Updated last month

The eighth biggest city in the U.S., Miami is a center for the finance, culture, and tourism sectors. Compared to other major U.S. cities, Miami’s cleanliness, cost of living, and sunny weather is incomparable. Miami is also home to a vibrant and diverse Latino population. Recent census information says that around 70% of residents speak Spanish. Expats should be aware that like many large cities, Miami is prone to traffic as well as crime.

For general advice on searching for a home and signing a lease in the United States, see the article Accommodation in the USA.


Miami’s neighborhoods are as diverse as the population and there are areas to appeal to all segments of the population. Whether you’re a retiree, single, or have a young family, be sure to explore your options and make sure the neighborhood’s atmosphere matches your lifestyle. As with any relocation, it’s also important to factor in your commute time. Public transportation is sufficient in the city center, but those wanting the space and quiet of a suburban area will need a car.

Downtown Miami is undergoing a lot of redevelopment. New construction means housing costs are competitive and the area is already established with residential neighborhoods, top restaurants, and convenient access to other parts of the city.

South Beach is mostly condos and therefore home to young professionals and couples. It’s a very walkable area with lots of boutique shops and trendy restaurants. The historic Art Deco district is also in this neighborhood.

Aventura is popular among professionals, international investors, as well as seasonal visitors (older residents who spend winters in the south where the weather is mild). This area boasts good freeway access and is home to a high-end mall.

Coconut Grove has a wide range of accommodations, from apartments to modern homes, and is popular with young families. Much of this area is along the waterfront and there are lots of parks and walking/bike paths.

Accommodation and cost of living

You can find many different types of housing in Miami including the apartments and condos, townhomes and individual houses, as well as luxurious housing in gated communities. Additionally, there is a mix of fixer-uppers, renovated homes, and brand new construction. For an 85 m² (900 ft²) apartment, expect to pay an average monthly rent of USD $1570 to USD $2040. A 45 m² (480 ft²) studio apartment averages between USD $950 and USD $1650 per month.

Generally, leases in Miami include charges such as water, trash service, and outdoor maintenance if there’s a pool or garden. Many Miami accommodations have some kind of air conditioning unit and most include major appliances like a refrigerator and stove/oven. Usually, apartments include one or two designated parking spaces, though older buildings may not. Be sure to carefully read what is and is not included in your monthly rent before signing your lease.

Life in Miami

Life in Miami offers something for everyone. Miami Beach and South Beach are the most popular beaches, but there are many other waterfront promenades and parks to explore. The Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park are great for nature lovers, and kids will enjoy the Miami zoo. Due to its location on the southern tip of Florida, Miami is also a convenient international hub for cruises or trips to the Caribbean and Central America.

Miami’s tropical climate means it’s warm year-round with humid summers and mild winters. Afternoon and evening rain is to be expected especially during the summer. During the North American winter, northern retirees called “snowbirds” flock to southern Florida to spend a few months in a more moderate climate.

 Important: Being in a tropical area means that Miami can experience extreme weather and sometimes hurricanes. These storms of intense wind and rain are common between June and November, although that does not necessarily mean that there are hurricanes every year. Meteorologists are able to track developing storms and issue warnings 48-72 hours before they reach the area. It’s important to be aware of the necessary precautions and have a plan in place. Visit the National Hurricane Center for more information.

 Useful Links:

Miami Herald housing ads
Miami cost of living calculator
Miami crime map
Free and almost-free things to do in Miami
National Hurricane Center

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.