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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

upside downside

It's that time again to report on real estate sales in Key West. During the month of August 2008 there were 13 single family (and duplex) sales in Key West. The least expensive house sold for only $325,000. The median sale was $530,000. And the top sale was the old Thompson Estate at 1411 South Street. It has been on the market for several years and has been listed by several different Realtors. It was once priced at over $7,000,000. It sold for $3,312,500. That house was a hard sell because of the asking price and its location (not near Old Town and in an area that flooded during Wilma). The lot was huge and the house was "eclectic".

The interesting thing about the August sales was the continued strength of Old Town and Casa Marina areas as the place to buy real value. The lower end sales continued to be the Mid Town and New Town areas. For buyers looking to buy an inexpensive house, the Mid Town and New Town areas offer some deals. But the value deals (quality, location, upside potential when the market returns) continues to be Old Town followed by Casa Marina. CLICK HERE to see each single family house sale for yourself.

For you readers that pay attention to what I wrote and how some sales actually panned out, the bank foreclosure at 1310 Olivia Street that started out at $699,000 sold for $530,000. That house is in the Meadows area, has a pool and off-street parking. It looked a little dingy or forlorn, but elbow grease and paint will make it all nice again I am sure. A couple of weeks ago I remarked about 1117 Royal Street. I liked that house at that price but not that location. Very good price for the house in my opinion. I wrote about 1307 Royal Street a couple of months back. It is a very nice house with a full guest cottage and a valuable transient license. It was listed at $1,200,000 and sold for $967,500. The location is near Old Town, but definitely not in Old Town. That hurt the price I think. I drove several prospective buyers by the property and nobody wanted to set up a showing. And then there is 1113 Watson. My little listing from hell. It was supposed to be an easy sale, but turned into a difficult deal indeed. It finally sold and everyone lived happily ever after.

There were just ten condo and townhome sales during August. The cheapest unit went for only $210,500. The median sold for $302,500. And the most expensive sold for a mere $700,000. The most expensive sale was a two story unit at Gulfside. It was originally priced at $1,270,000 when listed on January 4, 2007. Ouch!

As of today there are 122 residential (single family, condo, town home, duplex) listed as contingent or pending. Most of these properties are in the short sale process. Short sales rule in Key West. They do not necessarily take a short time to close. Some take a near eternity: case in point a closing that occured last week has been under short sale approval process since September 2007. Ouch again!

For you non-believers here is a New Listing of a True Key West Landmark. 616 Eaton Street in the very heart of the historic district was just listed for $5,500,000. SEE PHOTO TO THE RIGHT. The house is noted for its simple but eloquent architecture and its lack of paint. I've heard many people say something to the effect that the house could look good if the owner would only paint it. Yeah, but would it look better? CLICK HERE for more detailed information and two photos. The owner has very strict rules about showings, so unless you can show proof of ability to purchase this place, your only looks are from the Internet or the street. By the way 616 Eaton is priced at $2,266 per sq ft.

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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.