Catch a glimpse of the local life — from the vibe and housing options to great restaurants and the business scene.
Welcome to The Cost of Living Diaries. How much does it cost to live in the Greater Fort Lauderdale region? What’s an average mortgage, a cocktail, or a week’s worth of childcare? Keep reading because we asked a Fort Lauderdale local to tell us all about the cost of living in this thriving city!
With amazing job opportunities, a plethora of housing options, delicious cuisine, bountiful shops and miles and miles of sandy beaches, living in Greater Fort Lauderdale is hard to beat. And unlike most regions, residents can grow their careers and put down roots in a place that also allows for rest and relaxation. To find out more about what it’s like to live, work and play in this sunny oasis, we sat down with Lee Mazor, who grew up in Miami but moved to Fort Lauderdale about 15 years ago and opened LoveLee Bakeshop in 2019.
Q: What made you want to move to Fort Lauderdale?
A: I grew up in Miami, and I just started hanging out up here (playing kickball with friends) and meeting new people. It was just the vibe, and the location was just more my style.
Q: How would you describe the community and its unique vibe?
A: So it’s pretty laid-back for the most part. Everyone’s very friendly and welcoming. It’s part beach town, part main city — you get the best of both worlds. You can go out, have your fun, go to nice restaurants, or you can just go chill at the beach with some friends — have fun no matter which way you want.
Q: What was it like finding housing in Fort Lauderdale?
A: I rented a house with a friend, then from there, I rented a few apartments, and then just recently, I purchased. I finally found the (house) I really wanted, and once we got there, it was a pretty straightforward, easy process, and I love where I live now. (I paid) around $400,000. I think compared to like Miami; it’s definitely more affordable. I’m in the main city of Fort Lauderdale. There are some outlying towns that you could get (homes) for a lesser value, but then you’re not close to the main things I wanted, like the restaurants and bars and friends and all that. It’s a cute townhouse, so it has two stories, it has a really nice patio, great neighbors. I have a garage, which is really nice.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in the area, and about how much would you pay for dinner and drinks for two people?
A: At the moment, I have two. There’s one called EATapas, which is Spanish food, and then there’s another called TAKATO, which is Japanese-Korean fusion. TAKATO’s is more on the high end, so for two, it would probably be like $100-$120, and then EATapas, I mean you could really go there and spend like $50 for two people.
Q: What’s your favorite coffee shop in Fort Lauderdale, and how much would your favorite drink cost?
A: Cyth & Co. It’s really cute. They did a really nice job on the inside — very modern. There’s a lot of space to sit down. They now serve food, as well. It’s nice. (My favorite drink) is a cappuccino. (It’s) probably $5 for a large.
Q: Why did you decide to open your bakeshop in Fort Lauderdale?
A: I just think the people that live here are just so welcoming to new businesses, and they really want to help you succeed, and they’re excited about new locations that open up, so they’re very supportive. I also saw that there wasn’t really something here that’s doing what I’m doing. I knew it was the right place. Everyone is always looking out for each other. Even other small businesses — we’re always trying to help each other out. The city has a lot of resources to help. Even my landlord was helpful in trying to get me started and opening.