Sugarloaf Key is divided into two very different sections, Upper Sugarloaf and Lower Sugarloaf. The Sugarloaf School is on Upper Sugarloaf. It accommodates students from the Lower Keys from kindergarten up until 8th grade. After that, they go to either Key West High School or Marathon High School depending on which Island (Key) they live on. The homes on Upper Sugarloaf Key are mostly dry lot houses with a few canals. They are primarily owned or rented by workforce people. Many of them are occupied by Teachers at Sugarloaf School or families who want to be close to the school. The dry lot houses on Upper Sugarloaf range from $450,000 up to $600,000. Canal homes will be priced from $550,000 to $700,000. There is the occasional open water lot home on Upper Sugarloaf that will sell close to $1,000,000. The biggest negative of Upper Sugarloaf Key is that most of the homes are in what is called the “VE Flood Zone” which makes flood insurance very expensive. Just remember, VE = Very Expensive. People who do not carry a mortgage and live in the VE Flood Zone usually will not carry Flood Insurance and take the risk. If they have a flood every 5 years or so the damage will very rarely exceed 5 years of Flood Insurance in a VE Flood Zone. Also, anyone holding a mortgage must have Flood Insurance. Most members in the workforce are not in a position to pay cash for a house anywhere in the Florida Keys. The VE Flood Zone will also hurt your resale because, again, people who buy on Upper Sugarloaf will most likely have a mortgage. Most buyers who hold a mortgage don’t buy based on the price of the home. They buy based on how much they will need to write a check for each month to own this home. If your Flood Insurance is $8,000 a month as opposed to the $1,500ish in the AE Flood Zone that is a difference of $541.67 a month it costs to own the home. I cannot stress enough, stay away from the VE Flood Zone unless you’re paying cash and it is going to be your forever home.
Lower Sugarloaf to Upper Sugarloaf is comparing apples to oranges. Lower Sugarloaf is one of the most desirable islands and one of the most expensive areas of the Lower Keys. I would compare it to Summerland Key or Cudjoe Gardens. Pretty well all of the homes on Lower Sugarloaf are either canal lots or open water lots. The lots are much larger than most of the Lower Keys allowing for bigger houses and more privacy. The canals are much wider than most of the Lower Keys and flow through from the ocean with culverts under the road which gives constant water movement making the canals cleaner. Lower Sugarloaf is also about a 15-minute car ride to Key West. The one negative of Lower Sugarloaf is it does not offer deep water boating but can still handle most outboard motorboats up to 30’ which is bigger than most of the Lower Keys residents own. However, Lower Sugarloaf offers the most direct shot to the Back Country where some of the best flats fishing in America are, and several uninhabited Islands with great sandy beaches where you can just pull your boat up for a day of Island hopping. Most of the homes in Lower Sugarloaf are second homes, retirement homes, or investment homes. The canal lot homes will range from $800,000 on the low end up to $1,500,000 on the high end. The open water lot homes will sell from $1,250,000 on the very low end up to over $3,000,000 on the high end.