Monday, April 13, 2009

Ocean Reef Club Activity

I have a client that is currently looking at residences in Ocean Reef Club. The Club is really a world in and of itself. With its stunning Villas, Homes and Condos, a private airstrip populated by private jets and a world class Marina stocked with spectacular yachts, it's easy to see why this has been a haven for the luxury minded.

That being said, there are amazing opportunities to buy in Ocean Reef that have not been this accessible in quite some time!

My friend Ada Geis from Swenson & Ecuyer Realty located in Ocean Reef was kind enough to send me the following Activity Report For Ocean Reef Club:

With only 20 days left in the winter season, we are seeing some sales.
Take a look at what's happening:
Golf Village 2/1 was $399K now is asking $299,000 CONTRACTED
Angelfish Cay 1/1 in the low $400K CLOSED
Single family home 2/2 on a lake CONTRACTED
Interior home on Perky CONTRACTED
Canal front home with 240' seawall CONTRACTED
Ocean front home on Sunrise Cay CONTRACTED
Prices are being reduced on the following:
Angelfish Cay 1/1 $499K
Cay Harbor 2/2 $1.1M
Golf Village 1/2 reduced to $250K
Gatehouse dock 60' reduced to $285K
Harbor Green 3/3 reduced to $2.3M
Marina Village 2/2 reduced to $1,350,000
Pumpkin Cay 2/2 reduced to $849K
1 Diana Road 2/2 reduced to $799K
16 Grayvik Drive reduced to $950K
A3 & A4 reduced to $285K -

This is just a sampling of what is going on at the Reef today.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Conchquistador Deal of the Day 4/7/2009

Today's Deal takes us down to Big Pine Key. This Home sold relatively quickly in under 3 months, went through 1 price reduction, and was a fair deal all the way around.
What makes this property special is the nice and roomy 9,000 sf lot which is large for Key's standards.

2133 San Sebastian Dr Big Pine Key
List Price: $499,000 - Sale Price: $ 434,500
Beds: 2 Full Baths: 2 - Lot Size: 9,000 sf
Mile Marker 30 - Original Price: $549,000
Click here for Mapped Location

Description: Custom built home on oversized lot. Upgraded with high impact glass windows & doors. Replaced stairs, railings & aluminum screening. Stainless appliances. Concrete dock & davits, excellent boating. Located across from nature sanctuary-very peaceful. Spacious lot gives room for a pool, tiki, garage or to park boat trailers & toys.
Click here for a Detailed Brochure

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Residents hope for amnesty on enclosures

This issue has been a concern for property owners for quite sometime, with most wondering the the proverbial other show was going to drop. For many of these properties to conform, they would have to make substantial adjustments that could dramatically effect the value of their properties.
I saw this article in that really summed it up well.

"Residents hope for amnesty on enclosures
By TIMOTHY O'HARA Citizen Staff
Caught in the middle. That's how many homeowners feel about Monroe County's downstairs-enclosure inspection program for homes in the federal flood plain.
The county for years gave mixed signals to people who wanted to use their downstairs enclosures for living space. Officials allowed some as nonconforming structures or turned a blind eye to bedrooms and living rooms built below stilted homes, property owners and their attorneys have said.
By 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had grown frustrated with the county's lack of enforcement and threatened to omit the Florida Keys from the National Flood Insurance Program if the county did not stop allowing downstairs enclosures and started requiring inspections.
The county obliged and now requires that downstairs enclosures be used only for storage space. The county also requires an inspection when property owners pull building permits or sell their property.
The move means many people are ripping out enclosures and losing thousands of dollars in equity and living area. Other homeowners are not pulling permits because they don't want to have to rip out their enclosures, which means they are not making crucial repairs to their homes or they are making the modifications without the proper permits, which means the work is being done without insurance or oversight.
To resolve the issue, the Monroe County Commission now is asking FEMA for "amnesty" for all property owners who have had enclosures on their property prior to March 14, 2002, which marks the county's start of the inspection program, according to a resolution unanimously passed by the commission last month.
The county has proposed giving amnesty, but will charge a fee that will go toward debris removal in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm. This is the first time since 2001 the county has sent an official request for FEMA to develop a different strategy for addressing downstairs enclosures.
Case in point
Amnesty would be welcomed by the owners of the Key Deer Run Inn on Big Pine Key. Bed-and-breakfast owners Harry Apel and his fiancee, Jennifer DeMaria, are among hundreds of Keys property owners who are caught in the middle of the downstairs-enclosure issue.
The couple relocated to the Keys from New Jersey after they bought the one-acre commercial property in May 2006. It has a downstairs enclosure that encompasses three units, they said. The couple did not realize the units were prohibited by FEMA until recently, when they tried to make the bed and breakfast more environmentally friendly by installing solar panels.
"We were never told that they were illegal," DeMaria said.
Their contractor tried to obtain the county-issued building permits for the roughly $70,000 job, only to find that the property must be inspected for downstairs enclosures. The couple now fears they are going to have to tear out three of the four transient units on their property.
They argue the units have been there since the house was built in 1979. The units are no secret, as the county had been on their property dating back to 1987, when the previous owners were embroiled in a legal battle with the county about whether bed and breakfasts were allowed in that area, DeMaria said.
"When the county sued the prior owner in 1987, they should have spoken then or forever hold their peace on the enclosure issue," DeMaria said. "They cannot split their causes of action 21 years after they lost their case on this same property."
Most recently, county building officials were on the property in 2004, when the previous owners applied for a building permit to install an elevator.
"You can't go on that property without seeing the units," DeMaria said. "The county had been here multiple times before. The county has known for 21 years that there are units down there."
The couple will not be given a permit until an inspection is complete, DeMaria said.
When they bought the property, they did not get the required downstairs enclosure inspection, saying they were unaware they needed one. If they had, county officials would have told them the units were not legal, County Growth Management Director Andrew Trivette said. The house was completed in 1983, and records show the enclosure was not in the plans.
"It is a very unfortunate situation that they are in," Trivette said. "I have researched myself to try and find some kind of easy resolution because we really are about compliance instead of enforcement. I nor my staff can find a way out for them. They are going to have to have an inspection."
Back and forth
Court rulings have convoluted the issue.
In 2004, a local court ruling stipulated the county could not enforce downstairs-enclosure regulations because the statute of limitations had run out on the properties. The court ruling was later overturned, further complicating the matter.
Another recent ruling said the statute of limitations expired, so the county cannot require the units be torn out. But in November, Circuit Judge David Audlin reversed that, saying the county waited too long to cite a Big Pine Key home-owner, and the county could not pinpoint when the violation occurred. The enclosure had been in place since at least 1983, but the county did not cite the owner until June 2007. The county has since appealed that case.
The house, owned by Sandra Carter, was built in 1975 or 1976, and the enclosure was built about the same time, said attorney Lee Rohe, who represents Carter. She bought the home from her uncle in August 2001. Carter left debris in front of her house two years ago, drawing the attention of a Code Enforcement officer, who noticed a welcome mat, air conditioning unit and other items there, Rohe said.
A Code Enforcement judge later found Carter guilty of violating downstairs enclosure rules, and she appealed in circuit court.
Citizens not Serfs
Such issues spawned the creation of a grass-roots property rights group called Citizens not Serfs. The group formed last year to bring awareness to the issue and come up with a solution that would allow enclosures that are already in place. The group, which has rented billboards across the Keys chastising FEMA, has taken the issue further than any other group in recent years.
The group regularly holds public meetings. Rep. Ron Saunders and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have attended in the past and have offered their support on the issue.
It has successfully lobbied County Mayor George Neugent and County Commissioner Mario Di Gennaro, who have attended the group's meetings, to ask FEMA to change its current policies. Di Gennaro and Neugent both had a hand in coming up with the amnesty proposal.
"We are trying to work together to get some relief for these homeowners who are affected by this," Di Gennaro said. "There has to be some flexibility with this. This is not the time to have people ripping units out of their homes. People cannot afford this right now."
In the past year, the county has tried to address the issue, while at the same time not jeopardize coverage by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Monroe County has participated in the National Flood Program since 1975. The county has to follow guidelines set down by the federal government to participate. Until 1983, the county allowed "convenience baths and recreational rooms," because the county did not consider the rooms "habitational," Trivette said. The units were considered a nonconforming use, which meant they were allowed. In 1986, the county implemented a land-use policy that allowed enclosures of 299 square feet for storage space.
Shortly after the County Commission passed the resolution to ask for amnesty, Neugent and the director of Citizens not Serfs met with a FEMA official and State Emergency Management Mitigation Chief Miles Anderson to discuss modifying the inspection program. Nothing was decided, but the mayor and FEMA Flood and Mitigation Division's Brad Loar agreed to meet later this month to hash out an agreement.
Two FEMA representatives will attend that meeting. The agency would not comment on the merits of the proposal, saying they did not know the details of the resolution, despite The Citizen sending it a copy on Monday.
"It would be premature to comment on that meeting at this time," spokeswoman Margaret Cottrill said."
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

1st Quarter Florida Keys Sales Stats for 2009 a New Year, New Incentives, New Considerations and a New Quarter of Data. Unbelievably Low Interest rates, an Incredible Inventory of Waterfront and Non-Waterfront Property, Nervous Sellers, a teetering Economy, and a nice $8000 First Time Buyer Incentive. Wow what a bouillabaisse!!!!

Well, the things that strike me when I look at the first quarter numbers below are the small quantities of CLOSINGS that occurred. Except for Waterfront Properties in the Lower Keys, the number of closings is rather sparse. Remember though, many of these properties went under contract at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, when the economic outlook and uncertainty was most bleak.

It will be quite interesting to see the change when you look at next quarter's results. As I, and many of my colleagues, have been evangelizing, it is a phenomenal time to buy in the Keys, and wise buyers are now heeding the call. I have a buyer that is about to put an offer on Waterfront Property on Duck Key and another buyer offering on a Mobile Home in Key Largo, and though very different properties, both are being offered by smart sellers who "Get the Picture!" Very nice properties that are value priced. You can tell They've seen the numbers!
There is certainly a pulse that tells me the tide is slowly, slowly turning. The most interesting and telling numbers for me though are the price reductions. I was showing a property in Safety Harbor on Lower Matecumbe that had a $1M price reduction since it was listed!
As they say, Luck is when Opportunity meets Preparation. That being said, look at the Numbers, do your Research, find your Dream Home, make an Educated Offer and ....get Lucky! There's never been a better time than NOW.

To view the charts larger, right click on the chart as choose Save Picture As, and download it into your browser where you can view it larger.

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Welcome to the Florida Keys Real Estate Conchquistador!

What can I say? I just LOVE the Keys! From the incredible waterways to the funkiness of Key West and Fantasy Fest, the Keys are one of this Country’s true treasures. Some of my fondest and earliest precious memories involve dining at the Coral Grill, fishing off the catwalk on the Cardsound Bridge, running in the inaugural 7 mile bridge run, my high school graduation party at the Cheeca Lodge and lobstering off Indian Key (and yes we only kept the legal

Now as an Adult, I am privileged to be able to market and sell stunning waterfront properties in the area that I love most!

Within this Blog, I aim to share with you pertinent real estate info as well as off the wall and irreverent items of interest for both residents and wishful residents of this incredible island chain.

Please visit my website for a comprehensive listing of available properties throughout the Keys. There you can view available properties, view photos, see maps and even schedule an appointment to view your next dream home.

Thank you for visiting and

Welcome to the Conch Republic!!!

New ESPN fishing show puts big focus on the Keys

New ESPN fishing show puts big focus on the Keys
'Spanish Fly' Wejebe is the host
I really love seeing our beautiful Florida Keys featured in the mainstream media, and Wejebe is a really entertaining and knowledgeable host.
Sometimes we as locals become anaesthetised to what is in our own backyards.
I saw this article in this morning:

"New ESPN fishing show puts big focus on the Keys
Anglers who love to competitively fish -- or at least watch the best of the best compete -- can get their fill into June.
This Sunday, ESPN Outdoors' Saltwater Series debuts at 8:30 a.m. It's a look back at the Saltwater Series that debuted last year and had four of its six events in the Keys.
There will be six original episodes airing, with six encore presentations. The first, the one airing Sunday, is the Redbone Series Baybone Celebrity Tournament that took place in Key Largo. It features baseball hall-of-famer Wade Boggs doing what he loves doing best when not involved in baseball -- flats fishing.
The Outdoors' Saltwater Series will be hosted by the Keys’ very own Jose Wejebe, known as The Spanish Fly and host of the TV show of the same name on ESPN2.
The rest of the schedule:
April 12: The S.L.A.M. (Southernmost Light Tackle Anglers Masters) Celebrity Tournament, which targeted tarpon, bonefish and permit off Key West.
April 19: The Lowcountry Red Trout Celebrity Classic targeting redfish and sea trout, in South Carolina.
April 26: Islamorada, the Redbone Celebrity Tournament targeting redfish and bonefish.
May 3: The Savannah Redtrout out of Georgia.
May 10: Islamorada, the Don Gurgiolo Sailfish Classic Redbone @ Large targeting sailfish.
This will also be the first outdoors-related program on ESPN Deportes. The Deportes shows start April 4 at 6 a.m. and airs consecutive Saturdays at the same time. "

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Island Fest is this Weekend!

This looks like a lot of fun!!!
The Keys...Music...Art..and Food is there any better combination????

Hope to see you there!

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