When to begin looking
Plan on beginning your search about six to eight weeks before your move. This will allow you enough time to really sift through the available properties as well as giving you time to hold out for your ideal new place. It is best to find an agent to help locate rentals because this town has a very low rental vacancy rate--you'll want to have every edge, advantage, and inside track you can find. Also, pay close attention to the time of year and weather. Moving your furniture while wearing a raincoat can't be fun.
What is needed for your search
Just the basics needed here. Bring your list of needs to share with the agent and be ready for compromises based on availability. Also, your references and history from prior rentals as well as proof of income and a credit check are standard. Expect to be ready to hand over application fees, first and last months' rent, and any other security deposits required. And that's it! Welcome to South Florida and all of the excitement the area has to offer!
Royal Palm Ranches: A neighborhood with a few medium- to large-sized single-family homes and townhouses for rent. The operative word here is few, because this is a very desirable neighborhood to live in: The vacancy rate is a very low 2.8 percent. So, unless you want to build your own house in this area, you will have to act fast for any rental availability the moment something opens up.
Sunshine Acres: This is a hard area to find any vacancies, but once you do, plop your anchor down: You won't want to ever leave. The vacancy rate is about 1 percent, attesting to that fact and the rental prices, if you can find one, are extremely reasonable for the area.
N Hiatus Rd/SE Lake Blvd: An urban neighborhood with shops, businesses, and local restaurants that make this a very walkable neighborhood to live in. The vacancy rate is slightly higher at 3.2 percent, which gives you better odds for finding an apartment, townhouse or a single-family home to lease. The rents here are moderate to high, but not high enough to have your eyes bulging out of your sockets! Thank goodness.
Griffin Rd/SW 87th Ave: This is an urban neighborhood. The vacancy rate is at 4.2 percent, which is quite low compared to the rest of the country.
Griffin Rd/SW 118th Ave: This is an urban neighborhood. There are very few vacancies here. Rental units, though not very prevalent, are surprisingly affordable.
City Center: Flanked on the east side by Cooper Colony Golf and Country Club and to the north by Tree Tops Park, this urban neighborhood is lush, walkable, and, most importantly, livable. That's a relief! Real estate vacancies are a tad higher in this area.