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South Beach Condos | Phillip Pessar/Flickr
South Beach Condos | Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Everything You Need to Know before Buying a Miami Apartment

Picture of Aisha Moktadier
Updated: 2 April 2017
Miami might seem like it can offer some prime real estate, and believe me, it can. However, before you dive head-first into buying one of these hip, oceanfront condos or apartments, you might want to consider seven very important things.

1. Know your neighborhoods.

Coral Gables Granada Golf Course | Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Coral Gables Granada Golf Course | © Phillip Pessar/Flickr

No matter where you decide to buy an apartment, it’s important to know the neighborhood. When it comes to Miami, neighborhoods can be divided in many different ways.

For those who are looking for an artsy, hip place to post up, you might be looking at Wynwood, Edgewater, Downtown Miami, or the MiMo District.

For someone looking for a family-friendly spot, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Kendall, South Miami, Pinecrest, and Cutler Bay might be good areas.

For those who are seeking a fast-paced lifestyle full of lots of fun spots to go out drinking and partying, stick to South Beach.

Miami Beach also has some really trendy, art deco apartment buildings that can be great for students, or those who kind of want the best of both worlds – the more “European lifestyle,” where they can walk to most things like the mall, grocery stores, and restaurants, and be in the heart of all the fun. Some areas of the beach however, also offer some peace and quiet. The key is to look for the areas that have that magical in-between.

2. Be aware of popular, noisy spots.

In Miami, there are several spots you might want to steer clear of if you’re looking for a place with less traffic and noise. These areas would be Downtown, since Brickell can be a bit rowdy with Mary Brickell Village and a lot of nearby construction, and the area near Bayside is where the EDM festival Ultra is hosted each year. Stay away from areas near clubs (like Story night club near South Pointe) if you don’t want all the hustle and bustle to surround you. Coral Gables and Coconut Grove are quieter areas, as are Kendall and Pinecrest.

3. Most apartments on Miami Beach only come with one parking space, if any.

Lincoln Arms Apartment | Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Lincoln Arms Apartment | © Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Some apartments do not have their own lot, and instead rely on street parking that is for residents only. But still, because you do not have a marked space in a garage, you don’t get that ease of knowing no one will take your place. You might be looking around for a space for a little while, but if you really love that cute art deco apartment, you might be willing to take the risk. If you don’t want that setup, look for a building that has its own garage. If it does have a garage, be sure to ask about the number of spaces you get. If you’re living by yourself it might not be an issue, but if you have a roommate, well, that might be a deal breaker.

4. Miami Beach is known to flood.

Remember, it’s Miami, and we pretty much have two seasons: hurricane season and not-hurricane season. Hurricane seasons lasts from June 1 to November 30, and during thunderstorms all throughout the year, even aside from hurricanes, flooding can occur in different areas. Because Miami Beach is, well, on the beach, it makes it more susceptible to flooding. Be careful when choosing real estate.

5. Choose one realtor to help with the whole process.

Apartment Building South Beach | Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Apartment Building South Beach | © Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Whereas in some other cities you might choose multiple realtors to help out with your real estate decisions, in Miami, it’s a one man show. According to MiamiHal Real Estate, “It is the norm for a Buyer to select one and only one Realtor® as their partner during their entire real estate search and purchase. As a Buyer, you should share all your details and desires with one Realtor® and they, in turn, will work hard to find you the best properties to meet your needs and goals.”

6. Know the Airbnb regulations before you decide to buy in order to rent.

If you’re looking to buy a great apartment in order to rent it out to others, be sure you know the Miami regulations for Airbnb renting (like having a business licence and charging tourist taxes) and and be sure they’re something you are willing to deal with. If you’re not a fan of the regulations, you might want to look for property in another city.

7. Ask whether windows and doors can be made hurricane-proof.

Habana Apartments | Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Habana Apartments | © Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Last, but definitely not least, make sure your windows and doors are hurricane-proof, and if they are not, make sure that they can be hurricane-proofed. Remember, hurricane season is June 1 to November 30!