There are a lot of industry terms used in the real estate market that are not readily understood by potential buyers coming into the area. Terms such as "above flood" or "below flood" and "pre-firm" may be confusing for buyers. I'd like to share this video from Key West that does an excellent job illustrating those terms and more. It also let buyers know that there is a possibility to elevate an existing building to above flood, and what the advantages are to doing that.
It's that time of year when the kids start going back to school, tourism starts to drop a bit and life in the Keys returns to a slower pace. At least that is what usually happens this time of year. There is still quite a bit of traffic on the Overseas Highway and quite a few people looking at real estate.
Last week, 21 new listings entered the market (with two of them are under contract already). 28 properties went under contract and 14 properties sold and closed.
|New Listing - 25 Coral Drive|
|Pending Sale - 216 Treasure harbor|
|Sold Listing - 1120 Heron Road|
Follow the links below to view the listings.
Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Listing links will automatically expire after 9/18/2014.
But this event is unlike any of the others. In this event, the boats are all homemade - with restrictions. Materials allowed that you can find around your house: cardboard, wood, PVC, duct tape, milk jugs, 5 gallon buckets, saran wrap, old t-shirts, outdoor furniture, old bikes, and pool noodles. Just no motors, inflatable rafts, foam, or pool toys are allowed.
"Boats" need to hold together long enough to hold team members inside during the half-mile dash through a buoyed course set in Blackwater Sound from Key Largo's Caribbean Club to Sundowners and back.
Always a crowd pleaser, this event is sure to be fun for all - both spectators and participants alike.
The race is held on Saturday, August 16th. For more event information, go to www.KeyLargoAnythingThatFloatsRace.com.
What a week! Last week was certainly a busy one with 20 new listings, 15 sold listings and a whopping 35 listings put under contract!
|New Listing - 27 Lake Shore Drive|
|Pending Sale - #503 Summer Sea|
|Sold Listing - 135 Palermo|
To view the listings, follow the links below:
Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Listing links will automatically expire after 9/10/2014.
Old Florida Charm Overlooking Protected Harbor in Islamorada – The perfect fishing retreat in the Florida Keys. This 2BD / 2BA home boasts 70’ of dockage on wide, quiet, protected harbor with immediate ocean access and quick bay access via nearby Snake Creek. The property features a spacious yard with covered lanai overlooking the water, updated kitchen, open floor plan and more. Just reduced to $610,000.
Visit www.216TreasureHarbor.com for photos and more information.
Traditionally, this is the slow season in the Florida Keys. But after speaking with fellow Realtors and even land surveyors, most are reporting that business is booming.
This last week was no exception. 18 new listings were put up for sale (with one of them already under contract), 18 listings went under contract and 21 sales were closed. Not bad numbers for "off season"!
|Plantation By The Sea|
|Ocean Pointe #4312|
To view the listings, follow the links below:
Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Listing links will automatically expire after 9/23/2014.
This beautiful condo in Ocean Pointe just sold. When it last sold, the new owner wanted to do some remodeling. The unit was in wonderful condition when she purchased, but just a few renovations made it truly beautiful. Here is a view of the living room and kitchen taken before and after. The appliances, cabinets and flooring were all left the same. The new owner added new light fixtures in the kitchen, replaced the granite counter-top with a larger piece, removed the popcorn ceiling and mirror panels on the wall. Then, she added crown molding, new furniture and decorations, new ceiling fan and new paint. The difference is amazing.
Remember to think about the potential some changes can make when looking at possible properties to buy.
New Listings, Pending Sales and Closed Sales - Listing Activity from July 20th, 2014 to July 27th, 2014
Despite being our "off season", there is still quite a lot of activity in the real estate market. This past week 19 new listings entered the market, 17 listings went under contact and 12 listings were sold.
|Moon Bay - Key Largo|
|113 Plantation Shores Drive|
|Sold - Ocean Pointe Condos|
Follow the links below to view the listings:
Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Listing links will automatically expire after 8/27/2014.
|Executive Bay Club|
|Spacious & Modern Decor|
There are less than 5 units currently available within the complex - Call today to arrange for a private showing!
|Moon Bay Marina|
|A203 Moon Bay|
Amenities at Moon Bay include a large heated swimming pool and adjacent wading/children's pool, lighted tennis court, marina with deeded slips and bayfront tiki, spacious club house with rooftop deck, boat ramp, as well as picnic & BBQ areas.
Occasionally rented, but still fairly easy to view, call today to arrange a private showing.
Learn more about Moon Bay at www.MoonBayKeyLargo.com
Remodeled Condo? Check. Gorgeous decor? Check. Endless Ocean Views? Check! Gorgeous new listing at Ocean Pointe!
|Living Room of #4312 Ocean Pointe|
|Ocean Views from your balcony|
And if that's not enough, there are endless ocean views over the Atlantic, just outside your backdoor.
This unit is virtually brand new and makes a perfect Florida Keys vacation destination. Even better, you can rent it out and earn income when you're not using it yourself.
Amenities include a large heated swimming pool, sandy beach, cafe and clubhouse, marina, dual lighted tennis courts, 24 hour manned gate and more. As a convenience, you can even leave a boat on a trailer here year round for no additional expense. No more dragging the boat along when you come down to enjoy a stay in the Keys! Just drop it in the water at the on-site boat ramp and you're off!
Everything you'll need is here. Just bring your toothbrush and a change of clothes and start living the Florida Keys lifestyle today. Come take a look - you won't be disappointed!
Learn more by following this link
This one bedroom, one bath unit is totally remodeled and it is gorgeous. New impact windows, granite countertops, and a beautiful view are just some of the amenities waiting for you here. This unit also has new appliances, new living room furniture, new pillow-top mattress, new whirlpool tub, new ceiling fans and an on-demand hot water heater.
The best part - it's rents very well and makes a nice income for it's owner. There is nothing a new owner will need to do - just use and enjoy or start generating that rental income. The on-site rental program makes renting it very easy. There is are no black out dates or time that the owner can use the unit, either. The program is very flexible, and is not a mandatory program.
To learn more and see all photos of the unit, please follow this link - 5213 Ocean Pointe. Be sure to click on "documents" to see a full list of upgrades. Once you've seen it, call me to make an appointment to see it in person.
Special thanks to Holly Hight for letting me show and share this great listing!
If you're looking to get into a luxury condo in Islamorada at an unbeatable price, look no further.
This 2 BD / 2BA condo is located in Ocean Harbour - one of Islamorada's most desirable communities. This unit also includes a 30' boat slip in the oceanfront marina. Beautiful views of the ocean, marina and pool are seen from the main living areas as well as the master bedroom. On-site amenities include clubhouse, beach, marina, tennis, fitness room & much more.
Now listed at $569,000.
Visit www.OceanHarbourK35.com for complete details and additional photos.
Here in the Florida Keys, it's not just the holiday season, it's real estate season!
The number of calls and showings I receive is steadily increasing and by looking at the numbers in the MLS, I'm not the only one seeing this trend.
In the first two weeks of December there were 47 new listings taken, 33 pending sales written and 32 closings.
|New Listing - Landings of Largo|
|Pending Listing - Moon Bay|
|Closed Sale - Moon Bay|
Follow the links below to view the listings:
If you would like additional information on any of these listings, don't hesitate to call or email me.
|Ocean Harbour Grounds|
|The View from K35|
Living at Ocean Harbour, located on 12 lushly landscaped acres right on the ocean's edge, offers more than gentle sea breezes. The finest leisure activities are here for all resident, guests and visitors to enjoy. On-site amenities include oceanfront clubhouse, beach, marina, tennis, fitness room & much more.
To learn more about Ocean Harbour, visit www.OceanHarbourIslamorada.
I often hear this question when working with buyers that are new to our area. The answers are plentiful!
We have some of the best fishing, diving and boating in the country. Key Largo is home to one of Florida's nicest state parks, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is one of the underwater parks in the United States. Islamorada is known as the "Sportfishing Capital of the World". Marathon is home to Curry Hammock State Park, with one of the largest populations of thatch palms in the United States. Bahia Honda State Park features one of the Keys greatest beaches and camping. On Big Pine Key you'll find the National Key Deer Refuge, home to the diminutive Key Deer. And of course, Key West is famous for many things, including Mallory Square's sunset celebration, a major cruise destination and Fantasy Fest, to name a few.
|Click the graphic to enlarge.|
Each quarter I compare the current year to the previous year to see how the market has changed. It's one thing to say it seems like the market is improving and another to actually see it in real numbers.
The 3rd quarter of 2013 has seen an increase in both average sales prices and number of properties sold in every segment but one, which was open water homes. Still open water homes are doing quite well. The drop in average sales price is due to two low priced comps that sold for below typical open water prices.
Both condos and non-waterfront homes are doing quite well, with each seeing healthy increases in number of sales and average sales prices.
If you're considering a purchase, now may be the best time to get into a Keys home as I predict home prices in the Florida Keys will continue to creep upward.
Have questions? Call me at 305-522-3812 or email me today!
|201 Nautilus Drive, Islamorada, Florida Keys|
The sales price was $295,000.
This home was in need of many repairs but was located on a clean canal just around the corner from Florida Bay, giving it great boating access. It has three bedrooms and three baths with over 1,600 square feet of living space. View more photos and a full description of the property at www.201NautilusDrive.com.
I won't be surprised if we see this property fixed up and put back on the market fairly soon. The new owner has already begun repairs and has plans of selling it once repairs are completed.
Stay tuned for more information on this property.
A timeshare is a property with a particular form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time when they may use the property. Typically, the time period is one week, and usually is set for the same time each year, although many do offer flexibility on when you can use the unit.
There are several timeshare opportunities in the Florida Keys, ranging in price from $2,000 to $95,000. Click the link below to see the available units on the market right now.
Click here to view Florida Keys Timeshares
Local attorney Russell Yagel from Hershoff Lupino & Yagel, L.L.P. has been kind enough to provide this summary:
Summary of rate changes being implemented under the NFIP
Russell Yagel / Hershoff Lupino & Yagel, L.L.P.
- Full-risk rates now are being applied to newly purchased property, to property not previously insured, and to policies that are re-purchased after a lapse.
- Premiums for older (pre-FIRM) non-primary residences in Special Flood Hazard Areas will increase by 25% annually until they reflect the full-risk rate.
Beginning October 2013,
- Premiums for pre-FIRM business properties, severe repetitive loss properties (1–4 residences), and properties on which claims payments exceed fair market value will increase by 25% annually until they reflect the full-risk rate.
- Routine rate revisions will include a 5% assessment to build a catastrophic reserve fund.
Anticipated late in 2014,
- Premiums for properties affected by map changes will increase by 20% each year to reach full-risk rates.
Who won’t be affected:
- Owners of primary residences in SFHAs (Special Flood Hazard Areas) will keep the subsidized rates until the home is sold; the policy is allowed to lapse; a new policy is purchased; or a string of severe losses is experienced.
- Post-FIRM rates for all zone classes will be unaffected by Section 100205 of the Biggert-Waters Act.
To contact Russell Yagel:
Hershoff Lupino & Yagel, L.L.P.
90130 Old Highway
Tavernier, Florida 33070
|201 Nautilus Drive, Islamorada|
The home was built in 1957, and while it is in need of some repairs and updating, the property is loaded with potential. The right owner could make this "diamond in the rough" really shine.
The property has a wide concrete dock, private boat ramp and a large backyard with water views. Additionally, the neighborhood has a private, gated sandy beach directly on Florida Bay, complete with grills and picnic tables, making it a perfect spot for a sunset cookout.
With a very open floor plan, the home offers a combined living and dining area as well as an inviting Florida Room off the kitchen overlooking the water.It has three bedrooms and three baths, providing ample room for family or guests.
Like many homes in the Keys, this location is perfect for boating. Florida Bay is just around the corner and the Atlantic Ocean is minutes away via Channel Five. There is a large storage building, providing secured dockside storage for all of your boating, fishing or diving gear.
Call today to start enjoying your new Florida Keys waterfront home in a great location at an unbeatable price!
It’s important to remember two things: that the new rule only affects Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales; and, though it directly affects sellers, it also indirectly impacts buyers’ offers.
Fannie Mae wants short sale listings to be marketed in a manner that allows the market to see the listing. Properties Fannie Mae owns (REO listings) reflects the same philosophy since Fannie Mae won’t evaluate offers until the listing has been in the MLS and “active” for at least three days.
While an offer can be presented at any time after the property is listed, the seller cannot accept any offer until the required five-day marketing period ends. A buyer’s agent could, for example, submit an offer on the first day a home is listed. However, they there should be wording in the contract that gives the seller five days to accept the offer if the property must follow Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s rules.
Under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s rules, the short sale property must be listed in an MLS that covers its geographic area where the property is located. For instance, a property located in the Florida Keys must be listed with the local Florida Keys MLS. Listing a property in the Florida Keys with the Miami-Dade MLS may not be acceptable, since the Florida Keys is not the primary geographic area for that MLS.
The two big changes owners of real estate in the Florida Keys need to be aware of are as follows:
1.) Higher premiums for buildings below base flood elevation: FEMA has been instructed to stop giving premium discounts to properties that are below the BFE (base flood elevation), even if they were up to code when built.
2.) Pre-firm and grandfathered rates phased out: In the past, many structures were allowed to keep their original flood-risk rating, even when conditions and improved understanding had changed.
For instance, a home that was built pre-firm (before 1975) may have been built in accordance with the code at the time it was built, but due to a change in flood maps, it may now be considered below the BFE. This home will no longer be allowed to keep the rate-class (flood zone and building elevation relative to BFE) that applied at the time of construction. The flood insurance for properties like this will be allowed to increase by 25% per year until they achieve the full premium rate.
If you are considering a purchase in the Florida Keys, you will want to find out what flood zone the property is in and if the home is above or below the BFE. Ground level homes, particularly older ground level homes, should be researched thoroughly. You need to know the flood zone the property is located in and have an elevation certificate to determine what the elevation of the structure is. Elevated homes with ground level enclosures should also be researched to determine that the whole building is above BFE. Once you know what the flood zone and elevation is, contacting an insurance agent for a detailed quote is essential.
More often than not, the minimum bidder the lender will accept is more than what the property is worth. Just the outstanding mortgage alone is more than what the property is worth. On top of that, take into consideration other costs such as delinquent property taxes, legal fees, etc and the property loses it's "bargain" potential.
For example, there is a property I know of going to auction later this month. The current owner owes twice what the property is worth. No buyer will bid on that property because they can buy a different property for half what the bank will accept. They will also be able to buy a property that they have been able to inspect, tour, visit, etc. prior to making an offer.
Lack of access to the property prior to the auction is something that needs to be taken into consideration. Chances are there is little or no access to the property before hand, so a property that may look OK from the street may be a disaster inside, which may lead to significant expenses to repair. Also, if the property has tenants in place, it will be you're responsibility - and expense - to evict them.
Most buyers will not pay more than what is owed since it is often more than market value. Buyers at the courthouse steps are typically looking for a bargain. Nearly all properties sold at these auctions are not bargains, so consequently the lender gets the property.
|Click on the image to enlarge|
The answer . . . Pretty good!
Here is a comparison of the second quarter of 2013 to the same time period last year. You can see that the average sales price in every category is climbing upward. Additionally, there have been more closings in nearly each category. The combination of increased sales and higher average sales prices is a good indication that the market is not only stable, but steadily increasing.
Naturally, the Realtor community is hoping that this trend will continue. Yes, there will always be that handful of sales that come in lower than expected. These sales are usually distressed sales such as bank owned properties or short sales. But overall, the numbers show that the market is improving.
Interest rates are still low, and there are indications that they may rise again soon. Lower interest rates are most likely one of the main reasons we've seen such positive results in the market this year. It may sound like a cliche, but if you are considering a purchase in the near future, you will want to do it soon while rates are still low and there is still a good inventory to choose from.
If you'd like to learn more about the real estate market in the Keys, don't hesitate to call or email me using the contact button at the top of this page.
|72 Bahama Avenue|
|Spacious open floor plan|
Learn more about this great home at www.72BahamaAvenue.
|Artist's rendering of front of home|
Located on a private dead-end street, this location will offer panoramic bay views from your new home. With it's location in Tavernier, everything is within easy reach - including grocery stores, schools, local marinas churches, parks and Mariner's Hospital.
|Artist's rendering of waterfront side of home|
The property overlooks a wildlife area, so there are no other homes directly across the canal, adding privacy. Construction has begun, with the pilings, concrete foundation and concrete dock w/davit pads already in place on the lot. Price includes lot, active permits and full set of plans for a 3 BD/3.5 BA Keys style home with over 3,500 sq. ft. of living space. Home will feature ground level foyer, main living areas on 1st level and private master suite on 2nd level Each level has open patios overlooking the water.
Start building today and make your dream if owning a home in the Florida Keys a reality!
For more information, visit www.360SouthCoconutPalm.com
May was an active month in the Upper Keys. 91 new listings were added to the market, 78 properties went under contract and 79 closings took place.
|New Listing - 470 Sunset Drive|
|Pending Sale - 95401 Overseas Hwy.|
|Closed Sale - 209 N. Airport Road|
To view the listings, follow the links below:
Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Listing links will automatically expire after 7/3/2013
|Click thumbnail to enlarge image|
Here are the numbers comparing the first quarters of 2012 and 2013 in the Upper Keys. Open water properties had a slight increase in average sales prices as well as number of properties sold.
Canal front homes are selling quicker than they were in 2012. There was a slight dip in average sales price, but that was due to 4 very low priced bank owned properties and short sale properties that sold. Two of them were in need of significant repair before they could be lived in and sold in the low $200,000's. I suspect that we will see those properties come back on the market, with new renovations and a new listing price as well. I am confident that we will see an increase in average sales price when we compare the 2nd quarters of each year.
Dry lot homes are doing well, with both an increase in price and number of listings sold. They are also selling quicker than they did in 2012.
Condos remain steady, with more properties selling in 2013 than in 2012. One of the biggest obstacles facing condos right now is property insurance, with regulations making it harder to find and more expensive. This may drive up the association fees a bit, which is another concern for buyers wishing to purchase a condo here in the Keys,
As always, properties that are priced correctly will sell in a relatively short amount of time. A new listing that I have at 72 Bahama Avenue in Key Largo was priced very competitively among comparable listings and was under contract in just 7 days, with multiple showings and offers.
Stay tuned to see what the second quarter of this year brings.
|72 Bahama Avenue - Port Largo|
|72 Bahama Avenue - Living Room|
The homeowners park is very close by and features a sandy beach, picnic areas and a community boat ramp. Additionally, there is another community park with baseball fields, water park and swimming pool, fitness track and more.
Contact me for more information or to arrange a private showing.
Offered at $369,000
I'm pleased to announce that two of my listings have gone under contract, with closings expected to take place soon.
|Moon Bay, Key Largo, Florida|
|66 South Andros Road, Key Largo, Florida|
The market is very active right now, so if you're in the market to purchase, act now while rates are still low and there is a nice selection in inventory.
FIND ME ON THUMBTACK
- 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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- Remodeling - Before and After
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