Are you considering a move to sunny Boca Raton, FL? Well in this blog, I’m going to break down the Pros and Cons to see if moving to and living in Boca Raton is right for you and and good place to raise a family so if that interests you, make sure you stay tuned until the end.

Pro #1. Pristine Beaches

We have some of the most beautiful beaches you can imagine here in Boca Raton and the best part is they aren’t as crowded and busy as beaches in nearby cities like Deerfield Beach or Fort Lauderdale. The beaches are way more private and the city tries to reserve them for Boca Raton residents.

If you live within Boca Raton city limits which is roughly as far west as the Turnpike, you can get a beach permit which is $75 per year. This gets you access to Spanish River Park, Red Reef Park, & South Beach Park. If you live in unincorporated Palm Beach County, roughly west of the city limits also known as West Boca, your drivers license will still say Boca Raton as your address but you can only get a parking pass for South Beach Park.

If you wanted to go to a busier more public beach, Deerfield Beach pier is less than 10 minutes down A1A and has public parking garages and lots that you can go to anytime. You can also go to Pompano or Fort Lauderdale beach, or any other beach you want really.

But the Boca Raton beaches are a very nicely kept area and a much more relaxed and laid back vibe than its southern neighbor in Deerfield Beach which has a lot more going on and can be a slightly rowdier scene. Theres nothing wrong with that and I personally enjoy both beaches for different things, but the Boca beaches are definitely much quieter and more reserved.

Pro #2. Upscale Living

If luxury living is your style, Boca Raton is the place for you. The city has tons of beautiful upscale neighborhoods to choose from. We have country club options for those who have the means to afford it and want that type of lifestyle. There are also non-country club options that will have a range of different amenities depending on the cost of the HOA.

There are also a lot of no-HOA neighborhoods as well with very nice homes. There’s really a lifestyle for everyone in Boca. But keep in mind Boca real estate is expensive. Compared with Parkland, Boca Raton has less expensive options since Parkland starts at a higher price, but your money definitely goes farther and you get more bang for your buck in Parkland.

If you’re looking for homes on the big Portal websites, they don’t allow you to exclude country club neighborhoods which can make your search much more difficult than it has to be. The country clubs have very high upfront fees, typically from around $70,000 up to $200,000. These fees can’t be rolled into your mortgage and need to be paid in cash at or before closing.

On top of that, they have monthly and annual fees that can add up to $20,000 - $30,000 per year or more depending on the club and type of membership you get. Our website allows you to exclude those homes from your search so feel free to use our website to search for homes if you want to exclude things like country clubs or 55+ communities. It has every search feature of our MLS making it much more accurate than the portal websites.

Pro #3. Vibrant Culture

Beyond the beautiful homes, Boca Raton has a vibrant cultural scene that's sure to captivate you. Mizner Park has an amphitheater that hosts regular concerts from great artists.

If you want to just hang out in Mizner and not go into the concert, you can chill on the median area and listen to the concert for free. Theres also a summer concert series that regularly puts on completely free concerts in Mizner from local bands and tribute bands. There’s also great music and nightlife in places like the Funky Biscuit downtown.

Pro #4. A Haven for Foodies

Boca Raton has a great restaurant scene, with foods from almost every cuisine or country you can imagine. If you like Italian food, my family LOVES Matteos downtown. Its more upscale and usually served family style so its great for larger parties. If you like Indian cuisine, Arun’s restaurant is my go-to.

There’s also a great omakase restaurant called Taki Omakase I highly recommend. There are tons of more casual and less expensive options around the city as well, so don’t feel like Boca only has high end restaurants. It really is a city that has something for everyone and every budget.

Pro #5. Excellent Schools

This one is for all the families thinking about relocating to Boca. No matter where you go, even in the worst area you can, the public schools in Boca Raton are all A rated. Boca has 4 high schools, West Boca High, Spanish River high, Boca Raton High, and Olympic heights. There are also 9 middle schools and 13 elementary schools. 

There are also great charter and private schools available throughout Boca if that’s more your style. Wherever you live in Boca, the schools are going to be amazing and you’re your kids are going to get a great education!

Boca Raton is also home to great higher education options as well such as Lynn University and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) which now has an excellent basketball program that made it extremely far in the NCAA tournament in 2022 (GO OWLS!)

Now lets talk about the cons!

Con #1. Cost of Living 

Boca Raton's incredible lifestyle does come with a slightly higher cost of living compared to some other areas. You can find condos in Boca starting at around $200,000 and going up to the multi million dollar range. Townhouses start at $XXX, and single family homes start at $XXX.

In addition to the price of the house, you obviously have property taxes that will be roughly 1.7% of the purchase price if it’s your primary homestead residence. Then we have insurance which is the big issue in all of Florida but specifically South Florida. 

Florida has one of if not the highest insurance costs in the country for homeowners insurance. On average you should expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of roughly 1% of the home’s value in insurance costs every year. If the home is 10 years old or newer the cost is substantially less, but the overwhelming majority of the homes in Boca are older than 10 years old.

Without making this whole blog about insurance and going too long on it, especially in South Florida we have a lot of fraud and abuse of the insurance system which drives up the cost. There have been recent law changes that are designed to make it more appealing to insurance companies to want to do business in Florida, but besides hurricanes, one of the main reasons insurance companies don’t want to do business in Florida is because the laws were so extremely pro-consumer that every insurance company was losing money every year.

We have a state run insurance company, Citizens, that was designed to be the insurer of last resort, but it has become the largest insurer in the state of Florida. Again not to make this all about insurance but that is a big problem so the government recently passed a few law changes that should help bring down insurance costs in the next few years.

Whether it ends up working or not is still to be seen. Right now it hasn’t helped yet but they say the changes could take 2-3 years to really make new companies want to enter the state and write policies here.

If you’re coming from other parts of the country, you likely won’t be getting insurance from the big companies you may have your current policies with like Farmers or State Farm. We recommend you get an independent insurance broker to help you look at the house and determine which company is best and help you get the best rates.

If you need the recommendation of someone good to help you shop around insurance don’t hesitate to reach out and I can connect you with someone!

Con #2. Traffic Congestion

Like any thriving city, traffic can be a bit of a challenge during peak hours. The main choke points for traffic tend to happen around the main arteries that take you from East to West. Specifically I see a lot of traffic around Glades & I95, Glades & the Turnpike entrance, and 441 between Palmetto Park & Glades Rd. You also get traffic on Jog road between Palmetto Park and

Con #3. Hurricanes 

Living in Florida means being prepared for hurricane season. Most people who have been in Florida for a while don’t really worry about any storm that’s a category 2 or less, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Storms can rapidly intensify and change paths quickly so from really July through October you’ll have to worry about storms.

Flooding can be a problem in any neighborhood, especially if you’re very far east or live on the water, so we recommend you check the FEMA flood maps to make sure any property you’re buying in is not in a Flood zone and if it is you purchase flood insurance. Citizens, the state owned insurance company, is going to start requiring flood insurance on all policies soon and if even a portion of your property line is in a flood zone it can really increase the cost of insurance.

Since we have the ocean to the east and the everglades to the West, you really can’t go very far inland in South Florida. Even the farthest West you can go in Boca, or really anywhere in Broward or Palm Beach county, can still have major hurricane effects if a storm comes. The last very bad storm we had in South Florida was in 2005 with hurricane Wilma. It came across the western part of the state from the gulf of Mexico, but there were a lot of tornadoes that spun off in this part of the state that caused a lot of damage and many people had to replace roofs or tear down pool screen enclosures.

Its important that your home is hurricane protected with either hurricane impact windows and doors, or some form of approved hurricane shutters that you can put up in the event a big storm comes this way. They are more rare than you may think, but you still don’t want to take any chances. Having a home with impact windows or hurricane shutters also decreases your insurance costs as well and impact windows are one of the best investments you can make in your home when it comes to adding value. For insurance its all or nothing so you need every single window and door protected including the front door, garage door, as well as side doors and bathroom doors.

Con #4 – Humidity

Its not the heat that gets you, it’s the humidity! From the middle of May through the end of September Boca & south florida in general can be extremely hot and humid. By the time you get out of your car and get into whatever store you’re walking into, you are starting to sweat. There’s no way to avoid it, we definitely need our AC here in South Florida. You do get used to it after a while, but if you’ve never experienced a sweaty south florida summer you’re definitely in for a surprise.

Similar to humidity is the rain. They call it the Sunshine State, but during Summer we definitely have our fair share of rain. Usually its just a passing storm but it tends to happen multiple times a week in the afternoon. It will be completely sunny then all of a sudden it’s a torrential downpour for about an hour, then its sunny again. Crazy weather, but the good definitely outnumbers the bad.

For every hot and humid day you have in Summer, you get equally as many beautiful days in the winter with temperatures in the 60s or 70s.

And there you have it, folks! An in-depth look at the pros and cons of moving to Boca Raton, Florida. From the stunning beaches to the upscale living, this city has so much to offer. Just remember, every location has its trade-offs, and Boca Raton is no exception. It's all about finding the balance that aligns with your lifestyle and priorities.

So, whether you're captivated by the idea of waking up and spending your days at the beach or you're excited about exploring the vibrant culture, Boca Raton welcomes you with open arms. If you're ready to take the next step in your real estate journey, don't hesitate to reach out to me. As your local real estate expert, I'm here to guide you every step of the way.

Posted by Andy Mandel on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.