How to Buy a Home Now

2017 Miami Herald Guide

Evie Fernandez and her husband bought a home for their family in Surfside, one of Miami-Dade’s less known neighborhoods.Charles Trainor JrMiami Herald staff

With loosened lending requirements, buying a home in South Florida is easier now than in recent years — sort of. Our guide will help you navigate today’s real estate marketplace.

To aide you in your search, we updated our interactive tool that enables you to search for ZIP Codes where median home values match your budget, then easily review school ratings and safety statistics.

We want to be responsible and live within our means.Jason Lopez, first-time home buyer

Still, the data doesn’t match the on-the-ground reality in every case — for instance, some neighborhoods are split between ZIP Codes, and that means attractive pockets can get lost. Here, we’ve highlighted seven lesser-known neighborhoods that appeal to different types of buyers.

In choosing them, we looked for interesting and under-valued neighborhoods with good housing stock; average commuting times of roughly 30 minutes or less; acceptable schools and safety; and a strong chance of price appreciation in the long term.

We want to be responsible and live within our means.Jason Lopez, first-time home buyer

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Is it really that expensive to buy a home in South Florida?

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Interactive tool: See where you can afford a home in Miami-Dade and Broward

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Buying a home in Miami-Dade is so expensive it could hurt the economy

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Here’s how to fix South Florida’s mid-market housing crunch

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Yes, you really do need a Realtor. Here's how to find one

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To rent or to buy? The answer may depend on timing

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For many South Floridians, buying has gotten easier

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House or condo? Think about how you want to live

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Before you look, get your financial house in order

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Spruce the hedge, ditch the clutter: tips for getting the best sales price

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For cross-county commuters, the future may be brighter

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In Surfside, a small-town feel right beside the sea

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El Portal: Hamlet haven, right in the city

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North Bay Village: Condo oasis on the rise

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Sunset features big yards and access to Palmetto Expressway

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Convenience and schools make Westchester worth a look

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Lauderdale-by-the-Sea offers beaches, condos and cozy ambiance

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Playgrounds, golf draw families to Hollywood’s Emerald Hills