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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stay Out ! or Welcome to Paradise !




It was maybe fifty years ago, but I still remember watching Robert Frost read his poem "MENDING WALL" on a Sunday afternoon program called Omnibus. 'Good fences make good neighbors' he quoted, and then he questioned why.

Gates, likewise, keep people out. But look at the gate above. Does it say 'stay out' or does it offer an invitation to solace within?

I have always been a questioning sort of person. I try to fit in and obey the rules. But my nature causes me to challenge those same rules and the question why. I grew up and became a lawyer. I never was a lawgiver, though.

Rules, like gates and fences, set boundaries. There are lots and lots of rules anymore. Too many for my way of looking at life. It's almost as if everyman (and woman) needs a personal lawyer to help them make their way through the day lest they end up violating some well intentioned law or rule that is supposed to make us appreciate our "freedom" as Americans.

You can look at the current economic environment in the United States (and the rest of the world) as being terribly scary and foreboding. There will lawgivers who will tell you why you should erect a fence around your house to protect yourself and your money from the doom and gloom that surely lies ahead.

Many readers of my little blog watch the Key West mls on a daily basis. They are on top of new listings, price reductions, and properties that get sold. I do the same thing. It is my job. Some readers may see the number of bank owned properties and the price reductions as an omen of things worse yet to come, perhaps even as a reason to hold up inside their fenced yard with gate tightly secured.

I can predict with absolute certainty that the real estate market in Key West will be worse in the next couple of months because it is always terrible in the late summer and fall. Businesses all over the island hurt during this time period. They offer "specials" to attract business. Restaurants revamp their menus. Water sports businesses cut rates. Gyms reduce membership prices. It is how they get by. But when season hits the old prices will return, on that you can rely.

I see new listings and price reductions differently. Selling real estate is not a sport. It is a business and sellers put their property for sale because they need to. Need to sell does not mean a seller is acting out of desperation. Some people get divorced; some people die; some people get transferred to another location; and some people really are desperate. Banks are not people, on that we can all agree. Banks sell because they want money and not houses. Whoever the seller and whatever the reason, a new property or a new and lower price make buying a house in Key West a buying opportunity. Buying the right property at the right price is the challenge.

Please look at the photo above again. Why is it that so many people who come to Key West as tourists start to view this little island as the place they want to spend the rest of their lives? Why do people who live here defy building codes and HARC rules by adorning their homes (and gates) with simple expressions of how much they love this place?

I see the gate as an invitation to enter the home of someone who loves where he (or she) lives. It is up to others to construct walls (or deliver the law or rules) about why you should not buy a home in Paradise at this time. Maybe never. There are plenty of well intentioned people who will tell you the major law of real estate (location, location, location) and admonish you not to consider any house the lawgiver defines breaking that law. This town is full of people who live their lives very contently in nice houses on streets that the lawgivers would never, ever, consider worthy of parking their rears.

I think now is an excellent time for people that have dreamed of owning a home in Key West to make the move. Prices are down and interest rates on mortgages is down. Take advantage of the situation while it still exists. CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors mls database. If you see a property you like, please consider using me, Gary Thomas, as your Realtor. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Don't let the lawgivers stop you from fulling your dream.

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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.