Merry Christmas from the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys must be one of the most wonderful places to be this Christmas season. It is this holiday time of the year that each of the Florida Keys islands glow with happy people and lots of cheer. Lighted boat parades line the waters with holiday celebrations. Tropical versions of Santa are everywhere with tropical shirts and sandals. Traditional Christmas trees are decorated along with many of the local palm trees.The true spirit of Christmas is in the hearts of everyone putting Christmas in the air.

I love this time of the year as the busy tourist and real estate season begins to gear up. Friends, family and visitors from all over the country and world begin arriving ready to enjoy all of the warmth and festivities for the New Year.
I want to wish you and your family a holiday filled with all the joys of this blessed season.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a happy new year.!!

Clyde Butcher featured at Islamorada Art Walk

I love to stroll along the Florida Keys Old Highway in Islamorada between the historic 1935 Hurricane monument and the famous Green Turle Inn at the quickly growing Islamorada Art Walk in downtown Islamorada’s Morada Way Arts and Cultural District. This month the event will feature the renowned black and white photographer Clyde Butcher. His wilderness photography of the Florida landscape explores such a personal relationship with nature. I enjoy his story, history and especially his artwork. As a lover of Florida landscape photography and a black and white photo enthusiast, I will be there this Thursday along with many locals and visitors in the Islamorada community. So much to see and a wonderful opportunity for holiday shopping for my friends and family. I will stroll a bit in this wonderful Florida Keys weather in December, sip a little wine and visit with my friends.

Airports to the Florida Keys

Your Florida Keys Real estate search and purchase usually results in a great reason to visit and explore the beautiful Florida Keys. Selecting the right airport to get you started on this trip can be important in determining convenience and budget. Both Miami (MIA) and Ft Lauderdale (FLL) airports will place you on the mainland and within a reasonable distance to begin your drive. Compare price and schedule knowing that either airport will get the job done. Good information to know is that the Ft. Lauderdale airport although it seems and is a bit more north is really only 15 minutes more of a drive south using the Florida Turnpike. It is also possible to fly into Marathon (MTH) or Key West (EYW) but most of the time it requires a plane change resulting in more travel time. While is it a beautiful fly over the Florida Keys, the drive over the bridges are equally impressive! Just driving down the overseas highway thru the Florida Keys over the bridges is an attraction in itself.
Driving directions from the mainland airports and also approximate distance via mile markers to each island of the Florida Keys can be found on my travel resource page.

Airport Codes
•MIA – Miami International Airport
•FLL – Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
•MTH – Florida Keys Marathon Airport
•EYW – Key West International Airport

Driving Directions to the Florida Keys from mainland airports
Note: The turnpikes are toll roads. But, this is your best choice.   Most rental car companies provide a SUNPASS by which these tolls are billed. Otherwise tolls are billed by License Plate with a surcharge added to the toll.

From Miami International Airport, take LeJeune Road south to 836 West. Take the Florida Turnpike south toward Key West. The Turnpike ends at US 1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. 1 south about 22 miles to Key Largo and you are now in the Florida Keys. Or you may choose to take Card Sound Road which appears on the left in Homestead south of the turnpike end. $1.00 toll paid on this road.

From Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, exit the airport and follow the signs for 595 West. Take 595 to the Florida Turnpike and follow the signs for the Florida Keys.

From the north, take the Florida Turnpike south to just below Ft.Lauderdale, where Exit 4 joins the southern portion of the Turnpike. The Turnpike ends at US 1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. 1 south into the Florida Keys.

From Florida’s west coast, take 1-75 Alligator Alley east to the Miami exit, and south to the Turnpike Extension.

Let me know when you are coming to the keys and I will show you around. Just shoot me an email or give me a call it is MY PLEASURE !

Real Estate Experts Are Just That

Real Estate Experts Are Just That

You may feel tempted to save yourself the cost of hiring a real estate agent when selling your home and with more websites, books, and other resources popping up that claim to give you all the know-how and tools you’ll need to sell your home yourself, why should you consider hiring a REALTOR® at all?  Like any job that requires a lot of insider knowledge and experience, hiring a REALTOR® will ensure that you are getting the best price for your house with the minimal amount of work and worry

Would you represent yourself in court, or prescribe yourself medicines? Then why would you sell your greatest and most valuable asset without an expert.  Selling your home requires considerable knowledge of the housing market and real estate law, epically in the world of short sales and foreclosures, and you’ll want to be sure your investment is well represented.

The for sale by owner sign is often seen as an easy mark by some serious buyers.  When selling your home you want to get the best price possible, and knowing more than your bidders is the best way to ensure that you are on the winning end of the deal.  Your REALTOR® knows exactly your home’s potential worth, and can help you get that price. In the Florida Keys the real estate market is unlike any other area. The buyer viewing for sale by owner signs automatically subtract monies from the value of your property.

Getting the best price for your home and having it sell quickly requires more work than simply putting up a for sale sign on the front lawn.  REALTORS® in the Florida Keys  know how to market your unique Florida Keys property, and have resources available to them that you as an individual seller do not.  They can also give you the best advice on anything you may need to do to prepare your home for its highest possible resale value.

REALTORS® can prepare you for all the business and legal requirements of selling your home, and can make the actual work simpler and quicker.

Home Staging and First Impressions

First impressions can add 5 to 7 percent to the value of a home

Home staging is a wonderful way to help you sell your home more quickly in the Florida Keys!  Buyers are more motivated to consider purchasing a home that demonstrates the life style of the Florida Keys. The buyer’s budget and location requirements, are important, but also what appeals to their senses.They want to be able to visualize themselves living there. What will a real estate buyer see, smell, hear, and touch when they tour your home in the florida keys for the first time?

Contrary to what you may have heard, staging your home to sell doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can hire a decorator or invest in new furniture or renovations. However, if you are like many sellers I work with, high-end staging may not be in your plan or budget. That’s why I have put together a list of the best staging tips for the do-it-yourselfer.  The list I’ve included has been useful to lots of other happy clients. I hope you’ll find it helpful, too!
Home Staging: The Ten Best Do-It-Yourself Tips For $100 Or Less 

  • Potted Plants, small or large, are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to create visual appeal.
  • Home Fragrance: such as scented candles, sprays, and plug-in type fragrance gadgets in delicate scents can work wonders.
  • Carpets can make a room look larger. Rejuvenate your carpets and drapes. When it comes to steam cleaning rather than investing in a professional service, rent the machine for a day
  • Baskets and Decorative Containers can help organize scattered items and eliminate clutter.
  • Fresh light bulbs and lamps brighten dark areas and rooms. Soften harsh light with dimmers and the newer soft light bulbs.
  • Paint over unusual colors or update stark white walls with a contemporary neutral tone.
  • Fresh flowers in inexpensive arrangements in vases you already own look beautiful and will smell naturally fresh.
  • Throw Pillows will instantly update an old sofa or chair or make a plain bed look luxurious.
  • Maid Service can be costly, but hiring one for a day or a few hours is affordable-and it’s worth it to make a kitchen or bathroom sparkle!
  • Snacks! A bowl of polished apples, a bunch of grapes or a plate of fresh cookies makes your home look warm and inviting

You may even decide to stay there yourself !

Cheap vs Value in Real Estate

Do not confuse cheap with value in the real estate market

Because price has become such a huge issue in the real estate news, I feel like cheap can be confused with value even in the Florida Keys. In today’s world of falling prices one sometimes loses sight of the real goal. True Real Estate Investment Value is the goal. When it comes to real estate in the fabulous Florida Keys, there is a big difference between the cheapest home and the best real estate value. As I show and sell properties throughout the keys from Key Largo to Marathon to Key West, I marvel at the beautiful choices and real estate opportunities for buyers today. I encourage my successful buyers to focus on Price Value, Resale Value and most importantly Personal Value.

  • Price value : Do not confuse buying real estate in the Florida Keys with bargain basement shopping. While a great deal sometimes can be found at the end of a day of bargain hunting, more often the good stuff is gone by early morning. While some buyers continue to wait for the so called bottom of the real estate market in the Florida Keys,the properties with the best views, best access, and most uniqueness will already be sold in the current market.
  • Resale value : Waiting for the price bottom results in finding the last property for sale, the compromised property, the least desirable. With this type of purchase, the resale component of a real estate investment is greatly reduced. Our real estate inventories here in the Florida Keys have been reduced by 28% since the first of the year. Very often, a buyer misses the right property because someone else presented a contract first.
  • Personal value : Properties in the Florida Keys are unlike property anywhere else. They have unique qualities and individual features that cannot be reproduced. In the Florida Keys the homes are either right on the water or extremely near to the coast line. Water access, dockage, ocean views, location, location. The value of an investment or residential property can be totally intrinsic to an individual desires.  An important factor in purchasing a home or even a commercial piece of real estate in the Florida Keys is the life style that comes with that purchase. In the Florida Keys, you can find the perfect blend of real estate and lifestyle.

Do not find yourself talking about the cheapest deal you will get, talk about the great value you own in real estate in the Florida Keys, the best place to be!

Financial Decisions when Selling Your Home

Selling your home is one of the most important financial decisions you will make.  Normally, one’s home is their most valuable asset. There are key ingredients in devising a marketing strategy that will help insure that you receive the full financial potential available to you through the sale of your home. A well planned strategy can minimize the amount of time your home is on the market.  The first key ingredient is to select the right realtor.

Selling your home is a lot more than just putting a fancy sign in the front yard.
Most Real Estate Agents will list your home in the MLS and on their own Web site, and that more or less covers their entire approach to marketing your home. Unfortunately, such limited exposure is frequently not enough in today’s tough real estate market. You need an Agent who is willing to invest 110% into the marketing and sale of your property.  Many Agents take on excessive workloads and do not truly have the time to devote to each and every one of his or her listings-and unfortunately, homeowners wishing to sell often don’t get the results they deserve and expect. The listing Agent is responsible financially for most advertising & promotions related to the sale of your home. Too many listing can become a financial burden and shot falls in advertising budgets.

  • Your home should be listed on a least three internet listing services .
  • Plus create a custom Web Site for your home with a slide show, virtual tour, map, neighborhood information, professional photography, and even video footage .These things are in addition to the normal marketing tools used by most Agents.
  • Agents that deal primarily with Buyers are your best means of marketing your property. These Agents already have Buyers waiting to see your home. These Buyers come from all parts the world and are just looking to find the home of there dreams.

Do not under-estimate the exposure of the internet, one out of five people dating find their mate through internet dating. Let a savy internet realtor find a mate for your home.

The Sands of Islamorada Motel is for Sale

Located in Upper Matecumbe in the heart of Islamorada oceanside at mile marker 80 with a beautiful clear view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sands of Islamorada has everything to offer the entire family including the family pet. The Sands of Islamorada Motel has been a favorite for returning Islamorada guests for generations. Recently all rooms have been newly remodeled and up dated. This motel is an intimate and charming oceanfront resort. 2014 blog update: This hotel has been sold, but there are several other hotels that are currently on the market.

Imagine yourself if you owned prime Florida Keys commercial real estate. While The Sands of Islamorada resort hotel is made up of nine rental units plus a manager’s residence. There certainly are choices of available understated hands-on operation that allows one to invest in property for  the future.
Please check out the details of the Drop Anchor Resort and Motel real estate listing for all the details at Drop Anchor Resort and Motel for sale

Please check out the details of the La Jolla Resort and Marina real estate listing. Click here for all the details at La Jolla Resort and Marina for sale

Follow this link to view hotels and motels for sale in Islamorada. This is a changing market as commercial real estate opportunities move quickly. Islamorada Hotels and Motels for sale
There are a variety of real estate opportunities in Islamorada in the Florida Keys, a tropical environment like no other. A natural for resort property investment!

Bury your Financial Bone in the Florida Keys

Dogs bury anything they consider of value, especially a bone.

Bury your financial bone in the Florida Keys. The shore line in the Florida Keys is a finite resource.  There will be no new shoreline forming ocean side or bayside.  The pricing of real estate in the Florida Keys is at the lowest point ever. As savvy home buyers are taking advantage of this situation, the supply of home and property inventories in the Keys are moving down. The number one recovery area in Florida is the Florida Keys. At this time everyone is trying to predict the bottom of the stock market and the real estate market. The Keys are the first to go down and the first to recover.
Our residential prices are down 40-50 % from the high of 2006. We are already feeling the recovery results on our investments in the Keys. This a huge opportunity for young Executives to gain a real estate  position for retirement or for life style changes.
In today’s world many jobs are performed outside of the office. Working remotely has become very popular with employers and professionals. Why not work in the best climate, with the least amount of stress in a small town environment.
Island living is the best investment you will ever make in your self and family. In addition to the lifestyle and the beautiful sunsets the Florida Keys have wonderful recreational opportunities: boating, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Make the Florida Keys your place to bury your investment bone. I have.

The Southermost Point of the Continental US

My wife insisted that I stand in line in to get our photo taken at the southermost point marker located in Key West on the corner of South Street and Whitehead. While the Southernmost point was first marked with a sign, the city of Key West erected the now famous concrete marker in 1983 buillt to resemble a buoy. Today, it is one the most visited and photgraphed attractions in Key West in the Florida Keys.

On the top of the monument is painted the logo of the Conch Republic. It seems that twenty years ago, Key West, seeking to enhance its reputation as a free-wheeling, fun-loving  kind of town, seceded from the United States, declaring itself “The Conch Republic”. The large red, yellow and black buoy proudly calls Key West the “Home of the Sunset”. The buoy also marks the proximity to cuba stating “90 miles to Cuba”
There is a bit of controversy over the facts: This celebrated point actually is not the southernmost point on the island of Key West. There are slightly further bits of land: Points at Harry Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor which are located further south, but are not accessible to traffic and civilians. Also,”90 miles to Cuba” is a rounded number, as Cuba,at its nearest point is 94 (81 nautical) miles due south of Key West,Florida.
However, whether you simply travel to see, stand in line or photograph this moment in one’s life, it is well worth it, as everyone is friendly and gracious in the spirit of Key West. You can easily find someone closeby to help you with the photo taking so that everyone is in the picture. Great fun to do and spectacular to see.
Directions to finding this famous buoy at the Southermost Point in the Contintental US located in Key West in the Florida Keys are simple…follow US 1 south until you can drive no further Stay awhile, relax and enjoy the view!

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