Thursday, November 30, 2006

The best kept secret in Key Largo

As I was checking the new listings today I saw that there is a new listing in The Sanctuary in Key Largo. I know from experience that a lot of people (even locals) never heard of The Sanctuary. The reason for that is that the complex is set back and the entrance can not been seen from US1. It is located behind the Post Office in Key Largo (don't bother driving back there without an agent - you won't get in). The property hosts 36 units on 24 acres! Yes, you read right: 24 acres. You won't find a more private property in the upper Keys. Every unit has an open bay view and is 1700 SF large. Each owner is permitted to have a boat up to approx. 34 feet, which is kept on the trailer in a parking lot on the south side of the property. There are two employees who will pull your boat on the trailer with a tractor to the boat ramp on site and put your boat in the water. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call them. If you would like to keep your boat in the water while you are staying at your condo you can do that as well.This means that your boat won't be sitting in saltwater while you are not here.The clubhouse is an original Flagler’s house that has been beautifully refurbished.
So far I have taken three buyers there who immediately said "This is it" once they saw the property and the grounds; of course they all bought in the Sanctuary.In comparison to like wise properties The Sanctuary is very well priced. The reason for that is that there are so few units. In a complex like Buttonwood Bay which has 288 units the properties appreciate quicker because naturally there are more sales.If you are looking for a true Keys feeling property and must have the view plus dockage, you should really take a look at The Sanctuary.
These are all units currently for sale there:Click'>Click'>">Click

These are the properties that came on the market today:

One property closed today:

I hope you had a pleasant Thursday; the weekend is almost here!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Buy a Business!

It's Wednesday; that means the new 'Free Press' came out today. It's our local paper and I don't think that there are a lot of people who don't read the 'Free Press'. After all it's free and can be picked up at every grocery store, post office etc..An article regarding commercial property in the Keys caught my attention today and I thought I'd share a link to the article with you:
Maybe you never considered that you don't have to wait until you retire but could start a business here. If you'd like more information regarding business opportunities and/or commercial properties please let me assist you!

One of my customers called me today; he wanted to know if this is a good time to put one of his properties on the market. I advised him to only list his property if he is willing to list it for the lowest price in the complex. His unit is in the Landings of Largo. There are 126 units in the Landings and 14 are for sale. That's almost 10%! One type of unit in the Landings is the Phase II unit, a 1200 SF townhouse like condo. Two of these units are for sale for 529K, the identical unit (Floor plan and building wise) is also for sale for 639K and 679K (No not in better locations. Why bother to have the units for over 600K on the market? They are not going to sell until the units for 100K less have sold and are part of the reason why we have what appears to be a flooded market. It is hard for a realtor to advice an owner to not list their property (we are in the business of listing and selling!); I am fortunate enough that my customer appreciated my honesty and will wait to list his condo with me at a later point in time. I only wish more people would pull their overpriced properties off the market. It makes no difference for them if its on the market or not; if it's overpriced it's not going to sell anyway!

A few new properties came on the market today:
Nothing spectacular unless you have been waiting for a unit in Ocean Pointe in Building5 with the D floor plan. This might not mean anything to some of you, but everybody who is familiar with Ocean Pointe knows that Building 5 is the most desirable building and the D plan the most desirable floor plan in Ocean Pointe.

Two properties have sold:
A high end direct waterfront home sold for 3,8 Million. I am certain that part of the selling factor was that the property is on almost 2 acres. By the way; the high-end homes are selling very well.

One home went under contract today: Click'>Click'>">Click

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why I like my profession

Yes, I know you don't want to hear it ... another sunny day in the Keys (sorry!).I was on a listing appointment today and was reminded how lucky I am to do what I do for a living. I enjoy meeting new people and because nobody HAS to live in the Keys and almost everybody chooses to live here, people in general are content and pleasant. I would have probably never met the elderly couple that invited me into their home for the listing appointment today if it weren't for my profession. I spent two hours at their condo and was treated to some very interesting insightful conversation. I have met so many interesting people through my career and can honestly say that I can't imagine something I'd rather be doing. (Ok, other than just doing charity work but unfortunately I do have to work to make a living).Ok, enough 'mush' talk and on to business.

Quite a few new listings came on the market today:Click'>">ClickA variety of properties with vacant land, commercial properties, Single family home and a condo.

Usually I don't include price changes in this report but there were so many price changes today that I wanted to provide you with a link to those properties as well:Click'>">ClickNo, a lot of price changes do not say that values are dropping; it shows yet again sellers are pricing their property more realistically.

One property went under contract; again a waterfront home under a million:

Don't forget: If you have any questions regarding the Real Estate market feel free to call me anytime. Even if you are not in the market to purchase or sell something right now; I am happy to assist you in any way I can.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Done shopping?

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and a good weekend. It appears that people were shopping for other things than Real Estate over the weekend. I am sure retail stores did well over the weekend and maybe you already have started your Christmas shopping as so many others did.This will be a short posting since there is not much to report but if you check this blog frequently I wanted to provide you with the links to the">ClickNo ">properties that have become newly listed since my last posting: No properties have sold nor have gone under contract since my last posting.I am anticipating a busy week with appointments for potential listings as well as showing property. It's been a year since the Real Estate market has slowed down and I think a lot of potential buyers decided to wait and see if prices would go down. It is true that property values have not appreciated as much in 2006 as they had in the previous years but the actual sales prices have not dropped much if at all. The bottom line is that the Keys Real Estate market is a very stable market even when Real Estate is doing poorly in most of the rest of the country.We have something that no other place in the country has: The Coral Reef, fabulous boating and great weather through the entire year along with a limited supply of land and with that Real Estate. Investing in Real Estate in the Keys is like investing in a solid company in the stock market; you can't go wrong in the long run and beside that you get to enjoy your property in Paradise!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's getting busy!

Another beautiful day in the Keys! I know; I keep saying that but I can't help it: It's true! I had a couple of friends from Germany visiting me yesterday and today and I love showing off the Keys to visitors. They went kayaking and could not believe how clear the water was. While they were off enjoying the Keys, I was busy! I see a definite increase in activity. I have had several phone calls in the past few days from waterfront home to commercial property and condos.

I was talking with a buyer today and he expressed concern to work with me on a listing that is my listing because he felt that I am representing the seller and not the buyer.I realized that many people might feel that way and that it might be helpful to explain the matter of 'agency' in Florida briefly. It's a bit complicated so I will keep it as simple as I can and if you have any more questions you can always call me and I will explain it in more detail to you.

A Realtor in Florida is obligated to disclose to a buyer what type of agent he is: A single agent, a transitional transaction broker or a Transaction Broker. Most Realtors encourage their sellers to agree that their listing agent is a transaction agent exactly for the reason I mentioned above: If the listing agent has a buyer the buyer might shy away from making an offer if the agent is a single agent, meaning he is representing the seller. Most people don't like to work with an agent knowing that the agent is on the sellers’ side and the buyer has no representation.We used to have Dual Agency in Florida, which meant that the agent represented buyer and seller; but really that did not make any sense. Now we can be transaction agents and that means exactly what is says: The agent neither represents the buyer nor the seller but the transaction.That means that the agent has fiduciary duties to both parties but cannot disclose certain information to the other party. For example: If a seller tells me that he is listing his property for so much but will take this much; I can not disclose that information to the buyer as a transaction agent; vice versa can the agent not tell the seller he might know that the buyer is willing to pay more than the initial offer.

One of my duties as a Realtor is to make a Real Estate transaction go smoothly and make sure that all legalities are taken care off as well as provide buyer and seller with the information necessary to determine what would be a fair price. When it comes to negotiation there are really only two things that matter: What is the most a buyer will pay for a property and what is the least a seller is willing to take. (Of course sometimes issues such a quick closing might play a role) In the process of negotiation there is either an agreement of the mind or not. It is the Realtors job ensure that the negotiation process goes smoothly and negotiate between buyer and seller without 'taking sides' as a transaction agent. Conclusion: as a buyer or seller you need to know as what type of agent your Realtor is in a transaction and you need to trust your Realtor because of his professionalism and knowledge.

Several new listings came on the market today:Click'>">ClickA vacant lot sold: Click'>">Clickand one condo in Harbor92 went under contract today: Click'>">ClickHarbor 92 is a beautiful complex on the bay with great views.

Now I must take the cranberries off the stove.
I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A busy Monday

I wasn't going to write another post until tomorrow but so many new properties came on the market today that I wanted to make sure to put them on this blog. Click here to view the properties that came on the market today.

One property closed. It was listed for 829K and sold for 813K and is again a waterfront home. As I said that before the waterfront home are the best selling type of properties right now. Click here to see the property that closed.

You have probably noticed that properties are selling very close to their asking price. In my opinion the reason for that is that sellers are now listing their properties at a more realistic price (Meaning for what similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for lately). We also have the largest inventory of listings in years and in order to stand out a listing now needs to be priced competitively. I tell my sellers that it is wiser to list their property for very close to the lowest price they are willing to take and then not be as negotiable when an offer comes in.This is good because for a while we had a problem with overpriced listings that of course were not selling because they were overpriced. The problem with that is that when owner A listed their property for 1 Million even though the last sale for a similar property in the neighborhood was for 700K and neighbor B now wants to list their home; the realtor will bring Comparables of homes that have sold and are for sale and for what price. All owner B would see is that the neighbors house is for sale for 1 Million and "if that house is worth 1 Million than owner Bs house is worth at least that much" because really his house even has a nicer kitchen. But an asking price does not determine the value of a home. A property is worth how much somebody is willing to pay for it. All owner B could see was 1 Million and he proceeded to list his house maybe for 999K just to stay a little bit under owner As' home. As other houses would come on the market, owner C and D etc. would do the same as Owner B and some owners put their house on the market because they heard for how much owner A,B and C property is for sale and "if they can get that much for their home" then they are willing to sell as well. But buyers are no fools and educate themselves about past sales in the neighborhood. You can guess what happened: these properties would sit and sit on the market. (Again in my opinion) this is part of the reason why we have a flooded market right now.When you are looking at properties for sale now you get a much more realistic idea for Real Estate values in the Keys because they are now (most of the time) listed for close to what they are actually selling for. Click here to see what has gone under contract. Again a waterfront home.

Today a new potential buyer called me. He told me that he wanted to buy something in the Keys because he is in Minnesota and it's cold in Minnesota!There is one of your reasons why the Keys will always be a desirable area! Even though I think it's cold here right now at 65 degrees; really I don't even remember what cold is.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

66 Degrees - that's what we call a Cold Front

The rain is gone and it was a beautiful day in the Keys today. A little nippy at 66 degrees; perfect for a walk. The Amphitheater in Founders Park is finally completed and I am sure we will have many events to look forward to there.I have e-mailed all of my customers telling them about this blog and I hope that I provide you with a service by keeping you up to date with the Real Estate happenings here.Three new listings came on the market since yesterday: Click'>">ClickOne of these listings is my new listing. It's a boat slip in Molasses Reef marina. Molasses Reef Marina is located in Kawama Yacht Club but it is its own entity. To get to the Marina one must pass through the manned security gate of Kawama Yacht Club. This gives any boat owner peace of mind while not on his boat. During the day there is a Dockmaster on site and owners are permitted to rent out their slips. The slip I have for sale currently rents for $700,- per month. The slip can accommodate a 45 foot boat; there is water and electricity and direct ocean access. Boat slips that are not part of a Condominium complex are rare. In Key Largo there are only four boat slips for sale and only two that can accommodate a 45 foot boat. My listing is the lower priced of the two listed in Molasses Reef marina. These are the four boat slips currently for sale: Click'>">ClickYou are also permitted to live aboard in Molasses Reef marina; so if you have a great boat and would like to make the Keys your home part time, you can purchase a boat slip and stay on your boat!Boat slips have been one of the fastest appreciating property types in the Keys over the past few years. It's not hard to figure out why: There is that limited supply issue and of course that the Keys are all about water, boats and fishing.A lot of my customers ask me to tell them about 'deals'. Today I went through all condos up to 900K and selected the ones that I consider a deal right now: Click'>">ClickNo, they are not only my listings; I picked these from all condos currently listed.If you have any questions regarding any of these properties and would like to know why I consider them a good buy please give me a call. Don't forget that I also have a website where you can do your own search for properties.Thank you for the nice e-mails you have sent me regarding this blog.I hope you had a nice weekend; I'll try and stay warm during this cold front.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It has to rain once in a while

When living in the Keys a little rain is sometimes a welcome change. It gives us an excuse to stay inside, read a good book and realize that it is indeed Winter.There is not much business in these weeks; people are busy planning their holiday.Today three new listings came on the market; here is the link to them: Click'>">ClickTwo properties closed, one waterfront condo and a waterfront home: Click'>">ClickThe condo that sold is in Tamarind Bay; which is a great condo complex at MM103 on the Bay. Every unit has a water view and the two bedroom units are approx. 1400 Square feet living area with a large balcony overlooking the Bay. There is boat dockage, a boat ramp, two pools, one heated and one not, tennis courts and trailer storage. The grounds are immaculate and pets are allowed. For a pet owner that is a big deal and there are not many complexes that permit pets.I have a beautiful listing in Tamarind Bay. This is a link to the property: Click'>">ClickWhile talking to a buyer today and telling him about the half condo I have listed in Buttonwood Bay for 429K he told me that he is interested in purchasing a condo in Executive Bay with a partner. He asked me to find somebody who might be interested to purchase something in Executive Bay Club. The units is Executive Bay Club are town homes and start at $469,900Should you read this blog and always wanted to purchase a second home in the Keys but felt that it was too large of an investment, this would be a great opportunity to get into the market with ca. 250K. This is a link to all units currently listed in EBC: Click'>">ClickDon't forget: Real Estate is one of the most solid investments you can make and the Keys are the Keys; with a limited supply of Real Estate and we all know how the supply and demand thing works. Get in while the market is in your favor. You'll like it here ... even when it rains!

Monday, November 13, 2006

To lay by the pool in November!

One of the advantages of being a realtor is that I get to lay by the Pool on a Monday. True I work most weekends but when I have a spare hour I can go and enjoy the weather in the Keys.
The water is perfect and the sun not too hot.
It being a monday there are a lot of new listings that came on the market today. Here is a link to those litsings: Click'>">Click
A couple of properties sold as well: Click'>">Click
and several went under contract: Click'>">Click
As you can see there is activity in the Real Estate market here. Many buyers have been waiting for a buyers market and it is here!
One of my sellers had a great idea! He is offering half of his unit for sale:
All costs (such as Maintenance Fee, taxes and assessments) would be split 50/50 between both owners. If one owner wants to sell at any point in time the other owner has the first right of refusal and can buy the other owner out.
When the unit sells at a later point in time the appreciation will be divided equally.
The current owner would like the use of the unit from April to September, meaning that the buyer would have the use of the unit in the more desirable winter months. This is a great way to get the food into the Real Estate market here with not that large of an investment.
This is a link to the listing: Click'>">Click
This is a visual tour to the property:

I also listed another property over the weekend in Ocean Pointe. Ocean Pointe is a resort like condominium complex. The unit I listed is a one bedroom one bath condo and at 429K the lowest priced listing in Ocean Pointe. Ocean Pointe has an on site rental management and allows daily rentals; which most complexes don't permit in the Keys. That means that it is a great rental property and investment. There is a restaurant/bar on site, kayak rentals, boat dockage, trailer storage, a very large pool, tennis courts, barbecue areas, beach area, volley ball court .. as you can see Ocean Pointe caters to the tourist. This is a link to the property: Click'>">Click
This is a link to the visual tour of the property:
Just imagine: You could buy something down here in the Keys and it could be you by the pool in November!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another beautiful day in Paradise

It is on days like this when I know why I have chosen to live here: 78 degrees, sunny not too humid .... how can you not be in a good mood on a day like this?!And with a new day come new listings: 12 again and here they are: Click'>">ClickOne of these listings is my listing and I am glad that the sellers agreed to price it at a marketable price of 799K. That is the lowest priced listing in Buttonwood Bay and really a good buy. Buttonwood Bay is a beautiful complex with 288 units and tons of amenities, but what makes Buttonwood Bay so special is that it truly feels like Keys living; Lots of vegetation and water everywhere. When the complex was built the developer cut waterways into Coral (THAT of course could and never should be done today), which are now the canals in BB, every town home is either on a canal or on the open bay and every unit has an assigned boat slip. You can imagine how protected the marina is surrounded by Coral. I have sold many units in BB and many buyers have told me that this is exactly how they envisioned their getaway place in Paradise. Low key, super friendly people and fabulous boating. This is the new listing in BB:Click'>">ClickA waterfront home in Key Largo closed yesterday: Click'>">Click It sold for 800K. The house needed some work but it is a concrete home on a canal; the most important basics are there.One house went under contract which is also a waterfront home under a million: Click'>">ClickLast year it was hard to pick up a home on the water under a million unless it was in Pirates cove (Pirates Cove is a very nice neighborhood, the lots are just very small).Waterfront homes are always a good investment .... The Keys are all about the water and there is a limited supply of waterfront homes. Prices are halting right now; it's not going to stay like that much longer.Either way if you own or rent down here: What a beautiful day! Aren't you glad you are here?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's a good time to buy!

Of course I am saying that: I am a realtor! But it's true! Property prices in the Keys are not dropping as they are in other areas simply because there aren't a lot of distress sales here and sellers know that it's only a matter of time until prices will appreciate again. We have a flooded market that concludes in a buyers market. Sellers are aware that buyers are out to get a deal and have plenty of properties to choose from. While you can't really 'steal' any property for an unbelievable price, this is a good time for buyers to negotiate a good price and shop around for the best deal. Just today 12 properties lowered their asking price and that is just in the upper Keys. Many sellers are dropping their prices but leave no room for negotiation. The gap between asking and selling price remains fairly small, but the asking prices are becoming more realistic. 11 new properties are listed today and it's only 2pm. This is a link to these new listings:Click'>">Click A waterfront home on Gardenia was just sold for 820K; the asking price was 824,900. A dry lot home on Sound Drive was sold for 300K and was listed for 329K. This is a link to the two houses; in case you are curious:Click'>">ClickNovember is here and the snowbirds are starting to arrive. I always look forward to winter and having the friends back we have to say good-bye to over the summer. Everything becomes livelier; the pool is a daily gathering place.It is 82 degrees today and a bit cloudy; the perfect weather for a walk.