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Old 08-10-2008, 05:13 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,677 times
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My wife and family (3 kids) are considering the purchase of a second residence (we live in metro west Boston now) in South Florida for vacations, rental, and then to spend winters down there when kids are off to college (9 years away). We went to Bonita Springs last winter and saw the condos for sale in the mall known as Coconut Pointe. They are above shops in a trendy clean and new mall of the same name - the place was new, clean, and had a pool. We expecially liked all the ammenities within walking distance the nice restaraunts (e.g. cheescake factory), starbucks, movies, stores, even bars and clubs and action of the whole area.

Can someone recommend a town in a safe area and specific neighbohood in greater or north-of Miami area with similar features that are all within walking distance. Our price range is $300-500K. We would prefer a younger area with places to go out. Delray beach seems to fit this, and some have mentioned Aventura, are there other areas? Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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Cityplace in West Palm Beach
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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Thanks - city place looks similar but I do not see residences. We are looking for 3 bedroom condo. Also - woudl prefer further south closer to Miami - maybe Aventura or south ft. lauderdale. Maybe what we are looking for is simply a mall area with nice restaraunts, bars, shopping, etc. What are the best shopping (and hence eating) areas between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale?

Last edited by Patentman; 08-12-2008 at 05:07 AM..
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:48 AM
 
17,297 posts, read 25,640,251 times
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Originally Posted by Patentman View Post
Thanks - city place looks similar but I do not see residences. We are looking for 3 bedroom condo. Also - woudl prefer further south closer to Miami - maybe Aventura or south ft. lauderdale. Maybe what we are looking for is simply a mall area with nice restaraunts, bars, shopping, etc. What are the best shopping (and hence eating) areas between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale?

There are lots of residences (condos and townhouses) in, above, and around the shops and restaurants at Cityplace.... excellent prices right now as well. But, if you're looking for further South, I'm afraid I'll have to defer to someone else, as I'm not too familiar with Broward and Dade Counties.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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I think City Place is a great choice, as is Aventura. I know that area the OP is talking about and to be honest, the east coast doesn't have anything EXACTLY like that as it's a lot more crowded, especially if you want to be between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Aventura is VERY packed, and City Place, while nice in itself, you are going to have to be aware of your surroundings as a seasonal resident and try not to venture too far north of it.

From Ft. Lauderdale south I can kind of give you a breakdown of what it's like.

Basically, Ft. Lauderdale itself is somewhat "city like" although it isn't quite city. Las Olas Blvd is the main strip and it's incredibly expensive to find something near there. Gorgeous if you can afford it. The rest of it is kind of drab but clean by the coast (or east of US1). There are a lot of suburban-ish tree lined residential neighborhoods east of US1, and a mixture of condos and houses right on the beach. If you can find something in Victoria Park or Bayview Dr area, pretty good choice, especially if you like boating.

Then you hit Dania. This is a town that looks like the 1960s and feels like the 1980s. It's pretty sleazy. It's OK to drive through but not much of a place to live. Their beach is periodically closed for bacteria as is south Ft. Lauderdale beach, so not the best beach area either.

Hollywood is kind of a divey San Diego-ish beach town that is trying to hit big (east of US1, west it's very mixed good and bad but the vibe changes). It's kind of cool as is, but definitely not what you are looking for.

Then you hit Hallandale Beach. There could be some potential here, used to be a big retirement area. It's 5 minute from Aventura Mall but it's a bit cheaper. Granted, not as nice either, it's just mostly condos without all of the lush landscaping, but it's a great location and there is some shopping and dining in city limits. It's also a bit less congested than points south.

Then you hit Golden Beach, entering Miami-Dade County, leaving Broward County. Don't speed through Golden Beach, they will penalize you to the fullest extent of the law! Let's just say that very few can afford this area.

Then you hit Sunny Isles to the east, Aventura to the west. Sunny Isles is ultra crowded, kind of ethnic Russian, and a pretty hot place to be right now. Aventura is a very posh resort area with a huge upscale mall and loads of other shopping. Also crowded, but lots of greenbelts and golf courses keep it pleasant looking. It's also very congested so keep that in mind. Aventura is my personal first choice.

Inland Miami-Dade County ranges from sleazy to dangerous with a few nice spots(west of US1 throughout the expanse of the county). Carjacking and serious violent crimes can be a problem at night inland and even the beach areas tend to have a lot of burglaries and robberies. Inland Broward County (west of US1) ranges from an awkward blend of sleazy and nice, and a few dangerous spots until you get west of University Dr when it turns into "typical suburbia". Most of the dangerous spots are in western Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach and are relatively isolated, inner city areas. Hollywood and Hallandale have a few areas with an elevated crime rate, but nothing really to worry about if you are just passing through and you are aware of what's around you. Dania is the key area to avoid at night unless you are driving through. Fortunately, crimes like carjacking and muggings aren't too common (but they happen) unless you are walking around a bad area at night with blindfolds, but car burglaries are common. You will be able to tell when you are in a bad neighborhood and you are in, you will be out as fast as you got in it as long as you head EAST or WEST. The beach areas are, for the most part, fine, as are the western suburbs and many pockets in between.

So basically, you really need to keep your guard up in Dade, Broward is a bit better but you still need to be aware of what's around you, as goes with most major cities. Palm Beach County is kind of half way in between Dade and Broward. Palm Beach doesn't proportionally have many more bad neighborhoods than Broward but the ones that they do have pack a serious punch in comparison in my experiences.

I know you didn't bring up the crime, but the question usually gets asked sooner or later anyway, so now you know!

Also, have you considered Boca Raton or, if it's a little too steep, Deerfield Beach?

BUT, to answer your original question; no.

Last edited by compelled to reply; 08-12-2008 at 08:56 AM..
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