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Monday, March 8, 2010

"Sup? in Key West


I know I am getting old. Really old. During the opening bor-a-logue at the Academy Awards last night I realized that I am older than almost all of the presenters, nominees, and recipients of the Oscars. Steve Martin mentioned teen stars Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner and warned them of the pending reality of their growing old. (Neither of the boys looked like they understood what Martin was talking about.) I realized then I would never see either of them with gray hair (or bald) or becoming over over weight like what happened to "real" stars like Jack Nicholson, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and John Travolta. Age teaches a few of us. It demoralizes some. It conquers too many.

"Sup?" is part of the new American vernacular. It is the shortened version of What's up? or How are you doing? For my purpose today "Sup?" refers to how the Key West real estate market fared in February 2010. (Long way to explain my title for today's blog.)

There were 25 single family homes that sold in Key West during February. Eleven of the single family homes that sold in February were located in the Old Town, Meadows Area, and Casa Marina Area. Interestingly, I wrote about 8 of the those houses in my blog. The sales prices ranged from the low at $325,000 for the purchase of a cute small house at 315 Eaton Street to a high of $2,062,500 for a large house at 516 Emma Street in Truman Annex. The lowest price per sq ft was a fixer at 701 South which went for $313 per sq ft. The highest price per foot was 516 Ema St that sold at $884 per sq ft. The average -er sq ft was $504. Ten of the sales were shown as "short sales" by the listing Realtor and one was a known bank owned property.

The month of February 2010 had 19 condo and town home sales in all of Key West. Six of the units sold were shown as "short sales" and three were noted as bank owned properties. The average price per foot is totally useless when it comes to condo and town houses. That price is $344. I say that price is "useless" because of the disparity of properties and locations. The people that want luxury waterfront like units at Harbour Place that sold at $696 sq ft and 1500 Atlantic that sold at $761 per sq ft have nothing in common with the units at 1318 Duncan Street (which I wrote about). Duncan Street sold at $164 per sq ft. The place was bank owned and was showing real signs of distress when I showed it a couple of months ago. The bank was "lucky" to find someone to buy it.

We are fast approaching the end of season. The weather this year has been horrible. I have been in Key West for 17 years. We normally have a few (and I mean like 3 or 4 days) of chilly weather where I need to find my one and only sweater. This year I had to dig out my jacket as well. I found it necessary to apologize to prospective buyers telling them all "It is not normally like this in Key West!"

With season coming to a end just after Easter, we will probably see many more disappointed "sellers" begin to reduce the asking price on their properties. This is still a buyers' market, but the number of reasonably priced single family homes in Old Town, the Meadows, and the Casa Marina areas is dwindling. There are still many houses priced above one million dollars. It is like we are having a tug-o-war between sellers who still demand high prices and buyers who think that if they can outlast the seller, that they will be able to win the tug of war. "Sup?, guys".

If you are looking to purchase a place in Key West, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or contact me by e-mail at kw1101v@aol.com. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida where today the town is filled with thousand of college breakers and seasonal tourists enjoying the radiant sunshine and fresh air.

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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.