You've socked away some money and rebuilt your credit after spending like Paris Hilton on a bender in your younger days. You've even decided Miami is where you want to put down roots. Congratulations — you're officially a grownup. So prove it. Buy a house. Here's the catch: The rest of the world is also looking, and many of these people have a cool million in cash. Foreign buyers have driven up the cost of housing in Miami. This has made the Beach impossible, Coconut Grove impenetrable, and Brickell laughable (that's the bank laughing — not you — when you tell them you want a mortgage on a $500,000 one-bedroom on your $40,000 salary). Are your dreams of house parties and gardening shattered forever? Should you move to (gasp) Broward? There is one option: El Portal. This tiny village that covers a canopied swath of land from 85th to 90th Street just west of Biscayne Boulevard has a history that dates back to the 1500s (yes, the 1500s!) and was incorporated in 1937. Lush with 75-year-old oak trees and native plants, the town has about a thousand single-family houses and bungalows. There's a nature trail, a Tequesta Indian mound, and peacocks. Chances are you'll share your backyard with butterflies, blue jays, and raccoons. In the evening, a walk through the Sherwood Forest section is accompanied by a chorus of frogs, geckos, and night birds. It's just like Coconut Grove — without the astounding price tag. The current average sold home price is $323,557, according to Realtor.com. That means you can get a house for the price of a condo in other parts of Miami. Add the fact that the neighboring MiMo District is on an upswing, with restaurants like the Vagabond and Loba opening and Phuc Yea moving in, and you have a home you can afford in a neighborhood on the way up. Don't thank us for the real-estate tip. Just invite us to the housewarming party.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®