October 20, 2017

Post Irma Real Estate Market - A Look at the Numbers


Venetian Shores in Islamorada, the day of Hurricane Irma
While Monroe County continues its recovery after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10th, the local real estate market continues to recover as well. Here is the real estate activity that has taken place since Irma.

In the weeks since the storm, 230 properties have been listed for sale. Some of these are properties that were on the market prior to the storm, but were withdrawn or cancelled due to needed repairs and cleanup prior to being offered for sale again.

Of these new listings, 18 are currently under contract and 8 have closed and transferred to new owners.

Many of the properties that were under contract prior to the storm have gone ahead and completed the sale, with 156 closings Keyswide since September 10th.  However, not all properties that were under contract have made it to the closing table. Of the properties that were under contract prior to Irma, 45 of them are back on the market after buyers or sellers decided not to move forward with the purchase and sale.

Numerous listings that were offered for sale prior to the storm are no longer on the market, with 193 listings being removed from the available inventory of properties for sale, with nearly half of those properties located between the Lower Keys and Duck Key.

While this is typically the slower part of the year in advance of our season, we are still receiving calls from buyers that are interested in purchasing in the Keys. Many of these calls have been buyers that were looking to score a deal on property that sellers may be wanting to sell quickly due to damage. However, these buyers are finding that most property owners are not looking to "unload" their property for bargain prices, but will continue to sell at market value after repairs are made.

Many areas of the Keys will need time to rebuild, particularly those in the hardest hit areas of the Lower Keys. But the residents of the Keys are a resilient group, with #KeysStrong and #Can'tDrownAConch popular themes throughout our entire island chain.




October 11, 2017

New Listing at Moon Bay in Key Largo - Offered at $430,000



Moon Bay . . . a gated, private condo community located in the heart of Key Largo at mile marker 104.3. This complex has a resort feel to it, with landscaped grounds and ample dockage in the private marina.

Amenities at Moon Bay include a large heated swimming pool and adjacent wading/children's pool, two lighted tennis courts, marina with deeded slips and bayfront tiki, spacious club house with rooftop deck, boat ramp, as well as picnic & BBQ areas. 

The complex is located on the Overseas Highway and has an electronic gate for added security.  Each unit has assigned parking.

Located just an hour south of Miami, some of the best-known restaurants, dive shops, and snorkeling and deep-sea fishing charters in all the Keys can be found within a 1 mile radius of Moon Bay.  It is also the closest private resort to the most popular park in all the Keys, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which offers boat rentals, scuba and snorkeling tours, glass bottom boat tours, and more. 

Weekly rentals are allowed in the complex, making this a perfect investment in the Keys that can use to generate income.


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 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. Resort-like amenities include gated entry, pool, clubhouse, tennis, marina and more!



September 29, 2017

The Real Estate Market After the Storm


In the short three weeks since Hurricane Irma visited the Florida Keys, life is already beginning to return to "normal" for many in the area. Stores are open, schools are back in session, and the cleanup crews are working tirelessly to clean up our island home.

But what effect will the storm have on the real estate market?

Some believe the images of high winds, ocean surge and damage to homes, boats and landscaping being broadcast on television and social media sites may make buyers hesitant to purchase in a hurricane prone area. When looking at these images, it is important to remember that those are the images the media want you to see. They want you to see damage. They want you to see distraught people. What they don't show are the many areas of the Keys that are still fine. They won't show the undamaged homes or the relieved locals that suffered little damage because those images don't sell newspapers or news magazines. 

Costs to purchase, such as insurance, may have a factor in how the market does. Insurance costs may rise, which will add to the cost of owning a home here. Most condominiums will have special assessments to cover costs of cleaning up common areas within the complex. 

There are also plenty of people who are rethinking the decision to live in the Keys, and these people may be putting homes on the market in an effort to leave the area. Reasons people are considering leaving are the already high costs of living here, which are bound to become higher and the uncertainty of when the next storm will come.  

Still, there are buyers that were under contract to close prior to the storm and many of those buyers are still going to close on the property, particularly in areas that were not hit as hard as others, such as the Upper Keys. 

What I've been seeing in the MLS is a lot of properties are being taken off the market, either temporarily or permanently. I expect many of them will come back on the market after repairs have been made and landscaping is back in place.  What I'm not seeing is a lot of new listings coming on the market.

I believe Irma  created a fresh awareness of hurricane protection. Such as the desire to have impact windows, hip roofs, better drainage, the age of the roof ect. Also higher risk factors will be noticed more and we may lose some buyers with higher wind risk. We may also see an avoidance of wood frame homes due to the fear of them being weaker in storms, accurate or not fear is a strong factor. Many of the old majestic homes in Key West are wood frame and have weathered many storms and are still standing strong. 


The fact is, people love to come here for the weather (most of the time), the fish and the diving.   The desirability of that will not decrease.  And my personal opinion is that the Florida Keys will remain more attractive even though hurricanes will still pass through from time to time. 




September 28, 2017

How Do Hurricane Deductibles Work?



I'd like to thank Tracie Sihle of Sihle Insurance Group for this information about hurricane deductibles. Many homeowners across South Florida will be making claims post-Irma.


Most homeowners policies have an “all other peril” (AOP) deductible for losses caused by perils such as vandalism, fire, lightening, and theft and a separate deductible for hurricane losses.

The hurricane deductible is mandated by Florida statutes.

The hurricane deductible is expressed as a percentage, typically 2-5%, but higher percentages are available. It is a percentage of the coverage amount, not a percentage of the loss.

For an example, a structure insured for $200,000 with a two percent deductible would have a deductible of $4,000 for damage caused by a hurricane.
The hurricane deductible applies only for a hurricane as defined in the statutes. According to Florida Statute 627.4025, a hurricane means a storm system that has been declared a “hurricane” by the National Hurricane Center or the National Weather Service. Note that a named tropical storm does not trigger the hurricane deductible.

According to the statutes, the duration of a hurricane in which the hurricane deductible would apply includes the time period:
  • Beginning at the time a hurricane watch or warning is issued for any part of Florida by the National Hurricane Center.
  • Continuing for the time period during which the hurricane conditions exist anywhere in Florida; and
  • Ending 72 hours following the termination of the last hurricane watch or hurricane warning issued

The deductible applies on a calendar year basis.  Using the earlier example of the $4,000 hurricane deductible, that $4,000 applies for all losses during the calendar year for losses due to hurricanes. For example, in 2004 some areas of Florida were hit by three major hurricanes in about 40 days. This calendar year deductible applies only if the customer was insured by the same company during all hurricanes. Assume that a hurricane causes $40,000 in damage; the claim is paid less the $4,000 deductible. If there is a second hurricane during the calendar year, the $4,000 hurricane deductible does not apply; instead the AOP (all other perils) deductible applies.

In a different example, suppose that the first hurricane causes damage of only $3,000. Due to the $4,000 deductible, nothing is paid by the carrier and you pay $3,000 of the deductible. If a second hurricane were to cause $35,000 in damage the claim is paid less a $1,000 deductible ($4,000 hurricane deductible less the $3,000 that applied for the first hurricane, leaving $1,000 deductible). If a third hurricane were to cause damage in the same calendar year, the AOP deductible would apply.

Many, if not most, insurance policies require that the customer report all hurricane losses, even those that are clearly below the deductible.

Policies are different; it’s key to read the specific policy in question to see how deductibles are structured. 
For example, non-admitted insurance carriers will not comply the same as admitted carriers with some of the state’s regulations regarding hurricane deductibles.

Hurricane deductibles on policies typically can only be changed at the renewal date of the policy.


For questions and more information, please contact Traci Sihle:



August 08, 2017

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. 
May 25, 2017

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.


May 24, 2017

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.

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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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