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Friday, July 25, 2008

Shipyard Units -- Key West

The Shipyard Condominiums in Truman Annex have become favorite entry level properties for second home purchasers in Key West.
Although the units were almost identical when constructed in the early 1990s, many have been remodeled or updated to accommodate usage as vacation rentals.

I created a list of the units available CLICK HERE. The list shows the size, amenities, price, and price per sq ft so that prospective buyers can make a quick comparison between the different properties.

Some of the units have a transient rental license that permits the rental of the unit on a daily basis as permitted by a newly adopted City Ordinance. But other units do not have that license. So if you are looking to purchase a unit that can be legally rented on a daily basis, pay careful attention to the details on each unit.

Several of the units are offered as possible short sales. A short sale occurs when a lender (bank or mortgage company) allows the property to be sold for less than the remaining balance on the mortgage loan. The asking price may be subject to negotiation and there is no assurance the lender will agree to accept any sum less than the total owed on the mortgage. But since there are so many properties in foreclosure across the nation, prospective buyers may want to consider purchasing such a property on the chance that they may buy the property at a somewhat discounted value. (Not all properties are shown to the public as short sales. So it may be necessary to consult with a Realtor to determine whether any particular unit is offered as a short sale.)

One particular condo you might want to consider is unit no. 194 which is located in the southeast corner of the development near the corner of Thomas and Petronia Streets. This unit was just reduced in price from $539,000 to $499,000 and it is offered fully furnished. The furnishings are especially nice. According to the listing agent, this ground floor unit has a good rental history. It does have the valuable transient rental license. CLICK HERE for additional info on unit no. 194.

I would caution any buyer of a condominium or town home in Key West or anywhere else to review the condo docs and the home owner association budget to make sure the association is well capitalized and able to carry out business functions in the future without the imposition of any special assessments. I am not suggesting that Shipyard or any other association is in financial danger. But I am saying buyers need to investigate the fiscal stability of any project in which they may become an owner.

If you want to see any of the units listed here, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at


Anonymous said...

Thr Captain says:

Props to you Gary for pointing out that ANYONE who purchases a unit in ANY condo association must do their own due diligence to ensure that they won't get stuck with special assessments, etc.
While "bottom feeders" may think they are getting a "deal" the reality may be otherwise. Caveat emptor.

Captain out.

Anonymous said...

The Captain adds:

At $700 to $1,000 per sq ft, these condos are going nowhere. NOWHERE!

Really Gary, who cares if it is furnished. Unit 194 has been on the market over 3 months. I guess compared to unit 270 (672 DOM) and Richard and Nanette Martin's condo (no unit # given) an umbelievable 912 days on the market it is not that bad. But where are the brokers who are dutybound to advise their clients about the reality of today's market conditions. These units are not priced to sell, they are priced to sit. And sit they will.

Captain out.

Gary Thomas said...

Over 10% of the units at Shipyard are for sale.

In 2004 and 2005 there was a waiting list of buyers anxious to buy.

Now there is an over-supply of units for sale.

That does not mean Shipyard has lost its allure as a good place to buy a starter home that can earn some money to help pay for its purchase.

The units that are selling are being discounted. There have only been six closings since January 1st. The least expensive unit went for $445,000 (604 sq ft), the median unit went for $472,500 (681 sq ft) and the most expensive went for $510,000. It was a unique unit based on construction style. And it just closed on July 10th.

The reason I suggested buyers look at Shipyard is that there is too much inventory and not enough buyers. I think prices are still too high and that there are deals to be made. Either that, or some of these sellers may not be owners if the short sales turn into foreclosures.

Tough times make for tough offers. I would not suggest any particular unit to compare to unit no. 194, but some listed are dogs by comparison. They have been used and abused by too many tourists. But that abuse somewhat proves what I wrote about their popularity and their possibility as an investment that will help pay for itself.

There are better priced individual condos located in Old Town, but they are not located as well as Shipyard or they may not have the amenities that Shipyard offers.

People staying at Shipyard can pack a lunch and walk to Ft. Zach beach for the day. Shipyard has what tourists want and it is "affordable" for second home buyers.

End of commercial. lol


Digger said...

Very useful information Gary, thanks for that. Captain, I do agree with you, owners of these places and most other properties on the market in KW are dreaming. DREAMING. While there are many good reasons why real estate on the island should be expensive, there is no way anyone can justify the ridiculous premiums we now see in KW. Have a look at the type of property you can buy for $500,000 in most resort areas in the U.S. these days (or even $250,000) and explain why anyone would buy in KW right now. Simple fact of the matter is that prices escalated way out of control over the last couple of years in KW and the market just needs to correct itself. Common sense always prevails, eventually.


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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.