16 Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Updated On October 8, 2023

Just 30 miles north of Miami lies the coastal city of Fort Lauderdale, nicknamed the “Venice of America” due to its 165 miles of scenic canals.

The city is known for its diverse communities, gorgeous beaches, and vibrant lifestyle.

If you’re planning to move to Fort Lauderdale, it’s best to learn more about its positive and negative aspects before leaving your old home behind.

Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons of living in this area.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Pros of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you’re from the frigid North, you’ll love Fort Lauderdale’s warm, sunny climate.

You’ll never have to contend with snow, ice, or freezing temperatures again.

So, the first pro we’ll start with is:

1. Beautiful Weather

Sunny days and balmy nights are a great reason to move to Fort Lauderdale.

The perfect weather for fun in the sun!

The hot season starts in May and lasts through October, bringing temperatures in the 90s.

This is when people head for the beach to cool off.

The rest of the year sees daytime highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 60s at night.

It’s no wonder Fort Lauderdale is considered a virtual paradise.

2. Affordable Rent

Compared to other vacation hotspots in the country, rentals in Fort Lauderdale are reasonably priced.

Studio apartments average around $1,059 monthly.

One and two-bedroom apartments go for roughly $1,200 and $1,500.

Larger apartments and condos are available as well for students or young professionals to share.

Rental options are everywhere for easy access to work, school, or play.

Affordable rentals make it possible for those starting out in life to make Fort Lauderdale their new home.

3. Flexible Transportation

Unlike many cities which are spread out in all directions, Fort Lauderdale is fairly compact.

This makes it incredibly easy to get around.

In many areas, you can find what you need within walking or biking distance of your home.

This reduces your dependency on driving.

There are also multiple options for public transport such as Broward County Transit, Amtrak, Brightline, Tri-Rail, and local carpooling.

Imagine the money you can save on gas!

4. Educational Opportunities

A move to Fort Lauderdale is a move toward quality education on every level.

Your kids and teens will become part of the 6th largest school district in the country.

Fort Lauderdale is home to over 280 leading schools and a number of universities and colleges.

It’s feasible to complete a high school education, get your Bachelor’s degree, and proceed to a graduate and doctorate program without ever leaving the comfort of home.

5. Never a Dull Moment!

There is no shortage of stimulating things to do and see in Fort Lauderdale.

It’s a place where everyone can get on board.

You can hit the beach and soak up the sun, tour the Riverwalk Arts District, or head to Sawgrass Mills for some serious shopping.

There are countless parks, museums, and nature preserves to explore.

The weather’s perfect for spending time outdoors.

Swimming, biking, hiking, kayaking, rollerblading, and parasailing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy.

6. Natural Beauty

Fort Lauderdale is a nature lover’s dream come true.

The city is virtually surrounded by natural beauty.

Gorgeous beaches align the coastline for miles.

There are also beautiful state parks like the Everglades and nature reserves filled with scenic trails and wildlife.

A half-hour drive away is Coconut Creek – home of Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park on the planet.

Here you’ll also find Helene Klein Pineland Preserve, home to over 50 species of wildlife.

7. Incredible Beaches

Fort Lauderdale’s stunning beaches are its trademark.

With 23 miles of coastline, almost every part of the city is within 30 minutes of the ocean.

The beaches in this area are known for their white sands and sparkling clear waters.

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hollywood Beach, Deerfield Beach, and Blue Wave are among some of the local favorites.

The calm, shallow waters of Blue Wave Beach make it a safe, kid-friendly environment.

Dolphin sightings are common and the sunset views are never disappointing!

8. Laid Back Lifestyle

Fort Lauderdale is a great place to unwind from the stress and pressures of life.

There’s fun to be had in this vacation hotspot and people tend to do just that.

Daytime is beach time and all the amenities that come with it.

At night, there’s wining, dining, and live entertainment at Las Olas Blvd. or the Hollywood Boardwalk.

Yes, people work for a living, but it’s not the main focus of their lives.

It’s one reason people choose this area to retire.

Cons of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Despite its beauty and charm, Fort Lauderdale isn’t perfect.

If you move here, there are negative aspects you’ll have to deal with.

These include:

1. High Cost of Living

Fort Lauderdale is a pricey place to live.

In fact, it’s the 7th most expensive city in the state.

Compared to the rest of the country, Fort Lauderdale has a cost of living that’s 37% higher than the U.S. average.

The average home sells for roughly $500,000 – 30% higher than the assessed value of home properties.

The cost of food, groceries, and entertainment is high and prices tend to rise when tourists arrive.

You’ll have to decide if the beaches are really worth the steep cost of everything else.

2. Tourists!

Fort Lauderdale receives over 20 million tourists annually.

The only way to escape the onslaught of tourists is to stay home!

During the tourist season, you can expect the beaches, restaurants, malls, and local attractions to be saturated.

Add to that the snowbirds who flock down south during winter to escape the cold.

There’s no real “off-season” when you live in this vacation paradise.

You’ll be dealing with tourists and snowbirds for life!

3. Traffic

Traffic in Fort Lauderdale can be appalling.

Some days it’s comparable to traffic in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta and New York.

During tourist season, traffic jams and highway congestion are the norm.

Choosing a home close to school, work or retail shops can reduce the time you spend on the road.

You can also take public transport or carpool to take the pressure off of driving on your own.

If you’re commuting to Miami for work, be sure to budget for the cost of toll roads.

4. High Crime

Safety is important when choosing a new home.

A high crime rate can put you and your family in danger of harm.

Sadly, Fort Lauderdale’s property and violent crime rates are higher than most.

This puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim of crime by making Fort Lauderdale your home.

You can counter these risks by staying alert, being cautious in your activities, and using wisdom in making daily decisions.

5. Extreme Humidity

The sun shines in Fort Lauderdale practically year-round.

Summer heat can be greatly intensified by humidity.

Humidity can add 10 or more degrees to the actual temperature outside, making it unbearable to be outdoors.

There are times when even a dip in the ocean won’t cool you off.

The best way to deal with extreme humidity is an efficient AC system, which no home should be without.

6. Hurricanes

Fort Lauderdale also faces the risk of hurricanes.

Hurricane season runs from June through the end of November.

Tropical storms are more frequent than hurricanes, but they both can cause extensive damage to a home.

It’s advisable to be prepared by stocking up on necessities in advance.

As hurricanes bring the threat of wind and water damage, flood and hurricane insurance makes a prudent investment.

7. Bugs

Bugs are part and parcel of the Florida life.

Where there’s hot, humid weather, there are bugs.

Fort Lauderdale has its share of annoying insects ranging from mosquitoes to fire ants, cockroaches, and spiders.

If you’re afraid of bugs, living in Fort Lauderdale can be challenging.

By having your home sprayed regularly, you can keep these pests at bay.

Just keep in mind it’s a year-round problem that won’t just go away on its own.

8. Dangerous Animals

In addition to bugs, you may run into a few dangerous animals while living in Fort Lauderdale.

The area is home to alligators, the Florida black bear, and even wild boars.

Snakes like cottonmouths, copperheads, and rattlesnakes are also common in this area.

At the beach, there’s a risk of getting stung by jellyfish or bit by a shark.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

16 Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FLCons of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL
1. Beautiful Weather1. High Cost of Living
2. Affordable Rent2. Tourists!
3. Flexible Transportation3. Traffic
4. Educational Opportunities4. High Crime
5. Never a Dull Moment!5. Extreme Humidity
6. Natural Beauty6. Hurricanes
7. Incredible Beaches7. Bugs
8. Laid Back Lifestyle8. Dangerous Animals

Fort Lauderdale Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Fort Lauderdale Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Fort Lauderdale a diverse city?

This coastal paradise is as diverse as cities come.

Over 100 languages are spoken here and about 30% of the city’s residents come from abroad.

You’ll have no problem connecting with people you feel comfortable with and who make you feel at home.

What are some interesting facts about Fort Lauderdale, FL?

Fort Lauderdale’s extensive coastline extends for 23 miles.

Greater Fort Lauderdale is considered the gambling hotspot of Florida.

Fort Lauderdale holds the title of “Yachting Capital of the World.”

The city is home to such celebrities as musician Marilyn Manson and actors Lee Majors and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Are there good eateries in Fort Lauderdale?

The dining scene in Fort Lauderdale is the best!

Local restaurants blend delectable South Florida seafood with international delights to satisfy every palate.

You can enjoy such favorites as fish tacos, grouper, sea bass, and freshly caught lobster, shrimp, or crab.

Dozens of new restaurants, eateries, cafés, and taverns are springing up all the time.

What are some interesting things you can do in Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale is a treasure trove when it comes to activities to enjoy.

For the adventurous at heart, there are:

  • Jet skiing and parasailing at local beaches
  • Kayaking through the Venetian Isles
  • Taking a Jungle Queen River cruise
  • Exploring the Everglades or
  • Canoeing through Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful canals

How’s the job market in Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale enjoys a flourishing job market and economy.

Although tourism is at the forefront of the local economy, jobs can also be found in healthcare, education, retail, finance, and technology.

AutoNation, Smartwater CSI, Citrix Systems, and Broward County Public Schools are some of the city’s top employers.

2 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Fort Lauderdale, FL

  1. The weather is HOT, there is no way around it, I mean it’s blazing hot!

    But living near a beach, without the high cost of living that Miami has and all the benefits of living in Florida I think it’s worth the heat, it’s nice here, and winters are INCREDIBLE, with little to no humidity and a great time to go to the beach, winters in the north are too harsh for me, I am glad to be done with the snow.

  2. E
    Emily Allard says:

    Reasonable rents? Are you referring to the 70’s? Rents here are ridiculously overpriced.

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