If you’ve had the chance to escape a few NYC blizzards to soak up the sun in Miami, you may be dreaming of a full-time South Florida lifestyle. Did you know that 22,000 New Yorkers pack up and move to Miami every year to take advantage of a much lower cost of living, warmer weather, and gorgeous white sand beaches?

Miami has no shortage of culture and entertainment, shopping and restaurants, nature, and recreation. In this cosmopolitan city, your winter weekends can start with a cappuccino at a sidewalk café and end with drinks and dinner by the sand. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? Now’s the time to see what it would be like to move and live full-time in Miami.

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What to Know About Moving from NYC to Miami

Here’s what to consider before making the leap from New York to South Florida.

Housing and Cost of Living

Your Miami lifestyle would cost 34% less than in New York City. Your most significant savings would be in housing, which is 52% less expensive – the median home cost in Miami is $330,000 compared to NYC’s median of $680,500. Miami homes have appreciated 52% over the past five years as compared to NYC home appreciation of 28%. 

Only 25% of Miami residents own their homes compared to 30% in NYC. A two-bedroom rental in Miami costs $1,510 monthly, whereas, in NYC, the monthly rent for a two-bedroom runs $2,049.

Utilities, health care, food, and transportation will also cost considerably less in Miami. Your utility bill will be about 60% lower, mainly because you won’t be paying for winter heating costs. Sounds pretty delightful on both counts, right?!

Keep in mind that although the cost of living is considerably less in Miami, the household income is slightly less too. In NYC, the median household income is $57,782, and in Miami, it’s $53,350.

Taxes

Your tax bills will be a lot lower if you move to Florida, especially because, unlike New York, Florida doesn’t impose a state income tax. 

NYC’s average sales tax is 8.875%, whereas, in Miami, the sales tax rate is lower at 7%. The average effective property tax rate in New York is slightly lower than Miami’s. The property tax rate in Miami-Dade county averages 1.04%. In NYC, the average property tax rate is .90% (which varies by borough).

Economy and Job Growth

If you’ll be looking for work, the Miami job market seems stable and sunny. Past and future job growth in Miami is much stronger than in NYC and the U.S. generally. Overall, U.S. job growth in the next ten years is forecast to be 34% compared to 43% in Miami and just 31% in NYC. Past job growth over ten years was 7% in the U.S., 9% in NYC, and 24% in Miami.

As the world’s largest passenger port and one of the largest cargo ports in the country, PortMiami is one of the city’s largest employers. The port is also is a significant driver of the local and FL economy.

Because tourism is a significant job sector, the Miami Airport (MIA) provides about one in four local jobs. Both NYC and Miami see equivalent positions in management, business & finance, and sales, office, & administrative support. But in Miami, the hospitality & tourism, building maintenance & construction, and maintenance & repair sectors employ more people than in NYC.

Transportation and Traffic

Getting to work in NYC takes 41 minutes one way, and 57% of New Yorkers commute via the excellent mass transit system. Moving to Miami from NYC will shorten your average one-way commute to 28 minutes. Given the impressive public transit system, you can live in Miami without owning a car. However, most Miamians own and drive their car to work; only 11% use public transit and 9% walk or bike to work – or work from home.

If you do drive, keep in mind that many highways charge a toll. Although, if you live close to Downtown, the Metromover offers free light rail service that connects major areas. The Metrorail travels from south Miami along the coast to Downtown and then north to the Miami International Airport and points north. And the Metrobus offers extensive service throughout the city and environs.

Weather and Climate

Does it sound dreamy to live in a climate where the thermometer never drops below 60° F every month of the year? If so, you’ll love Miami’s weather, and winter is when you’ll appreciate it the most. 

Average winter temps are idyllic and run between 60 to 78° F. January highs average 77 and lows average 60 compared to NYC’s January average high of 39 and low of 26. In all of Miami’s meteorological history, there is only one snow flurry on record in 1977. Zero inches compared to NYC’s 25 inches sounds of annual snowfall pretty great, right?

Like NYC, Miami summers are hot and humid. Miami’s average July high is 91, quite a bit warmer than NYC’s average July high of 84 – and summer is the rainiest season. The city gets a total of about 59 inches annually compared to NYC’s 47 inches. 

However, according to bestplaces.net, the only thing about Miami’s climate that isn’t so dreamy is that it’s ranked the #1 Hurricane Hotspot in the nation. Peak hurricane season is August and September. Miami-Dade County provides preparedness information for before, during, and after a storm.

Crime

Sunny Miami has rather gloomy crime rates. Crime rates are higher than both the U.S. overall and New York City’s. On a scale of 1 to 100, violent crime in Miami is almost 49 compared to NYC’s 28. Miami property crime is 63 compared to NYC’s 25. You’ll want to know what the crime rates are for the neighborhoods you’re considering. The information provided by the Miami Dade County Police Department is an excellent place to start your research.

Culture, Diversity, and Demographics

Miami doesn’t have nearly the intense population of NYC’s 8,560,000, but like New York, its 443,000 residents are ethnically and culturally diverse. Residents speak over 60 languages and represent about 150 ethnicities, the majority being 72% Hispanic, 16% African American, and 10% White.

While NYC has seen a 7% population growth in the past 20 years, Miami has seen a booming 22% growth, but even with the population surge, living here is still far less dense and crowded than in NYC. The diverse Miami population offers up a range of fabulous cuisine and culture, making life vibrant and exciting.

Miami Beach is home to the world’s most extensive collection of Art Deco buildings, and throughout Miami, you’ll find amazing world-class shopping, dining, and art. Art Basel, the world’s biggest international art fair (also staged in Basel, Switzerland, and Hong Kong), brings art aficionados from around the globe every September.

Geography

While both New York City and Miami are influenced by water, moving from NYC to Miami will make you aware of how the geography and climate distinctly impact Miami’s environment. The turquoise blue ocean, white sand beaches, barrier isles, bays, and inlets provide year-round swimming, sailing, surfing, and water sports of every kind.  

Directly off the coast of Miami, Miami Beach is a natural barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Developers expanded Miami Beach with a landfill in the early 1900s. Today it is home to the famous strip of high-rises and high-end lifestyle for which Miami is famous.

The enormous Everglades and Biscayne National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve surround Miami and protect unique wetlands, coral reefs, shoreline, islands, flora, and fauna. If you’re a nature lover, exploring these parks and preserves can provide endless adventure. Biscayne National Park’s Maritime Heritage Trail is an underwater system that links shipwrecks and diving sites. In Everglades National Park’s 1,500,000 acres, you can see hundreds of animal species, including alligators, West Indian manatees, leatherback turtles, Florida panthers, and more.

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Best Neighborhoods in Miami

Miami is full of dozens of vibrant neighborhoods ready to beckon you home. Here are some of the best:

Miami Design District

Putting you right at the center of Miami’s trendy galleries, celebrity-chef restaurants, bustling bars, and luxury shopping, in the Miami Design District, you can enjoy the creative vibe even if you’re not an artist. You’ll find housing in spacious view homes and sleek high-rise condos. Here are more details about the Miami Design District.

Coral Gables

Over 51,000 residents enjoy the small-town atmosphere of Coral Gables, with its lovely homes and beautiful lush landscaping. The University of Miami drives the Coral Gables economy in this affluent community. Locals and tourists alike love to shop and dine along The Miracle Mile. Click here for more information about beautiful Coral Gables.

Brickell

Sleek luxury condos and apartments define the types of homes you find in the northern part of Brickell, a neighborhood that is also the city’s financial district. If you’re looking for a single-family home, head to south Brickell. Many residents live car-free and enjoy excellent public transportation, walking, and biking. Learn more about Brickell here.

North Beach

In North Beach, 13 various neighborhoods offer a variety of features, from community centers with beautiful pools and clubhouses to walking trails to the beach. About 44,000 residents live in North Beach and especially love the gorgeous wide sandy beaches, more laid-back vibe, and all the benefits of classic coastal living. Ready to know more about North Beach?

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is Miami’s oldest neighborhood and one of its most desirable. Offering the ultimate Southern coastal lifestyle, Coconut Grove has charming single-family homes among 16 lush parks, and of course, its gorgeous bay is also a huge draw. Just 20 minutes from Downtown, Coconut Grove offers the best of both worlds. Want to learn more?

Wynwood

Wynwood is Miami’s fashion, art, and technology hub, offering creative employment and an inspired lifestyle to its approximately 45,000 residents. The free trolley and Metrobus provide convenient public transportation, and Wynwood’s happening cafes, restaurants, breweries, and bars are trendy, hip, and fashionable. You can find out more details about Wynwood here.


Cost of Moving from NYC to Miami

On average, it costs about $2000-$3000 to move from NYC to Miami. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 1300 miles down the East Coast. 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 New York City to Miami movers now!

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Patricia McBratney

Between working as a clinical educational therapist and flipping houses, Patty’s lifelong love of horses found her riding the remote... Read More