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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Key West - Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda!

Talk about mid-life crisis and the road not taken, how about the lost opportunities that people (buyers and sellers) regret day after day after day for years into the future. In a little town like Key West you can drive by that house you could have bought for a great price but didn't because you didn't like the seller, you didn't like the deal, you think you coulda bought the place cheaper,you were afraid Obama or Trump would do something stupid, etcetera. As a seller you wish you wouldn't have been such an ass, that you had been more pragmatic, that you would have accepted the all cash offer with no strings attached instead of holding out to get more money which in fact you did not get. Life's lessons in real estate: woulda, coulda, shoulda, but didn't!

About three weeks ago a couple from the northeast walked into my open house at 1500 Albury Street in Key West. I met them around 2000 when I was an agent at Knight Realty (now Berkshire Hathaway Knight and Gardner Realty).  A year later we looked at two adjacent houses in the 1000 block of Fleming Street. (One of the best blocks in town.) The houses had been hideously and cheaply redone a few years earlier. They needed revamped. Her father was a builder, so she was familiar with construction and saw the potential of this location and these properties in particular. They said they had investment properties up north they had to sell first. They said they had kids to put through school and college - first. They did not buy even though in their hearts they knew this was a really outstanding opportunity.. Somebody else bought the properties for $660,000 and did an "over-the-top" redesign of the property. That same house was resold in 2015 for $2,750,000. Sixteen years later this same couple is still dreaming about buying a place here but they are still burdened by all the things that they must do first.
Most of the buyers I have worked with have fairly simple goals. They may lay in a hammock on their guest house porch and dream about what it would be like to own a home or business in Key West. Or they may sit on their computer monitoring every new listing that appears on Zillow sometimes thinking "this may be the one if I can buy it at the right price," They may even talk with a Realtor and look at houses and maybe make a half-hearted offer on a place. Or maybe they just find excuses as to why none of the houses work.

As of today there are 434 active listings for homes, condos, and town houses in Key West. Just 70 of those are priced below $500,000. And most of those are condos or town houses. There are 178 houses and condos priced over $1,000,000 and 46 of those are priced over $2,000,000. A lot of sellers have recently reduced their asking price in hopes of selling their place this year. Would, coulda, shoulda works equally for buyers and sellers.

The dream of owning a home in Key West has not diminished. It's the price that is the problem for most buyers but not all. Earlier this week a single family home in Key West sold for $5,442,000 with furnishings. Give me a call and let's see if we can find your dream house before it is gone. Don't wait sixteen years to fulfill your dreams.


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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.