January 16, 2019

Buyers Beware - the seller of the home you're looking at might be listening


With the ever rising popularity of smart devices such as Amazon's Echo and Alexa, in addition to in-home video surveillance systems, owners of homes on the market may be able to listen in, or even watch, while you tour their home.

Sellers could be listening or watching to see what your reactions and comments are about their home.   Even remarks that you may think are harmless can be used against you.

For instance, if you gush about how much you love the house and can't wait to buy it, that seller will most likely be less inclined to negotiate the price with you, since they know you love it and have to have it.

But what about privacy?

In many ways, when you open your private home to the public, it can be similar to a shopping mall, restaurant, sports arena or any other public space. Allowing the public in can change the dynamics in terms of strength and amount of rights you may or may not have.

Many agents argue that homes that have such devices installed should include a notice or sign indicating that there are recording devices present. Currently, there are no laws that require such notice.

In the meantime, use caution when viewing homes. Sure, you can discuss things with your agent, but be sure to keep them neutral. Leave the serious talk about writing offers or how much you're willing to pay until you are in a place where you know the seller won't be listening.





December 04, 2018

Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer-Upper


Buyers looking for an affordable way to purchase a home often consider buying one that needs updating or possibly even a complete remodel. Before you make that leap into the work of remodeling a home, consider these 3 points.

1 ~ Know the Local Zoning and Building Regulations.  That charming Conch cottage built back in the 40's certainly carries a lot of nostalgia and Keys history, but your dream of expanding it and turning it into a spacious new home won't be easy.  Many of the ground level cottages built in the 40's, 50's and even 60's are built below base flood plain elevation. That will make it difficult, if not totally impossible to add on to it, since you will not be given permits to expand the home at its current elevation.  It may also cost more to insure with flood insurance.


2 ~ Price Building Supplies and Contractors You Will Need Locally.  There's a saying that Paradise isn't cheap. The cost of building supplies and even labor can be quite different than what you may be used to paying back home. The Keys don't have but two Home Depots that serve the entire island chain from Key Largo to Key West. Many areas of the Florida Keys are still completing repairs from Hurricane Irma, and finding contractors can be challenging and expensive.


3 ~ Don't Skip Inspections Because You'll Be Remodeling Anyway.  It may be tempting to skip the inspection period, especially if you're planning on tearing out a kitchen or bathroom. But having an inspection may bring to light issues in areas of the home you weren't planning on changing. You don't want to start taking out a kitchen or bath only to find that the plumbing or electrical systems are inadequate. Having an inspection will look at the whole house, and can help you decide if you plans will even work once you've purchased.

Finding an older home and making it your dream home is possible, but be sure to keep an open mind and work on the project knowing the facts before you purchase.






November 27, 2018

Condo Spotlight - Ocean Harbour in Islamorada, Florida Keys


Not all condos in the Keys are created alike . . .
 
One of the biggest downside I hear from condo buyers is that many units feel like a box, with limited floorplans.

Not so at Ocean Harbour.  These units have unique floorplans, and are some of the most spacious units in the Upper Keys.  With two bedroom, three bedroom and even four bedroom units, these units break the norm and feel like a luxury home.

But it's not just the units that are so attractive. The grounds are immaculate. The grounds consist of beautiful, lush green spaces, a large free-form swimming pool, a marina and boat ramp, an oceanfront clubhouse, a private gym, large oceanfront tiki with BBQ area and covered parking.


Tucked away in a private and gated community off The Old Road, these units all have endless Ocean views and views of the grounds. They feature large kitchens and master bedrooms with ocean views, a private master bath and a dressing are with walk-in closet.

Located in Islamorada, Ocean Harbour is close to everything you'll need in terms of restaurants, shopping, medical needs, etc.

Learn more about Ocean Harbour at www.OceanHarbourIslamorada.com.


November 19, 2018

What Can You Purchase in the Florida Keys for Under $250,000?


The Florida Keys have long been known as an ideal destination in South Florida, either as a place to vacation or a place to live full-time.

The perception is that most places to live in the Keys are out of reach for many buyers. While it is true that the Keys are home to some of the most expensive real estate in South Florida, there are also places you can find for under $250,000.

Here is a list of all the properties in the Keys, from Key West to Key Largo. Many of them are condos, but there are also some single family homes.

Which one interests you?

Click Here to View the Properties


November 16, 2018

Listing of the Day - 903 Lobster Lane, Tavernier, Florida Keys!


This one is priced to sell!

Sure, a lot of ads say that, but I really do believe this one is an excellent value. 

Located in a popular Upper Keys neighborhood, this home has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths on the upper level and 2 bedrooms and 1 bath on the lower level.

It is nicely updated, has impact windows and doors and a metal roof. Ocean views are yours to enjoy from the covered porch just off the main living area.

As for boating, it is ideal. Just off the ocean for immediate ocean access, and near Tavernier Creek for easy Bay access. There is even your own cut-in boat slip and boat ramp along with davits.

Priced at just $675,000, this home will be under contract soon.  Call today for a showing.


November 13, 2018

Dream a Little . . . .


It's no secret that the Florida Keys are home to some of the most breathtaking island homes.

The top ten luxury listings in the Florida Keys include open water homes overlooking either the Atlantic Ocean or Florida Bay, private compounds with multiple homes and even a private offshore island.

Here is a list of the top ten luxury homes currently listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). These magnificent estate homes are located throughout the entire island chain, from Key Largo to Key West.

Dream a little . . . . .

Click here to see the listings


April 17, 2018

Just Reduced $75,000 - 126 West Pippin in Islamorada, Florida


This is a diamond in the rough!

It's almost unheard of to have a home on such a large piece of property in the Upper Florida Keys.  This four bedroom home is sitting on a huge lot with just shy of a half an acre.  The neighborhood has an optional homeowners association that you can join that features a boat ramp, dockage and a private swimming pool.

Built in 1957, this home is concrete with truss roof.  Each level has a fireplace with shared/combined chimney.

The downstairs has terrazzo floors and wall unit air-conditioning, while the upstairs has tile floors, central air and heat an also has a large den that was once a screened porch.

Set just one lot away from the Bay, there is no noise from the highway, making this a peaceful retreat.

There is some work to be down to bring it back to it's former glory, but there really is huge potential here. Other homes in the neighborhood have sold for considerably more, but without the sizable lot or the size of the home itself.

Now priced at $575,000.  Motivated seller and easy to show, call today for an appointment.




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Tracy Larson, Realtor in the Florida Keys / 305-522-3812
Thank you for visiting Florida Keys Market Update for information about the Florida Keys real estate market. Licensed since 1993 and a Keys local since 1987, I want to be your Realtor here in our island paradise. Note: Information for listings featured on this blog is gathered from our local MLS; not all properties are my listings.
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