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Saturday, January 31, 2009

707 Washington Street - Key West - Short Sale

Big Short Sale, Price Just Reduceded: 707 Washington Street, Key West, Florida. This large property consists of a large main house and a substantial two story guest house. The property records show it as a legal duplex so the uses are many.

This property was designed by local noted architect Tom Pope and was constructed in 2004. I live a couple of blocks away and remember riding my bike past the property during the lengthy construction. I was excited to see the interiors once the houses were completed. Each property is distinct, but they share a common design theme. The rooms are large and the bedroom ceilings on the second floor of each residence soar. This property would be great for a buyer with a large family or lots of friends. There is plenty of room for lots of people. The guest house is the perfect place for guests, or maybe an aging parent, or perhaps a caretaker, or even a rent paying tenant.

707 Washington has 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, two kitchens, two living rooms, a big pool, and a great Casa Marina location. The houses have 3257 sq ft of living space and sits on a 5300 sq ft lot. The property is offered at the Short Sale price of $1,199,000 or $368 per sq ft. Nothing is certain in this world, and short sales breed an uncertainty of their very own. But I believe that an ALL CASH, QUICK CLOSE offer at a much lower price is achievable. This house is crying for a cash paying, aggressive buyer.

The property is just a stone's throw to Louie's Backyard and Dog Beach. The newly renovated Reach Resort is within walking distance. Duval Street is just a 5 minute walk. The other houses in the 700 Block of Washington are quite nice. CLICK HERE, or CLICK HERE for photos of neighboring homes.

CLICK HERE for more information on 707 Washington Street. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at for more information.

Friday, January 30, 2009

614 Frances Street - Key West - Short Sale

This is how the listing Realtor at Preferred Properties describes 614 Frances Street:
"Three units on a wonderful block in Historic Key West. All units have private outdoor space. Rented on a month to month basis. Studio, a one bedroom loft, and a one bedroom with loft. Storage shed on back of property. Room for a pool. Live in one unit and allow the rents from the other two units to assist you in living in Key West! Hurry priced right." CLICK HERE for more detailed information and photos.

Let me add that this really cute sawtooth house at 614 Frances Street is offered at only $749,000. The lot is very large and totals 3627 sq ft (90.05' x 40'). The highest and best use for this house would be to renovate it, put in a pool, and live the Life of Riley. This place is just aching for some tender loving care. It has not been abused. It looks just fine "as is". And it is perfectly livable just as it sits. It had a 1970s'ish Hippie Renovation. Some far out stained glass was incorporated into the property. I do not believe every house needs to be dragged forcefully into the 21st Century by adding stainless steel and granite kitchens, vessel sinks in baths, and all of that other silliness. But a real nice and clean redo with the addition of a pool would seal the deal on this already sweet place.

Look at the surrounding houses in the two top photos above. I refer to these types of houses as "great houses". The grounds on these particular houses stretch all the way to Ashe Street where the guest cottages are located. No need to worry about those neighbors dragging your property values down. Off to the right of 614 Frances is Roberts Lane. It extends about 200 feet where it dead-ends. That translates into more quiet. Most of the other houses on this block are much larger than 614 Frances so this house might be considered by some as the worst house on the best block. And in a normal economy that usually translates into opportunity for property appreciation.

But we are experiencing a difficult time in our entire economy. 614 Frances Street is offered as a short sale. A short sale occurs when the lender permits the property to be sold for less than the remaining balance on the mortgage loan. The lender in this particular house (614 Frances)is a local bank, so the possibility exists for getting a quick response.

There is another multi-unit property also offered as a short sale that is located just a little over one block away and on the other side of Frances Street. I have shown it as well. CLICK HERE to see 719 Frances Street. It has been used as a monthly vacation rental. It does not have a pool. That house has great views of the Key West Cemetery. I am not being facetious. I love properties that face the cemetery. Frances Street is very wide at this location, the views are big and bright, and the neighbors are quiet. There are no parking struggles either.

If you are looking for an investment property in Old Town Key West or maybe looking for that "worst house on the best block", please call me to see either of the two houses mentioned here. (Or any other property!) Please call Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at Don't wait too long, either. The listing Realtor told me he has shown this property five times in the past week. You snooze, you lose. P.S. the temperature in Key West was 82 degrees at 11:00 AM. Jealous?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Grand Dame - 1307 Truman Avenue Key West

This is how the listing Realtor describes The Grand Dame at 1307 Truman Avenue: "This beautifully renovated Victorian home was built by a Cigar factory owner from Cuba in the early 1900's. The home was expertly renovated in 2002 to restore the original elegance while adding all the modern amenities. Spanning two lots from Truman Ave. to Albury St, where the pool is surrounded by a lush indigenous tropical garden . There is over 4000 sqft of living space plus 1500 sf of porches. Bedrooms are spacious with 12 ft ceilings. In addition separate guest quarters on second level with a private porch. Original Dade County pine floors are preserved as well as crown molding. Each floor has its own CA/C zone. Kitchen including soap stone counters and a large white marble island tops."

I know a Grand Dame when I see one, but I thought I best go to my Wikipedia just to make sure my context about 1307 Truman is correct. Wikipedia describes a Grand Dame thus: "In popular culture, the grande dame is usually portrayed as a slightly flamboyant woman, prone to extravagant and eccentric fashion, such as feather boas, large hats, and excessive costume jewelry. She may be overly pre-occupied with the concept of "acting ladylike" and expect all those around her to conform to her own high standards of etiquette." That definition fits 1307 Truman Avenue to a tee. The house has a prominence that cannot be denied. The wrap around verandas are her boa; the height is her large hat; and the impeccable gardens are her costume jewelry.

This house on millionaires row was built circa 1900. From Eisenhower Drive on the east all the way west to Duval only a few of the old dames on Truman survive today. They were built in sizes and to standards (and lifestyles) that are no longer current. Many of the houses that do remain have been converted into guest houses or re-configured into a combination of commercial and/or retail with some residential. This house has not been messed around with and sits almost like a virgin, albeit an old virgin.

This house is in beautiful condition. Everything I saw looked great, clean, and well maintained. I did not see any deferred maintenance. The baths are nicely appointed with new fixtures with classic lines. They fit the style without being gimmicky. There are two large formal living areas on the main floor. The kitchen sits at the rear. The kitchen is huge and would make a great gathering place for modern living in an old house. The wrap around verandas at the front and rear seem to envelop the house. Each of the rooms on all three levels of the house (including the third floor) have very tall ceilings, crown molding, and exude a sense of formality we don't see in current architecture. For readers who have been in dozens of Key West Conch houses, this isn't one. You have not been in a house like this before in Key West.

The house has five bedrooms, each of which is quite large. And most have en-suite baths. The third floor has a sitting room off the bedroom. The ceiling up there must be 15 feet tall. There is a small porch off the front of the third floor where you can see the treetops and rooftops of much of the southern end of the island. Bayview Park is just across the street. What a view! There is a rooftop deck at the rear with an amazing view of the north. I could see water on the Gulfside. You could not build a house of this height in Key West today. But if you buy it, you have the view forever. CLICK HERE for more details and photos of this one of a kind properties.

This house is listed by Preferred Properties Christie's Great Estates at the asking price of $1,998,000 or $451 per sq ft. The house has 4426 sq ft of living space under roof and sits on a large 7418 sq ft lot. The rear veranda overlooks the garden and pool area. Off street parking is provided as well. There is even a small apartment off to the west side of the house which could be used by a caretaker for an owner who would use the house as a second home.

But I have an alternate use suggestion. I think this house would make a one of a kind guest house with grand rooms and a sense of elegance missing from other guest houses in Key West. Zoning is HMDR which may permit such a usage. But a buyer will have to move heaven and earth to get the property converted to such a use.

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of 1307 Truman Avenue. Buyers looking for a big house ought to take a look and compare the size and features to other similarly priced homes. The Grand Dame of Truman Avenue will put them all in their place.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

628 William Street - Old Town - Key West Elegance

Located on one of the Most Beautiful Blocks In The Historic District you will find this quintessential two story Key West house at 628 William Street. There are two bedrooms en-suite baths plus an office. There is a recent Award Winning Artist Studio/Den addition. There is a 30 Foot Pool and an excellent outside dining/living area. Lush landscaping creates a very private atmosphere. Off-street Parking.

The color tones are just perfect. The living area is formal without being stuffy. The floors in the living area are just plain beautiful. A few steps off the living room is the artist studio / office that is elevated over the 30 foot pool. That is not a typo. What a glorious way to incorporate functional living space and provide a large lap pool at the same time. A set of French doors looks down to the pool from the studio. That little location could inspire lots of creativity, of that I am certain.

There are two real bedrooms and a third room large enough to be a guest room, but it doesn't have a closet so we can't call it a bedroom. That's a nice feature actually. Your guests can't hang their clothes. Maybe they'll stay in a hotel and not eat you out of house and home. CLICK HERE to read more detailed info on this house and view more photos.

The house is 1630 sq ft and sits on a deep 2931 sq ft lot. The home is priced at $1,295,000 or $794 per sq ft. William Street is extra wide in this block, and there are no guest houses or commercial spaces to compete for off-street parking. Yet, the location is only a short three block walk to the Historic Key West Seaport and a five minute walk to Duval Street.

628 William is a listing Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc, (Christie's Great Estates) listing. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this really beautiful Old Town home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cigar Maker Cottages Galore - Key West

I've told this story before: I tried to buy a guest house in Key West for several years and was never able to get the deal I wanted. I always tried to lawyer the deal to protect myself and also to get the very best possible deal. I failed time and again because sellers in Key West will not make warranties about old houses and the improvements they may have made (legally or illegally) over the years. In good times sellers want more and more money. In bad times sellers want as much money as they can possibly get. So I wasn't all that successful as a buyer back then.

In late 1989 or 1990 I came to the conclusion that it might make more sense to simply buy one of those cute little cigar maker's cottage (Conch house) I had seen that was priced around $100,000 way back in 1987. My Realtor (Mitzi) told me "They are all gone Gary" or words to that effect. My heart sank again. My stupidity and greed had again prevented me from getting any deal--not just the best deal.

I eventually got a terrific property at bargain price, but it was with the advice of my Realtor, Mitzi, and my determination not to be stupid any longer. It was a big and beautiful guest house in a great location. I was able to leave the snow and cold of Colorado and move to Key West.

Key West is peppered with cigar maker's cottages in all areas of Old Town, Bahama Village, and The Meadows. There are a few cottages in the Casa Marina and Mid Town areas as well. Many of the original structures are gone, and most of the surviving structures have been renovated in some form. I created a sampling of such houses that may appeal to second home buyers. CLICK on Any Address to see the house at that location. 622 Southard Street,525 Louisa Street, 814 Simonton Street, 711 Elizabeth Street, 712 Southard Street, 610 Olivia Street, and 412 Louisa Street.

Please note that although the houses look quite alike, each is different is size, location, land size, and degree and quality of renovation. Some are "cherry" and others are just average. I did not include all cigar maker's cottages because not all interest me.

If you are in Key West or are traveling here in the near future, you need to go by new Gato Village Pocket Park behind First State Bank on Simonton Street. A group of residents is constructing a replica facade of a historic cigar maker's cottage. The facade will be the same as a small frame house that stood in that location from 1897 until 1945. Local contractor Bruce Neff (pictured above) and his wife, Patricia Madiedo (descendant of the owner of the original cottage at that location) are constructing the facade together with the assistance of various individuals and businesses in Key West.

If you a looking to purchase a home in Key West and think that a cigar maker's cottage might meet your needs, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to arrange a showing. Don't let this current buying opportunity pass you by.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Road to Recovery

I've mentioned many times that I grew up in one of Denver's suburbs in the 1950's. Life was much slower way back then. I don't have any access to old family photos of driving through the Colorado Rockies in the 1950's. The photo of the antique car isn't back in the 1950's. But it is illustrative of what our lives would be like if Interstate 70 had not been built.

During the summers of my youth my parents and I would drive up to the mountains to go fishing. We would either go over Berthoud Pass toward Grand Lake, Loveland Pass toward what is now Vail (Vail did not even exist then), or over Monarch Pass toward Gunnison. There were no interstate highways. There were very few four lane roads for that matter. There wasn't any need for four lanes because travel over the Rockies took so long, especially on a cold and snowy day. There was some skiing atop each of the passes mentioned and in small towns like Aspen (back then Aspen was just a small town without any big ambitions). So there was no compelling reason to get anywhere very quickly.

The interstate highway started to get built in Denver in the 1950's. But it would take more than four decades to complete the Interstate 25 and Interstate 70 and the loops that encircled Denver and the suburbs. But the major marvel was the construction of Interstate 70 through the Colorado Rockies. And I specifically refer to the construction of the Eisenhower Tunnel and later the elevated roadway through the Glenwood Canyon, one of Nature's Wonders.

When I was a kid and cars regularly overheated trying to cross the great Colorado passes, it would take hours and hours to get from Denver to any place on the other side (western side) of the Continental Divide. And like I said, there wasn't any particular place to go back then because we didn't have ski resorts and condominiums and golf courses in the mountains. Oops! Maybe the interstate highway wasn't' such a good thing after all.

What once took so much time now takes very little. The drive between Denver and the western slope now takes a little about three hours. And the life and vitality of the Colorado economy owes so much to that divided highway.

When I was going to law school in the early 1970's the construction of the Eisenhower Tunnel was in full bore so to speak. That construction project was massive and it created jobs throughout the Denver area and on the western slope as well. Two crews worked simultaneously to bore the holes that would one day unite the state like never before and that would make travel so easy. Nobody in the 1950's could have imagined owning a condo in Vail Colorado where they could ski in the winter and play golf in the summer. But that is just what happened. Little towns like Breckenridge, Silverthorne, and even Aspen experienced tremendous growth in terms of size and property appreciation. And I can tell you that the growth has been sustained over the past thirty years.

I am not afraid of public works projects to help jump start our failing economy. The TVA changed much of the South after the Depression. The Eisenhower Tunnel helped keep Denver from utter ruin during the Recession of the mid 1970's. Perhaps the Economic Stimulus Package that is working its way through Congress will create a project or two that can have as dramatic an effect on our economy and way of life. We won't know if the package gets derailed and money is spent instead on tax rebates.

I am not afraid of government spending to help create jobs. Jobs keep real people working. The dollars get passed around and around and around. When people work, they spend money. And when they spend money, that creates more opportunities for everyone.

You may or may not agree with me that money spent on public works may help pave the road to recovery for our country. If you do or if you don't, you can let your Senator or Congressman know your feelings just by sending a email. CLICK HERE to access the contact links for the US Senate. And CLICK HERE to contact your Representative. We are all in this mess together. Make your voice known no matter what you think.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beep! Beep! Beep! - The Sound of Key West Foreclosures...

So you are walking down one of the picturesque Key West streets or lanes and see a "For Sale" sign. (There are a lot of those signs all around Key West these days.) As you near the house you hear "Beep! Beep! Beep!..." emanating from inside the shuttered house. You instantly know the house is bank owned or soon to be bank owned. Instead of hearing the sound of silence, you hear the chirp of a smoke detector that transformed itself from a life saving appliance into a miniaturized public address system that continually announces to the world "foreclosure!", "foreclosure!","foreclosure!"...

That beep goes on, and on, and on. Neither the asset protection companies that the banks hire to look after and protect the foreclosed houses nor the Realtors that have the listings on the foreclosed properties have the sense or desire to spend a few cents either to disarm the smoke detectors or to replace the batteries so that the infernal noise stops. So the noise just goes on and on and on -- just like the Energizer Bunny.

Friday, January 23, 2009

1400 1st Street - MidTown - Key West

Preferred Properties, Christies Great Estates, has a new listing at 1400 1st Street in the Mid Town area of Key West that may appeal to the buyer that wants a very large and gracious home away from the hoopla of Duval Street.

The listing Realtor describes this property thus: "Unparalleled quality and craftsmanship in a new home in Key West. This property is superb in every way from the solid Brazilian cherry floors, the granite counters, the stainless appliances including a six burner Viking gas range, the custom tile in every bath, hand-built wainscoting and custom hand-built crown molding. Every detail was considered in the workmanship and design of this fine home. The exterior landscaping, spa and pool again reflect the care of this builder; two waterfalls surround a swimming lagoon connected to the whirlpool/spa by a 52 ft canal bridged by the fabulous gazebo. Two car garage and off street parking for five more cars; three in a secure, gated area. Not a property to miss for the sophisticated buyer."

This is my take: The property as a whole (both grounds and building) is enormous. The house is brand new (no renovation). It is 3708 square feet on two levels. The lot is 9766 square feet (11'x 97.66'). The lot is surrounded by a large privacy fence with an electric gated driveway and TV surveillance around the property for the utmost security. That's probably overkill for Key West, but it's a nice feature nonetheless. The front entry and drive are paved and the grounds are lushly landscaped.

Each room in the this house is large, but some are really large. But they are also built to human scale and were designed with ease of use and utility in mind. The kitchen is a cook's delight and features custom cabinets and Viking appliances. There is an opening onto the bayed dining alcove. This is where everybody hangs in most houses. But in this house, the hanging will be in comfort and style. Go back and re-read what the listing Realtor said about wainscoting and crown molding. I'll throw in the incredible pediments above each door. You walk from room to room and are just amazed at the detail and care that went into this house.

We Key Westers spend most of our time outside if we can. And this house is a place you and your friends will really enjoy. Each of the rooms on the ground floor and second floor have porches that overlook the pool and grounds. Understatement. The landscaping and water features look more like a posh Key West resort hotel than a normal backyard pool. Well, that's the point I guess. This place is not normal. It is extraordinary.

I was amazed at the waterfalls, fountains, the bridged swimming pool, the spa, the gazebo, and so on. The features do not end. This is the kind of house that a couple with a large family or lots of friends could really put to good use. The house is formal enough to impress, but it was built to be lived in. The outside has lots of places to relax, dine, or entertain. If there are any buyers out there that were not ripped off by Bernard Madoff this may be your place in Key West.

1400 1st Street is offered at $3,495,000. CLICK HERE for more detailed information on this large and impressive property and view all of the photos.

If you are seriously looking for a luxury home in this price range, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to arrange an appointment. Buyers must be pre-qualified to view this property.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Brainer Loans

A few years back when buyers were buying properties in Key West as second homes or investment properties, some of the local banks helped create part of the financial predicament we are experiencing today. They made what I like to call "No Brainer Loans".

I first heard the term "No Brainer Loan" about 4 or 5 years ago. It was used by a local banker I'll call "Big-wig". I had called him to discuss a property my buyer had found that needed renovation. I needed to find out what kind of financing my buyer could obtain. Big-wig told me the bank had a program where the bank would loan money to purchase the property and renovate it. The bank would require two appraisals. One would value the property "as is" when purchased. The other would value the property after the construction was completed. (This appraisal would be done based on architect plans, budget guidelines, and appraiser assumptions. The bank would over-see the construction and pay the contractor and materialmen.)
Big-wig's bank would the convert the purchase-construction loan into a permanent mortgage and "save" the buyer-borrower from additional mortgage expenses later on down the line.) The buyer-borrower would still need some cash, but the amount of cash was diminished by the assumption that the finished property would be worth far more money later on. Everybody was supposed to get rich on this scheme. Big-wig said with assurance something to the affect "It's a no brainer for me."

I never had a buyer that took advantage of Big-wig's offer. My buyers always dug into their piggy banks and borrowed the rest.

The loan option proposed by Bib-wig was akin to the "bigger fool theory" of investing in my opinion. CLICK HERE to read short Wikipedia explanation of the bigger fool theory. Several local banks did the same type of loan or a variation thereof. So I'm not picking on any one lender.

I have seen a lot of properties either get foreclosed or offered for sale on a "short sale" basis that were or are owned by local Key West residents. Many of these properties were investments. The banks created the tools with which both locals and out of towners could buyer property and renovate the same. That is a good thing. But both the lenders and borrowers should have had their heads examined to find out before hand that neither party had any business participating in a "No Brainer Loan".

If you are hoping to find a place to call your own in Paradise, please consider calling me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls database. If you see something you like, give me a call or send me an e-mail. Let's use our brains and make you dream come true.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

825 Ashe Street - Old Town - Key West

A couple of years ago I purchased the right to use the image of the quintessential Key West Cottage from Kimberlee Clark, the artist who created it. CLICK HERE to see more of Kimberlee's art. She has a lot of great Key West images.

When I decided to write about 825 Ashe Street in Old Town Key West I thought, that's the house Kimberlee used as the model for my logo. Maybe it was; maybe it wasn't. You decide.

This is how the listing Realtor describes 825 Ashe Street: "This historical Conch charmer in the heart of Old Town Key West has been beautifully restored with great attention to detail. Located on a quiet street in a very desirable neighborhood this home has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom downstairs and 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom upstairs (with it's own private entrance). Dade county pine and bald cypress throughout, wood floors, guest cottage/art studio, two car off-street parking with carport, cocktail/dip pool and rear deck area are just some of the amenities you will appreciate." CLICK HERE for more detailed information and photos of this beautiful property. 825 Ashe is now priced at $699,000 or $567 per sq ft for this 1232 sq ft home on a 2530 sq ft lot on a quiet street in Old Town Key West.

For the uninitiated, Ashe Street is a small two-way street that runs between Olivia on the south and Southard on the north. It is one-half block to the west of White Street. And it is one block east of Frances Street, the eastern border of the Key West Cemetery. I feel the need to explain where Ashe Street is located, because many locals don't even know. And that means you probably won't see any Conch Trains or tour buses on the street. And I doubt that you will see many tourists on bikes or motor bikes. But Ashe Street is close enough for a short walk to Duval, the Historic Key West Seaport, or the neighborhood coffee shops, art galleries, gyms or small restaurants on White near Truman.

I have been warning readers for quite a while that they should not put off buying too long. Well, the number of really nice houses like this is shrinking. I urge serious buyers to take a look at this house as a potential dream house.

If you would like to see 825 Ashe Street or any other charming house in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Class Warfare - Key West

Class. As an adjective it means "of high quality, integrity, status, or style". I assume we all know class when we see it. I know that I usually prefer to spend more money to get a higher quality product rather than buying a cheaper product that may be of inferior quality,construction, or design. Objectivity gets skewed in favor of higher price. But then I try to find the highest quality product at the cheapest price and so that I can feel like I made money on the transaction.

I have written before about the great difficulty in comparing real estate in Key West based simply on price per square foot, yet I seem to mention that fact in almost every blog entry I write. Price is but one (very!) important element in evaluating real estate--especially in Key West. Other important elements are location, quality of construction, design, and livability. I am a firm believer that if you are looking to buy a house in Key West you must consider each of those elements. If the location sucks you better get the house for a really good price. If the house is in a good location and you can buy it cheaply, you may be able to remodel it and make it worth your while if you are willing to live through a couple of years of contractor hell.

A couple of months ago I wrote about the dramatic price reduction on the houses at The Meadows. Technically, the property is described as a condominium because each property shares in the common area maintenance, exterior building maintenance, building insurance, and pool maintenance. But each building is a free standing structure with one "party wall" which is only a second floor rear bedroom on either unit. Other than that, the properties are totally separate. The three bedroom units were reduced in price from a high of $1,795,000 and the two bedroom units were reduced from a high of $1,895,000.

CLICK HERE to checkout the single family houses, condos, and townhomes in Old Town and The Meadows area priced between $950,000 to $1,075,000. This price range is not entry level housing in most places in the U.S. but it is in the mid-range for second home buyers in Key West. I did not include houses south of Truman because I don't consider that area Old Town. And the fact is most second home buyers want to be in Old Town. (Many don't realize there are other very nice areas, but that's fodder for another blog.)

It is not appropriate for me to make negative comments about specific listings. But you can compare the prices, locations, architectural features and amenities between the properties and decide for yourself which properties appeal to your sense of class, style, value, or whatever.

I have shown about one half of the houses listed above. Some are listings of our office. If you are looking for an Class A property, I urge you to checkout the houses at 1509 Pine Street (CLICK HERE) & 1513 Pine Street (CLICK HERE) and 1502 Petronia Street (CLICK HERE) & 1506 Petronia Street (CLICK HERE)--The Meadows. I think these four houses kill the competition on quality of construction and amenities. I realize that some buyers will view the distance from Duval Street as a detriment. Well, that's why God created bikes, cabs, and feet. It's a 12 to 15 minute walk to Duval. If you plan on living your life on Duval, you should look for a place much closer.

But if you compare The Meadows houses to the nearby competition that is priced much higher, such as 719 Eisenhower (CLICK HERE) (across the street from 1506 Petronia) you will get an appreciation for the huge price difference. Granted Eishenhower is larger and has a boat slip, but it also costs and extra $1,350,000. Extra!!! Two other units cost more and one cost less. Also CLICK HERE to see the major Key West house directly across from 1502 and 1506 Petronia. It was listed for sale in 2008 for $4,975,000. Those houses would be your neighbors for sales comparison in years to come.

If you are in Key West or are coming soon and you are looking for a second home in the one million dollar price range, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at to schedule a showing of not only the houses at The Meadows but also some of the similarly priced houses listed above. Let the Class Warfare begin.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Key West Short Sales to Dream About

There are 85 condos and townhomes in Key West currently listed as "Short Sales" but there probably more because the listing agent may not have clicked the right button when adding the listing to the mls database or the owner does not want everyone to know his financial plight. Both of those happen. I went through the 85 and selected 13 (don't know if that's a good number or not!) for you to consider. Each unit is in a good location. Some units have transient licenses are are available for legal transient rentals on a daily basis all year long (except units in Truman Annex which have some limitations). All are units that one might actually dream about owning.

CLICK HERE to see the list.

Sunset Marina is on Stock Island across the street from the Key West Golf Club. It is about the same size as units at 1800 Atlantic and priced competitively. All of the units have direct marina views. There is a pool, covered parking, a small gym, and the place was built very well.

120 Angela Street is a small complex of only four units, two up and two down. Each is outfitted with beautiful kitchens and baths, attractive floorings, and comfortable living spaces. Each unit has one off street parking space and there is a beautiful pool and comfortable island landscaping. It's located next door to The Shipyard condos, priced lower, has more space, and much more private.

Two units at 1401 Simonton are included (Santa Maria Condominiums). Theses units are re-sales at a much lower price than the owners paid. The Santa Maria stays booked constantly. So these units might make more economic sense if they are purchased at a lower price (on a short sale) that actually has the potential to make money (or not lose money) for the owner.

1108 Duval is the Cuban Club. Great Old Town location and use of the pool at the Douglas House make this unit attractive to vacationers. The management fees are higher, but the units here seem to stay busy most of the year.

Two units at Seaside at the east edge of Key West are included. Both are three story with private garages, private elevators, ocean views, lots of quality living space on three levels, and the buildings were new in 2005.

There is a cute little place on Windsor Lane located between the Key West Cemetery and the top of Solares Hill. It has its own little pool and 2 bedrooms and a bath.

I included one unit at 1800 Atlantic in the A building. Terrific ocean and nature preserve views.

The townhome at 809 Washington Street in Casa Marina was built in 2007. It has its own private pool and garden, custom floors, cathedral ceilings, and a beautiful kitchen. Off street parking, of course. And multi-million dollar homes all around.

514 Porter Lane in the Truman Annex President's Walk area is a comfortable entry level two story town house with two bedrooms and three baths.

3841 N. Roosevelt is the new (2007) Beachside Resort. Westin Hotels is now managing the facility and owners with transient licenses (such as this one) can use the Westin as the property manager or rent the unit themselves or with any other company. Other re-sales are priced considerably!!! higher.

I wrote about 1075 Duval in Duval Square a couple of days ago. This is a good price for someone looking for a transient unit in a good location.

If any of these units look attractive to you, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642,or e-mail me at You could be a Key Wester sooner than you think for a price you might never have imagined. Lay back, relax, and imagine your life in Paradise..........


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.