1.1 Getting Started

Sombrero Beach

Marathon, Florida

I never took the initiative to talk to a real estate agent until the market got hot in 2004. I woke up early one morning and decided I would walk into the local real estate agency, Coldwell-Banker Schmitt in Marathon, to ask a few questions. I bought into the “better get it while you can” story. I did go to different parts of the Keys to speak with other real estate agents to investigate other opportunities. I tried my best, within a short time to think about what we wanted and what we could afford. Currently living in an area of middle and upper incomes we are used to lots of amenities. We knew we would be coming to an area with more limited amenities.

My general list was:

  • Close to shopping
  • Close to a hospital/medical care (we will eventually be older citizens)
  • Restaurants and entertainment
  • Library
  • Close to a beach
  • Utilities on site
  • A nice neighborhood
  • Peaceful and quiet street
  • Some views, if possible
  • Water access for a boat

We got all but the last one. A dry lot for $100,000 or a canal lot for $250,000! Sorry, $250k, that is not in our budget!