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Renter's Guide to Fort Lauderdale
Once known as Spring Break Central, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the famous Fort Lauderdale Beach have been transformed from “Liquordale” to a dynamic tourist haven marked by an award-winning wavewall, a dazzling beachfront promenade and countless shopping and entertainment venues. With 165 miles of inland waterways and canals, prominent beaches and the charismatic Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale is not only scenic but captivating.
Fort Lauderdale attracts 12 million visitors, of which 2.1 million are international tourists. The City of Fort Lauderdale is home to nearly 166,000 residents in 34.7 square miles.
Fort Lauderdale is only 31.4 miles from Miami via I-95 South and approximately 189 miles from Key West via US1. Fort Lauderdale beaches are 212 miles from Orlando FL and 1,259 miles from New York City.
Beachgoers love Fort Lauderdale’s tropical climate where the average temperature is a comfortable 75.5 degrees F. Average annual precipitation is 66.49 inches.
Cost of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL
The cost of living in Fort Lauderdale is significantly less than living in Miami.
The public bus system is very reasonable with one way fares costing $1.50 and an all-day pass priced at $3.50. A 7-day fare runs $7.00. Water Taxi Fort Lauderdale offers 12 pickup stations along the Intracoastal and 3 more in nearby Hollywood, FL.
Dining in Fort Lauderdale offers diversity and attractive affordability. An individual meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about $14.00. A three-course dinner for two at a mid-range Fort Lauderdale restaurant runs about $50.00. A bottle of imported beer averages $5.00 while a cappuccino averages $3.71.
Basic utilities, including water, electricity, heating and trash, for a 915-square-foot apartment typically cost $155.50 per month. Internet service in Fort Lauderdale averages $52.45 per month.
Average Rent in Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Fort Lauderdale, FL Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,959 /mo
Fort Lauderdale, FL Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00043%
Fort Lauderdale, FL Rent Trends
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Average rent is projected to grow by 2% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Fort Lauderdale
With one of Florida’s most famous beaches, tourism is ever-present in Fort Lauderdale. This tourist paradise is more subdued than in South Beach. Today, the 30,000-member Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and the prolific Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale with Riverwalk Linear Park and the stunning Downtown Riverwalk give testimony to the city’s philosophical diversity.
Pros and cons of living in Fort Lauderdale
Guests and residents of Fort Lauderdale list cultural diversity, beach-life, outdoor activities and the area’s festival-like atmosphere as positive attributes. The City of Fort Lauderdale has a strong sports culture and reputation for family fun. On the downside, summer heat, humidity, risk of hurricanes and traffic during peak seasons are common complaints. Among residents aged 20-34, unemployment remains stubbornly high at 9.3%.
Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
Life in Fort Lauderdale is described as fun, educational, enlightening and stimulating. Jazz and art festivals abound, as do museums, water parks, nature centers, and casinos. The Broward Center for Performing Arts hosts concerts and Broadway shows in downtown’s vibrant Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment district.
With 278 campsites and parks, Fort Lauderdale has a proud tradition of outdoor enjoyment. Bayview Park, Canine Bach, and George English Park typify city’s commitment to outstanding public parks.
Tighten your seatbelts and get ready for round the clock entertainment. From trampolines at Sky Zone Fort Lauderdale to top flight comedy at Improv Fort Lauderdale or 3D films at Imax Fort Lauderdale, guests and residents find entertainment at every turn.
Shop until you drop at numerous shopping venues like Galleria Mall Fort Lauderdale, where a nifty $750 million redevelopment has sparked massive interest, and award-winning IKEA Fort Lauderdale, that works well with 9 Publix Fort Lauderdale locations.
Fort Lauderdale’s culinary diversity is geared to please natives and internationals. Enjoy international flavor of Japanese hibachi at Beninhana Fort Lauderdale, Mexican treats at Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, and Seafood treasures from Coconut. Ernie’s BBQ & Lounge, Tap 42, and Old Heidelberg Restaurant & Lounge are samplings of the 4,000 restaurants and 132 nightclubs that dot the Fort Lauderdale Beach scene. For gaming, imagine Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino or thoroughbred racing at Gulfstream Park in Hollywood FL.
With 16 prominent museums, Fort Lauderdale ranks among Florida’s elite cities for history, art and culture. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale was the second art institute founded in the US. NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is the 75,000 sq. ft. modernist home to stirring exhibitions and visual art presentations.
Families never tire of such attractions as Billie Swamp Safari or Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. Couples savor Flamingo Gardens, Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, and the High Taylor Birch State Park.
The city and community support healthy, active lifestyles with many free events, including Sun Trust Sunday Jazz Brunch, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Friday Night Sound Waves and ArtsPark Live at Young Circle. In peak season, free events make for nightly entertainment.
Horse racing at Gulfstream Park, numerous water sport activities, golf, tennis, and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL are local staples. In nearby Miami, the NFL Miami Dolphins, NHL Florida Panthers and the contending MLB Miami Marlins compete.
Expect a bit of seasonality but Fort Lauderdale sponsors annual events every month. The Las Olas Art Fair, the Orchid Show, the Florida Renaissance Festival and Crafts Village and the USTA National Clay Court Championships at Jimmy Evert Tennis Center guarantee tourists and locals are active and entertained. Not to be overlooked are the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade and the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which give credence to the city’s reputation as “Boat Capital of the World.”
Employment and Economy in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Despite a focus on tourism and hospitality, the economy in Fort Lauderdale has diversity with several Fortune 500 employers such as American Express, Bank of America, Motorola, AutoNation and University Hospital. As a major import-export hub, Port Everglades Fort Lauderdale plays an important role in the South Florida economy. The 557-bed non-profit Holy Cross Hospital is a member of Trinity Health and is another major employer in Fort Lauderdale.
The average age of residents in Fort Lauderdale is 42.1, higher than in Florida’s other tourist cities. 38% of the population is married. Commute times average just 20.18 minutes. The overall unemployment rate in Fort Lauderdale is 4.5%.
The Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport services South Florida and is the 21st busiest airport in the US. With total passenger traffic of 27 million and 650 daily commercial flights, FLL ranks the 13th largest airport in the US.
Education in Fort Lauderdale
The Broward County Public School Systems spends about $10,135 per student per year. The school system prides itself on its 17-1 student - teacher ratio. Broward County administers 23 public schools in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale High School has an enrollment of 2,075 students. The area is known for high quality private schools, successful charter schools and one of the most successful athletic programs in the nation.
Fort Lauderdale has a number of colleges and universities, including Broward College, City College, a satellite campus of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and another satellite of Florida International University (FIU). Keiser University, Nova Southeastern College and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale all have presences in Fort Lauderdale.
Tips for Renting in Fort Lauderdale
Seasonal and year round rental properties in Fort Lauderdale are in demand. Follow these tips to be sure you rent the home or apartment of your dreams.
Landlords in Fort Lauderdale typically rely on background checks and credit checks to qualify prospective tenants. Rental property owners in Fort Lauderdale require eviction and rental histories for each prospect over 18 years. Fees for these background checks cost between $35.00 and $150.00, which must be paid with the application to rent.
Fort Lauderdale landlords are likely to require advance deposits equal to three month’s rent: the first and last month’s rent plus a one-month security deposit. If the desired residence is a condominium, landlords require a common area deposit.
If you are relocating to the area from New York or another city, be prepared for approval wait times of 2 weeks or more before the landlord approves or rejects the rental application. In most cases, the quickest rental application approvals in Fort Lauderdale FL will come from owners of individual rental properties such as duplexes. These may also be your best bet for immediate occupancy.
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