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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Holy Flipper Batman

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the new Santa Maria Condominiums. CLICK HERE to read that blog. I wasn't impressed. I think the project has many flaws and the units are overpriced. I abhor the architecture of the new building. And I think the 40% managemtn fee for condo owners is ridiculous! But that is not the point of today's post.

A top story in today's Key West Citizen discusses a lawsuit filed by seven disgruntled buyers who purchased units at the project prior to or during construction and who now claim the were defrauded by the developer, the real estate company, and three realtors who marketed the project. CLICK HERE to read the article.

"The plaintiffs were assured by the defendants that once the building was under construction, prices would increase dramatically as they were contracting at a bargain price, therefore there would be no issue with the plaintiffs being able to resell their investment contracts to somebody else at a profit," the lawsuit says.

But later in the complaint plaintiffs admit "Plaintiffs ... did not carefully read the agreements, did not get professional advice regarding the agreements and ignored the language and disclaimers in the agreements as they were assured they would never have to close as their contracts would be resold at a higher dollar amount prior to closing."

If we could all only sue someone else for our greed and stupidity. I do not know the facts of their individual cases, but I did get to experience a sales presentation with a customer who was interested in the project. I listened intently as the rep went through the litany of all the things that were promised, but I also heard him say all the things that would cover his backside if things went south. My customer heard only the good stuff, and wanted to buy. He didn't have any money, however, and wanted to borrow the hefty down payment. Seller wasn't in the business of financing down payments so the deal did not get made. My guy didn't have a nickle, but he wanted to participate in the buying frenzy that was going on in late December 2004.

Two and a half years later the would be flippers who did have the money are having to pay up and close on their contracts, or lose their hefty earnest money deposits. I personally know many locals who bought into various projects or existing properties thinking they would hold them and later flip them for a profit. And many of those folk are in deep trouble today. Many.

I personally think now is a good time to buy because prices have taken a major correction downward. That doesn't mean they are going lower. I can't predict the future. But I do think there are some real buying opportunities in Key West. I know that there are several "big deals" in the works. And smart buyers are snapping up good properties. Good is always like gold. Gold may go up and down with the market, but gold will always be gold. And good properties will always be good properties.

CLICK HERE to find your own good property in Key West's mls database. And then call me for more information. 1-877-778-7092.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.