Property Upgrades That Payoff

The property upgrades that actually pay off will probably surprise the average person. When people think about upgrading a residential home, they usually think about lavish amenities, such as a giant master bedroom suite, a swimming pool, or a fully appointed outdoor kitchen. While all of these improvements will indeed add value to a home, they do not result in the best return on investment, in fact, there are much less expensive improvements that offer a much higher ROI. So, read on to learn which property upgrades pay off the most.

The residential home upgrades that pay the most back are fairly unexciting. For instance, a new steel front entry door fetches among the highest return on investment at around the exact price it cost to purchase and install. Remarkably, the same goes for a new garage door, as well as the very mundane insulation replacement. Additionally, other energy-saving improvements offer a high payoff, like new windows.

Of course, not everything is about security and energy efficiency. For instance, a minor kitchen remodel will return more money than a complete kitchen God and overhaul. The same holds true for bathrooms. Just minor upgrades in the bathroom will bring a larger return on investment than a total redo.

Similarly, a fresh coat of pain and modernization of appliances will also bring a sizable return on investment. Moreover, small refreshments around the common living areas, such as the dining room, then, and living room will also help to improve a property's attractiveness and therefore bolster its value.

Cudjoe Key Cost of Living in 2021

The Cudjoe Key cost of living in 2021 is more affordable than one would expect. In fact, it’s among the least expensive options of living in the tropical island archipelago. However, its overall cost of living is still higher than the cost of living in the average community across most of the nation. Still, when one considers the lifestyle, the weather, recreational activities, arts, and culture, it remains one of the best places to live in the country.

The Cudjoe Key cost of living in 2021 isn’t too different from the same expenses last year. Using a baseline of 100 as an average score, here is how the cost of living in Cudjoe Key,  breaks down into six main categories:

  1. Transportation. Getting around the island and to the mainland isn’t very expensive, with a score of 97.5, compared to a statewide average of 112.5, which is of course, higher.
  2. Utilities. The cost of water, electricity and other utilities score 99.2 in Cudjoe Key, which is also less than the state average of 101.3, just a tad more.
  3. Miscellaneous. For odds and ends, residents should expect to spend a bit more, with an earned score of 106.2, a bit higher than the state average of 96.9.
  4. Groceries. The cost of food in Cudjoe Key is unsurprisingly more expensive, earning a score of 114, which is higher than the state average of 102.8.
  5. Healthcare. The cost of healthcare earns a score of 145.4 in the area, which is more expensive than the state average of 98.

Lastly, housing is the most expensive cost, earning a score of 232.3, with a median home cost of $537,000, compared to the state average of $237,100, and the national average of $231,200.

How To Properly Hire A Home Improvement Contractor

Sometimes when people hire a contractor they do not pay attention to anything but the price. This is something you are going to want to learn about so you know who to hire and what kind of a price you should pay. Take a look at the advice offered here to learn more.

Find people that can recommend services to you that various contractors offer. This way, you will be able to talk to the person to see whether or not they were happy with the work they received from the contractor of their choice. You do not want to hire a contractor that is not highly recommended by quite a few people because you know their services are not all that great. Research is always one of the best ways to find out whether or not a contractor is good because it allows you to know how they have operated in the past.

Get some quotes on the work that you need to be done so that you are aware of what the cost will be when you work with a particular contractor. Do not allow a contractor to charge you for any type of inspection or quote. If that happens, you are going to feel obligated to work with them since you have already given them money. Most of the time, you will find that you can get a quote for free and if you do not like the price, you can negotiate or just move on. Either way, it is smart to know what your costs will be to see if their services are worth it.

Verify that the contractor has a license to do the work they need to in the area where you reside. If they are not licensed and do work that is poor, there is probably little that you can do about it. Also, you need to make sure that they are bonded and have insurance of some kind just in case they were to get hurt or make a mistake. A contractor that does not meet these qualifications should not be in business and should be reported to the proper licensing authorities as soon as possible.

By using the tips listed here, you will certainly find a contractor that will provide excellent service when you need it the most. Most of the time, home improvements are difficult tasks to complete but when they are done right by a reputable contractor, you can be sure the quality of the work will hold up for years to come.

Investment Property Financing Options

Investment property financing options aren’t usually readily known among new investors, since they do not have any real experience with acquiring, remodeling, and selling or renting. This is a huge financial and time-consuming venture. But, it can certainly be very lucrative, if done correctly. Read on to learn more about the most common investment property financing options and what you need to know.

Investment property financing options come in many different forms. In fact, there are several more which aren’t listed. However, these are the most popular and most accessible. These have different requirements, including down payment, interest rate, term length, repayment options, creditworthiness, and more factors. Here are some of the most common types of financing for investment properties:

  1. Conventional loans. A conventional loan is one that is not backed by the government and is typically sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac at some point. These require a credit score of 620 to 640 and down payments range from 5% to 20% and in between. These can be 15 to 30 years in length.
  2. Hard money loans. A hard money loan is a loan that is made through a group of private investors and is a short-term debt instrument, which makes them work for fix and flip property situations. The interest rates on hard money loans are generally higher for the convenience they offer.
  3.  Portfolio loans. These loans are made through a portfolio lender invested in real estate mortgages. Because of the source, these are usually more costly in interest rates but provide a more accessible path to investment property financing.

Importance Of Pricing Your Home Correctly To Sell

The importance of pricing your home correctly to sell simply cannot be overstated. If you do not price your property correctly from the outset, there are several risks that come into play. These can be very costly, to the point of the house lingering longer than necessary on the market or having to accept less than the fair market value. So, read on to learn more about the importance of pricing your house right to sell.

The importance of pricing your residential property right from the beginning will mean the difference between getting what it's actually worth (or perhaps a bit more) and having to settle for something less than the listing price.

Pricing a home correctly means looking at the right comparables in order to determine its true market value. That means other properties with the same square footage, number of beds and bathrooms, as well as similar amenities. If you price the property too high, it will linger on the market because experienced brokers won't show their client's overpriced homes, simply because they know the owner is being unrealistic about its worth. Conversely, if you price your home a bit more aggressively and under its market value, then people will wonder what's wrong with it (even if there are no defects) and pass on seeing it because they believe you're trying to offload it and conceal something undesirable.

Unfortunately, these are two very common mistakes many home sellers make and this is why it is extremely important to price your home right from the beginning in order to sell it as quickly and for as much money as possible

Things To Do In The Lower Keys

Things to do in the Lower Keys are so numerous, it’s nearly impossible to list and detail every single one of them. In fact, one could go on for pages and pages, listing and detailing all of the recreational, cultural, and other things that are available in the Lower Keys. This is not only due to its tropical climate and wonderful weather, but because there is such a diverse variety of cultures throughout the island archipelago. Read on to learn more about the best things to do in the Lower Florida Keys.

There's a wide variety of things to experience and enjoy in the Lower Keys. Since this is a chain of islands, the water obviously plays a huge role, as does the surf and sand. So, it's little wonder that many people visit here, and even relocate, to enjoy many aquatic-based activities. These include, but are not limited to kayaking, fishing, sailboating, power boating, snorkeling, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and just spending days or evenings strolling through the surf.

Although, that's certainly not where the fun ends. There is also quite a bit for land lovers to enjoy, as well. So, bike up and down the streets and sightsee, as you pedal around the villages. Or, hike through the many nature trails and preserves that are located in the area. If you like to get out into nature, there's also a number of places to camp. Or, spend an afternoon playing a sport, like a volleyball, tennis, golf, and more.

Last but certainly not least, there's plenty of live entertainment, arts and cultures, such as museums and galleries, and shopping and dining to enjoy in the Lower Keys.

Summerland Key Cost Of Living 2021

The Summerland Key cost of living in 2021 is more affordable than one might think. In fact, given this is a highly desirable destination in the Sunshine State, people would definitely imagine it to be more costly to live here. However, there's plenty of good news for people who are considering relocating. Read on to learn more about the Summerland Key cost of living in 2021.

The Summerland Key cost of living for 2021 isn't as outrageously expensive as you would believe it is. Although some things are definitely more costly here, others fall right in line with the national and/or statewide averages, or are just slightly above them, making it more affordable than you would probably imagine. Using a baseline national average score of 100, anything above is more expensive, while anything ranked under is less expensive. Here's how it breaks down:

  1. Transportation. Getting around Summerland key is not very expensive whatsoever, coming in at a score of 96 points.
  2. Utilities. For heating and cooling your home, and running water and sewer, the cost of utilities here comes in at a score of just 99.
  3.  Groceries. Here on the island, food isn't that more expensive than it is on the mainland, earning a score of 114 points.
  4. Health care. The cost of healthcare in the area is just a bit more above the national average, with a score of 145.
  5.  Housing. Of course, given its location, climate, and weather, housing is the single most costly category, being roughly 2.5 times the national average.

Summerland Key Luxury Home Forecast 2021

The Summerland Key residential luxury home forecast for 2021 is one that looks bright. However, given the global pandemic and subsequent shutdowns, there’s a significant amount of uncertainty about what the market will bring over the course of the next twelve months. This notwithstanding, home values have consistently risen in Summerland Key and that trend at large is expected to continue through 2021.

Right now, the residential luxury real estate market in Summerland Key is very healthy. For instance, at this time, the median list price in the area stands at approximately $549,000. Presently, the median listing price per square foot is $491, with the median selling price being $550,000, currently. During the year 2020, home values have increased in Summerland Key by about 3.9%. Both economists and industry analysts believe that the upward trajectory will continue throughout 2021.

At this time, the real estate market in Summerland Key is considered to be in favor of sellers and it’s largely regarded as a true sellers’ market. However, there are some detracting factors. For example, the median DOM or days on the market is 113 days in the current climate. That’s an increase from just last month. But, it’s also slightly less than it was last year.

The one unknown element is the near absence of distressed properties, which consist of foreclosures and short sales, due to moratoriums because of the pandemic. The reintroduction of distressed properties might have a negative impact on the overall health of the Summerland Key real estate market.

Lower Keys Real Estate Forecast 2021

The Lower Keys residential real forecast for 2021 should bring added value to properties that will likely outpace the performance of the twelve months of 2020. Being in a highly desirable location, surrounded by the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the Lower Keys are a collection of approximately thirty islands, including Little Dock Key, Big Pine Key, Ramrod Key, Lower Sugarloaf Key, Summerland Key, and of course, Key West. Its economy is mostly supported by tourism, because of its climate, weather, scenery, and location. Because of these factors, residential real estate in the Lower Keys has enjoyed a strong historical run. Read on to learn more about Lower Keys' residential real forecast for 2021.

The Lower Keys residential real forecast for 2021 is predicted to bring more value to the homes in the area, with an approximate increase of 6.1% over the course of 2021. Right now, the typical residential home value in the area stands at $632,585, which represents an increase of 2.8% over the previous year. By the end of this year, the average home value will rise to about $671,172.

However, these estimates are predicated on a stable housing market in the Lower Florida Keys. In other words, these forecasts do not fully account for interruptive events, such as the reintroduction of distressed properties or foreclosures and short sales. Due to the global pandemic, many counties and governments around the country placed a moratorium on rental evictions and residential foreclosures (which also put a stop to any short sales). Since foreclosures and short sales are now almost completely absent from the residential real estate market, they are not having any impact.

The Lower Keys residential real estate market could very well enjoy a robust growth of over six percent throughout 2021. But, this rate of value increase might be tampered with or mitigated if a flood of foreclosures and short sales come onto the market, particularly if in a short period of time. The presence of distressed properties negatively impacts home values, since these residences are offered at substantial discounts.

Although, if foreclosures and short sales do not flood in at once, the Lower Keys residential real estate market could absorb the interruption, making it only minimal in its effects. As it stands now, the Lower Keys real estate market will experience solid growth throughout the new year.

Lower Keys Cost Of Living 2021

The Lower Keys' cost of living for 2021 should equate to the approximate amount of 2019. Given the current set of circumstances, and adjusted slightly for inflation, the cost of living in the Lower Florida Keys will remain relatively expensive but still affordable in some aspects. Read on to learn more about the cost of living in the Lower Florida Keys and what to expect in 2021.

The Lower Keys' cost of living for 2021 probably won’t significantly change from 2019. At this time, the cost of living in the Lower Florida Keys -- particularly on Key West -- is more expensive than living just about anywhere else on the mainland peninsula. Using a baseline score of 100 as the national average, anything above is more expensive, while anything lower is less expensive. Here’s a quick breakdown:

•Transportation is the least expensive cost, with a score of 70.

•Utilities score 99 in the Lower Keys on the scale.

•Miscellaneous costs for odds and ends score 107 in the Lower Keys.

•Groceries come in at a score of 114 in the Lower Keys.

•Healthcare scores 145 in the Lower Keys.

•Housing is the single biggest expense, with a score of 274.

Of course, living on an island is part of the reason, as the cost to transport goods costs more, as does the higher costs of construction. The median home cost in the Lower Keys is approximately $634,000, which is more than the statewide average of $237,000 and the countrywide average of $231,000.

Lower Keys Lifestyle

The Lower Keys lifestyle offers a lot more than one would expect. In fact, the Lower Keys have plenty of surprises in store for visitors and residents alike. Although famous for its party atmosphere, there's a lot more to the islands than one would probably suppose. So, read on to learn more about the lifestyle to expect in the Lower Florida Keys.

The Lower Keys lifestyle is definitely one that needs to be experienced in order to be believed. When you live in the lower Florida Keys, you'll be on island time. Meaning things move slower down here but they're still plenty to see and do.

For example, although water sports is probably what first comes to mind, there's plenty of arts and culture throughout the island archipelago. What's more, there are all kinds of live entertainment to enjoy, of course along with its nightlife. However, if you like things that are, if you will, more low-key, you can find them here in the Lower Florida Keys. So, if you'd rather relax on the beach or take in a museum, or bike along the trail, it's all here.

The weather is simply fantastic, regardless of the season. Summers are definitely balmy but breezy while spring and fall are downright terrific better still, winters are pretty much non-existent which means you can enjoy the outdoors almost every day of the year. Bike, fish, boat, snorkel, run, kayak, paddleboard, or taking a live show. Whatever it is you like to do, you'll find it here in the Lower Florida Keys.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Property Manager

The things to consider when tuning a property manager are obviously more up than just about the cost. After all, if you find the least expensive service, and it doesn't deliver, particularly when most needed, that's money simply wasted. Conversely, just because a property management team charges a premium rate, doesn't mean they deliver a premium experience. So, it's important to know what's most important when hiring a property management firm.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a property manager is their track record. Professional firms will gladly give you their history because they know it's one of the best ways to land new business. Whether it's an individual running a small team, or a multi-person firm, they will most definitely want you to know they have a history of success.

Of course, a good track record isn't the only quality you should look for. Another is their rate. Generally speaking, property managers charge 10 percent. However, this isn't always the case and might charge slightly more or less, depending on the circumstances.

Another consideration is the scale. Will this property management service be able to handle more than you're currently bringing to them? Even if it's a smaller size team, their history will reveal if they can handle more properties than what you have now.

Lastly, you'll want a property manager that has plenty of experience, and a well-trained team, that has a proven record of results. they should also have experience with different types of property, including single-family, multifamily, and maybe even another kind of property, such as commercial.

Lower Keys Cost of Living 2020

The Lower Keys' cost of living in 2020 is actually more affordable than people think. In fact, there are a few surprises when it comes to how inexpensive it is, in some key categories. Of course, housing is an exception because of the highly desirable location. So, read on to learn more about the Lower Keys' cost of living in 2020.

The Lower Keys' cost of living in 2020 isn’t nearly as high as one would expect. Sure, there are expenses that are higher than the national average, but these only represent two of the six. Speaking of a national average, we’ll use a baseline of 100 as the national average. Anything below is less expensive, while any score above is more expensive. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Transportation. Getting around this tropical island paradise is quite affordable. The Lower Keys earns a score of 77, which is both below the national average and the statewide score.
  2. Utilities. Keeping the house cool (or briefly warm) isn’t as costly as you might think. The Lower Keys score is 99, below the national figure.
  3. Groceries. Since the Lower Keys are a collection of islands, shipping logistics work a bit differently. That means the cost of food is a bit more expensive, but not much, with a score of 102.
  4. Miscellaneous. For odds and ends, the Lower Keys score right around 107, which is only slightly above the national average. It’s merely a tad more.
  5. Healthcare. Coming in with a score of 152, the cost of healthcare in the Lower Keys is more than the national average.

Lastly, housing in the Lower Keys is the most expensive cost of living, with a score of just over 320.

Why Luxury Homes make Better Rentals

Why do luxury homes make better rentals than their traditional counterparts? There's no question a regular, single-family house can generate a nice passive income. However, luxury homes do perform better in this investment avenue, and for several reasons. One is obviously the fact that they are more high-end. Another is that they are typically in highly desirable locations. But these two reasons aren't the only ones as to why luxury homes make better rental properties.

Luxury houses make better rental properties for a number of reasons. First and foremost are the high-end quality, creature comforts, and superior functionality. In other words, people are willing to pay more -- it's just that simple. This, not to mention the fact that with luxury rentals, it's often not the renter him or herself that is making the lease payments. Instead, it's usually a large corporation, which is another reason luxury homes outperform others in the rental market. Their revenues come from steadily paying, reliable sources.

Then, there's the matter of location. Obviously, luxury residences are usually located in highly desirable communities. This allows the property investor to charge a top rate because the renters are getting the best of the best. renters are in more secure, safe, and friendly neighborhoods than they would be in just a regular single-family house.

Additionally, there's the resale factor. This means when it's time to sell, the property will have gained even more value over time. Therefore, it's often possible to sell for a larger margin, and that doesn't even include the rental income that it's generated in the meantime.

When To Use a Real Estate Attorney for a Closing

When do you use a real estate attorney for a closing? Well, the answers probably won't be obvious right away, that is until you get well into the process. In other words, if the property and question have any legal issues or ramifications, it's best to go with a real estate attorney rather than a title agency for closing. This way, you'll be in the know and be able to resolve any legal issues. Read on to learn more about when to use a real estate attorney for closing.

It's best to use a real estate lawyer for a real estate settlement when there is any hint of legal complication. Here are a few scenarios when it's best to have an experienced real estate attorney handle the closing process:

  1.  When it’s an inherited home being passed to a beneficiary. Probate law might not be the most exciting thing, but several legal issues can easily arise, especially when it involves an inherited home and there is more than one survivor/beneficiary.
  2.  When the property is zoned for mixed-use or multi-purpose. If a property is classified as commercial and residential, you are much better off having a real estate lawyer handle the transaction.
  3.  When the property will be placed into a trust. Setting up trust and placing property into it will require the expertise of a lawyer that is well-versed in real estate and related law.
  4.  When there are current or previous liens on the property. If there are any liens on the property or there have been previous encumbrances, many different problems can hold up the sale, and even bring it to an abrupt end. An attorney will be the one to best advise you on your best interests.

Tax Advantages of Owning a Vacation Rental

Tax advantages of owning a vacation rental help to make the investment all the more worthwhile. In fact, tax breaks are part of what gets people to acquire vacation rentals, improving their new passive income streams. Read on to learn more about the tax benefits of owning a vacation rental and what you should know about them.

Tax advantages of owning a vacation rental come in a variety of forms. They not only apply to federal income tax but also, at the state and local levels. Plus, owning a vacation rental means adding to your overall income and net worth. Here are three of the biggest advantages when it comes to taxes through owning a vacation rental property:

  1. Carry costs. Insurance, property taxes, routine maintenance, repairs, improvements, and many other expenses can qualify you for tax breaks. Being able to set these costs aside only enhances and increases your net passive income through owning a vacation rental property.
  2. State taxes. Here’s another huge tax benefit of owning a vacation rental home (that is if you live in a state like Florida). If you own and reside in a state without a state income tax, that too increases your net income flow from the rental property.
  3. Depreciation. Of course, it’s possible to apply depreciation to real property, and might too be applicable to your vacation rental property.

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Be sure to speak with a reputable and experienced tax professional to learn more about the tax advantages of owning a vacation rental.

Tips on Furnishing a Lower Keys Rental Home

Tips on furnishing a Lower Keys rental home can really prove helpful -- especially when you don’t know where to begin or have run out of ideas. The truth be told, it’s important to furnish a Lower Keys home in a way that not only provides style, but ample function, and fits into the lifestyle and scenery. Read on to learn more about how to furnish a Lower Keys rental home in order to squeeze out the best return on investment.

Tips on furnishing a Lower Keys rental home will help you make the right choices. For instance, it’s critical to get the right look in order to appeal to the largest number of potential renters. Otherwise, competing properties will stand out and that means having to make other arrangements or adjustments, which can cost a lot of time and money.

When you furnish any rental property, you want to make sure that it serves two key purposes: it’s functional and it’s aesthetically pleasing. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But, if you look on the internet, you’ll find a whole host of ideas.

For a rental home in the Lower Keys, you need to incorporate the surrounding scenery and harness the power of natural sunlight. Go with light colors to give it a larger sense of space and to fit in with the natural landscape.

Also, choose multifunctional furniture that can serve more than just one purpose. Additionally, go with a cloth or synthetic rather than leather because the latter will only fade and crack.

Lower Keys Fishing

Lower Keys fishing -- three words that inspire the newest angler to the most experienced fish wrangler. This is due to the fact that the Lower Keys are home to many different species and varieties of fish. It's not only the weather, and the subtropical climate that attracts people to the Florida Keys, but the plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities. Read on to learn more about fishing in the Lower Keys.

Lower Keys fishing offers something for everyone, from the most inexperienced, to the most ardent angler. Here, there are so many different choices to choose from, including sportfishing, and casual, relaxing shoreline angling.

located at the southernmost point of the United States, the lower Florida Keys complete the island archipelago that starts just off the coast of Miami and extends down to Key West. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, there is plenty of fish to go after.

Spend the day waiting in shallow Waters, taking your time, and enjoying the beautiful weather, wow catching a few fish. Or, sent out on the waves a little ways away from the shoreline and go after some bigger catches. For those who really liked adventure on the water, sportfishing, and deep water fishing, are also exciting options.

What's more, it's available almost every single day of the year. After all, it's named the Sunshine State for a reason and fishermen of all skill levels come here to take advantage of it all.

Financing a Vacation Rental

Financing a vacation rental is different from financing a primary residence. This is due to the fact that if the borrower experiences financial difficulties or hardships, they are more likely to keep paying their primary home mortgages than those on vacation properties or investment properties. But, there are ways to finance a vacation rental. Read on to learn more about how to finance a vacation rental property and what you need to know.

Financing a vacation rental means you’ll likely face larger commitments upfront. However, this isn’t to say that financing a vacation rental is totally out of reach. It’s not only possible, it’s something a lot of people do but must understand the basics before signing on the dotted line.

In order to finance a vacation rental house, you’ll need to determine exactly what you can afford. You’ll also have to select a highly desirable location to keep it occupied as much as possible.

As for the nuts and bolts of financing a vacation rental home, you’ll need the following:

  1. A down payment. Generally, this will range from 20 to 30 percent but could be a bit more, in some cases.
  2. Good credit. The borrower should have pretty good credit, usually about 670 or above.
  3. Collateral. Depending on the lender, you’ll need to commit collateral to the vacation rental financing deal. (A personal guarantee might also be necessary.)

Of course, you’ll need to be prepared to pay carry costs, like the mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance during any vacancies. (But, you can write off most of these expenses.)

Lower Keys Recreation

Lower Keys recreation is jam-packed with all kinds of things to see and do. In fact, there’s no shortage of experiences to enjoy in the Lower Florida Keys, regardless of what you like most. And, that’s the great thing about living in the Florida Keys, there is always something to see, do, and experience. Read on to learn more about the recreational opportunities in the Lower Florida Keys.

Lower Keys recreation is (obviously) most centered around the surf and water. But, not everything is on the shoreline or out at sea. This is a misconception that people have about the Lower Keys. It’s actually got plenty more to offer.

The Lower Florida Keys are most famous for Key West, which is, of course, the southernmost point of the country. Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the Lower Keys are actually comprised of dozens of islands. With such spectacular weather, the area is a wonderful place to visit and even better to call home. Here are the top recreational opportunities in the Lower Florida Keys:

  1.  Enjoy the water. Sail, fish, paddleboard, kayak, scuba, snorkel, or just wade along the shore. The water certainly has a lot to offer and it’s here to enjoy, just about every single day of the year.
  2. Take in some entertainment. The Florida Keys are also quite well known for having a party atmosphere. And, the Lower Keys definitely delivers on this front. See live entertainment and enjoy the moments.
  3. Arts and culture. Of course, the Lower Keys also has plenty of arts and culture to enjoy.

Tax Advantages of a Vacation Rental Home

There are several tax advantages to owning a vacation rental home. in fact, the tax benefits of owning a vacation rental property are one of the primary reasons investors choose this type of opportunity. Real estate is obviously one of the best investments available to the public, outside of well-performing, long-established mutual funds. Read on to learn more about the tax advantages of owning a vacation rental home.

The tax advantages of owning a vacation rental property one of the most compelling reasons to invest in residential real estate.

Of course, real property has a very long track record of producing a strong return on investment. There have been very few times in history that residential real estate experienced a decline in value. Even during those times, it was mostly indicative of a much-needed correction, rather than due to other factors.

Now, let's take a quick look at some of the tax benefits of owning a vacation property:

  1. Operating or carry costs. Obviously, the cost of routine maintenance expenses, or what's referred to as carrying or operation cost, is tax-deductible.
  2. Depreciation. Vacation property owners can also depreciate their real estate investments over a period of years, thus reducing their tax liabilities.
  3. Miscellaneous. There are also other miscellaneous types of tax benefits to owning a vacation rental that is not directly attributable to the property itself.

As you can plainly see, there are a number of tax benefits of owning a vacation rental property. Be sure to consult a tax professional when investing in real estate to know all the specifics.

Benefits of Owning a Lower Keys Rental in 2020

The benefits of owning a Lower Keys rental are numerous. In fact, there are so many reasons to own a rental property in the Lower Keys, we'll just stick with three of the most compelling. When it comes to owning a rental property, it's best to maximize you'll return on investment by selecting a location that is highly desirable. The Lower Keys fit that description and that's why there are some distinct advantages of owning a Lower Keys rental property.

The benefits of owning a Lower Keys rental manifest in different ways. With its terrific weather, many things to see and do, and beautiful scenery, the Lower Keys make for an ideal location in which to own income property. Here are three of the biggest benefits of owning Lower Keys rental property:

  1. Passive Income. Owning a rental house memes the ability to generate a passive income, one that you can enjoy for many years to come. And, because this is a vacation destination, you are able to charge a premium price for rent, which makes it hey huge financial benefit.
  2. Wealth-building. Speaking of being financially beneficial, owning a real property means you're building wealth, as the property gains equity and appreciation. Moreover, appreciation in the Lower Keys is very strong, precisely because of its highly desirable location.
  3. Dedicated Vacation Spot. Owning a rental property in the Lower Florida Keys means having on-demand access to a vacation spot whenever you desire. There's no need to scramble to find accommodations because you have a home away from home.

Things to Do in the Lower Keys

There are a plethora of things to do in the Lower Keys. Unsurprisingly, most have to do with the outdoors and the water. (Okay, also the location and climate.) In fact, there’s something for just about everyone in the Lower Florida Keys. Read on to learn more about the best things to see and do in the Lower Keys.

The most awesome things to do in the Lower Keys include literally scores of activities. Comprised over more than thirty small islands or keys, the Lower Florida Keys including Big Torch Key, No Name Key, Summerland Key, Sugarloaf Key, Knockemdown Key, Cudjoe Key, and of course, Key West -- obviously the most well-known island in all of the Florida Keys.

Located in the southernmost portion of the United States, situated between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the Lower Keys have plenty to offer. Here are some of the top things to do in the Lower Keys:

  1. Fishing. There’s no question some of the best fishing in the country is right here in the Lower Florida Keys. Come and test your angling skills or just enjoy a day of adventure on the water.
  2. Sailing and boating. Of course, sailing and powerboating are two of the most beloved activities in the Lower Keys.
  3. Snorkel and scuba. Since we’ve so far concentrated on the water, let’s take a moment to mention snorkeling and scuba diving.
  4. Live entertainment. The Lower Keys are famous or infamous for being a great place for live entertainment and it lives up to its reputation.

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. It 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. This 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 a 6% net is a fairly good figure to focus on. Let's take a good look at 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 period. 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 that 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 detail.

1. Fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) – This is the traditional type of mortgage. In this kind of mortgage loan, 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 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. 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!