Basements in South Florida Homes?

If it’s hard for some to believe that there are homes in Florida with basements, it’s even harder to believe they can be found in Southeast Florida.  The highest elevation found in the South Florida metropolitan area is only 29 feet above sea level, while many homes – especially those east of U.S. 1 are no more than 10-15 feet above sea level.  Yet, surprisingly, every once in a while a listing comes on the market that has some type of basement (this includes a few with ground-level basements). 

I did a quick search of the MLS and found 18 South Florida homes that are currently on the market and are stated to have a basement of some sort.  These homes are priced between the mid-$200s to a high of $2M, with a median price of $400,000 (somewhat lower than the average sale price of single-family homes).  Nine are located in Miami-Dade, three in Broward, and six in Palm Beach County.  Do you know someone who owns a South Florida home with a basement?

11 Responses to “Basements in South Florida Homes?”

  1. Bonnie Erickson Says:

    The number of basements in Minnesota houses is most likely the opposite of your figures. The anamoly here is the lack of basement. Besides using our basements for actual living space, they come in handy to shelter during a tornado. Does the same apply in your area during hurricanes? Or does flooding prevent safe harbor in basements?

  2. Carole Cohen Says:

    Wow Leanne, ty that is really cool and informative. Which doesn’t surprise me, I love how you write. I did not know this!

  3. Leanne Paynter Says:

    Bonnie, I would fully expect this to be exactly the opposite in your part of the country. Basements were common where I grew up in NJ and I suspect they are in many northern states where they tend to be used for storage and/or living space. The potential for flooding due to storm surge is certainly a factor in why there are not many homes in South Florida with basements. We mainly rely on hurricane shutters to protect us and our homes.

    Carole, thanks for the compliment! I’m trying to include some interesting facts about South Florida that are not easily found on the ‘net.

  4. gdiaz Says:

    Wife’s sister’s boyfriend who lives in Boynton Beach, FL has a basement. West of 95…supposedly several of the homes in the community have basements. Being from NJ I miss having a basement, moving to FL meant trading in a basement for a pool but now that I know there’s a possibility for both I’m set on finding one.

    • tj Says:

      please advise on name of community that offers basement homes… been looking everywhere & can’t find. much appreciated!


  5. Leanne Paynter Says:

    I completely understand the desire, if not need, for a basement. Many tend to use their garages the way a lot of Northerners use their basements… for storage, or extra living space! It’s no wonder there’s been an increase in 3-car garage homes built in recent years. Florida homes with basements are rare but they do exist.

  6. Tony Pacella Says:

    i visited a friend in Wilton Manors area of Ft. Lauderdale about 10 years ago to see the new place he was renting. He showed ey this and that room and I said-what is that door for, a closet? he said look and there was a stairway to a full and dry basement. the windows were above eye level and looked out to the lawn. he never had any water problems either-oddly he worked in a home converted to an office in downtown Ft. Lauderdale that also had a basement below the street level floor.

  7. S. DAndrea Says:

    I grew up in Tarpon Springs, FL and our house had a basement. It was an old house and had many unique features!! the basement even had a fire place as the upstairs dining room:)
    The basement had 3 different sections….one was a rec room, one the laundryand the other, like a workshop, you could walk outside from the basement also.

  8. Bobby beaumont Says:

    Yes. Houses with basements are rare in s.florida. But in some of the older areas of central florida they are somewhat common but only in larger 1920s era houses. My dads office building in eola heights in orlando used to be a old mansion converted to office. It has a full large 5 room basement thats trapped in time and is dark dank and very spooky. But i absolutly love it. Also out in lake county in the mt dora and eustis area Alot of old houses have basements. Im actually looking for a fixer upper out there with a basement right now that i can get cheap. I grew up in historic houses and i love everything about them.

  9. Stan Smith Says:

    Size is key in a new home in Florida. Basements are rare. I was looking at new homes for sale in palm beach gardens

  10. Stephen Claus Says:

    Thank you for sharing this very useful article.

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