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Friday, January 25, 2008

627 Southard Street Old Town Key West, Fl

Just Listed: 627 Southard Street Old Town, Key West, Fl. This 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath has 2590 sq.ft of living space and is situated on a 3497 sq ft lot at one of the best locations in Old Town. The property is offered at $1,500,000 or $580 per sq ft. CLICK HERE for more info.

The house next door at 631 Southard Street sold in April 2006 for $2,250,000. CLICK HERE TO SEE PIC. That house was a superb renovation. It was originally priced at $3 million and eventually sold far below its true value I believe. I had a client submit an offer of $2.7 million cash which the seller turned down.

Just across the street at the corner of Elizabeth & Southard is another splendid house that is only 13 years old, so it is not a renovation. It was likewise price at $3 million and did sell at $2,680,000. CLICK HERE FOR PIC. This is a great home in a great location and has been featured in many publications.

I mention the surrounding homes because they reaffirm the value of this location. The house at 627 Southard is classic Key West Greek Revival architecture. The lines are beautiful. The architectural details are not visible from the photos, however.

The listing agent describes the property this way: "Distress sale! Bank says bring all offers. Best location in Old Town! Second floor completely remodeled - top of the line. All new foundation and sills. New central air two zoned central air. First floor ready to be finished. Complete set of plans available, including plans for third floor apartment. This is a potential short sale that may be subject to third party approval." The owner purchased the property in 2005 for $575,000. There is a $1,350,000 loan. I do not know the extent of the renovations and how much it will cost to complete the house. But that figure will surely weigh on any potential purchaser's mind. And the present lender will have to take the costs to make the property habitable into consideration when it evaluates any offers. I think this house is one of those buying opportunities some people dream about.

This property is a major risk-reward situation. The risk is buying in this devalued market and taking on a renovation project. The reward comes when the market bounces back because the house itself has the bones and location to justify the work necessary to revitalize the property. The construction business is way down right now in Key West and I think a well financed homeowner may be able to hire a good contractor at a good price.

My comments are based on suppositions I know. But this is a killer house in a killer location. Somebody will buy it. Time, price, and terms are the variables that will make up this deal. There are current comps a couple blocks east on Southard that could support a substantially lower offering price.

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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.