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Friday, July 24, 2009

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? Will You Spend "It" in Key West?



When I found the photo above of a ship coming into Key West I was reminded of one of my very favorite songs ever, Michel Legrand's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?". Of course the lyrics deal with one's desire to spend the rest of his or her life with that special someone. But if you think about the lyrics and add in how to spend the rest of your days, that melody may evoke that yearning that so many returning visitors to Key West have: to spend the rest of their lives in Key West.

We have our problems in Key West. If you follow the politics in any of the Key West newspapers, you know that our politics are always interesting and that some of our politicians even end up on the crime page. We have our bouts with bad weather. But most of the time the weather is just wonderful. When I tell people I actually enjoy the rain, they think I am nuts. But most locals enjoy the occasional bad days. Conch Trains and tourists on motor scooters honking their horns are my biggest annoyance in life. If you live someplace with problems worse than crooked politicians, an occasional rainstorm, or tourists who toot their own horns too often, maybe you should consider buying a place in Key West where you can spend the rest of your life.

I fell in love with Key West on my very first visit. It took me nine years to eventually buy my first place. I regret that it took me so long because each year I wasted trying to get the "best deal" prevented me from achieving my ultimate goal. When you consider how many years you may really have in the "rest of your life", how many thousands of dollars is it worth to you to get to the point where you can make your move here?

When somebody young and famous dies accidentally or because of some disease, I remind myself how fragile life is. When you are gone, you are gone. That is it. You get one shot. If you are religious maybe you get a second shot in heaven. But your shot on earth is over. If you are fortunate enough in life to be able to make choices, where will you spend "All the nickels and the dimes of your days"? Will it be someplace cold up north in a city filled with people, cars, commotion, smog or whatever? Or will it be in little Key West where you can walk from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in about 30 minutes? Or where you can watch a dog ride a bike or some zany Key West character living his life out loud.

CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors MLS database. If you see a property that interests you, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. Let me help you make "the reasons and the rhymes" of your search to spend the rest of your days in Key West.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gary,
Interesting post. For those of us working to move to Key West from our current locations, it almost always comes down to more than how many $ is it worth to you to wait or move now. We are selling our house and hoping we net enough to buy a small home in a place we love, namely KW. There are those for whom it is a decision of just go and buy, because they have the $. That is, of course, who you are targeting in your posts, and more power to you. But for those of us who are middle-class and have to factor in mortgage costs, insurance, etc., it's a bit more complex.

Regardless, I hope you sell lots of really expensive houses to those who can plop down the cash. I also hope that you can work with those like us who can put down a hefty down payment, but will probably need a mortgage, and will need to factor in how close to parks and playgrounds and schools particular houses are, and is it a safe street for kids to play on, and the other myriad requirements of your basic middle-class family.

As always, I enjoy your posts. Keep selling the dream!

Diana

Gary Thomas said...

Diana, The point of today's post was not to suggest buyers throw caution to the wind, but rather to follow their dream. Too often people nickle and dime deals and end up not getting anything. There are still some deals remaining--most are properties real people (not millionaires) can afford.

If you follow me on Twitter you would see that "Mark" closed on a house the other day. He bought his dream home in Key West. Price was $350,000. The single family house was just updated and has a good sized pool.

I have several buyers I am working with just like Mark. They are typical of most buyers out there that are looking for a deal. I'm hoping that people don't wait too long or squeeze the last nickle too tight, because the supply of deals is going away.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Gary, my bad and I appreciate the response. Unfortunately, I am REALLY technologically incompetent and have no idea of how to twitter. I just, two weeks ago, after being beaten over the head by family and friends, joined facebook and have no idea what to do there. Regardless, I enjoy yours posts- seriously. I go into withdrawal if you don't post ever day (LOL), but I also factor in our real-life necessities.

But, by your definition, we are doing what you urge, so I am pleased about that!

Diana

PS -BTW- what is with the new verification thing?!

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

"What are you doing the rest of this week?"
No posts since last Friday. I know it's the dog days of summer and that lobster season starts tomorrow, but we need a new post!

Captain out................

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks for urging people to "follow their dream." Keep writing a great blog.

Gary Thomas said...

Captain, there is nothing left to sell.

If you read my last Twitter you'd know I saw a dead Black Bird on my deck the other day. My back went out within 30 minutes and later a big deal started to head south. Later a closing on another deal went sideways. Then it started to rain. After that I had an unexpected pipe break in my house.

I went to continuing education yesterday and the instructor told us not to blog.

Does anybody have any suggestions as to how to undo the Black Bird of Paradise Jinx that has befallen me?

Gary

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

Sounds like the sequel to "Wasting away in Margaritaville." Did you also step on a pop-top and blow out your flip-flop?

Captain out.......

Anonymous said...

I am NOT laughing at your tribulations. Really! Sorry about your bad day.

Diana

PS - Have you tried the magic finger flick? Where you do an abracadabra with your fingers at whatever you want to go away or work properly?!

PPS - Do not ever go back to CE with whomever it was that told you not to blog. I love your blog! I go into withdrawal without your blog!

Anonymous said...

Why did the CE instructor tell you not to blog? Makes no sense unless he or she is still living in the last century.

Gary Thomas said...

He is a certified real estate instructor and everything he says is measured. He does not opine or answer questions that he is "not qualified" to answer.

He spoke about a Realtor in Miami involved in a $25 Million lawsuit over a comment someone made on his blog. His comment not to blog was not directed to me personally but to all of the Realtors in the room.

I believe in free speech. And responsibility. I'm here trying to solicit business and not to make any derogatory comments about any property. Some properties really are good values and some are not. I try to give enough information for readers to figure out for themselves whether a particular property is more valuable than another by citing comparable properties for comparison.

I have only deleted a few comments on my blog when some anonymous person made a derogatory comment about a specific property. Citing something that is factual is different than "slandering" a particular property.

I blog. That is what I do.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think you are not just here to solicit business but to also inform anyone wanting to know more about Key West real estate in general. I never get the feeling you are trying too hard but just the oposite - you truly love your island paradise and you want to share your thoughts and feelings about life in Key West. Whether you acquire a client or not, I still think you would blog. And we appreciate your insights and colorful anecdotes too.
Thanks!

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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.