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Thursday, November 3, 2011

1230 5th Street - Bank Owned - Key West

1230 5th Street - Bank Owned - Key West

If you are looking for a "Fixer Upper" may I suggest that you consider the new listing at 1230 5th Street in the midtown section of Key West. I showed the property last week one day after it was listed. My buyer was looking for a place he could fluff and make all nice. The challenges this property presented were more than my buyer anticipated.

The listing Realtor describes the 5th Street property this way:
"Spacious 4 Bedroom 3 Bathroom 2 story home on a large corner lot. Huge pool w Guest cottage in back with a one bedroom one bath living area. Bank owned."
The pool area as it appeared in 2005

This property sold in 2005 for $715,000. Nude Greek statues adorned the e pool area at that time. Two years later in March 2007 it was listed for $997,000 as a "A very large single family two story home located two blocks from the Gulf." When I showed it last week the property was divided into at least three living units with separate entrances, kitchens, and bath facilities. The pool was covered by a contraption to prevent accidental drowning and the Greek statutes were gone. It had all the earmarks of a bank owned property. Today the offering price is $331,500 or $129 per sq ft.

The pool today

The house has 2573 sq ft of living space based on the info on the Monroe County Property Appraiser's website. That site does not include the guest cottage so the actual size may be a bit larger. The house is located on a 50' x 100' lot at the corner of Fogarty Avenue at 5th Street. That's a feeder street for this part of town. Click GOOGLE MAP for an aerial view.

Main level bedroom opens out to pool

Entrance to main floor north bedroom

I entered the downstairs unit and first walked into an odd little foyer and then into the kitchen. This level had several different floor surfaces and floor levels. It was as if someone kept adding or altering spaces to provide more living space and used whatever cheap building materials were available. CLICK HERE to take a slide show photo tour of the property.

There is a steep and narrow interior stairway to the second floor. It looks like there was some water damage in one of the rooms as the wood floors there are quite warped. Again, there are multiple floor levels and multiple small rooms.

Second floor kitchen

I think a smart buyer would go inside this large property and demolish the interior walls and establish floor levels for the main floor and second floor and then build new interiors to the needs of the new owner. It would be silly to try to re-use the small and dysfunctional spaces. This property has a lot going for it, but not based on its current configuration. It will take a knowledgeable builder to fix this place. No amateurs should apply. But it is fixable and it could be once again a nice large home with a sunny pool and guest cottage.

If you would like to see 1230 5th Street please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a big "discussion" last week when a reader asked why the past sales price of the Waddell property a year ago was omitted from the post and the overwhelming response seemed to be that recent (and low) past sales prices are not relevant. Why then are your posts (I'm also including the KW Golf Club property) containing inflated sales prices from the "boom" era (which have NO relevance)? Is it a sales gimmick to plant in a buyers mind that this must really be a deal since the property sold for 2 or 3 times the present asking price. Sounds like a double standard.

My intention is not to offend. I really am just curious. I enjoy the blog.

Gary Thomas said...

No offense taken. What someone paid for a property is interesting, maybe even relevant. Maybe totally irrelevant. People have different vies as to value at different times. When things were selling like crazy and money was 'free', things sold at high prices and some buyers (and many lenders) made some bad decisions.

I would never have paid anything like the people that bought this property a few years ago. As a banker I would not have loaned the money to fund the purchase. But in today's market, $340,000 for a place this big with a guest cottage and pool might be a good deal for someone wanting a project and this much space. Up north one could buy a beautiful home ready to move into for $340,000. Down here it costs more.

As for the golf course property, that was and is a really beautiful property. I can see why someone paid so much money for it. I don't see why it has not sold yet especially when you compare it to other houses in Key West that are similarly priced.

Both houses are 'bargains' today compared to their former high prices.


Anonymous said...

I think it does the reader a service to know how wildly various (and crazy at times) the prices in Key West have been in the last ten years. It's kind of a "buyer beware" but also is a clue that we are closer to the bottom end of the scale than the top.

This is a great project and I bet it wouldn't cost $5K to make that pool gorgeous again.

Anonymous said...

Gary. I am always checking out for new listings and price reductions. I have not seen any new properties added for many weeks now. What's up with that? I'm glad you are showing new properties or I'd have no idea what's out there.

Gary Thomas said...

Two things:
The mls you referred to is not the official Key West Assoc of Realtors mls website. Read the papers about lawsuits and you will know more.

This is the real Key West mls website:

Second, the mls has been quiet because there has not been much activity. There were several new listings today (Monday). There was one big property (1006-1008 Fleming) that went under contract on Friday. Look for more listings and status changes this week. You will see many new listings as we get closer to Season.

Anonymous said...

That's a fairly lame response Gary. The truth is number 1, that the KW Board of Realtors sued the website in Federal Court to prohibit them from disseminating this information to the public. The "official" website you refer the reader to does not, to my knowledge, show price reductions or new listings in the format of the website being sued. Don't try and sugarcoat it. You and your group did not like the competition of this site and want to prevent the flow of this information by this site to the consumer. It has nothing to do with reason #2 that the mls has been "quiet." Puhleeeze!

Anonymous said...

Don't let Gary mislead you all - THIS is the REAL and PUBLIC side of the Key West MLS aka Rappatoni.

The rest of the FL Keys use FLEX. This is not that link - it can be found on the Marathon and Lower Keys Board of Realtors website.

Just GOGGLE the link - I used KEY WEST MLS and found the REAL website but I already knew how to get there - and so should everyone else.

If you use Gary's link, you will end up linked to a realtor. Use the free and very public MLS and do your own homework.

Anonymous said...

And I agree - Gary is a 'sugar coating' the issue. He is a former attorney. He is a salesman - he sells real estate. No different than any other salesman. I am sure he will delete this but I got my point accross - he won't admit that the Key West Association of Realtors doesn't want the public to know the truth. I live here and it isn't that pretty in real estate and realtors are considered bottom feeding scum to most of us.
Signed a CONCH and proud of it!

Anonymous said...

You people can do all the name calling and make all the accusations you want about Gary, but I can tell you one thing with no 2nd thoughts.I have purchased,built & sold over 300 homes,apartments & properties in my life & made & still have several million dollars.I own 190 properties at this time & not upside down on any of them with the majority of them paid for.I have worked with so many realitors that I couldn't begin to remember all their names.One thing that I can garentee you is that Gary is the most honest, hard working realitor that I have ever met.He goes out of his way & way beyond his duties looking out for your best interest.I have purchased 9 properties in Key West from Gary in the last 2 years.I purchased one of them sight unseen & feel it was probably one of the best buys I got.Yes Gary is trying to market the properties he writes about as that is his job,but he isn't trying to give any false imformation, or tell you anything that in his mind is not true.Every one should be thankfull for all the imformation and hard work he puts in his blog!

Anonymous said...

And we care why?

Are you a paid spokesperson for him and KWAR or do you just like to see your ramblings in print?

Get off your parents computer - aren't most 14 year old children like yourself supposed to be in school?

Get a life! Or is this really you Gary???!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of strong opinions lately! With weather as beautiful as we've been having in Key West, I'd think at least the locals would be a bit more chipper!

I think Gary's blog is great. It's fun to read, includes great pics, and a bit of welcome perspective/insight into various properties in Key West.

Pricing real estate today is tough. I don't envy sellers and I don't even envy buyers today because there's always risk. The best sellers can do (whether individuals or banks, like the holder of this property) can do is set a price that seems fair based on comparable sales, appraisals, etc.

Sometimes that price will be a bit higher than seems realistic and other times it'll seem like a deal. Fact is, it boils down to what a buyer wants to pay. I frankly wonder why people get so worked up about it.

I'm no Conch, but I do own a home here. And I got a pretty darn good deal on it, too. If I listed it now, even in a weak market, I'd probably make some money. It seems like some readers view that as if it's some kind of crime.

Anonymous said...

This is the 14 year old kid again! All I have to say is if some readers don't like this blog or respect Gary's opinions on KW real estate why would you bother reading it? Nobody is forcing you to read it.My thought would be that you either own a property & are upside down on it,have lost it,or wish you had sold out when prices were high otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog & making rude comments.Another fact that people don't talk about is that close to 20% of the forclosures in KW the last few years were because a lot of people used their house for a piggybank & kept borrowing money on it as the value went up & wasted the money on foolish things.That was their own stupidity,not the fault of realitors.And to my blogger friend,no I didn't have to go to school today, but I did sleep until 9am,got up & had a very relaxing day.How about you? said...

Why all are all the "haters" reading Gary's blog.

Remember that old state toursim slogan: "Virginia is for LOVERS?"
Apply that to Gary's blog. Gary's blog is for KW Lovers. I have to callenge the haters. Have you ever worked with Gary? Bought a house with his help? If not, you are uniquely unqualified to criticize his ethics and professional skills. I too have worked with tens of realtors (many in Key West). Gary is the best - without question. He helped my wife and I find the place of our dreams (on a shoestring - so Gary's commission was no windfall - but he helped us just like we were 1M buyers).

Unlike the other posters, I won't post anonymously. If you are looking for an earnest appraisal on the author of this blog, send me an email.

James said...

I have been dealing with Gary for a couple months now and he is extremely qualified and competent, i should have taken his advice on 2 separate occasions, a condo on William, and a project on Samaratin. His advice on both occasions was accurate and my dilly dallying lost me both deals. Trust this guy or end up like me, freezing my but off in NJ, wishing i had a little piece of paradise in KW. Gary, this is James in NJ ...thanks for the help and find me a place down there! Ok gotta go fight the elements here(actually the weather has been pretty good but we all know what is coming) AND to all the negative people, CHILL OUT.. it's a blog ,a very good blog, but just a blog! to all, stay cool James


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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.