No one likes to be called a rat, except for Cutler Bay residents. To this day, some residents still refer to themselves as Ridge Rats.
Located in Miami-Dade County on the Florida coast, Cutler Bay is a town that spans almost 10 square miles and has about 40,000 residents. What the town doesn't have is its own incorporated government, but who really cares about that anyway?
Moving to Cutler Bay
You won't need to hit the lottery to move here. Some apartment rentals are priced at far less than the national average. Nearly 25 percent of residents rent in this town, and vacancy rates are around the 8 percent mark. This means you may have to do a little digging, but with time and determination you can find an affordable apartment to rent in Cutler Bay.
With vacancy rates less than 10 percent, landlords here just aren't desperate for tenants. Since they can afford to be selective, you can't afford to show up without all of your ducks in a row. Go ahead and gather the things you need for your apartment search before you even think about pointing a toe in Cutler Bay's direction. You'll need clean clothes, of course. Showing up in wrinkled and dirty clothes is a sure way to hear a big fat "No" from a landlord. Then, you'll also need proof of income, because no landlord will just hand over the keys based on your promise to pay (no smart landlord anyway). Finally, you'll need good credit and good references. With these things in place, you'll have a better chance of getting approved for new digs.
If your credit score is very low, don't hang your head in shame. Anyone can fall on hard times. Buck up and take action. Ask someone who loves you to co-sign. If your loved one hesitates, just ask him when you can take up residence on his couch. That ought to get him moving.
You'll find many varied neighborhoods in this town. The right place for you depends on your budget and the type of housing you want. Here are some communities to consider:
Saga Bay:Some people just love a bargain, and if that describes you, you'll be very happy in this area. Average rental rates are far below the national average, yet residents tend to bring home decent paychecks. What a combination! This area offers rental homes of all sizes as well as apartment complexes and small apartment buildings. The bad news, and there always is some, is that most properties are owner-occupied and vacancy rates are low.
Franjo: If you got spoiled by the low rental prices in Saga Bay, you're in for a shock when you start looking in this neighborhood. Average rental prices here are close to double the national average. Most of the town homes and homes are owner-occupied, but you can still find some houses and apartments for rent. Just be prepared to pay a hefty bill when the rent comes due. Then again, you may never have to worry about this. Vacancy rates are close to 1 percent, so your chances of finding a rental aren't great anyway.
Lakes by the Bay:If you choose to look for an apartment rental here, you'll likely have an easy time of it. You have a couple of things going for you. First, the area has a vacancy rate of over 20 percent, and second, it has plenty of homes, town homes, and apartment complexes from which you can choose. You'll even find some high-rises. And the rent won't get you down here; you can find many options at affordable prices.
Town Center:This urban area offers affordable rental housing in the form of single-family homes and townhouses. You won't find as many apartment homes here as in some other parts of town. Like many parts of Cutler Bay, there are more owner-occupants here than renters, and the vacancy rate is only about 6 percent. If you want an all-bills-paid apartment, you will really have to hunt for it. And when you do find it, expect to pay handsomely.
Old Cutler Rd/SW 87th Ave:There aren't a lot of apartment homes here and not even a lot of renters, but there is a 10 percent vacancy rate. If you're good at finding things, you can probably hunt around and scrape up a few options. The area is mostly populated by owners, but there are some renters, too. The renters who do call this area home give up a significant portion of their paychecks to do so.
SW 97th Ave/SW 232nd St:You might just hit pay dirt if you look for new digs here. The area has a vacancy rate of about 15 percent, and the rental rates are close to the nation's average. Add this to the fact that a mixture of owners and renters live here; heap on the many apartment complexes, high-rises, and rental houses; and you're set up to find a good deal.
Old Cutler Rd/SW 103rd Ave:This urban neighborhood has plenty of small apartment buildings, apartment complexes, and high-rises, so you'll have a number of choices available to you. Here, renters make up most of the population, so you'll have like-minded neighbors right outside your door. Vacancy rates tend to stay in the 9 percent range, but that's not really the most exciting thing. What should light up your life is the rent. You can get a whole lot of bang for just a few bucks in this neck of the woods.
Living in Cutler Bay
Cutler Bay attracts people interested in over 240 sunny days per year and warm temperatures pretty much all of the time. Even in January, low temperatures only reach down into the 50s. The area's inlets, bays, and waterfront scenes are a major plus of living in this area -- beauty abounds. But the commute to work can be a major bummer. Average commute times here exceed 30 minutes. If you hate longish drives during rush hour, prepare yourself for daily irritation.
But to distract yourself from the bad commute, stop by Monkey Jungle, a zoo filled with over 30 species of monkeys! Ooh-ohh-ahh-ahh!