Aloha! WE are moving from perfect Hawaii to SouthEast Florida but I don't know where we should live. We will rent to start. We must be within 30-60 min. of MIA. Need a great public school, great community, low crime, nice people. Everything I'm reading here says Boca has the best schools overall - more great rated schools in the area than say Ft. Laud. or West Palm. Please help! Many opinions on other sites say crime and drug use high in Ft.Laud, people are very rude in SE FL, they hate the weather... This is a very daunting task!
A few tips. Have you talked to the HR department where you are going? They can often put you in contact with other families that can help you with where to live, which schools fellow employees' families attend, and which areas are commute friendly.
You can also talk to a real estate professional. They'll know the desirable neighborhoods, they'll know which schools families seek out, and they'll know the crime rates and commute times virtually everywhere.
You can start to narrow down your search by which school districts interest you by using the Find a School feature here: http://www.greatschools.org/florida/
Aloha, we just moved from the Midwest to be closer to my husband's family in Miami. Presently we are renting in Pembroke Pines but my husband hates it because it is "burbia." He wants to live in Miami but does not want to pay the higher taxes, and price for the home (Coral Gables). In the Broward area where we live the schools are all A+ rated. Broward schools are supposedly better than Miami-Dade. Many 1st-2nd generation children moved their families from Miami-Dade to Broward because of a) the schools, b) newer homes, c) "secure" neighborhoods, d) roads are to able to handle the congestion (granted, my perspective.), and e) 30 mins to FLL/MIA airports, f) 40-45 mins to downtown FLL/MIA, g) 25-30 mins to the beach, and h) newer parks for families.
Before I forget, I'm so sorry that you are leaving Hawaii for SFL. I dont know if you live in Honolulu, but we loved that city for its diversity, easy accessibility to some great family activities and beautiful climate. Here if you want people from not only from Latin America than Broward has more diversity compared to most Miami-Dade neighborhoods especially west Miami-Dade. The demographics are different here. It is very self-centered culture here. Granted, I have not encountered the rudeness, yet. Everyone has been friendly for the past 90 days. Here an auto is a staple. As for weather, July and August are very humid and hot, otherwise it is very nice. People here tend to keep their homes at arnd 72 degrees(brrr) and do not step out until after 6p.
Here are a few items to consider 1) if you want the commute to be <60 mins. depending on where you work in MIA, FLL is off your location list. And West Palm is not an option. 2) Weston has great schools but is way west. If you like an urban area then you will not like Weston. 3) Hable espanol? It will be important if you choose to live in the Miami area. 4) Coral Gables, & Pinecrest in Miami have good schools but the traffic is horrendous.
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