South Florida real estate has so much to offer and with so much development and revitalization taking place throughout, we asked the pros their observations on today’s trends and their advice for homebuyers.

Alan S. Macken

Principal, Macken Companies

Jodi R. Macken

Principal, Macken Realty

What trends are you seeing with luxury property this year?
Alan Macken (AM): Certainly there has been a shift to homes that feature open floor plans with contemporary styling, like our Beach House project ( That isn’t to say that home buyers are not concerned with function, but at the same time they want the home to be a bit more clean, open and in some cases even a bit stark with cutting edge styling.

What neighborhoods should buyers consider when home shopping in South Florida?
For families?

Jodi Macken (JM): Neighborhoods with a strong infrastructure offering lifestyle amenities are always the most attractive to families. Security, a lifestyle club component, and proximity to schools are the strongest considerations for most families in the marketplace.

For couples?

Couples typically look for younger communities that offer the potential for growth. For example, there are many large communities in Weston that offer starter homes and significantly larger homes within the same subdivision. Young couples often purchase in communities where they become rooted in their friendships and day to day living. Many communities in a suburban atmosphere now offer starter homes as well as larger, more expensive homes for future growth. Many young couples will buy larger homes in the same community where they have established roots as their families grow along with their socioeconomic status.

For singles?

Singles typically are attracted to the more urban communities which offer fantastic lifestyle amenities with minor maintenance. Condominiums, town homes, and even zero lot style single-family homes close to urban areas are often the most popular for single people. The proximity to the city offering nightlife, shopping, and convenience for their busy day to day lives are typically the most common areas where singles buy. Miami and Las Olas have experienced a huge influx of singles to their communities in recent year.

For active retirees?

Active retirees are shifting their focus from condominium living to include communities like Valencia in Boynton Beach and Delray where they can still maintain an extremely active lifestyle to include golfing, tennis, and country club living at affordable rates. Many are gravitating to communities that allow them to remain active both socially and physically in a more suburban environment. Prices remain more affordable in keeping with land acquisition costs and as such, they tend to be able to take advantage of great prices with fantastic lifestyle amenities.

What is the single most important advice you can offer someone in the market for a new home?
AM: Do your homework, but when you find the right one don’t be afraid to dive in and make an offer. In light of today’s attractive mortgage rates and the gap created by the vacancy as a result of the currency turnover there may never be a more compelling time than now to buy a new home.

What are some key design features you see as a “must-have” in today’s real estate market?
AM: Smart home technology, smart phone integration, audio video opportunities and low energy efficiency are all must-haves!

What do you foresee as the biggest trend for 2017? Or what would you like to see in 2017?
AM: For many empty nesters, a move from the suburbs to thriving business districts.

What should someone in the market look for in a real estate agent?
AM: Purchasing real estate is typically a significant investment and I would urge today’s buyers to engage an agent that is a good listener, market informed and a savvy negotiator.

What areas of South Florida do you see as the next “up & coming” trendy neighborhoods?
AM: South Florida offers a variety of markets each with its own unique opportunities. We now feature a variety of thriving business districts that litter the landscape between Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Examples include Flagler Village in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Edgewater in Downtown Miami, all of which are undergoing exciting revitalizations.

What style of home are you seeing the most with new construction in South Florida?
JM: The current trend in South Florida has been toward a modern, clean vibe. Floor plans are very open and the style is minimalist. The once extremely popular Mediterranean Mizner architecture has faded a bit and the more modern square roof clean lines are dotting the coastline of South Florida and even trending in Southwest Ranches, Weston, and Davie.