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Monday, March 12, 2007

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda!

I Could Have. I Should Have. I Wish I Would Have!

Everybody has to have made a comment like that. But lots of folks make those comments all the time when they talk about buying property in Key West. Me included.

A couple of weeks ago some former customers who make at least one annual trek to Key West visited me at an Open House I was hosting at the Sea Isla Townhomes. They live in Connecticut and have four children that are matriculating through college. Their goal has been to get the kids through school, sell an investment property that they own in Connecticut and buy a second home in Key West.

About six years ago we looked at two adjacent houses in the 1000 block of Fleming Street. (One of the best blocks in town.) The houses had been hideously and cheaply redone a few years earlier, and needed some revamping. Her father had been a builder, so she was familiar with construction and saw the potential in the location and the properties in particular. But the money issues prevented them from investing in the project. Somebody else bought the properties and did an "over-the-top" redesign of the property. CLICK HERE to see what the property looks like today. It is offered at $4,395,000. In 2001 it sold for $660,000. The present owner did not put $3.8 million into improvements. But he did create real value by designing a very special property.

Not all stories play out like this one. Most people have fairly simple goals. They lay in a hammock on their guest house porch and dream about what it would be like to own a home or business in Key West. They may even go talk with a Realtor and pretend they intend to buy a house. They may even go so far as to write an offer to buy a house. But so many potential buyers find a reason to not do the deal.

Three years ago houses were selling like hot cakes in Key West. The demand was insatiable. Today, it is the exact reverse. Prices are down. Demand is down even more. I am even thinking of buying another property because I know that if I don't, some day I will say I Coulda, Shoulda,Woulda!

It's official: Now's the time to buy

CLICK HERE to read the full text of a just released study from the University of Florida advising hopeful homebuyers in Florida should act now: The price is right as the state’s single-family residential housing market bottoms out, according to a University of Florida study released March 9th.

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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.