Florida Keys Market Update | CENTURY 21

My Real Estate Blog

Welcome to Florida Keys Market Update - your source for real estate information in the Florida Keys.  Be sure to subscribe at www.FloridaKeysMarketUpdate.com.

Florida Keys Treehouse Escape!


OK, so it's not actually a tree house, but this home in Tavernier is surround by mature landscaping and trees, making it feel like you're in a treehouse, only better.



This 2 bedroom, 2 bath home has a wonderful tropical feel. Open and airy, this home has an easy floor plan with large great room. The master suite features a walk-in closet and a beautiful master bath with custom cabinetry and custom shower. The guest bedroom shares the hall bathroom. 

Impact windows, including two skylights, provide security yet let the natural light fill the home. New metal roof, covered and gated parking for multiple cars or a boat and a fenced yard complete the package. 

Centrally located in Tavernier, the home is located close to everything the Upper Keys has to offer, including shopping, dining, schools, movies and hospital. 

Offered at $415,000. Call for details and to arrange a private showing.

Owner is licensed Florida Real Estate Broker Associate. 

Looking for an affordable vacation rental? Kawama Yacht Club in Key Largo, Florida Keys



Here's an investment you can use for your own enjoyment and earn income from vacation rentals when you're not.

Kawama Yacht Club in Key Largo is a gated and private complex located on the edge of the Atlantic, and weekly vacation rentals are allowed.

This townhome, C1, is a two bedroom, one and a half bath unit.  It has been nicely updated and overlooks the tranquil lagoon in the center of the complex. The huge community tiki and the swimming pool are just steps away outside your back door. An expansive nature preserve is located across from your front door - with no building to ever be allowed on it.

On-site amenities include two pools, saltwater lagoon, tennis courts, boat launch, playground, boat & trailer storage and more.  Located off US1, there is no highway noise here.

Tastefully furnished, and with a solid rental history, this unit is offered at $289,000.


Coming Soon! Be the first to preview this great 2 bedroom home. Not yet in the MLS



Nestled in the trees, this home has an easy open floor plan with large great room. 

The master suite features a walk-in closet and a beautiful master bath. Impact windows, including two skylights, provide security yet let the natural light fill the home. The second bedroom is spacious and features a loft storage space above the closet and walk-in access to the attic.

New metal roof, covered and gated parking for multiple cars or a boat and a fenced yard complete the package. Centrally located in Tavernier, the home is located close to everything the Upper Keys has to offer. 


Offered at $405,000.

Owner is licensed FL RE Broker.

Just Sold - Tamarind Bay Club C303


This beautifully maintained condo in Key Largo has new owners!  Priced at $419,500, it has sold for $410,000.  

This exclusive, gated community boasts protected dockage, boat ramp, trailer parking, 2 waterfront swimming pools, tennis and a lot more.  These large units all have water views and enjoy instant ocean boating access and are an easy commute to and from the mainland.

Congratulations to the new owners. We wish you many happy years at Tamarind Bay Club!



Tamarind Bay Club in Key Largo


Tamarind Bay Club is a private and gated complex in the Upper Keys. With just 50 units, it offers a serene and upscale lifestyle. Just a short drive from Miami, this makes a great second home Keys getaway, or a full-time year-round residence. Amenities include two swimming pools - one heated - tennis, boat ramp, boat/trailer storage, bayfront gazebo and assigned dockage for boats up to 34'.

This lovely unit features a split bedroom floor plan, with two master suites. Each bedroom also has large walk-in closets, providing ample storage. The kitchen has a separate laundry and pantry are, with a separate entrance to the unit.  The pass-through kitchen overlooks the dining area and the living room.

Plenty of natural light fills the rooms with sliding glass doors leading to a large private balcony overlooking the canal and dockage with view of Florida Bay.

Tastefully furnished and offered at $419,500.





Located at Mile Marker 89 in the popular neighborhood of Indian Harbor, this home is close to everything the Upper Keys has to offer.

There are three bedrooms and two baths, with ample closet and storage space. The large screened patio provides a great spot to relax and enjoy the fresh island breezes.

Downstairs there is covered parking for 4 cars, as well as two sheds for additional storage. The lot is fully fenced.

The home has a new metal roof and new A/C as well. 

Indian Harbor has a nice homeowners park with private boat ramp for just a nominal yearly fee.  Its also a perfect place to go watch the sunsets, and is only a short walk away.

Offered at $450,000

Investor Opportunity - Waterfront Multi-Family with Dockage


Investor opportunity in The Village of Islamorada! All concrete building plus 4 boat slips and dockage along seawall. Clean, clear canal leads directly to Tavernier Creek for easy ocean or bay access.

Currently being used as 3 apartments:
2/2 rents for $1500 a month.
2/1 rents for $1400 a month.
2/1 rents for $1300 a month.

All units are currently occupied.

The property also has a huge garage. Needs some updating, but has great potential.

Shown by appointment only. Please do not disturb tenants.

Offered at $1,400,000





Beautifully Remodeled Unit at Ocean Pointe Condos in the Florida Keys


This beautifully renovated 2/2 condo features an expanded kitchen with all wood cabinetry, granite counter-tops and stainless steel appliances. The master suite has a king sized bed, large dresser and high definition TV. The master bath has an enlarged walk-in shower, makeup counter and all wood vanity with granite tops.  The guest bedroom has two twin beds and shares the guest bath, which features soaking tub, all wood vanity and granite top. Tile floors and recessed LED lighting are both throughout the whole condo. Tropically furnished and offered totally turn-key.



Property features include on-site property management, a heated Olympic sized swimming pool, private sandy beach, private cocktail lounge, cafe, oceanfront marina with boat ramp and dockage, lighted tennis courts and oceanfront gazebo, boat & trailer storage and more - all situated on 69 lush tropical acres.

Ocean Pointe provides excellent vacation rental income for owners when they are not using their units.  This unit is offered at $425,000.

Note: Owner is a licensed Florida Realtor

Just Reduced: 107 Ocean Shores Drive, Key Largo, Florida


The sellers of this beautiful home have just reduced the price to $819,000.

This four bedroom, 3 bath home is on a clear canal with direct ocean access.  The home consist of 3/2 upstairs with a separate 1/1 downstairs - which is permitted, legal and above flood.  The concrete seawall provides ample dockage and has a set of davits and fish cleaning station.

The whole property is fenced and gated for security.  Covered parking and ample room for a pool round out the amenities.

Located in Key Largo Ocean Shores, the home is just  minutes away from shopping, restaurants and virtually everything the Upper Keys have to offer. It's move-in ready and waiting for a new owner to call it home.

Call today for an appointment to preview this lovely Florida Keys home.


Calling Investors - Oceanfront vacation rental priced below market


Not yet listed on the market, this 2 bedroom 2 bath condo will be priced below market value for a quick sale.  The sale is part of a bankruptcy filing, and the asset manager is looking for a quick sale.

The unit is in good overall condition and has all appliances and is also offered fully furnished. There are open water views from the main living areas and from the master bedroom. An on-site management team can handle vacation rentals that will generate vacation rental income for you when you are not using the condo yourself.

Property features include on-site property management, a heated Olympic sized swimming pool, private sandy beach, private cocktail lounge, cafe, oceanfront marina with boat ramp and dockage, lighted tennis courts and oceanfront gazebo, boat & trailer storage and more - all situated on 69 lush tropical acres.

Once it is on the market, it is expected that this will sell very quickly. Call or email today to arrange a private showing.

List price will be $279,900





Just Reduced! A408 at Moon Bay in Key Largo


A408 at Moon Bay
Just Reduced to $430,000!

This Moon Bay condo has it all ? deeded boat slip, covered parking and a solid rental income history! Offered totally turn-key, including well established, dedicated website with bookings already in place, you?ll be earning income as soon as you purchase. 

Split bedroom floor plan with a beautifully remodeled kitchen. Endless ocean views from the living room, kithcen and master bedroom, as well as the screened lanai off the living room.  Resort-like amenities include gated entry, pool, clubhouse, tennis, marina & more!

Bookings are already in place for the winter 2017 season, so you will have income right away after closing.

Learn more at www.MoonBayKeyLargo.com




Property Owners and Vacationers Beware!



It started out as a regular new listing - with a long term tenant in place.  Sometimes the tenant would let me show the property, and sometimes he would not. Nothing unusual about that when working with a tenant that may not want his or her rental to be sold. There were always reasons why we couldn't show the property - too sick, too tired, have company in town, etc. for not allowing a showing.

The showings I was allowed to have went very well.  The home was always extremely well-kept and there was never any signs that anyone actually lived in the house.  No clothes in the closets, no food in the kitchen. Just a spotless, clean home. Odd, I thought.

Then the phone call came.

It was from a man named James, who had just paid for a vacation rental here in the Florida Keys.
He would be staying here the first week of March.  He was given the property address by the person that was claiming to be the property manager for the owner, and he decided to Google it to find out more about the home.  That's when he found that it was for sale and found my name and phone number. He called to ask a few questions about his upcoming stay.

I was confused. I knew the home was not a vacation rental since it had a long term tenant in place. I called the owner to ask if their long term tenant had moved out and if they were now doing vacation rentals in the home.  They didn't know what I was talking about. They said their tenant was still leasing the property and that the home did not allow for any short term rentals, per Monroe County code (which is correct - no rentals any shorter than 28 days are allowed in this home)

And yet, James told us he had found the home on VRBO, made an inquiry, booked and paid for his stay in March.  I went looking on VRBO and I also found the ad, advertising the home for vacation rentals as short as one day!

So I called the tenant and asked him who James was. He claimed that James was "a buddy" of his that would be house-sitting for a week in March.  I called and asked James if he really was a friend of the tenant and he responded with a no.

That's when it dawned on me - The long term tenant was indeed renting long-term from the owner and paying his rent each month.  However, unbeknownst  to the owner, he was operating the home as a vacation rental on VRBO as well as a few other sites.  He was making well more than double of what his monthly lease amount was!  None of this was ever disclosed to the owner of the property.

That's when it all started to add up. The spotless home, the lack of personal items, the lock box he had on the door - all signs that no one lived in the house full-time. The showings that were denied were probably denied because there was an active vacation rental at the home, so no showings.

When confronted, the tenant hemmed and hawed, but finally confessed that he was using the property for illegal vacation rentals - against county code that prohibits them.  The eviction process was swift and no more rentals will be allowed in the home. The owners are looking for another long-term tenant.

Despite this, the property is still being advertised on VRBO.  According to the calendar posted online, there are several vacation rentals coming up. I don't know if those vacationers have been contacted or not. James, the first vacationer who called about his upcoming vacation, has asked for a refund but has not yet received one. The so called tenant also has other properties in the Keys he advertises  as vacation renters.  I'm not positive, but I would be willing to bet those owners don't know what is being conducted at their homes.

When it comes to leasing your home, you can't be too careful.  When in doubt, leave it to a professional who will be sure that the rental is conducted properly. Yes, you may have to pay a fee for them to find you a tenant, but it is well worth it.

As always, use caution when booking a home for a vacation rental for your vacations. VRBO and AirBnB, among others, are quite popular sites for vacation rentals and both do have legitimate vacation rentals for rent. Still, do your homework and ask questions.  A little effort can save you from being the victim of a scam.


Properties with Possible Owner Financing


The most common and traditional way for purchasing a home is borrowing from a bank.  But it's not always the only option.

Occasionally, you will find a seller that is wiling to finance all or part of your purchase.  The exact details of the financing can vary from seller to seller, depending on the situation of the seller and the buyer.

Buyers may look for owner financing for a variety of reasons, such as being self employed and not having sufficient documentation for a traditional loan.

Seller financing deals don't have as many closing costs, such as loan origination fees, discount points, and mortgage insurance premiums, among others.

Typically, these loans come with a short term and a balloon payment at the end of the term. At that point, the buyer, who now owns the property, will need to either pay the loan off in full or refinance with a traditional loan.

Below is a link to a list of properties in the Florida Keys that are offering possible seller financing.

Click here to view the properties. 




Vacation Rental Condos in the Florida Keys


For the most part, real estate has always been considered a good investment. And while it's true that real estate doesn't pay dividends like most stocks will, it does have income potential.

There are several condominium complexes that allow vacation rentals, which are defined as rentals lasting less than 28 days. Weekly rentals is the most common time frame, but some complexes will allow as little as one night.
These properties allow you to use your investment as a second home while you are visiting the Florida Keys and then rent it out while you are not in town, earning you income that can assist with the cost of ownership.

From the modest studio apartments to open water luxury condos, there is something in just about every price range.

Click here to view the list

Top 5 Luxury Single Family Homes Sold in 2015



It's no secret that the Florida Keys are home to some of the most luxurious private homes.  Here's a peek at the top five sales in 2015.

Listing courtesy of RE/Max All Keys Real Estate
165 15th Circle, Key Colony ~ Sold for $3,900,000

Constructed by one of the areas? most astute builders, quality craftsmanship and exceptional attention to detail make this property a one of a kind. Adjoining direct ocean front lot and garden lot are also included making it one of the largest estates in this community. Key Colony Beach is known for its? deep water dockage and direct access to the ocean and gulf.


Listing courtesy of Preferred Properties of Key West

620 Eaton Street, Key West ~ Sold for $4,495,000

Built in 1881, this magnificent jewel retains all her grandeur. There are a total of six bedrooms and seven baths. The original carriage houses and servant quarters serve as three guest bedrooms en-suite with private covered living area pool side. The state of the art kitchen is everything a gourmet chef could possibly desire.




Listing courtesy of Engel & Voelkers Florida Keys

26 Sunset Key Drive, Key West ~ Sold for $5,000,000

This stunning home is located on the world-famous private island of Sunset Key. Take in one of the most stunning waterfront views of Key West as you lounge beside your private pool, or spend some time relaxing on one of Sunset Key's 3 beaches. When you're done relaxing and are in the mood for some excitement, Historic Downtown Key West and all that it offers is just a 3 minute ferry ride away.


Listing courtesy of Ocean Sotheby's International Realty

20 Avocado Street, Upper Matecumbe ~ Sold for $5,087,250

The finest of the bay front parcels in the heart of Islamorada! Peaceful, private, gated estate situated on 1.5+ acres with expansive bay views and gorgeous sunsets. Featuring 4 BR/5 BA, office, media room, exercise room, 2 elevators, impact windows and doors, all marble floors, tall ceilings and doors, swimming pool, and a deep water boat basin to accommodate several large boats.



Listing courtesy of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell


80999 Old Highway, Upper Matecumbe ~ Sold for $13,125,000

Ultra secluded waterfront estate on 6.5 acres with expansive dockage, private boat basin, ramp, lifts and davits. Principal house with 4BR/5.5BA and separate 2/2 guest house. Multiple indoor/outdoor entertaining areas and true chef?s kitchen with Carrara marble countertops.  Lush tropical gardens designed by Raymond Jungles with oversized pool and spa.




To see more photos and learn more about these magnificent properties, follow this link.



107 Ocean Shores Drive - Key Largo




Island living is yours to enjoy in the pristine canalfront home in Key Largo.  The main living level features three bedrooms and two full bathrooms.  The master suite has a private bath and two large closets. The easy open floor plan has all tile flooring, convenient upstairs laundry, large kitchen and dining and a covered wrap-around balcony overlooking the canal.

Downstairs, you'll find a spacious guest apartment with private bath, kitchenette and walk-in closet.

Close to some of the best fishing and diving spots in the Upper Keys, this home is ready for your next waterfront adventure. The concrete seawall has a covered fishing cleaning station and provides ample dockage with easy ocean access. 

The property is fully fenced and gated, with large rolling gate opening to the easy maintenance yard and covered parking for your vehicle.


Income Producing Vacation Rental - #2205 at Ocean Pointe


Looking for an investment with a view? This condo at Ocean Pointe just might be the ticket!

Offered at $319,000, this unit is currently the lowest priced two bedroom unit at Ocean Pointe.  It comes fully furnished and ready to be used as either a primary residence or as an income generating vacation rental.

Ocean Pointe is one of the few condos in the Upper Keys where you can rent your unit for less than 28 days.  Most condominiums have a strict policy of minimum rental periods being 28 days or longer.  At Ocean Pointe, you can rent daily, weekly or monthly, allowing you to maximize your rental income.

There is an on-site management company that can take care of all of the rentals for you, or you can manage the property yourself and rent via sites such as VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner).

The complex itself is a resort like setting, with over-sized swimming pool, sandy beach, on-sit cafe and lounge and an oceanfront marina.  To learn more about Ocean Pointe, please visit www.OceanPointeCondos.com





Just Listed - Great condo with deeded boat slip at Moon Bay, Key Largo


Just listed and ready for it's new owner!  This 2 bedroom 1.5 bath condo features gorgeous views over Florida Bay.  Offered fully furnished, this unit is ready for you to start enjoying the Florida Keys lifestyle. While you're not using the unit for yourself, you can earn income from vacation rentals.

Located on the top floor, this unit features tile, carpet and hardwood flooring and views from the living area and the master bedroom.  Complex amenities include heated pool, spacious clubhouse, tennis, marina and more.

Dockage is included in the deeded boat slip in the marina. John Pennekamp State Park is just minutes away, with Adams Cut allowing boating in both the Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Offered at $393,500.  Call today to arrange for a private showing!






Where have all the listings gone?


Ask any local REALTORŽ  and you will hear the same thing - "I need listings".

Compared to this time last year, listing inventory is considerably lower.  This is great news if you are a seller, because with fewer homes to choose from, buyers may act quicker on making a purchase, for fear of losing out.  Sales prices also start to get closer to asking price.  In June of 2014, the absorption rate was 11.59 months.  In mid May 2015, it has dropped to just 8.7 months.

Here's how it works:  The Absorption Rate, in Months chart shows how long the current inventory of properties would last at the current rate of sales.

If no new properties were added to the market, and sales continued at a steady pace, the Absorption rate indicates the number of months required to sell all the properties on the market.

Absorption rate is based on two numbers:
  • The number of active listings
  • The average number of listings sold per month for the previous n months.
The number of active listings is a "snapshot" of listings active on a single day (the 15th of the month). The number of months of sold listings, here, is 12.

The formula is Absorption Ratio = A ÷ N
Where A = listings active on the 15th of the month, and
N = the average number of listings sold during each of the previous 12 months.



New Listing at Ocean Pointe - #4416



Ocean Pointe Marina
Year round residence or vacation rental investment - you decide! 

Property features include on-site property management, a heated Olympic sized swimming pool, private sandy beach, private cocktail lounge, cafe, oceanfront marina with boat ramp and dockage, lighted tennis courts and oceanfront gazebo, year round boat & trailer storage and more - all situated on 69 lush tropical acres.

These units provide owners with excellent rental income, making it very appealing to the investor. Use it as your own Keys retreat when it's not being rented. 

#4416
Unit 4416 is an ideal location - an end unit on the top floor of the building closest to the Atlantic Ocean.  This unit has been updated with granite counter-tops in the kitchen, upgraded bathrooms, all tile flooring and is being offered fully furnished.  

Listed for $434,900.  Click here for more information.

Just Reduced! Fabulous single family home in great Islamorada neighborhood!


Just Reduced to $355,000!

Be it year round residence or weekend getaway ? this contemporary residence is the perfect place to come home to.

Located in a desirable Islamorada location, this 3 BD/2 BA home features over 1,300 sq. ft. of living space with a very open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, and walk-in closets.  The master bedroom has a private master bat and sliding glass doors leading to the backyard.

There is a large rear and side yard, which is fully fenced with wood privacy fencing.The yard can easily accommodate a pool. There is also plenty of parking for cars and your boat.

The bayfront HOA park offers boat ramp with immediate bay access and quick ocean access via nearby Tavernier Creek.

For more photos and full details, click here.

Call today for a private showing.




Real Estate Activity August 18th to August 24th, 2014 - New listings, pending sales and closed sales


New Listing - 108 N. Bounty
Last week, a listing came on the market that got a lot of attention - a large bayfront home for just $423,900. Upon closer examination, this home has some major issues - including being built without an active building permit. despite failed inspections, and an expired permit, construction continued. There is speculation that this home will have to be bulldozed. This explains why the price is what it is. It is essentially being marketed as a vacant lot, listed at land value only.  Still, I am sure some investor will take a chance on it and try to save the building. Time will tell.

Pending Sale - Key Largo Yacht Club
Pending sales included a beautiful 3 bedroom townhome at Key Largo Yacht Club with direct open ocean views. This complex is off the beaten path and is very quiet and serene. There is also not one, but two deeded boat slips included with this property in the protected marina. The home was offered fully furnished for $875,000 at time of contract.

Sold Listing - 120 Columbus Drive
Sold listings included an all concrete home on Lower Matecumbe for $479,000. This canalfront home needs some updating, but it is in a great location and was priced to sell.  Listed for $499,900, it sold in just 48 days for $479,000.

Follow the links below to view the listings.

New Listings
Pending Sales
Sold Listings

Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Listing links will automatically expire after 9/24/2014.

Understanding Flood Insurance in the Florida Keys