As Michigan’s fall begins, many are preparing to pack up their summer residence for warmer climates. Realtor Elizabeth Zahra shares the latest trends in one of the fastest growing areas of South Florida.
By Andrea Walker-Leidy
Photography by Erin Kirkland
Sponsored by Elizabeth Zahra
Q: As residents in Michigan age, what are you seeing as top trends for downsizing homes and seasonal living?
A: I often see initial condo purchases that in 3-5 years turn into larger living spaces. I’ve found that plans of purchasing as an investment with occasional use turn into larger, more permanent living situations. Many Michigan residents are beginning to take advantage of seasonal and full-time living in the Palm Beach areas, especially Jupiter and Palm Beach. It’s easy to fall in love with all that the Palm Beaches have to offer. There are a large variety of options to choose from such as county club living, boating or equestrian lifestyle communities, proximity to the ocean, beautiful beaches and so much more.
Q: Define seasonal living, and how a person might start looking at that as an option for retirement?
A: Historically, one may tend to think of Florida as a place for retirement, but the Palm Beach area is now becoming a trend with younger buyers. In addition to world-class shopping in locations such as The Design District of Miami, The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens and Worth Avenue on Palm Beach Island, we have fabulous beaches, incredible dining options, a booming arts scene showcasing Art Basel Miami, as well as a growing business and job opportunities in tech, the sciences and health care which is attracting all ages. Additionally, as wellness continues to trend there is an increasing desire for a more active lifestyle which south Florida provides — offering the ability of endless outdoor activities 365 days a year.
Most people tend to spend the “season” in South Florida. That season tends to run from October to April. However, we are seeing trends of guests and residents staying until June before returning to the Northeast and Midwest to enjoy the summer months.
Many don’t realize there is only a six month and one day minimum to qualify for primary residency in the state of Florida. The longer stay is likely fueled by the turn to primary residence for tax purposes. In Florida, there is no state income tax. This is one more reason younger buyers are looking to relocate their businesses and families, specifically to the Palm Beaches.
Q: The Palm Beaches are one of the top areas for purchasing a seasonal home. How can someone plan to afford a home or vacation space in that area?
A: Palm Beach County has unlimited options in all price points. There is truly something incredible for every buyer. We’ve seen a recent trend of Miami residents moving north to the Palm Beaches for more land and attractive values. We are seeing buyers of all ages find their perfect seasonal home or condo on this area. With the rise in vacation home rentals, there is also an increase in buyers purchasing a home for seasonal living and renting it to travelers during their time in Michigan. There truly is an option for everyone.
Q: What are the first steps for someone beginning their search for seasonal real estate?
A great first step is to contact a good broker that can provide you with important market insight and show you inventory that will fit your personalized needs. I joined Douglas Elliman as a broker associate, as I knew I could offer the best resources for my clients on both ends of the transaction. We have 21 offices throughout south Florida alone. We are also the second largest brokerage in the country and offer global exposure through our partner, Knight Frank. We have exclusive market reports and publications to help educate our clients and keep them on the pulse of the local and global market conditions. In addition to local quarterly reports for Jupiter, Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton and surrounding markets, we offer a comprehensive global publication for the investment minded, created with Knight Frank titled “The Wealth Report.” This report tracks the top wealth managers in the world and shares current trends where the ultra-wealthy are spending their money on a global scale.
In addition, for the classic car enthusiast, we have a special report called “Concours D’Elegance” which tracks investment trends for classic, exotic and unique vehicles around the globe.
For anyone interested in our exclusive reports, looking to view inventory or discuss seasonal living or relocation, please reach out. I am available to discuss options that may be best suited for you.
340 Royal Poinciana Way
Palm Beach, Florida 33480
400 South US 1 Suite C1
Jupiter, Florida 33477