Florida Keys Real Estate News

Islamorada is known as the "fishing capital of the world" because of the variety of fish that can be caught in the backcountry and offshore waters.  This town is not only made up of fisherman, there are sailors as well!  Ocean breezes offer many great sailing days.  When you take on the peacefulness of sailing, you soon realize a sailboat is not a fast mode of transportation.  Sailing is a journey that allows you to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.   

This past weekend, we took our sailboat to Cape Sable in the Everglades National Park. The beach stretches on for miles and is only accessible by water.  With the estuaries behind the beach, it is teaming with much wildlife.  This is not an area where one will swim due to the many sharks and alligators / crocodiles.  

As we were pulling up close to the shore to anchor, we snagged some rope around one of our props.  Before my husband dealt with the issue, we decided to go ashore and venture up the beach.  Along our walk, we notice a HUGE alligator swimming by <gulp>.  We talked with a camper on the beach, who proceeded to tell us about a shark feeding frenzy he witnessed that morning.  Nothing was going to stop my husband from freeing the prop so back to the boat we went and formulated a plan.  My husband geared up, quietly slipped into the water, and swiftly cut the line away from the prop.  He literally could not see the hand in front of his face and luckily no incident with any sea creatures.  
  

Cape Sable is about 30 miles from our home on Lower Matecumbe Key ~ it took us about 4 hours to sail there.  The journey did not disappoint ~ saw dolphins, birds, had family fun and just relaxed in the beauty of bay.  

The Florida Keys offers a lifestyle of relaxation, laid back atmosphere and clear blue waters. If you are considering purchasing a home in the Upper Keys, please give me a call.  I have been selling real estate in the Florida Keys since 2003.  Whether you are looking for a direct ocean / bay front home, condo, canal front home, non waterfront home or vacant land - I can help you navigate through the home buying process.  

If you are considering selling your property in the Upper Keys - call me to schedule a meeting to go over my contract management, transaction management and comprehensive marketing plan.  The Upper Keys is experiencing low inventory and a steady increase in property values.  



Posted by Claire Johnson on March 5th, 2018 4:46 PM
Why not get to know Claire Johnson, me, on a different level!  Although my career is a Realtor and I've been selling Florida Keys real estate since 2003 - I do like to take a break from wearing my business hat!  Here is a different side of me... on a more personal level. Our love is the water, we love island life, we love being on, in and around the water but we also like to get dirty! My husband grew up in Missouri and started riding dirt bikes at a young age.  A few years ago, we went to Durhamtown with some friends.  Men are on the dirt bikes and mom's are with the kids in the side by sides.  
Although on "vacation", I was still having to work.  Commission lifestyle takes no breaks.  The definition of vacation for me is working from a different location than the Florida Keys.  This vacation was in Durhamtown, GA - about an hour north of Atlanta.  The weather was perfect, the terrain amazing and the company superb.  

I hope you enjoy the video - we sure had a great time!  




Posted by Claire Johnson on October 25th, 2017 9:44 AM

Florida Keys Lifestyle from Claire Johnson on Vimeo.

It has been a little over a week since Hurricane Irma (category 4) passed through the Florida Keys.  I am not going to show any pictures of destruction because we are now on the road to recovery. I am speaking about the Upper Keys ~ Islamorada and Key Largo.  

The Upper Keys has a population of about 20,000.  Although the Florida Keys has millions in visitors, when you take them out of the equation it leaves us with a small town.  This small town is all I have known for the past twenty years.  When tough times fall upon the Florida Keys, is when you truly understand the closeness of this community.  The residence that stayed and danced with Irma ~ were the first responders in starting to clear our roads, help their neighbors and check on properties for ones desperately wanting to know if they still had a place to call home.  They were not doing this for notoriety, their time was given freely and without hesitation ~ this IS the foundation of the Florida Keys.  

The Upper Florida Keys could not have recovered as quickly as we are without additional help. The infrastructure is being put back together at a fast pace because of the outside help ready with their skill set ~ and this is what makes the United States of America an amazing place to live!  

A week after the storm, most of the businesses are open and fully functional.  Tourists are allowed back into the area starting October 1st.  The debris on the side of the roads are being cleared and people are starting to rebuild.  The hardest hit areas in the Upper Keys are mostly on the ocean side ~ they are moving at great speeds to get back to normal.

Many people are talking about real estate values in the Florida Keys ~ I will specifically talk about the Upper Keys (Islamorada and Key Largo).  Here at Coastal Realty of the Upper Keys, we are telling our customers not to panic.  Our community is bouncing back quickly; lets let the coral dust settle so we can truly evaluate the situation.  So far, what we are finding is most properties faired well in this area.  Property owners need to work on getting their homes in order, talk to your insurance companies if needed, hire a PRIVATE insurance adjuster if needed (but you must first notify your insurance company or your situation) and continue clearing / cleaning up your properties.  I am seeing deals close on a daily basis this week and that will continue.  

Call me if you have any questions regarding Upper Keys real estate - we will recover and be better than ever!  Very blessed to live in such an amazing community.  
Posted by Claire Johnson on September 28th, 2017 8:37 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
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
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
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

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