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Thursday, January 25, 2007

U.S. Coast Guard - Key West Style

The U.S. Coast Guard - Key West Style

"What do 'coasties' have to do with real estate?", you ask.

Well they are a big part of the life in Key West. Their job is being part of Homeland Security and doing life saving chores, drug interdiction, port protection, and so on.

Many of the people live off base. So they compete for housing just like all of the waiters, bartenders, fishermen, shopkeepers, construction workers, etc. that compete for short term housing. A single guardsman with no dependants ranked E-2 gets $1452 to pay housing and utilities. Since most one bedroom apartments in Key West go for $1200 or more per month with the tenant paying all utilities. That can amount to an additional $200 to $300 per month in some cases.

Those high prices create the need for roommate situations. A two bed, two bath apartment, condo, or home will typically rent from $1800 per month and up plus utilities in most instances. Old Town housing is the most expensive. Properties with a pool, on-site laundry, off-street parking, or other amenities usually rent the quickest and at the highest price. The less expensive properties are typically located in the mid-town area (east of White Street to Kennedy Drive). The price differential is not all that great, however.

I advise investors who have apartments or homes they want to rent on a long term basis to try to rent to servicemen. As a rule these service men and women make superb tenants. They are neat, clean, obey the law, and pay their rent on time each month.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.