October 04, 2016

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





September 20, 2016

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




February 01, 2016

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.


January 08, 2016

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. 




January 04, 2016

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

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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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