Kathy Denworth: Hi, here’s Kathy Denworth once again, or maybe it’s your first time with me. If it’s your first time, I hope I’m going to give you some good information. Anyway, I’m here to talk about Islamorada, the Village of Islands, which is located in the fabulous Florida Keys. We’re about 90 minutes south of the Miami airport, hour south, or actually about 45 minutes south of the turnpike extension, when you get off in Homestead. We’re about four hours from Key West, about an hour and 15 minutes from Marathon, which also has an airport. But it’s a lovely drive. You’re coming down the stretch and your cares just melt away. To give you an idea, we have three local radio stations. We have our hard rock station, and we have a country station, and then we have another station that plays Bobby Goldsboro. So somewhere along the line, when you get sick and tired of the rock and roll, you start listening to country music, and you get over it.
But here you are, sitting in the traffic in the city and hearing about this crash, and that crash, and this backup, and that backup, and this overturned truck, and all this stuff, and you get halfway down the stretch, which we call the 18 miles from Florida City to the top end of Key Largo. You get down the stretch, halfway down the stretch, you turn on one of the local radio stations, and you’re either listening to [inaudible 00:01:29] or you’re listening to country music, and it just kind of, everything just fades away, because we just don’t have a lot of the problems that you have up there in the city, thank God.
Let me tell you what we do have, and why you would want to live in a place like Islamorada, other than the fact it’s basically like going to the Caribbean without having to have a passport. One road in, one road out. Of course we’re accessible by boat, because we are a series of islands, 127 miles long, but Islamorada is just one of the villages in the Florida Keys. Islamorada consists of four islands, unless of course you want to call the fills islands, in which case it would be six, but there’s four that are actually, people are living on there, habitable. That word.
So we have Plantation Key, which is first one to the north, and then just south of that, you have Windley Key, which also has … Well, Plantation Key has Founders Park on it, which is a really nice park, has a beach, has a pool, a boat ramp, things like that. And then Windley Key has the [inaudible 00:02:35] that’s also a local park, and just south of that we have Upper Matecumbe Key, which has the Library Park on it, just behind the library. And then you have Lower Matecumbe Key, and Lower Matecumbe Key actually has Anne’s Beach, which is a beach.
So that consists of that, but you say, well, what about shopping? Where do I shop? In the village of Islamorada, you have basically four places. One, we have a really, we call it mini Publix. We have a Publix that they did a really great job with. And then we also have a Payfair, which is at the north end of Plantation Key, which is a little mom and pop place, but it never closes, even in hurricanes. And then we have the Trading Post, which is also another mom and pop place. It’s down by Cheeca Lodge. And then down in Lower Matecumbe, there’s Crazy Billy’s, which is a gas station and a convenience store for people who live down there and need a quick loaf of bread. I’m not going to count things like Tom Thumb or Circle K.
But, okay, so that’s some things about it. Now, let me tell you what you would live in if you lived here. If you lived here, you’d be home now. If you lived here, you’d be living in either a dry mount lot mobile home, which means it’s not on the water, or you’d be living in a mobile home that’s on a lot on the water, which that’s always a good thing to get, because what people will do, we’ll buy that, and then tear it out in a few years and build a single family home on stilts. It’s really kind of expensive here to insure a mobile home, because let’s face it, mobile homes and hurricanes really don’t mix very well, and after Irma a lot of people found that out.
Okay, so then you have your waterfront mobiles and then you have your dry lot single family homes, and we have a lot of neighborhoods that will be a mix of dry lot single family homes and canal front homes, which is another favorite. And then, of course, you have your open water views on the bay and the ocean that are many times McMansions, just stunning open water views forever. And then you have condos. We do have condos that are dry lot that don’t have any type of dockage or water view, and then we have condos that do have water views, but maybe no dockage, and then we have condos that have water views and dockage, and then we have condos that are a mix of everything. So there’s a little bit of something for everybody here.
Now, let me talk to you about the other thing you’re probably wondering about, and that’s taxes. Our taxes have a tendency to be approximately one percent, or one, one and a quarter percent of your purchase price. So that gives you an idea. Don’t be paying attention to what you see on Zillow on the taxes or anything like that, because they’re not necessarily going to be accurate. Also, if you have company in, and you want to get a smaller place, and you have company, there’s lots of hotels and motels, and rental properties are available.
Let’s see what else I can … Oh, dining. There is a lot of dining to be done. We have the local stuff, like Mangrove Mike’s and Craig’s that locals, you know, this is where we eat a lot, because usually when people are on vacation, they have a tendency to splurge a little bit more than when you live there. And then of course we do have fine dining, such as Ziggie’s and Tides at the Islander, and the Islander’s got a new restaurant in there, too. So there are some very, very nice fine dining options in Islamorada.
What other type of shopping? Well, we have clothing stores and knickknack stores, and all kinds of things where you can buy just about anything. Try to buy what’s made locally, and a lot of places you can, such as Rain Barrel. Those are all local people that are selling art type things, ceramics and things like that.
Now, in addition to taxes, another thing you might be wondering is what is with the downstairs enclosures? Okay, downstairs enclosures is something that FEMA has been inspecting over the years and if someone else tell you it’s legal, ask to see it in writing, because better that you think it’s not legal and you don’t get in trouble, than to have somebody mislead you into thinking that it’s a legal living space when it’s not. And unfortunately, there are people that will do that just simply to make a sale, and it’s wrong, but they do it anyhow. But in that particular situation, the buyer’s got to be aware of what they’re looking at and what the legal use of the property is.
Anyway, that’s an overview of Islamorada, and I hope you enjoyed it. I hope I gave you some information. If you are interested in more information about anything I talked about, don’t hesitate to call me. My phone number is 305-394-3400. Have you got a pen? Let me repeat, 305-394-3400. Once again, my name is Kathy Denworth. I am with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. [inaudible 00:07:43] realty here in Islamorada, and very willing and able to help you with your Upper Keys real estate adventure, and it’s just moving in or moving on, I’m your professional in the Keys. Have a good day.