Heading to South Florida? Then count yourself lucky. With its miles of gorgeous beaches, acres of natural preserves, and bountiful array of wildlife, it’s got more natural beauty than it knows what to do with. It's also got some of the most desirable places to live in the state (and no, they’re not all in Miami). If you’re weighing up the options before deciding on your next home, don’t miss our guide to the very best 20 places to live in South Florida for 2020.
20. Edgewater, Broward County
$243,914 may seem a high price to pay for a single-family home, but by Miami’s standards, it’s actually more than reasonable. Affordable housing isn’t the only thing in Edgewater’s arsenal of attractions.
Along with the very robust median income of $64,608, there’s also the excellent range of amenities, the convenient proximity to downtown and Winwood, the bevy of restaurants, and the close-knit, welcoming community.
19. Rivera Isles/Idlewyld, Broward County
$863,000 may be a high price to pay for a property, but with most households in Rivera Isles/Idlewyld earning in the region of $118,750, it’s unlikely you’ll hear too many complaints about the cost of living in the little slice of Floridian paradise.
Neither are you likely to hear any whining about the schools, which count as some of the best in the state, the crime rate, which counts as one of the lowest, nor the plethora of parks, green spaces, outdoor activities, and amenities.
18. Birch Park, Broward County
Before we get onto the perks of living in Birch Park, Broward County, let’s address the elephant in the room… or more specifically, the $649,400 average property price. At $464,700 above the national average, there’s no getting around the fact it’s a huge sum.
But is it worth it? In a word, yes. With one of the lowest crime rates in the state, one of the highest median incomes ($111,215 by the last count), a plethora of excellent schools, and more amenities, parks, and leisure facilities you could ever need within just a short distance, there’s every justification in the world for that massive price tag.
17. Weston, Broward County
It may cost the considerable sum of $442,600 to buy a property in the attractive suburb of Weston, but managing the mortgage repayments shouldn’t be too hard, at least if the $96,173 median household income is anything to go by.
With its family-friendly community, great schools, and excellent range of amenities, it’s the perfect place to raise kids. Not that single professionals should feel unwelcome – with its scores of shops, bars, and restaurants, there’s enough on offer to suit everyone.
16. Dolphin Isles, Broward County
Exclusive it may be, but the community of Dolphin Isles has a friendly, welcoming vibe guaranteed to make any newcomer feel welcome. Thanks to the abundance of excellent schools (not to mention the safe, walkable streets and well-maintained green spaces), it’s a hugely attractive proposition to families.
As you’d expect of one of Fort Lauderdale’s most desirable enclaves, property comes at a premium- don’t expect much change from $430 thousand if you want a decently sized home here (although on the plus side, the median income of $80,508 goes some way to mitigating the damage).
15. Sunrise Intracoastal, Broward County
Move into the exclusive little neighborhood of Sunrise Intercoastal, and you can expect to be $478,700 poorer (at least for a while- with most households earning a median income of $85,089, we can’t imagine their bank accounts are staying empty for long).
Other features worthy of praise according to Area Vibes include a crime rate that sits 30% lower than the US average (and which is decreasing 15% year on year), an unemployment rate of just 2% (67% lower than the US average), and schools that come out 98% better than the US average for graduation rates. With stats like that, it’s easy enough to understand the appeal.
14. Laudergate Isles, Broward County
If you can stretch to the $305,700 median home price, you’ll find Laudergate Isles a superb place to live. Most households are sitting pretty on a $103,563 income – not bad when you consider the national average is a comparatively tiny $55,322.
Besides the high-income expectations, there’s a lot to love about this small community, including an almost zero level of crime, an outstanding range of top-scoring schools, and a wide array of outdoor leisure opportunities.
13. Bal Harbour, Broward County
If the idea of living in Fort Lauderdale appeals, Bel Harbour, one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, should appeal even more. Granted, high property prices are part of the territory (expect to part with around $305,700 for a good-sized family home here), but considering the average household is earning a distinctly unaverage income of $103,563, it’s a price worth swallowing.
Other than the superb disposal income, key highlights include a small, welcoming community, a crime rate so low it barely warrants a mention, a score of top-ranking schools, and easy access to all the outstanding natural attractions that make Broward County such hot property.
12. Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County
What makes Palm Beach Gardens such a desirable place to live? How about the exceptional average household income of $77,864, the booming job market, the safe, friendly vibe, and the kind of residents that are so proud of their home, they’re more than happy to make it public.
“I've lived here my whole life and would not want to live anywhere else in Florida. I work two jobs here and find it easy to get along with everyone. It is never too crowded and there is not a lot of traffic ever. Everything is very organized and kept nicely.
There is something for everyone no matter what they are looking for and there is always something to do,’ says one such happy local on Niche, while another ravess, “Palm Beach Gardens is the best place to be in Palm Beach County. Everything you could ever need is within a 15-driving distance.
The Palm Beach Gardens Mall is in the heart of palm beach gardens and is a great spot to grab a bite to eat or to go shopping. It has a good blend of high-end designer retail stores and mid-level affordable for most stores. The beach is also one of Palm beach gardens claim to fame”.
11. Wellington, Palm Beach County
If the thought of an $85,172 income sounds attractive, you may want to set your sights on Wellington. The suburban neighborhood is clearly doing well for itself, both in terms of well-paid job opportunities and standard of living.
Make Wellington your next permanent base, and you can look forward to a low crime rate, a suburb array of amenities, plenty of well-maintained public parks and green spaces, top-scoring schools, and a friendly, active community.
10. Providencia Park, Palm Beach County
If affordable housing is one of your top priorities, the $140,275 median home value in Providencia Park is likely to be right up your street. Not that affordability is all that’s on offer in this small little neighborhood of West Palm Beach: thanks to its gorgeous location, there’s a positive plethora of activities and recreational pursuits to indulge in, while the low crime rate and excellent schools make it a huge draw to families.
9. Jupiter, Palm Beach County
With a population of 62,373, Jupiter is no tiny little backwater, and it shows in the abundance of shops, restaurants, nightspots, and bars in the area. Thanks to its stunning beachside location, activities aren’t limited to the indoor kind: surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and biking are all popular recreations for the city’s residents… something that no doubt speaks volumes about the family-friendly, active community you’ll find here.
Despite its size, there’s a friendly, welcoming vibe at play that’s more than a little refreshing- as is the low crime rate and an excellent selection of top scoring schools.
8. Pinecrest, Miami-Dade County
If $152,643 sounds like the kind of income you’d like a piece of, you might want to look in the direction of Pinecrest. Not only is the income nearly three times the national average, the quality of life is an all-round winner, with excellent schools, an absurdly low crime rate, an almost over-abundance of amenities, and a fantastic range of outdoor spaces and recreations.
7. Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County
You may have to cough up a whopping $750,400 for a property in Coral Gables, but manage that, and you’re in for a great time. Not only is the Miami suburb replete with some of the greenest, most historical streets in the entire city, it’s also full to the brim with world class restaurants, boutique shops, local businesses, and the kind of schools that are pumping out the next generation of Ivy League scholars seemingly at will.
6. Highland Beach, Palm Beach County
As Fort Lauderdale suburbs go, few can hold a candle to Highland Beach. Granted, the median property price of $534,200 may look steep at first glance, but stack it against the median household income of $102,601 and it soon becomes a lot more reasonable.
Despite its small size (the current population adds up to a little less than 4000), there’s enough going on to please most tastes, especially those who can’t get enough of beach life. Factor in a low crime rate and a great clutch of schools, and its’s understandable why so many consider it one of Fort Lauderdale’s hottest destinations.
5. Coconut Grove, Miami-Dade County
20,762 people have chosen to make Coconut Grove their home, and for very good reason. House prices may be high (don’t expect much change from $626,505 for a single-family home here) but so is the standard of living (and, for most households at least, the median income, which currently stands at $87,007).
Streets are clean, safe, and walkable, while the easy access to the heart of Miami, not to mention the bountiful supply of amenities and excellent public schools, transform a good neighborhood into an outstanding one.
4. Brickell, Miami-Dade County
If you’re heading to Miami, do yourself a favor and make it Brickell. With its excellent walkability, safe streets, and vibrant community, it’s as equally attractive to families as it is to single professionals.
Rent is on the high side (expect to pay around $1,972 per month), as are property prices, with most three-bedroom homes pulling in around $394,909. If you can get your head around the prices, you won’t be disappointed – thanks to its huge number of attractions, Bricknell is without doubt one of Miami’s most desirable neighborhoods.
3. Palmetto Bay, Miami-Dade County
Want to live in an area of low crime, excellent schools, bountiful job opportunities, friendly neighborhoods, and outstanding amenities? The consider Palmetto Bay, where the sun is always shining and, thanks at least in part to a lofty median income of $107,612, the residents are always smiling.
2. Boca Raton, Palm Beach County
Granted, you’ll need to seriously consider your budget if you want to settle in Boca Raton (at $401,000, the median home value is over twice the US national average), but if you can stretch to it, you’ll not be disappointed.
Both violent and property crime are low enough to allow for a safe, peaceful vibe, while the average household income of $76,218 is evidence of the abundance of well-paid job opportunities around.
Add to that the great location next to the beach, the culturally diverse, dynamic community, and the bountiful array of public parks, activities, restaurants, and leisure facilities, and it’s easy to understand the attraction.
1. Grandview Heights, Palm Beach County
Housing in Grandview Heights may come in a little over the national average, but if you can afford the $296,842 price tag, you’re in for some good times. Not only is the median income of $65,569 well above the US average, there’s also no shortage of other perks on offer, including a refreshingly low crime rate, a diverse, welcoming community, some outstanding public schools (Suncoast Community High School and Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts both come particularly highly recommended), and every type of amenity, leisure facility, and public service you could ever need.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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