The green grass and palm trees are common in master plan communities

With an average 159 days of sunshine in West Palm Beach alone, what is there not to love about South Florida? We have some of the best golf courses in North America, stunning ocean resorts, and beautiful world-class homes in master plan communities in South Florida. It's no surprise that many people flock to our little slice of paradise. However, before you start scouring listings for luxury vacation homes in South Florida, here are some key things you should consider:

Ongoing Costs

Ongoing costs for vacation homes can vary depending on the type of property and the location. Below are some of the most common costs for luxury homes in South Florida:

Home Owner Association Fees

Home owner association fees are common throughout many communities in South Florida and often vary in cost depending on the type of services and amenities offered. For example, if you're looking for luxury homes in Ranch Colony, Jupiter, you will have access to many world-class equestrian and lifestyle facilities that would make almost every adventure-seeker weak at the knees. These facilities do come at a cost however with those low HOA fees being put towards the cost of maintaining the facilities. This ensures that they are in pristine condition for you to enjoy today and long into the future.

Tip: Before searching luxury real estate for sale in South Florida, you should sincerely consider how much time you plan to spend at your vacation home and whether the ongoing costs, like HOA and maintenance fees, are worth the investment.

Government Fees

You should always consult with an appropriate lawyer before closing the deal on any luxury real estate in South Florida. This is because Florida has some of the strictest property tax laws in the USA. If you're vacation home isn't your primary residence, you'll likely not receive any concessions and will have to pay the full property tax rate. If you plan to rent your vacation property while you are not there, you should also check the home owners association's rules and contact the city to see if you require additional permits.


You should always consult with a qualified insurance agent to make sure that your luxury home has adequate coverage. Don't necessarily settle for the cheapest insurance company instead focus on whether you'd be covered for rental damages, acts of God-type incidents, and severe storms. Don't forget that South Florida does suffer from inclement weather, namely hurricanes, and you don't want to be on the receiving end of a big bill to fix incidental damages that could have been covered by having the correct insurance package.

Styles of Luxury Vacation Homes in South Florida

Florida's luxury vacation home market does have a variety of styles for you to choose from but that doesn't mean that any of them are necessarily "your style". Here's three of the most popular and common styles that you'll be able to find in Florida:

Contemporary homes in South Florida



Lofted ceilings and open floor plans are in abundance in Contemporary style homes. Typically made with natural finishes such as wood and polished concrete, the contemporary home is not suitable for those searching for something more traditional.


Mediterranean homes south florida



With tiled floors inside and a terracotta tiled roof, the Spanish or Mediterranean-style home is one of the most popular styles of homes in Florida and is often the type of home people most associate with life in Florida.



Victorian homes in South Florida



There's a high chance that a home for sale in Florida that's a Victorian style home is an original, heritage building that harkens back to Florida's past. As such, a Victorian style house is anything but cookie cutter. You won't find too many Victorian style homes along the coast, but you will quite a few of them in or around Central Florida.



Be Realistic About Rental Incomes

Renting out a vacation home when you aren't there is a great way to offset some of the costs. Unfortunately, many people overestimate just how little rental income that their vacation property will bring in at first. Take into consideration that there will be off-season and general vacancy periods. Whether you choose to rent out your property through a listings service like "Air bnb" or privately, you should research other rental properties, estimate marketing costs, and factor in costs for cleaning services between rental periods.

Of course, your local REALTOR® is always there to help guide you in finding your perfect vacation property. Our expertise has helped many people like you navigate the whole home buying process whether it was their first or thirty-first luxury vacation home in South Florida.

Looking for your next vacation home in South Florida? Check out my listings!

Posted by Kathy Palmer on
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