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Monday, March 2, 2009

Invest in Key West

The stock market is probably going to go ape today with word that the United States is going to give AIG another $30 BILLION. Markets in Asia have already burped real bad. The financial news keeps feeding the hysteria and gives credence to the prophets of doom and gloom.

Thirty years ago as we were emerging from our nightmare over South Viet Nam, the ouster of Richard Nixon from the White House, sky rocketing oil prices, inflation, deflation, and stagnation, the county went through a similar economic downturn. What we did not have at that time was 24-hour-a-day news channels and the Internet scarring the beejesus out of us. I'm not saying the economy isn't bad. Back then it was Chrysler that was facing closing down. New York City faced failure in the face. The country responded by building K-cars and painting our appliances harvest gold and avocado green. Chrysler is still making cars and New York City has had its share of ups and downs, but it is still there.

I think there may be some good deals to be had by investing in Key West multiple housing units. I went through the inventory of 3-4 units and selected a few that you may find interesting. A couple of the properties are being offered by the estate of a recently deceased owner. There is at least one short sale in the bunch as well. A couple of the properties are located in really good locations and might be candidates for demolition and rebuilding into a single family home. And there are a couple of workhorses that have years of proven profitability (based on the acquisition cost). CLICK HERE to checkout the list. Most of these properties are lived in by either long term tenants who have lived in the same property for years. A few are apartments for people who rotate through Key West on a seasonal basis. There is always a need for reasonably priced rental properties in good locations. So that is why I think some of the units on the list may be appealing to a buyer looking for an investment property. I am not recommending any one property (or even all of them). I am just providing a list of units that may interest potential real estate investors.

Speaking of investing, I want to mention that Philip Wilson is a fellow Realtor (actually he is an Associate Broker) at Preferred Properties. Phil is a real estate and financial expert with 38 years experience in the private and public sectors specializing i commercial and corporate real estate. Prior to moving to Key West, Phil was the Senior Vice President, Corporate Services for one of the largest international commercial real estate firms. And prior to that, he was a senior executive with the federal government in Washington, D.C. responsible for planning, real estate, design an construction of a nationwide portfolio of 35,000 properties with 300 million square feet, valued in excess of $15 Billion. Phil is an accomplished troubleshooter and problem solver who meets challenges head on.

CLICK HERE to view Preferred Properties commercial properties (for sale or for lease). If you are a buyer or a seller, let Phil and yours truly help you.

If you see a property that interests you, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at Or call Phil Wilson at 305-394-4105 or email Phil at


Anonymous said...

The Captain comments:

Gary, as always I enjoy your blog and like how, with this particular post on multi-unit/commercial, you mix things up.

However, your list of multifamily units has disclosed (knowingly or not) something that has troubled me for some time, that is, the length of time some properties have been on the market. 802 Southard has been on the market (if you can even call it that) an astounding/embarassing 954 days. Close to 3 years. In comparison, 915 Pohalski, 1130 Elgin Lane and 919-921 Southard have only been listed a mere 514 days. 1125 Washington just over a year, 720 Windsor Ln just under a year. Is it unrealistic sellers, incompetent brokers, more stringent lending requirements for commercial use or is it that the multifamily market is even worse than the single family market? My personal opinion is a combination of all of the above, but always of paramount importance is the price. Knock $150-200k off the listing price of each of these properties and maybe there will be some movement. Until then they'll continue to sit.

On a similar note, 910 United (not on your list) has been bank owned for a full year (I have no idea how long it was listed before then as a short sale, do you?). Can you believe the incompetence of that bank (and their agents)that they have had to carry this property (taxes alone over $7k)for that time period. That property should have been unloaded within 90 days. No wonder the banks need a bailout.

Captain out.......

Gary Thomas said...

Captain, 910 United has been on and off the market for over 10 years. The short period of time it was "off" is when someone got a big loan to buy it and start a shoddy re-do. The place is a wreck. But at the right price, that wreck could be a good buy. And, oh yes, I did submit an offer for a cash buyer last year. Not even a counter from the bank.

Southard Street has also been on the market for a few years. It stays rented. The configuration of the property makes it a difficult re-do for someone wanting a pool, especially since you cannot put a pool in your front yard. The mailing address is Southard,but the actual front is on William. I guess a buyer might negotiate a pool, but he'd have to lose part or all of one of the buildings that make up this place.

The personal representative of an estate is trying to sell several multi-family properties. True, they've been on the market for eons, but one special property could be worth a fortune to the right buyer because of its location.

The place on Eaton Street is a constant money maker and has 15 years of solid rental history and records to back up what I say.

I'm not saying to buy at the asking price, Captain. The market has already beat up the sellers. But I think they are expecting another beating before it's finally over.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoy reading many of your stories and info...we are heading down next month and are looking! We want to know what are the best restaurants as many relatives from Europe visit...real seafood and real jerky, the faves.
Will continue to watch your articles...big help. Also...what is best rental on monthly and weekly basis?


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.