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Old 07-23-2012, 05:35 PM
 
9 posts, read 20,336 times
Reputation: 12

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I'm looking for recommendations for areas to live in the Ft. Lauderdale or Miami areas. We're considering relocating to the area and this is very overwhelming, coming from a much lower cost of living area of Texas. We're a middle/upper middle class family with 2 young children. Priority 1-safety, priority 2-schools, priority 3-commute. Job is in Davie, FL. My husband is still looking for an engineering job in the area. He has found one in Homestead, FL but we feel that will be way too much of a commute. What are the best recommendations for a good family area to live in, with homes in the $250-350k range. Personally, I like the get the most bang for your buck kind of homes but not at the expense of living in a questionable area. I also want a Floridian looking home, looking on the internet those don't seem to be so common - I am referring too Palm trees, stucco, ceramic tile roofs, etc.

Also, any recommendations on places to look for engineering jobs? How is the overall economic outlook on engineering jobs?

I also have an irrational fear of alligators eating my pets or children, how likely is it to encounter an alligator in the Weston area or other areas toward the West? (I'm hoping this is just an overhyped stereotype of Florida, similar to the idea that all Texans own and ride horses).

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:04 PM
 
61 posts, read 143,615 times
Reputation: 83
It's great that you have a job in Davie. That's very central and makes most of Broward County a viable option. If you want to live in the Miami area, you would at least be going the opposite way of the majority of traffic. (Most people live in Broward and work in Dade). I would probably look east of US1. You'll be in a good area and heading opposite of traffic to get to Davie. $250k - $350k will get you a decent home in a decent area.

I'm not sure what you're seeing on the internet, but, there are lots of homes with tile roofs and palm trees.

Alligators...... well, if you take a trip out to the Everglades, you probably still won't see one, unless it's part of an exhibit. Now, the palmetto bugs,... that's another story
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
2,142 posts, read 1,965,646 times
Reputation: 3606
I live in Weston, so I'll comment about that city overall.
1. safety -- I would say that Weston is one of the areas of Broward County that is considered safe. Most, but not all, of the communities are gated; most, but not all, of the gated communities have staffed guards at the gate and patrols. For your price range you'll probably find that $250k buys a townhome and at $350k you are looking at a single family home.
2. schools -- I do not have children, but the general consensus out here in Weston is that the schools are good; the elementary school by me has a sign bragging about it's "A" rating. You see several of those announcements when you drive by the various schools.
3. commute -- with Weston, you won't have a problem commuting to Davie, but your husband will have one very long drive to Homestead. The bright side is that he could take the turnpike extension all the way down to south Dade, where the traffic is not as bad, but he would be paying tolls every day (most people get a Sunpass) so that cost should be factored in to any decision.

If you still wanted to remain in Broward, you might also want to look at western Pembroke Pines (west of I-75) and for even more affordability, western Miramar. Your husband would save around 10/15 minutes or so I would guess.

As for the economy and engineering jobs, South Florida is not particularly seen as a tech area -- IBM drastically reduced its presence here several years ago (it had a large facility in Boca Raton) and the unemployment rate, although not growing, is still in the 8% range. Is your husband using a recruitment firm? A "headhunter" that specializes in this area might be worth a try. Good luck to you and your family on your search.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,946 posts, read 2,979,293 times
Reputation: 2163
This move sounds like a bad idea.

The white-collar job situation in South Florida is bad and getting worse. Companies are leaving the area for precisely the reasons you have already surmised. No professional is going to want to raise a family in Dade, and Broward is now going downhill. Texas is still at the moment a far superior option - much better job market, much lower cost of living, easy access to a civilized school environment for your children.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:23 PM
 
11,642 posts, read 22,655,257 times
Reputation: 12249
Quote:
Originally Posted by txmomx2 View Post
I'm looking for recommendations for areas to live in the Ft. Lauderdale or Miami areas. We're considering relocating to the area and this is very overwhelming, coming from a much lower cost of living area of Texas. We're a middle/upper middle class family with 2 young children. Priority 1-safety, priority 2-schools, priority 3-commute. Job is in Davie, FL. My husband is still looking for an engineering job in the area. He has found one in Homestead, FL but we feel that will be way too much of a commute. What are the best recommendations for a good family area to live in, with homes in the $250-350k range. Personally, I like the get the most bang for your buck kind of homes but not at the expense of living in a questionable area. I also want a Floridian looking home, looking on the internet those don't seem to be so common - I am referring too Palm trees, stucco, ceramic tile roofs, etc.

Also, any recommendations on places to look for engineering jobs? How is the overall economic outlook on engineering jobs?

I also have an irrational fear of alligators eating my pets or children, how likely is it to encounter an alligator in the Weston area or other areas toward the West? (I'm hoping this is just an overhyped stereotype of Florida, similar to the idea that all Texans own and ride horses).

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Davie is centrally located. If you are going to use the public school system either Cooper City or Weston will probably be your best bet for housing. In your price range you will find townhomes and small (but nice) single family homes in both Cooper City and Weston. Davie itself is nice but the high school(Western HS) is not that great.

You are no more likely to have problems with alligators than you would in Houston or any other coastal area in TX.

The job market for engineers is not great around here.
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