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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Key West Horror Story No. 5

A few years ago I represented a buyer who found me via my blog. He lived up north in New York City and was looking to buy a cute Key West cottage where he planned to move. He came to town on several visits to find that perfect place. This was during that terrible time soon after the Great Recession.  Many buyers lost faith in our economy and believed we would never be as good as we once were. I know he expected prices would be lower than they were. He quickly learned he couldn't afford as much house as he thought.

This particular buyer was self-employed. He lived from project to project. He would get paid a lot of money upon the completion of each project. But there was no steady income for the times in between. I hooked him up with a local lender who figured out a way to get him approved for a mortgage. We started looking in areas other than Old Town where prices were lower. We found such a place in Mid Town.

The particular house was an estate sale. The previous owner had passed away. The man was single and died alone except for his dog. His body wasn't discovered for quite some time. The body of his large dog was found as well. The dog apparently survived for a while after the owner passed. You can figure out what happened.
The deceased had two male siblings who lived in the northeast. They engaged a local real estate agent who was a stay-at-home-mom and part-time agent. She told me the place was a mess when she first saw it and offered to fix it up for the far-away brothers. She hired local contractors to do some repairs, install new bathrooms including plumbing and tile installation, painting, and so on. She purchased new kitchen cabinets, appliances, light fixtures, fans, etc. The place looked as next to new as a fifty year old house could look. She was a real estate agent mind you, not a licensed contractor. 

The finished house was priced the equivalent of a fixer house in Old Town except it was already fixed. My buyer was willing to forgo the cuteness in favor of the up to date renovation at an affordable price.  He made an offer. We negotiated the price a bit and put the place under contract.

I was a bit concerned that the agent had done a lot of work which may or may not have been permitted. I included a couple of safe guards in the contract which later proved useful when the renovations she  authorized did not pass final building inspection. The brothers had to come out of pocket to bring the sub-standard work up to meet building code. 

I totally sympathized with the situation those brothers went through. Losing a family member is never easy. Losing a family member in such a harsh way is awful. But then having to pay for something twice compounds the loss even more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Taste like chicken.


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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.