Lorelei Sunsets

Jessie Brown in IslamoradaI enjoy the sunsets at the Lorelei. It was Friday night in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I spent the evening with a few of my Islamorada favorite friends. We gathered at sunset at The Lorelei Restaurant and Cabanna Bar. The Lorelei is located about mile marker 82 bayside with a casual beach cabana bar situated for perfect sunset celebration. The place was filled with people who were visiting from all over the country and the world and also locals living in the the Florida Keys. They were both young and old. The evening temperature was a perfect 80 degrees. Sitting outside in the open air with a beer in my hand, the sky began its regular light show of glorious changing colors as the sun began to set in the west. There was music. I listened to Jessie Brown playing songs from her new album “Take me Home” From Indiana, she is an up and coming country music artist. Fantastic listening! After sunset, the magic show began. “Magic by Michael Trixx After Sunset” was a fantastic show. Entertainment and fun for all ages. This is “a high-energy, must-see show!” His combination of rock n roll and magic brought an exciting show filled with levitation, fire magic and vanishing doves. I was truly entertained.  I relaxed and enjoyed the evening with my friends in pure Florida Keys ambiance.  Wow, what a night. I must say, “Islamorada in the Florida Keys is the best place to be !!Magic in Islamorada

Schedule of entertainment at the Lorelei


Michael Trixx

Real Estate for sale in Islamorada





Venetian Shores Real Estate

Venetian Shores real estate

Homes for sale in Venetian Shores

Venetian Shores Homeowners Association

Venetian Shores in Islamorada offers unique waterfront real estate. Venetian Shores is considered a premier boating neighborhood in the upper Florida Keys. Immediate access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Bay. This makes this a desirable place to dock your boat at a permanent residence or vacation home. The wide deep channel Snake Creek runs between the island Plantation Key and Windley Key. This allows access for boats of all sizes.The Snake Creek Drawbridge opens on request for tall boat traffic. The majority of homes in Venetian Shores are on wide deep channels.  The canals offer  protected dockage for most any size boat. This upscale neighborhood, a subdivision in Islamorada is located at bayside Mile Marker 86.

Properties on the south side of Venetian Shores are on open canals.  They have access to the Ocean and the Florida Bay via Snake Creek Channel. Deepwater dockage is at one’s backdoor with  protected sea walled properties. Some homes are located directly on Snake Creek offering even more  spacious waterfront views, yet have protected canal front dockage.

Properties on the north side of Venetian Shores are on plugged canals. These canals do not have boating access to open water. Many of these homes have deeded dockage at Venetian Shores’s bayfront marina giving them easy boating access. These homes  provide waterfront lifestyle and privacy. Kayaking and swimming are popular activities on these clean canals.

The streets of Venetian Shores have names with an Italian influence. They reflect the feeling of Venice and the lifestyle of living along local waters. Venetian Shores in Islamorada has location as it’s prime asset. It is conveniently situated in the Village of Islamorada. It is close to Founders Park, Tavenier Shopping Plaza and many popular restaurants. It is ideally located on Snake Creek Canal. This provides immediate access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Bay. The unique waterfront subdivision called Venetian Shores in Islamorada is a boat lovers paradise. It is a great neighborhood for families with people walking and biking through the pleasant streets of Venetian Shores. Click on the aerial photos of Venetian Shores to browse all real estate for sale in the subdivision.

Houses for sale in Venetian Shores

Contact John Vlad for more information 305-219-5610

Venetian Shores homes for saleVenetian Shores islamorada

Florida Keys Real Estate IDX

Florida Keys real estate IDXFlorida Keys Real Estate is selling. Our website conchland.com has embedded within it, the official live MLS (multiple listing service) for all of the Florida Keys real estate. Every piece of real estate listed in this Florida Keys MLS is available for John Vlad as a real estate agent to show and sell to his buyers.

While we pay for the service, the use of this IDX (Internet Data Exchange) feed for all of Monroe county or the Florida Keys is free to all of our internet real estate shoppers. This is a valuable tool to become knowledgeable about the real estate for sale in each unique island of the Florida Keys and the corresponding price differences with each area. Become educated so that when you find that perfect place, you are able to make the best offer possible and buy your piece of paradise in the Florida Keys.

When looking to buy the perfect Florida Keys property that meets your personal criteria, John Vlad highly recommends the following procedure:

1)Create a free personalized Listing Manager account. This costs you nothing and helps you compare and easily keep track of the Florida Keys real estate that you are interested in.

2) Browse thru the real estate currently available in the price range and island or community in the Florida Keys that you are interested in. Perhaps you find a few good possibilities. Save the properties in your personalized real estate management account. This is a great way to organize and convey the particular properties to John, your Florida Keys local agent. You can ask specific questions and  schedule showings.

3) Should you not find the right property in the MLS at this time, create a specific Florida Keys real estate search in your management account. This can be general or advanced , by map or individual address. You can specify price range, island, waterfrontage, square footage, dockage, bedrooms and much more. When a real estate listing comes into the Florida Keys market that matches your criteria, you will receive an immediate email update. You will know as soon as it is listed. You will have first hand information as long as you have established your Florida Keys listing management account. This is a great way to stay in touch with the constantly moving inventory of real estate in the Florida Keys. Be patient and stay informed. It has been our experience that the good ones, many times do not last long in the MLS.  Once you have found the right property in the Florida Keys, be ready to make a realistic offer.


Best Websites for Florida Keys Real Estate

jvlad_mapWhen buying real estate in the Florida Keys, finding a house can be an overwhelming task. Many people start their search on the internet. This is a great place to begin.  There are several websites that are very popular on the internet for house hunting. Zillow.com is the number one internet property searched site. It offers a wide range of search functions and filters so that one can browse by price and location. Trulia.com is also a popular site that has the same basic search functions but also offers local information about an area linking to sites such as Yelp. Both sites offer mortgage calculators to help determine the price range of a house one can afford to buy. They offer property comparisons, “zestimates”.  They give a general overview of an area and the homes available for sale. These sites pull from the MLS (multiple listing service) of an area.  They are not specific to the Florida Keys real estate. They are automated imports of sales information. I agree that these sites are both a great place to gain an overview, but not the best real estate “buying tool”.

Because the Florida Keys real estate is unique, not a typical real estate purchase. I recommend working with a local Florida Keys real estate website. This brings you right to the live source, the Florida Keys board of real estate’s actual MLS system. This information is accurate, and detailed and up to date. They are monitored by the individual listing real estate agent. They offer the same basic search function and filters and so much more. The local Florida Keys MLS system offers added search options for waterfrontage, waterfront views and access, types of building construction, communities, boat dockage and even bay side verses ocean side.

Conchland.com breaks now the available real estate by island. It is driven by local knowledge. It is linked to the actual Florida Keys MLS system, offering maps and property details. It has every property that is for sale in the MLS.  No bias is given to a particular property. It offers a personal custom search system, which sends out emails when a new listing comes onto the market that meets the search criteria.

The best combination for finding real estate in the Florida Keys is one with a savvy internet buyer working with a knowledgeable local Florida Keys real estate agent.

Florida Keys Real Estate Shoppers

florida keys real estate contract“Sorry, that property is now under contract” seems to be a common answer that I have to give to my Florida Keys real estate shoppers.

Many buyers are not convinced that the real estate market in the Florida Keys is on the move. Properties in the Florida Keys are selling. Recently, a difficult task I have is getting my out of town buyers to realize that a property that they are interested in is also one that someone else may very well be interested in. I try to explain: If you think its a great house, a good buy, most likely someone else is thinking the same. The property that they are thinking about buying tomorrow may be purchased by the person who thought that same thing yesterday.

The phrase “you snooze, you lose” comes from the old Aesop Fable about the tortoise and the hare. The overconfident hare takes a nap while the slow and steady tortoise arrives before him. Buyers who are over confident that the market will wait for them are finding out that the educated buyer who recognizes an opportunity moves forward and gets the deal.

I recommend to my potential buyers:

  1. use my website to browse all the real estate in the Florida Keys.
  2. sign up for notifications of any real estate that comes onto the market that meets their search criteria.
  3. have finances in order
  4. be ready to make a realistic offer when they find the right house, lot or property.

Real estate is a moving target. When is the right time to make an offer on real estate in the Florida Keys? When the right property is found.  A reasonable, fair offer should be made as soon as possible.

Browse all real estate in the Florida Keys

Sign up for Florida Keys real estate market alerts

Sandy Cove Basin Property with Ground Level House

Lower Matecumbe in Islamorada still holds that wonderful  feeling of the old Florida Keys. There are only a few places left in Islamorada that can be made into a family compound. Some of these  properties are on the wide Sandy Cove basin on Lower Matecumbe. This is  a hidden protected deep water area on the bay side with immediate access to the bay as well as the ocean. You are able to walk out your rear door step on to your boat and be in the  ocean through Channel Two bridge or straight out to Flamingo for all the back water fishing you could want. This is often refereed to as a Boaters Paradise in the Upper Florida Keys.

I just listed a Lower Matecumbe property with an  island style  three bedroom two  bath Keys classic home located on the beautiful waters of Sandy Cove basin.  Drive thru the gates, and you feel you have entered your own private compound.

I see potential is this property. And I do think property, rather than home. This property has the location, the foliage, the privacy, and the rare “grandfathered” ground level home. It has extensive deep water dockage with the ability to easily dock three large boats in a protected basin. A boat ramp to launch a small boat or pleasure craft is also located on the property. This is a property that is timeless with added features.

While the existing house is ready to go, some may think differently. I say the house simply needs a little imagination and a little love. There are only a few properties that are able to  be re-developed, due to changes in zoning and buildings codes. With it’s CBS construction and Old Florida Pine cathedral ceilings, this house has potential. I see it as a diamond in the rough. The kitchen has been updated and is placed conveniently at the back of the house for easy access to the backyard, patios and dock. The bedroom, bathroom floor plan needs to be reworked to meet  today’s standards. But with a little imagination and a few bucks this could become a grand estate for a family or retirement. You would love it here!

View this MLS listing

Browse the homes for sale on Lower Matecumbe

sandycoveSandy Backyard on waterfront Sandy Cove Basin





Florida Keys Flood Insurance Update

Florida Keys and FEMA National Flood InsuranceFlorida Keys flood insurance can be a bit complicated to understand. I recently attended a local florida keys flood insurance meeting. This explained important  changes in the National Flood Insurance program. I am finding that Home owners Flood insurance is like all insurances, a bit complicated and a moving target. October 1 2013 will bring massive changes in Florida Keys flood insurance rates. These premiums will see an average increase of five percent for policies written or renewed on or after October 1, 2012.
Effective October 1,2013 the National Flood Insurance Program will no longer provide any extension of premium rate subsidy to certain Pre-FIRM policies.  These properties will be subject to full-risk rating. These properties will require an Elevation Certificate including photos in order to determine full-risk rating using the current FIRM  Official map of a community. The most affected customers are those that have structures with a Pre-firm status.

“Post-FIRM Building – A building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred after December 31, 1974, or on or after the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), whichever is later.”
The implementation of the new rate structure will include a 25% rate increase for non-primary/non-principal residences that are Pre-firm construction and located in any A or V flood zone.
Premiums will increase an average of 13% for all  preferred risk policy’s written or renewed on or after January 1 2012.
Structures that were built in compliance and have a construction date that is on or after the community’s initial FIRM date and before Janurary 1, 1975 are still eligible for build in compliance grandfathering.
All premium’s are controlled by build date of construction  and location of the home. FEMA has an excellent web site that explains all these details and terminologies .

Definitions and Fema Map site

This is intented for overview purposes only, For complete underwriting rules and guidelines,

please refer to the NFIP Manual

Islamorada Real Estate Listing Agents

signI have spent the last few days with my Islamorada real estate buyers from out of town. They are looking for a vacation home in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. They know the area and are informed, qualified and motivated. This is a couple of buyers that every listing in Islamorada  in their price range should want to show.  Their schedule is tight and their focus is keen.  The first showing cut comes from the MLS listing and how the home shows on the internet. The best internet showing home move into the next round where the sellers real estate agent comes into the ring. In this round,  I encounter a wide  variety of Florida Keys real estate agent styles when representing their home sellers.

Wow, what a diverse group of agents. While the majority of the Islamorada real estate listing agents are wonderful and professional, I dealt with a few that made me wonder, what the home seller was thinking when they selected their listing real estate agent.  Possibly they felt that the home would sell itself. I don’t think so. The truth is, the listing real estate agent is a key ingredient in how the home for sale is presented to the potential buyer.

The first most important factor is that the home is available for showings. It is the real estate listing agents responsibility to coordinate their schedule with a buyers tight schedule and work with the the sellers schedule as to its availability and oh yes…showing condition.  The listing agent must assure that the listing  does not miss out on any valuable showings. My out of town buyers are only in town for a short period of time. Time and schedule are crucial. I want to be sure that they get the best viewing opportunity.

Next, the listing agent must receive the buyer in a professional manner so that the home stands alone…or should I say stands out. The listing agent must assure that the home shows well. They must add value to the showing. History, features and important information about the house need to be readily available to me, the buyers agent and also the buyer.

My buyers come into town to search for their dream home in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. I clear my schedule for them. Every showing counts and first impressions matter. I do my best to select the homes that meet my buyers needs and interests. I must then coordinate with each individual listing agent. Each are as different as the homes for sale. Their approach, schedule, experience, knowledge and attitudes all come into play. I fit the listings together to form a smooth time table of house viewings. A day well spent searching for that one special  home in paradise.

With any luck ( and I don’t mean luck) I get a new neighbor in Islamorada in the fabulous Florida Keys!

What’s my home worth?

The selling process

Browse real estate for sale in Islamorada

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper KeysI realize every day that living in the Florida Keys is a blessing. The well known phrase “If you are lucky enough to live by the sea, you are lucky enough.” is true. Well, if you are lucky enough to own a home in the Florida Keys, you are very very lucky. When not selling real estate in the Florida  Keys, I serve on the board of directors at Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys. I enjoy supporting and working with this wonderful community organization. The Upper Keys chapter of Habitat for Humanity  is building homes in Key Largo and Islamorada in the Florida Keys. This non-governmental and non-profit organization helps select families who could not otherwise afford a home, get into a home. This is accomplished through a tremendous group community effort where the selected family actually works at the construction site to build the home. This is known as “sweat equity”. A minimum of 500  sweat hours is required for the family to contribute. In most cases, the lucky families do so much more. Many building materials are offered to the organization at cost, below cost or even donated by local businesses in the community. Construction services are also donated. Members of the community of the Upper Keys gather on Saturdays and weekends, and work on the home construction. Other Upper Keys community members donate funds that go directly towards the house construction. Thru community land grants, lower building material costs and donated time and labor, the cost of a house is reduced and made affordable to a qualifying lucky family in need. The family pays a down payment and receives a no-interest mortgage. No families are given a free home, they are merely given the opportunity to own an affordable home. Families who are able to enjoy home ownership, have a better life and a brighter future. They make better Florida Keys citizens. Families that own a home in the Florida Keys are lucky indeed.

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys

Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys on Facebook

Habitat  for Humanity

Commercial Real Estate – Islamorada

Commercial real estate in Islamorada and the Florida Keys can be a great investment. These types of properties include retail buildings, office buildings, warehouses, industrial buildings, apartment buildings, and mixed use buildings. While they provide a great source of income, it is necessary to manage these properties. Owning commercial real estate offers the opportunity of earning income on your investment. The business owner or lessee many time will then handles all or most of the property expenses directly. Cashflow allows for the means to cover real estate taxes and mortgage on the commercial property.

Key commercial real estate metrics include:
NOI (Net operating income): This is calculated by valuating the property’s first year gross operating income and then subtracting the operating expenses for the first year. NOI defined
Cap rate: (Capitalization of earnings): This is used to calculate the value of income producing properties Capitalization Rate defined
Cash on Cash: This is the ratio of annual before-tax cash flow to the total amount of cash invested, expressed as a percentage. Cash on Cash defined

Pros and cons of investing in commercial real estate

Business opportunities in Islamorada in the Florida Keys

Contact Info

Email: jvlad@conchland.com
cell: 305-219-5610
fax: 305-712-8889

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