Moving to Miami: What All Renters Need to Know

It’s more than a celebrity playground, but the Magic City sparkles with possibilities, nightlife and beaches that will make you feel famous.

If you’re considering moving to Miami, you’re in for a world of surprises. The city is stereotyped as a glitzy and glamorous playland for celebrities. Most people go right to an image of South Beach on a wild night. But this Florida city is actually one of many facets, with varied and colorful neighborhoods and a widely diverse population.

Whether you’re drawn to the Miami area because of the exciting arts and culture scene, vibrant nightlife, shopping or dining adventures, there’s plenty in store for you in this sunny metro. Read on for the lowdown on moving to Miami before you select this big city as your next home.

Miami overview

The greater Miami metropolitan area, which includes the City of Miami and a number of smaller municipalities, has a population of nearly 3 million. More than half of the area’s inhabitants are of international origin. Miami’s population is actually about 71.5 percent Hispanic/Latine, according to 2021 Miami-dade county demographics. Additionally, almost two-thirds of Miami residents speak Spanish and consider themselves bilingual.

The people of Miami represent dozens of colorful cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean that define the local flavor of this so-called “Gateway to the Americas.” Other cities can’t compete with the eclectic population of this major hub, from Little Havana all the way to Little San Juan.

To give you a clearer picture of the city of Miami by the numbers, here are a few key statistics:

  • Population: 499,758
  • Median household income: $47,860
  • Studio rent on average: $2,363
  • One-bedroom rent on average: $2,835
  • Two-bedroom rent on average: $3,675
  • Cost of living index: 122.4 (21% above the national average)
  • Median home sale price: $579,500
  • Property taxes: 2.06%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.10%
  • Sales tax: 7%
  • Walk score: 77
  • Bike score: 64
  • Transit score: 57

When it comes to state income taxes, there are no personal income taxes in Florida. Moving to Miami means you may pay a higher sales tax, but there are no surprises each year when you file your taxes.

Additionally, Miami annually has a temperature that ranges between 62 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one reason why the entire state of Florida is a favorite destination, but also why real estate agents continually sell property in Miami. Saying moving to Miami is all about warm weather is an understatement. Just make sure you have air conditioning.

moving to miami is great with neighborhood options

Popular neighborhoods in Miami

Whether you’re a single professional or have a family with young children, you’ll want to check out the local options within the best neighborhoods. Looking at information such as the quality of schools and accessibility to amenities, including parks, shopping centers and cultural venues gives you an idea of what Miami offers even within a small neighborhood community.

It’s best to take your time to research each area that you’re considering. Take into account proximity to popular beaches, housing costs, its safety during hurricane season and more. To get your search started, we have a few recommendations for you of the best Miami neighborhoods.


Brickell is Miami’s busiest urban hub. It’s a walkable neighborhood with vibrant restaurants, nightlife and shopping that also offers stunning water views. Referred to as the Manhattan of the South by Miami residents, the job market here leans mostly toward opportunity in the financial industry.

Most Miami residents living in Brickell take advantage of public transportation to get around. The neighborhood has the highest public transit ridership around whether it’s on the Metromover or the Metrorail.

There’s plenty to do in Brickell, but it’s also perfectly situated alongside other fun areas, including the lure of the downtown area and Little Havana.

Design District

One of Miami’s most desirable areas to live in is the Design District. Situated alongside Buena Vista, this area is home to some of the world’s most elite urban design shops and finest art galleries in Miami. The District also boasts a bounty of some of the best eateries populated by world-renowned chefs.

You’re never without a destination for shopping either when you live here. Any Miami guide will point you to one of the 120 flagship stores within the district’s shopping area.

Downtown Miami

Growing in popularity due to its walkability and access to great eateries and arts and culture, Downtown Miami is ideal for those who want to take advantage of the city’s best public transportation options. Work hard all day, then find yourself a rooftop bar to unwind once the sun sets.

Residential areas within this part of Miami include a lot of condos and high-rise buildings, making it a populous area with plenty to do. The city center features open-air malls for the daytime and plenty of arts and culture venues for the evening. Even the American Airlines Arena is right there when you want to catch a Miami Heat basketball game.


If you want close proximity to the latest trends in arts, culture, music, food and urban living, the lively and colorful Wynwood neighborhood is calling you. Known for its famous graffiti murals covering most of the area’s buildings, Wynwood is one of Miami’s best neighborhoods for artists.

Small in size, Wynwood will feel like a new city thanks to its eclectic displays of art, culinary hotspots, bars, breweries, boutiques and more.


Edgewater is a blossoming neighborhood with many recent developments and calming views of Biscayne Bay. It’s also a prime location within walking distance of both Downtown Miami and Wynwood and is a stone’s throw from the Design District.

With great transportation access to the eight-acre Margaret Pace Park, Edgewater is the city’s newest enclave for singles and families with young children. It’s a favorite destination for those saying goodbye to South Beach but who aren’t ready to give up all the exciting parts of Miami.

Coral Gables

Known for its Mediterranean Revival architecture, it’s not uncommon in Coral Gables to see buildings that remind you of the European seaside. The neighborhood is big on its buildings, but also on its green space, dedicating 30 percent of the area to parks.

This family-friendly area has one of the lowest crime rates in Miami-Dade County and minimal traffic. It’s also the commercial center for many South American and Caribbean companies.

Two public golf courses provide a great excuse to get outside, and several canals make it easy to accommodate a boat. If you want to edge closer to the coast, give Coconut Grove a try. It’s right next door.

Miami Lakes

A small town, dotted with oak trees and lakes throughout, Miami Lakes is a family-friendly gem. Moving to Miami and calling this neighborhood home means plenty of paved trails and widened sidewalks. The area is actually almost a circle, so you can walk completely around it.

With parks on almost every corner and a peaceful atmosphere, the community is a high priority in this Florida spot. There are also a variety of restaurants and shops along the city’s Main Street.

places like Biscayne Bay, FL help the miami real estate market boom

Where else you can call home living in Miami

It would be easy to go on forever when it comes to Miami neighborhoods, so here are just a few more to consider, outside the metro area and slightly off the mainland.

  • Miami Beach, of course, is eclectic and happening and full of life day and night. As the major thoroughfare, Ocean Drive is a walkable spot full of Art Deco architecture, restaurants and bars. Watch out for tourists if you call Miami Beach home.
  • Key Biscayne sits south of Miami Beach and east of Miami. It connects back to the mainland by the Rickenbacker Causeway. Situated between two state parks, the ocean and Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne will make you feel like you’re on a tropical island even though Miami is only minutes away.
  • Sunny Isles Beach is another barrier island town near Miami that makes living in Florida like being in a tropical paradise. This South Florida destination is full of luxury but without the pretense. Sunny Isles Beach is not only friendly and welcoming but one of the most desirable areas in the city.

Whether it’s the city center or an island town, Miami has a neighborhood to suit any taste and fit into any cost-of-living budget.

places like south beach, coconut grove and florida grand opera just start the life of pluses associated with Miami life

The pros of moving to Miami — the Magic City

In addition to year-round sunshine and a climate that feels like you’re always on vacation, this South Florida city boasts sophisticated offerings in the arts, as well as exceptional dining and shopping. We also can’t neglect to mention those amazing beaches that are even fun to walk along during the winter months.

Take a look at some more pros to this lively city.

A mecca for arts and culture

Between the international buzz surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach and the hundreds of art fairs that pop up during Miami Art Week, most residents consider the area a star on the international arts and culture map.

Local venues, such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MoCANoMi), provide year-round top-quality exhibitions. Miami’s lively theater and dance scenes bring local and international talent to venues, such as the Adrienne Arsht Center in Downtown Miami and the Fillmore in Miami Beach.

If you wanted to learn Spanish while living in Miami, you’d fit right in as a huge component of the local culture has Latin influences. Today, Freedom Tower houses a gallery and exhibit space, but it once was the first stop for thousands of Cuban refugees.

Get outdoors

Miami residents are somewhat obsessed with fitness and practicing outdoor sports is a favorite Miami pastime. Miami enjoys more than 800 parks within its borders, where you can hike, kayak, bike, swim or take your dog for a run.

You also can’t discount the lure of the Atlantic Ocean, whether it’s to charter a deep-sea fishing boat or buy fresh stone crab claws at a local pier. The beaches and all the sun, sand and surf are also hard to ignore.

And, of course, since this is Florida, there’s also golf. With 14 golf courses in Miami and an additional 46 within 20 miles of the city, it’s easy to enjoy an afternoon swinging on the green.

the southern florida city of Miam has a lot to offer like nightlife, affordable housing and the feel of an international city

Nightlife sizzles

Miami is a party city and one of the few cities in the U.S. with a 24-hour liquor license. Whether you’re looking for house, hip-hop, salsa, bachata or reggae/soca, you’ll find your dance-all-night groove in clubs that remain open until 5 a.m. The city also hosts world-renowned music and cultural festivals and events throughout the year.

Food glorious food

With expert chefs in just about any cuisine, ample local seafood and the influence of the Latin and Caribbean communities, Miami is a foodie paradise. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a food scene like Miami’s anywhere else.

Grab a classic Cuban sandwich done right or check out some Puerto Rican specialties like mofongo or arroz con gandules.

The day trip possibilities are endless

Although not in the exact center of Florida like, say, Orlando, Miami puts you in a perfect place for fun day trips. You’re close to hot spots like Fort Lauderdale and Key West for fun cities and beautiful beaches. Even closer, Biscayne National Park offers a great fishing spot and mangrove trail. You can even set up camp for a more peaceful getaway.

For those that want to go a little further, Miami International Airport offers regular flights to exotic destinations like the Bahamas, Jamaica and plenty more.

things like coastal hurricanes are the downsides to miami weather

The cons of moving to Miami

Even paradise has its downside and Miami is no exception. While living in perpetual sunshine has its allure, there’s still room for improvement in the Magic City. Here are some of the disadvantages of moving to Miami.

It doesn’t stack up to the national average

Miami ranks 36th for best cities to find a job, according to WalletHub, which puts it below other major U.S. cities, including several in Florida. Additionally, the median income is one of the lowest when compared to other cities.

Your best bet is to work with a headhunter or job recruiter who will negotiate on your behalf for a competitive salary in your field that keeps up with other big cities.

Miami traffic

Miami-Dade County traffic is among the worst

Miami traffic is not for the faint of heart. INRIX recently named Miami 5th among the most congested cities in the U.S. It’s so rough that in downtown areas, you’re likely to only go 19 miles per hour.

Although other metro areas have it worse, when you’re trying to get to the beach on your day off and you’re moving at the speed of a snail, moving to Miami may not feel like a great idea.

Prepare for hurricanes and humidity

Like most of Florida, Miami boasts a year-round tropical climate with mild winters. But, you need to look out for tropical storms and hurricanes from June through November.

Miami actually holds the No. 1 spot as the most vulnerable city to hurricanes. While there’s only a 16 percent chance the city will experience the effects of hurricanes in any given year. On average, Miami has a hurricane pass within 50 miles of the metro area every 6-8 years. Nearby cities like Key West have similar odds, but the risk of weather-related damages and the high cost of rebuilding can make many residents nervous.

Tropical storms and hurricanes aside, Miami’s balmy, breezy evenings are really only delightful from November through April. The heat and humidity during the summer months may force you to seal yourself indoors with air conditioning, leaving those great beaches behind. Summer is also the rainy season for this city, so afternoon showers are frequent, although these come and go quickly.

Condo building

How to move to Miami

Are you ready to embrace Miami? There are thousands of living options ripe for the picking with the bonus of rich culture and exciting nightlife within easy reach. You can get started by heading to our Moving Center, where you can get free quotes and more info about planning your move.

The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily property inventory from Rent. The information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.
Additional data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, and


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