Sandwiched between the crystal blue waters of the Pacific and the lush landscapes of nature reserves, Broward County is a terrific region in South Florida to seriously consider as the site of your next home. With Fort Lauderdale as its county seat, Broward County is flush with diverse waterfront neighborhoods, vibrant cities, economic vitality, and opportunities in a wide range of industries. It’s no wonder people from in and out of state consider Florida’s seventh largest county a prime real estate destination.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor keen on establishing yourself in Broward County, here are 6 invaluable tips to help you navigate the market.
1. Get a sense of what to expect
Before plunging head on, it’s crucial to do your homework. Check out the local real estate scene. Look at trends driving the market. Zero in on communities that conform to your real estate goals. With a better grasp of the landscape, you’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions.
As it stands, median home prices throughout Broward County are around $450,000. Individual homes for sale can be priced as low as $200,000 and as high as $6 million. In the last three years, home prices increased by approximately $130,000.
The Broward County real estate scene is especially dynamic and influenced by a host of factors unique to both county and state. Before you make your move, work with a seasoned local agent for insight and advice.
2. Find your ideal community
With a one-of-a-kind location along South Florida, Broward County has 31 flourishing municipalities sprawled across a land area of 1,202.9 square miles. Thus, you’re spoiled for choice, including the option to live in the most desirable of waterfront communities. Join the 1.9 million who have chosen to make Broward County their home..
Here’s a snapshot of what key communities offer:
- Fort Lauderdale. Known for its vibrant cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and a lively downtown area. The city’s extensive canal system and waterfront properties are an enduring image of Fort Lauderdale.
- Weston. Beloved for its family-friendly atmosphere, top-rated schools, and well-maintained parks, Weston consistently ranks among the best places to live in South Florida.
- Coral Springs. With tree-lined streets, excellent recreational facilities, and a family-friendly environment, Coral Springs is a great suburban community to settle down in – whether you’re a family-oriented buyer or a career-focused professional.
- Plantation. Owing to its lush landscape, Plantation offers a serene suburban atmosphere. At the same time, it has convenient access to a variety of local attractions and a good mix of residential and commercial areas.
3. Set a realistic budget that aligns with long-term goals
Setting a realistic budget is fundamental. Start by evaluating your financial situation. Take into account factors such as income, existing debts, monthly expenses, and if you plan to buy a vacation home, the status of your primary residence.
Consider costs beyond mortgage payments such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and potential homeowner association fees.
Think longer term. Do you plan to expand your family? Turn the property into a multi-generational home when the time comes? Put it back on the market when the kids move out?
Begin with the end in mind.
4. Check out up-and-coming neighborhoods
While it’s nice to be able to find that dream home that checks all your boxes, circumstances don’t always work in our favor. However, a home that’s less in-demand may appreciate more significantly than the property you were aiming for. Work with your real estate agent to point you to hidden gems in communities you may not have considered.
Is the home that’s on the market located in an up-and-coming neighborhood? Is the area
experiencing positive changes and growth? Do you see ongoing construction, growing economic activity, investments in public infrastructure and amenities, and the like?
Ask your agent if these are signs the area is poised for growth with the potential of increasing the value of your property if you buy now.
5. Be aware of changes in Florida’s real estate tax exemptions
While Florida’s appeal lies in its “no income tax” policy, prospective homeowners should be mindful of potential fluctuations in residential property taxes. Following a change in property ownership, state laws require county property appraisers to eliminate any existing tax exemptions and reevaluate the property. This reassessment occurs annually on January 1.
For instance, if you acquired a home in November 2022 with an assessed value of $200,000 and a taxable value of $50,000, come January 1, 2023, you may encounter adjustments in the assessment, impacting the taxes you are obligated to pay. This process aims to ensure fair and up-to-date property taxation but necessitates awareness among homeowners regarding potential changes in their tax obligations.
Go into details with your local real estate agent.
6. Be aware of potential natural hazards
Like other areas in South Florida, hurricane season in Broward County is from June to November.
While flood insurance isn’t mandated by law, it’s always wise to protect your investment on top of the standard home insurance. In Florida, flood insurance is among the most affordable nationwide, with policies totaling less than $600 per month compared to the national average of $734 per month.
Broward County residents also avail of wind mitigation inspections, an enhancement to the standard home inspection. This specialized assessment evaluates a home’s resilience against forceful wind gusts and provides homeowners with insight into their property’s structural integrity.