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Old 02-02-2014, 05:29 PM
 
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Firstly I'd like to say hi to everyone, I've been perusing these forums for a while now and it's always interesting to read different opinions about Miami.

Secondly, as the title suggests, I visited Miami a year ago and am going back, though the plan is to go back for a longer period (2 years to forever).
To give you a brief run down of the situation:
My partner is Brazilian, she lived in Miami with her family when she was in her teens. Some of her family went back to Brazil, some stayed in Miami. She worked on cruise ships then moved to Aus, but is happy to live back in Miami where a) she's closer to the Miami family, and b) she's closer to her Brazil family. And c), she likes Miami with the warm weather, beaches, couple of hours and you're in awesome theme parks, flights to Europe, Latin America etc a lot easier than from Aus, and the list goes on...

I have an opportunity to go over with her (and our baby, who is to be born next month!) and work for her aunt and uncle's business, under an E3 (skilled worker) visa. I also do voiceover work (radio ads etc) for different companies here in Australia, so could continue to do that work over there (sending files back to Aus over the interwebs). I'm also a musician, I play drums (21 years) and percussion, and sing in English, Spanish and Portuguese. I run a salsa band and a funk band here in Aus (and no, I'm not latino!). To be able to team up with latin musicians (as well as visit Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico with ease) is one of my dreams.

I guess what I'm trying to work out is, where to situate, what things to look out for, what is life generally going to be like... It's a big unknown for me, and while I'm excited to try it, I want to be smart about it.
Her aunt and uncle are in Doral, but we want to live somewhere that's less than 30min from the beach (OK, here in Aus I know I'm fairly spoiled, we live near some pretty good beaches). I just know that if we live too far from the beach we'll both go nuts (and honestly, why live in Miami if you're not somewhere near to the beach?).
I've been checking out the color coded google maps showing from bad to good all the areas, so far it looks like Fountainbleau is the only place that would a) match our budget, b) be close enough to doral (we don't have to be mad close but it helps if we're not light years away), c) not take forever to get to the beach, and d) not be unsafe/undesirable an area. Any other suggestions? I've been looking at places to buy under 350k. Of course we won't be buying as soon as we land at the airport but I want a general idea of what to expect there (for example, we live in a city of half a million, and I like to stay on top of property pricing here, makes it easier to make good decisions).

What about things like credit... how does an Aussie build up credit? I'm a mad car freak and particularly like some of the offerings in the US of A (I owned a '78 Vette for 6 years, sold it with the view that I'd be moving over there) and would love to be able to get something nice on finance.
And my driving licence, from what I can tell I can use my Aussie licence for as long as it's valid, and then apply for a Florida licence... that's from doing some research a while back, but I may be wrong (?).
Do any musicians know what to expect when it comes to gigs? Finding gigs/agents, what do they pay, what are the venues / gig times like, any room for an Aussie playing funk and salsa...?

From what I can tell, Aussies in Miami are few and far between. There's the occasional tourist, but not many that live there. The only Aussie I met my whole time in Florida was working at Universal in Orlando. Aussies tend to love it or hate it, from what I can tell. Though in saying that, I'm not your average Aussie. I don't drink beer, I don't follow sport, I don't go out to pubs (unless I'm gigging there), I dance salsa (80% of the music I listen to in my spare time is salsa), I'm with a Brazilian girl, I'm a bit of a gringo latino...

Anyway. I've written enough, my head hurts. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Matt
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:18 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,831,684 times
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Don't worry, you'll do fine. When a gringo (like me) embraces the culture that is Miami, it's usually a beautiful thing! Welcome back to Miami!
:-)
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
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A mad car freak from Australia?

Did you know that Chevrolet SS = Holden Commodore VF ?
2014 SS Sports Sedan: High-Performance Sedan | Chevrolet

I personally have been enjoying a Holden Monaro for the past 8 years (Pontiac GTO), it loves it here in Florida.


As for building up credit... some of my foreign coworkers started off by leasing VW cars... It seems VW is pretty lenient with foreign folks. Although their monthly payments were somewhat higher than what an American would pay for the same car. But after a year or two they already had some decent credit scores.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
4,148 posts, read 5,878,053 times
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I think Fontainebleau is still kind of far from the beach...

Have you looked at anything in Broward county? You may like it in a nicer area of Hollywood - and that's a nice beach too!

Or maybe Cooper City.

Yes, these places aren't near Doral, but still within an easy reach.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:50 PM
 
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Yeah I realise Fountainebleau (I need to get used to spelling this properly!) is a decent drive to the beach, I had considered Broward, I guess it depends how much we need to be in downtown. And it doesn't seem to be a huge trip down turnpike to Doral. Lots of variables to consider, at this point I'm just trying to get the tips from the locals as to the better and worse parts.

And yeah, I did know that there was a Bommodore variant over there (oh, I should explain.... here in Australia, there are a LOT of Commodores getting around. So many that you may be led to believe there are more Commodores than Toyota Camrys, but you'd be wrong. You believe there are more because the people that own them make them loud, low, and drive them like they're stolen - which they probably are, since it's also the most stolen car out of all the cars in Australia. For this reason, we love to give them quirky nicknames, Bommodore being one, also Common-*****, Crummy-door, Commode-door, and so on - see here for more information - Urban Dictionary: commodore ).
Anyway, I am a rather large fan of the Camaro SS, and have it on my short list of cars to buy (one day) when I live over there. The GTO/Monaro does rate quite well yeah, they stopped making them though (for some weird reason). Cars in the USA are so much cheaper than here - that Commodore clone is basically the same as what we'd pay here - but most other cars are way cheaper.
Interesting tip on the credit, some of those turbo VWs go like stink so I wouldn't be so sad driving one I am going to sell some vehicles here and hopefully have enough for a low mileage Infinity g35. Then once I get the family car thing out of the road I'll start looking at getting a toy
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Don't worry, you'll do fine. When a gringo (like me) embraces the culture that is Miami, it's usually a beautiful thing! Welcome back to Miami!
:-)
Certainly makes life that bit more interesting right? Now I just have to improve my Spanish and Portuguese skills and I'll be fine
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL
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Interesting info about Commodores. Over here, people who are in the know think very highly of them. Although you won't find too many people who know about them. IMO their build quality is way better than anything built by GM in the US for the same money. Cadillacs are better, but are more expensive too.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:56 AM
 
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Funny you say that. Generally over here, car enthusiasts don't care for them, unless they have an SS badge or are old school (like 60s 70s). You'd pay around 30k for a base model (from memory) and would get roughly the same package as a base model Camaro (which is 2/3 the price I believe?). Lots of plastic, things feeling like they'd break if you wiggle them too hard, that kind of thing.
They tend to hold their value better, for reasons unknown, compared to say a Ford Falcon (direct competition), which is actually a superior car in nearly every way. Though I personally prefer to go European, which are unfortunately expensive to maintain (generally), or Japanese (but have not had much luck with Subaru).
Styling-wise American cars win hands down if you ask me. At least a Camaro looks like you could race it: it's tough and iconic. A Commodore is just a big boring family car. Which brings me to another thing, here in Aus, different to the USA (from what I can tell), people tend to go for the "family car", which is essentially a 4 door car, which enough power to tow a boat or caravan, and enough room inside for the 4 1/2 family members. My impression of the USA is that people tend to buy 4x4 or "people movers" if they want a "family car", would that be right? If I was over there, as I said I'd probably lean towards getting an Infinity g35 - plenty of grunt, rear wheel drive, Japanese, and lots of room for the fam (4 door anyway).
And as a side note, ever since you mentioned you have the GTO/Monaro, I've been seeing them everywhere over here
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 7,754,885 times
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I live just East of Fountainbleau on the other side of Galloway and find F a mixed bag. Some very old construction mixed with new construction and it shows in the quality of the residents-more and lesser affluent. Older construction dating to the 1980s has issues- small bathrooms and kitchens, inefficient windows and air condition systems compared to new ones. Some units and buildings, all in the area are condominiums, are well maintained and others are to a lesser standard. I find the issue with F is minimal exit routes in the a.m. hours for the morning commute so there is extensive traffic particularly if heading East and North. That does depend on the schedule of your commute.

The benefit of living here is the very close proximity to 836, 826, Florida Turnpike.
The beach is close as if you mean a commute on the weekends, about 15minutes.

Doral is unnecessarily expensive.

Perhaps you may wish to rent in F for a year to assess the region and know the city before plunking down on a permanent home.

I have a GTO as well. What is the Aussie nickname for the Monaro?
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:11 AM
 
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Hey thanks for the tips

No nickname for Monaros (that I know of). They are generally respected, whether the old original ones or the remakes.
Funny thing when I used to own the Corvette, I would get so much attention while driving around. I once had a Commodore full of young guys all hanging out the windows to check out my car, it was pretty amusing. I would turn up to car shows and driver meets and the like, and park next to pimped up Commodores (etc), the Vette would always get the majority of the attention from general folk. If I don't own another one in the next 10 years or so I think I'll go live in a cave somewhere. I love those cars, even though they don't turn, don't stop, don't even go that quick (standard), they are one of the sexiest cars ever made. I'd be happy to park another one in the garage But I digress...

All of this hinges on the possibility to get the Visa. Theoretically it should be a smooth process but if it doesn't go ahead, well, I may have to scrap the whole plan and go live on the Gold Coast in Queensland haha.
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