MiamiMiami and Miami Beach have a bit of a reputation — thanks in part to the celebrities that have second (or third, or fourth) homes in the area — of being where you go for luxury beach living.

And luxury, as we all know, doesn’t come cheap. But for this week’s Splurge Vs. Steal, we’re heading to Miami Beach, the city connected only by bridges to mainland Miami, where the prices vary as widely as the beaches, and the southern end — South Beach — is nearly synonymous with models and celebrities.

We have a gorgeous beachfront condo with luxurious amenities thanks to its affiliation with a luxury hotel, and a more modest option that is much lower in price point, but ripe for becoming that blank slate ready for your modern touches. Which one will you pick? (more…)

Florida

Vanderbilt Beach (Photo courtesy Collier County, Florida).

A charter member of the SecondShelters.com fan club touched base with us recently to let us know about a great Naples, Florida, property close to two amazing beaches, fine dining, and more — and the Florida Traditional she showed us? Her own.

Heidi Boetsch-Loewinsohn, a Realtor with Caine Premier Properties, said her three-bedroom, two bath home has been recently landscaped and beautifully updated, and has 1,886 square feet of well-appointed living space that is close to quite a bit of the best things the area has to offer.

“It is in an incredible location, within biking distance to two of the top ten beaches in the country, Vanderbilt Beach and Delnor Wiggins State Park,” Loewinsohn said.

 

Vanderbilt Beach Park is in a prime location near upscale hotels and more, with plenty of room for visitors to enjoy its white sands. Delnor Wiggins is known as one of the most pristine stretches of beaches in the world, where visitors come to sunbathe, paddle board, kayak, hike, bird watch, picnic and more.

Delnor Wiggins State Park (Photo courtesy Florida State Parks)

(more…)

This 1910 beauty in St. Petersburg, Florida will be hard to pass up. Between its historic charm, new ultra-modern renovations, and resort location, be prepared for a dazzling experience.

Located at 140 13th Avenue NE in a walkable and bikeable part of town, the property includes the 2,974-square-feet main house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a separate one-bedroom, one-bath, 504-square-feet mother-in-law suite situated atop the detached three-car garage. Though the front of the façade contains a small porch and window flower boxes, the back is encircled with a mostly covered, nearly 200-square-feet wrap around deck that’s perfect for outdoor entertaining.

(more…)

Dean Anderson with Delta Realty Inc. has listed 776 Eldorado Avenue, Clearwater, Florida for $3,690,000.

This stateside beach just beat out Hawaii as the best beach in the USA and it’s probably in the last place you would expect. Clearwater Beach, Florida, is a known tourist spot and most recently ranks highest among TripAdvisor travelers in both quantity and quality of reviews over a 12-month period.

One TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “The sugar fine white sand is a trademark of this fabulous beach. Perfect for a day in the sun. You might even spot a dolphin or two playing on the horizon.” And this got us thinking: What can I get for a few million dollars in Clearwater, Florida? What we find may surprise you. (more…)

Lakeland

Photo courtesy Pixabay

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 34th city on the list — Mesa, Arizona. This week, we look at Lakeland, Florida, and found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“Lakeland is nestled safely in the middle of Florida, far away from weather-beaten coasts,” MoneyWise said. “The climate is warm and mild all year, and the cost of living requires an income of only $39,000. This is a family-friendly town that is home to a hospital and 17 healthcare centers.”

CONDO IN A LAKESIDE DEVELOPMENT

Price: $109,900

Located in the popular Casa Loma community, which was developed around Scott Lake, this three-bedroom, two-bath condo has 1,425 square feet of living space, making it a great spot for the downsizers who still want to host family. (more…)

Miami ShoresWhen we look for historical shelters every week, we always find some beautiful homes with interesting stories — and that’s true this week as well, with the Simmons Estate in Miami Shores, Florida.

It’s always fun to go back and look at 1920s architecture — the era embraced luxury in a way that was potentially over the top, but so well crafted that to this day newer construction often attempts to emulate the grandeur.

And that’s true with 257 NE 91 St., a gorgeous Mediterranean built in 1925 and designed by the nationally-acclaimed architects Kiehnel and Elliot, whose work includes the Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Carlyle Hotel in Miami Beach, and the downtown Miami Post Office. (more…)

Cape CoralEditor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 40th city on the list — Scottsdale, Arizona. This week, we look at Cape Coral, and found lots of incredible inventory for as low as the $150,000s to the millions.

There is something for every budget, it seems.

“Although there will be some rebuilding to do in this city after Hurricane Irma, Cape Coral is a lovely town worthy of your consideration,” Moneywise said. “Cape Coral is located on the west coast of the peninsula and is known for its low crime rate, excellent restaurants, and perpetually sunny Florida weather!”

“The cost of living in Cape Coral is relatively low when compared to the cost of living in Miami or Fort Lauderdale,” the story added.

The city offers much in the way of amenities (as do many of the planned communities), including golf, splash grounds, art studios, and more. But with more than 400 miles of canals, you can bet that boating, fishing, and other water activities take center stage.

ONE STORY HOME CLOSE TO GOLF AND KAYAKING ACCESS

Price: $259,900 (more…)