LOWER KEYS and KEY WEST ARTICLES
Things To Consider When Refinancing Your Home
There are several things to consider when refinancing your home. First and foremost, is how long you’ll remain in the house. Then, there’s the matter of the costs involved. Of course, another critical element of refinancing is your financial situation. So, read on to learn more about what you need to know about refinancing your home.
The biggest things to consider when refinancing your home are the timeframe you’ll stay in the property, your expenses, and your financial resources. In order to better understand the process, here’s what you need to be aware of before you commit to refinancing your home:
- Timeframe. This is perhaps the most important factor in deciding whether you should refinance your home or not. This is due to the fact that if you're not going to stay in the house alone enough to recuperate the cost or realize your return on investment, then there's no good reason to refinance and the first place. a good rule of thumb is if you're going to stay in the house for the next three to five years, which is usually long enough to realize a return on investment.
- The expenses. The expenses you'll incur are very much like taking a mortgage out on a house. That's because refinancing is exactly that -- It is applying for a new mortgage, not restructuring or reworking your existing home loan. Costs usually include things associated with typical residential property closings, in other words, closing costs, which can mean money down, fees, and appraisal, and various other expenses.
- The requirements. Because refinancing is applying for a totally new loan, that means you'll need to have creditworthiness in order to be approved. Additionally, your home will have to appraise at a certain amount.
The Importance Of Pricing Your Home To Sell
The importance of pricing your house to sell simply cannot be overstated. Whether you price it too high, or too low, either will set off a chain of events that will cause the property to linger very long on the market and probably result in you not getting the price it deserves. Real estate professionals understand this, and that's why they put so much emphasis on pricing their listings at true Market value. if you don't set the right asking price from the get-go, it will only lead to trouble. Read on to learn more about the importance of pricing your property right to sell.
The importance of pricing your property correctly to sell really depends on one inescapable factor -- local market conditions. You'll need to find comparable properties that have sold in the last three to six months in either the same neighborhood or in similar communities. Otherwise, your property simply will not sell as quickly or for as much money as it should.
For instance, if you price it too high, that will put it out of the search range of the very buyers you should be targeting. What's more, professional buyers’ agents will simply skip past your house, because they know you've overpriced it.
Conversely, if you price it too low, in order to offload it faster, you may unwittingly sabotage yourself. Pricing a home significantly under market value will cause people to wonder what's wrong with it and why you're so desperate to offload it.
As you can plainly see, it is very important to price your home right to sell from the outset.
Key West Cost of Living 2020
The Key West cost of living in 2020 is probably a little more affordable than you think. At least, in a few areas. Unsurprisingly, there are definitely categories which are more expensive than the national average. But, the cost of living in Key West isn’t nearly as high as people believe. That’s right. Aside from housing and one other category, the Key West cost of living in 2020 comes down to being fairly reasonable for such an island paradise.
The Key West cost of living in 2020 can be broken down into six categories. Using a score of 100 as a baseline number to establish a national average, anything over is more expensive, while any score under is less expensive. Here’s how the cost of living in Key West breaks down, by category, for 2020:
- Housing. Let’s begin with the single biggest expense -- housing. Key West housing is expensive, coming in with a score of just over 320.
- Healthcare. The cost of healthcare in Key West earns a score of 150+, which is also above the national average.
- Groceries. Food is a bit more expensive because Key West is an island, which means it costs more to ship to consumers. The costs of groceries in Key West earn a score of 113, which is only a tad more than the national average.
- Miscellaneous. Odds and ends are also just a bit above the national figure, with a score of 107.
- Utilities and transportation. Both of these are less expensive than the national average, with scores of 99, and 77, respectively.
Key West Schools
Key West schools are some of the best in the state of Florida. Here, parents and students alike have a lot of choices. The public institutions are managed by the Monroe County School District and there are also a good amount of private options, as well. Read on to learn more about the schools in Key West.
Key West schools usually have a strong teacher to student ratio. So, let’s take a quick look at the highest rated schools in Key West:
- Big Pine Academy, which runs from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade and has a student to teacher ratio of 9 to 1.
- Treasure Village Montessori Charter School, also runs from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade and has a student to teacher ratio of 14 to 1.
- Sigsbee Charter School offers kindergarten through the 8th grade and likewise has a student to teacher ratio of 14 to 1.
- Key West High School educates from the ninth to the twelfth grade and has a student to teacher ratio of 17 to 1.
- Plantation Key School welcomes kids from kindergarten through the eighth grade and boats a student to teacher ratio of 11 to 1.
- Coral Shores High School runs from 9th to 12th grade and has a student to teacher ratio of 17 to 1.
Additionally, there are a number of private schools in the Key West area, including the Basilica School of Saint Mary Star of the Sea, Montessori School Of Key West, Lighthouse Christian Academy, Montessori School Of Key West, and Grace Luthern.
Key West Real Estate Forecast 2020
The Key West residential real estate forecast for 2020 is expected to continue its current trajectory, over the course of the next year. Although the Key West residential real estate market is somewhat cool, market conditions are not expected to change substantially over the course of the next 12 months. This is actually good news for both buyers and sellers, as well as homeowners, as there will not be an overvaluation of the market. This means that values will stay realistic and will not enter into a bubble type condition. Read on to learn more about the Key West residential real estate market for 2020.
The Key West residential real estate market has experienced an increase in property values of 2.9 percent over the previous year. That is expected to continue over the next 12 months, with property values rising by an estimated 2.4 percent.
At this time, the median home value in Key West is $683,712. meanwhile, the median listing price of residential properties in Key West stands at $869,000. Currently, the meeting selling price in the area is $622,800.
Presently, homes for sale in the community of Key West spend an average of 119 days on the market. Right now, 7.1 percent of all homeowners in the Key West area are underwater in their homes, with 1.7 percent delinquent in their home loans.
All of this data points to a relatively healthy market continuing on through 2020 for the Key West area.
Benefits of Living in Key West
The benefits of living in Key West are so huge, that most people wouldn't even think about some of them. Home in a tropical island paradise, at the southernmost point of the United States, Key West is surrounded by two gorgeous bodies of water -- the Gulf of Mexico to one side and the Atlantic ocean to the other. Here, residents enjoy a subtropical island lifestyle every day of the year. But, there are other compelling reasons for living in Key West.
There are numerous advantages to living in Key West. But these are so many, it's best to focus on some of the most beneficial. With a terrific climate, so much to see and do, and an overall awesome lifestyle, here are the biggest benefits of living in Key West:
- The Weather. Put this on the all too obvious list but it's something that really makes this a great place to call home. Yes the summers are quite warm but there's always a breeze coming off the water and the winters are very mild. What's more, spring and fall are absolutely gorgeous.
- Recreation Galore. Fishing, boating, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, live entertainment, hiking, biking, you name it, it's all here and ready to enjoy. Better yet, because of the climate, residents are able to stay active just about every day of the year.
- Cost of living. Here's something that will come as a surprise to many people. The cost of living in Key West is relatively inexpensive, particularly for day-to-day costs. Housing is the only exception but regular living expenses are actually quite affordable.
Advantages of a Key West Lifestyle
The advantages of a Key West lifestyle can’t be understated. After all, when people think about Key West, they typically think about Key West. It’s a place where the time goes by a little slower. Where the scenery provides a relaxing vibe. Sure, it’s also known for its party-like atmosphere but there’s more to Key West. Read on to learn more about the biggest benefits of a Key West lifestyle.
The advantages of a Key West lifestyle are real, and better yet, are within reach. That’s right, it’s not a pipe dream. You too, can live, work, and play in Key West.
Located about three hours to the southwest of Miami off the Florida peninsula, Key West spans just over 7 square miles in size. Its population is a relatively small one, with approximately 24,500+ residents. Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the lifestyle of Key West offers the following benefits:
- It’s Island Living. Let’s begin with the obvious because it’s definitely worth highlighting. Island living means more than just song, dance, drink, and parties. It also means spectacular sunsets and sunrises. And, it also means life moves slower.
- The weather is Wonderful. The weather is inseparable from the Key West lifestyle advantages. Because it’s sunny so many days of the year, it’s possible to stay active in many different ways.
- People just Get Along Better. Because it’s not a big city, there’s a lot less stress and it means people just get along better.
Key West Cost of Living
The Key West cost of living will probably surprise most anyone who thinks it’s just way too expensive. Yes, the cost of housing is high but day to day living expenses are quite affordable. In fact, it makes seemingly unrealistic dreams become reachable. So, let’s take a look at the cost of living in Key West, Florida.
The Key West cost of living is actually more in-line with many larger metropolitan areas in the country. But, it comes with a gorgeous backdrop, scenic views, and spectacular weather.
Located in the Lower Keys and is the southernmost island in the nation, Key West is nicely situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an ideal place, with plenty of sun and fun. Here, summers are warm and balmy, while winters are super mild. Better yet, the spring and fall seasons are nothing short of fabulous.
All of this, plus, there’s so much to see and do in and around Key West. For instance: fishing, boating, sunbathing, volleyball, hiking, nightlife, live entertainment, sunsets and sunrises, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, biking, picnicking, and a whole lot more.
Now, let’s get on the cost of living in Key West. We’ll use a national baseline of 100 as an average. Anything above is more expensive, while anything below is less expensive. Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of living in Key West:
- Transportation. Getting around in Key West is mostly done by private vehicle. But, there’s a good amount of time people bike and/or walk. The cost of transportation in Key West comes out to 77, while the statewide figure is 130.
- Utilities. The cost of utilities in Key West is also lower than the state score average of 101, being 99, which makes it more affordable.
- Miscellaneous. For odds and ends, the cost of miscellaneous expenses in Key West comes to approximately 107, which is just slightly above the nationwide figure.
- Groceries. Being an island and being the southernmost point in the country, the cost of food in Key West is understandably a bit higher, scoring 113, which is higher than the state average of 102.
- Healthcare. The cost of healthcare in Key West comes to 152, which is more than the national average.
- Housing. Unsurprisingly, the cost of housing in Key West comes in at 324, with the median home price being $671,000.
Overall, the cost of living in Key West comes to a score of 171. When you take into account everyday living expenses aren’t very costly, it makes Key West a really wonderful place to call home.
Key West Recreation
Key West recreation. Three words which can easily excite visitors and are the best part of the lifestyle to the residents. Located at the southernmost point of the country, Key West is quintessential island living. There’s always something to see and do in Key West. So, read on to learn more about Key West recreation and what’s available, practically every day of the year.
The best thing about Key West recreation is it’s accessible almost every single day. Because the weather is so wonderful, there’s ample opportunity to get out and explore. Here are some of the best things to see and do when it comes to recreation in Key West:
- Fishing. Of course, we’ll start with the water since that’s the most abundant resource and attraction in the Florida Keys. Spend a day sport fishing, deep-sea fishing, spearfishing, and more.
- Sailing or power-boating. There are a number of ways to take to the water when it comes to Key West. Cruise on a sailboat or ride the wave on a power-boat. (Or, try both on different days.)
- Scuba and snorkeling. For those who really like to explore the natural beauty of Key West, there’s practically no better way to spend a day than scuba diving or snorkeling.
- Hike, bike, or stroll. There’s certainly no shortage of scenery to take in and why not enjoy it while hiking, biking, or just walking about?
Of course, there’s always live entertainment, sports, and so much more to enjoy. As you can see, there’s a lot of recreational opportunities in Key West.
Cudjoe Key Real Estate Market Forecast 2019
The Cudjoe Key real estate market forecast for 2019 is one that looks fairly bright. Located in the Lower Florida Keys, along with several other islands, Cudjoe Key is a popular vacation spot and for good reason. Here, locals and visitors alike enjoy the beautiful weather, exciting watersports, plenty of outdoor activities, and even more to see and do. Read on to learn more about The Cudjoe Key real estate market forecast for 2019.
The Cudjoe Key real estate market is a complex one because it is a very diverse place. Here, you’ll likely find a wide variety of prices, styles, and architecture. This means, prices range quite a bit and that’s a piece of good news because it means there’s something for just about every size budget.
Right now, there are a little over two dozen homes on the market for sale in Cudjoe Key. This represents an increase of about 4 percent from last month and an increase of 18 percent from this time last year.
The median list price in Cudjoe Key now stands at $730,000, which is also up by about 1 percent from $719,000 and nearly the same amount from last year.
The median days on the market or DOM currently stands at 120, which is up ever-so-slightly from 113 days a month ago. The median list price per square foot is $491, which is also an increase over last month when it was $484.
As you can see, there’s much to learn about the Cudjoe Key real estate market and plenty of opportunities to own a piece of paradise.
Ensuring You Have The Right Tenants On Your Property
There's no sure way of knowing that your new tenants will take good care of your property. However, there are a couple of things to ensure that your property is taken good care of. In this brief post, I will be giving you a few quick tips on that:
Choose Ideal Tenants
This is the first and foremost thing you need to do. If you want your property to stay in the right condition, then you need to choose the right tenants. To ascertain this, you can contact the potential tenant's previous landlord and ask about their experience with the resident. Ask if they would allow them in their property again. If not, then you might want to reconsider letting the potential tenant move in.
Take Your Valuable Personal Items
You need to take out anything that has sentimental and financial value to you. Ideally, you can replace them with cheaper alternatives.
Become Friends With The Neighbors
It's imperative to have a few neighbors as your friends. This is because they can become your eyes and ears when it comes to overseeing the behavior of your tenants. You can ideally give them instructions and plead them to be careful when spying on the tenants. This might be a sneaky thing to do, but it can be very effective in ensuring that your property and belongings are kept in a good state.
Instructions In Regards to Cleaning
If you have some items that call for careful cleaning, then it wouldn't hurt giving the tenants a set of instructions in regards to cleaning. You can put down all instructions on a laminated paper so that you don't have to repeat this step.
A Huge Deposit
A large deposit is an ideal way of assuring that the tenants take proper care of your property and items. Take at least a month and a half worth of rent as a deposit and make it clear relevant steps will be taken if any damage is done on the property. This easily ensures that the tenant isn't careless around your property.
Regular Property Inspection
You need to make a regular inspection to ascertain that your property is in the right condition. For instance, you can visit the property at least once every two or three months and do an inspection. This helps in the long haul as it increases your integrity on the tenant which can result in positive long-term implications.
Improve Your Home, Improve Your Life
Because you spend a lot of time at your house every day, your living environment influences how you feel overall. Your home is where you should be able to spend time, relaxed, and comfortable with your family. Your happiness depends on your home's ability to express your personal taste and functionality. When you follow the advice here, you are sure to enjoy, and appreciate, your home more than ever.
Keep comfort in mind when you make improvements to your home! Every house has its flaws, but if those flaws affect the comfort of the home then it can decrease your enjoyment of the home as well. Comfort is often thought to be less important than aesthetics, but the quality of life is the key to happiness. Therefore the value of comfort should always be a primary consideration. It can be as simple as replacing that chair that is long past its comfort days or even just lowering shelves that can make your life easier and ease that ache you noticed in your back. You may be surprised at the difference that even a minor change can make.
Sometimes consolidating and rearranging things cannot solve your space problem. You only have so much space to work with, even if you are organized. You should think about increasing the size of the living space in your home by adding on. Even a relatively minor expansion will pay off in the end.
Upgrade your home's recreation options. You can add something as simple as a home gym, and this will greatly increase the value of your home. In addition, you also improve your home's value!
Be sure to examine your lighting. By changing your lighting, you can reduce the areas of dark spots and increase the overall appeal. It is so quick and easy to switch out your old bulbs, and it can make such a difference. You can give your home a completely new look simply by changing light fixtures.
Make your home more exciting by adding some greenery. Turn your yard into your personal oasis by planting some flowers or putting up an archway. Hire a gardener or landscaper if you want to completely re-vamp your outdoor areas. Not only does a garden improve the appearance and value of your home, but it also gives you a relaxing place to entertain. Try planting a small herb or vegetable garden, and enjoy the benefits of growing your own produce, or grow your favorite flowers to fill your home with bouquets.
By adding new windows, fixing your roof, or painting the exterior, you can tremendously enhance your home's look. If you like the outside of your home, you will feel happier walking into it.
Because you spend so much time in your home, having a residence you truly love can help keep your general satisfaction levels high. Investing in improvements for your home is not just a smart choice financially, but it will also make your home more comfortable.
Key Haven Real Estate Market
The Key Haven real estate market is a hot one and one that’s in high demand, year after year. Located around Key West, in the Lower Florida Keys on Raccoon Island, Key Haven is about three and half hours from Miami and the mainland peninsula of the Sunshine State.
Key Haven is an unincorporated community, considered a suburb of Key West. Presently, there are about a thousand residents in the small community of Key Haven. It’s also one of the most sought-after real estate markets in the Lower Florida Keys.
Key Haven Real Estate Market
The Key Haven real estate market boasts some of the valuable properties in the Florida Keys (and even for much of the nation). Therefore, available properties are few and far between as full time and part-time residents rarely put their homes up for sale. When properties are listed, they do not stay active on the market for long, as people routinely watch to gain an opportunity to own a piece of paradise.
For instance, the Key Haven real estate market is expensive, relative to most major resort-style places around the country. But, not to the Florida Keys. Here, the median home price stands at $1,359,000 and there are very few active listings. House floor plans, amenities, and ages are quite diverse. So, there’s no real “typical” home here in Key Haven. (In other words, homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from quaint getaways to luxury homes and everything in between.)
The Florida Keys Art and Culture Scene
as a destination centered around diving and other water sports, the Florida Keys is also a surprising hub of art and cultural expression. Certainly, the history of the Keys dating to the 16th Century is quite colorful, but during the 1930s up to the present, the Keys have been home to countless writers, artists, actors, and naturalists. A, for instance, Ernest Hemingway, lived in Key West during the 30s and wrote of his several books while a resident. Jimmy Buffet, famous for Margaritaville also has called The Florida Keys his home.
Other famous writers such as Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost both lived and frequently
visited Key West. What about Art? The Keys are also home to numerous art festivals, such as the Pigeon Key Art Festival, the Key West Craft Show, and the Old Island Days Art Festival. Formal art galleries of all types abound from Key Largo all the way to Key West. Key West also offers another gem, The Tropic Cinema, South Florida's only independent film multiplex.
If it’s history, then there’s the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens and the Key West Art & History Museum located at the Customs House. If you love the theatre, then there are numerous performing arts venues featuring local thespian talent as well as actors from New York and California enjoying the Keys while performing at various theaters throughout the islands. The string of pearls called the Keys has art and culture in abundance with the best weather in the country. Come join us!