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Friday, January 8, 2010

No Regrets, please! Key West



When I am not busy showing property, I am sitting at my desk watching my emails and checking the mls as properties new properties get listed and existing properties go under contract or get sold. Some agents have a life and do other things, but I mostly sit at the computer and try to find properties for my buyers. Finding buying opportunities is getting harder and harder. The market of available properties in Key West priced under one million dollars is drying up.

Most of my buyers live elsewhere and are looking to purchase a second home in Key West. In the past year I had two potential buyers for whom price was no object. They wanted places with all the bells and whistles and the very best location. I showed both parties pretty much the same properties and neither bought. I coulda used the deal guys! But most of my buyers, even the wealthy ones, have been looking for value and have zeroed in on price.

Most of the prospective second home buyers have set a budget of $500,000 or less. There are 19 such properties available today. CLICK HERE to see what half a million bucks will get you in the Old Town and Casa Marina areas of Key West. Without going into specifics let me just say that I have shown many of these houses. Some are really cute and sweet and ready to move into. And a couple are just plain awful. (There are more houses available in the midtown and newtown areas, but most second home buyers won't consider those locations.)

There are 68 single family houses available in the Old Town and Casa Marina areas priced between $501,000 to $999,000. The list is too large to post but you can do your own search. Just CLICK HERE to set your price range and location to search the Key West mls database.

There are some very nice homes available in the above price range. But getting buyers to look there and seriously consider buying in the half million dollars and higher price range is a different matter. Almost every potential buyer has already done his or her homework and comes to Key West with expectations of what is available and what the property ought to sell for. Many come expecting to get a bargain deal on a bank foreclosure or buy a short sale for next to nothing. Life does not work like that. Here or anywhere else. Especially not here!

Nice listing photos and Google Maps can make some properties look more enticing than they actually are in real life. Once you get the chance to smell a place that reeks of cat urine you understand why it has been on the market for months on end.

Then there are properties that are locationally challenged. Just because a house is located on a busy street during the weekdays during the daytime does not mean it should not even be considered as a place to buy. Some potential buyers won't look at homes that are located within view of the Key West cemetery. That cemetery takes up a mighty big piece of Old Town and some buyers are really missing buying opportunities when they exclude homes based on nearness to the departed.

As the housing market for secondary homes priced below a million dollars continues to shrink, don't get squeezed out by being too tight or too demanding. I know it is easy for me to write that another $50,000 isn't a lot of money. It is if you don't have it. A $50,000 increase in purchase price might result in increasing a mortgage by $270 per month. But that extra $50,000 might result in your getting the place you have dreamed of owning in Key West versus getting something inferior or not getting anything at all.

Don't end up like the guy in the cartoon above and end up regretting that you failed to buy a house in Key West before the price of houses goes up. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to help you find that special place in Key West. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You talking to me!?? :)

DRA

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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.