4 tips for relocating to Miami on a budget

Miami-aerialThis post is by Zillow.

Miami is an attractive place to move with warm weather year-round, gorgeous scenery, dynamic culture and robust entertainment options. Beautiful beaches and lush vegetation draw residents outdoors, yet the city is becoming a business hub for start-ups and tech companies. Miami is also rich in culture, with many vibrant neighborhoods to choose from.

Relocating is an exciting and usually stressful time for individuals and families. Though families have new experiences to look forward to, they must thoroughly plan and research before transplanting their lives. They must find the right communities, establish employment, the evaluate cost of living and look for housing – all while sticking to a realistic budget. Here are four helpful tips to streamline the process of relocating to Miami.

  • Research neighborhood safety. When home shoppers relocate on strict budgets, they tend to move to neighborhoods with cheap rent prices or home values. Although such moves benefit pocketbooks, they’re risky without firsthand knowledge of locales. Withoutcompleting thorough neighborhood research, Miami home hunters could find themselves moving to areas of high crime. Before committing to a home, research neighborhood safety by reviewing local police reports in Miami. Get firsthand information from residents by joining neighborhood forums. Ask locals questions about the neighborhood vibe and safety throughout the day and night. Communities are especially relevant when relocating families, so check out local schools and connect with staff, parents of students or online review boards to get a full scope of neighborhoods.
  • Evaluate proximity to lifestyle needs. While rent and sale prices are cheaper in suburban areas, the tradeoff is living farther away from business centers and entertainment. Residing in cheaper suburban areas may also require longer commutes to and from work. Prospective new residents who visit areas before relocating should drive around neighborhoods to get a feel for amenities and lifestyle. Complete a trip to and from the neighborhood in rush-hour traffic. If you’re relocating without visiting, check out satellite maps and a neighborhood Walk Score to visualize the accessibility of local transportation, parks, groceries and other amenities
  • Consider home appreciation. Transplants looking to buy homes in Miami instead of rent should consider the resale advantages of property appreciation before shopping for homes. An affordable home in an up-and-coming area has the potential to be a profitable investment. According to Zillow, Miami home values have gone up 15.4 percent throughout the past year and will rise 5.9 percent within the next year. Review home value forecasts in each potential community before making offers. New neighborhood amenities such as shopping malls, remodeled schools, improved transportation systems and new entertainment or dining venues all have the potential to create more desirable neighborhoods, prompting appreciation. Speak to local real estate agents to get more information about upcoming amenities
  • Narrow housing preferences. Be realistic about the types of affordable homes available in preferred neighborhoods. Many Miami neighborhoods close to the beach or downtown offer condo or apartment living but fewer single-family homes. Popular neighborhoods, including Coral Way and Shorecrest, offer affordable apartment/condo rentals and buying opportunities. Movers looking for wider ranges of single-family homes need to venture farther out to suburban areas.

Moving is a major emotional and financial investment, and solid planning is important. Stick to a budget, complete the relevant neighborhood research and work with a local real estate professional to streamline the relocation process.

This content was produced in collaboration with Zillow.