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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cheap Seats

One of the good things to occur as a result of the downturn in the real estate market in Key West is that single family homes in Old Town are more affordable. I just did a search of homes priced under $600,000. CLICK HERE to view the details on the homes. I used the strict criteria as to boundary lines: Duval East to White and Truman North to the Gulf of Mexico. No Bahama Village, Meadows or quasi-Casa Marina.

There are six homes that made the cut. The least expensive is a 1 bed, 1 bath 594 sq ft home priced at$450,000. The median home is a 3bed, 1 bath with 717 sq ft priced at $539,000. The most expensive is a 3bed, 2 bath with 1,638 sq ft priced at $599,900.

The house at 405 Frances needs lots of work. It is located across the street from a guest house, and it is just off Eaton Street. At $296 per sq ft it may seem a bargain to some. I think the price is still too high given the negatives.

I previously wrote about 730 Passover Lane. It is a cute little cottage just off the Key West Cemetery. It is priced at $1010 per sq ft. There is no pool and no room for a pool. It doesn't have off street parking, but that is not an issue since parking is not a problem given the location. I like the location, but the market does not.

630 Olivia Street is a cute cigar maker's cottage with a good sized backyard that has been updated. It is priced at $838 per sq ft. There is room for a pool. It is two blocks off Duval and the neighborhood is a mix of high and low priced properties. The house is situated on a one way street that is mostly used by locals. There are some absolutely charming homes in the area, but the area has never performed as well as other parts of Old Town as far as sales go.

The house at 5 Hunts Lane is priced at $499,000 or $412 per sq ft. Cheap yes, deal no. House needs lots of work. I love lane life, but this is a walking lane meaning you cannot drive your can down it to unpack groceries, etc. Everything you do in life has to be carted from some other location to the house. So your cost to remodel will be higher than other locations. There is no room for a pool so whatever outside life you want will be diminished.

527 Bahama Street is another problem property. It was tremendously overpriced when I showed it 3 years ago. You are basically buying the right to spend a fortune of renovate a small house on a 744 sq ft lot. Not a lot of space. And the location is worse. The house is basically adjacent to the downtown Faustos' parking lot.

Then there is 1116 Eaton Street. It is the little charmer located across the street from Strunk Ace Hardware. Price reduced to $450,000 or $670 per sq ft. And it is listed below appraised value. Cute 2 bedroom 1 bath Conch house with heated swimming pool. Perfect Key West retreat in Old Town. This little cottage has a rooftop sunning deck to get that perfect tan! The house did flood during Wilma.

At least two of the above properties are in or near foreclosure so there may be some flexibility on pricing. I know you can buy a bigger house in better condition in some other location. But then you would not be buying that house in Key West.

The weather here is absolutely wonderful right now. The days are warm but not horrible. The nights are cool, but not cold. The trees that flower are starting to bloom again. The recent rains have made everything come alive. Yes, you can buy cheap seats elsewhere, but who wants to live elsewhere?

You can perform your own search of all Key West homes by CLICKING HERE to search the Key West mls real estate listings. If you see something that strikes your fancy, please call Gary Thomas at 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing.

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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.