The Florida Keys are famous for a lot of things. There’s world-class fishing, delicious seafood, turquoise water, endless boating opportunities, and of course— Key West. The crown jewel of the island chain is a small island with tons of history, charm, and beauty.
But like a conch shell buried in the sand, there are some other beautiful Florida Keys islands that may be hidden from your view.
If you’re thinking about investing in Florida Keys real estate, consider one of these three Keys that are more private, peaceful, and affordable than Key West. Known as part of the Lower Keys— the stretch of islands that run from Marathon to Key West— they are filled with secret gems you don’t want to miss.
Is open water access important to you? Then consider buying a home in the Lower Keys. Although it’s available on Key West, open water access is rare and expensive. But in the Lower Keys? Open water access is the norm for most houses. Either located on a canal or right on the ocean, most homes in the Lower Keys are a boat lover’s dream come true.
Check out one of these islands today.
Located just minutes from Key West, Geiger Key is the perfect location to find a peaceful home that still has easy access to that Key West hustle-bustle. Geiger Key is also located right next door to Naval Air Station Key West.
Here you’ll find the Geiger Key Marina— an old-fashioned fish camp with a delicious dockside restaurant. If you buy a home on Geiger Key, you’ll quickly become a regular here! Check out the Geiger Key Paddle Hut, too. You can paddleboard or kayak for miles through the mangroves from here.
Geiger Key has many laid back neighborhoods to choose from. Geiger Key also has a large inventory of manufactured homes— which are more affordable and flexible than standard homes. Take a peek at this listing on Mars Lane, with canal access.
Big Coppitt Key
Down the road from Geiger Key lies Big Coppitt Key. Big Coppitt draws boating enthusiasts from around the world. You’ll find multiple canals here and easy access to the famous Florida Key’s backwater flats fishing. Captain Tony Murphy from Key Limey Fishing Tours is based here. Big Coppitt is also home to Bobalu’s Southern Cafe— featuring homestyle cooking and live entertainment. Try their conch fritters, shrimp corn chowder, and of course their Key Lime Pie.
Take a look at this resort-style home on Emerald Avenue in Big Coppitt. With access to a pristine canal, a seawall, and boat davits, this home is perfect for the avid fisherman.
Further up the island chain is Cudjoe Key, nestled between Sugarloaf and Summerland Keys. Cudjoe Key homes feature a mixture of quaint neighborhood bungalows and large, waterfront estates. One of our all-time favorite Florida Keys restaurants— Square Grouper Bar & Grill— is located here. Relax in their casual dining room and sip on a mango mojito. Or head upstairs to My New Joint for some innovative small plates and live music. It’s the perfect neighborhood spot to kick back and relax in the evenings.
Check out this land for sale on Sawyer Drive in Cudjoe Key. Located on a crystal clear canal, this spot is waiting for you to build your dream Florida Keys home.
When investing in Florida Keys real estate, it can sometimes feel like the options are endless. Should you buy in Key West? Or perhaps you would be happier going “up the Keys” to islands like Geiger, Big Coppitt, or Cudjoe?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices, contact the team at Vacasa Florida/Buy The Keys today. Our agents are long-time locals and have extensive knowledge of the entire island chain. We can help you make a decision on where to invest, and help you choose your Florida Keys dream home.
Drop us a line or give us a call today.
Located at the very end of a chain of islands stretching far out into the turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico, Key West is a magical island paradise. Although it’s only two miles wide and four miles long, Key West is filled to the brim with amazing art galleries, delicious restaurants, boutique shopping, fascinating museums, and historic points of interest. There is always something new to explore. For a small island, Key West is packed with opportunities for adventure.
If you’re looking to buy a home in Key West, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different neighborhoods in town. Although the island is small, each neighborhood has a distinct personality and vibe. Once you start shopping for a home, you’ll quickly realize how important it is to choose the right Key West neighborhood for you. And you’ll marvel at how such a tiny island can feel so diverse and expansive.
The experts at Buy The Keys/Vacasa Florida LLC are here to help guide you through each neighborhood.
On the eastern side of Key West lies New Town. New Town is a business district humming with activity. There are three shopping mall areas, anchored by large chain retailers like Pier 1 Imports, Ross, TJ Maxx, Publix, and Winn-Dixie. Numerous banks, restaurants, schools, sports arenas, a movie theater, and specialty shops are located here too.
Besides a bustling business district, New Town has quiet neighborhoods and wide streets. Homes here range from classic, single-story bungalows to sprawling luxury estates. In New Town, there is more opportunity to acquire a larger sized lot— backyards are big. There are even homes on canals here. Check out this exciting opportunity now available in New Town.
Technically part of New Town, the southeastern beachside of Key West has a different vibe all its own. Residences here are mainly large condominium complexes with multiple stories. Buying a home on the beach in Key West is everything you think it will be. You’ll have stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, easy access to kayaking and paddleboarding, spectacular sunrises, and miles of waterfront trails for walking and biking.
Condominium projects like Las Salinas, La Brisa, Key West by the Sea, and 1800 Atlantic offer a wide inventory of condominiums to choose from. With plenty of parking, a friendly community vibe, and easy ocean access, the beach is a great, low-maintenance choice for a Key West home.
Old Town Key West is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in the country. The neighborhood includes impressive Victorian architecture, historic landmarks, quaint conch cottages, quirky details, and lush tropical flowers surrounded by white picket fences. You’ll be delighted as you stroll through the tree-lined residential streets.
Besides bustling Duval Street, Old Town Key West has plenty of quiet neighborhoods tucked way beneath the palm trees. And the highest point in Key West is Solares Hill in Old Town— a soaring nineteen feet above sea level! Endless restaurants, theaters, and shopping are easily accessible by foot or bicycle. Or simply relax on your front porch, sip a cool drink, and chat with your neighbors.
Located on the northwest corner of Old Town, The Meadows is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Key West. It’s made up of a series of one-way streets— including Olivia, Petronia, and Newton— that take up about 24 city blocks.
Quiet and charming, The Meadows has convenient access to both Old Town and New Town. Home here range from cute conch bungalows to luxurious waterfront estates.
The Casa Marina Resort was built by Henry Flagler— builder of the Flagler Railroad— in the 1920s. Homes built around this resort are spacious and vary in style. Most have private pools, large backyards, and ample square footage.
The neighborhood is close to Old Town with convenient access to Flagler Avenue and New Town, too. It’s a highly coveted location.
Located in Old Town, Bahama Village is a 16 block area that is bordered by Whitehead, Southard, and Louisa Streets. The colorful arched gate marking one of the entrances to Bahama Village on Petronia Street lets you know that you are entering a unique area. Bahama Village is a vibrant and diverse Key West neighborhood that offers interesting shopping, delicious dining, and fantastic entertainment.
Visiting Bahama Village is like stepping into another world. There is a certain old-world soulfulness to this neighborhood. Homes here are generally traditional shotgun and conch style homes. Click here to view a gorgeous home for sale on the edge of Bahama Village.
We once heard Stock Island referred to as “the Brooklyn of Key West” and thought this was a fitting description. Technically located to the east of Key West proper, Stock Island is the first island you encounter as you drive north on US1. And it has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years.
Once only known for shrimping boats and a golf course, Stock Island now features exciting local art galleries, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous hotels. Residential homes here include single-story bungalows and townhomes.
Whatever neighborhood you choose, Key West has something for everyone. From stunning waterfront homes to charming conch cottages, Key West architecture has something to fit every style and personality.
To help you choose the right neighborhood for you, contact my office today. With decades of local knowledge and years of experience as a Key West realtor, the staff at Buy The Keys/Vacasa Florida LLC are passionate about finding you the Key West home of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a vacation rental home or a permanent residence, we’re here to help you.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
4 Benefits of Buying a Vacation Rental Home in the Florida Keys
You just came back from a relaxing Key West vacation and you had such a fantastic time that you start dreaming about packing up and moving there— someday. But until that day comes, you’ve decided to invest in a Key West vacation rental home.
It’s no secret that the vacation rental industry is booming. Currently, the global vacation rental market is worth about $100 billion— and is expected to reach $170 billion by the end of 2019. And here in the Florida Keys, we are definitely experiencing that impressive growth for ourselves.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking of purchasing an investment property for a while, or maybe the promising growth of the market has made you want to jump in and invest in a vacation rental property. Either way, we’re here to help you.
The City of Key West places strict regulations on transient rental properties. So before you go looking make sure to partner with an experienced agency— like Buy The Keys/Vacasa Florida LLC— that knows the local market inside and out and can help guide you on the path to purchasing the perfect Key West vacation rental home for your needs and budget.
Here are four reasons to take the plunge into a vacation rental home investment in Key West— and a few expert pro tips.
1. The location can’t be beat.
As a vacation rental destination, it doesn’t get much better than Key West. The Florida Keys are a popular and beloved global tourist destination. The clear turquoise water and warm sandy beaches draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the island chain every year. There are so many different types of vacation rental homes and locations to choose from, making the Florida Keys an ideal vacation rental home investment location.
From the bachelorette party looking for Duval Street fun to the small family wanting a private pool to the young couple seeking honeymoon bliss— there’s something for everyone in Key West.
Key West has an exceptional inventory of architecture, too. Whether you are looking for a charming cottage in the historic district or a modern condominium by the beach, there is a vacation rental home to fit every style and personality of investor and traveler alike. And because of this, a well-managed Key West vacation rental investment will have very few unbooked days.
2. The income potential is impressive.
Transient vacation rental homes and monthly rentals in the Florida Keys rent for top dollar in the high season of December through April. But even in the summer months, Key West is packed with visitors. This means your booking calendar will be full of travelers— and your bank account full of income.
Keep in mind that there is a rhythm to a tourist destination, and your income during some months will be higher than in other months. This is the nature of tourism. Make sure to do a detailed budget of your vacation rental income and expenses before taking the plunge into ownership.
Once you’re serious about a specific property, you can ask the current property manager for some recent financial reports to give you a better idea of what you can expect for income. A respectable property management company will happily provide them to you after you sign a confidentiality agreement.
A steady stream of vacation rental income will cover most mortgage payments, taxes, and maintenance fees on the property. So not only will you have a gorgeous second home, but you’ll have a second source of regular income too. And like your primary residence, you’ll also receive tax deductions for things like mortgage interest, insurance premiums, property tax, some utilities, and other rental expenses.
Pro Tip: We recommend working with a real estate attorney or accountant to make sure you are taking maximum advantage of all tax breaks— without breaking any laws.
3. It’s a dual-purpose property.
Owning a vacation rental home in Key West means two things: not only do you own a home in one of your favorite places on earth, but you also have a steady source of secondary income. A few times a year, invite some family and friends to join you in Key West for a blissful vacation at a home you’re familiar and comfortable with. Then rent the home out to Key West visitors when you’re not there. It’s a classic win-win scenario.
Pro tip: Consider installing an “owner’s closet” in your rental home. This is a locked closet where you can keep personal items that you can use during your stay, but can be kept locked up and out of sight when renters are there.
Before investing, determine what you want out of your property. Are you looking strictly for investment purposes— or do you want a place you can visit again and again? Do you want an investment with solid long-term income potential— or are you looking for a year or two turnaround? Answering these questions before you buy will go a long way in helping you make the right choice.
4. It’s a breeze to manage.
Hire a respected, local vacation rental management company and watch the profits roll in, while you do nearly nothing. Maximize your return by leaving your property open and available during high season times and making any suggested repairs or upgrades that the management team recommends. Then sit back and collect your check every month. Yup— it’s that simple.
A good property management company can also help you with local licensing requirements, marketing of your property, on-going maintenance tasks, utility payments, annual tax and insurance payments, and year-end statements for income tax reporting purposes.
The best way to check out a vacation home before you buy it? Rent it yourself. If you’ve had your eye on a place, consider renting it out for a few days and see what you think. You’ll be surprised at how eye-opening even a short stay can be. Does the home feel clean, comfortable and inviting? Is there any well-hidden deferred maintenance? Is the location convenient to local attractions? How was the property management company to work with? If you buy the home, would you consider hiring them to manage the home for you?
Pro Tip: Look closely at past reviews of the house from former guests and see what they have to say. This will give you important insight into areas of the home you may have to upgrade to provide the maximum return.
Buy The Keys
With proper guidance, buying a vacation rental home in Key West can be a smart and rewarding experience. Let the team at Buy The Keys/Vacasa Florida LLC help you in choosing a vacation rental investment that matches your vision and budget. Our crew has experience in vacation rental operations, management, and sales, making us a one-stop-shop for all your vacation rental home needs.
Drop us a line or give us a call at 305.916.9020 today, and let us help you buy your investment property in paradise.