Living in Florida: The Hamptons of the South

Woman reading in hammock at stunning sunset during vacation in phuket or is it Florida

The Hamptons and the vacation destinations in Southern Florida have a lot in common — from the wealthy weekenders and high-end retail to the booming real estate markets. While a growing number of people are purchasing estates in both areas, when it comes to more permanent migration, the journeys lead almost exclusively southward. What is it that makes Florida enticing enough for some to consider leaving the Hamptons? We checked in with some area experts to find out.

How does the vibe of Florida hotspots like Palm Beach and Miami compare to the vibe of the Hamptons?

I will say the vibe is pretty similar but on a much bigger, spread-out scale — more options for dining and nightlife. ~Nick Urzia, Personal Auto Transport

There is nothing like the Hamptons. Palm Beach and Miami compare as being one of the prime and desirable spots to live in the U.S. The energy is similar in activity level, desire for a lifestyle of entertaining, dining at fine restaurants, beaches and boating in the Hamptons and here. At the same time both can be peaceful locations. ~Robbie Dockswell, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate

The enthusiasm of dining out feels the same.  Though the variety and availability of outdoor dining is endless in south Florida and the pandemic has certainly emphasized the importance of outdoor activities and spaces. ~John Jorritsma, The Club at Ibis

South Beach Miami Florida
This is the art deco district of South Beach Miami. The buildings are painted in pastel colors surrounded by tropical palm trees.

What is a piece of advice you can offer someone considering a move from the Hamptons to Florida?

The best advice I can give is to bring enough bathing suits, since beach life is all year round. No knock on the Hamptons, there just aren’t enough summer months.~Personal Auto Transport

Determine your price range and priorities, such as: whether living near the beach in a home or condo, golf community, family community or other is what you want. ~Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate

If you’re looking for a private community or club, ask to dine for lunch in their restaurant.  Do the staff look happy? Do the residents or members look happy?  If yes on both, the club or community is well-managed. ~The Club at Ibis

Location, location, location! ~Sheldon Jaffee, Lang Realty

Do your research and work with an experienced realtor in the area you are targeting — one that also has good relationships with local lenders, investment advisors and property managers who can help to advise you. Our market is nothing like where you may be used to doing business. We are a unique area. You are well advised to work with the local experts. Southwest Florida is a desirable vacation destination and there are properties here that can provide a good return on investment if you have the right perspective and listen to the experts. ~Valerie Tutor, Kingfisher Real Estate, Inc.

What are the essential questions prospective buyers and sellers in the Florida market should be asking?

What type of outdoor amenities do you offer? How close are you to the beach and restaurants? When will the building be delivered? ~Marisela Cotilla, ALINA Residences Boca Raton

For sellers: What does the market look like right now, and is it the right time for me? Am I willing to price my home properly so that the market chases me up rather than down? What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell for the best price possible?

For buyers: What am I really looking for and what will be its use — vacation home, low maintenance, community, move-in ready or project home? What matters most to me — getting a deal for the lowest price or finding the right home that will make us feel comfortable and safe during this time? What are the features I absolutely must have? ~Kingfisher Real Estate, Inc.

USA, Florida, West Palm Beach
USA, Florida, West Palm Beach, city view, dawn

What are some of the amenities that have become increasingly in demand for homes recently, and which do you think are helping sellers move their properties best?

Privacy, good schools, desirability of neighborhood. ~Lang Realty

Offering new construction has been a big selling point. Twenty-four-hour front desk, private elevator foyers and valet offer the residents privacy and security of a full-service building. ~Rebecca Spooner, Akoya Boca West

In Southwest Florida coastal communities and the islands, more and more buyers want completely updated homes with high-end finishes — things like luxury tile floors (so practical when you live by the beach) and impact glass windows; fabulous swimming pools are almost a must in Florida and boating or beach access is usually high on the list. Certainly now, they are looking for smart homes with connectivity and technology features built in. Many of our homes here were built 20–30 years ago and those sellers that spend the money to update these homes and condos end up getting the best prices and selling their homes faster than those that are not. New custom construction is popular, as well. ~Kingfisher Real Estate, Inc.

How does your business help people achieve the high-end Florida lifestyle?

I have the ability to transport my clients vehicle in a safe, and efficient way. No stress on their part. With proper scheduling, the vehicle is usually there upon arrival. ~Personal Auto Transport

I match my clients with their priorities and interests to different areas in South Florida. I have lived in South Florida for 52 years and sold real estate for 21 years. My knowledge and understanding of the neighborhoods helps bring to my clients the lifestyle they desire. ~Better Homes &  Gardens Real Estate

We are in the member-pleasing business.  Everything we do is to improve our Member experience. You need to provide world-class, modern, amenities with top level management. Our Executive Management Team has 302 years of hospitality industry management experience. ~The Club at Ibis

Front of mansion in Mediterranean Style, Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA
Front of mansion in Mediterranean Style, Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

Tell us more about the services your business provides.

For the most part I provide door-to-door service of vehicle transport in the continental 48 states, but I am usually more up close and personal from the northeast to Florida. ~Personal Auto Transport

I am passionate about selling real estate and helping people with their decision. I want them to enjoy the area as much as I have. I am with them every step of the way from beginning to closing. ~Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate

We are a private club community with 54 holes of golf (three courses), a modern 20-acre practice facility, 16 tennis courts, 4 pickleball courts, 4 restaurants, a 100,000-square-foot clubhouse, aquatic center and lap pool, fitness center, and spa. We are located in northern Palm Beach County, 20 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport. ~The Club at Ibis

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of life in Florida?

The best aspect of life in Florida is the relaxed lifestyle. Everything you can want or need is at your fingertips. It is slowly becoming or even has become like New York South. Welcome all! ~Personal Auto Transport

The weather, which allows for people to enjoy the outdoors and to find their passion. ~Better Homes &  Gardens Real Estate

In my opinion, the beautiful weather! ~The Club at Ibis

More from Our Sister Sites