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Old 09-08-2006, 05:22 PM
4 posts, read 14,937 times
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My husband just took at job at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. We currently live in San Diego. Can anyone tell me about the area south of Miami! Homestead, Florida City, Leisure City, Kendall, etc. What is the best area to live in (upper middle class range)? I have never even been to Florida and I don't know where to start. And I really don't trust real estate agents for information. Anyone have any info for me? Thank you so very much.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:39 PM
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 12,236,133 times
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How much house can you afford? If you own a house in San Diego, you are really, really in luck because you have tons of equity!
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:01 PM
26 posts, read 23,649 times
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Originally Posted by lanalady View Post
My husband just took at job at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. We currently live in San Diego. Can anyone tell me about the area south of Miami! Homestead, Florida City, Leisure City, Kendall, etc. What is the best area to live in (upper middle class range)? I have never even been to Florida and I don't know where to start. And I really don't trust real estate agents for information. Anyone have any info for me? Thank you so very much.

Florida City and Homestead are working-class communities, not what I would call 'upper middle class." Kendall is closer to the mark, but you should really look into Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, or Coral Gables. They've got some beautiful homes, and a real nice downtown area in Coral Gables. The Dadeland Mall is nearby, at the junction of the Palmetto Expressway and US 1. If you're looking for a home with a more rural setting, the Redlands area north and west of Homestead has homes with more acreage than the Coral Gables area. If your husband doesn't mind a bit more of a commute, Key Biscayne is also very nice. Good thing is that he'll be going against the rush hour traffic flow from Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Coral Gables, or Key Biscayne, as southern Miami-Dade traffic all heads north toward downtown Miami in the morning, and the opposite direction in the afternoon.
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:39 PM
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,304 posts, read 4,664,460 times
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I can't help you with the specific information you need. I live 120 miles North of the area and haven't gone there much in the past few years. But, maybe I can help you get started.

Based on my travels through the area, I don't think I'd want to go any further North than Kendall. Traffic really starts to build up at that point and is heavy going to to, or around, Miami.

I'm sure you've looked at a map; there are a slew of little towns between Kendal and Florida City (where Turkey Point is located). Cutler, Perrine, Naranja, South Miami Heights -- and I don't have any more clue than you do what they're like. But, a good place to start is right here with the city-data pages.

Look at the top of the Florida page and click on the link for city-data.com; it will take you to the home page for all of the forums. At the top of the list is a link for city-data.com home page. Click on that, and you will find a list of states. Click on Florida, and down the left side is a list of cities and towns. There are actually 2 lists, one with population above 6,000 and the other for smaller towns. Go to the city-data page for each town from Florida City to Kendall. Keep your map nearby and make notes.

The data on the city-data pages is mostly derived from the 2000 census and a lot of it dates back to that point. However, even though the actual numbers are sure to have changed since then, the relative numbers are pretty sure to be the same.

For example, I selected West Perrine and Cutler. Now, someone familiar with that area could probably tell you what you want to know immediately. But, I only had the numbers to work with. Selecting median income, I find that in Perrine, median family income is about $27,000 per year. That's not encouraging for your request for an upscale community. So, I looked at Cutler, where I discovered that the median income in 2000 was over $106,000. Considering that it is bound to have gone up since then, I think I'd add Cutler to my list of places to investigate further. Then, I see that Cutler, in 2000, had almost 25% of the population over age 25 with graduate or professional degrees, and over 55% with college degrees. It's looking better.

After building a small list of towns like Cutler that might fit, you can dig in to types of housing, house values, sizes of lots, gated communities, etc. and see if you can find a closer fit. Check to see if they have a Chamber of Commerce, Tourist development board, Economic development board or anyhing else where you can get their "propaganda".

You should also be able to find some multi-list sites that will let you look at typical houses for a specific area, and get some ideas of styles and prices. Don't try to find your ideal house now; just get a feel for the area and get more information.

Once your list is narrowed down, you're going to have to make a physical examination of the areas. One might sound perfect on paper and then turn out to be all pink houses when you like yellow. When you find one or two you like, stop in to the planning and zoning office for that area and spend a few minutes talking to a planner about what their vision of the area is like. They usually like to "show off" a little, and might casually mention where that new cement plant is going to go .

Sooner or later, however, you're going to have to place yourself at the mercy of a real estate agent. By this time, however, you have armed yourself with so much information that you'll probably know more than they do. What they will be able to do very well is make a list of the best matches they can find in the area to what you want. Trust them on this; most are very good at it.

However, when they wave at that vacant expanse across the street and say, "That will never be developed!", you are right to not entirely trust them, especially since you learned at the P&Z area that it's zoned as a school site.

Now that I've rambled on and told you many things you already know, I hope that someone will jump in and tell you specific things about the communities from their first-hand knowledge.

{Edit} While I was writing this, David_S did indeed jump in with valuable info. Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:48 PM
183 posts, read 481,203 times
Reputation: 46

These websites, used togather, will allow you to find zip codes for Florida areas, and data for each zip code (zip-codes.com), and also a perspective on locations using msn map. If you want to see the faces of men/women living in each zip code, go to match.com and search by zip code. Helped me a lot.
You can also search this forum by city names like coral gables, Kendall, Boca Raton and see what's posted.

Last edited by Tjam; 09-10-2006 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:16 PM
1 posts, read 7,403 times
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Originally Posted by lanalady View Post
My husband just took at job at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. We currently live in San Diego. Can anyone tell me about the area south of Miami! Homestead, Florida City, Leisure City, Kendall, etc. What is the best area to live in (upper middle class range)? I have never even been to Florida and I don't know where to start. And I really don't trust real estate agents for information. Anyone have any info for me? Thank you so very much.
Well I have been living here since 1973. I actually live in South Miami, between homestead and Kendall. It's just like any big city except it is a melting pot of people from all over. The population here is mostly hispanic but most of us speak fluent english. Traffic is pretty conjested going from south to North on US 1 (a main highway) and from west to east (towards downtown) and vice versa on the way back home. Pretty much there is alot of traffic both ways because we have grown so much. If you want to check out things about the school log onto miami dade county schools, and if you want to learn about dade county there is a website miami dade county portal. I live in a neighborhood where people hardly know each other, its kinda sad actually. Everybody is always busy running around. I have been in the mortgage business for 20 years and I can tell you taxes and insurance are killers everybody is outraged about them. A typical single family home here is anywhere from 300K up. Taxes are in the range of $4K+ in a normal neighborhood and insurance is $3K+ for a single family home, if you live east of US1 then you need windstorm insurance in addition to Hazard for your home. The most expensive neighborhoods are in the city of Coral Gables, which is a city within Miami and of course in the beaches Like Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, etc., to buy a home there your looking at over half a million and thats for maybe a very small home if you can find one. But living in an expensive neighborhood I don't think that makes you upper class because I have done loans for people who have money but that I certainly don't consider them to be upper class. Kendall has some nice homes its very conjested. Homestead, Florida city and leasure city used to be the cheapest to buy real estate but know they are growing just like the rest of Miami. If your husband is going to work at Turkey point you might want to look into Marathon, which is after homestead\florida city and close to the Florida Keys, but that is not dade county it is another county (I forgot name). The scariest thing in Florida is the Hurricanes, we had 8 last year as far as I can remember and I guess thats why our insurance is so expensive. But Florida is great has the best of everything, restaurants, beaches, Malls. I am sure you will like it. I live in South Miami and I like it, its before homestead and after Kendall. There is a big Walmart in Homestead and one in Kendall. Malls we have bayside its beautiful by the Ocean downtown, you can take a tour boat for about $5. to see the island homes of the rich and famous, then theres Dadeland Mall in Kendall, the metro rail begins there, it is a train you can take to go downtown. We also have the Falls (its a mall on US1) and Southland another mall closer to homestead. In Coral Gables they have a lot of fancy high end shops and great restaurants on Miracle Mile and then there is the Meric Center (its like a small posh little mall). Then there is the Dolphin mall my favorite its just off 836 and the turnpike. There is much more I just can't remember. We have the Miami international Airport which you can see from 836 Highway. Then if you head downtown we have the Cruise ships. Trust me you won't be board here. Oh and I forgot to mention its very hot here. Well I wish you the best.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:27 PM
9 posts, read 53,605 times
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I lived in the Cutler Ridge area when I was younger, and my husband and I used to live in Pinecrest, which is north of there.

Cutler Ridge has changed and is becoming much nicer than it used to be. I think it is now incorporated as Cutler Bay. It is north of Turkey Point - we used to go sailing in the bay and could see the power plant. One of the problems with some of the areas in Cutler Ridge is the smell that comes from the large landfill called Mt. Trashmore - that's what we called it, anyway - that's near Black Point Marina. The landfill is new since I lived in Cutler Ridge, but when we would go down in that area after we moved and they built the landfill, I think the smell was worse in the southern parts of Cutler Ridge than the northern areas. It also varies depending upon the wind and season. If you keep your windows closed all the time, maybe that won't be an issue, but I wouldn't like it. Besides, you would probably want to have your windows open and enjoy the cooler temperatures during January - March. The rest of the time it can be very hot and buggy.

The closer you get to the bay, there's more of a risk for flooding during storms. I wouldn't recommend the Saga Bay area or anything east of Old Cutler Road.

The Palmetto Bay area is nicer, but it gets more expensive. There will also be more of a commute from Turkey Point. Pinecrest is even nicer, but VERY expensive. We're talking million dollar plus homes, although you might find something for less. The price of living has become very high in South Florida.

They were building some new homes in the Redlands area when we were there - once again, you need to check to see how close you are to the bay - it's best not to be too close. They are probably more reasonably priced, although they will still be expensive. US 1 and the Florida Turnpike are the two main travel arteries north from that area. That area wouldn't be too far for your husband to commute from, and the traffic won't be great, but probably not too bad.

If you live in the Kendall area, which is west of US 1, you will run into very heavy traffic to go places. The commute will not be as nice, but you might find a place out there where he could get on the Florida Turnpike extension and go south to get to work. Some parts of this area didn't fare that well during Hurricane Andrew - some of this area was swampland which was dredged up to make building sites, and it can be low.

Perrine and Naranja used to be lower income areas, but that may have changed in the last few years, since the whole area has become so expensive and real estate has become so valuable.

If you're looking for more land around your home, you will probably need to look at the Redlands area around Homestead and Florida City. That's the area at the end of the turnpike extension - the "end of the road", so to speak.

If you don't care about a big yard and you like to be closer in to the city, you could check out Coral Gables, but it's more expensive, there are some rigid rules about what you can park outside in your yard or what color you can paint your house, and you will have to contend with a lot of traffic on a daily basis. South Miami is adjacent to the Gables, without all the covenants (at least it used to be), but it is still more expensive and you will still have a lot of traffic to contend with. The commute from either location to Turkey Point would probably be at least 45 minutes each way due to the traffic.

I don't like to mention this, but the drivers in South Florida - and I lived there for many years and loved the place - have become the rudest I have ever seen anywhere.

Marathon was mentioned by someone - that's in the Florida Keys, and a long way away in Monroe County. You don't want to live there if you work in Dade County - you would have to travel on US1 to go anywhere, and the traffic can be really horrible. You're also at high risk there during hurricane season.

South Florida is a beautiful place with a lot of good points. There are also some major warts, like the traffic and mosquitoes. But I loved it while we lived there - you just have to have a positive attitude and look for the good things.

I hope this helps!
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:10 PM
21 posts, read 53,731 times
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Kendall is very congested, but it depends where you live. If you look in Kendall , try to be near the Florida Turnpike, like around 120ST (there's an exit/onramp for the turnpike here). The Killian area also has a lot of nice homes (600K range). This area is basically East of 107 AVE and North and South of 104 ST. It also has an expressway real close (107AVE and 104ST). Also East of 117 AVE and South of 120 ST is a nice area. Again, these two areas are close to the Turnpike which you'll be taking to get to Turkey Point. I'm not sure why people are even recommending Coral Gables, the drive to work would be terrible, plus you aren't going to have much land unless you dropping a couple million. So based on where your husband is working, how traffic is, and what type of neighborhood you are looking for, the areas I mentioned are probably your best bets. Lots of stores, restaurants near by, nice homes with decent pricing (some with pools), and best of all close to the highways. One thing about Miami nowadays is, you want to be close to a highway if you are not going to live really close to work. If you use MS Messenger, we could set up a time and I could give you a nice overview of where things are using google or microsoft maps.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:57 PM
Location: California
70 posts, read 267,580 times
Reputation: 38
I would do some investigating before I moved to either Homestead or Kendall Lakes. The closed City of Homestead Dump was located at SW 310th Street & 160th Avenue and now is developed with homes and schools. Kendall Lakes reportedly has a high rate of breast cancer.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:08 PM
1 posts, read 4,266 times
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Default Are you in for a surprise? Jtomas4k@aol.com

Originally Posted by lanalady View Post
My husband just took at job at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. We currently live in San Diego. Can anyone tell me about the area south of Miami! Homestead, Florida City, Leisure City, Kendall, etc. What is the best area to live in (upper middle class range)? I have never even been to Florida and I don't know where to start. And I really don't trust real estate agents for information. Anyone have any info for me? Thank you so very much.

First of all congrats on your husband new job! Don't move to Homestead is a dump and so is Fla City! Very working class neighborhood! The schools are also terrible if your planning to have a family soon. I would move to Cutler Bay they have beautiful homes. Pinecreast very expensive, but do your shopping all the houses went down everywhere. Kendall very congested but so what, beautiful homes and great schools. You can also get a very large 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathroom for 280,000. Just look around and do your homework. Life is good for you! God bless you.
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