Island living and waterfront real estate are some of Miami’s most desired characteristics. Miami offers some great island communities for both single-family homes (Indian Creek, Venetian Islands, La Gorce Island) and for condos (Brickell Key Island, Venetian Islands, Fisher Island).
Most of Miami’s islands however are small enclaves that can be easily accessed and are not fully self-sufficient. For those that really want to live on an island that is self-sustaining and “away from it all”, there are really only two options: Key Biscayne and Fisher Island.
Accessibility, Security, and Privacy: Key Biscayne Vs Fisher Island
Key Biscayne is located on a barrier island just across the Rickenbacker Causeway from Miami (Just off Brickell/Coconut Grove). The Island measures 1,092 Acre (1.7 Sq Mile or 4.42km2) and is home to approximately 15,000 residents. Key Biscayne can be reached by car via the Rickenbacker Causeway or by boat. Everyone can enter the island, there is no guard-gated entrance and many places are public.
From the start of the Rickenbacker Causeway to the middle of the Island (The Ritz Carlton Hotel was taken as a point of reference) it will take you 14 min by car with normal traffic.
Fisher Island is also a barrier island, located just south of South Beach, situated on the Government Cut where the Biscayne Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The resort community measures 216 Acre (0.3375 Sq Mile or 0.874121 km2) and is home to around 700 – 800 families, most using the island as a second or third home. While in the past only 10% of Fisher Island’s residents called the resort community its primary residence, nowadays we see a shift with more year-round inhabitants. The island is only accessible via boat/yacht or the Fisher Island Ferry since there are no roads to Fisher Island. The heavily-secured ferry can only be accessed by residents, guests of residents, or hotel guests, the island cannot be accessed by outsiders without an invitation.
The ferry leaves every 5 minutes and takes around 7 minutes to arrive. Ferries are available all year round. New ferries are expected soon with more capacity and commercial traffic will be separated from residents’ transport. Ultra-luxury condo Palazzo della Luna on Fisher Island is even offering a private boat for residents to leave the island.
Conclusion: Although Key Biscayne is exclusive and private, nothing beats Fisher Island. Fisher Island cannot be accessed without an invitation, which adds to its exclusivity and privacy. Wealthy families from all over the world move here, as it is very rare to be on a secluded and private island while still being right next to a city core. As Fisher Island is the richest zip code in the USA one can imagine that most residents appreciate their privacy and security is extremely important.
Real Estate Options and Prices: Key Biscayne Vs Fisher Island
Key Biscayne is a market for single-family homes and condos. Key Biscayne homes for sale start selling at approximately $1.2M for dry lot homes and at $4M for waterfront homes. Although some homes are located on very large lots, most lots range between 7,500 SF and 12,000 SF. Waterfront homes on the island are very desired by boaters, as these homes offer easy and direct access to the open ocean. Another reason why Key Biscayne is desired is because of the excellent a-rated public school on the island. In previous years, Key Biscayne saw a large price gap with other desired areas such as Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, but with recent price corrections on the island this gap is now more bridged. Key Biscayne homes are still slightly higher priced than counterparts in Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, but with the excellent public school the area may keep its competitive advantage, allowing for a higher price per SF.
The condos on Key Biscayne are slightly dated. Besides Oceana Key Biscayne, they island didn’t see any new condos in the last 14 years! For those who want to live near the beach and don’t mind an older building and a unit that needs upgrading, this market will offer some great opportunities. For buyers looking for true luxury, there is limited choice with Oceana Key Biscayne being the only option.
Fisher Island’s real estate market is dominated by condos. Fisher Island offers only 8 homes, which aren’t waterfront. Most of Fisher Island’s condos for sale offer a good amount of SF, with 3,000+ sf and 3+ bedrooms. Many buyers of Fisher Island buy a condo here, as they feel it is the perfect replacement for a single-family home, but with more security. You will notice that all Fisher Island condos are built in the same style in conformity with Fisher Island’s construction codes. Fisher Island condos start selling at $1.2M, although most Fisher Island condos are in the multi-million dollar range.
Fisher Island is home to two brand new construction projects: Palazzo del Sol and Palazzo della Luna, both offering the highest standards in finishes, 3+ bedrooms and 3,700 SF or more of interior SF. These two ultra-luxury condos will be delivered in 2019 and belong to Miami’s top 10 luxury condos.
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What is the Best Island Living in Miami? Fisher Island Vs Key Biscayne
David Siddons | Siddons.firstname.lastname@example.org | +1.305.508.0899