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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pitch a Tent in Key West

So you have some money that you want to use to buy a property in Key West. You have read that the market is down, and you have decided that now is the time to pitch a tent in Key West. That's me in the photo to the right. I pitched my tent near Rifle,Colorado in 1997. Never heard of Rifle? It's on Interstate 70 between Vail and Grand Junction. It is actually very pretty. If you do a quick Internet search you will see that property values there, though less on the low-end, are proportional to Key West prices for mid-range properties.

Take the pretty as a picture cabin in East Rifle (other photo to the right). It is listed at $950,000, but that includes Pond! One bedroom one bath mother-in-law apartment with single car garage. 8 acre shares of Silt Project Water. Inclusions - 2 stoves, 2 refrigerators, 2 dishwashers, 2 microwaves, window coverings, leather couch, bar and keg in family room. Exclusions - Sellers personal property, 2 freezers in garage, hay in barn, dumpster and 2 grain bins.

But if you look at the cozy little 3 bed, 2 bath fixer-upper in the town of Rifle priced at $240,000 you'll see that fixer-upper isn't that much of a better deal than a Key West fixer-upper, especially since it is located in the boonies.

Now one could say that Key West is at the end of the road, and they would be right. You don't just happen upon Key West by accident. Well, I guess you could be driving and make a wrong turn in Homestead and end up here. But that is doubtful. No, people come here on purpose: to have fun and enjoy the weather and the easy-going lifestyle.

I did a quick search of the Key West mls database and came up with a list of single family homes priced under $1,100,000 in the Old Town area. Take a look and see if one interests you enough to decide to pitch your tent in Key West. I included a couple of "affordable" properties as well as a couple of homes that are what just about every second home buyer dreams about when they conger up what their Key West home should look like. The issue is not being able to find the right property, but it is rather finding the right property at the right price. No matter how much you want a property, even in a down market, you must pay the price. As a buyer you cannot just wait for the price to drop to your comfort level. Your expectation of price and value must be grounded upon a rational basis.

CLICK HERE to do your own personal search of home in Key West. If you see something you like please give me (Gary Thomas) a phone call at 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. Or contact me by e-mail at If all else fails and you can't find a home at the right price perhaps you can pitch your tent at Boyd's Campground on Stock Island.

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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.