Before Panama Beach became a spring-break destination for high-school and college students, Fort Lauderdale held that title as the go-to spot for young partygoers. However, things have changed since the mid-’80s, with Fort Lauderdale now focusing on a more family-friendly atmosphere and catering to an older crowd seeking a resort lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll explore the details of living in Fort Lauderdale, from the cost of living and job opportunities to the city’s neighborhoods and culture.
Living in Fort Lauderdale FL
Fort Lauderdale, with its population of about 180,000, is part of the vast Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area, which boasts over 5.5 million residents. In recent years, Fort Lauderdale has emerged from Miami’s shadow, experiencing substantial commercial and residential growth driven by a booming real estate market. While it offers 23 miles of beautiful beaches, it’s also known for its intricate canal system, earning it the nickname “Venice of America.”
Cost of Living
Is it expensive to live in Fort Lauderdale? Well, it depends on who you ask. Fort Lauderdale ranks as the seventh most expensive city in Florida, with a cost of living 37 percent higher than the national average, according to SalaryExpert. The average home listing price hovers around $495,000, while apartment rentals typically range from $1,470 to $2,053, based on the location.
The Job Market
Despite a fluctuating population due to seasonal residents, Fort Lauderdale has a robust job market in various fields. Some of the most common jobs and their average salaries include:
- Accountant: $70,000/year
- Registered nurse: $79,000/year
- Human resources manager: $90,000/year
- Web developer: $90,000/year
- Mechanical engineer: $106,000/year
- Paralegal: $64,000/year
- Real estate agent: $57,000/year
- Electrician: $57,000/year
- Photographer: $54,000/year
Getting Around the City
While some residents can manage without a car, it’s not ideal for most. Fort Lauderdale offers various transportation options, including:
- Sun Trolley: Provides six routes on a wave-and-ride system.
- Tri-Rail: A commuter rail line connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, with a second line extending north to Jupiter.
- Brightline: A privately owned passenger rail system connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando.
- B-Cycle/AvMed Rides: A bike-sharing program with 16 stations.
- Broward County Transit (BCT): Covering over 400 square miles, BCT operates 300 buses serving 1,600 stops.
The Best Neighborhoods
- Colee Hammock: A historic neighborhood in Downtown Fort Lauderdale known for its restored houses, condos, and highly-rated schools.
- Tarpon River: Great for families and young professionals with a working-class vibe and proximity to amenities.
- Victoria Park: Attracting upper-middle-class families and senior citizens, it’s a thriving, tight-knit community.
- Harbor Beach: An exclusive, gated community with marina and private beach club, offering stunning architecture and scenic views.
Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Lauderdale
- Beautiful Beaches: Eight beautiful beaches along 23 miles of coastline make Fort Lauderdale a go-to spot for thalassophiles.
- Outstanding Food: The city boasts a diverse culinary scene, particularly known for Central and South American cuisine.
- Traffic Woes: Traffic congestion can be a significant challenge, prompting the need for Sunpass fees for highway use.
- The Weather: While the mild winters are appealing, the summer heat can be extreme, with occasional hurricanes and torrential downpours.
Culture and Nightlife
The city is home to over 4,100 restaurants and 120 nightclubs, with many concentrated in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District along Las Olas Boulevard. The district includes cultural venues like the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The city also features a vibrant nightlife with popular bars and restaurants.
For live music enthusiasts, the Escape Lounge and Culture Room are great choices. The annual Tortuga Music Festival offers a wide variety of acts in one place, while the South Florida Symphony Orchestra caters to more refined tastes. Art lovers will find numerous museums, including the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Museum of Discovery and Science, Coral Springs Museum of Art, and the African American Research Library and Cultural Center.
Living in Fort Lauderdale has its perks, from beautiful beaches to a diverse culinary scene and a thriving job market. However, it’s essential to consider factors like the cost of living, traffic congestion, and the climate before making the move. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, get a taste of the city’s vibe and decide if Fort Lauderdale is the right place for you. Good luck with your decision!
Q : What is the average cost of living in Fort Lauderdale Florida?
A : The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is 37% higher than the national average, with an average home listing price of around $495,000.
Q : How’s the job market in Fort Lauderdale?
A : Fort Lauderdale offers a robust job market with opportunities in various fields, including accounting, nursing, web development, and more.
Q : Is Fort Lauderdale expensive to live in?
A : Yes, Fort Lauderdale has a cost of living that’s 37% higher than the national average. Housing and rental prices are notably higher, but it offers various job opportunities to help offset the expenses.
Q : Can I live in Fort Lauderdale without a car?
A : While it’s possible to live in Fort Lauderdale without a car, it’s not ideal for most residents. The city offers various transportation options, but having a car is often more convenient.