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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beach Club Condominium #105 - Key West

Key West Beach Club at Sunrise

Shorty after sunrise at the west pool - Key West Beach Club

Do you do laps? You can here.

The Gym is snuggled between the two buildings flanked by pools on either side

Workout Watching the "Waves"

Key West Beach Club Condominiums have been one of the most sought after locations for years because there is no other place like it in Key West. Each unit faces the Atlantic Ocean head on. There are only four floors so the views vary from in perspective a bit as the floors rise. The units located on the first floor enjoy the soft sounds of gentle waves as they lap the shore from sunrise to sunset and beyond. It's almost like you could hang your legs over the balcony and wiggle your toes in the sand. You can't, of course, but you get my meaning.

1500 Atlantic (BEACH CLUB) Unit No. A 105 is offered for sale, but not by me, at the asking price of $832,000. The listing broker describes this unit thus:
"True Oceanfront living in Key West: a two bedroom, two bath end unit with fabulous panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. All of the quiet elegance for which the Key West Beach Club is so well known. A large private balcony overlooking native shoreline with the ocean beyond and the background of gentle lapping water day and night with the lights of White Street Pier in the distance. Amenities include two waterfront swimming pools with outdoor gazebos, tennis court and a fitness center. An unbelievably stunning and serene location."
This 1401 sq ft two bedroom and two bath home features formal entry opening onto the shared living and dining area which has spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean through a wall of sliding glass doors that open onto a 344 square foot balcony. The master suite shares the same balcony and enjoys the same ocean views. This home is located at the end of Building A with easy access to garage parking and storage directly underneath via elevator or stairs. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos of this waterfront unit.

White Street Pier in the distance is where locals view fireworks on the 4th

Real tanning "beds"...

...Or Cabana Tans with cocktails?

Ocean views change minute by minute and there is nothing like watching the sky and ocean as time passes from sunrise to sunset. In the evening you can watch tiny little boats bobbing up and down and create wonderful stories about what is going on out there. Or you can mind your own business and create your own drama in your oceanfront Beach Club home.

Sunset view from the end of the White Street Pier

If you would like to see Beach Club Unit A 105 please call 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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Old Town Key West Bank Owned Property - Price Reduction

I have written about 1111 Watson Street #D a couple of times. I have shown it several times.  Buyers look. Buyers hem and haw. Most liked the place. A couple liked it a lot but then said something to the affect, "It needs some work." Well, Duh! That's is why it is priced where it is.  If it were perfect, the price would be higher.  And yesterday the asking price on this Bank Owned stand alone cottage located in a nice little Old Town compound with a shared pool to just $309,900 or only $274 per sq ft.  I did a quick price comparison to see if there are any other properties priced this low in the Old Town area. There is one: 1209 Margaret Street which I wrote about two weeks ago. Everything else is priced higher.

The listing Realtor describes this 2242 sq ft home this way:
"Cute 2/1 home in a well located, well known Key West compound. Your front door faces the shared pool! Your living room and one of the bedrooms have french doors to your private walled, landscaped wooden deck. You bath and shower are glassed in within its own private space for communing with nature. Great house for entertaining. Priced right to live in Old Town."
 The  home is located at the end of a meandering brick pathway that winds through lush tropical foliage past the other cottage style homes in this compound. The shared swimming pool and spa are located just to the front of this home.  The first time I entered this compound I was immediately taken by the quaintness of the garden area and the neat little homes located in the compound.  The gardens and open spaces are immaculate.
 This particular home sold for $700,000 in 2007. It is offered for less than half that price now. Of course, it needs some TLC, a good scrubbing, some fresh paint, and it would look much better. I told buyers I think it would make sense to  redo the kitchen and bath, rip out the existing floors and install one uniform floor surface throughout the home. I would even take out the existing windows and doors and replace with wind impact resistant windows and doors to reduce long term wind insurance premiums.  I'm not a builder, but I don't see any of these suggested projects as being terribly expensive, but I do see them as adding tremendous long term value to the property.  I just did a simple mortgage amortization that assumed a purchase price of $300,000 with 20% down payment. I financed $240,000 at 3.1% over 30 years. The result is $1,025 per month (P&I).  That, Dear Reader, is equivalent to rent on a one bedroom apartment in a funky building in Old Town.
Living room and dining area as they appear today
Adjacent living room as it appeared in 2007
 The mls states the home has 1137 sq ft of living space under air and sits on a 2967 sq ft lot. The house is basically a 35' x 29' box plus some additional spaces that add dimension and variety that make this house really unique. Two of the features that come to mind are the wall of French doors in the living area that open out to a private garden area and the once amazing bath with an indoor/outdoor shower that lets you shower under under the sun and the stars. 

CLICK HERE  to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet to view listing info. The agent says this house does not have off street parking, however the prior mls does show that parking is included. This is something to verify if interested. Other units do have parking as well.
Private deck and garden area as it appeared five years ago
Same deck and garden as it appears today - it needs some TLC
The indoor/outdoor shower as it appeared in 2007
The same area today needs a good cleaning
 If you would like to see this home or any other property in Key West, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

810 Georgia Street - The Meadows Area - Key West

It's a given that most people who think of buying a place in Key West first think of purchasing a home in the Old Town area. That's probably because the Old Town area is the part of town where they have spent the most time and where they fell in love with our fair city. I ought to know, it happened to me. The very first week I was in Key West I would go for my morning walks. I would traipse up and down the tree lined streets admiring the ever so cute old houses with white picket fences, palm trees, flowering trees, and those ancient mahoganies. I snapped pictures of the  houses, the storefronts on Duval, the seaport (it did not look then what it looks like now), the restaurants that served amazing food, and bars that were too much fun. I imagined what it would be like to live in such a glorious place. Even then I understood there was something a bit "different" about the locals as compared with where I came from. Everybody was welcome here. I liked what I saw. I was hooked. I knew I would buy a place here someday.

I often write about the other neighborhoods of Key West. Today's blog is about a really lovely home located at 810 Georgia Street in the Meadows Area of Key West.  Georgia Street runs parallel to White Street which is just one block west. Click GOOGLE MAP to see an aerial perspective of the area and then use the toggle switch for a street view. Do a GOOGLE walk around the neighborhood because the "street view" actually shows the wrong address.  You will see lots of house that appear similar to the houses in Old Town which is just one block away. If you take the time to do the walk you will see how really lovely this entire area is.

The listing Realtor describes the home this way:
"Tucked away behind lush tropical landscaping is this lovely four bedroom home located in the highly desirable Meadows of Old Town. Enter through a private walkway to this hidden slice of paradise. Open floor plan with glass doors leading to an amazing pool. High ceilings, central air conditioning, split bedroom floor plan with 2 bedrooms on first floor. Very large master suite upstairs with walk-in closet, room for king-size bed, desk, chairs and sitting area. Coveted 1/1 guest cottage and off-street parking round out the Trifecta of Key West Real Estate- pool, parking, and location. A Hidden Tropical Retreat for Tranquil Key West Living."

The house and guest cottage have a total of 2286 sq ft of living space under air.  (That's about twice as large as many of the cigar maker cottages that we all adore.) The 4087 sq ft lot is wide and deep. The house was built new in 1988 and embodies many of the features that were current at that time yet still has a old house look from the street.  When you enter the house your eyes are immediately drawn past the wall of glass to the pool and the cottage beyond. Then your eyes dart back inside the living room which is  quite a large space with vaulted ceiling. The kitchen is a step up from the living room elevation. There you have a better view of guests in the living area and the beautiful lagoon pool and cottage beyond.

There are two bedrooms located on this level. Both bedrooms are quite large. When you think about it, it only makes sense that something recently built would have good sized bedrooms rooms and baths unless it was a place built by a mass developer looking to squeeze every last inch out of an itty-bitty box. The house at 810 Georgia Street was custom built, so no need to worry about itty-bitty or mundane.

 The master suite is located on the second floor. The space is enormous, especially when you compare it to so many older Key West houses that did not even have closets.

This home is as clean as a whistle. No need to do any repairs either. However, the home is about 25 years old and it is starting to show a little silver.

I saved the best pictures for last. The pool and garden cottage add so much to the property. The pool is just beautiful. We measured it: it's nearly 6.5 feet deep at the far end.

The garden cottage has a spacious bedroom and full bath. Your guests can come and go as they please and not even need enter the main house to get to the cottage which has a private gated entrance. The interior space rivals many of the pricey condos in Old Town.  And it is only the guest cottage.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet and to view the listing photos.  810 Georgia Street is offered at $925,000. If you would like to see this home or any other property in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Aftermath of Isaac - Key West

For the past several days the media has been hyping the slow moving storm out in the Atlantic that meandered across the Caribbean towards Key West. The prognosticators on TV did their best to get everybody all worked up about the worst case scenario as Tropical Storm Isaac inched its way toward the United States. Key West would be the first part of the U.S. to get slammed by this storm, but the big worry was the assembled throngs of Republicans that were set to meet in Tampa to select Mitt Romney as their Presidential candidate for 2012. The Republicans fell for the bait and decided to delay the start of the convention for one day.  Thank God. That's one less day of name calling on the news.

I did my hurricane chores on Saturday. I went to Winn Dixie and bought some easy to fix groceries and water just in case we lost power or water.  Winn Dixie was quite busy at 8:30 AM compared to other days when I shopped at the same time.  I drove across the street to Home Depot to by a new flashlight. Home Depot was also quite busy.  Lots of people buying plywood to be safe from the wind.

I went to my office on Saturday morning to do some work. Our parking lot backs onto the city parking lot and old city hall which is located just off Simonton Street. I found the city lot had placed some baby Bobcats in the lot to be available if the need arose. (It didn't.)

Bell South did the same thing in its lot next door.

I drove over to the Southernmost Point to see what was going on over there. At least one national TV network is camped out there any time there is a storm that heads our way. And sure to form a big satellite truck was there. And just as sure the tourists were also present to get their photos sent all over the globe.

Since Key West is an island surrounded by water I ventured over to Higg's Beach to see what was going on there. Sure enough another satellite truck was there to cover Isaac as it pelleted the shores of Key West.

I personally fell for the hype about huge potential rainstorm so I let about 3 inches of water out of my pool to avoid overflow. I got about one inch of water where I live. So now I get to spend money on refilling the pool. 

I drove around town this morning to see if I could find any damage. I did not. There were some palm fronds and an occasional tree limb on the ground. But I am happy to report that for the most part Isaac was a non-event.  Many businesses boarder or shuttered up. However, I would guess maybe 20% of the shops and restaurants on Duval Street (and elsewhere) did not.

True to form the boys over at the 801 Bar had made big fun of Isaac by having a hurricane party.

I'll bet the party at the 801 was a lot more fun than the party up in Tampa!


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.