Picture yourself enjoying year-round sunshine, ocean breezes, and the active lifestyle of your dreams – all in a world-class, metropolitan city. Welcome to Miami! But don’t get too excited yet. Before you can call this tropical paradise home, you’ll have to navigate the complicated Miami real estate market.
Miami is a sprawling city made up of dozens of communities, each with its own unique character and pros and cons. Deciding where to buy Miami real estate can feel like a full-time job.
If you’re just getting started, consider making a short list of neighborhoods you might like to live in. Maybe you want great restaurants nearby so you can grab a fresh plate of Florida stone crab claws any day of the week. If you have young children, there’s a good chance you’re looking for top-rated schools, walkability, or beach access.
As you begin your search, read on to start learning about some of our favorite Miami real estate hot spots.
1. Miami Beach
This classic Miami neighborhood may be known as a popular tourist destination, but the area has plenty of full-time residents. Community members enjoy close proximity to the beach, historical Art Deco architecture, nearby museums and botanical gardens, and a thriving dining and nightlife scene.
It can be competitive and costly to purchase a single-family home in Miami Beach, but the market is flooded with apartments and condos, and many are located in luxury high-rise buildings with ocean views and excellent amenities. Think waterfront swimming pools and in-house smoothie bars.
Brickell is centrally located, and a top pick if you plan to work downtown or enjoy urban living. Relatively new to the residential scene, it has been heavily marketed by real estate agents in recent years and is experiencing a rise in popularity – an interesting topic on its own, if you’d like to read more.
You will find sleek condominiums for sale here, many just steps from upscale retail, yoga studios, and healthy restaurants catering to the area’s wealthy young population. This is one area of Miami where you can get by without a vehicle if driving isn’t your cup of tea.
As an added bonus, the panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach from Brickell are a permanent visual reminder that you live where other people vacation.
3. Coral Gables
A popular place among families with young children, the city of Coral Gables is safe, pretty, and located near some of South Florida’s best private schools. It is a carefully planned municipality, founded by real estate developer George Merrick in the 1920s as a utopia of sorts. Single-family homes dominate the market here and are available in a variety of architectural styles.
Coral Gables features the Miracle Mile, a premier shopping destination where local shops and global brands coexist. Quiet parks offer respite from the bustling surroundings. The Venetian Pool is a must-see, unlike any other public swimming pool in the country.
There are also seven themed villages within the city, each inspired by a different international destination. Homes located in the villages are highly coveted and rarely appear in the Miami real estate listings. If quaint is what you’re looking for, you’ll love this neighborhood.
4. Coconut Grove
Right next door to Coral Gables, you will find bohemian Coconut Grove. The streets are lined with banyan trees and the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival features music, food, and art.
Singles, couples, and families with children live in harmony here, united by a shared love for their charming bayside village. The small, dog-friendly downtown offers shops, art galleries, and exercise studios. Restaurants with sidewalk tables give the streets a European feel, and residents can be found enjoying al fresco dining late into the evening.
A variety of apartments, condos, and single-family homes can be found for sale in Coconut Grove.
5. Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne offers a laid-back island lifestyle with all the perks of big city living. The beaches are quieter here, the streets are tidy and clean, and the crime rate is low.
It’s just a short drive to Miami proper, but you might never leave. Key Biscayne has its own collection of bars, dining establishments, and entertainment venues that are loved by the locals.
If you are a boater, this could be the place for you. Many Key Biscayne homes are canal-front and include docks, providing easy access to fishing, diving, and cruising in the sun.
Not for the faint of heart, the Wynwood neighborhood is a bit of a wild card when it comes to Miami homes for sale. This up-and-coming area has a thriving art scene that attracts international visitors.
The Wynwood Walls showcase pieces created by the world’s best graffiti artists. In fact, you will be hard-pressed to find a wall in this community that isn’t covered in colorful paint. Local shops, taco bars, and craft markets line NW 2nd Avenue.
Wynwood isn’t the safest neighborhood in Miami, but the crime rate has decreased in recent years. It’s a place to consider if you’re a real estate shopper on a budget looking for a vibrant neighborhood to inhabit.
Just south of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, Pinecrest is a very attractive option for families. Farther from the hustle and bustle of the city, the home and lot sizes are larger here, but there are still plenty of amenities nearby.
The public schools in Pinecrest are good and it’s a short commute to the city if you work downtown. You are sure to get more bang for your buck in this area, while still enjoying Miami’s coastal lifestyle.
Ready, Set, Live the Miami Real Estate Dream
Whether you choose to live beachfront or downtown, home values in the Miami area are predicted to continue rising over the next decade. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a temporary dip in the Miami real estate market, making this a smart time to buy. There are so many remarkable neighborhoods to choose from – with a little effort, you’re sure to find your Miami dream home.