I am actually from California and living in South Florida (by Boca Raton though up north).
It's a lot of fun down there though, I am from Northern Cali though so this area seems not as optimal as it could be (I just miss the Bay). If you are from So Cal it might be different for you, I always thought Miami was more So Cal. Which part of California are you from originally?
So far as housing I know little down there but my In-Laws are realtors if you need help (sounds like I am selling sh!t but you can probably get a steal right now if you know where to look for sbout $1500). My personal advice would be to find a condo for cheap that has a good amount of amenities and a view if it is affordable. Alton Rd. would probably be a good place for value that is only a minute or two drive to the water. Any place by lincoln road is great because you have so much to do and so many restaurants for saturday/sunday brunch and it is still close to the beach. The other places my in-laws would know. If you just want tips though and no help seeing places PM me and I can have my wife think of places (she grew up in North Miami Beach/ Aventura area). If beaner as posted in your original post = mexican then be prepared for shitty mexican food. I have luckily found three places around me that have good mexican food, one of them is awesome. Seriously you have to find a good place around you first thing.
1st BMW: Purchased May 23rd 2009.
2007 335i Sports, Premium, Paddles, Comfort Access, Tint..... Holy Sh!t I gotta learn how to drive this thing.