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Old 06-04-2013, 11:29 AM
 
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We are Asian family currently live in Germany. If everything went smoothly, Q4 this year (between October- December) we would move to Miami. My husband’s office would be in Doral, I would work from home. we have a daughter (4) and she speaks English and passively understands German and our native language (we speak English at home though not quite American English, more like Singapore / HK English). We would like to rent, with budget around 2300 for a 3bedroom aprt/townhome/condo. At first we wanted to live in Doral as it is closer to his future office, but heard many (negative) aspects about it, such as landfill, non-English speaking environment (we don’t speak Spanish), congestion, etc. We read about Coral Gables, that it offers more for families, but heard that it’s difficult to get into the ‘good public /charter schools’. The same with Aventura. We are also eyeing on Nautilus-Mid Beach-N41st Street but heard that the traffic is awful and it is unsafe (many tourists?). Based on our condition above, I was wondering where is the best area to live for a family like us. Also, is our budget good enough to get a 3br condo/townhome/apt in those areas? And most importantly, how is the registration arrangement for public and charter schools when the school year already started? She would be 5 by then and in kindergarten. We probably move between October –December. Will appreciate your comments, inputs, etc. Thanks!
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:06 PM
 
261 posts, read 351,746 times
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hi there we used to live in Germany too (MUNICH AREA...YOU?), and moved here nearly two years ago.. Hubbie also works in Doral...We live in a lovely neighbourhood with the best schools, but you have to live in a certain zone to qualify... google grade A miami schools and then you can decide from that where you fancy living....we live in Palmetto Bay...and for the school my children go to you have to live here or Pinecrest...(although pinecrest is even more expensive....) both classed as posh areas..... who does your husband work for btw is it Amadeus by any chance??
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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Hubbie working
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
7,139 posts, read 11,096,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by depecantique View Post
We are Asian family currently live in Germany. If everything went smoothly, Q4 this year (between October- December) we would move to Miami. My husband’s office would be in Doral, I would work from home. we have a daughter (4) and she speaks English and passively understands German and our native language (we speak English at home though not quite American English, more like Singapore / HK English). We would like to rent, with budget around 2300 for a 3bedroom aprt/townhome/condo. At first we wanted to live in Doral as it is closer to his future office, but heard many (negative) aspects about it, such as landfill, non-English speaking environment (we don’t speak Spanish), congestion, etc. We read about Coral Gables, that it offers more for families, but heard that it’s difficult to get into the ‘good public /charter schools’. The same with Aventura. We are also eyeing on Nautilus-Mid Beach-N41st Street but heard that the traffic is awful and it is unsafe (many tourists?). Based on our condition above, I was wondering where is the best area to live for a family like us. Also, is our budget good enough to get a 3br condo/townhome/apt in those areas? And most importantly, how is the registration arrangement for public and charter schools when the school year already started? She would be 5 by then and in kindergarten. We probably move between October –December. Will appreciate your comments, inputs, etc. Thanks!
In short, you are guaranteed entry at any time of the year into at least one school based on district or municipality residency.

But after that, public elementary school admissions rules can be quite complex: there are school district rules, municipality school rules, county district rules, magnet school rules, charter school rules (and of course private school rules). It is possible for a single public school to be operating under several different sets of rules, and within each set of rules there may be lots of exceptions. You simply have to do some deeper research online and call the schools themselves (hopefully you'll speak to someone who is competent in English and understands your questions).

Coral Gables runs a controlled-choice system whereby a resident of the municipality is guaranteed admission into one of three public elementary schools, though I believe one of them, Sunset Elementary, also works on magnet school rules. Anecdotally, I once called Coral Gables Elementary, and it was obvioius to me that the person on the other end of the phone did not have command of the English language (scary), while the person at George Washington Carver spoke knowledgeably and efficiently.

In any case, to qualify for kindergarten in the 2013-2014 school year, she must have turned five by around mid-August 2013, research online for the exact cut-off date.

Finally, in Coral Gables at least, your budget is too low for a nice 3 bedroom, maybe something smallish and old, but an average-size nice 2 bedroom yes.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 AM
 
15 posts, read 57,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SARAHSELLAR View Post
hi there we used to live in Germany too (MUNICH AREA...YOU?), and moved here nearly two years ago.. Hubbie also works in Doral...We live in a lovely neighbourhood with the best schools, but you have to live in a certain zone to qualify... google grade A miami schools and then you can decide from that where you fancy living....we live in Palmetto Bay...and for the school my children go to you have to live here or Pinecrest...(although pinecrest is even more expensive....) both classed as posh areas..... who does your husband work for btw is it Amadeus by any chance??
Hi, we live in Bonn around 3 hours from Munich? My husbands works for DHL/ Deutsche Post. Palmetto Bay seems nice but from googlemaps seems like 30 mins from Doral, we want to live closer to his office, except for Aventura. How is traffic from palmetto to hubby's office? How's life in Miami compare to Munich by the way? )
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:27 AM
 
15 posts, read 57,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
In short, you are guaranteed entry at any time of the year into at least one school based on district or municipality residency.

But after that, public elementary school admissions rules can be quite complex: there are school district rules, municipality school rules, county district rules, magnet school rules, charter school rules (and of course private school rules). It is possible for a single public school to be operating under several different sets of rules, and within each set of rules there may be lots of exceptions. You simply have to do some deeper research online and call the schools themselves (hopefully you'll speak to someone who is competent in English and understands your questions).

Coral Gables runs a controlled-choice system whereby a resident of the municipality is guaranteed admission into one of three public elementary schools, though I believe one of them, Sunset Elementary, also works on magnet school rules. Anecdotally, I once called Coral Gables Elementary, and it was obvioius to me that the person on the other end of the phone did not have command of the English language (scary), while the person at George Washington Carver spoke knowledgeably and efficiently.

In any case, to qualify for kindergarten in the 2013-2014 school year, she must have turned five by around mid-August 2013, research online for the exact cut-off date.

Finally, in Coral Gables at least, your budget is too low for a nice 3 bedroom, maybe something smallish and old, but an average-size nice 2 bedroom yes.

Good Luck!
Thanks for the input! It's really helpful. So basically I need to call the schools to check on teir admission process, any spot left, etc. Got it. Regarding Coral Gables budget, what is the budget for nice 3 bedroom, is 2700 okay? Also, which once offer more for a family, Coral Gables or Aventura?
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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Every area will have its positives and negatives...so why not just live in Doral? You're just renting right? For the price range you offerred you can afford a very nice 3 bedroom in Doral. I have rented here for 3 years, because this is where my job is. Why would anyone want to commute in Miami?

We are constantly getting new people into our office and often they chose to commute. They always immediately regret it.

I have been very pleased with Doral. Biggest positives: (1) Relatively convenient to downtown. (2) Lots of families. (3) Nice people, mostly professionals (4) Multicultural/international mix (my neighbors are from Japan). (5) Lots of parks and bikepaths. (6) convenient to Florida Turnpike for north-south travel.

Yes, like any place Doral has negatives. Landfill--yes there is one here. I smell something in the air maybe 10 evenings out of the year. If that bothers you, don't live close to it.

Doral is non-English speaking? That is bad information...it's not true. I don't speak Spanish and I do fine here. People in Doral are mostly educated professionals who need to speak English at work, so they are bilingual and they are very gracious about it when they run into someone like me who is English only. And anyone in Doral under the age of 30 is probably an English speaker first.

As far as being congested, yes Doral is congested...but all of Miami is congested.

I just want to give you a different take on Doral. I would not rule it out.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:57 PM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
7,139 posts, read 11,096,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouzon View Post
Every area will have its positives and negatives...so why not just live in Doral? You're just renting right? For the price range you offerred you can afford a very nice 3 bedroom in Doral. I have rented here for 3 years, because this is where my job is. Why would anyone want to commute in Miami?

We are constantly getting new people into our office and often they chose to commute. They always immediately regret it.

I have been very pleased with Doral. Biggest positives: (1) Relatively convenient to downtown. (2) Lots of families. (3) Nice people, mostly professionals (4) Multicultural/international mix (my neighbors are from Japan). (5) Lots of parks and bikepaths. (6) convenient to Florida Turnpike for north-south travel.

Yes, like any place Doral has negatives. Landfill--yes there is one here. I smell something in the air maybe 10 evenings out of the year. If that bothers you, don't live close to it.

Doral is non-English speaking? That is bad information...it's not true. I don't speak Spanish and I do fine here. People in Doral are mostly educated professionals who need to speak English at work, so they are bilingual and they are very gracious about it when they run into someone like me who is English only. And anyone in Doral under the age of 30 is probably an English speaker first.

As far as being congested, yes Doral is congested...but all of Miami is congested.

I just want to give you a different take on Doral. I would not rule it out.
I have to agree with mouzon, here, do not rule out Doral.

I am not sure about the school choices in that area, but I believe that in kindergarten the most important issue is a safe and loving environment, not academic excellence. In any case, I quick search on greatschools.com shows two catch-all public schools rated 7 and 8, three public charter schools rated 9 and 10 (perhaps call them and ask about availability, any waiting lists), and one non-denominational and one denominational private schools, both unrated.

Also, as mentioned, your rental dollar will go further: I live in a "lesser" neighborhood than Coral Gables and 3 bedroom condos go for $3000 and up, not even sure about single family homes, so I doubt that $2,700 will do it in Coral Gables unless its old, lacking upgrades, on a small lot, and perhaps a bit dingy.

Conclusion, consider renting in Doral for the year, avoid the commute and take a year to check it out and the other neighborhoods as well in terms of commute, schools, and housing.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Lakes by the Bay, FL (for now)
986 posts, read 3,580,139 times
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I think that Doral is a perfectly reasonable area, has some quite nice communities...however in the OP's case I (mostly) would recommend against it, mainly due to two things: While you can get away basically with no problems (at all) speaking only English in Doral, Spanish is widely spoken in the area and with the accent thing, plus no knowledge at all of Spanish, will make this a likely problem. Second, it doesn't make much sense for a nearly $3k budget, just Palmetto Bay alone is better in every single aspect than Doral (besides commute, although it would be relatively short, so not a major issue), fact. Same goes for the north end of South Miami, plus East Kendall. (Check these neighborhoods - all similar mainly, very safe, very nice, within budget, okay commute, well located, etc.)

Coral Gables is doable but would be right in the upper end of the budget and it would probably be something older/smaller or located near SW 8th St possibly.

Aventura is pretty nice and within budget, but the commute would be dreadful.

Mid-Beach is probably just as nice (probably more so) and the commute is okay - not great though. And it can be very expensive.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:49 AM
 
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Hi Mouzon, bale002 and JacobMax, thank for all the inputs!
Mouzon, Yes, we are renting as we dont know how long we would stay. We would be around 2.5 years here when we move this October. thanks for giving me another view on Doral. It's an eye opener so now we are considering Doral again. Based on your experience living there, is it convenient to commute - for example to school and grocery- by bike + trolley in Doral? Any gated communities you recommend?
Jacob Max, we will also now consider South Miami and East Kendall which we never thought about before. Based on your 'map' they are green, so it should be okay, right?
Also, I want to know which one is better in our case, to rent a car or to buy one? We never live in the US hence we don't have credit score, so will it be possible to buy a car?
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