Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a city that is quickly becoming a desired place to live. Yet, the people that move there don’t realize the full story of Fort Lauderdale. There are many reasons to consider not living there, and we have listed some of them below.
1. Heat and Humidity
The most important thing to realize when discussing moving to the southern coast of the United States is that it is an incredibly different environment than most other areas of the country. From my experiences in Florida and Alabama, the heat and humidity can be unbearable in both! It’s not surprising or unusual to see people with sweat beaded on their foreheads and drenching their shirts, even when they haven’t been exercising.
In Fort Lauderdale, the average temperature is anywhere from 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit and the average humidity is around 70%. The higher the humidity, the higher the temperature feels. Natives to the area have become used to this reality, but for people moving from drier or colder places, it’s painful. This also leads to a lack of defined seasons.
2. Rising Sea Levels
For people far from the coast, the rising sea levels haven’t been a concern. However, in Fort Lauderdale, most people can easily walk to the coast. Sea levels tend to rise and fall naturally, but as of recently, the rate is increasing. Instead of the average 8-inch increase over time, some studies are showing that the rate of increase could be 2 feet or 24 inches by 2050. This was also mentioned to be a conservative estimate, meaning some projections estimate that it will be higher.
The big problem with this projection is that a lot of people in Fort Lauderdale only live 4-5 feet above sea level. The rising sea level could make their homes become uninhabitable. Many people might need to relocate in the next couple of years in order to not become unexpectedly homeless. It is unwise to move somewhere just to be evicted later because your home has become uninhabitable due to the ocean.
3. Too Many Boats
It’s amazing to live by the beach and to be able to go and enjoy the water. One of the many ways that people enjoy the water is by going boating. Going boating isn’t a bad activity, but the number of boats in the area can seem overwhelming. Fort Lauderdale is considered the Yacht capital of the United States with 50,000 boats on a shoreline of 300 miles. Boating also is a huge industry and supplies many jobs in the area.
One local mentioned how the boats tend to attract loud and young people who don’t have a ton of common sense. Yachts are also typically marketed to be used for parties and for big events. It can be hard to appreciate the beach and the coast if all a person can see and experience are the yachts nearby.
4. Bugs and Insects
Bugs and insects abound in the warm and humid areas of the world. Fort Lauderdale, Florida is no exception. There are about 12,500 different types of bugs in Florida. There are a plethora of different kinds of wasps, ants, flies, and cockroaches. Cockroaches are commonplace.
There are also other kinds of insect monstrosities there. One of them is called the Eastern Velvet Ant, which is actually just a wingless version of a wasp. The sting is so powerful that the insect is nicknamed “cow-killer”. No one wants to live in a place that is infested with bugs.
5. Lots of Tourism
Fort Lauderdale is a major hotspot for tourism. In fact, it is such a big industry there that it has created about 114,000 jobs. People are drawn to the beautiful, sapphire ocean and the proximity to the beach. There are also many different industries that are targeted toward tourism.
In 2013, over 13 million people visited this city, and the tourism industry has boomed since then. Tourists can make prices skyrocket and it makes the environment fast-paced. Some people are just not thrilled with that kind of city environment, which is completely understandable.
6. Too Many Party People
Another big complaint of locals in the area is that there are too many people who like to party all night. They mentioned that it can be lonely if a person isn’t into partying or is a little bit older and not into the same kind of things as other people in the area.
Besides there being over 100 marinas with boats to rent, there are also seemingly hundreds of bars, nightclubs, and other areas that attract people who want to party. They have a wide array of bar types as well. One that is popular is the Glitch bar, which has 100 house-crafted beers and an arcade where people can play games for hours on end. With so many tourists and different spots to celebrate and party, it is unsurprising that there are so many complaints about noise.
7. No Countryside
When a person lives in the city, sometimes it is nice to get a change in pace and try to enjoy some quieter and more rural areas. In Fort Lauderdale, it is difficult to find a place that isn’t super overpopulated or has a natural feel and view to it.
One local mentioned that it is pretty central in southern Florida, so a person is surrounded by places like the Everglades, Miami, Palm Beach, and the Atlantic. In order to get to the true, green countryside, it might take several hours of driving to get anywhere decent.
8. No Mountains
This is more of an issue for people who enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, or even just grew up near the Rockies or the Appalachian Mountains. The Mountains provide a beautiful and majestic scene that cannot be manufactured or replicated. Mountains are also a huge source of outside entertainment and exercise. In Fort Lauderdale, there are no mountains.
9. Lack of Parking
As with most big cities, there are simply not enough parking spots. Oftentimes, especially near the beaches, there is only limited daytime parking. People have to rely on parking garages and other parking lots that require paying at an hourly rate.
This is a venture that can end up being expensive over time. The city has created a map of different zones to show the difference between being a resident and a visitor with regard to the cost of parking. There is usually only a $1 difference. At first, it looks cheap because some areas are only $1 an hour.
However, if this is a place where someone needs to park for work, they could end up spending $40 a week in parking alone! This doesn’t consider the cost of the hourly cost is more like $2-$3 an hour. All of this adds to the cost of living, which is one of the biggest complaints of locals.
10. Cost of Living
The cost of living is ever-increasing in most parts of the country, especially in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale has a higher cost of living than the average cost in Florida and in the whole United States by around 11%. To put this in perspective, the average cost of living nationwide is $2,061 a month.
This is insane, especially when the minimum wage in Florida is about $10 an hour. The average salary of a household in the area is around $52,315. Locals mention that this is an incredibly large gap between income and costs. Especially as inflation continues to increase costs on everything.
11. Cost of Housing
The cost of housing is one of the biggest issues when it comes to the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A local who is a certified IR/CT/RT tech mentioned his fears about being able to work and live comfortably in Fort Lauderdale. Due to inflation, the average monthly rate of an apartment has shifted from a range of $1,300-$1,800 a month to over $2,000. The person mentioned that these apartments a year prior were only $1,500 a month.
He also mentioned having some immense fear that they wouldn’t be able to live where he wanted to, even though he works in healthcare. Healthcare is a field of industry that is known for making good, consistent, and stable income. This shows that a 33% increase in the cost of living in less than a year is something that few people can afford or even prepare to afford!
If someone is unsure or doesn’t have a job yet in the area, it would be unwise to move.
12. Public Education is Lacking
This is a problem that is mentioned by a few different people. One woman mentioned that Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have a great education system. Another mentioned that she has a daughter with dyslexia and ADHD whom she has needed to get a child advocate for. Her daughter has all of her academic needs met in a charter school.
However, it took being rejected from two private schools to find a charter school that would accept her daughter. This fact alone is disheartening because, in my experience with a sibling with ADHD, dyslexia and ADHD are not hard to accommodate. If a family has a child with special needs, they might find it much more difficult to get their child the support they need to truly thrive.
13. Crime Rates
Crime rates in Fort Lauderdale are ridiculously high in comparison to the rest of the nation. When comparing violent crime rates in Fort Lauderdale to the national average, it is only rated 36.7 out of 100 in comparison to 22.7 out of 100. Property crimes, however, are incredibly common. Fort Lauderdale is rated 75.8 out of 100 when it comes to property crimes, while the national average is only 35.4 out of 100.
This is incredibly concerning! Unless a person wants to risk being twice as likely to get property damaged or stolen than in most of the country, they should probably avoid living in Fort Lauderdale.
14. Noise Levels
When people are gathered together in large groups, the noise level increases naturally. In Fort Lauderdale, the noise level can get pretty loud. There is a city ordinance that should limit the noise after 10 pm, but that is hard to enforce.
Some locals mentioned that people should expect noise to come from the city on the weekends. They did mention that having hurricane windows helps with the noise, but not every home has them. People who want to move to Fort Lauderdale should anticipate needing some noise cancellation or be heavy sleepers.
15. Job Opportunities
Usually, in big cities, there are a large variety of jobs and opportunities to make money. However, there are some big downsides when it comes to working in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale has a higher unemployment rate than what is average in Florida.
A lot of the jobs offered in the city are tourism jobs and the basics of healthcare and education. There are some industries, like mining, customer service, and fast food that make no money or less than $20,000 a year. With the city having to recover from COVID-19, it is likely that many industries have taken a hit. It would be unwise to move to Fort Lauderdale unless a person is sure they have a stable and well-paying job in or near the city.
16. Liberal City
Another important thing to note is that this city is predominantly liberal. For the last 20 years, Fort Lauderdale has voted strongly for democratic presidents. This can be a good or bad thing depending on a person’s political view and tolerance for differences in opinion.
17. Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters
Fort Lauderdale and Hurricanes do not go together well. To be specific, 79 hurricanes have hit this city in 92 years. That is nearly one every single year! It is classified as being incredibly dangerous, as many of these hurricanes are major.
Something to note is that locals will say that they are not that bad. However, with tropical storms of any kind, there is a chance they speed up and become incredibly dangerous with very little notice.
I experienced a hurricane near the port of Alabama called Hurricane Sally. Hurricane Sally was professed to be a little storm and nothing to worry about. The next thing I knew, I had to evacuate to a city 2 hours away. When I got back, I saw the wreckage. It took some cities several months to recover completely. Tropical storms are not worth messing with!