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Tips on Decorating a Rental Home in the Keys

Decorating a rental home in the Keys is a bit different than it is practically in any other location. (Even in destination spots on beaches elsewhere.) The fact of the matter is, decorating a rental home in the Keys requires a combination of tips and tricks to do it right. So, read on to learn more about how to go about decorating a rental home in the Florida Keys.

Decorating a rental home in the Keys presents a bit of a challenge because the market includes a lot of competition. With hundreds of thousands to millions of annual visitors, the Florida Keys have many rental properties -- both short term and long term. Which means you have to stand out from the crowd. Or, at the very least, not get totally lost in the shuffle. Here are some of the best tips for decorating a rental home in the Keys you can use:

  1. Stage it like a model. Here’s a quick exercise -- think about it like a hotel room or a model home built in new neighborhood development. You need to provide a little beauty and a whole lot of functions. Don’t overdo the eye candy and skimp on the practical stuff.
  2.  Blend it with the landscape. Obviously being in the Keys means ocean and maritime themes. But again, don’t overdo it. Keep it simple, cheerful, and minimal.
  3. Let the light shine in. People come to the Keys to soak up the sun and that’s precisely what you need in the space. Let the sunshine work its magic.

The Importance of Choosing the Best Agent to Manage Your Home Rental

The importance of choosing the best agent to manage your home rental cannot be understated. In other words, to make a rental house truly work to generate a return on investment, having the right person in place is key to success. Without this individual, the challenges of owner-management become a hard reality. Read on to learn more about the importance of choosing the best agent to manage your home rental.

The importance of choosing the best agent to manage your home rental is a key part of earning a passive income. Without this person, you’ll have to take on the responsibility and that means more time and effort. Here’s why it’s so critical to choose the right agent to manage a rental property:

  1. Collecting rent. Not just collecting the rent, but collecting it on-time. These professionals know how to set-up their tenant relationship so they pay on-time, every month.
  2. Creates longer rental situations. A professional rental manager understands the need for first-rate tenant customer service and delivers it consistently in order to gain longer rental periods due to tenant satisfaction.
  3. Keeps the property in good condition. Another big advantage of having a good rental home manager is keeping an eye on the property. Not just checking in, but activity keeping it in good condition.


Also, an experienced agent who manages a rental home knows how to screen tenants will conduct regular inspections, and will also deal with evictions, if necessary. For these and more reasons, it’s vital to choose the best agent to manage a rental.

Advantages of Owning a Lower Keys Vacation Rental

The advantages of owning a Lower Keys vacation rental are numerous. In fact, it’s difficult to list all the benefits. So, we’ll take a look at the best of the best and why it’s a great financial and personal well-being investment to own a vacation rental in the Lower Florida Keys.

The advantages of owning a Lower Keys vacation rental are real; and, in more ways than one (or two or three or more). Here are the biggest benefits of owning a vacation rental house in the Lower Florida Keys you should know about:

  1. You own real property. What's great about owning real estate is that it’s tangible and in the Lower Keys, the land is becoming more and more sparse. Meaning, it will only increase in value as time goes on over the years.
  2. There are tax benefits. Of course, there are several write-offs that come with owning real estate and owning it in the Lower Florida Keys makes it all the better.
  3. It earns a passive income. The Lower Keys rely heavily on tourism for the health of the economy. So, you’ll have a passive income streaming in, since it’s such a popular vacation spot.
  4. You have a dedicated vacation spot. Speaking of vacation, you’ll have a dedicated place to stay when you want to getaway. No having to make arrangements and hunting down the right deal.

As you can see, there is much to love about owning a vacation rental house in the Lower Florida Keys.

Summerland Key Real Estate Market Conditions

Summerland Key real estate market conditions are currently better for buyers than sellers. But, the balance could well return in the next few to several months. The Summerland Key real estate market is one which has performed quite well over the past several years and experts expect this trend to continue into the future. Let’s take a little more of a look into the Summerland Key real estate market and what to expect.

The Summerland Key real estate market right now does favor buyers over sellers. But, this certainly isn’t to say sellers are completely out of luck. Although the Summerland Key real estate market does give buyers a bit of an advantage, the reality of its location still gives sellers more power.

Right now, the Summerland Key real estate market has a median home value of $613,500. This represents an increase of an astounding 11.5 percent over the course of the last year.

Additionally, real estate industry experts and economists alike forecast the Summerland Key real estate market to increase by nearly 6 percent within the next year.

At this time, the median list price per square foot in the Summerland Key real estate market stands at $516. This is actually less than the Key West Metro area price of $518 per square foot.

Meanwhile, the median list price of homes in the Summerland Key real estate market is at $699,000. However, the median selling price is $624,400.

Currently, 3.8 percent of mortgages are delinquent, which is markedly above the national number of 1.1 percent.

Do You Need To Purchase Income Property? What's Your Strategy?

Smart investors understand the benefits of real estate property investments among the elements of their global strategy. Some of them partner with some other investors in larger projects where they allow others to consider critical decisions. Some investors, however, intend to make their particular decisions, hence they choose to purchase smaller projects that don't require such partnerships.

Before acquiring an income property, an investor should carefully consider which is the best tactic to follow with regards to income, pricing and also other similar issues. The first thing to do would be to examine the possibility of property in order to estimate its return on investment. Which means you have to look at the purchasing price, and then see what percentage you're planning to receive on a yearly basis when you deduct the ongoing expenses for example mortgage repayments, utilities, insurance, taxes, etc). Different investors could have different opinions and beliefs regarding exactly what the optimal percentage needs to be. Nonetheless, I believe that 6% net is a fairly good figure to focus on. Let's take a good look with the four key elements essential for making this decision.

1. Learn as much as you are able to relate to your market. Pricing isn't a random choice, therefore you should evaluate what will be a realistic range, in line with the competition and out there conditions. You should also be aware of the implications of your respective pricing policy choice. If you prefer pricing in the upper end, you might earn more, but you also expose you to ultimately risks. Pricing too low may generate way too little revenue being worthwhile. In certain situations, you might find the middle range being the best way to go, but this isn't always true.

2. The initial option: pricing at the upper end of your respective market. Setting the greatest price and receiving the most out of your property may be the dream of every investor. Nonetheless, you must know you'll either need more time for you to find clients or you'll never find any client whatsoever. When you are performing the math, you should consider a 75% correction of your respective total estimated revenue, to help make up for that vacancy periods. If you reach 6%, you are able to give this choice a try.

3. Your second option: pricing at the cheapest end of your market. In this instance, you'll probably enjoy high occupancy rates. Nonetheless, this pricing policy may attract lower quality tenants. Furthermore, you'll have less flexibility as a property owner. I like to price my properties from the lower half if it enables me to get premium quality tenants. It is a gamble, however, it has proven to work nicely in my opinion.

4. Your third option: pricing at the center. This could be the ideal compromise, but you need to keep watch over the marketplace and then try to screen your tenants eff

Big Pine Key Cost of Living

The Big Pine Key cost of living isn’t as expensive as one would think. Sure, it does cost more to live in this subtropical paradise, but that’s to be expected. However, it should duly be noted, it’s relatively not out of reach. In other words, the cost of living in Big Pine Key is right in line with many other highly desirable areas in the southeast. So, let’s take a quick look at the cost of living in Big Pine Key.

The Big Pine Key cost of living does not make it a pipe dream for those wanting to relocate. In fact, Big Pine Key offers too much. So much, it does offset some of the costs.

Located approximately 100 miles south of Miami and about 30 miles north of Key West, Big Pine Key is a small community, home to about 5,000 residents. Here, residents and visitors alike enjoy many outdoor recreational activities and some of the greatest scenery in the country. Now, here’s a short breakdown of the cost of living in Big Pine Key, using a national average baseline of 100:

  1. Utilities. The cost of utilities on Big Pine Key comes in at just over 99, with the Florida statewide average of 101.
  2.  Transportation. Getting around in Big Pine Key comes in at a cost of just under 102, that’s more affordable than the statewide number of 130.
  3. Groceries. Food scores 113, compared to the state number of 101.5, making it slightly more expensive.

Lastly, the cost of healthcare stands at 152, with housing at 213, compared to Florida’s cost of 119.

Advantages of Owning a Rental Home in the Lower Keys

The advantages of owning a rental home in the Lower Florida Keys are can’t be ignored. In fact, this is one of the best wealth-building strategies because it involves two key ingredients: desirable location and fantastic weather. Yep, that’s right. And, it’s why savvy investors chose to put their money.

There are several benefits of owning a rental home in the Lower Florida Keys. Sure, it’s in a great location. But, there’s more to it than that. While there are certainly financial benefits to owning a rental home in the Lower Florida Keys, there are other advantages, as well:

  1. Real estate is real property. Okay, that might sound redundant but it’s meant to make a point. Commodities and other investments are either intangible or unstable. But, real estate is tangible. And, it boasts a long history of gaining value.
  2. Tax write-offs. Of course, when you own a rental home, you can write off certain expenses, including insurance, maintenance, and more. Depending on how much you rent it out and use it personally will determine just how many tax benefits you receive.
  3. Future purchase leverage. If you own a rental home, you can use it as leverage to collateralize another purchase in the future.
  4. Passive income stream. Another big benefit of owning a rental home is the fact it creates a passive income stream.

Home away from home. Perhaps one of the best things about owning a rental property is the fact you have a dedicated place to stay when vacationing.

Benefits Of Owning A Vacation Rental In The Lower Keys

The benefits of owning a vacation rental and in the Lower Florida Keys are inarguable. In other words, there are far more upsides than downsides. While there are some cons, the advantages greatly outway them. So, let’s take a look at the benefits of owning a vacation rental in the Lower Florida Keys.

The advantages of owning a vacation rental property in the Lower Keys make it a terrific investment opportunity. A vacation rental property provides many financial benefits, but there are other supplemental benefits, as well. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of owning a vacation rental property in the Lower Keys:

  1. It’s real property. Meaning, when you own it, the land and its improvements add to your portfolio. Which also means you’re building wealth through appreciation in the form of growth equity. Over time, as you pay off the mortgage, your equity position improves.
  2. Tax and leverage benefits. It’s not just the appreciation which ultimately helps your bottom line. Owning a vacation rental means having access to key tax breaks, too. Plus, you can also use the vacation rental to further expand your real estate portfolio and purchase another property.
  3. Create a passive income. There are literally millions of visitors to the Florida Keys each year. And, that translates directly into a passive income through premium rental rates.
  4. It’s a dedicated vacation spot. Owning a vacation rental also means you can get away when you like and not have to deal with the aggravation of finding accommodations.

Choosing Your Mortgage Loan Carefully

Buying a home is a very important financial decision which needs to be taken with caution. The most important part of buying a home is choosing a suitable mortgage that you find easy to pay back by remaining current on it. There are several mortgage loans that you can choose from. Read on to know about the major kinds of a mortgage in greater details.

1. Fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) – This is the traditional type of mortgage. In this kind of mortgage loans, the interest that the lender offers you remains the same throughout the lifetime of the loan. Depending upon the term of the loan that you choose which can be 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and even 50 years, the interest rate will be decided which will finally calculate the final amount of your mortgage. Whatever loan term you use, the interest rate remains the same throughput thus giving you stability in your finances.

2. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) – In this kind of a mortgage loan, the interest rate on your mortgage keeps changing as per the market interest rate. This means that your monthly mortgage payments will rise and fall in accordance with the market mortgage rates. Although you get to make very low-interest payments if the market mortgage rate is very low but in a span of a number of years it is likely to rise thus you have to make more payments then. 

3. FHA mortgage – These are loans that are insured by the government with mortgage insurance and the payment amount of the insurance is funded into the loan. If you are a first time home buyer then FHA loans are ideal for you since the requirement of a down payment is very less and FICO credit scores are not taken into consideration.

4. VA loans – This is a type of government loan that is available for veterans who have served in the Armed Services of the U.S. and in some cases even the spouse of the deceased veterans. The requirements for this loan vary as per the amount of time service was rendered and how honorable the discharge was. The major benefit that can be got from a VA loan is that it does not require a down payment. The loans are funded by a conventional lender and guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Thus you can see the four main kinds of mortgage loans that can help you in buying a home.

Good Home Security Tips

When it comes to home security, many people simply do not possess the right knowledge to make their home safe. Without this knowledge, homeowners may not be able to properly protect their home and belongings from intruders. This piece will give you important home security information to help ensure your home is as safe as possible.

If you are a female and living alone, it's understandable that you may feel afraid about home invasions. People are more likely to try to take advantage of women. Try placing a pair of big, muddy boots on your front step to give the appearance of a man staying in the house.

The company you choose to purchase and install your home security system is important. You want to make sure the company has the most reliable system and knows what they are doing when it comes to installation. To find a good company, ask friends and families or look for online reviews

A survey taken by police officials reveals that 85 percent of them believe a home is more protected when equipped with a security system. Also, 60 percent of attempted burglaries are unsuccessful when the targeted home has a security system. For this reason, home insurance companies give a discount if the home has a security system.

Having a dog can deter burglars. Even the little dogs that make a lot of noise can be effective. Most burglars dislike drawing attention to their presence. That said, trained guard dogs aren't usually good pets. Attack training and obedience training are two different things. Any house pets should only have obedience training.

As you can tell by reading this article, there is a lot of important information out there when it comes to securing your home. You need to know what it really takes so that you can prevent intruders from entering your home. Use the above tips as your guide to securing your home.

The Advantages of Solar Energy at Home

As energy prices continue to rise, many people are looking for ways to reduce their energy usage and otherwise save money on their utility bills. One option that can help you reduce the cost of energy is using solar energy at home. If you are interested in learning more about this possibility, the following article will list some of the advantages of solar power.

In many cases, the cost of solar energy is now competitive with that produced from traditional sources such as coal or natural gas. One advantage of using solar energy is that the cost primarily involves the installation and maintenance of the panels. Once they are installed, you do not have to pay for the sunlight. If you can get a grant or credit from the government for installing your panels, your cost will be even lower.

While many people believe that solar panels can only be used on bright, sunny days when the sky is cloudless, this is not the case. Solar panels can continue to operate and produce electricity even when the sky is cloudy and overcast. The energy they produce can also be stored for later use. You can rely on your solar panels to provide you with sufficient electricity throughout the year in most locations.

Unlike coal and other fossil fuels, solar energy is clean and produces no associated pollution or other side effects. Your solar panels do not produce any carbon emissions, so you can feel good that you will no longer be contributing to climate change when you use electricity. You also do not have to worry so much about conserving electricity when you are producing your own energy.

If you produce enough energy from your solar panels, you may even be able to turn a profit by selling your excess energy back to the power companies. In many cases, energy companies will purchase excess electricity from people with solar panels installed on their houses. This can serve to offset much of the cost of installing and maintaining the panels over their lifetime.

If you are tired of getting sticker shock every time that you open your utility bill, it is time to start looking for alternatives to conventional energy sources.  By starting to use solar power in your home, you can save money and gain independence from big energy companies. Once you know how many advantages solar energy has, you will be ready to make the switch right away.

Big Pine Key Real Estate Market

Big Pine Key real estate is a great market to look into, be it for a primary residence or a vacation rental property as a second home. Located in the Lower Florida Keys, nestled around No Name Key and Little Torch Key, Big Pine Key is home to about 5,000+ residents.

And, the Big Pine Key real estate market has quite a bit to offer. Home to National Key Deer Refuge and the Blue Hole (an abandoned rock quarry that serves as a watering hole for wildlife, Big Pine Key has approximately 2,247 households, though it’s just 10 square miles in size.

Big Pine Key Real Estate Market

Big Pine Key is situated inside Monroe County, Florida, and it’s not that far away from Key West. It’s one of the more modern islands in the archipelago but still remains largely untouched by development.

Here, residents enjoy a well-stocked grocery store, bait and tackle shop, a lively bar, pharmacy, hardware store, and more. (There are also specialty shops on Big Pine Key, which offer a variety of boutique and unique products.)

If you are interested in buying a home to live in Big Pine Key or one to rent out part of the year, you’ll have several options. The median sales price has greatly fluctuated over the past several years.

For instance, the median home price in the middle of June 2013 stood at just a little over $300k. It actually fell over the next few months, with the median price dropping to the low $200s. It’s since rebounded, going back to the low $300s in late 2014 and then climbing to the mid $300s by mid-2016. It spiked in December of that year, reaching over $450,000. But, has since trended downward.

Big Pine Key real estate is a bit more nuanced than other places in the country. Because it’s an island so far away from the mainland, the market dynamics are different.

But, there are some great advantages to living in Big Pine Key in the Lower Keys. For instance, there is no income tax in the state. Plus, since land is scarce, the rate of appreciation is strong. That means building equity at a faster pace, particularly when compared to landlocked properties in less-desirable areas. What’s more, the weather provides the biggest draw. It boasts super mild winters, gorgeous fall and spring seasons. And, warm, balmy summers. If you’re considering a move to the Florida Keys, Big Pine Key is one serious contender to explore. For help finding Big Pine Key Real Estate, please Contact me.

Driving the Lower Florida Keys


Driving the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, Florida’s only official All-American Road, is an unforgettable bucket-list adventure. The 127-mile highway features 42 bridges over endless blue water — connecting the Florida Keys together. Get "back to nature" in Big Pine Keys & The Lower Keys.

 

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. As 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 to join us!