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Old 09-28-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
2,763 posts, read 6,221,172 times
Reputation: 503

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Many of you know I started off in Broward (do not love it there) and worked in Dania (hell). I moved myself to Miami which has made all the difference in the world! I now need to move myself to Miami but schools are a HUGE priority and I don't want to be 2 hours away from Downtown Miami. I live in a nice area of Broward but I think I just may not be cut out for Broward. My boys are still young but sort of independent so, having stuff for my husband and I to do is important and well broward suburbia just ain't cutting it. I really would like to hang myself from the trees outside of my house but that is another story.

Work is now right where I need it to be, not the speed of NY but much faster than Broward and there is a certain saviness that Miamians have that people in broward just don't have - I don't know what it is - commute hasn't been that bad but between tolls and all that - please I can deal with out it.

DORAL
I have discussed Doral more than once on here because of the schools and activities for the kids. I have a co-worker who lives in Doral and on the worst day it takes him 45min - which is incredibly reassuring, since I was hearing nightmares of 2 hours. He tells me on average it is closer to 30 minutes - not always but in that neighborhood. This area seems to be the most reasonable as far as rents.

KEY BISCAYNE
Co-worker lives there and absolutely loves it and says it is a great place to live! Schools are great only draw back is there are no big box stores near there and only one way in and out - that is a little weird for me.

CORAL GABLES
Everyone says great things about Coral Gables but I'm not that impressed with there schools and it is a little pricier than I would like.

PINECREST
Don't need to say much - it is very pricey but super nice

THE FALLS
can anyone tell me anything about this area?

SOUTH MIAMI??????
Heard it is really nice with good schools - where is it exactly?

KENDALL
Nice but traffic is bad.

Can anyone give me clues as to what other areas are within the 30 minute range from downtown Miami with good schools?
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:18 PM
 
3,368 posts, read 10,841,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
Many of you know I started off in Broward (do not love it there) and worked in Dania (hell). I moved myself to Miami which has made all the difference in the world! I now need to move myself to Miami but schools are a HUGE priority and I don't want to be 2 hours away from Downtown Miami. I live in a nice area of Broward but I think I just may not be cut out for Broward. My boys are still young but sort of independent so, having stuff for my husband and I to do is important and well broward suburbia just ain't cutting it. I really would like to hang myself from the trees outside of my house but that is another story.
I am going to go through all of the areas you've listed, but please be warned that most of them are pretty suburban. Some of them have quite a bit of character and are quite different from Cooper City, but if you're looking for urban living, you're going to have to live in Downtown Coral Gables, Brickell, South Beach, or Downtown Miami.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
DORAL
I have discussed Doral more than once on here because of the schools and activities for the kids. I have a co-worker who lives in Doral and on the worst day it takes him 45min - which is incredibly reassuring, since I was hearing nightmares of 2 hours. He tells me on average it is closer to 30 minutes - not always but in that neighborhood. This area seems to be the most reasonable as far as rents.
Your friend's estimate sounds about right. 30-45 minutes with traffic. 2 hours is a gross overestimate. You could live in the Upper Keys and make it to Downtown Miami in well under 2 hours!

Yes, Doral is pretty reasonable when it comes to prices. I know the area the least out of all of the ones you've listed but have gone out to eat there, and to the movies/mall. The schools are supposed to be good, but if you're leaving a nice, cookie-cutter suburban area like Cooper City, do not move to another such area where the only real difference is more orange-tile roofs and less native English speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
KEY BISCAYNE
Co-worker lives there and absolutely loves it and says it is a great place to live! Schools are great only draw back is there are no big box stores near there and only one way in and out - that is a little weird for me.
Absolutely beautiful area. Scenic commute, too. Just get used to the idea of doing most of your shopping on the mainland, and coming home to a peaceful island where the hustle and bustle is just 15 minutes away. The only negative I can say has to do with how expensive the area is. Also, the high school situation: Key Biscayne kids are zoned for Coral Gables HS, which is 10 miles away, and many families either pay for private school (Ransom Everglades, Gulliver, or La Salle) or try to get their kids into a public magnet high school with a good reputation that is closer to home like MAST Academy or New World School for the Arts. Coral Gables HS has a pretty good reputation, but many people just don't like how far away it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
CORAL GABLES
Everyone says great things about Coral Gables but I'm not that impressed with there schools and it is a little pricier than I would like.
I really like Coral Gables. The schools are fine, and I have friends who got very good educations there. Test scores probably aren't as high as those at the high school in Cooper City because plenty of kids of working class background (from nearby areas of SW Miami) are bused to school in Coral Gables. This means that the school is very diverse - some kids take the bus to school from their family's 2 bedroom apartment off of Flagler, some kids drive daddy's BMW to school from a Coco Plum mansion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
PINECREST
Don't need to say much - it is very pricey but super nice
Another beautiful area that feeds into what many consider as the best non-magnet public high school in Miami-Dade County (Palmetto). The area is uniformly affluent and there aren't many rental options, aside from some apartments/condos just east of US1 on Kendall Drive and a few complexes backing up to US1 to the south. You may find a smaller, older home to rent for a reasonable price, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
THE FALLS
can anyone tell me anything about this area?
Yes, I'd be glad to tell you about it. It's a fairly affluent area of East Kendall that is called "The Falls" due to the Falls shopping center at SW 136th Street and US1. There are several rentals on SW 92nd Avenue and also at SW 104th Street and US1, closer to Continental Park. The rest of the area is made up of single-family houses, many of which have large yards and lush vegetation. This area largely does not have the traffic problems that much of Kendall has, and I find driving around the Falls area more pleasant because the roads tend to just be one lane each way (sometimes two) and more relaxing than the wide, high-speed roads in West Kendall. Schools around there are generally very good, and the the local high school (Killian) has a pretty good reputation as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
SOUTH MIAMI??????
Heard it is really nice with good schools - where is it exactly?
Generally, South Miami is a really nice area. There is a small area to the southwest of the University of Miami that is more working-class and higher-crime (it is a historically African-American area that many make out to be much worse than it actually is) than the rest of South Miami, but the rest of South Miami west of US1 is a mix of middle-class residents in the more dense areas and affluent residents in the "estate" areas. Downtown South Miami (east of US1) has many more affordable rentals where young people, young families, and retirees live, but the rest of South Miami east of US1 is uniformly affluent and expensive, very similar to Pinecrest. Schools are generally good, but the high school's reputation is so-so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelsa1075 View Post
KENDALL
Nice but traffic is bad.
Gigantic area of 400,000+ people with dozens of different neighborhoods. West Kendall is the area west of the Florida Turnpike. Some of the neighborhoods are The Crossings, Winston Park, Calusa Country Club, The Hammocks, Lakes of the Meadow, Kendale Lakes. East Kendall is the area east of 874 near the Falls, Baptist Hospital, Killian HS, and Continental Park. The area between 874 and the Turnpike, though rarely officially called this, is "Central Kendall": neighborhoods are Sabal Chase, Kendale, and Snapper Creek. Generally, schools are good in all of Kendall but have better reputations as you go east. Traffic gets heavier and your commute will be longer the further west you live. Due to this, prices out west are more affordable and you can get more for your money there.

Last edited by Marlin331; 09-28-2010 at 04:29 PM..
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 20,621,627 times
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Chelsa, sorry to hear it's not working out in Broward. Broward is very different than Miami-Dade in many ways. I was surprised when I saw you guys decided on western broward, since you guys are from NY, but then thought well maybe she is looking for that suburbia lifestyle she isn't getting in NY. I think Crisp pretty much summed it up really well for you. Coral Gables, Pinecrest, South Miami, East Kendall, The Falls will put you close to everything you will need with good schools (with the exception of the Gables, not as great as the other areas). Palmetto Bay south of Pinecrest is another area to look into. Key Biscayne is nice, but the fact that it isn't as easy to get to places has to be factored in, including the toll. Doral is nice, it is very hispanic, if you are not hispanic you may feel out of place after awhile.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:11 PM
 
115 posts, read 305,235 times
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If you like city life, have you considered Aventura? The schools are pretty good, the shopping is fantastic, the beach is 5 minutes away, you won't have a house with a yard, but you can rent a condo with million $ views!! And the commute to downtown Miami is not that bad, you can use the express lanes both ways.Aventura is pretty well kept and well managed.
I am the opposite of you, I live in Aventura right now, but want to move to Weston, yes, Broward suburbia!! I need a more quiet life style for the kids!!
I have lived in Pinecrest and Coral Gables before, they are also nice. I would advise against the Falls and West Kendall if you work in downtown Miami.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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Palmetto Bay is a little bit inconsistent. Pay a little bit more or get a smaller place and live in Pinecrest, huge difference.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:04 AM
 
2,930 posts, read 6,455,346 times
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Chelsa, let me know what website you are using to check school ratings and what school ratings you need. I'll see what I can suggest, or let me know what high schools you would consider. I'm not sure what happened to Coral Gables it used to be a really good school back in the day.

while pinecrest has the best schools, it's not very affordable and in my opinion, and this is just my opinion it feels more suburban than other areas of Dade. It has a lot of older population vs younger families. Also I think you might be able to find a nicer home(bigger and maybe with a pool) in the more affordable areas but schools are the deciding factor here.

I disagree with the other poster about palmetto bay, it is a nice area, not much different than pinecrest. I guess he means the southern areas closer to US1 which it's true.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
2,763 posts, read 6,221,172 times
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Thank you all very much! Crisp you are hysterical "more organge tiles" - I don't know what I want to to do LOL - I personally wouldn't mind living in a building but hubby would rather die first! That is why I'm considering Doral and frankly when there isn't traffic it really isn't that far from the action. Perhaps the Gables will get better with the new revamping of schools. I'm certainly Working Middle Class and do not wish to be around a bunch of snobs that look at me like the help - I like kendall I just don't like the idea of the cummute - how bad is it really? I know for the most part the schools are good there too.

Princess - I don't know where to look for the schools I need people to give me the areas to look at and then I will go from there. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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The help lol. I never lived in broward but I can honesly say I wouldn't feel uncomfortable in most neighborhoods in Miami. Well maybe a private island or other places in south Florida like Davie or boca. Chelsa people in Miami are very used to Hispanics, the racist left a long time ago. Rumor has it many moved to Broward but I personally never felt unconfortable there. They probably relocated again to Orlando or ashville north Carolina.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
2,763 posts, read 6,221,172 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by ♥♥PRINC3Ss♥♥ View Post
The help lol. I never lived in broward but I can honesly say I wouldn't feel uncomfortable in most neighborhoods in Miami. Well maybe a private island or other places in south Florida like Davie or boca. Chelsa people in Miami are very used to Hispanics, the racist left a long time ago. Rumor has it many moved to Broward but I personally never felt unconfortable there. They probably relocated again to Orlando or ashville north Carolina.
Haha - I don't feel out of place racially - I feel out of place mentally - there is just a strange feeling I get in Broward kind of like everyone is caught like a deer in the headlights - something that in my experience is not prevelant in Miami. Perhaps the type of NYer I am is the type of Nyers that are in Miami - honestly that whole thing with people being jerks and the like has not been an experience I have encountered here - I am very, very comfortable here for the first time since I have stepped foot in Florida. I need a really good combination of the suburbia and city and there just isn't any of that in Broward IMO - I know Doral is very suburbish but off peak times you can be in the city in 20 minutes or less. It reminds of a Whitestone or Bayside in NY a little country really close to the city. I don't know about the fact that it is predominantly hispanic though - that may wear away at me - I'm still checking things out though. Part of me wants to call it a day and go back home but another part is saying stick it out chels - if you move closer to the city and city like people you will be much better. So, that is my next option. I just don't like Cooper City at all and that is that LOL.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:12 AM
 
2,930 posts, read 6,455,346 times
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Who knows only time will tell. I Dont have the same background as you so my needs might be different. Nothing compares to NYC though, but NYc has a lot of negatives too. No place is perfect

There is something about western broward I don't like. I think it's the fact that you drive and all you see are 3 lane streets and trees. It's like a suburban hell The roads are so wide, it's crazy. Homes are somewhere inside locked in gated communities. I don't know, maybe it's just me. LOL but they have good schools there and it's not as expensive as the good eastern areas which many don't have good schools.
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