Monday, November 14, 2016

Best Beaches in Florida Visitusa.com is committed to singing the praises of a variety of beaches in Florida that visitors to the Orange State may enjoy. To that end, we’ve compiled an extensive list of the best Florida beaches we could find. So with out further ado, here are some of the best beaches in Florida. Fort De Soto Beach is a historic fort built during the Spanish-American War located on Mullet Key. This 900- acre park has 7 miles of beaches, 2 fishing piers, picnic and camping areas, a small history museum and a 2,000-ft. nature trail. Florida's Gulf Coast, Caladesi is one of the few remaining large undeveloped barrier islands in Florida, and is only accessible by boat. It is an perfect locations for swimming, fishing, picnics, diving, hiking and nature study. Key Biscayne's beaches in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park’s visitors can stroll by the Atlantic, charter a deep-sea fishing boat, ride a jet ski, or just relax. It’s one of the best places in Greater Miami for golf, sunbathing & water sports Perdido Key is a natural paradise is home to plentiful native wildlife. The clear green waters and miles of soft white sand are perfect for sunbathing or water sports and it’s considered one of the America’s best swimming beaches. South Beach is a happening hot-spot with a chic night life. The “American Riviera” is great for couples on spring break (that can afford it anyway) since rowdy crowds of teenagers are rarely seen on its upscale sands. Greater Fort Lauderdale has 23 miles of sun-drenched beaches and is perfect for people watching or shopping and dining at any number of great beach shops and restaurants that line the clean and eco-friendly beaches. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park’s miles of white sand beaches and striking dune formations characterize this Florida Panhandle area. Boating, saltwater fishing, camping, canoeing and hiking are all popular St. Joseph Peninsula activities. Clearwater Beach offers nearly every water and beach activity conceivable, and nearby Pier 60 Park has a family recreation complex with playgrounds, fishing and concession stands. Anastasia State Park is home to several rare, threatened and endangered species. Located on Anastasia Island, near St. Augustine, this beach provides opportunities for Camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, beach volleyball, boating and more. St. George Island State Park sits on 9 miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes. It is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, and is a perfect setting for a quiet Florida getaway. Daytona Beach is called the "World's Most Famous Beach". Visitors can drive automobiles on the sand by day and stroll the boardwalk by night, stopping occasionally to enjoy the arcades. Daytona Beach is also a major surfing hotspot. Siesta Key is one of the most popular the beaches on the southwest coast of Florida and is famous for its soft white sand. Amenities include lifeguards, concessions, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, showers & volleyball & tennis courts.
Bass Fishing in Florida; A multi-million recreation Bass fishing represents one of the most popular fishing sports practiced today. Its popularity has yielded a multi-billion dollar industry unto itself, aside from the business of other modes of sport fishing. There are boats on the market designed specifically for bass fishing. Clothes and gears are also very popular. Freshwater sport fishing in Florida provided recreational opportunities for over 1.32 million people, over age 16, and generated an economic output of $2.0 billion in 2001. Aside from that, Florida freshwater recreational fishing generated 19,519 jobs with earnings of $484 million in 2001. Florida freshwater fishing provided 20.8 million angler days of recreation (92% resident) based on 14.5 million trips. (A trip is from the time someone leaves home until they return and may include many days; a day is defined by an activity on a specific day.) Bass habitats include a variety of environments, from rivers, lakes, streams, and even ponds. Rivers provide one of the healthiest habitats, due to the highly oxygenated waters from the rapid current. In order to fish bass from rivers, it is best to seek out breaks in the current, perhaps from a fallen tree, a stump, or rocks. The fish that bass feed upon will normally school below a dam, thereby making these spots ideal for bass fishing. There are at least 32 species of fish commonly caught in the numerous lakes, ponds, canals and rivers throughout Southwest Florida. The anglers pursuing the most popular of these freshwater game fish are locally referred to as either bass fisherman, "perch jerkers", pan fisherman or catfishermen, depending upon the object of their pursuit. The most common and popular of these are Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Panfish, Chain pickerel and Crappie. Largemouth Bass without a doubt is the most sought after game fish in Florida. It is the main target of the majority of anglers. Many of these lure busting monsters in the 10 to 12 pound range are taken every year in local waters. The yellow and brown bullhead, followed by the channel catfish, is the most abundant in the area. They are favored by sportsman for the delicious table fare that they provide. Also harvested commercially, mainly on Lake Okeechobee, and their tasty fillets are served as an "all you can eat" favorite in most area restaurants. But it is still the bass fish that promises the challenge of the sport. Every freshwater river, canal, lake and pond in South West Florida is abundant with what is locally referred to as "panfish" for the thick tasty fillets they provide. The term actually covers a wide variety of pan sized fish in the sunfish family. These include, but are not limited to, the following: bluegill, bream, warmouth, and the most sought after, redeared sunfish, locally referred to as a "shellcracker" for its diet of aquatic snails. Another favorite is the exotic oscar, which has flourished in the hundreds of miles of canals in the area. An angler needs only to arm themselves with a cane pole and a can of worms or crickets for guaranteed success in catching supper. However, most anglers opt for the ultra-light spinning outfits with tiny spinners and spoons, or the fly rod with popping bugs. Catches of fifty or more a day are common. While not particularly sought after, the pickerel must still be considered a game fish for its savage attacks on the lures most commonly thrown by bass fisherman. They are fast, tackle busting acrobatic fighters. While edible, they are usually released due the many pesky little bones in their fillets. Also locally called speckled perch or "specks" and considered as the favorite of the "perch jerkers" or crappie fisherman that pursue them. These quick striking fish fall for a variety of lures. They congregate in large schools and once located, provide the angler with plenty of action and a great fish fry. There are innumerable techniques and types of tackle available to practice the sport of bass fishing. For a beginner, it is advised to gather some more basic tools to get started. Some suggestions point towards acquiring a 10-pound line, suitable for the average sizes and weights of this species. Also, it is suggested to start with artificial bait until the angler has a better understanding of the unique characteristics of the bass fish. The Spinnerbait is common artificial bait used by both amateur and seasoned anglers. The catch and release method was first introduced in the 1950s. It was designed to reduce the rising costs of restocking hatchery-raised fish, and was normally used for fish not meant for consumption. Popular consensus does not consider bass as a food fish, and thus this technique is widely used.
Florida Homeowners Insurance Coverage 2005 marked a record year for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, with weather reporters resorting to using the Greek Alphabet to come up with names for hurricanes and tropical storms headed towards the United States. Unfortunately a few of these hurricanes, including Dennis, Katrina and Wilma causes major destruction on both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico sides of Florida. Because Florida is right in the midst of hurricane alley for nearly half the year, finding affordable Homeowners insurance coverage is nearly impossible for most homeowners and sustaining and repaying those Homeowners insurance policies is just as impossible for the actual insurance companies. For quite some time, in the 1980s and 1990s, many Florida residences were covered by the state run insurance company, called the Residential Joint Underwriting Association. Only recently have large private Homeowners insurance companies, like Allstate, begun taking on homeowners insurance policies in sections of Florida, along the coastlines and in the southern part of the state, where hurricanes are more likely to occur. Whether going through the state run RJU association or going through a private home insurance agency, there is no question that Homeowners insurance will be extremely expensive anywhere near the coast in Florida. The same home in Ohio may cost three times less to insure than it would on the coast of Florida, simply because of all the added coverage for hurricane season. Since most basic insurance policies only cover certain natural disasters that could occur anywhere in the country, most often hurricane damage is not included in this policy. For that reason, Florida homeowners have to go about purchasing extra hurricane insurance to make sure their home will be covered in case hit by one of these ocean storms. A law was recently passed in 2005 in Florida that requires plain language on insurance policies so that homeowners can easily understand the terms of their policy without being confused by the heavy jargon. Before this, many Florida homeowners were left to fend for themselves or to apply for Federal or Florida aid because many did not realize that even hurricane insurance often does not include flood damage. Of course this can be tricky to distinguish and this is where many homeowners found themselves at a loss. Even if the flooding is caused by a storm surge of rising water from the hurricane, this is not covered by the hurricane because it is not considered damage due to the high winds or rain of the storm, but is instead caused by the ocean waters rising. If Florida homeowners are in an area that could be considered a storm surge area, usually even up to 25 feet from the ocean, then they need to consider also including flood insurance as a separate clause to their Homeowners insurance. Be sure to discuss with your insurance agent exactly what types of water damage are covered in the hurricane insurance policy and the flood policy to make sure you are covered from all angles when encountering a hurricane. Currently legislation is in the works that will limit the amount of surcharges that Florida homeowners can be charged to help prevent price gouging because of the area that Floridians live in. If legislation is passed, this will help level out private and public insurance rates for Floridians, making it easier to acquire insurance from year to year even though they live in an extremely high risk area. If you are a new resident of Florida and have moved to the state between the months of June and November, hurricane season, you may not be able to acquire hurricane insurance for the first season, as many insurance companies put a block on new hurricane insurance policies until after hurricane season is over. This is to prevent those who may just acquire the insurance temporarily and then get rid of it after hurricane season is over. Before closing on the home, consider adding the current Homeowners policy into the contract on the home to ensure that you will be covered for the first season. If this is not possible, you may be able to find insurance to cover a hurricane but it could cost a pretty penny.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Why Vacation Rental Homeowners need a Property Manage

 
MARATHON, Fla. - Sept. 26, 2016 - PRLog -- Per Brenda Alexander, Broker/Associate at Remax and owner of KeysIslandSales.com in Marathon Florida,"There are several reasons for hiring a property manager and all are beneficial to investment property owners. When you own an investment rental property, you want to keep operating costs low while maximizing your monthly revenue. That's easier said than done -- as most investment property owners learn at some point. A property manager takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation and provides substantial peace of mind.Although a property manager charges a fee based on a percentage of the rental rate, the return on investment or ROI is much larger.

Here are more of the biggest benefits and reasons for hiring a property manager:

● Setting a true market-based rental rate. One of the biggest mistakes investment property owners make is over or under pricing their rental rates. Relying on anecdotal information and dubious marketing strategies is all too common. Set the rate too high and the vacancy period will extend far longer than it should. Set it too low and attract the wrong tenants.

● Collecting rents on-time. Speaking of rent, it's every investment property owner's dream to collect it on-time each and every month. Unfortunately, that's not a typical reality. But a property manager changes the entire situation.

● Advertising the property strategically. Marketing a rental property isn't as simple as most people believe. It's a combination of science and art, along with a healthy amount of experience.

● Screening prospective tenants. Another huge mistake all too many investment property owners commit is not fully vetting potential tenants. While it's an uncomfortable process and denying an application is the last thing you want to do, it's completely necessary.

● Properly managing tenants. Rental tenants can pose a number of problems these aren't limited to paying late or disturbing neighbors. A good property manager knows how to properly manage tenants to create a better situation.

● Dealing with contractors. Landscaping, electrical work, plumbing issues, roof leaks, and other common maintenance will be a reality. Having an experienced property manager makes it all the more smooth and owners don't have to deal with various contractors.

● Ability to manage long-distance rentals. Some rental property owners become landlords because they move away and do not sell their previous homes. A property manager makes managing a long-distance rental a cinch.

● Maximizing owner profitability. A good property manager is able to trim costs where possible and negotiate the best contractor rates. This helps to maximize the owner's profitability.

In addition, a property manager will ensure all applicable housing regulations and landlord-tenant laws are followed

For help buying or selling Middle Keys Real Estate, please see Brenda's website athttp://www.keysislandsales.com.

Contact
Keys Island Sales
***@keysislandsales.com
End

The Cost of Living in Key West

 
KEY WEST, Fla. - Oct. 21, 2016 - PRLog -- Per Fred Mullins, Top Producing Member of Team Mullins at Coldwell Banke Schmitt in Key West and owner of www.lowerkeys-homes.com,"There's really no mystery to the cost of living in Key West. In fact, many people move here to enjoy the island lifestyle and vacation like feel every day of the year. Over 1,000 people move to the Sunshine State every day and there's plenty of reasons why. Of course, the wonderful weather plays a big role, as does the relatively low cost of living. Here's the real scoop on the cost of living in Key West:

Low tax rates. The state of Florida does not have an income tax, only a small sales tax (which does not apply to necessities, such as food.) In addition, your homestead exemption will do wonders to lower your property taxes. That's a huge amount of annual savings and even more as the years go by.

Build equity faster. Because land is finite in Key West and it's such a highly desirable place to live, you will build equity much faster compared to other parts of the country. If you buy under your budget, you'll be able to amortize your mortgage faster, creating equity sooner.

Utilities are less expensive. There are no harsh winters in Key West. In fact, winters are very mild. This means you won't be turning on the heat much and there are months where no air conditioning are needed to stay completely comfortable. Say goodbye to servicing your furnace and all that it costs.

Vehicles last much longer. The phrase "garage kept" is something that's a wonderful sales pitch but in Key West, your vehicle won't be subjected to salted roads. Vehicles simply last a lot longer here than in the midwest and northeast.

No need to spend money on winter clothing. That heavy winter clothing which goes out of style and needs periodic replacement won't be necessary in Key West. You won't have to maintain a mudroom, scrape ice, or shovel snow. Or pay to have the driveway cleared and other winter expenses.

More outdoor recreation means better health. Key West offers a lot to its residents and with so many outdoor recreational opportunities, you'll be able to stay active, reducing your healthcare costs.

Fred Mullins, P.A. holds an MBA, B.S., real estate license United States Coast Guard Master Captain's license and commercial pilot's license. With over 20years of cross functional experience in real estate, international asset management and construction management, Fred's experience places him as one of the top real estate professionals in the Florida Keys.For help with buying or selling Real Estate in the Lower Florida Keys,see http://www.lowerkeys-homes.com

Contact
The Mullins Team
***@bellsouth.net

Buying a Home with a Pool -- What You need to Know

 
ISLAMORADA, Fla. - Oct. 21, 2016 - PRLog -- Per Jan Keller, Top Producing Real Estate Agent for Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real estate and owner of Kellerporterteam.com-Everything about Real Estate in Islamorada and the Upper Keys,"Everyone loves the thought of having their own home, complete with a swimming pool.

Images of family splashing around and guests dipping their feet in or wading about with drinks in-hand are definitely enjoyable. However, to enjoy a pool, it must be actively maintained and even if you go the do it yourself route, this will cost money every month.

Here's some more of what you need to know about buying a home with a pool:

The impact on the house's value. A National Association of Realtors study found that a swimming pools adds about 8 percent to a property's value. But that was just in one market. In others, it can be higher -- 10 percent or more. Of course, in other markets a pool provides little to no value increase. It just depends on the geographic location and the neighborhood. For instance, in Florida, pools are commonplace and do add value. But in the northeast or midwest, this can be very different.

Cost of upkeep and long-term expenses. The cost of upkeep is more than just routine maintenance. Sure, you'll have to keep the pH level balanced and skim foreign objects out but there's also the consideration of more substantial expenses. For example, when the pump fails or worse yet, when hydrostatic pressure compromises the walls. Resurfacing is also a necessity and a costly one.

Its value as a selling feature. A swimming pool adds more than just to a property's real market value, it also adds to its marketing value. A pool is an amenity that often serves as a big time selling feature. This is especially true for new couples and couples with children able to swim. However, a pool can be a negative for older couples and for those with very young children.

Actual use. When you see a house with a pool, you'll dream about how much you'll use it. But reality will intrude. Be realistic about how often you'll use it.

Current condition. Do yourself a favor and hire a home inspector that's very experienced in assessing pools.

For more information about Homes for sale in the Upper Florida Keys, please contact Jan athttp://www.islamoradajan.com

Contact
The KellerPorter Team
***@msn.com
End

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Your Guide To Building A New Home

Because the current real estate market favors buyers, a number of people believe that they'll get their money's worth out of any used home they buy. Although it's true that many used properties are priced low, they're not ideal for every family. For some, it's smarter to get a construction loan so that they can build a beautiful new home for themselves.

Building a home may sound prohibitively expensive or overly challenging, but it's a very real possibility. People just need an understanding of construction loans. Currently, most people opt for a construction-to-permanent loan. These loans cover the cost of the lot as well as the cost of home construction and become a mortgage once the house has been built. The process is quite similar to the one followed when someone buys a used home. They make a down payment, then make payments at a fixed rate. Once the home has been completed, the loan will convert to a fixed mortgage.

In some cases, buyers will be able to make interest-free payments while the house is being constructed. However, this is not an option offered by every bank. When it is offered, the bank will determine how many interest-only payments can be made ahead of time. These funds will typically be deposited into a separate account. People who are currently making mortgage or rent payments may find an option like this ideal. From there, the contractor will provide a release schedule. This will give both the buyer and the bank an idea of what to expect.

If you're considering a new home construction loan, you'll want to make sure you keep these things in mind.

1. Be aware of what you can afford

Don't take on more than you can handle. Use a loan calculator to determine what kind of loan makes sense for you. Make sure that you have enough saved to make a 20% down payment. Otherwise, you'll be stuck dealing with PMI payments.

2. Compare loan rates

Make sure you get the most competitive loan rate you can. Shop around and talk to numerous lenders and banks. You may want to ask your contractor if there's a lender they'd recommend.

3. Read over the pre-approval papers

Once you get approved for a loan, banks should send you some pre-approval paperwork. Read over them so that you can compare them more accurately. See what the closing costs and tax rates will be; you don't want to be surprised by any hidden costs.

4. Seek out a great contractor

When you're getting a new construction loan, finding a reputable contractor is crucial. Make sure that your contractor is properly licensed and fully insured. You should also make sue they've built new homes before. Work with them to determine a budget, building costs, and to come up with a plan for your home.

5. Find the right lot

Work with a realtor to find the right lot for your home. Make sure you have all of the building permits you need and ensure that there won't be any issues with your septic or water system.

After you've completed these five steps, you'll be in the perfect place to start work on your new home
Article courtesy of http://www.keysbestproperty.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reasons To Buy A Waterfront Property In The Florida Keys

Reasons To Buy A Waterfront Property In The Florida Keys

"There is only so much land available." This is a statement you must always keep in mind, especially when you're looking at attractive destinations such as the Florida Keys. In this article, you'll discover why owning a waterfront property in the FL Keys is a great investment.

The FL Keys is situated in the southern tip of Florida, a tropical paradise that stretches toward the southwest. Although it's just a narrow strip of land, the view and ambiance are second to none.

The weather is fantastic year-round and you won't run out of things to see and activities to do. There are numerous water activities including swimming and fishing. Simply walking along the white sand beaches can be very enjoyable.

Over the past few years, a lot of people have chosen to make the FL Keys their permanent home. It's simply an excellent place to settle down. There are plenty of things to do both day and night. This doesn't mean the place is always busy. You can still find time to relax if all you want is some peace and quiet.

One of the primary reasons why it's a great investment to purchase a waterfront property in the Florida Keys is that there just aren’t a whole lot of properties in the area. And although the place has suffered a bit of slowdown as a result of the overall economy, it remains appealing to plenty of people because of its limited availability, making it a great long term investment.

The Florida Keys is one place that many people love to visit, making it a popular destination alongside Telluride and Aspen. But rather than snow skiing, what you can do here is water skiing! You can rest assured that the value of the waterfront property in the Florida Keys will rise over the coming years, simply owing to the fact that there isn't a lot of properties in the area and the sheer beauty of the surroundings.

If you're planning to buy a waterfront property, it's recommended to talk to a local realtor who has enough knowledge about the area and access to various real estate properties being sold. The realtor should be able to help you choose the right property to invest in, ensuring that you get it at the best value.

There are several areas within the FL Keys, each one boasting of its own unique set of characteristics. An experienced local realtor can help you in understanding these different areas, allowing you to come up with an informed decision as to where to put your money.

With careful planning and thorough research, you should be able to evaluate the different properties in the FL Keys and find precisely the one that matches your taste.

With a waterfront property in the Florida Keys, you can enjoy a lifestyle other people can only dream of. Having a backyard with such a one-of-a-kind view can certainly be a dream come true.

Key West Vacation Rental Properties Are Great Investments

Key West Vacation Rental Properties Are Great Investments 
 
Mediocre investment rental properties are separated from great ones by a number of factors. One of the most important factors is the truism that it is "location, location, location" that is most vital when making a purchase. Of course, the reason that this cliche has lasted so long is because there is a great deal of truth in it. If you head to an undesirable location and buy a great looking home, you have a great looking home in an undesirable location. It may be stylish and be equipped with many creature comforts, but its value will be substantially suppressed by its location.

To make smart choices, a property investor must begin by thinking strategically. This means that investors must first think about their purchase of rental property as an investment. People head out for their vacations and stay in destination locations to have some fun during their free time. On the other hand, people living full time in these tourist destinations also need a place to live.

Why You Can Find Great Investment Opportunities In Key West Rental Income Properties

The Key West economy relies on the tourist industry and the annual visits of hundreds of thousands of tourists. People living and working in that industry require a place to live. This means that real estate investors have two robust streams of income when they invest in rental properties in the area.

In fact, location matters so much that a rental property in an area like this has more benefits than those found within ordinary neighborhoods. The two primary benefits include shorter vacancy periods and higher rents. In Key West, a destination area, rents are higher for both full time renters living and working in the region as well as for short term vacation stays. In addition, there are very short vacancy periods between rentals. In fact, those vacancies will be periodic and short.

In addition, because of the rental home' location in a destination area, it will appreciate more rapidly in value. The eventual return will be higher, even though the entry price is higher than is found in properties found within ordinary residential areas. This works especially well for long-term investors who hold onto property for many years and plan on cashing in much later for a larger profit.

Because there are so many mortgage financing options that are affordable and with interest rates near historic lows, conditions are favorable for investors ready to make a purchase now. Those that do so can purchase more properties in the future because they will have a substantial amount of collateral leverage.

Understanding How Vacation Rentals Work

Understanding How Vacation Rentals Work

To get the most out of your vacation rental, it is important to understand which types of properties are best suited to this business model. For instance, single-family homes can be used as vacation rentals. However, you may find it more beneficial to invest in a townhome, condo, or multifamily property, simply for the fact that they tend to require less hands-on maintenance.

The idea behind a vacation rental is to give people a home away from home. That means providing them with a fully furnished property that is located close to grocery stores, restaurants, or tourist attractions. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule such as secluded cabins in the mountains. However, for the most part, you will have the best luck if you choose a property that is conveniently located.

Investing In A Vacation Property

Before you jump in and buy a vacation property, it is important that you consider all of the following points:

* As was previously mentioned, the location of the property is absolutely key to whether or not it will succeed. Ideal vacation rentals are located near popular tourist spots or in beautiful natural settings.

* Think objectively about whether or not the property is actually something that people will want to rent. Try to put yourself in the mindset of a family who is looking for a vacation property. Are there any additions you could make that would make them more likely to choose your property rather than another? For instance, installing a sand volleyball court in the backyard may be a great choice if the property is located near a beach or has nice weather year round.

* Before buying a vacation rental on the other side of the country, think about how you will manage it. You may prefer to buy something closer to home so that you can be more actively involved in the upkeep and maintenance. On the other hand, if you buy in a remote location, you can always hire a property management company to manage it for you.

* Crunch the numbers before you buy to make sure that you can comfortably afford any payments on the new property. Don't count on it being rented out continuously. Instead, make sure that you can handle the payments with absolutely no one renting it for at least a few months at a time.

* Make sure the home has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to appeal to a wide variety of renters. The more bedrooms and bathrooms you have, the larger groups you can accommodate, which may make your property more appealing. Oftentimes people like to travel with their friends and family. Being able to all stay in one location can make the experience a lot more fun.

Regardless of where you buy your vacation property, it is important to work with a qualified real estate agent. They can help you evaluate homes to determine which ones offer the best rental potential. Additionally, they can help negotiate a great deal for you at closing time so that you don't have to pay any more than necessary for the home.

The Best Activities in the Florida Keys

The Best Activities in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are the perfect destination for anyone that enjoys spending time outside. There are incredible reefs, gorgeous waters, beautiful weather and a ton of activities to engage in after dark. It is easy to find something to enjoy on your vacation. The following activities are some of the best that the Florida Keys have to offer.

When you think of the Florida Keys,
 the ocean almost immediately comes to mind. Therefore, some of the most popular activities at this destination involve the water, and include fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Fisherman enjoy catching and eating their dinner, as the local waters in the Keys are filled with snapper, redfish, lobster, shrimp and grouper. Fisherman of different experience levels all enjoy the fishing in the Florida Keys, and fishing excursions are available for the adventurous at heart. If you do not want to go on an excursion, just find a little spot to throw out line and see what you reel in. You will not be disappointed in everything the Florida Keys has to offer.

Would you rather be in the water than fishing around it? The Florida Keys are well known for their diving excursions.  You never know what you might find when you are swimming beneath the surface of the ocean. You could run into a sea turtle or stumble across a school of angel fish. Do not forget your underwater camera if you head over to the reefs; the view is simply stunning. If you really know what you are doing, you may find a wreck to swim through or even find yourself swimming with the sharks. However, the shallow reefs are perfect for those just starting out in the diving world.

There are certainly things to do on the water that do not involve diving or fishing. Visitors to the Keys often enjoy sailing and kayaking as well. Sailing allows you to take in as much of the Keys as possible. If you are feeling adventurous, you can actually live on the sailboat for a short time and take off on a week-long adventure. You will find that the sunsets in the Florida Keys are some of the most beautiful in the world, and seeing them from the water is an incredible experience. There is also something special about spending your days on the water, with the sea salt spraying in your face.

If you are a nature-lover, kayaking might be the activity for you. You can maneuver through the wetlands and natural preserves of the Keys, viewing alligators, birds and perhaps a manatee!

If you decide to stay on the shore, you can still have a great time in the Florida Keys. The white sand beaches are a great place to relax and look for seashells. You will find no shortage of activities in the Florida Keys, so starting planning your next trip today! You will have a wonderful time in this sunny bit of paradise, and you may begin planning your return trip before you even leave the area!

Monday, May 18, 2015

What to Know about Florida’s Homestead Exemption



Florida is one of the most affordable and beautiful places to live in the entire country. The Sunshine State is a peninsula that extends down from the southern states into the tropical Florida Keys, situated between the majestic blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the aqua-marine calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is it the home of thousands of miles of beach, it’s also home to fishing, boating, hiking, camping, golf, tennis, horseback riding, and many other outdoor activities.
In addition to these, there’s the wonderful weather, which is filled with balmy breezes, short and mild winters, and best of all, plenty of sunshine. What makes it all even better is the low cost of living. Vehicles enjoy a longer lifespan because there’s no destructive ice and snow. There’s also no need for purchasing costly home heating oil, and goods and services are also less expensive. Topping it off is the state’s very business friendly environment and property owners have the benefit of taking advantage of what’s known as homestead exemption.
What to Know about Florida’s Homestead Exemption
In the state of Florida, a person’s home is quite literally his or her castle. This is because the homestead exemption does such much to owning real estate in the Sunshine State so attractive and affordable. Not only is Florida a state income tax free zone, it’s also a place to own a home with some very nice advantages, which include:
● Pay less in property taxes. The great thing about claiming homestead exemption in the state of Florida is the fact that you qualify for the money saving benefit from the very first day you occupy the property. There is no waiting period or qualifying time needed, you get to file for homestead exemption as soon as you move into your home.
● There are practically no limits. It doesn’t make a difference if you purchase a condo for $125,000 or a mansion for $3.5 million. The monetary worth has no limit but there are restrictions on property size, which cannot be more than half an acre.
● Double the advantage for married couples. If you are married, both spouses are eligible for homestead exemption, doubling the benefit. Should finances go awry, both spouses are still protected by homestead exemption when filing for bankruptcy.
● Protection from creditors. If you own a homestead exempt property in the state of Florida, you have a home that’s off limits to creditors. This means even if a person or company files a lawsuit against you, and wins a judgment, you can’t be forced to sell your property.
As you can clearly see, when you purchase a home in Florida, you not only get great weather, but plenty of peace of mind.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Foreclosure Home



Foreclosure homes are an increasingly larger share of the real estate market inventory. Because so many of these homes are currently on the market, their value is forced lower, making them a great buy for a homeowner or an investor. What's more, buying a foreclosure generally means working with motivated sellers. Having so many properties on their balance sheets, banks and credit unions want to unload them quickly. And there are other advantages to buying foreclosures. But there can't be pros without cons, so downsides do exist.

Advantages of Buying a Foreclosure

Price is not the only advantage of buying a foreclosed property. Though sales average about 27 percent less than their owner-occupied competition, there are other pros in buying a foreclosure.

Motivated Sellers

Banks and financial institutions are weighed down with foreclosure properties. And that excess inventory isn't cheap to carry month after month. This gives buyers an advantage and some measure of leverage. Though the process might be drawn out over a longer period, it may be worth the wait.

Faster Amortization

While some buyers will be able to buy foreclosure properties for cash, far more will have to finance through a bank or credit union. This means sellers can generally put down a greater percentage of the sales price as the price tag drops. It also means being able to carry a smaller note, allowing new homeowners to pay off their mortgage at a faster rate or in small increments.

Disadvantages of Buying a Foreclosure

Discount real estate is great. But buying at below market value doesn't come without a few strings attached. In these purchases, hitches are commonplace. So potential buyers should be vigilant and protect themselves by becoming informed about a home before they buy it.

No Warranties

The term "as-is" goes hand-in-hand with a foreclosure purchase. There won't be a builder's warranty and new owners might face unexpected, unwelcome surprises. Even foreclosure homes which pass inspections with flying colors might have enough nickel-and-dime issues to eat up the discount.

Property Liens

Owners facing foreclosure may have many other financial battles going on simultaneously.  In desperation to hang onto a property, the previous owner might have not met their income or property tax obligations. Work done by contractors to offload the property to avoid foreclosure might have gone unpaid. That can translates into property liens.

While foreclosures make initially make financial sense, closer examination can reveal an entirely different picture.

The Importance of Using an Experienced Agent When You Sell Your Home



Selling a home isn't a simple as cleaning up the interior and exterior and placing a "For Sale" sign in the yard. There many things that go into the sale of a home which are largely unseen by the general public. Market analysis, marketing the property, networking in certain circles and negotiating with potential buyers takes a great deal of time--and expertise. When homeowners go it alone and sell buy-owner or "FSBO", for-sale-by-owner, they could be making a number of mistakes and not even be aware of it.

Marketing

As mentioned, a "For Sale" sign isn't sufficient to market a home for sale. There is a whole universe of potential buyers across the street, over county lines, in other states and even other countries. Experienced agents start the marketing process by looking at a home through a potential buyer's eyes. What they see leads them to form recommendations to the seller. A property's salability is based on this analysis. It's important to know not only the history of a home but its competition on the next street over or in surrounding neighborhoods.

Advertising

Advertising is large part of marketing. It's important and critical to know where to feature the property and what circles to introduce a particular home. This greatly increases a property's strategic exposure, making it visible to the very audience which is most likely to act. With an experienced agent selling a property, the home will be made available to other brokerages and agents. And that's a huge advantage considering over 50 percent of homes are sold in cooperative transactions, according to Realtor. com. These are transactions involving an agent other than the seller's bringing in the buyer.

Security and Qualifying

Selling a home means making it accessible to complete strangers. Complete strangers which may or may not be qualified to buy a home. Many sellers feel uncomfortable opening their home to strangers on a whim. But having a seller's agent means not having to restructure schedules in order to sell a house. A good seller's agent knows how to vet buyers and assess their level of enthusiasm, not to mention their ability to secure financing.

Negotiations

Selling a home is an emotional event. Memories abound. And homeowner bias often clouds judgment about their property's actual market value. A good seller's agent ta

The Importance of Using an Experienced Agent When You Buy a Home




When purchasing a home, there are dozens of considerations which buyers must taken into account. From location, to the neighborhood's trend, proximity to schools, dining and shopping, local entertainment and of course, property type and cost. There's also the matter of having a potential purchase appraised and inspected. Additionally, there's the process of actually moving into the property once purchased and making sure all goes well up to and through closing. To make the process more stress-free, a buyer's agent is a great resource on which to draw experience and handle the many elements in a home purchase.

Experienced and Free of Charge

One of the biggest perks in using an experienced agent when buying a home is having someone who is intimately familiar with the process of a home purchase. What's more is buyer's agents don't cost home buyers anything. Their commission is taken from the broker's agreement between the seller and his or her agent. Buyer's agents can be specialists in their field or work as both buyer and seller's agents in other transactions. In either case, these agents are extensively experienced in the buying process.

Buyers' Agents Protect Their Clients

Individuals and couples might find their dream home, only to find heartbreak hiding behind the staging. Buyer's agents preview properties, determine a seller's motivation level, estimating the home's true market value and predicting the trend of a neighborhood. But the most important role of a buyer's agent is examining the seller's contract. Buyer's might learn of unexpected surprises if the contract is biased on behalf of the seller.

Negotiation and Renegotiation

The average real estate transaction has its fair share of snags. A buyer's agent knows how to spot potential problems before they arise. Moreover, an experienced buyer's agent works diligently to keep the process on track. A contract could become null and void if the buyers or sellers do not execute certain actions.

From recommending a reputable moving company, to helping with relocation, to making sure all is well at closing, a good buyer's agent can make the process significantly less stressful and even save their clients money. An experienced agent will not only work to get a home at a good price, but work to keep the whole process moving along from initial purchase option to closing and even beyond. Using a buyer's agent not only reduces stress, it leaves buyer's free to go about their busy lives from day to day.

A Fulfilling Relocation to the Florida Keys


The Florida Keys is home to many retirees from different walks of life. You can find ex-doctors managing cafes, ex-executives selling their handmade pottery, and ex-lawyers who own fishing charters just to name a few. These people finally abandoned the stressful daily grind to experience a slower and more relaxing pace of living.

The promise of warmth and sunshine is the reason retirees flock to the Florida Keys. Winter in the United States mainland can get brutally cold, but in the Keys, winter is usually a mix of sunshine and cool air. Absorbing some rays is good for your body, but don’t forget to apply enough sunscreen especially during midday when the sun will be right above you. Another draw to living in the Keys is the low cost of energy. Power plants in the Keys require less energy to make steam from water unlike power plants on the mainland.

If you’re one of those who’d like to live in an area with a close-knit community, then Big Pine is the best place for you. The island of Big Pine prohibits development because it contains a federally protected wildlife environment. Big Pine’s community works carefully to maintain their locale as well as to protect the wildlife that surrounds them. Real estate is relatively cheap and is quite a steal given the unspoiled beauty of the environment.

The chain of islands of the Florida Keys is connected by community bus services. You can get a ride to Florida City from Marathon by taking a bus operated by Miami-Dade Transit. Commuters from Key West going to Marathon can ride the bus operated by the Key West Department of Transportation.  

There are 2 airports along the Florida Keys chain of islands. They are Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon Airport. Both of them are found in Monroe County.

Recreation in the Florida Keys

Key Largo
You can never run out of things to do in the Keys. You can manage your business by day and then enjoy wine while listening to soft jazz by night. Are you more of an arts and crafts person? Key Largo in the upper Keys offers arts and crafts classes such as pottery and quilt making.

Marathon
Whether you’re a green thumb who wants to fully enjoy the benefits of gardening or a novice who wants to learn about landscaping, there’s a place for you in Marathon City. The Marathon Garden Club offers classes on landscape design, floral arrangements, and conservation. The club encourages its members to contribute to the city’s beautification by improving their home’s landscape as well as that of their respective neighborhoods.

Big Pine Key
Remember that peculiar shrub you took a photo of? You may send that photo to the Big Pine Key Botanical Society for identification. Better yet, join them and get firsthand lessons about terrestrial and marine flora.

Key West
Discover Key West’s colorful history at the Key West Museum of Art and History. Appreciate treasures and relics recovered from shipwrecks, recognize the literary legends and artists responsible for Key West’s vibrant history, and discover the island city’s history as a seaport.

Islamorada
Islamorada is branded as the Sportfishing Capital of the World. Fishing charters are found almost everywhere. You may also book a charter for a full day, half a day, or a night trip to catch some swordfish. Living in the Keys wouldn’t be complete without experiencing boating and fishing.

People who have relocated to the Florida Keys
You’ll be surprised at how retirees spend their later years in the Keys. Some retirees own dive shops, others manage restaurants. Discover what some Keys residents are engaged with. Who knows, you might end up establishing a business with a fellow retiree.

The Turtle Hospital in Marathon City is the first of its kind in the world. In the early 80s, a man by the name of Richard Moretti retired from operating a Volkswagen autobody shop and moved to Marathon. Before settling down, he purchased a huge boat and the Buena Vista Motel. He used the hotel’s saltwater pool to house some marine animals he had caught. Eventually, educational tours were held at his hotel. Later on, Dr. Elliot Jacobson was recruited by Moretti to be the veterinarian for his Turtle Hospital. Today, the hospital admits injured turtles to be rehabilitated before eventually returning them to the sea.

Will Soto is a 65-year old performer at the Mallory Square in Key West. Upon his arrival in 1976, he got intrigued by the mix of people in Key West. He saw retirees who were ex-lawyers, ex-doctors, and ex-teachers who lived their lives far from the urban lifestyle. Today, he tightropes at the Mallory Square three nights a week.


Maintaining good health in the Florida Keys
Hospitals and clinics are accessible to Keys residents. Below is a list of the hospitals and clinics and their contact numbers.

Upper Keys
Universal Medical Center (305) 248-3290
Homestead Hospital (786) 243-8000
Sunrise Community Inc. (305) 245-9018
VA Primary Care Clinic (305) 248-0874
Mariners Hospital (305) 434-3000

Middle Keys
Fisherman’s Hospital (305) 743-5533

Lower Keys
Lower Keys Medical Center (305) 294-5531
Moped Hospital (305) 292-3015

Shopping won’t be a problem in the Florida Keys. Groceries, toy shops, dollar shops, specialty stores, and malls are dotted across the islands. Sears, Kmart, and Florida Keys Outlet Center are accessible in the Upper, Middle, and Lower Keys.

You can get fresh produce at a farmer’s market in Marathon. It is right across Kmart and is open during Saturdays at 10am. In Florida City, “Robert is Here” is another great source of fresh produce.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Investing In Property In The Upper Florida Keys


As a real estate property investor, you must consider every move you will make thoroughly. A huge mistake may be disastrous. On this page I gives you some useful ideas to help you successfully put money into Islamorada Real-estate

After you have decided to become real-estate investor, the first thing you want to do is receive an LLC or any other entity put in place. Doing this should help you protect yourself both professionally and personally. Additionally, it may assistance with your taxes as well.

Get linked with other property investors to acquire help and learn. Lots of people are active in actual estate investing. In fact, there are lots of groups that focus exclusively on the subject. When you can't find any groups within your neighborhood, there are numerous them online. Get connected and study from other investors who is able to show you what you ought to know.

Locate a niche you are confident with and stick with it. If you concentrate on one market niche, you are able to become a successful investor. Whether you focus on buying and selling houses, investments with low down payments or low properties with low down payments, stick to what you are comfortable and acquainted with and you will definitely succeed.

Ensure that you select investment properties in locations where many people want to live and this have solid reputations. That can help to ensure your purchases are valuable. Also try to find properties that can be very easy to maintain.

Don't assume property values continues to increase. That may be an extremely dangerous assumption to make for almost any a single part of property and then in this market. Investments that supply you with a profit immediately would be the most dependable and safest investments. Properties that surge in value will likely boost your income over time.

It's surprising just how many investors work against their very own best interests when they have the opportunity to run their mouth. If you relax and listen, you will discover an opening to position yourself to get the price you want.

Properties located near water or businesses can be very profitable.

Before making an investment in any properties during these desirable areas, be sure to thoroughly investigate the whole neighborhood first. Neighborhoods positioned in areas where many people want to live have a tendency to hold their values well or even boost in value over time. However, neighborhoods in depressed area usually not repay well. Location can be a main factor in determining the price of a property. Islamorada canal front property investments can be a solid choice since properties close to the water make god rentals.

Should you buy a home that you are planning to rent out, you need to carefully choose your renters. They need to be capable of paying a deposit and first months rent. When the potential tenant isn't capable of that, there' a good chance they are going to have difficulties paying their rent too. Keep searching until you find the appropriate tenant.

When determining the worth of the property, think about rental values. Since you are collecting rent annually it might pull in a considerable amount of extra cash. Later you may resell your property making a good benefit from it.

Be also careful about knowing where line is before doing any digging. In the event you cause any major damage, you may be cited.

Make sure you could make your investment back plus some.

If you are first beginning, you ought to be patient. It might take over it usually does on the first real-estate deal. Don't overcome anxious regarding this. It is a wise way to use your money. Jut hold off until the best opportunity presents itself.

It may be very helpful in case you are familiar with the area. It you happen to live near by, you won't must worry the maximum amount of regarding what might happen to it if you rent it all out. When you are in the same area, you'll have more control of things.

Don't let your investments consume your emergency fund or cash reserves. If you wish to purchase property, you do need to have a fair amount of money that you just don't need to use right away. You definitely don't wish to everyday life influenced by having your entire money tied up in property.

Don't buy any property until you have an effective cash reserve set up. You should use any additional money for expenses including minor repairs. You should also have cash reserves should you can't rent your properties straight away. Even though a house is unoccupied, there is still expenses you need to pay.

You don't would like to waste a lot of time on managing your properties. Time is money, and it's better to try and have the process as hassle-free that you can. You don't want to babysit your tenants. Depressed neighborhood, the vacation market and college rentals must be avoided. Try to buy good properties which may have proven histories with consistent and good tenants.

Don't spend all your cash on purchasing properties. when you rent your property out, you may still need in order to pay for the mortgage, even when some of the units are vacant. It isn't smart to need to rely on your rental income for paying the mortgage.

The better knowledgeable you are, the more effective investment decisions you can make. When you aren't sure what you can do, it will make everything tougher. Follow the tips which i have given for you personally here, keep studying the ever-changing real estate market, and shortly you'll have got a different and strong property portfolio.