Why I Might Not Want a Home in the Florida Keys
I’m not going to give this thought too much space. After all, the purpose of this website is to encourage you to call me with a request to help you find your own piece of paradise. But the Keys are not for everyone, although many who leave, return.
Weather – Although this is also the reason many love the Keys, for some it is a bit too hot and some months a bit too humid; the reason why some of those who are able will have another home to escape to when those months roll around. There is also hurricane season, officially from June through November, with the threat peaking in late August and early September. Although we deal with the treat of hurricanes each year, not one hurricane made land fall in Florida between 2005 and 2017.
Limited Shopping – If you are looking for a Neiman Marcus, you are looking in the wrong place. Until recent closings eliminated this choice, the joke used to be, “If you can’t find it at K-Mart, do you really need it?” There are many great tourist-oriented gift shops, art galleries and boutiques, but unless you are willing to travel to Miami, you probably won’t be happy with the selection of malls or department stores in the Keys.
Highway Safety – Skilled defensive driving is a plus. There are no alternative roads to US #1, with limited passing opportunities, few traffic lights, and periods when traffic gets backed up for no good reason. The patience of some will wane, making this stretch of road the highest per capita rate of auto accidents in Florida.
Limited Variety of Employment Opportunities – If looking for a job, unless it is tourism or government based, employment opportunities are limited.
High Cost of Homes – Living in paradise comes with a price. The median cost of a single-family home as of March (six-month rolling average) was $960,471 with the median cost of a condo $599,792. Hurricane and flood insurance can also be a bit high, depending where your home is located.
Change of Seasons – If you enjoy a change of seasons, you might want to keep your home up north. Although there are subtle changes, it might take you a few years to recognize them.
Big City Stuff – Miami is 60 miles from north Key Largo, and 160 miles from Key West, and is a wonderful city loaded with diverse culture, arts, major league sports, fancy dining, night life, world class mall and store shopping. But if you have to have such things at arms-reach, you are probably not meant for Keys living.