Miami Beach is a long island in the Atlantic Ocean, east of downtown Miami. Well-known for its white sandy beaches and non-stop nightlife, Miami Beach is an ideal place to visit and live. But, before you pack your bags and call a real estate agent, get familiar with the following Miami Beach neighborhoods and transit options.
SoFi (South of Fifth)
This seven-block radius is on the most southern tip of Miami Beach. With very little doubt, it’s currently among the most luxurious neighborhoods in Miami Beach. Filled with new condo developments, SoFi in Miami is home to the city's wealthiest residents and celebrities.
Condos here sell for between $500,000 to more than one million dollars, while rent prices are around $3,000 per month. The high price points come with the best in luxury, and many buildings offer 24-hour security, outdoor pool areas with sundecks and hot tubs, tennis courts, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary designs. SoFi residents also have the benefit of walking to nightclubs in South Beach and sunbathing on the beach.
South Beach (SoBe)
This trendy area of Miami remains the place to see and be seen. The hub of the Miami Art Deco movement, South Beach is a walkable beachfront area of boutique shops, fine dining, and nightclubs. Designed for the young and active, Miami Beach's SoBe is the party neighborhood. The bars stay open until 4 a.m., and many restaurants are open 24 hours.
Most people who live in South Beach live in stylish low-rise or high-rise condo units. Condo sales range from $200,000 to $750,000, while rental prices are about $2,000 or more per month. You’ll notice that prices rise the closer you are to the beach and Ocean Drive. Finally, all condo units are found within a 15-minute walk of the world-famous sandy white beach.
While this area has a lot to offer, one thing that it lacks is parking. There is very limited street, private, and public parking available. Even many condo units will charge more than $100 per month to park on site. If you have a car and are moving to SoBe, it’s probably best to store it in a Miami Beach storage unit for the rare times that you’ll need it.
Mid Beach extends from 24th Street to 63rd Street and is a more relaxing and family- friendly area of Miami Beach. Additionally, there are many oceanfront hotels and popular shopping destinations in this area. Frequently visited by tourists and locals from other areas of Miami, parking is less difficult here than in other areas of the beach.
In Mid Beach, Miami, housing costs considerably more for properties near the waterfront and well-traveled wooden boardwalk. However, no matter where you choose to live in Mid Beach—be it a detached house, a condo, or an apartment—you’ll be within walking distance of the ocean. If you’re looking to buy, condo units start at around $200,000, while detached houses are in the range of one million dollars. Rental units are quite popular in Mid Beach and most cost between $1,200 and $3,500 per month.
Palm trees, lush gardens, and large yards offer ample privacy in this small residential community that occupies four islands. Aptly named Sunset Islands, this neighborhood is on the west coast of Miami Beach and is ideal for watching the sun go down. Here you will find luxurious homes with private parking, boat docks, and waterways that lead to Biscayne Bay.
The exclusive community of Sunset Islands, Miami Beach features big houses with big price tags. While most house sales start at three million dollars, it is possible to find a house for rent for less than $10,000 a month.
As the name implies, North Beach is found north of the Mid Beach area between 63rd Street and 88th Street. While hotels and waterfront resorts occupy the beach, there also is a good balance of residential properties. If you’re looking for a single-family or multiple-family home somewhat close to Miami Beach action and entertainment, this is a good choice.
Houses here are more affordable than in Mid and South Beach, and there are several elementary schools in this area. The modest houses here attract young families and sell for
around $500,000. Additionally, if you’re reluctant to give up your car for the pedestrian lifestyle of Miami Beach, most houses in this area have a garage or carport.
North of North Beach, the Surfside neighborhood is small and well-loved by locals. Found on a relatively narrow part of the Miami Beach island, everywhere in Surfside is close to the ocean and unspoiled, secluded, beach area. On Harding Avenue, you’ll find quaint family-run businesses, while large, modern condominium complexes occupy most of Collins Avenue.
With just more than 5,000 people and several community recreation facilities, the Surfside, Miami Beach neighborhood retains a family-friendly atmosphere. Surfside also is relatively affordable, with detached homes selling between $300,000 and $500,000. Condo units sell for around $200,000, while rent is as low as $1,200 in some buildings. Houses in this area are smaller, bungalow-style buildings with garages.
If you’re moving to Surfside from a suburban area, you might find that these houses lack the space and storage of your former home. However, there’s no need to get rid of all the stuff that you used to store in your basement or shed; plentiful Miami Beach storage solutions are located conveniently nearby.
Bal Harbour is the place to live in Miami Beach if you want to avoid tourist congestion and the MTV Spring Break party atmosphere. Found at the northern tip of Miami Beach island, Bal Harbour offers a peaceful and luxurious residential community.
However, like the rest of Miami Beach, this piece of paradise comes at a premium. Most beachfront condominium complexes rent units for $2,500 to $4,000 per month.
Meet your neighbors at the community-run, free fitness classes on the beach, or mix with the locals at the Bal Harbour Shops complex. This posh outdoor mall features designer-brand retail stores, koi ponds, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and luxury boutiques.
Getting Around Miami Beach
If you’ve decided to skip the hassle of fighting traffic and scouring for parking, there are still plenty of ways to get around Miami Beach. The locals love to bike from place to place in Miami Beach, especially along the boardwalk area in Mid Beach. Biking is often faster than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic; just be sure to lock up your bike once you get to your destination. In South Beach, the SoBe Local shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes along Collins Avenue and costs just 25 cents per ride.
If you’re going to venture out in your car, be sure to get your resident Miami Beach parking pass, and receive reduced parking fees at various parking facilities. While shopping for your new home in paradise, keep the characteristics of these Miami Beach neighborhoods in mind, and get ready to be envied by your friends and family. You'll soon be living in Miami Beach—one of the most fashionable and coveted cities in the world.