Earlier this year we made our biggest financial decision yet – purchasing a home. There are so many factors to consider when you first begin the search. Lifestyle, location, affordability, home type, and size all come into play.
The first thing we wanted to narrow down was location and we considered two. South Beach and Coral Gables. Two totally different vibes, I know! But they both had a fair amount of pros that we just couldn’t rule out without doing our research.
The obvious appeal to living in South Beach is having the beach in your backyard. Walkability is also a huge plus with many tourists and locals sharing the sidewalk. I love the fast pace and accessibility that comes with an urban lifestyle. Having the grocery store, restaurants, and so many activities within a mile of my potential new home really added to the convenience appeal of not having to get into my car at all (I really dislike driving). Hailing a cab or calling an Uber for a few bucks meant getting a lift on the cheap quickly when pressed for time or when caught in uncooperative weather. Even with that convenience noted, a hefty price tag of $750 per square foot for a tiny 600 square foot space and a tough parking situation were tough to swallow. But every time we would look at pictures or go to a showing, we’d see that ocean view and imagine ourselves drinking wine on the balcony and it was suddenly worth every penny. We got so close to purchasing a condo on Ocean Drive but unfortunately that didn’t work out. We were a bit discouraged but ultimately knew this was not the right home or location for us and the search continued…
Coral Gables has always been a dream location when I would imagine my future home! It’s a charming and beautifully planned out residential city in a central location. It’s a retail, business, and residential hub that is pedestrian friendly in a calmer traffic situation (relatively speaking). There are a few major streets that run through Coral Gables, but for the most part the tree lined streets are calm enough to take a scenic stroll or go for a bike ride. The Gables has managed to keep its historic roots a mainstay for nearly one hundred years. Strict zoning laws can be a pain but it’s safe to say that it’s a huge part of what’s kept The Gable’s prestigious identity constant – they don’t call it The City Beautiful for nothing! I love the Mediterranean style architecture seen throughout and it almost makes me feel like I’m in a small town situated somewhere in Spain. It’s not all peace and quiet there though. Miracle Mile is home to plenty of bars like The Bar and Tarpon Bend (BEST. MOJITOS. EVER.) It’s laid back, comfortable, and just right for us.
After looking at several houses, we quickly realized that anything remotely close to our max budget required an entire overhaul. The homes in our price range only had two or three teeny-tiny bedrooms. The layouts were odd and… (gasp!) there were no closets in the bedrooms. It quickly became clear that a project of that magnitude would be unreasonable for us to take on. We decided to steer our search toward newer construction and we found a great one bedroom condo that we can’t wait to make “home”.
Ultimately, buying a new home is serious business. Credit checks, loan approval, title searches and so much more make up the lengthy, not-so-fun process that we miraculously got through quickly and with minor hiccups. It’s a purchase that takes careful thought and consideration. It should improve your quality of life and fit seamlessly into your lifestyle both financially and personally. Cheers to that!