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Old 07-26-2007, 12:03 AM
 
24 posts, read 39,307 times
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Hi everyone,

I am a new grad currently living in Midwest, just got a job offer in Coral Gable, this will be my first real job out of college. I know cost of living is about 138% comparing to U.S. avg, but it is hard to get a real perspective on it from far.

Can people in the area offer some guidance as to where to live, which area to avoid, and cost of living etc? Is it true about high crime rate in a lot of areas and you have to be on guard all the time?

I am looking for nice and safe areas to rent a decent apartment, prefer something real close to work so the commute will be minim, at least for the first 6 month or so. Can you live in Miami without a car?

I am not one for clubs and nice dinners and live as frugally as I can, but I am sure my preference for fresh and organic food is going to add to my budget. How well can I live on a annual salary of $47.000(pre tax) after expense for 1 br apt or duplex, utility, car pmt (around $600), insurance etc, will I barely be able to make ends meet or can I save some money based on my income?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:29 AM
 
Location: South Florida
564 posts, read 1,840,375 times
Reputation: 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Or7Butterfly View Post
Hi everyone,

I am a new grad currently living in Midwest, just got a job offer in Coral Gable, this will be my first real job out of college. I know cost of living is about 138% comparing to U.S. avg, but it is hard to get a real perspective on it from far.

Can people in the area offer some guidance as to where to live, which area to avoid, and cost of living etc? Is it true about high crime rate in a lot of areas and you have to be on guard all the time?

I am looking for nice and safe areas to rent a decent apartment, prefer something real close to work so the commute will be minim, at least for the first 6 month or so. Can you live in Miami without a car?

I am not one for clubs and nice dinners and live as frugally as I can, but I am sure my preference for fresh and organic food is going to add to my budget. How well can I live on a annual salary of $47.000(pre tax) after expense for 1 br apt or duplex, utility, car pmt (around $600), insurance etc, will I barely be able to make ends meet or can I save some money based on my income?

Thanks for your advice.
You can definitely make ends meet on that income, but I'm not sure how much you'll be able to save. I would expect rent would be at least $1000-1200 for a decent 1br apartment in the Coral Gables area. $600 car payment is a big ouch. I wouldn't recommend living in Miami without a car, though. Public transit can be ok depending on where you're going, but is also full of some pretty shady characters.

Coral Gables is nice, but has some rough areas around it. Its not the worst of Miami or anything. Depending on what city you're coming from, it shouldn't be all that more crime-ridden.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:52 AM
 
24 posts, read 39,307 times
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$600 car pmt is an estimate on a Toyota Corolla paid within 2 years, don't know how accurate it is, just want to pay it off as soon as possible. Maybe I can stretch it out longer, so it will not be as high.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:14 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
9,078 posts, read 13,258,296 times
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Live in Coral Gables itself. As a general rule, look for an apartment in the "named" streets (streets mostly named after Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese regions and cities) as close to your place of employment as possible, avoid the "numbered" streets.

Depending on exactly where you work and live, you could conceivably get by without a car. The two biggest problems you'd face are how to do groceries at a reasonable price and traveling outside of Coral Gables. However, the savings on car, gas and insurance payments may justify higher grocery bills, and you could rent a car on the weekend (budget weekend special should come to around $50 including insurance), for example, if you want to take a drive somewhere.

In short, if you do careful analyses and budgeting, you could save something, but in any case you should certainly be able to come in budget neutral in a quite decent one bedroom in Coral Gables, one of Miami's best communities, at $47k per year (I assume your employer is covering health insurance).

Welcome to Coral Gables and good luck!
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:54 AM
 
136 posts, read 464,263 times
Reputation: 70
Default North Gables Apartments

You should be able to make ends meet on that salary, especially if you stretch out your car payments to four years or so. That's what I'd do.

If you want to really save money on rent, you might want to consider renting in the North Gables area, which lies between Douglas and Le Jeune roads (east-west), and SW 8th St. and Miracle Mile (north-south). There are a lot of older, smaller buildings with (small) 1 br apartments and studios throughout that area. Because these buildings have none of the amenities (e.g., no central a/c, curbside parking, no in-unit washer/dryer, no security staff) of today's apartment buildings, the rents are considerably cheaper. I don't know how much they go for today, but when I got my first job out of graduate school in 1994, I rented a large studio on Salamanca for $410/month, including utilities. Granted, that was 13 years ago, but I can't imagine the rent nowadays being more than $700 max. I never had a problem there with crime of any sort.

Oh, and about The Gables (as it's locally known): The city has a trolley service (and I think it's free!) that circulate throughout the central core of the city, which includes the apartment area in the North Gables. If you play your cards right, you probably won't even have to drive between home and work.

Good luck, and welcome to Miami!

Rich
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:17 AM
 
2,984 posts, read 9,727,800 times
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You can survive, but not thrive on that salary here.

Get a nice apartment in the Gables, you will need a car and you will be able to get by, considering you are frugal, single and will be living alone.

Budget 1200 a month for rent (at least). Unfortunately, the places with amenities are the safe ones, and the no frills places tend to attract the not so nice crowd. Also, the prices are hyperinflated, even for the no frills housing here, so there isn't that much of a difference between an old, no frills apartment a half a mile out of the Gables (near 1000) for a decent 1 bedroom in the Gables (1200). 200 a bucks a month for a nice block, neighborhood and safety are definantly worth it.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh, NC
2,086 posts, read 7,377,924 times
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I would recommend finding a roommate if you can - that will help out a lot. Also, don't forget car insurance. It could easily be $1800/year.

You'll definitely want to live somewhere in Coral Gables or South Miami as others have said. Rents are high in these areas, and you don't really get a lot for your money, but the neighborhoods are relatively nice.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:54 AM
 
24 posts, read 39,307 times
Reputation: 19
Thank your everyone for your response. It has been very helpful. Looks like if I play my cards right, I get to come out even.

How much would it cost for a good 1br apt comes with washer/dryer or at least a hookup? What about avg monthly utility on 1br apt, water, electricity, trash, cable high speed internet?
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:37 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
9,078 posts, read 13,258,296 times
Reputation: 9605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Or7Butterfly View Post
Thank your everyone for your response. It has been very helpful. Looks like if I play my cards right, I get to come out even.

How much would it cost for a good 1br apt comes with washer/dryer or at least a hookup? What about avg monthly utility on 1br apt, water, electricity, trash, cable high speed internet?
There are several online sources for rentals in Coral Gables, but roughly around $1200 for a nice 1 bedroom.

Average electricity bill will depend on how much you love air-conditioning, but with moderate use, you can keep it well below $100 a month.

Cable high speed might be a bit more expensive than DSL. Bellsouth high speeed DSL is around $25 a month, together with local and unlimited long distance, the whole package $75 a month (negotiate with them, they jack up the price assuming you don't know long distance rates, but there is competition). In any case, I've enjoyed good service from Bellsouth (not international long-distance though).

Cable of course depends on how many special channels, the internet part may cost around $40.
If I may advise, do yourself a favor, throw away the television, save that monthly fee, live real life at work and with friends, get better, more precise information through the internet, maybe rent or buy DVDs for entertainment.

Not sure about trash and water, maybe some one else can help.

All the best!
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:50 AM
 
2,984 posts, read 9,727,800 times
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Trash fees are usually included in all apartment rents...even the cheap places.

Water is reasonable, for normal use it is under $10 a month....

I think your FPL bill will be over $100 easy in the summer, considering you will need it on all night...bascially through Thanksgiving. Then it will be dirt cheap for 3 months before skyrocketing again.
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