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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Value of Location

Way back in 2003 or 2004 I worked with one of the Key West real estate stars. She had a listing on White Street one half block south of Truman. The house had been totally redone. Three bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, stainless steel appliances, granite, higher end kitchen cabinets, new3/4 inch solid maple wood floors, pool, and off-street parking. It was listed at $595,000. I hosted Open Houses there for weeks and weeks. I got business off the open houses, but no one would buy it. The feed back I got was that the house was great, but prospective buyers did not want to own a house in Bahama Village. I explained that the same house three bocks to the east would cost $300,000 more. And that is where people were buying homes, not in Bahama Village. Finally, the owner furnished the house and reduced the asking price to $500,000 during a rising market. It sold that same week.

My current office had a listing on 908-1 Terry Lane in 2005. That house and the one next door at 908-2 Terry Lane were basically identical. Our listing was priced at $1,850,000. The Historic Key West Lighthouse is located on just the other side of the lane. The lane runs north and south from Truman down to Petronia--two blocks only. Neither house sold and the owners went through a series of real estate agents in attempts to sell the spec houses.

The house at 908-2 Terry Lane just got listed again. Here are the details according to the listing Realtor: Newly constructed home that was built to the most current codes and finished with the finest materials inside and out! The minute that you look around this fantastic Old Town property you will be sure to notice the beautiful oak and slate flooring, top of line kitchen with granite counters, wood cabinets and professional series appliances. Luxury and function prevail throughout this incredible home with many thoughtful details, such as built in Yamo sound system, custom closets, Anderson doors and storm protection with hurricane windows and shutters. Custom built home situated on a quiet Old Town lane in a growing neighborhood that has been undergoing many recent changes and improvements. Walking distance to all that Key West has to offer!

The view from the second floor front balcony of the lighthouse is quite magnificent. The great room and kitchen open onto the pool and the rear garden area. The house has everything a prospectiv homeowner wants in a Key West home. The house is now listed at $995,000 or $711 per sq ft.

This property is now available for almost half of the original asking price back in 2005. If the property is purchased this go around, the buyer will get a very well built home with a terrific view at a good price. The negative aspects of owning a house in Bahama Village are changing. The City of Key West is redeveloping the huge tract of ground west of Truman Annex that was given to the City by the US Navy. That project will take several years to complete, but when it is finished the impact on the immediate area and the entire city ought to be as dramatic as the transformation of the Truman Annex property was 20 years ago.

I think properties in Bahama Village are undervalued. And I think the house at 908-2 Terry Lane is specifically undervalued.

CLICK HERE for more info and photos of the house. Want to see it, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

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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.