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Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanks to the Grinches

I want to share a little story with a very happy ending. It's about a couple who had a dream of buying a Key West getaway place with a pool and good location. They had been coming to Key West for several years and made the decision to look for a place to call their own.

We looked at houses in the Old Town and Casa Marina areas. After a couple of trips they found a place in the Casa Marina area they really liked. It was recently built and had a lot of features they liked. They made an all cash offer "near" the over the million dollar asking price. The seller happened to also be a part-time real estate agent with a full time job doing something quite different. A lot of sellers have very confused views of how valuable their personal property is worth. And this seller/agent was most confused. I met with the seller in his/her office and discussed the offer. The seller expressed a desire to get a deal done but who ultimately was not prepared to make any deal.

A couple of months later my same buyers made an offer on another property in the same neighborhood. This property was a delightful small two bedroom home with a cottage and a beautiful pool. It was priced in the "stratosphere" by one of the top agents in Key West. My buyers made an all cash offer on this place, but we were unable to reach a mutually agreeable price.

We looked and looked at other properties and my buyers got very frustrated at the reluctance of the two sellers they viewed as greedy. As the number of quality homes in just under million dollar price range shrank I suggested we look at fixers and also consider building lots. There are different rules for renovation of non-historic houses and for areas not under HARC's jurisdiction. That opened a world of new possibilities to my buyers.

I suggested that they buy a big building lot in the Casa Marina area and build their own dream home. They hired a local architect, found a great contractor, and incorporated several of the things they liked in the two houses they were not able to purchase. They purchased a vacant lot in Casa Marina, and I got to see the finished product yesterday. I have been taking progress photos over the past year as the house was built, but seeing the final home was just amazing. I could not be happier for my buyers. The place is just beautiful.

View from the living room toward the outdoor living area and pool & gardens beyond

View of the master suite

View of the pool and garden from the master bedroom

The separate Writer's Cottage - a world of it's own

Tom Pope did the architectural design; Brent at Teixxeira Enterprises was the general contractor; and Craig Reynolds did the landscape design. The house came in "on time" and on budget. The owners are really happy about the way things worked out. And all of this happened because of other peoples' greed. (By the way, neither of the two houses mentioned above sold.)

So thanks to the Grinches my buyers have exactly the dream home they wanted!


Anonymous said...

A tale with a happy ending (for the buyers and you) and a lesson for those greedy grinches, too.

Looks like a beautiful home.

Anonymous said...

Stunning home and a happy ending. Hope they enjoy a long, happy and fruitful life in their Key West paradise!

Anonymous said...

Gary - this is why you're great! As a realtor, you probably made less selling the lot, but you did what's best for your clients! I don't know of too many other agents who would act this way.

Gary Thomas said...

As a realtor, you probably made less selling the lot, but you did what's best for your clients!

I am well aware of how much money I would have made if the Grinches were less greedy.

The problem with Grinches is even if you don't feed them, they still don't go away.

One is in foreclosure and had to hire an attorney to hold off the inevitable.


Bryan said...

Gary, this is an incredible story to match an equally incredible piece of property. Hopefully I will be fortunate enough to have a vacation retreat in Key West someday, and if I do, I know who I will be calling to represent me!


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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.