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Friday, March 28, 2008

Time Waits for No One.

I have been getting phone calls and e-mails from people who have been reading my little blog. A lot of people have decided that now is the time to start looking at buying something in Key West. Like a lot of Realtors I have been showing properties to potential buyers. And I have tried to impress on prospective purchasers that now is the time to make your best offer. For the most part the prospective purchasers pack their bags and head back home thinking time is on their side and that they can come back to Key West a few months from now and get a better deal. Maybe they can.
But maybe the deal they could have got will be sold by then.

This week several of the properties I have mentioned in my blog and in personal phone calls or emails to potential buyers went under contract. Real estate in Key West isn't like real estate elsewhere. There are some properties that are so unique that, well, they are just that: unique. The unique character could derive from history, construction, location, view, or price. Time waits for no one. Sometimes you get just one shot at buying something unique. Sometimes the misfortune of others makes the opportunity to buy something at a bargain price seem like there must be something wrong with it. So potential buyers hold back and try to over-analyze the deal. And then somebody snaps up the property.

When I worked for the Resolution Trust Corporation in the early 1990's I could not buy any of the real estate that the RTC was selling. A lot of folks back then waited for prices to drop further. The country was in a recession, and people were afraid to commit to long term investment. Those with vision and money that bought from the RTC got to participate in one of the greatest redistributions of wealth in our country's history. And that is what it was: a redistribution of wealth. One group of owners transferred their holdings to another group who bought at a huge discount. The real estate had not lost its intrinsic value. But it had lost its allure.

That same scenario is playing out again, right now, here in Key West. The property being offered is different, however. The bargains are not unfinished subdivisions, or office parks, or hotels, or golf courses. Today's bargains in Key West are homes, condos, and some commercial properties. But there are so many properties on the market that many potential buyers are afraid to commit. And many of the properties that are being aggressively marketed are short sales and foreclosures. The absentee banks and asset managers are getting a little better at responding to offers in a timely fashion. And I think some have a sense of doom and gloom and are making some aggressive business decisions on sales prices. They aren't giving away the farm--yet. But I sense they are responding to good faith offers in a positive manner.

If you snooze, you lose. CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls database. If you see something that looks good, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

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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.