The Standard of Excellence



For anyone familiar with the Ocean Reef Club, getting news that we are ranked as one of the top 25 Platinum Clubs of the World is no surprise! And we couldn’t be more proud.

Living and working in paradise is an honor. We are happy to provide “platinum” customer service and real estate expertise to all of our clients.

For those of you unfamiliar with Platinum Clubs of the World, the requirements are strict and include esteemed features such as excellence in amenities, caliber of staff and quality of membership.

Forbes writes “This exclusive community located in Key Largo, Florida has its own 4,000-foot airstrip, school, museum, security force, and fire department. To live in Ocean Reef, a resident must be sponsored by two current members and purchase a charter equity membership for $200,000. A marina with 175 slips and docks for yachts up to 175 feet are also offered in one of the most secure developments in America. (Also voted #2 in Country Club in the U.S.)”

To check out the top 25 winning worldwide clubs for 2018-2019 Platinum Club of the World Status, click here.

More of Ocean Reef Club in the news:
Bertram Raceboat Steals The Show In Vintage Weekend


Posted in:General
Posted by Roberta Watson on December 10th, 2018 1:39 PM


Apparently, downsizing is so 2016. New housing trends indicate a move to bigger (not tinier). 

Season is almost here and the Ocean Reef real estate market has already started to rev up after its summer snooze. Like the rest of the country, we’ve noticed the upsizing trend really pick up in our little hamlet; and some of our young families are skipping the starter-home size all together. 

According to Zillow.com research, young consumers are beginning to prioritize space. A whopping 56 percent of millennials said that having a large home is important to them, compared with 42 percent of Gen Xers and just 35 percent of baby boomers.
Studies argue that several factors could be impacting the shift in housing trends including the strength of the national economy. But how do you feel about the influence that television has on this trend?

When’s the last time you watched HGTV? Have you noticed the size of homes on their shows? We’ve definitely noticed the dining tables that seat 12 people! We’ve also noted that new census data shows that the median square footage of new homes is up 20 percent since 2000, from about 2,000 square feet to about 2,500 square feet. Add to that the shift in how homes are designed, with a nod to larger, open spaces. Gone are the days of rigid, closed-off eating spaces or television rooms.

What about you? Does size matter?

Check out Investopedia's thoughts: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/111715/5-reasons-retirees-are-upsizing-instead-downsizing-their-homes.asp


Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties
Posted by Roberta Watson on October 30th, 2018 2:05 PM


Investing without a return can burn! Good thing we’ve found a list of four types of renovations that are better left undone, including a study that the National Association of Realtors came out with on the different characteristics that increase and decrease the price of new housing.

We do take this list with a grain of salt since we are such a unique community; heck, most of the time we set and follow our own trends. However, according to Andrew at BiggerPockets, four things to add to your “Thou Shalt Not” list when it comes to rehabbing your properties include: Fixing a Property Up Too Nicely, Awkward Additions or Upgrades That Don’t Fit the Property, and Upgrades That Are Mostly Just a Headache.

Of all the information packed into this article, the fact that the National Association of Realtor’s still finds that adding a pool adds a whopping zero percent to the sales price never ceases to shocks us!

Do you believe that a pool adds to a home’s sale price? If so, why?



Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties

Posted by Roberta Watson on October 20th, 2018 10:17 AM

We love The Lighter Side of Real Estate for a little comic relief in our line of work. However, sometimes they post an article or two we find to be pretty interesting, especially when concepts are related to our unique community’s real estate market.

Take this article for example: 4 Reasons You Should Sell Your Starter Home Right Now.

With the off-season coming to a close, inventory in Ocean Reef has disappeared and prices are about to peak as we approach our in-season hustle. Interest rates are at an all time low, and while Ocean Reef is not known for their inventory of less-than-luxury homes, it is time to trade up. So if you’ve ever had any inkling of desire to spread your wings, it’s time to take action.

Here at Watson Luxury Properties, a member owned, family operated firm at Ocean Reef, we specialize in superior customer service and the one-on-one relationship you can expect from a small business. We absolutely pride ourselves in making the buying or selling of a home a stress-free and enjoyable process for our clients. If you’re ready to upgrade (or downsize), we’re a pleasant phone call away!


Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties
Posted by Roberta Watson on October 5th, 2018 9:53 PM
Did you know that Christina Watson and Samantha Ochoa, both proud Sales Associates at Watson Luxury Properties, are also members of our community’s Academy PTO Board? Christina, President, and Samantha, Treasurer, each have two children that attend the Academy.

  

The Academy at Ocean Reef (located right next to the Member Fitness Center) is a coeducational independent school dedicated to providing the highest quality of education; and home to some truly gifted children that are going to take the world by storm someday.
Now that school is back in session Christina and Samantha have something to ask you:

Do you have a gift to share?

The Academy PTO is looking for talented speakers to visit our school, shake up the classrooms, and INSPIRE our PK-8th grade students. Ocean Reef is home to some of the smartest, most accomplished people on the planet who have graduated with honors, won awards, started companies, followed their dreams and achieved goals many have never dared try one’s hand at! (Oh, don’t be modest. We see you.)

So, what is your life's greatest achievement?  Want to share it with some eager listeners?  We've already got a geologist lined up (can you say VOLCANOES?) and we are looking for a few more.

If you are interested, please contact Christina or Samantha ASAP so they may get you in the lineup. The kids would love to hear from you.

Email: ptoacademyator@gmail.com
Christina’s Cell: 410-599-1550
Samantha’s Cell: 305-910-5296

Posted by Roberta Watson on September 27th, 2018 12:57 PM
We are enjoying the company of dozens of refugees from the Carolinas. None of them have received news about possible damage but they obeyed their governor and got out of the way.

Our anniversary of Irmageddon striking our island chain was Monday, September 10th, and you can bet we are prayin' for leniency for our neighbors in the Carolinas. It wasn't so long ago that we were picking up debris amidst the smell of dehydrated salted sea life.

Actually, according to our county annual report, 2.5M cubic yards of debris, including 22,000 flooded appliances, were removed from the Fabulous Florida Keys. The largest number of damaged homes was in a stretch from Marathon to Big Pine Key. 1,200 homes were destroyed, 3,000 had major damage and 5,400 had minor damage. (Not including mobile homes). 1,600 boats sustained damage or sunk. 1,100 cubic yards of debris was pulled out of the canals in the Keys. That project is still ongoing a year later.

"Hurricane Irma" was the number 1 searched google topic nationally and globally in 2017.  As Hurricane Florence is likely to be in 2018. To donate for Florence Relief you can text Florence to 90999 or click here to visit the Red Cross' website. Other links: The Weather Channel: Catastrophic Flood Threat Increases This Weekend as Florence Slowly Tracks Across the Carolinas, Appalachia CNN: Florence pummels the Carolinas The New York Times: Hurricane Florence Live Updates The Wall Street Journal: Tropical Storm Florence: Live Updates

Live the luxury island life ????


Bobbie Watson, Owner, Broker, Realtor
Watson Luxury Properties
Posted by Roberta Watson on September 15th, 2018 9:11 AM



With Hurricane Irma’s first anniversary looming, we can’t help ourselves but to remember the devastation Ocean Reef and the Florida Keys experienced with Irma’s impact on September 10th. Irma was the fifth-costliest tropical cyclone on record at $64.76 billion. Those with adequate insurance coverage for their damages were truly blessed.

Recently, we were lucky enough to meet with Meg Dieppa and Cheryl Lyons of MARSH here at Watson Luxury Properties to freshen up on our insurance IQ. Apparently, we can’t navigate the world of insurance without professional help, and we aren’t afraid to admit it! We do notice that many home buyers here at Ocean Reef typically call up their insurance brokers in other states to add their new piece of paradise to their existing policy or bundle. Which we always thought to be very efficient. However, I’m sure you knew this already, Florida is a wacky state (in more ways than just insurance), which is why we now recommend to our clients to give MARSH a call and request a free review of all your policies from this state’s experts. Plus, MARSH, now recognized as the largest broker in the world, is also a member of our Ocean Reef Chamber of Commerce!

The most noteworthy information we got out of the whole meeting, was that they are salaried employees. Yes, that’s right, the policies they write for you are not commissioned. So you can trust that they are truly in this to help you (there isn't just dollar signs in their eyes). They love what they do, and they are darn good at fitting all the puzzle pieces together.

Other Links:

Email Meg Dieppa here.
Email Cheryl Lyons here.
Check out their Brochure here.

Forbes: Hurricane Insurance: Is It Important? Why Do You Need It?

WSJ: As Hurricane Season Arrives, U.S. Homeowners Haven’t Fixed Their Big Underinsurance Problem

 

Posted by Roberta Watson on September 8th, 2018 7:41 AM

Am I the only one that feels like summer temperatures have been hotter than usual? And there’s nothing like feeling hot and uncomfortable to allow yourself to complain just a little. Especially when frizzy hair and armpit stains aren’t the only things to be annoyed about; think: bugs, burned feet, expensive power bills and brown grass.

   

While here at Ocean Reef, we are lucky enough to enjoy the most beautiful swimming pools (including that to-die-for infinity pool) and refreshing ocean breezes to combat the warmth, here we’ve found a fun article about how to nix 9 irritating things about the summer heat; and some of them are surprisingly simple (I’m all about the backyard water feature).

While the first day of Fall is approaching, I’m not sure we’ll be seeing cooler temperatures anytime soon. Enjoy your flip flops, burgee caps and tropical drinks, it’s the dog days of summer.


Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties

Posted by Roberta Watson on August 31st, 2018 9:52 AM

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids technology-free! Hard to believe, right? I mean, the two biggest technology moguls in our country were strict about the use of technology in their homes? Believe it.



Recently, our LinkedIn feed has been filled with articles about the physical effects of spending too much time on our phones, the damage blue light can do to your eyes, and how inactive our younger generation is – spending 7.5 hours daily in front of a screen! SCARY! Real Estate Agents particularly, know what it’s like to be constantly refreshing their MLS sites, following up with leads via email and text, and scouring the internet to keep up with real estate news and trends.

Now, I know it seems silly that this topic inspired a blog post, because, well, I typed this as I stared at my computer screen, and I only came across all this data on screen-time because I was scrolling in my LinkedIn app, but that’s the terrifying part! I bet there isn’t one person reading this that doesn’t feel they spend too much time in front of one screen or another.

The easiest ways we’ve learned to reduce daily screen time can be found right here. My personal favorites include: no screen time while eating, and setting a timer. Yes, a timer; seriously, I can get sucked into my Instagram feed and not come up for air until I’ve realized I’ve lost 30 minutes of my day!

Leave a comment below to share your tips on breaking the habit!

Other Links:

Business Insider's article on Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ tech-free kiddos

WebMD tips we like on how to reduce kids screen time


Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties

Posted by Roberta Watson on August 24th, 2018 9:55 AM

Thinking of putting your home up on the market?

Wanting to sell quickly and at your asking price?

Besides the obvious: you should list with our office; you may ask: “Is home-staging really that impor…” “YES!” (Sorry to cut you off.)

You can find tried and true staging tips all over the internet, but the most important tip, in my little ‘ol opinion, is DECLUTTERING. All the clutter must go and no one ever said it will be easy. Your style may not be the style of everyone else; and decluttering allows your space to look BIGGER. Yes, BIGGER, and cleaner, and more appealing. Here we’ve found 21 helpful staging tips from Houzz to get you started.

Now let’s rewind. Decluttering does not mean EMPTY! (I know. I know. There is a fine balance in staging for a sale. It’s not fair.) So what do you do if your home is unoccupied and bare? Fill it!

Here we bring you a little #TBT when we were asked to sell an empty home earlier this year. Brand new furniture was whisked in from John Rudolph Designs and the buyer even had the option to purchase all or some of the pieces!

    

What are your thoughts? Does staging really make a difference?


Samantha Ochoa, Sales Associate
Watson Luxury Properties

Posted in:Tips and tagged: tipsstagestagingdeclutter
Posted by Roberta Watson on August 17th, 2018 8:59 AM