Florida Keys Real Estate News

Hurricane Irma has just paid a visit to Florida, impacting the area that I call home ~ the Florida Keys.  My family and I held strong to our word, that we would not ride out any storm over 100mph winds ~ and so we left to stay with family in the center of the state.  We did receive word that our house faired the storm well and have been in contact with many of our friends back home.  My husband left this morning to head back home, with a Uhaul and supplies, to help our neighbors.  The Upper Keys will be back in full swing in no time ~ we continue to pray for the middle to lower Keys.  The Keys are strong and this is the time when you understand what it is like to be a "local" in a tourism filled industry.  This is why I love my community!

With all the recovery that is taking place in the Florida Keys, there is still business that needs to be addressed.  That is what has prompted me to write during this time.  If you have a real estate deal in the Florida Keys (or in the state of Florida) there is a provision in the contract that addresses such an issue.  The section is called "Force Majeure" which refers to an Act of God.  

Force Majeure
 (French for “superior force”) is a contract provision that relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible.

I am addressing this because Realtor's have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers.  Review your contract and read the clause in its 
entirety.  There are many places that are still without cell service, internet or utilities ~ being able to contact your Realtor might be a temporary set back.  Hope this helps.  

Please continue to pray for the areas affected by Irma and it is not just in Florida. 


Posted by Claire Johnson on September 14th, 2017 9:38 AM
Islamorada Yacht Basin offers a great opportunity to purchase a boat slip in the heart of Islamorada.  Islamorada Yacht Basin is adjacent to the notorious Lorelei Restaurant / Cabana Bar ~ a place where people gather to wind down the day ~ enjoying libations, music and sunsets.  


If you have found an Islamorada home for sale that does not have dockage or if you want to invest in Islamorada real estate ~ purchasing a boat slip could be great opportunity.  Boat slip #23 is currently for sale ~ 45' slip, metered water and electric and located in front of the newly constructed owner's building ~which offers bathrooms, showers, laundry facility and ice.  An Islamorada boat slip offers an opportunity to rent the slip when it is not in use by the owner; or live aboard your own boat.  


The Lorelei is easy to locate ~ just look for the iconic Mermaid.  


Posted by Claire Johnson on August 30th, 2017 8:27 AM

  
When I spare the expense of dining out ~ I like to go to restaurants that are consistently good.  Bayside Gourmet is one of those restaurants! I have eaten breakfast, lunch a dinner there and every meal has been delicious.  The food is fresh, the presentation is outstanding and the atmosphere is welcoming.  
Walking into Bayside Gourmet, I am sure to know at least one person.  You will find the seats filled with many locals ~ when the locals frequent a spot, the food is sure to be top notch.  Whether you are passing through Islamorada on your way to Key West, exploring around looking for Islamorada homes for sale or Key Largo homes for sale ~ this is a great local hot spot to eat.  Located at Mile Marker 82.7 bayside ~hence the name Bayside Gourmet.  They share the boat looking building with Otherside Watersports.  You can eat inside or outside.  
 
Posted by Claire Johnson on August 22nd, 2017 2:02 PM
Florida Keys Flood Zones

The "bell" of the street - 124 Villa Bella Dr. Venetian Shores Islamorada, Florida Keys from Claire Johnson on Vimeo.  This house is ALL above flood - owners went thru great lengths to raise the lower levels - all was done with permits!


When searching for Florida Keys real estate there are a number of factors to consider - one of them being flood zones.  The entire Florida Keys is located in a flood zone; there are limited areas in the Florida Keys that flood insurance is not required ~that is the X flood zone.   There are three flood zones in the Florida Keys - X, AE, and VE.  
X flood zones do not require flood insurance because by standing on the ground, you are already above flood.  If you do opt to purchase flood insurance, it is very minimal.   It is somewhat safe to say that any ground level home built in 1975 and onward, is above flood. But not all of these homes are going to be in an X flood zone. There are some ground levels homes, that are above flood, that are in an AE flood zone.  

AE and VE flood zones will have a number associated with it (i.e. - AE 8) - the number will signify how high the home has to be above the flood zone.  The "E" in the flood zones denotes that this flood zone has an elevation requirement (has a base flood elevation - "E" for short).  An elevation certificate will determine how high the property is above flood by just standing on the ground.  Once that number is determined, then you know how high to elevate the home.  Most homes are elevated higher than necessary to utilize the parking / storage underneath.  For example, I live in an AE 8 - the land my house is built on is 4' above the flood zone, my house was built on 4' of fill - which gets me the 8' needed to be built above flood.  AE flood zone is inland from the coastline.  

VE flood zones are located on the coastline - your direct ocean and bay front homes.  "V" stand for Velocity.  Homes that are located in the VE zone - flood insurance will be Very Expensive.  It is only if the home is located in this zone, not the land.  You could have a property that is located in multiple flood zones.  

If you want to work with a true "local" Realtor, contact me.  I have been selling Florida Keys real estate full time since 2003.  Let me experience and knowledge work for you!  



Posted by Claire Johnson on August 16th, 2017 6:43 AM
REASONS WHY TO USE A FLORIDA KEYS LOCAL REALTOR

When looking for Islamorada real estate or Key Largo real estate, is it important to use "local" Realtor?  Yes, and here are my reasons why.


Florida Keys Lifestyle from Claire Johnson on Vimeo.

First lets define a "local" Realtor.  A "local" is someone who is full time and owns / rents a home in the Florida Keys for X amount of years.   A "true" local is someone who was born in the Keys.  Like so many of us though, we are transplants - "came down on vacation and stayed for the duration" a popular phrase!  When have transplants earned the right to call themselves "locals?" ~ that could be up for debate... is 10 years, 20 years and so on.  

In this article, I am discussing a "local" Realtor.  What has prompted me to write this is the presence of mainland Realtors who will drive to the Florida Keys and sell Islamorada real estate and Key Largo real estate.  Let me first say that my real estate license gives me the right to sell in the entire state of Florida.  In my opinion, it would be a disservice for me to sell real estate in an area I do not know.  Every area has their own intricacies, building code regulations, control depths, tidal changes, flood insurance requirements and so on.  Why would you entrust such an expensive purchase to someone who is not a seasoned, local Realtor?  

When working with a full time, successful Realtor - you will get someone who "will know enough to be dangerous" about many facets of purchasing or selling a Florida Keys home. Building codes, insurances, control depths, bridge heights, subdivisions and what they have to offer, vacation rental policies, able to compare various subdivisions - pros and cons, able to compare condominium complexes - pros and cons, mangroves, and so on.  A local Realtor will know who to direct you to to find out more detailed answers.  

When consumers are searching for Islamorada real estate or Key Largo real estate, majority will start their search online.  Zillow and Trulia will capture many of those inquiries.  When you enter your information on those real estate portals, it will be sold to different real estate agents who have paid for those leads - and those Realtors could be located anywhere in the state of Florida.  I have had Realtors call me from Tallahassee (9 hours away), Orlando (6 hours away).  I would think, one would presume, you are getting a "local" Realtor.  Why would you even consider that someone would sell in an area they are not familiar with?  

How to avoid working with an out-of-town Realtor -1. Ask questions -such as do you live in the Keys full time?  For how long have you lived in the Florida Keys? How long have you been a full time Realtor?  2.  Find a "local" Realtors website -  As a member of our Board of Realtors, we have the authorization to provide all the listings in the Florida Keys on our website.  My website, allows you to save properties that are of interest ~ this gives you the ability to easily track those properties in one location.  Upon logging in to my website for the first time - it will remember you for future visits.  

Shameless plug - I have been selling real estate in the Florida Keys full time since 2003.  I have owned a property in Islamorada (Lower Matecumbe Key) since 1997.  Being entrenched in this community has made my career successful.  I am at the point where referrals make up a big part of my business.  Let my experience and knowledge work for you.  

The Florida Keys is an amazing place to live and vacation.  When you take away our tourists, we are a small local community.  Islamorada has about 8,000 residents and Key Largo - about 12,000 residents.  We know each other, we work well with each other and we look out for each other.  

I will look forward to your phone call or you creating your own private portal on my website!  




Posted by Claire Johnson on August 14th, 2017 11:10 AM
The attraction of the Florida Keys is NOT the miles of beaches, it is the underwater world. The Florida Keys is made up of an island chain that stretches 106 miles long.  Many people think that Key West is the only island in the Keys but that is far from the case!  You will begin your paradise excursion the moment you drive over Jewfish Creek Bridge and come onto Key Largo.  If you drive all the way to Key West, you will have driven majority of the Keys and the various municipalities.  

Why don't we have beaches in the Keys that stretch on for miles?  Great question - we are surrounded by the largest living coral reef in North America - the reef system protects our shoreline from waves.  We do not have the musical sound of waves crashing on our shoreline -hence the sandy bottom is not being pushed up to create beaches.  

Can you find beach like places to hang out - yes, we call them sandbars!  There is nothing more enjoyable than immersing yourself in our crystal clear blue waters, socializing with friends and soaking up the Florida sunshine.  



Are you wanting to join our way of life?  The Florida Keys lifestyle is one of laid-back attitudes, community camaraderie, and island charm.  We like a stress free environment, with lots of laughs.  Many people come down on vacation and figure out how they can stay for the duration.  If you are interested in relocating to the Florida Keys, contact me.  Having lived here since 1996 and becoming a full time Realtor in 2003 - I have immersed myself in the community.  Whether you are looking for Islamorada real estate or Key Largo real estate, I can help you find what you are looking for.  Let me research the Islamorada homes for sale or the Key Largo homes for sale.  I know the subdivisions, I will give you my opinions on the area - the pros and cons, I understand the importance of control depths and boating needs. I know enough to be dangerous on building codes, insurances and loans - I will connect you to the right people.  While I do all the work - you can enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys until I call on your to preview properties.  What are you waiting for - contact me - 305-731-4602; flkeysclaire@icloud.com



  
Posted by Claire Johnson on August 8th, 2017 1:45 PM
I enjoy looking at the FLA-Keys YouTube channel - they create stunning commercials of life in the Florida Keys.  When you are exploring the Keys and immersing yourself in nature - it makes it easier to put the electronic devices away.  A family that plays together, stays together.  

Are you ready to make this your playground?  We experienced a little slow down during the last presidential election but the real estate market is now continuing to thrive.  Whether you are looking for a non-waterfront home, waterfront home, condo or land - let my 14 years of experience work for you.   It is not only about understanding the home purchase but understanding the local waters.  We are a boating community - whether you are sailors, fishermen, kite boarders, paddle boarders / kayakers, divers / snorkelers, or just like to cruise around on your boat - it is important to get with a Realtor who knows the waterways. 

Enjoy the video - "there is no app for that!"

Posted by Claire Johnson on August 1st, 2017 1:21 PM
The "BELL" of the street
124 Villa Bella Dr.  Venetian Shores
Islamorada, Florida Keys
listed at $2,950,000


124 Villa Bella Dr. in prestigious Venetian Shores is the perfect home for entertaining.  It's all about the outdoor living space in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Outdoor kitchen has 2 refrigerators, grill, ice machine, dishwasher, starboard cabinets, TV, granite countertops and electric roll down shutters to enclose the entire kitchen.   Enjoy the ambiance of your gas fire pit, sit under the tiki or swim in the heated / chilled pool with hot tub.  Your friends will have their own space in the 2 bedroom / 2 bath guest quarters with their own washer and dryer.  All is permitted and above flood.  
If you ever feel the need to adventure beyond the "outdoor oasis," you can navigate to the higher levels either via stairs or elevators.  Each floor has porches / decks.  The very top deck will give you a peak of the ocean or bay.  This 4,000sf home has a total of 5 bedrooms / 5.5 bathrooms plus an office.  An abundance of options for everyone to find their own space if they need some quiet time.  Three lots in from Snake Creek, which offers easy access to the ocean via the draw bridge or to the bay.  
This Islamorada home for sale is located on Plantation Key, close to the schools, grocery store and hospital.  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  


  


Posted by Claire Johnson on July 3rd, 2017 3:47 PM

We make "welcome home" a possibility
Tavernier Home for Sale
$399,000
Come enjoy the Florida Keys Lifestyle

Well maintained home near Harry Harris Park, on the south end of Key Largo. Built in 2007, above flood, 3 bedrooms / 2 baths in this 1500sf home.  CBS construction with concrete roof, ALL impact windows and doors, stainless steel appliances, indoor laundry room, privacy fence surrounds backyard. 

This Tavernier home is conveniently located to the grocery store, hospital, movie theater, Plantation Key Elementary School and Coral Shores High School.  

Harry Harris Park offers boat ramp, beach, swimming lagoon, bathrooms and ball fields.  Free to Monroe County residents!  


  

      

  

     

  

   

     


Posted by Claire Johnson on July 3rd, 2017 12:06 PM
Key Deer are located mostly on Big Pine Key, Florida Keys.  The National Key Deer Refuge is approximately 8,500 acres on Big Pine Key and No Name Key.  Key Deer are quite small - weigh up to 75lbs and all of 30" tall.  Early writings of the deer where in the 1500's!  When exploring Big Pine Key, please obey the speed limits to help protect our deer!  

Key Deer, Big Pine Key, Florida Keys from Claire Johnson on Vimeo.

Posted by Claire Johnson on June 29th, 2017 9:46 AM
Sailing on our 39' catamaran is one of our passions!  Here we are sailing under the Channel 5 bridge just south of Lower Matecumbe Key, Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Channel 5 has a 65' clearance.  Easy access for the offshore fishing boat / sailboats to navigate to the Atlantic Ocean.  Homes in Port Antigua, Safety Harbor and Tollgate Shores can accommodate boats with deeper drafts.  The entrance to the canals in these subdivisions offer at least a 5.5' control depth.  When selling homes in the Florida Keys it is important to team up with a Realtor who understands the waters.  Having my captain's license for 18 years, gives me an advantage.  


TimeLapseChannel5IMG_0186 from Claire Johnson on Vimeo.

Posted by Claire Johnson on June 26th, 2017 4:36 PM
So proud to live in the United States of America.  Thank you to the Veterans and Military service men and women for protecting our Freedom!  This is one of my all time favorite songs!  


Posted by Claire Johnson on May 29th, 2017 1:21 PM
Enjoying a beautiful day on the water on Finally, our cruising catamaran!  We left Lower Matecumbe Key, sailed through the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Marker 88 for lunch. This video shows us going through Bowlegs Cut, located close to Lower Matecumbe Key.    
If you are looking for Islamorada real estate, understanding the waterways is just as important as the house purchase.  Not all the canals have the same control depth and not all areas have easy access to tall bridges.  One of the many perks of Islamorada is the easy access to either the Atlantic Ocean or the Florida Bay.  When looking to purchase a home in Islamorada, you will have four islands to choose from - Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key and Lower Matecumbe Key.  Contact me when looking for Islamorada real estate!  Claire Johnson, 305-731-4602 or flkeysclaire@icloud.com

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 19th, 2017 1:52 PM
Looking for an Islamorada home for sale, that provides forever ocean views?   

THE BEACH HOUSE on Lower Matecumbe Key, Islamorada, Florida Keys,  w/ 100' of beach. Beautifully appointed 4 BD/ 4 BA home comes furnished. Forever ocean views to be enjoyed the moment you step into the Great Room. Vaulted ceilings w/ sky lights, enjoy the sunrise and the afternoon shade, built in 2005 / remodeled in 2013. Electric gate, circular drive, large garage, outdoor living space, room for a pool, protected anchoring out front.



Posted by Claire Johnson on February 10th, 2017 9:37 AM
Whether you like to be on land or on the water, Islamorada offers many activities.  Feeding the tarpon at Robbie's Marina is a great experience for you and your guests.  Are you brave enough to let the tarpon take the fish from your hand or will you get nervous and drop the fish in the water!!  Located at the North end of Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada, Florida Keys - on the bayside at Mile Marker 77.   


compliments of FLA-KEYS.COM/ TV

If you are considering purchasing a home in Islamorada - I can help you located the area and home that will best suite your needs.  There are many factors when looking for Islamorada real estate or Key Largo real estate, let my 14 years of experience help guide you through this process.  It is more than just looking at a home, understanding the waterways is just as important.  I will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear - but ultimately the decision is yours.  


Posted by Claire Johnson on November 16th, 2016 11:10 AM
The Florida Keys has the largest living coral reef in North America.  The reef stretches from Key Largo to Key West.  The Florida Keys are not known for its beaches but we are known for our boating lifestyle.  There is nothing more awe inspiring than when you are boating over 30' of water and can see clearly down to the bottom.  

The attraction to the Florida Keys is the water life.  Any type of water activity that you can think of, can be done in our beautiful waters - snorkeling, diving, fishing, waterskiing, kite boarding, paddle boarding, sailing, tubing, boating to various restaurants, wind surfing and so on.   Islamorada has the best boating in the Keys (in my opinion).  There are many bridges to cut from the ocean side to the bay side.  When looking for Islamorada real estate, let me know what type of boater you are.  Then we can discuss the various options Islamorada has to offer.  


Video rights to FloridaKeys.tv



Posted by Claire Johnson on November 11th, 2016 4:05 PM
Palatial Port Largo
$1,150,000.00
397 Laguna Ave, Key Largo, Florida Keys? 

Three floors encompass this spacious home. Children can play endless games of hide-n-seek, adults can escape to a quiet place, or all gather together to create memories. Immense outdoor living space for all to enjoy!  Screened porch houses the hot tub and overlooks the pool, which is surrounded by a privacy fence;  75’ concrete dock is just steps away and over 5’ control depth at canal entrance.   As you enter into the foyer, this first level (with over 1600sf of enclosed space) encompasses permitted storage, locker room and playroom, which overlooks the pool and canal.  The interior staircase leads you to the enormous main living part of the house, with 2,992 sf of spacious living - 4 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms.  A generous size kitchen, dining room and living room - all three rooms open onto another screened porch. This porch hosts a bar and more views looking down on the pool and canal.  The 3rd level is all Master suite, with its own private balcony and sauna.  Enjoying the outdoors is pivotal for the Keys lifestyle. Conveniently located to the Key Largo Park with more outdoor activities - Pirate Ship pool, diving boards, tennis courts, ball fields, jogging trail and much more.  This home is perfect for entertaining or to use as a vacation rental.  You can do so much with this house - your imagination is your only limitation! Come down and make it yours.




Port Largo is located at Mile Marker 100 in Key Largo, Florida Keys.  This subdivision is known for its deep control depth at the entrance of the canal - approximately 6'.  Many canals entrances average about 4'. Port Largo's canal system exits directly into the Atlantic Ocean - within minutes you are cruising at full speed to reach your destination.  


Posted by Claire Johnson on November 1st, 2016 5:19 AM
Just listed this top floor, corner unit in Coral Harbour Condo.  Nestled among 10 acres of beautifully manicured lawns, this updated unit has breathtaking ocean views.  The ocean views can be enjoyed from the living room, master bedroom and screened in porch.  The unit has 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, 1330 sf of living space, washer /dryer in unit, and located on Plantation Key in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Coral Harbour has wonderful amenities - marina that offers fuel and ice, 2 lighted tennis courts, heated pool, club house with many social activities during the season, covered parking, car washing station, gated complex, and a point directly on the ocean to relax and enjoy the prevailing winds and the forever ocean views!  

Being offered at $499,000 - this unit is turn key.  Contact me for your private showing.  


Posted by Claire Johnson on October 4th, 2016 10:05 AM
Just listed this unit in Plantation by the Sea!  Incredible ocean views to enjoy from your private balcony.  Wonderful ocean breezes, remodeled unit, covered parking, storage unit on ground floor, washer and dryer in unit.  The complex offers a heated swimming pool, fishing pier (no dockage), gated, clubhouse and work out room.  Being offered at $369,000.00

Plantation by the Sea is located within walking distance to Founder's Park and Marker 88 restaurant.  Marina's are close by to store your boat.  Islamorada is known as the SPORT FISHING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD because of the variety of fish that can be caught in this area.  You can enjoy deep sea fishing or backcountry fishing in the Everglades National Park.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on September 15th, 2016 11:57 AM
Think of first impressions when deciding to sell your Islamorada home or Key Largo home. Exterior aesthetics should be considered and well thought out.  Coastal Living has some fantastic ideas for front doors.  A front door with its own color will pop, drawing attention to the house, making a prospect curious as to what the rest of the house looks like.  Coastal Living has wonderful ideas to bring nature into your home.   Selling a home in Islamorada or selling a home in Key Largo is an exciting step with a new adventure on the horizon.  Having been a full time Realtor for the past fourteen years, I can help guide you through this process.  I don't tell you what you want to hear, I tell you what you need to hear.  Give me a call and let's get this process started. 

Posted by Claire Johnson on July 2nd, 2016 4:21 PM
Buying a home in Islamorada gets you one step closer to easy living and a laid back lifestyle. It is a place for family and friends to gather and create lifelong memories. Sometimes it it not about having a spacious house but providing a retreat that can house many guests.  Coastal Living has provided some fantastic ideas for bunk bed rooms.  When searching for Islamorada real estate and Key Largo real estate imagine the possibilities of a home and make it happen.  We are in a Seller's market; properties are limited and can sell quickly.  If you find something you like, it is best to move sooner rather than later.  I have been a full time Realtor for the past 14 years.  I can help you find your piece of paradise.  


Coastal Living
Posted by Claire Johnson on June 21st, 2016 8:29 AM
Thinking of purchasing a home in the Florida Keys? Wondering what activities are available on a chain of small islands?  Here are some great activities to keep in mind when exploring around the island chain.  When teaming up with a Realtor, you will be guided through the process of determining which area of the Florida Keys will work for you and your family. Whether you are looking for Key West real estate, Lower Keys real estate, Marathon real estate, Islamorada real estate or Key Largo real estate - I can help you narrow your search and find that perfect piece of paradise!  My 14 years of experience in selling real estate in the Florida Keys will be used to your advantage.  Thinking outside the box, pointing out the pros and cons of an area or a home is what sets me apart.  My job is to understand and look out for your best interest.  



Video by FloridaKeys.TV and Fla-Keys.com 
Posted by Claire Johnson on June 20th, 2016 9:38 AM
The Florida Keys are a chain of islands that stretches over 100 miles.  Whether looking for Key Largo real estate, Islamorada real estate, Marathon real estate, Lower Keys real estate or Key West real estate - every area has there own nuances.  What is consistent about the Florida Keys is the beauty and laid back atmosphere.  We love our crystal clear waters and every opportunity is taken to enjoy our surroundings.  We are a small community that hosts a great deal of events and activities.  The annual Lower Keys underwater music festival is one of the many events.  FLA-Keys.com is a great source of information for all events taking place throughout the island chain.    


Video from FloridaKeys.TV

Posted by Claire Johnson on June 17th, 2016 3:17 PM
Staying alert when navigating the waters around the Florida Keys is a must.  Although most areas are marked with channel markers, there are areas that require local knowledge.  The tidal difference between high and low are a couple of feet.  Except for twice a month, when there is a new moon or a full moon - then the tidal difference is known as an extreme high tide or low tide - which could add another 6' - 12' on top of the normal tide.  Here is a little rhyme to help you navigate the waters - 

Brown, brown run aground
White, white you just might
Blue, blue cruise on through

In my opinion, Islamorada has the best boating!  There are a number of bridges which offer cut throughs from ocean side to bay side.  To navigate from one side to the other is only a matter of minutes no matter where you are.  Where Islamorada has 4 habitable islands, that are approximately 4 miles long each, Key Largo offers a different scenario. The island of Key Largo is approximately 16 miles long.  There are 3 cut throughs - Jewfish Creek on the North end, Adams Cut located at mile marker 103 and Tavernier Creek on the South end. When looking for Key Largo real estate keep in mind the boating time to get from ocean to bay side or vice versa.  Call me to help you navigate through the home buying process.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on June 7th, 2016 9:28 AM
Are you considering buying Islamorada real estate?  This condo complex is located on Cortez Dr. on Lower Matecumbe Key in the Village of Islamorada.  It is on the ocean side at Mile Marker 76.5.  Here is a view of the complex from the canal.  There are townhouse and 1 bedroom condo style units that share the grounds which consist of a pool, tennis court, gated trailer storage, boat ramp, dockage and onsite management.  What I like about these units is they come with a garage, which is a rare feature to find when looking for Islamorada Real Estate.  Although they are located next to the highway, the porches face the canal side. The CBS structure of the buildings buffer the highway noise as well as the mature landscaping that lines the highway.  The canal exits directly into the Atlantic Ocean, take a look at my previous post Islamorada Canal Control Depth - Cortez Dr. and Columbus Dr. on Lower Matecumbe Key.  You will be able to enjoy the early morning sun and the afternoon shade.  You are only minutes from town, which is Upper Matecumbe Key.  You can get to many restaurants and sunset bars via land or water.  If you are interested in purchasing Islamorada real estate, give me a call.  I can help you navigate through the different types of properties.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on June 6th, 2016 10:23 AM
Are you a sunset or a sunrise person?  Do you enjoy looking at the Atlantic Ocean or the Florida Bay? When looking for Islamorada real estate in the Florida Keys you have options. I was at a friends house on Upper Matecumbe Key enjoying this magical sunset - and the bonus was this passing sailboat.  It never tires watching the sun melt into the bay.  When deciding which side of the island you want to live - searching for Islamorada real estate - the sunsets in the summer time will create a great deal of heat coming through the windows. There are options to help the heat from penetrating into the house.  Google shades with day / night privacy.  Two window shades in one - offer the privacy of blackout shades as well as the light control of sheer shades. Perfect for letting filtered light into the room or lower the blackout shade for privacy and light control.  

There are many factors to consider when searching for Islamorada real estate.  Give me a call so we can discuss your wish list.  I not only understand the intricacies of the various islands but also the surrounding waters.  I have been captaining my own vessel around these islands for the past 20 years.  Finding you that perfect home is a challenge I will conquer! 


Posted by Claire Johnson on June 5th, 2016 7:47 AM
There are many options when buying a waterfront home in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Whether you are looking to buy a home on Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe or Lower Matecumbe - you will need to understand the control depth coming into the entrance of the canal and the draft of your vessel.  There are many canals that could be 15' deep but if the entrance is only 3' deep, the 15' depth is irrelevant.  The control depth mentioned should reflect the water depth at low tide.  

This video is of the canal between Cortez Dr. and Columbus Dr. located at Mile Marker 76.5 on Lower Matecumbe Key on the ocean side.  We are navigating into the channel which you can see is clearly marked with channel markers.  On our way in, we spotted a few eagle rays!  It is important to stay in the channel markers for this canal- outside the markers you will encounter rock / coral.  This particular canal has about 3' control depth at low tide.  I mention 'low tide" because the various moon phases will cause extreme lows and extreme highs, which will happen twice a month.  

If you are considering buying a home in Islamorada and you need a deeper control depth, there are other options.  On Lower Matecumbe Key - Port Antigua, Safety Harbor and Tollgate Shores offer a 6'+ control depth at the canal entrance.  The taller vessels have the ability to go through Channel 5' bridge which has a 65' clearance.  The ICW runs along the bayside as well offering deeper water for boats to navigate.  On Plantation Key - Venetian Shores - offers 6'+ control depth, Kahiki Harbor, Sunshine Estates offers 5'+ control depth. Snake Creek Bridge is a draw bridge for the taller vessels to navigate from bay side to ocean side.  

I have been boating around these waters for almost 20 years.  I had my captains license up until recently.  I understand the waters and can help you find the perfect home that will fit your needs.  Call me to help navigate you through the real estate process.

Posted by Claire Johnson on May 31st, 2016 7:15 PM
The Florida Keys is a chain of islands that is surrounded by the Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Being able to traverse from one side to the other is a great feature of living in the Florida Keys.  Tavernier Creek is one of many cut throughs.  If you are considering buying a home in the Florida Keys, this is something you want to pay attention too.  Islamorada is a chain of 4 islands - Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key and Lower Matecumbe Key.  It stretches from mile marker 90 to mile marker 74.  Tavernier Creek is located at the North end of Plantation Key, at mile marker 90.   There is a bridge that will limit the height of a boat.  If you have a vessel of great height, such as an offshore fishing boat or a sailboat, Snake Creek can accommodate with its draw bridge.  If you are buying a home in Tavernier or buying a home in Islamorada, take a look at this waterway.  There are many intricacies to know in the Florida Keys.  Give me a call and I can help you navigate through the home buying or home selling process.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on May 17th, 2016 4:01 PM
Looking to sell your home in the Florida Keys?  I offer an opportunity to get connected locally and globally. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (Leading RE) / Luxury Portfolio International is the largest Realtor network.  The Leading RE network level of excellence is unmatched.   This is an invitation only network. Brokerages have to be independently owned and top producing.  Leading RE / Luxury Portfolio has over 500 firms, 140,000 sales associates, in over 50 countries and a website that can be translated into 9 languages and continues with strong growth.  

Our affiliation with Leading RE / Luxury Portfolio International is one of many different avenues for getting great exposure for your home.  The global focus is unprecedented and our local presence is unsurmountable.  Freewheeler Realty is the oldest real estate company in the Keys that is still owned and operated by the original owners.  We are affiliated with Freewheeler Vacations which is the largest vacation rental company in the Upper Keys. Having access to thousands of potential prospects gives us the ability to find Buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase a home in the Florida Keys.  Our marketing does not stop with these two avenues.  Thinking outside the box and creating a marketing plan that will work for your property is our speciality.  

If you are considering selling your home in the Florida Keys, call me to set up an appointment to discuss your marketing plan.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on May 10th, 2016 12:27 PM
Being able to get out on the water in the Florida Keys is always a treat.  After two decades of living here, I am still mesmerized by its beauty.  On this particular day, my daughter and I were heading up to Plantation Key.  Since our home is on Lower Matecumbe Key, we travel through the wheel ditch and pass along Tea Table, which is where I shot this video. Although it was a little bumpy as the day progressed the wind laid down and the ride home was beautiful.  

What makes boating around Islamorada the best?  There are four inhabitable islands in the Village of Islamorada - Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key and Lower Matecumbe Key.  The islands are four to five miles long, which gives way to a lot of bridges.  In my opinion, Islamorada has the BEST boating in the Keys because of the easy access to the Atlantic Ocean or the Florida Bay.  There are two options for offshore fishing boats and sailboats to go from one side to the other - there is Snake Creek drawbridge, located at MM 86, and Channel 5 bridge with a 65' clearance, located at MM 73.  The ICW runs along the bay side, which will provide deep water for the larger draft boats.  

When you are considering buying a home in the Florida Keys, take into consideration the size of the boat you have or the one you will eventually be purchasing.  Knowing the control depths, bridge heights and your water activities are important to help decide which island location will fit your needs best. 

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 27th, 2016 11:17 AM

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