Karol Marsden, Broker Associate 305-395-1975 karolrealtor@gmail.com

The Florida Keys real estate market covers all of the Keys and they are all great. But, depending on one’s lifestyle preferences, some will have the perfect combination you’re looking for of solitude, community and conveniences. Our family has chosen to live in the Upper Keys for over thirteen years now. It allows our kids to attend weekend sailing practice in Miami because it’s only one hour away. We love the separation from the mainland and living on an island but not being isolated when we want to access the city amenities of shows, shopping and attractions.

The Upper Keys are also very convenient for grocery shopping with a Publix Supermarket and two Winn Dixie’s, pharmacies (Walgreens and CVS), hospitals and office supplies (Office Depot and Kmart). For building supplies, there’s KLI and Keys Supply in Key Largo and Forest Tec in Islamorada. We often go up the 18 mile stretch to Florida City to the Home Depot there when we need those types of supplies. There’s even a Pier 1 Imports and a multi-plex movie theatre in Tavernier Towne Center.

Some prefer less traffic and more solitude like you’ll find in Lower Matecumbe, Grassy Key and Duck Key. From Lower Matecumbe to Duck Key, there are very few options for groceries so visitors and residents travel either to Winn Dixie in Tavernier or Publix in Marathon. Marathon also has a Home Depot for plants and building supplies that is relatively close to these areas.

Another advantage that is available in the Upper Keys is two roads to the mainland if there is heavy traffic. Going up Route 905 and then across Card Sound Bridge is a great way to avoid slow traffic on the stretch during holiday weekends or in the case of an accident stopping traffic. There is a $1 toll that way but well worth it when saving lots of time. In Islamorada, the Old Highway runs parallel to US1 as well in many areas, so locals often use it to bypass sitting traffic. You just have to know where it stops and starts.

For full time residents with school age children, the Upper Keys offers fantastic schools from two public A rated schools to a charter Montessori school or private Christian School. Our kids have attended Key Largo School from Pre-k through 8th grade and are currently attending Coral Shores High School. We have found their teachers to be extremely good and always helpful. Both of our girls are in National Honors Society and score well on the AP and national standardized tests.

Choosing to buy property and live in the Florida Keys is usually a pretty drastic lifestyle change but I highly recommend it!