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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Why is now a great time to Buy in Key West?



Key West Cemetery










How many of you readers were buying tech stocks and every dot.com offering in the year 2000? What happened to your investment?

So many people took a bath when the market took a dive. But then that seems to always happen.

And how many of you readers rue the fact that you failed to buy the Conch Cottage when it was available for less than $100,000 and then $200,000 and later $500,000?

Prices on Conch Cottages and every other type home in Key West on an annual basis from 1993 onward until 2005. The market started to stagnate. Then Hurricane Wilma knocked the entire island for a loop. Prices then started to go down.

What makes a downward price market a "a great time to buy in Key West?" you ask.

Those that missed the opportunity the first time around can profit from their reluctance to part with their money.

I say that current sellers in Key West have 3 1/2 months left of prime selling time. The traditional selling season is Christmas until Easter and it coincides with the tourist season. Most hotels reduce their rates immediately after Easter because the high end tourists stop coming to Key West and we get a more economical crop of vacationers. And those vacationers are usually not looking to buy an expensive second home.

So now is the time for all serious sellers to get real in their pricing. And I think it is happening to some extent. More sellers are reducing their asking price because buyers are refusing to pay. Two years ago almost every home in Old Town was being offered at $1000 per square foot or more. Today, you can buy a nice home in Old Town with a small pool for $599,000 or less. 1110 Petronia Street was originally priced at $749,000 and now is $599,000.

There are numerous nice homes in Old Town priced in the $500-$600 per square foot. There won't be another Key West and they can't grow the existing one any bigger. So I recommend that buyers take advantage of the price slump and buy now. Even if you do not get the house you want for the very lowest price ever, getting the house you want in the location you want is easier now than it has been in years. Buy!

Oh, the reason for the photos of the Key West Cemetery. Some folks shy away from even considering buying a house with a view of the cemetery. I take the contrary opinion. The skies are bright, open and inviting. And the neighbors are quite quiet. No big structure is ever going to be built there to obstruct your view.




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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.