Last Updated May 19, 2011 7:58 AM EDT
With so much bad news emanating from the Sunshine State, it may be easy to forget that in the not-so-distant past, Florida represented an image of wealth, sex appeal and opulent retirement that made TV shows like Miami Vice a permanent part of our pop cultural fabric. Crockett and Tubbs made chasing bad guys on the beach in slow motion, in a uniform of pastel t-shirts and deck shoes, an iconic ideal for millions of kids (and grownups) in the 1980s.
Floridians may have suffered some setbacks, but don't count the home of the Everglades out just yet. It is still more than possible to emulate the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, for less than you might have paid just a few years ago.
An $11 million home has just been listed for sale in the Florida Keys, the artistic playground of Ernest Hemingway and other members of the nation's historical and cultural elite. While $11 million is certainly a hefty price tag for most of us, you are buying more than just a fabulous manse with your millions.
Situated on the northernmost tip of Key Largo (see photo above), the property is part of the Ocean Reef Club â€" a 40 year-old community featuring 1,700 waterfront estates, private homes, condominiums and boat slips - not to mention the many billionaires (and countless millionaires) who have taken up residence. That $11 million you're parting with buys you into a lifestyle as much as a new residence - tradition, old and new money, and community.
The home is awash in clean, neutral colors, like the giant gourmet kitchen. There's also a 1,025 square foot master suite (bigger than your average apartment), which encompasses the home's third floor and includes a whirlpool bath, two walk-in showers, a breakfast bar and unbelievable terrace views (see image below).
There's plenty of room to accommodate guests, but just in case you want to go all out, the property features separate guest quarters, which offer four bedrooms and bathrooms, and another full kitchen.
In addition to the natural beauty surrounding the property, the home offers outdoor recreational opportunities in the form of a rolling pool with in-water seating (photo below), a game area and a putting green.
It may seem unimaginable that one would ever want to leave home, but if you buy the residence, you gain access to the Ocean Reef Club community, which offers an oceanfront inn (which you'll never need unless you're hosting both sides of the family for a special event), a spa and salon, dining and shopping attractions, a 175-slip marina for boating, fishing and diving, two 18-hole golf courses, tennis and lawn sports, and entertainment for children.
The community is situated just an hour's drive from Miami International Airport and about 90 minutes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. But if you want to avoid the masses, the Ocean Reef Club also boasts its own 4,456-foot lighted runway. Anyone using the helicopter this week?
Sotheby's International Realty holds the listing. Realtor Mary Lee will be happy to show you the property (and the other waterfront properties that are for sale at Ocean Reef, like Broad Key Island for a cool $20 million) in her boat.
Do you want to live like a billionaire (or millionaire) in the Florida Keys?
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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.