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

July 4th in the Keys, what could be better? Imagine owning your own home in paradise here in the Florida Keys. Spending your days exploring on your boat, snorkeling North America’s only living coral reef, fishing the pristine waters of the back country or getting more adventurous and fishing off shore. Or maybe you see yourself lounging by the pool while spending quality time with friends and family. Whatever your idea of the perfect July 4th weekend, the Florida Keys are the perfect destination.

If you are interested in an investment property to rent out short term so you can also use it yourself, the Keys offer the best rate of return because of the high occupancy rates and high daily rates. In fact, they are the highest in the nation.

With idyllic island vistas and tropical surroundings, the Keys are consistently popular with tourists who want to get away from the hectic pace of daily life. And it doesn’t hurt that there is no location that has warmer temperatures in the winter. November – May are the high season months for rentals. These months stay virtually full at the highest rates.

I’m seeing a lot of customers purchasing properties who plan to rent them when not using them. This offsets the carrying costs dramatically. However, it is important to rent according to the property’s zoning rules. In Monroe County, for example, a single family home can only be rented to one family at a time and for a minimum of 28 days per rental.

Some condos in the Upper Keys have short term rentals allowed. Moon Bay Condominiums and Kawama Tower in Kawama Yacht Club development are allowed to rent by the week. Tranquility Bay, Ocean Pointe, Hawk’s Cay and Mariner’s Club are some of the developments that are allowed to rent daily. Most other condos must have a 28 day minimum rental.

June through October are the Florida Keys’ low season, so that’s a great time to use your vacation home if you want to maximize the rental income.  It’s a great time to be in the Keys too. The water is warmest this time of year so people love diving and snorkeling without wetsuits. It’s also when there’s less wind, so it’s perfect for fishing and boating.  Because the Keys are narrow strips of land surrounded by water, the constant breeze keeps the summer temperatures lower than on the mainland further north. Many of my customers use their properties during the summer than during the winter months.

So, this holiday weekend, we will be enjoying the Keys, showing buyers around available properties and taking some time out to enjoy where we live. The fireworks on Blackwater Sound are always a highlight as we watch them from our boat as they are being set off from a barge out on the water.