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Sunday, June 21, 2015

1430 Albury Street, Key West - Dream the Possible Dream

The above photos show the vacant lot at 1430 Albury Street in Key West which is offered for sale with all necessary building plans approved by various City of Key West agencies to construct a new home.  Now in most parts of America that would not seem like a big deal. But in Key West where there are few building lots and especially lots in such a prized location as this, it is a pretty big deal.  That is because the Historic District in Old Town and much of the Meadows Area and the Casa Marina Area fall under the protective HARC (Historic Architectural Review Commission). HARC is charged with the preservation and conservation of the character, integrity and appearance of the historic districts. All changes, alterations, additions, demolitions or relocations to buildings and sites must first obtain a certificate of appropriateness from HARC before any work can be undertaken. That's kinda easy to write but more difficult to obtain in real life. 
As lovely as the old CBS house was, in reality it was not worth saving. The building had spalling in a couple of locations. The owner went through the tedious process of obtaining permission from  HARC to raze the non-historic structure. The owner worked with local architect Carlos Rojas to design a two story 'Conch' Style home with about 1900 sq ft of living space on a 50' X 70' (3500 sq ft) lot. All plans have been HARC Approved and all City Planning  Department requirements met. A new owner can apply for a building permit the day you close. The hard work has been done. The house will have four bedrooms, three and 1/2 baths, four porches, a pool and deck, and off street parking. The house can be constructed with new and efficient building materials including Hardiboard siding which is easier to maintain than traditional wood siding. The home will include new wind impact resistant windows and doors. This means your wind insurance will be a fraction of what you would pay for a house with regular windows. The new house is FEMA flood compliant which will result in lower insurance costs. Your regular home owner's insurance will be less costly because it will be built to the highest building standards in Florida again as compared to old construction. These savings will be significant in the short and long term. If you don't like the approved plans,  you could revise the plans and build a different version of your own dream house. The site approvals and basic structural approvals are in place and should govern any proposed change. A new owner could revise the plans and build a different version of his or her dream house. The approvals are done. The hard part is over.
The new house will be located within easy biking distance to Duval Street and all of the noise and commotion over there. I know a lot of potential buyers think they want to live within two blocks of Duval. Believe me, you'll be much happier not having to hearing folks walking back to their hotels or rental houses at 3:00 AM or listening to Conch Train conductors re-telling stories about old Key West twenty times a day - every day of the week. 1430 Albury Street is located in a much quieter part of the Historic District, just one block from Bayview Park. You can go there to walk your dog, play tennis, marvel at the glorious Royal Poinciana trees, or participate in one of the civic events which occur at the park throughout the year. Of you can go out the back door and sit on the deck and watch the sun rise or walk the dog down lovely Albury Street which is populated with huge flowering and fragrant trees. You will fulfill your dream of living life in Paradise.
1430 Albury Street is offered with approved architectural plans at $750,000. The price does not include the cost of construction of the new home but it does include all architectural plans, surveys, approvals, etc.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. I can provide more detailed information on the plans to interested buyers. Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


7 comments:

FloridaAG said...

Crazy pricing - apparently it is 2006 or 2007 all over again

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you would say that?! Double digit - 15%, 20% and more - YoY returns are total sustainable over five plus years. Just ask my advisor, Bernie.

BTW, any one know how I can get ahold of Madoff these days? Ol' Bernie not answering my calls.

Gary Thomas said...

There are three other buildable lots for sale in the "immediate" area:
211 Virginia St at $275,000 for a 25 ' x 87' lot.
317 Virginia St at $399,000 for a 2195 sq ft lot.
322 Amelia St at $749,000 for a 3999 sq ft lot.

And then there is that house with the extra large lot at 413 Virginia Street that is ripe for renovation and expansion. It is offered at just $$575,000 but a new owner would have to work with HARC to get plans approved and to deal with the neighbors across the street.

Predict the end of the economy all you want. The naysayers scarred away a lot of people from buying when market prices were low. Now that prices are going up and inventory is going down, there are those who want to scare the beejeezus out of people who missed buying years ago.

I think when a potential buyer actually goes to this location, gets out of the car, and starts to walk the neighborhood that buyer will understand the real value of this location over the other properties located in Bahama Village. There are numerous million dollar plus homes in the immediate area. Bayview Park already exists. The convenience is undeniable. The buyer will get it.

Gary

FloridaAG said...

I hope you are right Gary. The asking price is more than double for comparable lots with ROGO 2 years ago - that is all I am saying.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I don't think people are predicting the end of the economy, rather pointing out that certain types of growth is likely unsustainable over short/medium term.

If you hold any asset long enough, it likely will rise in value. But watching large gains over 3-5 yrs happen TWICE barely a decade apart draws obvious comparisons, certainly with a collapse in between.

"Bubbles", or whatever you wish to call it do occur. Look at the collector car market in the mid-to-late 1980s. 50s & 60s Jags and Ferraris were increasing 30-50% per year! Then the market collapsed (as did the economy due to many factors - S&L crisis, etc. Sound familiar?). It took nearly 20 yrs for those "assets" to return to such prices.

The difference? It has been a long held belief real estate is a solid investment - "can't go wrong" to quote my grandfather (and people don't NEED a classic Jag).

The current climate indicates long held beliefs need re-evaluated. Real estate may not be such a good investment when the average buyer/seller is competing with much savvier players in the market (REITs, etc).

And lastly, nothing personal, but most sales professionals did puff about how buyers needed to "get in the game", "don't miss out", "the market will pass you by", "it's a great time to buy", etc in clearly a seller's market in 2005-2007. Those alarms are being re-rung today.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anonymous. I am not writing about the economy. I am writing about a building lot in a desirable location in Key West where there are very few lots and even fewer in desirable locations where one would end up owning a house that would eventually cost $1.2 million or higher (adding lot purchase and construction costs).

I have worked with many what I call "would-be" buyers. The would-be refers to the fact that they never purchased a property because they could not accept the price per sq ft or some other indicia that made them believe they would be paying too much for a property. I have started and then stopped writing a blog on one guy who had an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business. He knew too much. He over-analyzed everything. Every nickle made a huge impact on his ability to understand and to accept the price he would have to pay to buy an asset that the seller considered very valuable. I have watched equally successful would-be buyers go through the same frustration of feeling that they would have to pay too much for something they really want. Some of those people moved their target to other locations in Florida where prices are cheaper - places like Miami where people get shot to death for no reason at all, Ft Lauderdale where you can drive for miles and miles on a super highway to go to the store or the gym, or Ocala where you can live much more frugally but have nothing to do.

Buyers need to be sensible about how much they pay for a building lot just as they need to be careful who they hire as their architect or general contractor. A bad selection of either professional could lead to a difficult situation at some point in the future.

But if the real goal is to buy a lot and build a quality home in a great neighborhood in Key West, the thought process ought to be centered on making sure the particular lot works for that buyer. In the long run, we will all be dead. In the shorter term, getting the right lot and hiring the right people to design and build your dream home ought to be the primary goal. And this applies to whatever lot (or finished house or even fixer upper) you buy. We live on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Of course stuff costs more here than it does on the mainland. Our insurances are a bit higher, our taxes are lower, and our quality of life is much better.

Let all of the alarms be re-rung. On November 29, 2008 I wrote the following and I think it holds true today. It was a predictor I made just after Wall Street collapsed.
"I know just about everybody is really nervous about the economy right now. The talking heads on TV do their best to keep everybody worked up all the time. They have to feed the need to watch their channel for "BREAKING NEWS". Fix the damned news, I say. Stop scarring the crap out of everybody. The world is not going to end. We will get through this mess." And we did. Generally speaking the rich are richer than ever before and that includes the people who read my little blog in hopes of finding a second home in Key West. Yes, you are rich.You will be even richer after you buy your piece of Key West. There is only one place like this. The number of houses and especially quality building lots is limited. Get yours before prices go up even more. No matter what anonymous pundits say, the world is not going to end and housing costs will rise (even if they dip for a bit). We live in America. We win. That's what we do. And a few very lucky Americans live in Key West. (Or you can keep your money in the bank.)

FloridaAG said...

Amen Gary. Great post. Having fairly recently bought a lot and built my home, this quote is absolutely spot on:

"But if the real goal is to buy a lot and build a quality home in a great neighborhood in Key West, the thought process ought to be centered on making sure the particular lot works for that buyer. In the long run, we will all be dead. In the shorter term, getting the right lot and hiring the right people to design and build your dream home ought to be the primary goal. And this applies to whatever lot (or finished house or even fixer upper) you buy. We live on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Of course stuff costs more here than it does on the mainland. Our insurances are a bit higher, our taxes are lower, and our quality of life is much better."

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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.