THE HAMPTONS OF THE SOUTH
One of the best kept secrets is under the spotlight thanks to a recent swath of big-ticket home sales to celebrity buyers, and record-breaking real estate activity.
The Town of Southwest Ranches, a low-density, quaint equestrian community in Broward County — just 22 miles outside Miami and 15 miles from Fort Lauderdale — has long been an alternative to Wellington and a favorite hideaway for sophisticated, in-the-known estate level property hunters.
Now, sales in Southwest Ranches are heating up as the area gains traction with high-net-worth buyers looking for privacy, value, acreage and world-class estates within the regions remaining farmland. Homes, custom made on order, rarely hit the market in the town, shielding prices from the public. But recently, custom-made estate 11 acres, built by Landmark Custom Homes, hit the market there at $54 million, demonstrating the area’s unprecedented price growth.
Landmark Custom Homes, the area’s leading luxury home builder, is behind most of these prominent estates, and offers turn-key building services via bespoke architectural designs from world class firms including Affiniti Architects of Palm Beach, Choeff Levy Fischman and CMA Design Studios in Miami. The builder is also the visionary developer behind Landmark Ranch Estates, the only gated community that has been allowed in the town, and the main catalyst in igniting interest in the area.
Residents of Landmark Ranch Estates, the most prominent luxury estate community in Southwest Ranches have included “A list” Hollywood celebrities and top tier athletes as well as entrepreneurs and C-suite execs from varied business sectors.
Southwest Ranches represents an unparalleled value proposition for ultra-high-net-worth people,” says Douglas Elliman’s Miguel Serrano, noting that the area is close to the region’s two most used executive airports: Ft Lauderdale Executive and Opa Locka Executive. “It’s like a Hamptons lifestyle in an almost unknown, secret location, and thanks to strict preservation rules that prevents future over-development it’s going to stay that way. The town’s informal motto is ‘The pavement stops here!’”
Landmark Ranch Estates is composed of just 44 estate sites, ranging from 2 to 5 acres. Now, just five custom estate home sites remain available, with estate designs ranging in price from $8 million to over $30 million.
“A community like this can never be created again in Southwest Ranches,” says Rick Bell, owner of Landmark Custom Homes, who envisioned this area as one of the last bastions of rolling acreage in the whole tri-county area, buying some 150 acres nearly two decades ago prior to the town’s incorporation.
“We’re building custom homes for both equestrians and non-equestrians looking for tranquility, safety, great value, but most importantly, a different lifestyle from the beach or the convoluted urban areas,” says Bell, noting that the most notable projects in the current pipeline boast over 30,000 square feet of construction on 5 to 10 acres sites.
As pricing continues to rise and inventory remains low across South Florida, high ticket buyers are looking beyond the intracoastal and usual ultra-luxury zip codes, while staying within reach of the important metro hubs of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca. It’s a trend that’s turning suburban heavens like Southwest Ranches into Hamptons-style hideaways.
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