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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Knock, Knock!

Expect the unexpected if you are looking to buy a place in Key West. And I'm not referring to prices or structural problems. Here are some examples of what you may encounter when you look at property. All examples are true.

Newton Street Station was an all male guest house located in the Meadows Area of Key West. I mentioned to an agent in my office that I was going to show it. She told me to warn my customers to expect to see the manager open the door and assist in showing the property in the nude. She was serious. So I told my customers. They were gay and took it in stride. And I showed it several more times to gay and straight buyers. The guy was always nude. I had a listing on another guest house and was showing it when the buyers' agent mentioned he was going to show Newton Street Station next. I warned him about the naked manager. A few days later he saw me and thanked me. He had warned his straight Midwest couple and they took it is stride.

I remember showing a little cottage home owned by two older gay men in the Meadows Area. It looked as if every single foot of the house had a picture of a naked man or a sculpture of the male form. Each of the tiny rooms was filled with male art. The listing agent finally convinced the owners to remove some of the art so that potential buyers could see beyond the clutter. He told me he removed boxes and boxes of it. I showed the same house about a year ago and remember never having seen that the house was in such bad condition.

A guy I knew from my gym asked me to discuss listing his condo. When I walked into his living room the first thing I saw was a huge oil painting of him in the nude. I suggested that he remove it so that buyers would focus on the room rather than on his body.

A couple of weeks ago another agent was showing my clients and me around his listing in Bahama Village. The house is tenant occupied so we had to look in the late afternoon. One girl was still asleep in one bedroom. (That happens many times.) The agent knocked on the other bedroom door. No answer so we went inside and looked around and talked for at least two minutes. Then he opened the door to the bathroom. The startled European boy had just gotten out of the shower. Oops.

If you are looking at a house or apartment that is inhabited by long time locals you will probably see Fantasy Fest beads and cute photos that adorn the walls. And every once in a while you may find some awfully large sized stilettos and wigs.

If you are looking for a home in the Old Town area of Key West CLICK HERE to checkout several homes priced under $999,000. Several are under $600,000. The market is in a state of flux right now and sellers are anxious to sell. You might find something you actually like and want to buy. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at to take a look. I'll be sure to Knock three times before we enter.

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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.