Expats Guide to Buying a Property in Miami

Those planning to move to Miami to work and live will find this waterfront Florida city is a harmonious fusion of cultures, faiths, languages and cuisine. If If you’re thinking of buying a property in Miami, you may want to consider a short-term rental initially. It provides the opportunity to familiarise yourself with different neighbourhoods in your quest to buy a home in the right district to suit your lifestyle.

Miami Real Estate Options

Miami has a whole spectrum of real estate, from renovated Art Deco condos and historic estate homes to brand new multi-million dollar condos. Family-friendly neighbourhoods tend to be in the more historic districts of southwest Miami, such as Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. Elegant estate homes in these exclusive areas (some in gated communities) enjoy a sense of community, designer shopping and cultural entertainment along Miracle Mile and Merrick Park.
Choosing to buy real estate on Miami’s barrier islands, which include Miami Beach and South Beach, usually means luxury “condo” living with stunning views of Biscayne Bay, the beach, or both! Condominiums offer home ownership in a shared building with a monthly service charge for pool and garden maintenance, communal repairs and staff. Most luxury condos include in-house spas, fitness centres, swimming pools, valet parking and bellman services.

Getting to Know Miami Districts

Miami is divided into several districts. Experiencing the different areas may influence where you choose to rent or buy a property in Miami.
The calm waters of Biscayne Bay separate Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and South Beach from the mainland. These three sought-after suburbs are on barrier islands connected by a series of bridges to the city of Miami and its mainland neighbourhoods. The attraction of beach and bay views has made these waterfront areas prime for development in recent years.
The exception is South Beach, which has retained its Art Deco architecture along Ocean Drive. These pastel-painted buildings now house boutique hotels, upscale cafés, apartments and high-end restaurants. Single expats and young executives may enjoy the beach and party lifestyle in this trendy neighbourhood.
Key Biscayne is a private island accessed by the Rickenbacker Causeway, just 8 miles from downtown Miami. International expats are likely to feel at home in this zipcode, which has many notable residents and one of the highest levels of income in the US. Popular with boat owners, this tiny 1.4 square-mile island is bordered by sandy beaches for swimming and snorkelling. It includes Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (with its landmark lighthouse) and Crandon Park, which boasts a golf course, tennis centre and marina.
Brickell, nicknamed the “Manhattan of the South”, is the heart of Miami’s financial and commercial district. Many young professionals and business executives opt to live in this affluent area which accommodates the offices of international companies, lawyers and financial institutions. Luxury apartments with bay views and private boat docks command the highest prices. They are all within strolling distance of Mary Brickell Village, a hotspot for fine dining, upscale shopping and nightlife in a stunning bayfront location.

Rent or Buy in Miami

Many expats choose to buy property in Miami as a form of investment. Seen as the “Gateway to the Americas”, Miami’s real estate market has seen impressive gains in recent years. This southernmost US city has a strong economy driven by tourism, finance and commerce. Home to the headquarters of many international corporations, Miami also has one of the busiest commercial and cruise ports in the USA. An inflow of international investment fuelled the recent development in luxury high-rises, particularly in the regenerated downtown area and along Miami Beach. The result is an unrivalled choice of luxury properties in Miami for expats looking to buy.
If you’re moving to the USA, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.