Sunday, March 18, 2012

Florida Keys offer private islands, but finding buyers isn’t always easy


For $12 million, you can purchase outright one of the few availalbe private islands in the world: East Sister Rock Island in the Florida Keys.
The Miami Herald reported that Bob Williford listed his 1.4 acre estate — with a 5,184-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home and a one-bedroom guest house — late last year.
The island, a three minute boat ride from Marathon, is one of just 550 private islands for sale around the world, and only 60 percent are available to purchase, with the remainder selling leaseholds. Eight of those Islands are available in the keys, with sizes ranging from just a quarter of an acre to a 14.5-acre spread comprising four islands in the Lower Keys, asking $18.5 million.
Despite the exclusivity and bragging rights a private island offers, the Herald noted that they are relatively difficult to sell. Brokers have put pull a series of strings to get potential buyers out to the island, and the inaccessibility can ultimately be a turnoff. In fact, eight private islands in the Keys sold for more than $1 million in the last decade.
Williford bought his island for $715,000 in 1995 and it is now appraised for slightly more than $1 million.

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