Florida Keys Real Estate News

Many people here in the Keys are transplants. The story often goes - came on vacation, stayed for the duration. The love of the water is one of the determining factors of why we love the Florida Keys Lifestyle. On this day, my daughter and I took advantage of the light winds and headed out to Alligator Reef. We left our home on Lower Matecumbe Key, cruised up the bayside, navigated through the wheel ditch, under the bridge by Bud-n-Mary's and then straight out to Alligator Reef / Alligator Lighthouse. It was an epic day to enjoy the crystal clear waters. Jumping into the azul waters, enjoying the slight chill upon entering, we enjoyed just being in the moment. No rush to put on snorkel gear, we just wanted to chill. It was like swimming in a pool. We knew with the high tide the crystal clear waters would be amazing at the reef and it did not disappoint. The beauty of the Florida Keys continues to be breathtaking even after 23 years of living here. If you are interested in finding your home here, I would love to help. Having been a full time Realtor here for the past 18 years, I love the sell the Florida Keys lifestyle! Call me and let's start a conversation!

Posted by Claire Johnson on May 11th, 2020 11:39 AM

Having lived in the Keys for about 24 years now, I have accomplished some firsts during the pandemic. Being quarantined in such an amazing place has its advantages! When you live and work here, you don't get to spend as much pleasure time on the water! Truly grateful that Captain Ted Wilson and his wife, Shirley took me on a fishing adventure! The skill, persistence and patience of Capt. Ted Wilson allowed me to catch my first permit and tarpon. Truly grateful for this experience. Ted is one of those guides who will fish from sun up to moon down! He still loves what he does, over 20+ years later. I first met Ted when we both worked at Cheeca Lodge in the late 90's. 

I learned something new on our fishing trip - that off of channel 2 bridge south of Lower Matecumbe Key is "monster alley." This is where you have a great chance of catching BIG tarpon! I also learned that Ted has a few tricks up his sleeve. Although I did not witness this in person, the story was just as captivating. While fishing under Channel 5 bridge with a tarpon on and going under the bridge - Ted tied the rod to a float, let go and let the tarpon drag it under the bridge to where Ted was waiting! Unfortunately, the fish cut the line but the rod was recovered! Many more stories he can tell. You can find out for yourself by booking a trip with him -Captain Ted Wilson 

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 28th, 2020 5:55 PM

Welcome to Coastal Sol! Located on Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada. This home captures the ocean views and prevailing winds. Situated on a canal and at the end of the street, you will be in the Atlantic Ocean within minutes. This home has been tastefully updated and well appointed. The vaulted ceilings showcase the architectural beams and the tongue and groove ceilings. The openness adds for a more spacious feel. With 1800sf of living space, this 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom home offers spacious bedrooms and captures the ocean views from the living area. The pool is situated canal side and was added in 2016. All impact windows and doors, along with a metal roof, a 1 car garage and 75' of dockage.

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 20th, 2020 11:46 AM

Rare opportunity to own a peninsula canal front lot with active building permit; There was a home on this property but has been demolished; this allows the opportunity to build now or later, you can choose. 375' of water frontage with seawall and dock already in place along the entire property. Concrete pool with hot tub already in place, along with 2 boat lifts - 30,000lbs and 8,000lbs. Property is located on Lower Matecumbe with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and Channel 5 Bridge offers access to the Florida Bay.

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 20th, 2020 11:41 AM
Here is an opportunity to purchase a home on Snake Creek in Venetian Shores.  Claire Johnson, with Coastal Realty of the Florida Keys, is the listing agent for this magnificent property.  This is the property that will be the envy of your friends!

Venetian Shores is a subdivision located on Plantation Key in Islamorada, Florida Keys. This area is known for its deep water dockage, multi-million homes and easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay via Snake Creek.  Snake Creek Drawbridge allows taller boats easy access and raises on the top of the hour.  161 Stromboli Dr. offers you an opportunity to live on the Creek.  CBS construction with concrete roof gives one the ability to expand the home if you find the 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, with over 3500sf of living space, are not enough.  The master suite is situated to give you views of the canal and Snake Creek.  The wide, covered porch creates a wonderful outdoor living space, the spacious lot ~ which is over 19,000sf ~ allows for an outdoor sanctuary to be built with plenty of room for a pool.  The spacious kitchen has been updated and has Viking appliances.  Being on the corner, this property has over 300' of water frontage.  Plenty of storage below with a garage, fenced property with two gated entrances, 12,000# boat lift and davits.  There are only 20 properties that sit on the corner of Snake Creek ~ don't miss out on the opportunity to own one.  Call Claire Johnson for your private showing, 305.731.4602.   

Posted by Claire Johnson on January 11th, 2018 12:01 PM
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Having lived in Islamorada, Florida Keys for the past twenty years, I can honestly say I never get tired of or take for granted the beauty in which I reside.  If I could just float in this water all day, I would!  Buying a home in Islamorada or Key Largo is an exciting prospect. Having been engrossed in the real estate market on a full time basis for the past fourteen years, I can help you navigate through the home purchase process.   From starting your search, being by your side while previewing properties,  pointing out the pros and cons of the different areas, being instrumental in coordinating inspections, being readily available and proceeding to the closing table.  Our relationship does not stop there.  My customers rely on me for contacts, real estate updates and more.  I am an out-of-the box thinker and love a challenge!  Continuously learning is empowering and we all know, knowledge is power!  

If you are looking for a well seasoned agent and one who will be completely honest with you, whether you want to hear it or not - contact me!  I would love to find you a piece of paradise, so you can enjoy the beauty as much as I do!  

The attached video is of Port Antigua Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Homeowner's in the Port Antigua subdivision are able to join the homeowner's association and take advantage of this beautiful area.  Hard sandy bottom, beach, tiki's, and boat ramp, easily accessible by a golf cart.  Port Antigua is an exclusive community, that boasts high end properties.  With over 6' control depth coming into the canal and Channel 5 bridge minutes away with a 65' clearance - allows for the sailboats and off shore fishing vessels to have an area that is accommodating to their size. There are other subdivisions as well that offer the same - call me and I will show you multiple properties that will fit your needs!   

Posted by Claire Johnson on April 18th, 2016 5:07 PM
The colors of the Florida Keys waters continue to awe me everyday - and I have lived here for about 20 years.  I never get tired of seeing the water, being ON the water or being IN the water.  This was a perfect morning to go paddle boarding on the bay - calm, peaceful, and gorgeous.  There is always a way to get on the water and the paddle board gives me the opportunity to sneak up on critters that might be swimming by.  Every time I see a sea creature, the excitement is there as if it was the first time I saw it.  This post does not capture a sea critter but I will post one that does (as soon as I can find it in my videos!!) Are you ready to make this YOUR backyard?!!

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 14th, 2016 10:06 AM
The Florida Keys is a unique area with beautiful waters and a laid back attitude.  In the early years of development, 1950's - 1960's, on this chain of islands - environmental changes were not considered.  Now that we understand the affects of changing the ecosystem, Monroe County is trying to find solutions to reverse some of the affects of changes made decades ago.  This video shows different ideas to try and improve our waterways.  It is important for homeowner's to support these efforts.  We need to protect our waters for future generations to enjoy!  Thank you Islamorada for creating this amazing video to show how you are taking steps now to protect this beautiful area for centuries to come!  

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 10th, 2016 4:25 PM
Islamorada is known for being the Sport Fishing Capital of the World!  Why is that? Living in an area where the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades National Park located in the Florida Bay are just minutes from each other.  You have an opportunity, in Islamorada, to catch many types of fish.  Here is Caribsea Charters, located in Islamorada, catching a swordfish - during the day - a few years ago.  This video catches the excitement and anticipation of reeling in a 500lb + fish!  Caribsea Charters, owned by Kenny Spaulding, has fishing in his blood.  He is a multi-generational fisherman.  The young man narrating is Kenny's son and he is just as talented as his father, uncles and grandfather!  If you want to catch fish, call upon Caribsea Charters!  And call me, if you want to live in this magical place and get your FISH ON!  

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 7th, 2016 1:34 PM

Freewheeler Realty earned the position of being invited to join Leading Real Estate Companies of the World / Luxury Portfolio International.  Being a top producing independent brokerage in the Florida Keys has given us a leg up on our competition.  Leading Real Estate Companies of the World / Luxury Portfolio International has over 500 offices, in 50 countries with over 140,000 agents and growing.  This affiliation provides unprecedented GLOBAL reach, while allowing each brokerage to maintain their LOCAL connections!  Freewheeler Realty has sold over $98 MILLION in 2015 because of our dedication to our customers and our standing in the community.  

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 7th, 2016 9:12 AM
Thinking of moving to the Florida Keys but concerned there is not enough things to do.  If you have a love of the water, warm weather and a close community - the Florida Keys might be a place you want to consider moving.  I have lived in Islamorada for almost 20 years.  At least twice a day, I am crossing over Tea Table bridges and NEVER get tired of looking over at our beautiful waters - Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay - all in one glance.  There is usually someone on the water at any given time - whether they are going deep sea or backcountry fishing, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, kiteboarding, snorkeling / diving or just boating.  Our waters are crystal clear; sometimes you feel like you are boating in a swimming pool because of the clarity.  It was a breezy day when I shot this video.  Amazing to watch the talent of these kiteboarder.

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 6th, 2016 7:03 AM

The Florida Keys is a large boating community.  Whether you like to fish offshore or in the backcountry, snorkel or dive, sail or just cruise around - Islamorada is a great place to boat.  The Village of Islamorada is made up of 4 islands and each island is about 4 miles long, which mean many bridges / cut throughs from the ocean side to the bay side.  One of the coolest channels, in Islamorada, is the Wheel Ditch, which is located on the North end of Lower Matecumbe Key.  If you are heading North, you will exit near Robbie's Marina.  Here is a video of my family going through the wheel ditch.  My husband is sitting up front with our daughter and I am driving the boat.  To toot my own horn, I have been driving around these waters for the past 20 years - many times without my husband on the boat.  I held my captain's license for about 18 years.  I love boating around this amazing place!  I know these waters and understand the importance of control depths and bridge heights.  Here is a little rhyme for you to remember when boating around the area - it might come in handy one day...

brown, brown run aground
white, white you just might
blue, blue cruise on through!  

Posted by Claire Johnson on March 3rd, 2016 9:23 PM
A sneak peak of another one of my listings.  Well maintained, turn key canal front home.  This single wide has a frame addition that makes it feel like a home not a mobile home! Vaulted ceilings, spacious kitchen with 2 sinks, 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms, indoor laundry room, screened in porch, pavers in the backyard for easy maintenance, 2 utility sheds.  61' of concrete dockage and seawall, davits and easy access to the bay and quick boat ride to the Atlantic Ocean.  This home is a located on a hidden jewel of a street. Call me today to set up your private showing!  Canal front home being offered at $440,000.00.


Posted by Claire Johnson on February 29th, 2016 11:30 AM
Looking to purchase a home in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  Here is a sneak peak of one I just listed in Port Antigua.  Beautiful ocean views, large boating basin, 6'+ control depth, 3 bedrooms / 2.5 baths, CBS 1/2 duplex with concrete roof, 52+ concrete dock w/ davits. This home is well maintained and is turn key.  Has impact windows and doors on most of the house; the other windows will have accordion shutters.  Nestled on the cul-de-sac, this is a must see!  

Posted by Claire Johnson on February 23rd, 2016 10:55 PM

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