Ready to switch coasts? Moving from Los Angeles to Miami is a super popular route! LA is a fantastic city, but it has its drawbacks – an extremely high cost of living, less-than-sincere people, and notoriously bad traffic. In Miami, the beaches are more beautiful, the water is warm & clear, and the culture is dynamic & exciting with an appealing Caribbean influence. From cuisine to social scene to national parks to snorkeling around the country’s only living coral reef, The Magic City is a fantastic alternative to the City of Angels. And allow us to be the first to say, Bienvenidos a Miami!

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What to Know About Moving from Los Angeles to Miami

Moving to Miami from Los Angeles is a big move. To be fully prepared for the coast-to-coast relocation, be sure to check out your guide to all things similar and different between the two cities.

Taxes

First of all, Los Angeles is crazy expensive. But you know this. Want to hear some really great news? When it comes to taxation, Miami is the bee’s knees! It starts with absolutely no income tax. Yes, that’s right! Sales tax is only 7% (6% state and 1% local). As for LA, the SoCal metropolis is among major cities with the highest taxes, with a total sales tax rate of 9.5% (7.25% state and 2.25% local) and a jaw-dropping total top income tax rate of 13.3%.

If you’re looking to become a homeowner, it pays to know how much you’ll fork over in property taxes. Miami (Miami-Dade County) currently has an average county tax rate of 1.039%. That means if your home is valued at $600,000, you’ll pay $6,234 per year. In Los Angeles, it’s a bit cheaper at 0.755% or $4,530 for the same assessed home value.

Economy and Job Growth

As a major center of commerce, arts & culture, finance, and international trade, the City of Miami boasts the largest economy in Florida and is among the Top 15 city economies in America. Of course, Los Angeles is one of the Top 3 urban economies, but Miami holds its own.

As for future economic growth, Miami has LA beat. The South Florida city is projected to see a boost of 42.7% over the next decade, while the SoCal city will only see a growth of 34.6% during the same period. Miami also has a lower unemployment rate of 4% versus 4.6% in Los Angeles (as of the beginning of 2020). 

Weather and Climate

Now, coming from Los Angeles, you’re already used to year-round sunshine and a Mediterranean climate. Miami, however, keeps an average temperature above 60°F during every month. Talk about warm weather! One downside is that it gets pretty hot & humid, especially during summer. 

Looking at average summer temps, Miami clocks in at 89°F while LA sees about 84°F. Los Angeles is chillier than its Florida counterpart, with an average winter low of 46°F. As for precipitation, the City of Miami gets 59 inches of annual rainfall, and LA receives about 16 inches of rain. Neither city sees snow. 

Geography

Situated between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades, the City of Miami is found on the southeastern shores of Florida. Warm & turquoise water, pristine white sand beaches, barrier islands — Miami is an East Coast paradise. Yes, Los Angeles has beaches and all. But they just can’t compete with the beauty of The Magic City’s offerings. 

The Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades & Biscayne National Parks surround Miami also. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll be busy with an endless exploration of coral reef, wetlands, forests, beaches, barrier islands, the list goes on. There’s also a long list of animal species, including alligators, turtles, manatees, and even panthers!

Housing and Cost of Living

Let’s address the elephant in the room: the cost of living in LA. You most likely went straight to this section, right? Currently, the cost of living index in Los Angeles is 173.3. For comparison, the national average is only 100. As for Miami? The cost of living index is 123.1. Not quite cheap (and higher than the US average), but compared to the City of Angels, it’s a great bargain!

Okay, so let’s look at housing prices. Coming from Los Angeles, this might be the most significant benefit on this entire list. Homeownership is tough in LA, but Miami could help you fulfill your dream of owning your own house. The median list price in Miami is only $490,000 (with an even lower median sale price of $336,400)! Compared to a median list price of $752,508 in Los Angeles, and you can save an average of more than $262,000 that you can save or put into renovations or whatever you have in mind.

And if you rent, there’s more good news. Whereas the median rent price is a whopping $3,500 per month, Miami offers a much more manageable monthly rent average of $2,450.

Things to Do

It’s hard to compete with Los Angeles – pretty much anything you can think of, you can do there – but Miami still offers plenty of fun activities and destinations. 

First on the list is world-renowned Miami Beach for fantastic beach fun. Another popular attraction is Jungle Island, which offers the thrill of discovery & adventure via exhibits and animal interactions. Into the architecture? Then the Art Deco Historic District is right up your alley! Home to more than 150 restaurants, shops, and cafes, Bayside Marketplace is located right on the waterfront. And for those into Cuban culture, Little Havana offers all the cultural richness of the beloved Caribbean nation.

Culture, Diversity, and Demographics

Diminutive in sheer population – Los Angeles has approximately 4 million residents compared to only 470,000 in Miami – the Florida city is nonetheless highly diverse. It’s influenced by Caribbean countries like Cuba and the Dominican Republic and is also home to 150 ethnicities and 60 spoken languages. 

Let’s look at the race and ethnicity breakdown of Miami. The Magic City is 42.2% Hispanic & Latino, 32.3% White, 21.4% Black, 2.4% Asian, and 1.7% mixed & other. As for LA, it is one of the Top 10 most diverse cities in the United States. The City of Angels is 30% White, 45% Hispanic & Latino, 15% Asian, and 7% Black.

Crime Rates

Okay, not everything can be sunnier in Miami. When it comes to crime rates in Miami, The Magic City had a violent crime index of 48.8 and a property crime rate of 62.7. By comparison, the national average is 22.7 for violent crime and 35.4 for property crime. So, how does Los Angeles stack up? The Southern California city actually has lower rates than Miami: 29.1 in violent crime and 35.1 in property crime. 

Of course, those are overall rates. Miami has plenty of safe neighborhoods. These include Coral Gables (see ‘Best Neighborhoods in Miami’), Coconut Grove (see below), Kendall, and Pinecrest. 

Food

Again, as with things to do, Los Angeles offers virtually anything you can imagine. But if you’re looking for bold flavors and distinct influences (especially with a Caribbean flare), Miami wins in these categories. As a melting pot, the city offers vibrant & eclectic eats.

Enjoy empanadas? Hit up Novecento. Of course, no self-respecting Miamian can live here without enjoying a Cuban sandwich – for one of the best ham, pork, and swiss versions, head over to Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop. Enjoy Key lime pie. A staple, the best example can be found at Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop. Feeling adventurous? If so, try the alligator bites at KUSH.

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Best Neighborhoods in Miami

Miami Design District

Are you looking for an artsy vibe? Trendy feel? Both? Look no further than the Miami Design District. This neighborhood is full of numerous galleries, boutique shops, dealer showrooms, stylish bars, and acclaimed restaurants. If you like architecture and the arts, the Miami Design District is the place to be! Delve into more details on this hip neighborhood here

Coral Gables

Dubbed ‘The City Beautiful,’ Coral Gables certainly earns its title. Comprised of breathtaking treescapes, flowing boulevards, and architectural flourishes, the neighborhood was given its magic by George Merrick. It’s also home to the University of Miami, giving it a youthful & energetic atmosphere. There are also no less than 140 restaurants here! Foodies, take note. Learn more about Coral Gables here.

Brickell

As the top financial district in Miami, Brickell also holds the title of the most rapidly growing residential neighborhood in the city. If you’re in search of high-end condos and high-rises in the middle of all the business action, there’s no better spot than Brickell. There’s a reason it’s home to an area called “Millionaires’ Row.” Get a better understanding of Brickell here.

North Beach

Most people have probably heard about South Beach, with its famous nightlife, but North Beach is the move for those that want a more peaceful, relaxing place to live. The neighborhood features expansive beaches, which are ideal for exploration, along with a boardwalk trail that leads to Surfside. This area is perfect for those who want to get away from the city vibe but still be close. Learn more here.

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is Miami’s oldest neighborhood. Ideal for growing families, it exudes a close-knit feel with many oak trees and more than 16 parks along the seaside. Coconut Grove is also one of the safest places to live in the city. Several major events take place here, including the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Get more info on Coconut Grove here.

Wynwood

This up-and-coming neighborhood went from humble beginnings to being one of the hippest neighborhoods in Miami. Wynwood offers a trifecta of tech, art, and fashion spaces. If you’re creative or like to be surrounded by talented & dynamic individuals, this neighborhood provides access to some of the latest trends. Dive into the details on Wynwood here.


Cost of Moving from Los Angeles to Miami

On average, it costs about $4,000-$5,000 to move from California to North Carolina. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 2,733 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zip codes, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best LA to Miami movers now!

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Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More