House Hunting in the Keys

Well that happened fast! I thought we’d have at least 30 days before we got an offer on our house but the first people who came to look at it made us a full price offer. It was listed less than a day. I know what you’re thinking, it was under-priced, but it wasn’t! It was spot on for the market, we just got really lucky that the right people came to see it. Our house doesn’t have mass appeal but it’s absolutely perfect for us – and apparently for the new owners too.  I just want someone to continue loving this house as much as we have. I also want them to continue feeding my birds.

We have to be outta here by June 30th which isn’t much time & we’re losing the last week of June to a family vacation in the Outer Banks so we have just over 3 weeks to find a place and sell all of our stuff.

We just got back from 8 days of house hunting in the  upper Keys. We rented an apartment on VRBO for the week in our old neighborhood from the winter and it was perfect. Cheaper than a hotel by half & so nice to have a full kitchen even if it was tiny. It was great to be back in our old stomping grounds too. And there were manatees in the canal but more on that another time. We need to find a place to live!

As of now, we’re thinking we’ll stay in the Keys a year then make the really big move. Who knows though, our plans can be extremely flexible once we’ve sold our house and all of our stuff. We decided to go for exactly what we want this year – or as close as possible within reason.

Our Wish List

  • 2 bed/2 bath minimum – so friends and family can visit!
  • Furnished – we just want to bring what we can fit in our cars
  • Dog friendly
  • Fenced in yard is a huge plus! Our dogs love the freedom to roam around & it’s nice to not have to walk them all the time.
  • Close to everything we want to go to – a few bars & restaurants, yoga, the pool & diving
  • On water so we can paddle any time
  • Everything included would be nice

We looked at every dog friendly place in the upper Keys. When I say “every” that’s 10 and a few were vetoed with just a drive by. It feels like an episode of “House Hunters” except that we looked at more than 3 places. I can see now why they limit it to 3, making a decision is hard. Four of the places we saw were definite contenders & we’ve narrowed it down to our top two places. In true “House Hunters” style I’ll lay out the merits of each. You know I made a pro-con list anyway, it’s the only way to make a decision!

The Final Two

House 1 – perfect location, over budget


  • Great location – walk/bike to our favorite places, yoga & the pool
  • On a canal facing the mangroves, very peaceful and quiet. Also makes for terrific paddling. It has access to the same mangroves we paddled all winter.
  • Easy paddle board launch
  • Really nice area for guests in a separate first floor apartment complete with a small kitchenette
  • Furnished
  • Nice dog walking streets


  • It’s over the top of our budget by more than 10%. We could do it but we’d sacrifice somewhere else, is it worth it?
  • It’s only available until March – I’m not excited by the prospect of doing this again that soon.
  • No fenced in area for the dogs which means no freedom for them & dog walks in all conditions, not ideal.
  • Nothing is included with the rent. It’d be nice to simplify for a while and just write one check each month.


House 2 – fenced yard for the dogs, short drive to everything


  • Furnished
  • Nice dog walking streets, better than house #1. It’s in a quieter neighborhood with less through traffic.
  • Rent includes all utilities – one check, so easy
  • In our price range, albeit at the very top but still in range
  • Fenced yard for the dogs!
  • Bike/walk to John Pennekamp State Park – a good way to get some exercise and also a great place to chill with a book.
  • Great paddling from our boat dock – into the park or out to the ocean. We got a trail map from the owner & there’s a lot to explore out there.
  • King size bed! If you read my recent post about our trip to Carrboro you know I like room to spread out.
  • Available for a full year
  • Open floor plan which will be perfect when we have guests & also has a lot of outdoor living space.


  • We have to drive pretty much everywhere, a very short drive, but still a drive. We can bike to a few places if we’re willing to do 3-4 miles which we might be.
  • It’s on a canal with a cement wall – how do people get their paddle boards in/out on these walls without dinging them?


Which place will we pick? Stay tuned!

Time to go take pics of my stuff to sell.


Until next time…

Warm thoughts to all!

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  1. Pingback: And the winner is … | Go Where It's Warm

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