Everyone loves a gorgeous new development. The glamour of the shimmering high rise towering above the cosmopolitan skyline grabs attention, and the press loves to print gorgeous glossy advertisements in the cosmopolitan magazines. Flying under the radar, however, are thousands of affordable condominium homes that make owning a second home or retirement condominium a possibility for the savvy south Florida shopper.
The exploration of these Snowbird communities began for Your Guru three years ago with the arrival of my mother-in law. Her first visit was for two weeks when we bought our first home. The following year, the visit stretched to six weeks. Last year, mom made herself at home for a solid three months. Sometime last summer, she announced that this visit, she’d be staying. So there was some incentive to find a place – outside my house.
The following is my starting point for anyone that comes to south Florida with a desire to escape the frigid north and pursue the dream of a get-away in the sunshine state. It should be noted that a search of Fort Lauderdale’s surrounding communities will return a myriad of condominium choices, the selection can range from the downright dismal to the merely adequate. My guidance invariably reverts to one of four to eight communities of exceptional character, location, management and amenities. Follow along as I take a drive through my Four Favorites in the following video and check out my recommendations below.
Robert’s Top Snowbird Friendly Condos in South Florida
I’ve not mentioned pricing on this page as I do not want the page to get “stale” – each page linked here is updated with the latest pricing and availability.
Cypress Bend Condominiums in Pompano Beach are my favorite alternative to the larger community of Palm Aire located nearby. What draws folks to Cypress Bend are the amazing location just north of Fort Lauderdale, only 15 minutes to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, the Isle Casino next door and the beach only two miles away. From Cypress Bend you can get to great restaurants, movies, malls and attractions just outside the community entrance. The community is extremely well managed, exceptionally well cared for, on sprawling grounds where every building is nestled along the banks of a central lake. Here’s the page with what’s currently available in Cypress Bend.
Palm Aire Condominiums in Pompano Beach are on nearly everyone’s list of places to investigate – with good reason. The community features thousands of homes that vary from standalone villas to condominium high-rises. There are townhomes, garden-style walk-ups as well offering something for every taste. Nestled around FOUR golf courses, the property has acres of green space and miles of recreation paths. The golf courses are public and no membership is required. Palm Aire is an all-ages community so there are no restrictions on who can purchase a home. Throughout the community are tennis courts, multiple pools, clubhouses with fitness facilities, even small convenience stores! Here’s the page with what’s currently available in Palm Aire.
Century Village East in Deerfield Beach is where my search ended. The condominium that we purchased for Mom was a one-bedroom, one-bath with screened in balcony in one of the mid-rise buildings for the crazy price of $36,000. To give you an idea of pricing at Century Village East, prices vary depending on where you are in the community – more for condos close to the center, less for condos closer to the outside edge. Prices vary by size (one bedrooms are available with a bath-and-a-half as well) and by how updated they are. Finally there are a variety of walk-up (2-story) buildings or 5-story elevator buildings – of which the mid-rises are more expensive. Mom’s condo was freshly painted, had modern tile throughout, and a dated kitchen and bath. We gutted the kitchen with a clean modern kitchen and freshened the bath. Maybe spent $2,500 updating the apartment with a good cleaning and new paint. There are Century Village communities in three other locations as well depending on whether you prefer Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach, West Palm Beach or Boca Raton. Here’s the page with what’s currently available in Century Village East.
Kings Point in Tamarac is the newest development, which makes sense since it’s the furthest west – near the Sawgrass Mills Mall and the BB&T Center. Residents of Kings Point enjoy modern buildings that feature contemporary floor plans, hurricane impact windows in some buildings and in-home laundry in many buildings. Sprawling over several square miles and with 9,000 homes, the community has endless jogging, walking and bicycle paths. The landscaping is lush and most buildings feature some water view. Of course there’s a community center with amazing facilities along with a theater for live shows and movies. Every cluster of homes has its own pool as well so every resident can walk to a sundeck and a soak. The benefit to the location at the western boundary in Broward is proximity to enormous parks, everglades nature preserves and of course world-class shopping, sports and entertainment at BB&T Center. Here’s the page with what’s currently available in Kings Point.
Lauderdale Oaks is located along Oakland Park Boulevard in central Broward between I-95 and the Turnpike, and once you enter the community the tranquility will amaze you compared to the busy congestion that surrounds the community. Don’t let it deter you, however, as the community is located conveniently close to I-95 for easy access to the airports, and the central location means residents have access to both the beach (3.5 miles east) or to attractions further west in Weston and Sunrise. Golf, shopping, movies, dining, and entertainment are plentiful in any direction.
Inside Lauderdale Oaks the community features 716 condominiums in 19 buildings. Being a 55+ community means the homes are very affordable which is a surprising change from incredibly expensive new construction nearby. A large club house features an auditorium with seating for 300 and many activities all year long. Three pools, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and plentiful walking trails create a tranquil oasis where it’s easy to relax. Here’s the page with what’s currently available in Lauderdale Oaks.
These are my top four favorite spots for your ideal Snowbird Retreat. I’d say there are another half a dozen that I like. Although you may see dozens more, one of the benefits of having a pro working for you is the time and aggravation saved from seeking out this information on your own. They don’t call me the Guru for no reason!
Are you seeking a sunny South Florida home for yourself? Contact me today