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Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Gay was My Villa?

It's a free world (at least it is here in Key West) where people can and do just about anything and everything they want. We all seem to get along. And except for some do-gooders that sit on some public commissions, we all try to stay out of each others "business".

One of the really great things about my job is that I get to see inside so many Key West homes. Some places amaze me. I go home and start to clean, or paint, or redecorate. Others make me feel pity for the sad souls that live in helpless hovels. I have been inside more than enough places that reek of urine but that are inhabited by human beings. I have had to move sideways through rooms filled with years of accumulated trash. And I wonder what in the world is wrong with the people that live there.

I have been in multi-million dollar properties that exude an ambiance most of us can only dream of. But more regularly I get to see some really nice homes that are comfortably decorated with Key West flair. You can't by flair in a store, but you know it when you see it. Many of the chicest of homes are gay owned have the look and style buyers want. But then the buyers get the drama of trying to negotiate with royalty.

And there have been a few occasions I have shown houses that are just a gay as gay can get. The most memorable gay house was located in the Meadows area. I showed that house several times a few years back. It had the obligatory statue of David near the pool. There were statuettes, oil paintings, charcoal prints,and etchings of nude and semi-nude males throughout the house and garden. Every square foot had some form of art that paid homage to the naked male figure. After months of not being able to sell the house, the listing Realtor finally persuaded the owner to store some of the artwork off property. A few years later when that same house was for sale again I actually noticed what terrible shape it was in. The naughty artwork from before had distracted my attention from the condition of the property itself. But it did the same thing to my potential buyers because nobody was ever interested in seeing that place a second time.

One gay man asked me to look at his house to discuss listing it. Key West was in the height of the real estate boom.I might have got the listing had I not told him to take down the huge and virtually nude portrait of himself that hung above French doors leading to the back yard.

There was also that time I was in a really nice home located at the dead end of a Key West lane to discuss listing the house. The owner and I were standing in one of two master baths discussing the features of the house when I spotted it. The DILDO! I lost my voice and the ability to put words together. Decorating with dildos is a no-no.

I have seen enough mannequins dressed in drag or adorned in leather posed in the corner of a room or next to a window that I don't even take a second look anymore. But my buyers do.

Mannequins are one thing. Slings are another. I wrote in my blog about "The War of the Roses" house. I showed it several times. The name I gave the property was derived from the ordeal the two gay owners were going through in the split of their personal lives and their real estate investments. But I had to laugh at the extra bedroom that was set up as a dungeon complete with sling. Most of my buyers did find that room very interesting.

A few weeks ago I showed a house I had written about in my blog. The owners have left town and the place now has a long term tenant that has turned the place into his own comfortable gay love nest. I say that kindly. The tenant is as sweet as he can be. The place is immaculate. Let's just say the walls of the master bedroom and master bath are decorated primarily with photos of naked gay porn stars. I think it would be very difficult for a normal straight couple to imagine living in this house because of the huge collection of gay porn photos and other gay decorations throughout the house and near the pool. God, I must sound like some prude!

Call me old fashioned. I grew up in the 1950s when gay decorating was -- different. But what the heck. This is Key West. It is okay to be gay here, and it is okay to decorate your home or garden anyway you want.

If you are thinking of buying a place in Key West and are looking for a gay Realtor, call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or contact my by e-mail at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. Living life in Key West is just great. I could care less how you decorate your villa as long as you are happy. However, sometimes it might be a little easier to sell the place if you hide your porn and stow away the dildos. lol


Anonymous said...

I sure wish HGTV would do a segment on this problem!

Anonymous said...

I want the tenant w/ the 'comfortable gay love nest'

Anonymous said...

The first thing that awful HGTV show on staging will tell you is to de-personalize your space. To me, they make every room look like it came from the Pottery Barn showroom - very beige, black non-descript furniture and lots of b/w photos framed with large mats. Very ugly. Very sterile. Very generic. Call me old school but a clean and empty home is what I want to see with nothing inside. I have bought homes for many years and I will never cross the threshold of a home that smells of any pet, has any trash or any reminders of the present owner. That's a deal breaker in my book.

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

Great post Gary. You know that everybody wants a home built for a king and decorated by a queen.

Captain out......


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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.