Moving to Fort Lauderdale
America has a lot to offer with some amazing regions that many people over the years have chosen to relocate to. One such part of the country is the sun-kissed state of Florida. For decades, Americans and other people from around the world have chosen to move to Fort Lauderdale and similar places for good reason.
It's blessed with endless days of sunshine and a laid back atmosphere that everyone gets to enjoy. But it's not just the tropical climate that lures people to this particular part of the United States because there's a lot more going on in Fort Lauderdale and it keeps the community thriving and happy.
Being an oceanfront town, everything about the place is beach oriented and if there's one thing Fort Lauderdale is not short of – it is miles of inviting white sandy beaches. With this said, the canals are a huge draw too with stunning homes and other fabulous properties that line these waterways, all naturally boast their own private piers and smart yachts and other sailing craft moored up at them.
You can't help but be impressed as you cruise along any of the beautiful canals that make up Fort Lauderdale as you make your way to one of the many welcoming oysters bars along the way.
Fort Lauderdale is a thriving community that's earned the nickname of the “Venice of America” and with around 500 miles of waterways, it's a little bit of Italy on a grand scale. It's no wonder that a vast number of its population live aboard their yachts. It's an artist’s paradise, a tourist's idea of heaven and if you move here, you get to enjoy it all throughout the year.
Compared to other areas of the US, the job front in Fort Lauderdale is pretty weak although over recent years things have started to pick up. In fact, with tourism being a major industry, if anything things have been on the up in the leisure industry and as a result other industries have benefited, too.
With this said, there are quite a few companies on the look-out for the right people in the hotel and leisure niche, but with everyone in this sunshine state being incredibly health conscious, physios and other health professionals often find it that much easier to find employment.
The same can be said for anyone who has any professional sailing knowledge and/or crewing qualifications. There are literally thousands of sailing and other craft owned by people living in the Fort Lauderdale area and many of them need to be manned!
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The one thing to bear in mind, is that without a green card or similar US work permit, and if you are not an American resident, you can't work anywhere in the States and this includes on yachts or other sailing craft. The best place to start a job search is on a few online noticeboards, Linkedin is another great platform which gives you a good idea of the sort of jobs available in the Fort Lauderdale area that would suit your area of expertise.
Living costs are a lot higher than America's national average - but less than West Coast cities Los Angeles and San Diego, but with this said it's a great time to relocate to Fort Lauderdale because it's still possible grab a bargain on the property front.
The market just having started to rise again since it bottomed out back in 2005 means you can still find properties for a good price especially in up and coming neighbourhoods. The median house price is around $220,000 with incomes standing at about $51,500 or a little above.
Though the rent is here here than in Tampa or Orlando, groceries are still cheaper here. It works out less expensive than living or eating out in a city like London. A meal for two in a good restaurant in Fort Lauderdale will set you back around $45.
A litre of milk in a supermarket costs 26 cents while the price of a loaf of bread is 66 cents, domestic beer costs $4 and a bottle of water will set you back $1.44.
When it comes to utilities, monthly bills will typically set you back as follows:
Electricity, water and garbage collection for an average sized apartment - $160.57
Prepaid mobile – cost per 1 min on normal tariff - $0 .45
Internet - $ 49.00
Two of the top providers are Sprint and T-Mobile, but there are others that also offer some good deals which are worth checking out before making your final decision on who to sign up with.
Sun Trolley – a wave and ride transport system that really works. There's no “stops” as such, you just stand in a safe spot and wave the trolley down and they’ll stop and pick you up. It's free to ride on the trolleys, but there is a charge of anything from $1 to $3 if you want to go to the beach or Las Olas Boulevard.
Riverwalk Water Trolley – for those who live on waterways or on their boats, the option of using this service is brilliant with the bonus being that most of the routes are free!
The Bus System – another great way of getting around Fort Lauderdale, this system is cheap to use – fares are $1.50 per person or you can opt to buy a 7 day ticket which only costs around $13 and you can get to go just about everywhere you want to.
Yellow Cab – this is the main taxi service in Fort Lauderdale. The only thing to bear in mind is that often the drivers don't like making short trips, preferring longer ones but you have to make sure you have the right address and to keep an eye on the meter – it can be an expensive way of getting around the place!
If you decide to rent first you have to expect to pay an average monthly rent of anything from $950 to $2,250 depending on whether you choose to live in the city centre or a little way out with the median rent standing at around $1,800.
The median value of a property in Fort Lauderdale stands at around $272,000 with prices having gone up 4% in the last year and it's believed the rise will continue in the year to come.
Naturally, some of the most desirable neighbourhoods are found along the waterways and canals with locations like Victoria Park, The Isles and Hammock being some of the most desirable.
Family friendly: Rio Vista - which boasts speed bumps to prevent cars from speeding through the neighbourhood. Another popular choice is Victoria Park which is particularly scenic. Other areas worth checking out are Coral Ridge, Cooper City and Weston.
Upmarket: Areas like Bal Harbour, Bermuda Riviera and Coral Ridge are just three of the most desirable, top end areas to live. Many the these properties have exquisite gardens that drop down to the water where you'll find some of the most expensive luxury yachts on the planet moored up.
Hip and trendy: around Las Olas Boulevard and Sailboat Bend - where you'll find some amazing arts and crafts shops and a nice relaxed atmosphere. Fort Lauderdale's artists congregate in this great part of town which makes it an exciting place to spend time in and visit.
Up and coming: Tarpon River - which property gurus think offers people great investment opportunities. Another area worth checking out is Flagler Village or Heights which is just a little further north and where the cost of a townhouse or bungalow is anything around $300,000 to $600,000.
Cost of moving to Fort Lauderdale
Naturally, the cost of making a move to Fort Lauderdale will depend on how much you are planning to take with you. With this said, the costs below are based on the price of shipping a 20 ft container to Fort Lauderdale from the following international cities:
Schools and education
Broward County Public Schools take care of public education in Fort Lauderdale which includes around 16 elementary schools, 4 middle as well as 3 high schools which are all located within the city limits. The top rated schools include:
- Bayview Elementary School
- Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School
- City/Pembroke Pines Charter High School
- Broward Virtual School
Universities in Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to college higher education and universities, many of them offer great program options and are run as non-profit mainstream educational facilities with 3 of the best being:
Nova Southeastern University a Tier 2 educational facility offers 127 programmes and is a privately run boasting a higher than average reputation in many fields including research.
Broward College is ranked as being one of the top 20 colleges in the country and offers 76 programmes of which several are Bachelor's courses.
Sheridan Technical Centre is ranked #101 as a nursing school in Florida and offers 58 programmes which includes several types of undergraduate courses
Ranking in the world
Over the years Fort Lauderdale has earned the reputation of being the “quintessential” Florida and as such people have been drawn to the city whether they relocated from elsewhere in the States or from abroad. Compared to moving to Miami, the city boasts a more relaxed and less confrontational atmosphere.
Tourism figures highly in this sunshine State and the hospitality industry is one of the best in the country.
Shopping is excellent, the choice of fine dining is superb and there's a choice of restaurants to suit most tastes and budgets. However, as compared to other States, the cost of living tends to be a little higher and this includes rents and the cost of higher end properties.
All in all, Florida and in particular Fort Lauderdale offers an excellent lifestyle and continues to be one of the top choices in the United States.
A day in the life
Fort Lauderdale is quintessential Florida where outdoor living is enjoyed at its best. Healthy living is the order of the day and with a superb choice of activities, there's something for everyone whether it's spending time on a superb sandy beach, checking out the many art galleries or sampling life on the water, Fort Lauderdale has it all.
Mornings at the beach, lunch at one of the many fine restaurants along the waterways or in a trendy area like Las Olas Boulevard. An afternoon spent exploring the many shops and galleries before relaxing in the evening under a star filled sky is the norm in Fort Lauderdale.
It's what makes this ocean-front city so attractive and why so many Americans and foreigners choose this safe haven to call their home.