I have always loved the keys and grew up fishing and vacationing down in the Florida Keys as a kid. Sarah and I started vacationing here in 2008 when Sarah took me to Key West for my birthday. Since then we have traveled to many of the different islands that make up the Florida Keys for numerous trips with our friends. It has become a place of fun, happiness, relaxation, and over all…joy. We always joked about how great it would be to live there and never really thought it was something within reach. The “Florida Schaul’s”(Chris and Cindy) are the ones who introduced us to Key Colony Beach (KCB) in 2014 when we all rented a house there for our first 2 weeks Keys Trip. There was something about the island that just made us feel at home…like no where else we have ever been. Within days of being there Sarah and I began joking that this is where we could live forever.
Being the “real estate investors” that we are, I started running the numbers, prices are “low” relatively speaking, demand is increasing quickly, and most importantly we loved it. Over the next 2 years we were in contact with real estate agents in KCB and watched prices start to increase, quickly. It became a little hobby for me to just play with the idea of buying there but it was really just a hobby. Life moved on. In October 2015, we came back from another vacation in KCB with our same group of friends and we causally started putting things place to make a move on a property.. if somehow one came up. We sold one of our properties, not because we were planning to buy something but because of about 10,000 other reasons. We didn’t have an official plan but things just worked out right to sell, so we did.
One month later, my good friend Zillow, emailed me a foreclosed house in KCB being auctioned off at the Key West Court House steps, literally on the steps. My mind went to work. I started crunching numbers, Sarah started packing the bags(not kidding), and I started calling my brothers pitching my “investment” idea…I was going to need some financial assistance on this one. Late in the evening, I discovered a large lien on the house, $150,000 lien to be exact….and we got scared…that was not in the plans much less the budget. So at 11pm, we made the call to wait and see if it comes back on the market as an REO sale. We sadly unpacked our bags.
Again life went on. About a month later, my good friend Zillow emails me again! House for sale in KCB, priced WAY below market value. The catch…its tiny. Luckily for me “tiny homes” are the “in thing” right now and dominate HGTV…so it was an easier sell to Sarah. I got excited and started hitting the numbers again..quickly I realized it was the same house that was being auctioned off a few months ago! We already had a friend go by the house and take pictures for us the last time it was on the market so we mostly knew what we were getting into. There was nothing left to do but get it under contract! After beating out numerous other people we finally had it under contract. We took a quick trip down, just a few days before Christmas to look at the home and several others just to make sure that we were all in. After jumping through the mortgage hoops, securing a construction loan to renovate the place, and the selling bank cleared up the lien on the home…for $150.00 administrative fee instead of the $150,000….yes I should have purchased it on the court house steps for penny’s on the dollar. On April 8th 2016, the keys to our dream were in our hands.
It was truly a series of events that all lined up perfectly for us with very little hang ups or delays…that we were not hoping and planning for that is. It was such a complicated chain of events and for whatever reason, the stars were all lined up for this to happen. It was so complicated and so many moving parts, no one could have ever planned for this to work out so smoothly.
So that is how and why we got here, and now the fun begins.