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Old 03-26-2015, 07:27 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,724 times
Reputation: 10

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We just sold our house in NY, and want to relocate to the Florida keys. Spent a few days there just last week and struck out big time. Looking for 2 bedroom condo for under $2000. From Islamorada and south.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:31 AM
 
1,448 posts, read 2,148,499 times
Reputation: 2358
This is not a good place to find that. Only a handful of people who post here actually live in the Keys or visit them regularly. You should speak with a real estate agent who deals with rentals who is based on the islands you're considering. The Keys don't really have an abundance of condos on the level that other locations in Florida do, although there certainly are some. If you really want to be in the Keys and haven't found what you're looking for with a Realtor, you may need to consider opening up to apartments within single family homes. Those you can find in abundance, but be sure to rent only in above-flood living space, as the rest are both illegal and dangerous (especially if you're planning on long-term). Find out if the house is in a "X zone" or above-flood on a FEMA flood map (online), or stick only to living space that is at least 2nd floor.

If it's important to move down but you're having no luck, you might need to rent something smaller for a period of time just to get you in faster - it's much easier to find the right place when you're already living here and have the local connections to help you get just what you want.

As a note, since you're moving, make sure that you have steady income BEFORE moving down - meaning a secured job, work from home, or sufficient savings to live off of. The majority of people who move to the Keys have no plan and just assume they will get work, and they really don't. Positions available are primarily manual labor jobs that pay an average of $10/hr with no benefits, and they are being fought over by a ton of people already. It is not enough to cover the huge cost of real estate down here. Most people move back out within a year broke and feeling defeated. Come with a plan and savings for the lean times.

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Key West, FL
30 posts, read 96,106 times
Reputation: 76
Realize that there is a big difference between the different Keys you listed. I live in Key West and hate to say it but you will not find a 2 BR under $2k if you can find one at all. The rental market is absurd down here. Your best bets in that budget will be Marathon down to maybe Big Coppitt. Not too familiar with Islamorada's market but it's always seemed more seasonal and high dollar there. You will also need first & last month rent plus a security deposit equal to another month in order to move in. If you have pets forget it, almost nobody accepts them.

Also, pay careful attention to the last piece of advice listed above. Unless you are a server and plan to live in or commute to KW you will want a job lined up. It's easy to find a serving job on Key West (unemployment rate for the industry is ~0.5%) but you'll probably need 2 or more of them to afford housing here. Bartenders make great money but are mostly hired on word of mouth and from within. As for professional jobs or anything high paying, we don't have a lot of those.

Good luck! It's a neat place to live for sure, don't think I could go back to the real world now.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:50 PM
 
1,448 posts, read 2,148,499 times
Reputation: 2358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortbus901 View Post
Realize that there is a big difference between the different Keys you listed. I live in Key West and hate to say it but you will not find a 2 BR under $2k if you can find one at all. The rental market is absurd down here. Your best bets in that budget will be Marathon down to maybe Big Coppitt. Not too familiar with Islamorada's market but it's always seemed more seasonal and high dollar there. You will also need first & last month rent plus a security deposit equal to another month in order to move in. If you have pets forget it, almost nobody accepts them.

Also, pay careful attention to the last piece of advice listed above. Unless you are a server and plan to live in or commute to KW you will want a job lined up. It's easy to find a serving job on Key West (unemployment rate for the industry is ~0.5%) but you'll probably need 2 or more of them to afford housing here. Bartenders make great money but are mostly hired on word of mouth and from within. As for professional jobs or anything high paying, we don't have a lot of those.

Good luck! It's a neat place to live for sure, don't think I could go back to the real world now.

Nice to hear from someone currently living in KW on here! We don't get many people from the Keys writing in, and people could really use your advice since you are on the #1 island they all seem to want to go to. I have made the joke - somewhat seriously - that everybody in Key West is too busy working 4 jobs to afford a keg and a room to split it in, so they have no time to write here. Hope you find time away from the grind to drop in again and discuss the Keys, and KW in particular. The few of us here who post semi-regularly are along the chain at various points, but no one currently in Key West or Stock Island. So we can speak of it, but not with quite the same detail as someone who deals with it on the daily.

I think people really don't realize how bad the rental situation is down here. It's not that easy to get a place, and certainly not one that is affordable, legal, and nice all at the same time! Plus a lot of people who are here for long-term rentals frequently post on craigslist desperate because suddenly their current rental is up for foreclosure or the drugs got too bad at their previous place, and even they can't find something and they have already been living here and building local connections for a year or more!

I really think we need to start building rent controlled housing like is available in other cities up North. I don't see another sufficient solution to this problem. We need workers, we can't run without employees. But the jobs are mostly not skilled enough to really be worth paying a high wage and benefits, plus most of the people who come down to work them are shifty and unreliable. So raising the wages isn't really going to solve the whole problem. We need far more affordable housing for locals and also temporary workers than we have.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 150 times
Reputation: 13
Also -- be on high alert for SCAM ARTISTS who list properties, even sending you a copy of the bogus title to the property -- then start to pressure you to pay in advance on a sight unseen efficiency apartment. If you show up to view the property -- you will learn that it is owned by someone totally different and your "security deposit" was taken but you will not get the efficiency. SCAM, SCAM, SCAM. Good luck if you have a job and just need a reasonably priced efficiency apartment -- THERE ARE NONE and the scammers abound.

Last edited by borelbg; 06-22-2019 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: the one who scammed me was walkerrichard@yahoo.com He wanted moneygrammed security deposit sent to Bunny L'Heureaux in Largo
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