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Sunday, October 10, 2010

525 Grinnell Street - Old Town Cottage - Short Sale

525 Grinnell Street- Old Town - Key West - October 2010

525 Grinnell Street in 1965

Just listed, but not by me, 525 Grinnell Street in Old Town Key West. This just might be that great little cottage you have been waiting for. It seems like so many would-be second home buyers want pretty much the same type of property, to wit: (1) Old Town; (2) two bedrooms; (3) priced right; (4) parking; (5) good condition but willing to do a little fix-up if required; and (6) pool as desirable but often not necessary.

You can't beat the location. One of the top real estate producers is redoing a big house a couple of doors away. He knows a thing or two about locations. He chose this street for a reason. A very famous recording artist lives across the street and down the lane and a former Washington very big wig lives doors away. More important than who you might have as neighbors is why the location is sought after. It is just two blocks to the Historic Key West Seaport and Duval Street is only four blocks west. Five Brothers is up on the corner on Southard, the Old Town Bakery is one long block away on Eaton, Azur, Michael's, and Mangia Mangia are two minutes away. The locations is convenient to everything but it is not in the middle of the action. CLICK MAP for an aerial view. And CLICK STREET VIEW to checkout the neighbors.

This 808 sq ft home was updated six years ago. It has two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a new kitchen, and a very comfortable feeling. The master bedroom is fairly good sized and the second bedroom is good for a child, an occasional visitor, or it would make a great office.

The listing Realtor describes the property this way:
"Welcome to your Starter Home in Paradise. This sweet Conch house sits in the heart of Old Town, has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. Located on the corner of Grinnell Street and Lowe Lane the home is within walking or biking distance of all the attractions and amenities that Duval Street and Old Town Key West has to offer. This is a potential short sale that may be subject to third party approval."

CLICK HERE to checkout the mls listing info where you will see the asking price (key requirement for so many second home buyers is affordable price) is just $275,000 or $340 per sq ft which sits on a 30' x 50' lot. (The lot ain't a lot of lot!) Remember this is a Short Sale. Lender approval will be required. But I think the seller's agent got the asking price right. There is some fix-up required and the place is small. That's why I think the price is on target for approval.

The photo above shows a big white privacy fence. That is where you could have off street parking. There is a curb cut in existence. The current owners use the space for outdoor living area, and I think that is the highest and best use for the space myself. This block is mostly single family homes. I have never had a problem finding a place to park when going to any home on this street. Off street parking here is an option but not a requirement.

The home was update in 2004. I'm not a contractor but I did notice a couple of things that need repaired including the French doors and air conditioner. But the house itself is in move in condition and ready for a new owner.

The sixth item on many buyers' wish list is a pool or the space to add a pool. Well, this lot is just too small. The Key West building code would not permit an in ground pool because of the setbacks and location issues. I have a solution, however. The Conch Harbor Marina is just two blocks away and there is a huge pool CLICK HERE located there. Go there and buy a few cocktails and lunch and save the cost of pool maintenance and electricity to run your own pool. You'll be money ahead and the tan will look the same as if you got it at your own pool.

I would probably ask the city for permission to remove the existing decorative concrete block front porch (see above photo) so that I could replace it with a more historically correct wood railed porch. I would also put in a white picket fence across the entire front space and add a gate to preserve the right to park a car at some future time. The front would look wonderful.

I don't see a new buyer as having to spend a lot of money to make this place really damned adorable. If you are a potential second home buyer and are looking for a place in Paradise, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. (That means I will be then when you need me. I won't be off fishing or boating or working someplace else. I'll be there when you need action.) Don't wait on this. I don't think it will last long.


Anonymous said...

This house was listed at over $750K in 2005! I know - I remember the house for sale and thinking it was cute but steep in price. This property has flipped so many times in the past 10 years it is insane!

From 760K to $275K! In 5 years! Old Town housing - should be interesting now that the banks have stopped foreclosures. Hmm.

Who says Key West real estate has hit bottom?!

Gary Thomas said...

I think this is an incredible buy for the right buyer. This place is very cute and very livable. By that I mean good sized rooms and efficient layout.

Several Realtors I have spoken with think we are going to have a very successful sales season which will see prices start to rise.

People will look back at houses like this and say "I should have bought that then!

I can't imagine a serious buyer screwing around with petty little things on this house at this price. This is a deal!


Anonymous said...

Sucessful sales season?

I hope all cash buyers.

With foreclosures at a halt, banks in turmoil with thousands of properties sitting, documentation on foreclosures suspicious and more houses about to go (1 in 4 houses are now in foreclosure in the US) you REALLY think the housing market is about to move upward?

Come on Gary - even you can't tell news this bad and believe it to be true!

Do you not listen to NAR? CNN? MSNBC? Huffington Post? Media Matters? Even FOXY news has the same report - housing will be the drag on the economy for some time yet.

I can't wait to say 'I told you so'.

Anonymous said...

When in doubt just say it :

It's a great day to buy real estate in paradise!

Come on say it...

Say it again....

Say it again...

Say it again..

Say it again.

If you say it long enough do you think the public will believe it?

Gary Thomas said...

Time will tell if the doomsayers are right or if I am right. Let's check back here at the end of May 2011.

I'll say it again. I think prices are going to go up. People who buy now are going to be thumping their chests for not being afraid to buy when prices are low as opposed to waiting to buy when prices have gone up just so they can feel better.

Will all real estate prices go up? No. Is there still a lot of crap for sale at high prices? Indeed! Should people buy crap? Yes, but only if you get it cheap.

Should people buy good properties? Absolutely. Take advantage of the Columbus Day Sales Event in Key West housing. lol


Anonymous said...

Columbus Day Sales in Key West Housing?

Are you marketing this as a sales event with flags and balloons?

Come on Gary - don't stoop to used car salesman tactics. If a house sells, great. If it doesn't, it could be priced wrong or a host of other items.

Columbus Day Sales in Key West Housing?

Are you marketing this as a sales event with flags and balloons?

Come on Gary - don't stoop to used car salesman tactics. If a house sells, great. If it doesn't, it could be priced wrong or a host of other items.

The main point is there are some who have money and are ready to buy. There are a lot who are in over their heads in other markets. Too bad for them - they got burned though no fault but their own.

The main point is there are some who have money and are ready to buy. There are a lot who are in over their heads in other markets. Too bad for them - they got burned though no fault but their own.

If and when the economy rebounds, housing will rebound too. It is still a guessing game as to if and when the Key West market will take off. If you think you know, you don't. That's like saying I have the winning lottery number or the answer to our existence in the universe. Neither you nor I can answer. You can say it will happen but until it does, don't second guess, don't speculate and don't play the Wall Street game trying to manipulate the numbers or the market. Buyers are not stupid and will see through these tactics quickly. If that happens to Key West, well then, there goes the market and with it the promise of much more than could be given.

Don't play into the foolish game - just go about as usual and perhaps you will be right but without the hoopla and circus that often accompanies such sales tasteless tactics.

Anonymous said...

I think a solid lot of cash buyers are key to a decent upcoming sales season, but I also think for it to be "successful" is for some ego-maniac sellers and the agents that represent them to not immediately look for any reason for prices to go up. There are some great homes for sale now and many that were pulled from the MLS for the summer that are all overpriced by today's standards. They're sellable, sure, but they might not yet be priced to buy.

Agents, especially, need to focus on moving inventory NOT on boosting sales prices just to get a bigger commission. If prices begin to go up, it's just going to pinch off the market.

Just my 2 cents. I don't think that's a doomsayer view. Seems more common sense to me.

Buyers need to remain cautious and sellers need to come to grips with reality.

Gary Thomas said...

I do know that our market repeats itself year after year. Serious buyers arrive at Christmas and go home at Easter. Previous scary events like 9-11 and Hurricane Wilma scared buyers in the fall of 2001 and 2005. But when Christmas came in 2001 and 2005 the buyers returned and bought houses.

Key West is not the rest of this country. We have a limited number of houses on a small island at the end of the United States. People come here on purpose. You don't get here by accident. You can't build more by government edict. So what is here is more special and more expensive than similar properties in Ft Lauderdale or Tampa where there are thousands of properties for sale and where thousands more can be built in the future.

I don't think prices will skyrocket up but I am seeing a trend up in certain areas. Like I said earlier, let's look back in May 2011 to see if I must eat crow or if the chronic complainer proves wrong.


Anonymous said...

Key West is not the rest of the country true but the majority of buyers are not from here. The no. 1 sellinv real estate broker, Dolly Lenz of Prudential Douglas, was on Fox Business today and she is quite concerned about the housing market. She has had $15M deal fall apart at the closing table recently because of the whole bank and foreclosure mess. She said markets like south FL and vacation properties may take 2 years or more to rebound. She has much expertise in high end real estate and her clients are not jumping to buy now as most feel we will see more prices FALL in the nest 6 to 9 months. I will bet she is right and KW may not be so rosy as you hope. But you can dream just don't overprice an inventory that has so many properties hiding in the shadows, off the MLS radar and about to go underwater.


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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.