Selling Fine Luxury Homes in the Keys

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Tips on finding good Property Management added 6-3

If you’ve purchased an income property, you’ve probably learned in short order that it takes a lot of time and effort to keep it in good repair and to collect rent. The money you have and will save from doing it all yourself doesn’t seem to be worth it and now, you’re considering hiring a property management company.

You won’t have the worry and stress of making repairs, collecting monthly checks, and dealing with things like screening and eviction, which can be quite unpleasant. An income property is only a steady form of passive income if there’s not a lot of effort being put into it.

Finding a Professional, Reliable Property Management Company for Your Income Home

To find the right property management service, you’ll have to do a lot more than just dust off and crack open the phonebook or do a quick search online. Getting a reliable, affordable property Management Company can be done by doing the following:

● Ask anyone you know and trust that has an income property. If that’s not an option, then you’ll have to start by searching the Internet. You’ll want a local service because that company will know the area and be available at a moment’s notice.
● Compile a list of potential hires, then check each one out. Start with the local Better Business Bureau, taking note of each company’s rating and complaint history. Then, search online for civil lawsuits on the clerk of the court’s website which name the companies as a defendant.
● Call each one and ask for information about what services they provide. Some will offer more than others and you should compare and contrast. Choose the ones that best meet your needs, then ask each one that makes the list for a list of the properties they manage. In addition, ask for occupancy rates of the homes they service.
● Drive by each address and check out those homes. Take notice of things like the condition of the exterior, lawns, fences, and pool, if applicable.

Get quotes from each service, which has not been taken off your list, then read over each one. Be sure to see how they handle things like maintenance, tenant screening, and the eviction process. Don’t simply choose the one with the lowest rate because it’s likely that company will not offer as many services for your income property. Ask for a guarantee and that will reveal which company stands by it’s reputation.


What You Need to Know About Owning Waterfront Homes added 5-9

The idea of owning waterfront property is alluring. You get the beauty of being close to a scenic, peaceful view. Waterfront properties often come with certain rights. You may legally get to enjoy swimming or boating in the water right outside your home, but you may not own it. There are important points to consider before committing to purchase a waterfront property.

When you buy a waterfront home, your mortgage lender is likely to require that you purchase additional insurance. This means that extra insurance premium payments need to be calculated into the cost of the mortgage and real estate tax payments you pay each month. The concern for carrying extra insurance comes from the risks that come with waterfront living.

Flooding is a big concern, and so is damage that accompanies storms or hurricanes near the water. Water is capable of eroding the soil on which your home is built, causing structural problems. For these reasons, a waterfront home costs more in insurance than other homes.

Before you commit to buying a waterfront home, find out just how much of the waterfront property belongs to you. A portion of the water and access to it could belong to the public. If you are not comfortable with beach goers walking in front of your sandy yard to get to the water, reconsider the purchase.

Another concern when buying a home close to the water is energy consumption. Life by the water is pleasant, but it is also warmer during the day due to light refracting from the sun. It is also cooler at night due to breezes coming off shore. Prepare yourself for higher air conditioning or heating costs.

Depending upon where you purchase the home, you may need to make adjustments to the heating and cooling system prior to moving in so that you have an updated, cost-effective system. A fireplace sets a mood and provides some warmth, but you might need to upgrade to a more modern heating system so that you can truly enjoy waterfront living.


The importance of getting a CMA-added 4-1-2014


It’s a reality of real estate. When a homeowner decides it’s time to sell, whether to upgrade, downsize, or relocate to a different area, they want to get the most money out of the sale. That notion is completely understandable, but it often leads to a few bad decisions along the way.


Everyone who sells a home want to maximize their return, and some go so far as to take the FSBO route or For Sale By Owner. They mistakenly believe that they’ll save money and will get their asking price. However, this sabotages the sales effort because of limited exposure; without a real estate agent, the home won’t appear on the MLS. In addition, buyers’ agents will steer clear of FSBO listings because there’s not much incentive. What’s more, Buyers will know there’s no commission being paid by the seller and use that as leverage to lower the price.


To market a home effectively, it needs to be priced right. If you ask any real estate pro, they’ll tell you that the top three factors in selling a home is location, price, and condition. You can’t do anything about the location, but you can make repairs and spruce it up. That only leaves price, which can be difficult to determine.


Pricing a Home to Sell


You’ve likely heard this advice about pricing a home for sale: you look up current listings in your area with similar square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, along with any features like a swimming pool. You take the average listing price of those homes divide it by your home’s square footage to arrive at an asking price.


That’s not a very good model considering the fact that those other home prices represent homes which have not sold, hence, that’s not the actually selling price, it’s the listing price.


You can also look at pending sales, but this too is a bit erroneous because they’ve not gone to closing. The financing might be pulled by the bank if a second appraisal doesn’t support the solvency of the deal.


Why a CMA is so important when selling


To get the best price to actually sell your home, you’ll need what’s known as a CMA or Comparative Market Analysis. This includes factors such as comparable sold listings, which are roughly the same size, have the same number of bedrooms and baths as well as amenities.


A professional CMA goes a step further, figuring into the pricing equation the condition of the home; it’s age, any improvements, any deficiencies, and other important factors which truly impact its value. It also takes into account the local market, meaning more properties for sale decreases the listing price or something like a home being in a historical district whereas it is not comparable.

Key West: A Great Real Estate Investment Location   added 3-3-2014

 Key West is a great place to visit and once you’ve experienced the tropical lifestyle and wonderful sunrises and sunsets, you start thinking about owning a home near Mile Marker 0. If you want to add a great real estate investment to your portfolio, you’d do well to look seriously at the Florida Keys.

Here, it’s a laid back lifestyle where hundreds of thousands of people from the continental United States, Canada, and overseas come to soak up the sun and enjoy not only the wonderful weather, but the many things to see and do.

A Big Time Destination

In Key West, visitors come all year round to fish out in charters in the open sea, scuba dive among the many shipwrecks, water ski, jet ski, parasail, hike, bike, kayak, camp, canoe, enjoy nature and wildlife, and sunbathe in the more than 3,400 annual hours of precious sunshine.

Of course, there’s plenty of tiki bars, and arts and culture are everywhere. From museums to galleries to performing arts centers, there is simply no shortage of places to enjoy the arts and history.

Key West: A Great Real Estate Investment Location

It’s no secret that in order to reap the most from your investment portfolio, it’s got to be diversified. Many financial experts recommend a healthy mix of mutual funds, bonds, and real estate. Here’s why Key West is the best location to invest in real estate over any other place in the United States:

Low property taxes. Compared to real estate taxes in the northeast portion of the country and to the property taxes on the west coast, the real estate taxes in Key West are very inexpensive. That’s good for the wallet in more ways than one.

Plenty of visitors all year round. There are dozens and dozens of great destinations and attractions here in Key West which means if you want to rent weekly to visitors, you’ll always have an occupied property generating a positive cash flow.

High rates of appreciation. Land is at a premium here in the Keys and with new building codes in effect, new construction isn’t plentiful which means existing properties enjoy a huge rate of appreciation each and every year. Because of this fact, the market isn’t susceptible to the fluctuations which plague the rest of the country.

Solid collateral for other investment opportunities. When you want to purchase another real estate investment or want to participate in a business venture, you’ll have solid collateral to leverage when going for financing.

A place to vacation. Not only will you have an income generator, you’ll also have a dedicated place to vacation whenever you’d like


The Main Designer Must-Haves For Luxury Real Estate

Today's residents are looking for elegant, inviting homes that incorporate a variety of features for entertaining and connecting with their family members and friends. Many home buyers are now looking for deluxe must-haves that improve a house. While the desire checklists for deluxe homes differ from one individual to the other, there are many persisting themes you will find that are in full force when you see display homes. The top five consist of:.

1. Home Theatre Systems For Film And TELEVISION Fans.
The days of popping in a DVD and viewing on your television in the living space are long chosen those buying luxury homes. Yearly much more people purchase house theater systems or screening spaces to make sure that they can appreciate unwinding in the total film encounter in the house. Oversized displays, blue-ray devices, border sound, noise baffling and comfortable club chairs or recliner chairs are all part of the cocooning encounter for movie enthusiasts, and they aren't scared to pay extra to buy it.

2. Open air Areas For Entertaining and dining.
Today's high-end residences provide excellent, indoor/outdoor facilities that elevate exterior activities to the level of fine art. Built-in gas grilles, exterior damp bars, raked ceilings that shelter the eating area and beautifully landscaped gardens for collections of seating locations are all part of the bundle in numerous high-end display homes. Several alfresco eating rooms are integrated with interior home with sliding doors or movable glass panels for a spacious feeling that links the two rooms with each other aesthetically even when you're inside your residence.

3. Master Suites In Luxury Homes Become Havens.
When you're touring neighborhood show homes in your location, you'll see that the size and intricacy of master collections have increased lately. While they were once considered fascinating additions, master collections are a must-have for anybody purchasing or constructing a high-end home. There are a number of specific attributes that turn these master bedrooms in to sanctuaries for the homeowners. Big bathrobes adjoining spa-like washrooms make acquiring all set in the early morning or unwinding at night simpler. Look for dual vanity sinks, soaking tubs and separate showers with numerous showerheads in any type of en suite washroom. The bed room area has also advanced, becoming not just a spot to rest, but a spot to review, have talks or merely unwind in peaceful environments. Areas big sufficient to accommodate a reading nook or seating area give parents a resort within their deluxe residences.

4. Fine Kitchens Help Homeowners Entertain.
Several also include wine coolers, wine shelfs or various other touches such as granite or quartz counter tops add a luxurious, natural touch to these functional areas.

5. Kid's Wings Give Them Room To Play.
Several newer, high-end houses now provide an activity area or recreation rooms for the youngsters that is connected to their bedrooms and separate from locations such as the sitting room and eating space. Have a look at model houses and you'll quickly understand their appeal. Kid's toys and games systems can be confined quickly and are not scattered throughout your house, and everybody obtains a bit of personal privacy. As kids get older, these reward spaces can develop with them, becoming workout spaces or whatever they want.

If you're planning a Major house investment or you simply would like to view just what's well-liked in today's high-end homes, see many show homes in your location to view just what today's home buyers consider "have to haves" to transform their residence to their perfect home.


Destination Resort Areas
Some perfect instances of genuine destination resorts are The Florida Keys, especially Key West, Nassau and skiing vacation locales such as Telluride and Aspen. What makes the Florida Keysa recognized vacation resort location is the fact it offers travelers a year round destination. While it is true that Nassau, like Key West are cruise spots, Key West and also to a lesser extent, the remainder of the Keys have outstanding vacation attractions all year round.
This is the key advantages that Florida Keys vacation resort attributes take pleasure in more than ski vacation resort properties in Colorado, California or Utah. The Keys have distinct periods in terms of visitors are concerned but the facilities can be experienced all seasons. The Keys the summer months takes over and gies right up until labour day One massive difference is the fact that even in the off season for travelers, there are still an abundance of tourists experiencing and enjoying the Keys lifestyle. Cruise ships typically make port all year round in Key West, probably to a more significant degree than even Nassau.

Why use a full-time agent compared to a part-time real estate agent

If you're looking to buy a new residence the agent you choose to work with is actually as significant as the home you decide on. Buyers should interview at the very least 3 real estate agents just before deciding which agent to work with.
Some criteria to work with
a) Is the agent appropriate for me? No one wishes to spend more time with someone they don't get along with.
b) Precisely what working hours is the agent obtainable. A real estate property financial transaction calls for serious commitment and flexibility so that you can complete the job, Sunday - Saturday 24/7 example : title and loan company questions and answers Monday- Friday 8-5, Inspections and meetings after 5, Saturday and Sunday at the clients convenience.
c) When you are constructing a home most builders will require you be accompanied by your agent when visiting the job site, is the agent able to make the 5 trips, 10 trips ect...
d) Fulltime agents generally fully understand the market place better. They work it 40 plus hours a week in the market so they should know where to find the " opportunities "
e) Legal agreements & paperwork are intense, an agent that fills out the paperwork 20 times every year will likely be better at it then a real estate agent who fills it out just twice per year. Ask the agent The amount of dealings they did during the past year?
f) Ask the agent are you going to participate in the closing & home inspections? If they answer " I have anther job I am not sure I can" do not make use of this agent even in the event its an associate.
g) If you are marketing your property request a market analysis. Ask the challenging questions and respect the agents who make an attempt to prepare you regarding the market conditions in the area. Any agent can list a property for what the owner thinks it could possibly be worth, but an excellent agent knows the range of what its genuinely worth and will not be afraid to tell you. Preceding you signing with the realtor wait 2 or 3 days call the agent a couple of times and see if they answer straight away or phone you in a reasonable time ( couple of hours ) if they don't this is a red flag.

Keep in mind a good representative is well rounded they ought to be able offer assistance and money saving recommendations in lots of areas for example insurance, finance, contract negotiation, land purchase and be able to explain all documents including assessment reports. Hopefully after reading this you will take into account why a full time representative is generally a much better choice to help when compared to a part time agent. Your property is one of the greatest investments you will ever make, put a lot of time into choosing a specialist to assist you.

Why a Lifestyle Change Can Benefit Your Health

There appears to be a consensus that an urban life style is stressful, expensive and perhaps unhealthy. Cities like New York or Chicago may provide certain economic opportunities, but the question is, at what cost? Most sense that the pace of life in these cities is too challenging and if other living opportunities arise, many are opting for a different (more relaxing) life style. For instance the populations of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and most other larger urban centers has declined over the period from 1950 through 2000, despite the fact that general population within the U.S. has increased.

How Healthy is City Life?
There may be many reasons for this decline, but chief among them are stress, cost, noise and air pollution. All of these factors have taken a toll on not only the total population count, but the overall well being of the city dweller, as well. A recent book, entitled Unhealthy Places by Kevin Fitzpatrick and Mark LaGory zeroes in on the ecology, sociology and general unhealthiness of urban life. Certainly, virtually anyone with a daily newspaper or seeing the evening news can see the number of deaths attributed to crime or traffic.
While these statistics may actually indicate a decrease, the general perception however, is that living or working in large city is either dangerous or unhealthy. Economic factors also play a role in the population decline. Many city dwellers in years past have fled the large urban centers for the “safety” and relative security of the suburbs. However, urban sprawl has also assailed the safe harbor of the suburbanite and many in suburban areas bordering the city are seeing their taxes and crime spiking upward.

The Effects of a Rise in Stress
This is particularly true of the suburbs surrounding cities like New York or Boston with state income and real estate taxes continuing to rise. With a continuing increase in stress factors, it has been pointed out that many other bad lifestyle choices contribute to a decline in overall health. According to Science, “When people are under chronic stress, they tend to smoke, drink, use drugs and overeat to help cope with stress. These behaviors trigger a biological cascade that helps prevent depression, but they also contribute to a host of physical problems that eventually contribute to early death.”

A Change in Location Venue Will Help
How best to address these problems? Many are solving the problem by simply moving away from it entirely, mostly to the southern states. Whether they can find useful work or simply retire is certainly a factor. However, with population growth within the southern states continuously rising, various industries will undoubtedly provide employment for many. This movement away from urban centers to the south has been occurring over the last several years. As indicated below from 1990 through 2000, the populations of the southern states rose substantially compared with New York and Massachusetts:
• Florida increase: 3,044,452 a change of +23.5%
• Georgia increase: 1,708,237 a change of +26.4%
• North Carolina increase: 1,420,676 a change of +21.4%
• South Carolina increase: 525,309 a change of +15.1%
• New York increase: 986,002 a change of +5.5%
• Massachusetts increase: 332,672 a change of +5.5%
Notice that the two northern states listed have the highest overall state taxes. With declines in tax revenues which are tied to the weak economy, these states have imposed even more taxes! So many more northern state dwellers are fleeing southward. Most who have moved southward feel that the move overall was worth it for both health and economic reasons.

Florida’s is a great place to consider.
Many from the north are attracted to Florida for several obvious reasons: no state income taxes, relatively low real estate taxes and the fact that there are real bargains to be found in real estate. These features makes Florida an ever more attractive place to live and work.
If one is searching for vacation and/or home value, the Florida Keys offer an excellent place to live, work or retire. The Florida Keys, possess a special charm rooted in a history with a perpetual vacation mind set featuring excellent fishing, diving and boating. The Keys is an excellent choice and there are properties to be found whatever your taste and budget is.

Destination Resort Spectacular: The Florida Keys
Real estate is now a shaky investment with plummeting prices, high unemployment and enough uncertainty regarding the future to scare off even the most stalwart real estate investor. This situation is precarious almost everywhere except with respect to the ownership of vacation rentals, particularly at destination resort locations.
Destination Resort Areas
Some shining example of real destination resorts are The Florida Keys, particularly Key West, Nassau and ski vacation locales such as Telluride and Aspen. What makes the Florida Keys a premier resort location is the fact that it offers vacationers a year round destination. While it’s true that Nassau, like Key West are cruise destinations, Key West and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Keys have incredible vacation attractions year round.
This is the key advantage that Florida Keys resort properties enjoy over ski resort properties in Colorado, California or Utah. The winter vacation season in Florida starts in late January and ends sometime in April. Beginning in June, the summer season kicks in until Labor Day. However, if you walked on the streets of Key West during the “off seasons” you couldn’t fail to notice tourists taking snapshots, fishing off the pier or enjoying the sights and sounds of old Key West. Cruise ships typically make port year round in Key West, probably to a greater extent than even in Nassau.
Other Keys Resort Areas
One shouldn’t overlook other Keys destinations such as Islamorada located about 78 miles from Key West and 53 miles from Miami. That’s a one hour drive to the airport. (Key West has its own airport, albeit somewhat small with limited service). The major advantage that Islamorada offers is its beauty, easy going life style and ready access to excellent restaurants and even some funky night spots.
There are other locations worth mentioning in the Keys, especially Key Largo, with its proximity to Miami, great diving and fishing. Certainly, Marathon and some of the lesser known Keys are certainly worth considering as investment opportunities which also offers an owner a great place to stay while not rented. However, Key West will still be the major draw in the Keys as an income producing vacation area.
Investment Points to Consider
It’s a fact that more than 50% of the vacation properties owned (condos and private homes) are owned by Florida residents. Another interesting fact about the Keys, is that more than 55% of the properties that are sold in the Keys are sold to people that visited there loved and loved what they saw. Therefore, the key point (no pun intended) is that the Florida Keys are an important vacation choice for people wishing to own their piece of paradise.
At the same time, the rentals on most of the properties can be used to defray most, if not all of the costs of owning a vacation property. In fact, after a few a years, the typical owner will have a net positive income based on vacation rentals. Of course, there is a trade off: how much does one wish to use their property versus how much income they do wish to generate with their property?

A Contrast: Owning an Investment in a Non Vacation Area
One of the primary reasons people elect to rent properties in non vacation locales versus vacation properties is the belief that those renting an apartment or home are less likely to damage the property where they reside. This is a specious argument, notwithstanding the problems that might result from renting to college spring breakers. Typically, if you judiciously rent your home or condo, carefully screening to whom you rent, there is little chance of major damage occurring.

This raises the question: why? Those visiting vacation properties in the Keys are spending most of their time outdoors sightseeing, fishing, diving, swimming, etc. While those in non vacation areas in their homes, spend the vast majority of their time (24/7, as it were) within that property. Breakage and damage is statistically more likely to occur, as a result of family problems and/or the wear and tear on a dwelling occurring with daily use. Another factor is partially socioeconomic. When a vacationer throws down $1,000 or more per week for a vacation rental in addition to a sizable security deposit, they are less likely to damage a well maintained vacation rental and may typically be more advanced in their career or job.

It’s Better in the Keys
In almost all ways, Florida Keys destination properties are certainly on a par with Telluride or Nassau. However, the Keys offer the added benefit of having an extended vacation season. Moreover, whether you’re interested in the Upper Keys (Islamorada) or Key West (the Lower Keys), property values have not depreciated nearly as much as they have within the rest of Florida or the rest of the country. There are two good reasons: 1. There is an overabundance of vacant properties throughout the U.S. as homes go into foreclosure. 2. Key West or Islamorada are vacation destinations and will perpetually produce income.
With an ongoing recession, vacations within Florida will be an even more attractive alternative to vacations outside of the country. Thus, a property purchased in the Keys will be an income producing property (zoning permitting) in the foreseeable future. As an investment vehicle and as a place to enjoy some ‘fun in the sun’, few vacation destinations top Florida Keys real estate. 


From St Petersburg Russia to Washington DC & Now serving your needs in the Florida Keys


richard medlin
Richard Medlin REALTOR®
ReMax Keys Connection
Commercial Division
410 Caroline St.
Key West, FL 33040
Phone Number
305-896-2403 :


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