • All movers providing local moves within Miami-Dade county must be registered with the county. The mover must provide you with a copy of the Tri-County Moving Consumer Bill of Rights and Disclosure Statement. Written contracts are required for all moves. Find out more here
  • If you’re moving long-distance, intrastate and interstate movers are not regulated by Miami-Dade county.

For those currently interviewing moving companies, learn more about how to find a great mover here.

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Where to live in The Magic City

First thing’s first: set a budget so you have an idea of the overall cost of your move and the overall cost of life in Miami.

Think about things like tax rate, transportation costs and transportation expenses –like car insurance, if you own a car –and more. That way, you can be prepared for moving to Miami and, moreover, the cost of living in Miami.

Check out some rental prices around different neighborhoods between Miami and Miami Beach. Farther from the coast you’ll find new and old homes, while coastal Miami offers more high-rises.

Miami, FL Trulia Rental Price Map 2021

Basically, the rule in Miami –much like in most other coastal cities – is that the closer your house is to the water, the higher the cost of living will be. That’s the price you pay for South Florida real estate! (North of Miami you’ll find areas like Fort Lauderdale, where there’s a slightly lower cost of living than the Miami cost of living.)

For example, note these differences:

  • An apartment in Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Downtown, Brickell, and Miami Beach will run you between $2,300 and $3,400.

Miami, FL Downtown

  • The farthest neighborhoods from the water—Miami Lakes, North Miami, and Little Havana are where you can find an apartment for $1,200 or less.
  • As you move west away from the ocean, the apartments will get less expensive. In fact, there are places only a half-hour from Miami Beach that go for $900 a month.

So let’s get this out of the way now: if you’re on a tight budget, look to Miami Lakes, North Miami, or Little Havana. If cost is no object, look to Brickell, Miami Beach, or Key Biscayne.

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Where are people like me living?

We all want to live near people who are in similar seasons of their lives (students want to live by other students, older persons want to live by older persons, etc.), and the website does an amazing job breaking down city demographics by zip code with their zip code tapestry tool.

Miami Neighborhood Demographics

For example, if you plug Downtown Miami (33136) into the tool you’ll get a full breakdown of the primary types of people living in that area. It’s that easy!

Miami Neighborhood Statistics

After you’ve found the best neighborhoods for you, you need to make sure it’s close enough to where you work and play, so you aren’t spending all your time commuting. Think through your transportation costs before moving to Miami. You may want to check out a cost of living calculator for the area, so you can get some hard figures to work with while you’re budgeting for moving to Miami.

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Here’s a breakdown of how to get around in the city

If you want to have a car…

Miami is definitely accessible by car. Like in all big cities, parking can be challenging, but you can purchase parking permits here.

Miami has decent public transit

Miami-Dade County runs a public transportation system with a Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover.

Miami, FL Bike Map Downtown 2021

The Metromover is a 4- mile electric trolley system that runs throughout downtown. This site has trackers for each of the three methods of public transportation.

Here’s a map of some of the bus routes around Miami ➡️

Bottom line: with a score of 77, Miami’s public transportation system is far above average. It’s about on par with the bike score of 65, so either way you’ll be able to get where you need to go. And speaking of bikes, Miami offers CitiBikes you can use to get around the city.

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Downtown Miami is so walkable, you may even forget the busses exist!

Miami, FL Walkscore 2021

In terms of walkability, Miami is amazing! With a walk score of 77, (provided you don’t mind the summer heat) Miami is a highly walkable city.

If you’re in downtown Miami or around places like the Grove and Miami Beach, it’s better to walk than take public transportation or even to bike!

Miami, FL Walkscore Map 2021

For the Walk Score map, the greener the better. If you like walking, stay away from the yellow when looking for neighborhoods to live in.

Two things: First, Miami doesn’t have anywhere close to red, so everywhere is generally walker-friendly. That’s great! Second, walkability corresponds with real estate prices. So, expect to pay more if you’re looking at living in a green area.

Bottom line: while the city is very walkable, most Miamians suggest having a car for convenience’s sake. On a hot summer day, car air conditioning can be the difference between you leaving your house or not.

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Crime can be an issue for Miami dwellers

The city of Miami is great to live in for many reasons, but safety is not one of them. Miami has more than double the national average in violent crime, property crime, and crimes per square mile. Keep your wits about you while walking through town, and find safety in numbers, by being with friends or family or a partner.

Miami, FL NeighborhoodScout Crime Rate (Miami Beach) 2021

With 100 as the safest rating a city can get, Miami Beach scores a whopping 1.

Still, the same rules apply here as they do in any major metropolitan area: As long as you know when and where to avoid the dangerous areas, you’ll probably be fine.

The Miami Police Department maintains a helpful Crime Mapping website where you can get a better idea of places to avoid.

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What you need to know about renting an apartment in Miami

Before we start looking for apartments, let’s first consider what kind of accommodations you’ll need in Miami. Miami has lots of renters, so you’ll be in good company if you decide to rent. Monthly rent and monthly costs for renting in Miami are on the high end, compared to the national average. So, budget accordingly.

It’s no secret that the weather in Miami is absolutely amazing! Miami has what’s known as a “tropical monsoon” climate.

Miami, FL Average Temperatures

The temperatures in the winter feel a lot like spring compared to the rest of the country.

Winters in Miami average around 68 degrees, with extremes ranging from highs of 80 degrees to lows of 50 degrees.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t get that hot during the summer. The average highs in July and August are in the low 90s!

So it’d be good to get an apartment with air conditioning, but heating is not vital.

Also, there are tons of laundromats on Miami Beach and the mainland. But if you’re planning on moving to Miami without a car, having washer/dryer units are very convenient.

When setting your apartment budget, you should think about all your utility costs too, like your energy bill, to make sure you can actually afford everything you need.

Where to look for an apartment in Miami

Here are some good websites to find apartments in Miami. Use the sort functionality to drill down on your desired number of bedrooms, budget, etc.

Craigslist can be a useful site for finding apartments (especially for places whose owners/landlords are desperate to rent out).

Note: This DOES NOT mean you should trust Craigslist implicitly. Here’s their own guide on how to recognize potential scammers.

Florida rental law

Each state has its own unique rental laws. If you don’t know the rules of the game, a bad landlord may try to pull a fast one on you.

Do yourself a favor and read a few of these links below before moving to Miami and signing a lease:

Miami has a pretty good rental market

Miami’s rental market trends are a bit better than the rest of the country.

The average rent in Miami is sitting around $2,396. It has a robust housing market for both rental properties and homes for sale.

This means that Miami’s real estate market is slightly better than the national average. Still, in a city of this size, keep in mind that your experience will vary depending on which area of the city you’re looking to live in.

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And if you want to buy a house in the Miami suburbs…

Coral Gables Skyline Miami, FL

Coral Gables may be a bit pricey, but it’s absolutely packed with amenities.

This suburb is located just 6 miles from Miami proper and boasts great golf courses, gardens, art installations, and high-end shopping. Still, these perks come at a housing cost of around $1.2 million.

Doral is one of Miami’s nicest suburbs. It’s a 17-mile straight shot drive from Miami Beach past Miami’s airport.

Doral, FL Street

Doral has tons of shops, businesses, and has a bustling import/export industry because of its proximity to the airport. It also boasts a more reasonable average housing cost of $508,253.

The real estate market in Miami is pricey; working with qualified realtors is a great way to get a grasp on the area while you search for your new home. While the interest rate for homes is on the rise, if you buy something this year, you should be able to lock in a favorable rate.

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Miami’s attractions

Biscayne Fountain Miami, FL

Bayfront Park is a 32-acre public park in Downtown Miami right on Biscayne Bay. You can think of it as Miami’s Central Park. Every year in March Bayfront Park hosts the Ultra Music Festival, which is one of the greatest, wildest music festivals in the world.

And then, of course, there’s Miami Beach. It’s one of the premier sunbathing and tanning locales in the world, and the water never dips below 70 degrees. It’s ideal for living that beach life!

Club-hopping: The Magic City’s nightlife

To quote Rihanna, “baby, this is what you came for.” What Miami might lack in snow and safety, it makes up for in DJs, dancing, and oontz oontz oontz.

E11EVEN Club Miami, FL

    • LIV Miami is one of the greatest clubs in the entire world, so famous that both Kanye and Drake have sung about it in their songs. This place plays host to the world’s greatest DJs, and it’s on par with the mega-clubs you’ll find in Vegas.
    • Other than LIV, there is no shortage of world-class clubs for music and dancing. E11EVEN, STORY, and SPACE. These places aren’t cheap though! Drinks are pricey, so prepare yourself.

Broken Shaker Miami, FL

  • If you’re not in the mood to be dropping Benjamins, check out The Broken Shaker. It’s a chill cocktail bar, and you can take a walk down Ocean Drive to end the night at Wet Willies in South Beach.
  • Or, if you’re looking for something a bit fancier and less focused on alcohol and loud noises, wander down to the Wynwood Arts District which boasts numerous art galleries, antique stores, and a more “eclectic” bar selection.

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What to do when you get to Miami:

    • What to do when you get to Miami:

      • Voter registration: you can find the steps to register to vote here.
      • Driver’s licenses: If you’re from another state and want to become a Florida resident, you can find out how to do that here. Make sure you have all the documentation in order before heading to the DMV.
      • Same with out-of-state vehicle registration: find the steps for registering your vehicle here. According to Florida law, you have 10 days to register your vehicle after moving.
      • Trash & recycling: Miami has residential garbage collection twice per week. Go to the Miami waste disposal page to find your schedule.
      • Ways to meet people: there are always tons of ways to meet new people. One great way is to use The /r/Miami page on Reddit is also a great place to search for upcoming events and find lesser known tidbits and activities.

Miami, FL Meetups

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Is Miami a Good Place to Move to?

This question often trips up a lot of first-time movers to Miami, precisely because this city is a dynamic one. It’s often in the center of the mainstream consciousness as a trendy, expensive place to live…for better and for worse.

According to recent statistics, Florida is in the top five states to move to for Americans in 2021. Common reasons cited for this include the rise in remote work, the desire to live closer to family, and the growing need to retire. The Sunshine State is particularly appealing when you have more of a budget to navigate its thriving nightlife and endless beaches.

Whether or not Miami will suit you as a destination depends on your career, lifestyle, and personal tastes. This city could be the best thing to ever happen to you if you roll your dice right.

The Pros of Moving to Miami, Florida

Dynamic, Exciting Nightlife and Local Culture

The first thoughts that come to mind when you hear the name ‘Miami’ are likely parties, bars, and glittering sands. You’re not exactly wrong: these features are why Florida remains such a popular state for many.

You name it, Miami has it. If you’re a fan of art and science, you’ll adore the plethora of local art galleries, theaters, and museums. The Pérez Art Museum and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science are beloved tourist destinations for thousands of visitors every year. You’ve also got more bars, restaurants, and clubs than you can shake a stick at.

Whether you like to party or enrich your mind, Miami will never leave you high and dry.

This City is a Food Lover’s Paradise

Are you a passionate cook? Do you run a food blog or just love going out to restaurants? Miami is legendary for being a food lover’s paradise, with plenty of statistics to back this claim up.

Florida is home to over 40,000 restaurants, regularly in the top five most popular states for food and beverage workers. That doesn’t mean you need to worry about a quantity over quality approach, either. Florida is a culturally diverse state that crafts a blend of different cuisines at your fingertips. Colombian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican, and Southern American dishes are easily found and among the best in the world.

There’s No Need to Worry About Taxes

Do you live in a state that constantly drains your bank with taxes? Consider moving to Florida where there are no state income taxes, a huge benefit to people from all walks of life.

Retirees love how Florida makes their retirement fund stretch a lot longer. Students and small business owners appreciate the larger paychecks that allow them to develop their careers. While property taxes are still an element to consider for homeowners, there are enough choices you’ll no doubt find a compatible fit.

Bright, Sunny Weather and Plenty of Beaches to Go Around

Florida has long since earned its title as the Sunshine State, boasting brilliantly sunny weather. Due to its massive coastline, you also have immediate access to gorgeous beaches year-round.

Among the reasons to move to Miami, the reliably warm and agreeable climate is high up on many people’s lists. If you’re from a similarly hot climate such as California or New Mexico, you’ll feel right at home in Miami, Florida.

Visit the stunning Lummus Park Beach, a location you’ve likely glimpsed in mainstream movies or music videos. If you need a quieter location to go on long walks, consider Surfside.

Public Transportation is Reliable and Modern

If you like to shake up your transportation methods to save on costs, you’re in luck. Florida has a reliable, modern metro system that’s up there with the best America has to offer.

The Metrobus system is a thousand buses strong, operating throughout the southern half of Florida. There’s also the Metrorail and the Metromover systems for tourists and downtown travelers, respectively.

The City is a Cultural Melting Pot

It’s no mystery where all the incredible food and music come from! Miami is the go-to spot for people who want a variety of ethnicities, races, cultures, religions, and perspectives on life.

A few of the ethnically diverse neighborhoods you can visit are Little Haiti, Miami Beach, and Little Havana. Spanish is regularly spoken in this country due to the large Hispanic population, though you’ll occasionally run into French Creole, and French.

Fitness Gurus Will Adore Miami

Movers passionate about fitness are going to adore Miami. Many people who move to Florida are well-aware of how easy it is to exercise with so many parks, beaches, and gyms at a stone’s throw.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might struggle to get the appropriate amount of vitamin D. The Sunshine State is the gift that keeps on giving: you’ll never be lacking for a healthy volume of UV rays. To top things off, you’ll have an easy time locating smoothie shops and group fitness classes.

The Cons of Moving to Miami, Florida

Are you feeling the urge to pack your bags and become a first-time Miami resident? Not so fast! There are several downsides you should be aware of, some of which could be dealbreakers.

High Cost of Living is a Huge Turn-Off

Let’s not beat around the bush here…Florida is still an expensive place to live. Miami is no different. The high cost of living is what keeps the Sunshine State from the number one destination spot.

The average rent in Florida ranges between $1,400 to $2,500 on average. While you can occasionally find options as low as $600 a month, they’re rare and usually located in very small towns. When you factor in groceries, business expenses, transportation costs, raising a family, and student loans, Miami becomes expensive in a heartbeat.

The High Crime Rate Makes it a Lesser Choice for Families

While violent crime rates have gone down in recent years, Florida still faces a high volume of property crime. This stat isn’t exactly appealing for those considering establishing homeownership or a startup in the state.

You’ll have a one out of fifty-six chance of becoming a victim of property crime in the state of Florida. Compare this to a state like Idaho, where you have a one out of the ninety-one chance of the same issue.

Owning a Home is Still Expensive

If you’re a homeowner considering raising a family or retiring in Miami in a shiny new home, you may need to reconsider. The housing market is more competitive than ever and Florida is prime real estate.

Your average home mortgage will hover around $400,000 in and around major cities. Getting lower than that will take a lot of luck and patience you might not have at your disposal, even if you’re looking in Coral Gables or Fort Lauderdale. As such, you may be better off considering a luxury apartment or condo instead of a home.

Florida is Still a Pretty Car-Dependent State

While Florida’s downtown public transportation is varied and speedy, it’s far from a well-rounded benefit. The state is still pretty car-dependent due to how to spread out everything is.

Once you leave the downtown Miami area, you’ll be hard-pressed to get anywhere without steady access to a vehicle. If you don’t have a driver’s license or need to save money on gas, Miami might not be the best choice for a new life.

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