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Old 28-09-2020, 13:07   #1
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Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

Are the middle Keys a good place to have a home with a yacht in your backyard?

I'm wondering if the canals are wide enough or deep enough for a modest catamaran.

Same with the houses that are on more open water.

Are there any cruisers here that own waterfront homes in the Keys?

I'm pretty familiar with the general pros and cons of living in the Keys, but would love to hear what you have to say.

TIA.
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Old 29-09-2020, 03:44   #2
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

Sure, there are many places you can park a boat behind your house in the Keys, for example Key Colony Beach. Nice canals, easy access to the Atlantic.

However, depending on the type of waterfront home you want, there are better places in Florida to buy.

I owned a waterfront four bed, two bath, two car garage with a pool, boat lift and sailboat slip on the east coast of Tampa Bay.

That same house in the Keys would have cost more than four times what I paid for it.............
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Old 29-09-2020, 04:08   #3
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

I'll just add one more comment about living in the Keys.

I spent most of last winter in Marathon. One thing that got old quickly was having to drive to Homestead or Miami, frequently, to buy major items that were just not available in the Keys.

There are no Walmarts in the Keys, there are no Dollar Generals. There are only three West Marines spread across the whole chain and two Kmarts that are useless except for basic items.
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Old 29-09-2020, 04:22   #4
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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One thing that got old quickly was having to drive to Homestead or Miami, frequently, to buy major items that were just not available in the Keys.

Did you not have a permanent address? Doesn't UPS deliver?


I'm guessing the big box stores have gotten wise to the drive, it is a long way from one end to the other.
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Old 29-09-2020, 05:06   #5
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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Did you not have a permanent address? Doesn't UPS deliver?
I had plenty of items shipped in, but sometimes you don't want to wait three or more days to receive an item...........
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Old 29-09-2020, 05:59   #6
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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Did you not have a permanent address? Doesn't UPS deliver?

also .. many things that you might need must be measured and held in your hand. unless you know exactly what you want .. ordering and returning online can be a pain.
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Old 29-09-2020, 06:04   #7
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

The Keys are bloody expensive mate....hundreds of places that will likely fit your requirements, but bring a fat check book. No point in buying a place there, unless you are waterfront, either bay or ocean side....Make sure your selection is above the hurricane water level zone....
The Keys suffer from one big drawback.....there is only one road in, and one road out...
Marathon is big with the house rental business....other Keys not so much.
I go to Keys several time a year, mostly always the Middle Keys area.....I love it there, great place to visit, good fishing, etc, but to live there, not so sure...Key Largo keeps you close to the mainland, a good feature...were I ever to consider living there, Key Largo would likely be the spot I'd chose, for no other reason than it's proximity to mainland. Keeping a yacht there would be awesome, until a hurricane arrives. Go on youtube and watch a few video's of boat destruction. Enuff said.
But....it doesn't snow there....there is that...
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Old 29-09-2020, 06:17   #8
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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No point in buying a place there, unless you are waterfront, either bay or ocean side...Make sure your selection is above the hurricane water level zone...
There isn't anyplace in the Keys that is both waterfront and outside of the flood zones. One of the things you have to accept as a fact of life, if you live in the Keys, is hurricanes.
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Old 29-09-2020, 07:15   #9
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

I've been to the keys many times and sailed there as well. I don't think anywhere is safe from storm surge. I saw alot of people living on their boats in a keys. Thx-Ace
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Old 29-09-2020, 08:26   #10
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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Sure, there are many places you can park a boat behind your house in the Keys, for example Key Colony Beach. Nice canals, easy access to the Atlantic.

However, depending on the type of waterfront home you want, there are better places in Florida to buy.

I owned a waterfront four bed, two bath, two car garage with a pool, boat lift and sailboat slip on the east coast of Tampa Bay.

That same house in the Keys would have cost more than four times what I paid for it.............
Thanks for your input. We've traveled to Florida extensively the last few years looking for homes. I retire next year and am done with California, even though I own a beautiful custom waterfront home with a double U dock.

I went to college in Florida, FIT, and LOVED it back in the day. Yes, it's A LOT different now and not for the better IMHO......but options of what I want are limited in the USA. BTW, we aren't limited to the US but it would be easier to have a base in the CONUS.

We also checked out other US options...Hawaii, US Virgin Islands and even GUAM! ( poor man's Hawaii) lol I fly to Hawaii and Guam A LOT these days.

In any case, I could write a tome on my Florida opinions, but I'll keep it short. ...

We took a hard look at the west coast of Florida....traveled up and down that coast a lot. What finally ruled the west coast out for us was.... no reefs (lobsters), red tide ( was really bad when we visited) no see-ums and sailing not as interesting as SE Florida ( Bahamas)

The plusses were really nice homes for the money and lack of hurricanes (Tampa St. Pete)

We ruled out the Space Coast down to Vero Beach because of lack of ocean access. Are still considering Stuart and Jupiter.

My gal REALLY likes Lighthouse Point and the convenience of the Hillsborough Inlet. That whole area is nice though a bit crowded for my taste. Expensive too. One of my best friends lives in Deerfield Beach.

Speaking of $$$, the Florida market is currently doing VERY well at the moment. LOTS of people moving there now.

So back to the Keys. I always liked the Keys. I esp liked it back in the day way before cruise ships and uh, other changes.

The main issue I've always had about living in the Keys are the obvious hurricanes and the one road in and out issue. Still not crazy about that. BTW, we spent some time in the Keys after Irma. All I can say is wow.....the damage was considerable and all but ruled out my desire to ever live there.

Sooooo.....I spoke with a realtor in Marathon yesterday after my OP. I learned a bit more about certain yacht size issues on some of the canals and other issues relating to building codes and insurance. $$$$

So, still in limbo and will keep looking.
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Old 29-09-2020, 08:47   #11
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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The Keys are bloody expensive mate....
..
LOL...exactly what I've said to my Aussie mates about south Florida. They think I lost my mind when I told them what I would be paying in property taxes and home/flood/wind damage insurance. I said, OK....I will come check out your place.

Soooo...we flew to OZ in March to go house shopping in the Brisbane area!

We LOVED it there and found a waterfront house I was ready to buy on the spot.....even after learning I would get dinged with a bloody punitive stamp tax surcharge for being a foreigner.

Oz ticked all our boxes and I would retire there in a heartbeat...problem is, besides the pandemic issues, they aren't accepting retirement visas and I'm not willing to invest 5 million bucks.

Buggar!

So will keep looking in Florida for now.
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Old 29-09-2020, 09:06   #12
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

Chartered PDQs in the keys many times. Perfect for he keys...
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Old 29-09-2020, 09:39   #13
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

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We took a hard look at the west coast of Florida....traveled up and down that coast a lot. What finally ruled the west coast out for us was.... no reefs (lobsters), red tide ( was really bad when we visited) no see-ums and sailing not as interesting as SE Florida ( Bahamas)
A couple of things to keep in mind:

Lobster season only runs from Aug to Mar, no matter where you live in Florida. The west coast doesn't have a barrier reef like the keys, but we still have plenty of underwater structure, and in my opinion the fishing here is almost better than the keys, you Islamorada people don't lose your minds......

Red tide hasn't been a real problem for a couple of years now, and in my 26 years of living here has only been an issue a few times.

There is no place in Florida that is safe from no-see-ums.........

Besides the reef, the Keys and even the east coast, do have one thing that is better, clear water. As a diver I love that, but not enough to live on the east coast........
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Old 29-09-2020, 10:24   #14
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

I like the middle keys because there are no high-rises, stripmalls, franchises, and not much traffic except for the occasional accident that shuts down Hwy 1, but clears quickly. It feels like living on a small island with more conveniences. Almost every other place in Florida has too many people, cars, noise, and fast paced living. You will slow down in the keys.
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Old 29-09-2020, 17:57   #15
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Re: Middle Florida Keys: Waterfront House with Sailboat?

Hillsboro inlet is tricky as it channel moves and can be quite shoal.
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