I’m a South Florida native, but trust me when I say that don’t mean I’m from Miami. I was born in Pembroke Pines, went to high school in Coral Springs, and have family spread out all over Davie, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Plantation. In other words, I’m from Broward County, not Miami-Dade.

As someone who identifies as a ‘Broward Girl’, I have always been reluctant to make the move to Miami. I didn’t like the idea of daily traffic, endless construction, and being further away from my family. It was because of this reluctance that I chose to live in Fort Lauderdale during my 1L summer at Bilzin Sumberg last year. Instead of getting a parking pass for the office building, Bilzin Sumberg provided me with a Brightline pass, and I used it along with the free people-mover in Miami to make my commute.

This summer is looking a lot different. This summer, I caved. I said goodbye to my rent-free lifestyle and am now subleasing an apartment in South Miami. Therefore, as someone who has gotten to do both, I wanted to share my take on the differences between living in Miami and choosing to live elsewhere, specifically from the perspective of someone who is working in the Brickell area.

PROS of Living in Miami

  • Convenience: the #1 best part about living in Miami is the convenience. It is much more convenient to be 5-30 minutes from the office compared to 1-2 hours. While the Brightline train system allows for other cities to be more convenient, what living in Miami does is keep home close. Whether you feel sick, need to walk the dog, are running late for work, or forgot your lunch, living closer makes it easy to quickly get home, which is sometimes the only selling point one needs.
  • Networking: Miami has really become the hub for young and new professionals to network and meet likeminded individuals. Whether you’re looking to expand your business portfolio or simply make new friends, there’s really no other city in South Florida that can turn a happy hour into an unexpectedly amazing social opportunity like Miami. This is especially important for those who are not locals and are looking to quickly build new friendships.
  • Lifestyle: it goes without saying that there is a lot to do in Miami. Catch an NBA Miami Heat game, go to South Beach, visit all the fancy restaurants you see online, etc. With all these options, it’s hard to ever be bored. Does it get expensive?….Yes. But boy does it make for some awesome memories and photo ops.

CONS of Living in Miami

  • Traffic: the problem with Miami being labeled as the “dream” place to be is that traffic is inevitable. Morning traffic. Lunch hour traffic. Evening traffic. Event Traffic. Weekend Night traffic. There are a lot of people in Miami and everyone always seems to have somewhere that they need to be. Therefore, be ready to accept the you may still need to account for traffic delays even if you technically live only a couple miles from the office.
  • Isolation: being in Miami makes getting to places near Miami easy, but what about all the places outside of that bubble? Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, to name a few. Being in Miami makes getting to these cities much more of a hassle, and sometimes this can discourage you to venture elsewhere, which would be a shame since South Florida as a whole has so much to offer!
  • Price: I tell people that South Florida is an awesome place to live, but only if you can afford it, and that is especially true for Miami. Not only is Miami one of the most, if not the most, expensive cities in the country to live in considering rent alone, but with so many financial temptations at one’s fingertips, it can make it hard to live a budget-friendly lifestyle.

PROS of Not Living in Miami

  • Accessibility: just as living in Miami can make it more difficult to explore cities outside of its bubble, living outside of Miami can allow you to more easily take that drive and see what else South Florida has to offer. While cities like Doral, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, and Dania Beach may not be everyone’s first choice for a night out, one would be surprised about how great those cities can be, especially if you want a break from the Miami hustle and bustle.
  • Housing Options: opting to live outside of Miami does provide more diverse and affordable housing options. Whether you’re looking to spend less on rent or are in need of a house with a backyard rather than an apartment, looking outside of Miami will definitely give you more options to choose from, and can assist you in finding a home that will fit you’re lifestyle rather than you having to fit your lifestyle to Miami.
  • Peace & Quiet: one problem that a lot of people have with Miami is that it’s very busy and congested. If you are someone who prefers peace and quiet, living outside of Miami may be the perfect option. This is because a lot of the neighboring cities in Broward County or even out West in Miami-Dade county are more geared towards older individuals or families. Nonetheless, almost every city in South Florida has some kind of young population and normally you’re never too far from the night life.

CONS of Not Living in Miami

  • Inconvenience: living outside of Miami is completely inconvenient. The drive to work is most likely minimum an hour instead of otherwise, and getting home if needed is not as easy of an action. As mentioned above, the Brightline can help, but it will never be as easy as living down the street. Not to mention the gas money that you’ll need to spend if you find yourself having to go into the office often.
  • Separation: if you’re not from South Florida, living in a city that is not as known for it’s social atmosphere can easily make one feel like they’re missing out on the Miami action, especially if everyone you know lives in Miami. This is less of a problem if you already have connections or family elsewhere, but for some who moves to Miami completely solo, it may make being further away from social scene more difficult.
  • Price: no matter where you live in South Florida, it most likely won’t be cheap. Therefore, some find it hard to justify the amount of rent required to be in a city that is far away from the office. To a lot of people, the fact that they’ll be spending a lot of money anyways makes Miami’s extra price tags worth it.