Luxury Homes: Not Necessarily Along a Coast

Beautiful outdoor with a neat pool area surrounded on all sides by little medium-sized trees.

Resort-style pool and patio are among the many amenities at the exclusive estate community of Azura by Toll Brothers.

Whether it's the increased scarcity of prime waterfront land in many areas of the U.S., including the escalating price that goes with it, or the desire for a fully "amenitized" country club lifestyle, many home buyers across the nation are looking inland for the home of their dreams.

According to Toll Brothers, ( the nation's leading builder of luxury homes, Florida presents a clear example of this. It's one of 20 states where the award-winning national builder and developer currently operates 230 actively selling new home communities.

The luxury home market in South Florida has long been driven by a continuing influx of affluent individuals and families looking to make the area their full- or part-time home and by current residents looking to move to a larger home. Thanks to local and relocating buyers, luxury living has also turned into a year-round passion rather than a seasonal one. 

Local buyers who move up to a larger home often seek an updated architectural design and more lavish interiors. Popular features such buyers desire include: higher and/or decorative ceilings, floor-to-ceiling expanses of glass, arches, columns, more sumptuous baths and gourmet kitchens.

For some local and relocating home buyers, the prestige of residing in one of the area's newest communities also comes into play. For many people, single-family homes on the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway have become cost-prohibitive. And, if they happen to be on the market, they may be in need of major renovations, adding to the already high price.

In addition, waterfront homes are usually self-contained and don't provide the "sense of community" or the resort-style amenities that many of today's discerning home buyers are seeking. That type of lifestyle isn't likely to be found in the coastal areas, except perhaps in an ultra-luxury condominium setting.

The lifestyle of a gated or country club community is very appealing to a segment of the population that desires exclusivity along with a wide array of recreational and social amenities, and the privacy provided only with a single-family home.

A great example is Azura, an intimate, gated community with lakefront and scenic homes from Toll Brothers. With just 92 home sites, Azura offers an intimate scale yet also features a 7,500 square foot clubhouse and spa. The only new home community in Boca Raton, Azura also features a ballet and yoga studio, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a resort style pool.

Also worthy of mention is a gated new home community does not have to mean a trek to major highways. Azura is just a short drive from downtown Boca Raton, the beaches and nearby highway I-95. That means driving to shops or a world-class beach isn't an all-day affair.

Some home sites found in these non-coastal "club" communities also overlook lakes, so one won't be "land locked." The popularity of these communities not far from the sea is proof positive that inland living in a country club or gated community setting with quick access to shopping, restaurants and the beach can be the best of all worlds.

Jay McKenzie heads up content and social media for and Builders Digital Experience. You can find him on Google+.

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