Moving to Miami can be overwhelming. Miami-Dade County is huge. It is the overarching government body that covers all areas from Homestead on the south end to the Broward line in the north. This county encompasses many unincorporated areas, as well as 34 municipalities (cities like Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, Homestead, Doral etc). As a result, each area can be vastly different in services offered, crime, taxes, traffic, schools, cleanliness, pet-friendliness, affordability. Because of these huge differences between areas and cities, we recommend doing as much research as you can before deciding where the best location is for you, when moving to Miami.
Miami-Dade County has a great information friendly "311" customer service line. When you call, it's usually a very friendly and informative person at the other end. If they don't know an answer to your question, they know where to recommend you go for that answer. Try it out. Also, Miami-Dade Schools has a wonderful website. If you have school age kids or plan to... the website offers the ability to learn about neighborhood schools, find the school for a specific address, learn about school choice and magnet programs available in an area, and so much more.
Miami-Dade County "311"
Because many incorporated municipalities have chosen to control their own utilities, it can sometimes be a little confusing at first. Again, call 311 and they can tell you what utility company services your area or address. But these (below) are the most common helpful links:
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CONDOS and ASSOCIATIONS
If you're moving to Miami and into a condo or association... you'll probably need to schedule your move-in day ahead of time. If you attended an orientation in order to get your association approval... they probably handed you the move-in information you need. Restricted days? Need to pay security to use the elevator? Ask your landlord, your agent, check your association approval paperwork. You may need to call to schedule your move-in day and time up to a week in advance. Or pay a hefty fine!
TAKE PHOTOS BEFORE MOVE IN
At this time, you should take photos of the condition of the property. Especially have a photo and/or a written statement of any damage you see. Protect your security! Your security deposit it YOUR money. Make sure you don't get blamed for any damage that was there before you moved in! In this photo, the walls have existing nail holes and are a grey color.
Photograph/document the nail holes, so if you leave them - you aren't blamed later! Also, if you hate gray walls and want to paint them make sure to get WRITTEN permission beforehand!!
PROTECT YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT!
Avoid using screws and nails in walls.
USE MOVE-IN PHOTOS when it's time to move out. Remind yourself what the property should look like. The condition should be the same as when you moved in OR BETTER, minus normal wear and tear. What's considered normal wear and tear?