In addition to meaning “look at the sea”, Miramar is a city in Florida. It also happens to be a landlocked city in Florida where you’d be hard-pressed to catch a view of the sea at all, but no sense arguing with nomenclature. I’m sure the city fathers had their reasons.
Miramar is centrally located about halfway between the raucous party towns of Miami and Fort Lauderdale and amongst the maze of small bedroom communities and suburbs where many worker bees crash, searching for more affordable real estate or quiet streets for the kiddos in exchange for what is not infrequently a hellish morning commute. Ah, the choices we make. While residents will give you varied opinions on just how desirable Miramar is these days, you simply can’t beat the Florida sunshine with a bushel of oranges. Median rents here hover around $1300 and those dollars will get you considerably more space for hosting mojito tastings and late night dance parties than in Miramar’s coastal neighbors.
Just to set the record straight from the beginning, neighborhoods in south Florida don’t exist. They have “developments” instead. As any statistics sheet will tell you, most people in this area commute in to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, so places like Miramar and environs are effectively their own neighborhoods. That isn’t to say that there aren’t good and bad parts of each one, but it’s necessary to take a broader scope when it comes to real estate here. Architecturally, condos and townhouses are by far the most plentiful, but single family homes and apartment complexes do still exist, though they can be a bit harder to come by. Don’t worry, they all come with palm trees.
When it comes to setting up shop here, West Miramar is universally considered the place to go. Though referred to more than once as “very vanilla”, this little slice of Florida suburbia delivers if you’re seeking a strictly bedroom community with newer construction, safe streets and good schools.
Monarch Lakes and Montclair are popular options located near Flamingo Road and Miramar Parkway but the gated lifestyle comes with a price tag generally not lower than $1200 for a decent 2BR or $1600 for a 3BR townhouse. Studios and 1BR condos can get as low as $900. Miramar’s nightlife is mostly nearby along Pines Boulevard and offers the usual chain restaurants and malls; if gallery openings and coffee houses are crucial to your social life, be prepared to spend a lot of time making the 30 minute drive to either Fort Lauderdale or Miami.
The quickest advice Miramar residents will offer and realtors will demur on is that East Miramar is, to put it kindly, less-than-desirable. Unfortunately, the crime rates will back it up. If you like to live life on the edge and “Gritty” is your middle name, however, East Miramar is calling for you. Understandably, housing prices are lower here with studios going for as low as $550, but you may have to offset that with the cost of a Doberman and a pretty savvy security system. It must be said that many residents have lived here and had no problems, but to put it kindly, it’s a gamble. Big bucks, no whammies!
Like the rest of South Florida, the Miramar area blends into various other communities and makes it very possible to live and work in different townships. Pembroke Pines, Cooper City and Davie are all within a 30 minute commute to Miramar and only slightly longer to Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Sadly, these areas don’t really offer much more than Miramar in the way of cultural activities, but you can certainly rest easy at night. Pembroke Pines is an increasingly popular option for young families prioritizing safety and quiet neighborhoods but single family home rentals prices will easily climb into the $3000 bracket. One- and two-bedroom townhouses or condos can be had for as low as $800 but typically around $1200. Cooper City and Davie enjoy good reputations as well with similar price ranges. Proximity to highways and turnpikes will be an important factor if you plan to commute, as will a therapist and potentially anti-anxiety meds.
South Florida is becoming famous for its traffic congestion and sadly, this affects real estate in that it has become one of the larger deciding factors when it comes to choosing a place to live. The amount of traffic, ongoing construction, proximity to highways and length of commute are all more important factors here than in other parts of the country and unless you lick envelopes from home professionally with your cat Mr. Pickles, you’ll need to strongly consider them. Public transportation is not prolific, but it becomes more of an option the closer you get to the Fort Lauderdale/Miami metros. As with many US cities, the more suburban the area, the more car-centric it tends to be. Miramar is no different, so a car is virtually mandatory. Or maybe a rocket-propelled scooter with some handlebar streamers. Up to you.
While you may feel cheated at the lack of ocean views in Miramar, it must be said that it’s not a bad place to bunk down for a while. Florida housing prices are nearing insanity levels, but Miramar manages to offer some safe, clean places at reasonable rates. Though the city doesn’t offer much to its residents in the way of nightlife and arts culture, its location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale won’t leave you at a total loss for art house cinema. Admittedly, you’re much more likely to stumble onto an ultra-posh club with a bouncer the size of a house than a really great underground coffee shop or art gallery anywhere in Florida, but then again, life is full of trade-offs. If the south Florida sun is calling your name, then Miramar is waiting for you! Just bring pictures of the ocean.
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