Living in Miami can be fantastic. After all, you get to spend your waking hours enjoying a city most people pay top dollar to vacation in.
Flip flops in February? Check.
Crashing ocean waves and salty breezes at your fingertips? Check.
Croquetas? You better believe that’s a “check.”
It’s a bustling international city with world-class museums, five star restaurants, a vibrant nightlife scene and a decidedly tropical island vibe. What’s not to love?
Turns out, the Magic City isn’t magical for everyone who moves here. Before you accept that job offer or sign that lease, here are few reasons you might want to rethink making a move to Miami.
The rent situation is out of control.
This recent headline in Forbes pretty much sums it up: “Miami Is The Worst City For Renters In 2017, Beating Out Manhattan And San Francisco.” A potent mix of low vacancy rates (2.2%) and some of the worst rent affordability in the country make finding a place to hang your hat more excruciating than exciting.
And that’s not all.
Salaries are woefully out of touch with the cost of living. While the rent in Miami isn’t as high as some of the other major cities around the country (the average rent clocks in at around $2,000, while San Francisco goes for over $3,000), incomes are so low that a majority of residents spend over 50% of their monthly pay to cover their rent. And when you consider that rent shouldn’t account for more than 25% of your gross pay, Miami’s residents can easily go in over their heads.
June through September. Period.
It’s hot. Clearly. But what makes summer in Miami especially potent is the humidity. After all, this was once swamp land. But summer is also the city’s rainy season—so when you couple the sun’s blistering rays with the vapor in the air, it’s a 24/7 sauna that requires sweat-soaked shirt changes and multiple showers throughout the day. What does Miami feel like in the dog days of summer? Imagine walking through a hot, steamy bowl of soup. All day long.
Summer is also the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. All eyes turn to the tropics and residents start putting together their storm kits with the hopes that the next hurricane to land on Miami’s shores isn’t “the big one.”
The drivers will make you question your sanity.
Miami has the dubious distinction of consistently topping lists for the rudest drivers in the country. Sure, there’s hellacious traffic. Practically every major city suffers from it. But it’s the special brand of panache that Miamians put into their driving routine that really sets them apart. Drivers purposely avoid using their blinker because they know others will close ranks and refuse to let them into a lane, stop signs are widely treated as optional and your chances of being thrown the bird at some point during your daily commute are about, oh, 99.2%.
As the Miami Herald puts it, “Here, it’s Mad Max or Mr. Magoo behind the wheel. Drivers either don’t want to cede an inch of territory to competing drivers or they are not paying attention. Here, instead of mindfulness — the healthy way of living in the moment — Miamians practice mindlessness — the selfish way of living as if you are the only human inhabiting your surrounding environment.”
Late is considered “on time.”
Miami’s general attitude toward time is, to put it kindly, relaxed. Early is not “on time” here—it’s actually considered rude. Chances are, the host of your event or meeting is still in the beginning stages of setting up, because everyone knows to add the standard 30 minutes (and if you’re erring on the side of caution, an hour) to any invitation. Arriving early or on time is a quick way to annoy them.
If you’re the one planning the party or even a one-on-one with a friend or co-worker, expect to wait at least 15 minutes for them show up. And it’s not just the citizens here. As this Huff Post article puts it, “Cultural events and concerts start late. The buses and trains run late. Classes at the university start late. The movie theater starts its films a few minutes late. Construction of buildings and major projects never meet deadlines. To accomplish tasks in Miami, you must call-then-re-call, then recall-to-confirm, and it might get done.”
That said, it’s nice to not worry about getting caught in traffic and arriving a few minutes late. Everyone understands. If you’re still ready to call the 305 your home, be sure to check out all of our tips on moving to Miami.