South Florida Luxury Home Buyers Want Tighter Security

In July, news broke that the soccer legend, Lionel Messi had signed a $60 million annual contract with Inter Miami, sparking Messi-mania throughout the region. Few celebrity home purchases have garnered as much attention as Messi’s this summer, and it was widely known that privacy and security were top priorities for him.

Messi is no stranger to South Florida, owning three condos in Sunny Isles Beach, including one at the Porsche Design Tower developed by Gil Dezer’s Dezer Development. During the Covid pandemic, he even rented a waterfront house in Key Biscayne. However, this came with its challenges, as fans approached him by boat at his dock, and police had to manage the public street.

This time, Messi sought out a private, gated community. He explored Sea Ranch Lakes, a small, gated enclave with its own police force and just over 200 homes. His teammate Sergio Busquets also invested in a waterfront property there for $8.7 million.

After much speculation, Messi ultimately acquired a waterfront mansion in Bay Colony, Fort Lauderdale, for $10.8 million. Situated just across the water from Sea Ranch Lakes, Bay Colony checks all the boxes for a security-conscious buyer. This gated luxury community boasts just over 100 waterfront lots and maintains round-the-clock security.

“They’re very, very tough about who comes in and out,” remarked Douglas Elliman agent Hedy Tufo.

While Messi may be the most high-profile recent buyer in South Florida emphasizing privacy and security, brokers report that these attributes are increasingly sought after by clients.

“Security and privacy [are] at the height of what people want,” noted Ruthie Assouline, an agent with Douglas Elliman’s Assouline Team.

Brokers attribute this trend to rising crime rates in other parts of the country, driving more security-minded purchases in South Florida.

“When you have people who are so security conscious and moving from certain states, like New York and California, their eyes are very wide open to potential security issues,” explained Dana Koch, an agent with the Corcoran Group in Palm Beach.

Koch shared that one of his clients recently acquired a home in Bear’s Club, an ultra-private, gated golf community in Jupiter designed by Jack Nicklaus. The community, which includes celebrity residents like Michael Jordan and Rory McIlroy, offers only 100 home sites, many of which have their own gates. The homeowners association even manages garbage collection and mail/package delivery to limit outsiders’ access.

“More so than ever we have clients saying, ‘We only want a gated community,'” added Assouline. “That makes people feel very secure in their home, knowing how closely everything is being watched.”

South Florida offers a wealth of highly secure communities with the allure to attract high-profile buyers. For instance, Indian Creek, a private island in Biscayne Bay, operates as its own municipality with its own police department. The island’s streets are private, and access is restricted to residents and their guests. This level of security has enticed figures like Jeff Bezos, Tom Brady, and David Guetta.

“There are gated communities like La Gorce and Sunset Island, and there are private communities where they can actually deny access,” explained Nelson Gonzalez, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty.

For those who don’t opt for gated or heavily patrolled single-family home communities, luxury condos also offer extensive security and privacy measures.

“It’s a no-brainer that security is an amenity [in condos],” emphasized Jonathan Bigelman, an agent with One Sotheby’s International Realty.

Assouline pointed out that the level of security and privacy depends on the development. Smaller, less social buildings are preferable for ultra-private buyers, and a private restaurant can make a significant difference.

Fisher Island, a private island off Miami Beach, is known for its security and privacy. Accessible only by ferry, boat, or helicopter, the island offers a unique entry and exit point. Constant land and marine patrols provide residents with a sense of comfort. Even the hotel is invitation-only, requiring resident sponsorship. Luxury buyers continue to flock to secure communities for the sense of safety and sanctuary they provide. The island’s unique atmosphere makes it a popular choice for luxury buyers.

Property Deals

Flagler Street Retail Center 4735 W Flagler St Coral Gables, FL 33134

Investment Highlights: Prime Redevelopment Potential: Positioned under the Live Local Act, the property at 4731-4747 W Flagler Street offers an ideal redevelopment opportunity in...

Caribbean Shoppes | 19501-19577 NW 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33169

Caribbean Shoppes: A Stable Investment Opportunity in Miami's Growing Market Prime Location & Established Clientele: Iconic retail center on busy Highway 441 commercial corridor. Fully...

Square One 351 S Cypress Rd Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Trustee Realty is proud to present the Square One Office Building, a prime real estate offering in the heart of Pompano Beach. This 4-story...

More Posts