South Florida’s Oceanfront Bargain Towns: Hollywood

Posted: December 6, 2023

South Florida real estate is the most expensive in the Sunshine State – especially anything on the water. But some beach towns are cheaper than others – as much as 40% less. All on the same Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico water. In fact, some of the less expensive beachfront towns have better beaches than the expensive towns. Such as Hollywood, Florida with its wide beach and clear blue water.

While South Florida beach towns such as Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Miami Beach attracted developers who built dozens of new and expensive condo projects, Hollywood was mostly left out until 2005 when the Diplomat was rebuilt and 2009 when Trump Hollywood opened. A few new projects have been built since Trump Hollywood, but prices are still affordable. A good selection of 1970’s and 80’s-era condos are available as low as the $500s. According to Zillow, the average Fort Lauderdale home value in 2023 is $534,211; $596,178 in Naples and $525,643 in Miami Beach. The average Hollywood home value in 2023 was $452,509.

Instead of a Boardwalk, Hollywood has a Broadwalk, and it is one of the best in the country. Similar to Coney Island and Venice Beach, the 2.5-mile Hollywood Broadwalk runs along the water with a unique variety of restaurants, beach shops and entertainment. Check out the latest bathing suits, buy a cool seashell, listen to a band at the Hollywood Beach Theatre, or grab a taxi and get lucky at the nearby Seminole Hollywood Casino. And especially, the big-wide beaches! The possibilities are almost unlimited.

Located between a stretch of Fort Lauderdale condos to the north and Miami Beach resorts to the south, Hollywood was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Young who wanted to create his own “Dream City in Florida.” He called it Hollywood by the Sea, later shortened to Hollywood. By the 1960s, Hollywood had hundreds of reasonably priced hotel rooms attracting vacationers and snowbirds from the United States, Canada and Europe. The Hollywood Beach area also offers several luxury hotels, including the Diplomat Resort, Trump Hollywood, and Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. In 2019, the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel opened with its one-of-a-kind, guitar-shaped design and 465 music-themed rooms on 35 floors that glow a bright blue as night travelers fly into the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

While many of the older neighborhoods in South Florida have been transformed with trendy-and-updated or new construction, Hollywood still has quite a few older-interesting-and-affordable neighborhoods such as Hollywood Lakes where three-and-four-bedroom homes in good condition are readily available from the $700s and Emerald Hills where upscale-waterfront golf condos and townhomes are listed from the $400s. All just a few minutes to the ocean.