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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Key West Properties Blog - 2014 - A Retrospective

I previously wrote about my picks for the top 20 single family home sales in Key West for 2014. It occurred to me that it would be interesting to look back to see some of the properties that I wrote about in 2014 to see what happened to those properties.

January 14, 2014 - 1021 Washington Street, the Casa Marina Area of Key West
This property was re-listed by a different company this year after having been on the market for several years. It recently went under contract. I think this is one of the most beautiful homes in all of Key West. I hope the new owners don't do a thing to it or the large parcel of ground that abuts it.

January 31, 2014 - 1309 Newton Street Key West
1309 Newton Street was a new bank owned foreclosure offered at only $249,900 way under what I considered market value. This pricing strategy generated a huge amount of interest and many offers. It sold for $290,000. The property is back on the market as a pre-sale for a to be built renovation priced at $1,150,000.

February 19, 2014 - Ronny Bailey Artist
I have done several blogs on one of the truly unique artists in Key West, Ronny Bailey.  He came into my office last February with his then most recent creation, a piece on 227 Julia Street.  We talked about the piece and I said I would like to take a photo of the art with the real house in the background. So we got in my car and drove to the site. He walked up to the owner's front door, knocked, and asked for permission to take a photo of the house. Permission was kindly granted and I went to work. I snapped a couple of good photos that day. If you click on the above date you can see the post and photos. I am particularly fond of the photo looking sideways down the street. It is as if the small art piece is actually the house.

February 27, 2014 - 810 Elizabeth Street
This property was a legal duplex with upside potential. I would have renovated this house and made it into a single family home. There was room for a pool in the back and potentially room for parking on the side. I got several phone calls and email inquiries from various people interested in this property that was originally priced at $740,000 and that eventually sold at $640,000. I drove by this property last week and had not noticed any changes - yet. I don't know if the new owner is going to renovate or keep the place as it is.  I think a lot of buyers want to renovate but sometimes come to realize that what existed for years might not be "broken" and might just work after all. I'll keep my eyes on this property just in case it becomes a Project of Key West in the future.

March 22, 2014 - 622 Grinnell Street
I have written about this big old house several times, and for good reason: I think it is one of the best deals in Key West. It's really big (as in tall) old (as in age) house. It's located on one the best blocks in Key West (quiet as in their aren't Conch trains or trolley cars on this block disturbing the peace). I think it has huge potential for a buyer who wants to transform a house with a lot of character into a grand home. It'll take a few hundred thousand to do it, but the end result would be well worth the time, money, and effort. My experience has been there are a lot of "talkers" who want a project property and few buyers who really want to tackle a project property.

March 26, 2014 - 1100 Angela Street
This property appeared in my blog more than a couple of times as well. I liked this property because it had so much upside potential. It was a legal duplex and it was priced at a reasonable price given that it needed some TLC. I had a couple of different buyers who made offers on this "bank owned" property. It did finally sell in September for $732,000. Interestingly, it went back on the market yesterday at $1,369,000.

April 13, 2014 - I wrote about the Importance of Finding Ernie
Ernie had a few too many cocktails and wandered around Old Town looking for Bert. A lot of people get lost in Key West.

May 4, 2014 - Key West Life is Never Predictable
I wrote about encountering a nude man while riding my bike to the gym several years ago. See the story above about Ernie. I said a lot of people get lost in Key West. I mean it...

May 15, 2014 - 2015 Staples Avenue
This house just amazed me! This area is populated by dozens of similarly sized homes built in the 1950s and 1960s. Most have been tinkered with by homeowners. Some have been renovated by licensed contractors. But I don't think any house in the area can compare to the superior renovation the owner of 2015 Staples did to his house. It is a model of perfection.

July 12, 2014 - 1429 Johnson Street
I wrote about this bank owned house located just east of the Casa Marina area. The house had been updated several years earlier but looked a bit forlorn when I photographed it. I showed the house to several potential buyers and talked with others on the phone. It was sold and the new owner has removed much of the older landscaping and fencing and is in the process of bringing the house into the new century.

August 8, 2014 - 615 Southard Street
 Within a matter of days two neighboring houses in the 600 block of Southard Street were listed for sale. Both sold quickly. One had a transient license, the other had an extensive history as a monthly vacation rental. When I write a blog and say I think it will sell quickly, I mean it. Sometimes I am wrong about my predictions. But I think I am more often correct. Both of these houses were money makers.

September 16, 2014 - 530 Grinnell Street
This picture perfect renovation is still for sale. It is absolutely beautiful.  The only reason it has not sold is that it does not have a pool or room for a pool. Not every buyer needs a pool. Dante's is a couple of blocks away. The ocean isn't that far away. People, this is a real beauty!

October 17 2014 - 1109 Fleming Street
I probably got more phone calls and emails on this house than any property I wrote about this year. This was a big bank owned house located on a good block in Old Town. It had a large guest cottage in the rear as well as off street parking accessed via lane in the rear. I saw this property as being one incredible project property. The main house and cottage were in very good shape but lacked refinement. 

November 5, 2014 - 522 Petronia Street
This property reminded me of so many of the houses I used to see when I first started selling houses in Key West. It is actually two older homes that were joined together with a common entry. The rooms and uses were re purposed by the owner and made into one larger home. A pool was added and a mini-estate was created. Times have changed and new owners require a more sophisticated design today. The house still works but the 70s renovation is history.  I think this is a project worthy of consideration.

November 24, 2014 - 1227 Von Phister Street
 I really liked this little house located just east of the Casa Marina area. So did they buyer that put it under contract right after it got listed. a
A lot of of buyers insist they want to be located in Old Town "near the action" whereas locals know that you are more likely to live a comfortable lifestyle if you are not amid all the noise and commotion of Old Town.

I always try to encourage new buyers to expand their horizons and to look other than Old Town or the Casa Marina areas.  Most buyers come prepared to search for a home with sales data gleaned from Zillow. Some come armed with info from locals they may have met in a bar or restaurant. One lady told me she got her real estate advice from her hair dresser. Makes me go nuts. I wouldn't dare try t cut or style some other person's hair.  I'd prefer that stylists and barbers mind their own business.

I was talking to a frustrated buyer yesterday who is getting impatient to buy a house that he could renovate. This buyer Sir looking for a flipper. I told him to hang loose and to remember that locals are always dying, getting divorced, or having getting foreclosed on (or some other tragedy. Holdout and don't buy just to buy. Wait for a good deal rather than going after anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the great blog today! Please keep track of the Fleming house for us. My partner and I walk by the home every morning. We've always said how wonderful that old eyebrow beauty could be with a little love and attention. Hopefully the new owners give it the new life it deserves.


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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.