Miami (and the South Florida metro area) is a very diverse and spread out place and the city and many of its neighborhoods might be very new and different to people moving from elsewhere. It can be a bit overwhelming figuring out where to live and then finding a house or apartment.
From moving to Miami and having an interest in real estate I’ve found a few resources I like to use to look at real estate and help friends find apartments and houses in Miami. A great recommendation is to find a realtor to assist with your search whether you’re looking to buy or rent. For rentals in Miami most realtors are paid a fee by your landlord and is free to you!
A few resources to use before and during your search with a realtor are below, especially to get an idea of what your price range will get you and what’s available in certain areas. Something to mention is that for my own search and helping friends find apartments I was looking for condos in the central Miami-Dade area (Midtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, and North Bay Village), but I think these resources can also be helpful for those looking for a house anywhere or a condo in other areas of Miami.
*Some quick notes to know. Most of what people consider “Miami” is really more Miami-Dade County, which is made up of many different municipalities. South Beach is part of Miami Beach, which is it’s own city, as well as Coral Gables, where the University of Miami is. The actual city of Miami is large and contains neighborhoods like Brickell, Coconut Grove, and Midtown, but is only part of what people picture when they think of Miami.*
www.zillow.com– I use this all the time to look at properties for fun. What’s great is it allows you to filter searches by price, bedrooms, etc and then you can zoom in and out on a map, which can be very helpful to look within a specific area. For most properties there are usually a good number of pictures.
www.miamicondoinvestment.com– this site is specific for condos but it allows you to narrow your search by neighborhood and then by building, which I really like. Building’s profiles usually have pics of the general property. There’s also a handy iPhone app you can download.
http://www.miamibeach411.com/– this is a Miami Beach travel site that has a “Moving to Miami” forum, which is a great place to ask people about neighborhoods to look at and get other general advice.
*Pictures of Brickell from my condo search