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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Key West Properties Blog!


I was driving around Key West earlier today and remembered that I started my little blog about Key West real estate around Christmastime in 2006. I told myself that I needed to check the first entry to see when it all began. I did. The first blog was actually dated December 18, 2006 or eight years ago today.

A couple of years into writing my blog I added a counter to determine how many people were actually reading my blog. As of today there have been 1,000,430 page views. (I have no idea how many page views there may have been before the counter was added.)  I have written 2172 blogs. 2281 people have written comments most of which are still on the blog. I strongly believe in free speech and have only deleted a couple of comments over the years. I have deleted spam, however. There is some person in India or Bangladesh that has made comments praising my blog trying to get other readers to consider the option of buying over there instead of down here. People complain how long it takes to get here. Imagine how long it would take to get to India. A couple of years in to writing the blog I began to copy and put it on Activerain as well. Activerain is a blog platform used by Realtors to discuss real estate issues. I have 490,015 page views on Activerain.

One of the first calls I got of my blog was from a gentleman in the Carolinas. He had read a blog about a really cute house. We talked about the place a couple of times. I took more photos for him. We talked some more and then he made a cash offer, sight unseen. He bought the house.  A couple of years ago he showed up at an open house I held and introduced himself. That was our first meeting. I actually sold that house last year to a nice young couple from the midwest. And I have sold several houses the same way - sight unseen.

I learned I had a bit of a fan base. People have called me up just to talk. Some people have dropped by my office to meet me. A couple of couples took me to lunch or dinner (I'm not soliciting - I promise!)  A few years ago I drove a couple from Colorado (my home until I moved to Key West) around looking at houses. They didn't buy anything, but promised when the time was right, they would buy a house from me. They came back this spring and did just that. They bought their little dream home in Old Town. And there are many other readers who called me or wrote me and who have bought their dream home from me.  Thank you, all!

I have a few kids under my belt as well. I had a gay couple that used a surrogate. I see them and their daughter Millie often. I worked with a local couple who had a boy less than a year old when we started to look for a house. He was walking and talking by the time we finally got their home. I think he is now seven. He got to become a big brother last year. His dad told me he is a very good big brother. Good going, Owen! I have coffee dates with a buyer from Massachusetts when she comes to town. Her son is now seven as well. He went with us on one date and spent the whole time on his iphone playing games. The grandson of another couple referred to me as Grandpa's friend.  I have watched these kids grow up. Time seems to fly. It warms my heart to see these families now have second homes here and know that I have been a part of that process.

My internet skills are pretty limited. I figured out how this blogging thing works. Thank goodness that Google and Activerain have made the process easy to figure out.

And thank you to my Dear Readers who come back to this little blog to see what is offered for sale on the Island of Key West and to read the occasional reminiscing about my earlier life and occasional rambling about some goofiness going on in Key West now. 

6 comments:

FloridaAG said...

Happy Birthday from your readers. Love the blog

Al said...

Gary - discovering your blog 6 years ago was the most fortunate thing for Patrick and me. Reading your daily entries and learning about the nuances of Key West real estate, we were better prepared when we came down and you showed us a dozen places. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have gotten the deal we did on our great little second home. You made it easy and painless!

Anonymous said...

Gary, I have my coffee with you every day. It's been just about the best part of my day for 4 years now. Thank you so much for all that you do. You keep dreams alive, and God bless you! Joseph Graham

Page said...

Gary, I enjoy your blog and read it regularly when I want an escape from work for a few minutes. Glad you've shared so much of Key West with the rest of us! Happy Holidays. Page

Anonymous said...

Gary,

I've been reading your blog on a daily basis for two years now. My husband and I love the blog and enjoyed working with you this year to find our own piece of KW heaven. We will be down most of the winter and would love to have you over for a drink. Will reach out when we get to town.

To all those potential buyers out there-- Gary is awesome!

Ann Orr

Gary Thomas said...

Thank you all for your kind comments and for the emails some sent to me. I appreciate you reading my blog and really, really appreciate it when you buy a place from me.
Gary

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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.