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Friday, February 4, 2011

Bargain Quest in Old Town Key West

Attention Bargain Hunters: 217 Truman Avenue in Old Town Key West may be the answer to your quest. I have shown this property several times and really think they buyer who purchases this house is going to get a real bargain.

The current owner did a superior job in renovating this property. Just about everything inside and much of the outside is new within the past five years. I have been inside a lot of renovated properties in all price ranges. This is real deal at this price. The 1022 sq ft house sits on a tight 19' x 100' lot two blocks west of Duval Street. The public records show the owner purchased the property in 2005 for $475,000 and then took out building permits totaling $173,570 to do the renovation. Total investment of record is $648,570. The asking price today on this Short Sale property is $349,000. The listing Realtor describes the property this way:
"This charming Key West home was renovated in 2006. Upgrades include new kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. French doors lead out to the private pool and waterfall. Spiral staircase takes you to the upstairs bedroom with balcony view of the pool area. This is a potential short sale transaction subject to lender approval."
The floor plan provides a very efficient use of space. The front door opens to a left hand hallway that takes you to mid point in the house. The first room on the right upon entry is a bedroom or study depending on your needs. Two large pocket doors with etched glass panels provide an unexpected novel entry and privacy. The adjacent bath can be entered from a door in the bedroom or the hallway. This allows guests to use the bath without going through the bedroom.

Pocket doors enter to bedroom/den

The living area is at the back which has a wall of French doors that open out to the deck, pool with waterfall, and the garden. The pool area is larger than many in the heart of Old Town! The new kitchen in located in the heart of the house (the center, of course). A black iron spiral staircase leads to the second floor bedroom and bath. This space is very comfortable and usable. A set of French doors at the north end of the bedroom open to a Romeo & Juliet balcony that overlooks the heated pool and garden below. The neighbor to the rear is a compound of four homes located at the end of Hutchinson Lane. The view from the balcony is very serene in all directions.

Beautiful hardwood floors and French doors opening to the pool

Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in new kitchen

Pool and garden viewed from Romeo & Juliet balcony

Bethel AME Methodist Episcopal Church is on the corner at 907 Thomas Street

1945 photo of Fort Taylor and vicinity - 217 Truman Ave. is noted with V

217 Truman Avenue is priced at just $349,000.

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to show this home. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Your bargain quest may be over.


FloridaAG said...

Yup, it is a nice property. No parking, but is not a terrible block for spots. Owner is demanding the inspection period and money down at time of contract and prior to bank approval. Deterring lots of buyers (including me).

Gary Thomas said...

Actually, requiring 'real money down' and completion of the inspection at the beginning of the short sale process deters non-serious offers.

I've seen 'buyers' make offers on multiple properties only to bale when one of several gets accepted. A lot of people work very hard to get a short sale completed. This process is intended to weed out buyers who are not serious.

I really respect this listing Realtor and the way he handles his short sales. We work well together and get deals done.


FloridaAG said...

I am fully familiar with the process and totally understand the reasoning behind it. If Bascom still has the listing, we have talked about this precise thing. On the other hand, I also have personal history with short-sale sellers who never even send the contract to the bank for approval, and simply pocket their tenants rent money for as long as possible. I am not willing to tie up deposit money or spend on inspections when there is no telling when, if ever, there will be approval especially if the seller has not already explored whether the bank is willing to accept the price being asked. It goes both ways.

But I think that is the only reason this has not sold

Gary Thomas said...

I always ask who the short sale negotiator will be and if the seller has all of his or hers financial information put together. Bascom has been doing many of the negotiations on his listings. I have a current contract and the seller is using a local real estate attorney that I trust.

I don't want to waste my buyers time and money on any nonsense either. There are a bunch of yahoos in Key West I won't give the time of day (agents or sellers, and a couple of lawyers). But there are professionals like Bascom that I trust.


FloridaAG said...

Totally agree Gary. We are friendly with Bascom and he has given us some very good advice on deals he was not involved in -

I love your blog.

Anyway back to the point, this is a great property. It shows very nicely - the rear outside is quite long so it feels very spacious. The upstairs bedroom is not huge and I have wondered how I would utilize the space -but someone is going to get a very nice property for the price.

Anonymous said...

FloridaAG might be better off staying away from short sales and stick with a straight forward transaction without the hassles of dealing with the required money deposit. That or show real incentive to buy -- if you REALLY WANT the property you wouldn't mind waiting. It isn't like you will make so much interest off the money in this economy.

I think FloridaAG sounds like a picky difficult buyer who will find fault with any realtor and any transaction. I thought the housing market bubble burst got rid of them but I guess I was wrong.

A KW Conch

FloridaAG said...

Ok, Konch, I have purchased and closed on 1 short sale and am about to close on a second, so perhaps you should have a clue before criticizing.

Do you also think it is fair for short sale sellers to insist on the inspection period taking place immediately when the property might not close for 2 years if ever?

Sorry for goign off-topic on your blog, but this personal attack is both uncalled for and totally false. If being an educated buyer who will not let himself be ripped off is a problem from KW Conch, perhaps you should look for another sucker.

Anonymous said... thinks thou protest too much. If you can't abide by the short sale rules you shouldn't be buying. And please spell check before ranting; it does tend to show your ignorance.

Gary Thomas said...

I understand the skepticism over spending real money now for a deal that may or may not get done. Not every buyer will do that.

I trust the listing Realtor on this particular property because I have dealt with him before on other similar transactions.

I have had buyers that wanted to make offers on multiple properties and I refused to do that. I think agents that do that have created a lot of the mistrust and frustration for everybody. And I share the FloridaAG's skepticism over sellers who have the real goal of continuing to collect rent and drag foreclosures out as long as they can. I could recite the names of agents and attorneys in our little town the pull this scam. As a former attorney I get infuriated when a lawyer assists a client perpetrate an ongoing fraud on a lender. I get equally angry at listing agents who tie property up knowing full well that the seller is trying to drag the short sale approval out as long as possible.


Anonymous said...

If you truly have the names of agents and attorneys who are involved in such scams, you have an ethical obligation to report these characters to the state board of business and professional regulations as well as the state licensing board. To ignore such practices only serves to inhibit your market and enable those involved in such practices. I am neither shocked nor stunned by such practices but I would hope that you have proof of such allegations to show just cause. It is your duty and your responsibility to report any such violations and to not do so is only causing more harm.

Gary Thomas said...

To the last anonymous poster: Even though I no longer practice law, I take my oath as an attorney very seriously. I know my obligations and responsibilities.

I have reported both lawyers and real estate agents and a broker to federal authorities.

Anonymous said...

I knew you would. Integrity. Ethics. Honesty. Gotta love ya Gary - you are one of the last of a dying breed of the good ones.


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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.