Back To Main Page

Explanation of Florida Keys Real Estate Terms

Real estate in the Florida Keys is famous for its rich diversity of architectural styles. Unfortunately, many Realtors oftentimes use terms that are unique to our market and are unfamiliar to potential buyers, who are from outside of the area. Below are definitions for those terms most often used.

"Island Style" or "Conch" Homes Traditional style wood frame structures that are often decorated with ornate wood trim.

CBS Home A concrete block structure typically built at ground level or elevated to comply with the current FEMA guidelines.

House Boats - Houses that are built on a pontoon and are floating, which are usually tied to a dock or in some instances moored.

FEMA - The Federal Emergency Management Administration who regulates flood elevations & insurance premiums.

Bahama House - A house built with pegs, wood fastenings and treenails.

Bahama Shutters - Louvered full panel awnings, made from wood or aluminum, that cover the entire window and offer shade, privacy and storm protection.

Cistern A large masonry storage tank, partially above ground level, used to store rainwater from gutter run-off.

Dade County Pine Old pine lumber harvested from the mainland used in walls, floors, joists, and beams, that when dried becomes very hard and is semi termite proof.

Eyebrow House - A one and a half story home with a slanting roof that partially covers the second story windows.

Four on Four or Six on Six A reference to number of glass panes in double or single hung windows, common in "Conch style" homes.

Gingerbread - Decorative wood trim and grillwork typical to the late 1800s and Victorian style homes.

Shotgun Homes - Cigar maker cottages, with two rooms off a narrow hall ending in a larger room usually the kitchen or dining room.

Scuttles or Scuppers - Small square or rectangular hatches on the roof that were used as outlets for hot air.

Widow's Walk - A square or rectangular platform on roofs that served as a lookout for wrecks and seaman's widows watching for their husband's return.