Laura & Tana new
Laura Cole & Tana Gaskill
   561.758.8625             561.389.6838
      Illustrated Properties
Newsletter                            February, 2016


Mid- February, we are not sure where the time goes but we are having fun!  Friends and family have been visiting and our activities list grows longer and longer.  With so many choices for all interests, its hard to schedule it all in.

We never write about what we have not experienced so Tana reports back from the Keys, her most favorite Florida escape.  Be sure to read her excellent review of her getaway to the Amara Cay Resort with a few of her restaurant recommendations thrown in.  Go get your toes in some sand!

Happy Valentine's Day.
Laura & Tana

Featured Property
217 Coral Cay Terrace

Move right in to this bright, up-to-date home in a private garden setting for a lush corner of paradise. Available with a rare social membership, features include 3 bedrooms plus an office area, 3 full baths and a separate laundry room. The open kitchen/dining room has granite counter tops, a breakfast bar, loads of cabinets with pull out drawers and newer stainless steel appliances. Plantation shutters, a contemporary open floor plan, a total water filtration system, accordion hurricane shutters and a new roof in 2012 are just a few of the upgrades.  Extremely attractive designer furnishings are negotiable. This property is also available turnkey to enjoy the 2016 season in style!  The heated neighborhood pool is just a short stroll away.  Enjoy all the fabulous BallenIsles amenities and superb location at a very affordable price!  Plus you can purchase a BallenIsles Social membership ($60,000). Other membership levels available.


Great Escapes 
Amara Cay Resort - by Tana Gaskill 
If you are thinking about taking a trip to the Florida Keys, I would recommend the Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada.   A quick two and a half drive down I-95 or the Florida Turnpike to Florida City where you run into US 1 "aka the Overseas Highway" and enjoy water and island views as you drive to Mile Marker 80. (That's a code in the keys for addresses.)  Actual address is 80001, which means it is 80 miles from the Southernmost Point in Key West (Mile Marker 1).  This was previously a Hampton Inn & Suites that was totally renovated to an upscale 110 room hotel with modern décor on the ocean side.  Very kid friendly with the beach area and playground as well as adult friendly with the Tiki Pool Bar for afternoon lounging and free shuttle service within five miles for your convenience.  We were fortunate to get a Saturday night room over Labor Day Weekend for $162 + tax +++.  We have been going to the Keys for years and prices vary with the best prices in the summer.  It's the allure of the Islands with an easy going lifestyle that makes it worth the trip.  

We rented a boat at Whale Harbor (Mile Marker 83.3) for Saturday afternoon to go snorkeling and ate our lunch at Wahoo's, the restaurant overlooking the marina and ocean.  If you stop there to eat, I would recommend the fish tacos.  There are numerous hotels and marinas in the area to rent jet skis, boats, paddleboards and take dive tours.  

Amara Cay had a very nice restaurant.   However, our favorite place to stop every time we go down to any of the Keys is Lorelei's (Mile Marker 82 on the Bayside).  Outside dining on the bay, with good fish menu, rum drinks and beer.  We had dinner there and the sunset was beautiful.   

If you live in South Florida, you need to make a trip the Keys at least once.  If you have the time you should try to go to Key West.  It is an extra 80 miles from Islamorada, but like going to Disney World for adults.  If you enjoy the sound of the surf, never having to dress up or answer your cell phone and can relax while waiting for service the Keys might be the trip for you.
Amara Cay Resort
80001 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, FL 33036


BallenIsles Sales

Don't be fooled by the quiet month of January with only 3 properties reported as closed sales.  The BallenIsles real estate market is quite healthy with inventory now down to only 66 properties for sale and a whopping 10 pending sales.  By the way, a pending sale is a property under contract but not yet closed.  There are probably several more pending sales in the pipeline that are not yet reported in the MLS as well.  We look forward to a continued active year with strong prices and sales.  If you are thinking of making a change, call us.  We will give you a confidential assessment of your possible options and a road map to making it happen.  Your timing is perfect!
    SOLD $
    ORIG. $

*This representation is based on data supplied by the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches or its Multiple Listing Services thru 02/07/16.     
Laura Cole & Tana Gaskill
561.758.8625      561.389.6838

Real Service... Real Results