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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Casa Marina Short Sales

Last week I cautioned that Short Sales may not be all they are cracked-up to be. So today I am touting two Casa Marina Short Sales just to tease you. But who knows, you may be in the 18% of buyers lucky enough to actually close a short sale. Read on and you may be enticed to give it a try.

1712 Laird Street is a wonderful renovation of a concrete block house with high open ceilings, open floor plan and French doors that lead to a large deck and beautifully landscaped gardens. There are 2 bedrooms, 2 beautiful baths with a study that can be used as a third bedroom. Shell stone floors through out, walk-in closets and plentiful storage, central air, stainless steel appliances, beautiful hardwood counter tops and a good sized laundry room. Handsome privacy fencing, off street parking and plenty of room for a pool. The asking price has been reduced to $629,000 or $419 per sq ft. I suspect the sales price will be lower indeed.

CLICK HERE for more info and photos of 1712 Laird Street.

I have written before at 1116 Seminary. The asking price is $1,000,000 but I suspect the seller will accommodate any reasonable offer. The seller has no equity to preserve. Renovated three bedroom two bath home in Casa Marina area close to beaches and Old Town. Amenities include bamboo wood floors, cherry cabinets, granite counter tops, tumbled marble baths, heated pool and off-street parking. CLICK HERE for more info and photos.

A short sale generally occurs when the Seller's net sale proceeds after payment of customary closing costs from the sale of real property are insufficient to pay outstanding mortgage and /or other lien(s) in full at closing. Typically, a short sale seller is in default of loan or lien obligations and is able to document the financial inability to meet ongoing repayment obligations. A short sale is not a sale that occurs quickly. Short sales take a lot of time because the third party lender must go through a series of exercises to determine whether the price is reasonable and whether the borrower is financially unable to repay the mortgage. But for those aspiring buyers willing to spend the time and effort to go through the process the reward can be fruitful.

Want to see either of these homes? Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Short Sale that Worked

I made several entries in my blog suggesting would-be buyers to consider purchasing 1119 Olivia Street in Old Town Key West. The legal two story duplex had been throughly remodeled within the past couple of years and had evolved into short sale opportunity. The original asking price was $1,275,000 in March 2007, but finally ended up at a paltry $570,000. The property sold yesterday at $550,000. CLICK HERE to see what you could have purchased in Old Town if only you had heeded my suggestion. I did show the property to several prospects that were looking for a bargain. The same seller (who is also Realtor but not a personal friend or colleague) has other short sale properties on the market.

I just did an mls search of Active Single Family Homes in the Old Town, Meadows, and Casa Marina Areas priced under $1.8 million. CLICK HERE to see the homes that I think are either bargains or good buys. A couple are short sales, a couple are bank owned, and a few are owned by sellers who just want or need to sell. A few of the latter may seem priced high on a per sq ft basis, but I suggest that an active buyer look at what the properties have to offer in evaluating the asking price.

CLICK HERE to perform your own search of the Key West mls. If you see something that interests you please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at to schedule a showing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

8 Passover Lane Old Town Key West, Fl

I have often written about the virtues of living life on one of the slow lanes of Key West. Well, 8 Passover Lane is about the slowest of the slow lanes as possible. It is so slow that it is really just walkway about 6' wide that provides access to the three cottages on the lane. I can see some readers thinking I must be nuts. But read on.

This is how the listing Realtor describes the home: "Absolutely perfect story book cottage in one of the most desirable locations in Old Town. Step onto the rocking chair front porch and open the front door to the main level open floor plan with a large living/dining room and beautiful kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Also on the first floor is the master suite w/vaulted ceiling, master bath and French doors to the rear deck,a cozy study/bedroom with built-in day bed and adjoining full bath with French door to private outdoor shower. Upstairs is a large guest bedroom with sitting area and half bath. Outdoors is a nice sized yard with heated small dipping pool and tropical landscaping. Beautiful turnkey property in absolute pristine condition."

Every once in a while a listing Realtor will refer to a new listing as a "quintessential Key West cottage" and that is exactly what this property is: the most perfect embodiment of the Key West cottage. I guess I'd describe it this way: you walk down the little lane and spy the mystical mailbox notifying you that you have arrived at 8 Passover Lane. You look to the front porch where you see the sign that you have indeed arrived "Paradise Found". Then you see the rocker on the front porch inviting you to seat yourself. Then you open the front door and enter into another world. A world far from the madness that has become the daily life up north in America. The place is done to a Tee, but not over-done. You just feel at ease. At home. In fact there is a sweet little sign over one of the doors that says it all Home Sweet Home. There isn't anything cookie cutter about this cottage. Everything, every view, every last detail is unique.

This two story dream house can be yours for $799,000. It is 1120 sq ft and sits on a lot that is 2349 sq ft. So the asking price equates to $713 per sq ft. They didn't make a lot of these cottages. In fact this is the only one. That's why it is so special. So desirable.
CLICK HERE for more detailed information on this charming two story cottage and additional photos. But understand you must see this living doll house to appreciate it. There is not another like it in Key West. Not at this price, anyway. There are some equally charming homes, but they are all priced much, much higher.

Want to see this property? Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or e-mail me at This is the place everybody dreams about. But only one person gets to own it. Maybe that person will be you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Recognizing a Real Estate Bargain In Key West

I just Googled "recognize a bargain" and up comes this incredible blog written by fellow Realtor Dan Melson from San Diego. CLICK HERE to read the item in full. It is worth your while, especially since I agree with what he says. lol!!!

The premise of his treatise is that his services as a Realtor are valuable because he has years of experience that enable him to help a buyer find a genuine bargain.

Melson says "The ability to recognize a bargain property is a valuable skill. If you disagree with this, what reason do you have for looking at properties before you buy them? Why don't you simply pick out the cheapest property that meets your specifications on MLS, make an offer, come to an agreement, and pay the price, all sight unseen? Remember, you're claiming that the ability to recognize a bargain does not have value. Why would you want to take the time to look if there's no value in it?When there are ten thousand identical items in a warehouse or on the grocery store shelves, you grab one and get on with your life. You might look at the label to make certain it was manufactured to fill the need you have. You don't bother opening the box - if it's defective, you can just exchange it for another. They're all interchangeable."

Then he comes up with a terrific and easily understandable exposition: "But that isn't the case even on everything in the grocery stone. There's a reason they wrap meat in transparent plastic - so you can see the piece of meat you're buying. To view the cut, how much fat is on it, how large a piece of meat it really is, how fresh it is - in short, the value of the meat. If you know what good meat looks like, you've seen people that have no clue as to what to look for choosing crummy meat that you've just rejected. It happens most of the times when I'm at the meat counter, as a matter of fact. It's why the grocery stores keep putting out bad cuts of bad meat. Somebody who doesn't know any better will buy it."

Public access to the Key West Association of Realtors' mls database is open and free to the public. No need to get sign up with a Realtor to get access. Simply CLICK HERE and you can search all real estate listings from Key West to Key Largo. But using the database only gets you a list of properties.

I often add tags like "bargain", "value", or "locational value" to attract readers looking to find great buys. But I agree with Dan Melson that bargain and cheap price are not the one and the same. Tags only attract attention. I try to provide an explanation of why a particular property is a bargain or why one location is better than some other location so that a potential buyer will see the merit of my position and appreciate the value of my experience. I know I have written on several occasions that everybody in Key West is an expert on real estate, because everybody knows what every piece of property costs or sold for, and now who is losing his home in foreclosure. But knowing the price of a piece of property is only the start.

I've written before about one of my best (or worst) learning experiences that occurred almost 30 years ago. I had a bunch of cash and wanted to buy a new (actually old) house on Clermont St. Parkway in Denver. The house looked like something out of a storybook. I made a low bid, all cash offer which went down with a thud. The seller refused to even respond. I went around my Realtor and called the seller up. I offered to pay full price. He said I was an idiot and said he would refuse to sell even at full price. I got the message. And ever since then I have counseled buyers from making the same mistake. If you see something you really like and want to own, make a good faith offer. Low ball offers are fine on run of the mill condos, but if you want to buy something that is really special, treat the seller with respect or you run the risk of losing the ability to buy the property like I did.

There is a lot of junk for sale in the Key West real estate market. A few years ago people were fighting to buy that junk. Now many properties sit vacant--either foreclosed upon or even abandoned knowing they will be foreclosed. There are some good deals to be made on these types of properties. For the most part they are functional. They are not the types of houses that people up in America dream about owning as a second home in Key West. But they can provide good, decent shelter and now at a more affordable price. And there are the occasional properties that come up that are very well located, or have all the bells and whistles, or maybe circumstances require that they be sold quickly and at a huge discount. Both types of properties can be bargains. But it takes experience and knowledge to know the difference between a cheap house that costs too much and an expensive property that is being offered at a very reasonable price.

I encourage would-be buyers to checkout the mls listings CLICK HERE. Get a feel for what is available and what the asking prices are. If you see something that interests you please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Fallacy of Short Sales in Key West

A couple of days ago the Key West Association of Realtors held a lunch hour lecture on Short Sales. The attorney for our association conducted the lecture. There were about 110 Key West Realtors in attendance.

There are a significant number of active short sale listings in our market. There are so many short sale offerings that the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association have adopted a Short Sale Addendum that is to be attached to an Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement when a short sale is offered. The form defines a short sale this way: A short sale generally occurs when the Seller's net sale proceeds after payment of customary closing costs from the sale of real property are insufficient to pay outstanding mortgage and /or other lien(s) in full at closing. Typically, a short sale seller is in default of loan or lien obligations and is able to document the financial inability to meet ongoing repayment obligations.

The Association's lawyer cited one ominous statistic that only 18% of the contracts between sellers and buyers actually close (lender approves the mortgage release at a discounted payoff). Assuming his statistics are correct that means that 82% of potential short sales do not close.

I have been promoting short sales in Key West as buying opportunities, and I think they still are. But I may have mislead potential buyers into believing that just because a property is offered at an attractive short sale price that some lender will actually approve a discounted payoff. It is not that simple.

I found a very well written blog on this subject and I hope you will read it. Short Sales - A misnomer AND a Marketing Ploy. The blog and the comments point out all of the downsides to a short sale.

I think Short Sales are a marketing tool, not a panacea, especially in Key West. We have a lot of properties on the market right now because many second home owners and investors are walking away from properties, and short sales are one method of marketing those properties.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

High Anxiety? -- 701 Elizabeth St. Key West

In my March 1st blog called "Season's Beatings" I said "Most of the sales that have occurred [recently] are a result price reduction. There is still a hesitance by many buyers who think the market will fall further, especially after Season ends. I agree. But bargain hunters may miss getting the plum properties just to save money. Homes in Key West are not like fungible goods. They are unique. So the smart buyers are buying location and value at a good price. Some people may make good money buying what is leftover at the end of the day." I then said to expect more price reductions because sellers who need to sell now must expect the worst. "When the buyers leave, the party is over till next year."

So Season is done and gone. My prediction about more price reductions is exactly what has happened. Today the asking price on a great property in a great location was just reduced from $1,295,000 to $1,100,000 or $555 per sq ft. That is a very competitive price for being located in the heart of Old Town. 701 Elizabeth Street sits at the top of Solares Hill (hence "High Anxiety" as a title--no inference to anything else is intended). The listing Realtor describes the property this way "Perched atop Solares Hill, the high point on the island, this duplex includes a 2 bedroom 2 bath owner's unit with private heated pool and outdoor shower and a 1 bedroom 1 bath separate apartment that is currently rented for $1300 per month. Designed by Tom Pope and built by Erik DeBoer in 1984, the floors are recovered river heart pine and the windows are shuttered with metal louvers. Includes off-street parking." Key Westers know that Erik deBoer built many quality homes during the 1980s (this one happened to be his own residence for a while).

This property is another one of those buying opportunities I have written about: quality property, great location, good price. Think back four years ago when buyers were falling all over themselves looking for deals. Here's a deal people. CLICK HERE for more details on this property and more photos. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

23 Whistling Duck Key West Golf Club - Bank Owned

There are two ways to look at bank foreclosures: (1) dumps that nobody in their right minds would buy or (2) buying opportunities. I think the 3 bedroom 2 bath 1060 sq ft condo at 23 Whistling Duck is located in the Nature Preserve area of the Key West Golf Club Development is a buying opportunity. The property is bank owned so we already know we have a motivated seller. The asking price was just reduced to $364,900 or $344 per sq ft. The property is vacant and easy to show. If potential buyers get pre-qualified through Countrywide Home Loans to purchase this (or another Countrywide owned property) they will receive a free appraisal and credit report if buyer finances through Countywide. I'm not a pitchman for Countrywide. But it is sweetening the deal for would-be buyers.

I'm cheating on this listing because the pics above are of the property when it was listed by the previous owner. He paid $753,000 in July 2005. Fast forward to today and the asking price is around $300,000 lower. The actual sales price will most likely be even lower. CLICK HERE to see more info about the unit and see photos of how it looks today. Don't worry it's not all messed up or trashed. This could be a sweet deal. Other units in the same area are priced much higher. CLICK HERE to see what other similarly sized and located units are priced at in today's market.

If you would like to see this unit up closed and personal please call me,Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. It isn't my listing, but it is my job to help people find good deals.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

823 Johnson Lane

It is really unfortunate that it is coming to this. Good people with dreams of making something nice and creating a future for themselves are seeing those dreams being dashed through no fault of their own. The sad fact is that now even homes in the Old Town area have been dragged down into the Short Sale pool along with so many properties in the Mid Town and New Town areas that were over priced when they sold 3 or 5 years ago.

The beautiful home (and it is a home, not a house) at 823 Johnson Lane is located in Old Town Key West. It sits midway between the landmark St. Mary's of the Sea Catholic Church at the corner of Windsor Lane and Truman Avenue and the City of Key West Cemetery one full block to the north. Johnson Lane parallels Truman and runs easterly off Windsor Lane.

The home is a newly constructed two story home. The photos speak for themselves about the quality of thought, design, craftsmanship, cabinetry, tile & marble, quality finishes, and top of the line appliances that went into the construction of this home. The kitchen is not only beautiful but also user friendly. It is a cook's delight! The living room has a working fireplace to take off the chill on the one day a year it gets chilly in Key West. The loggia by the pool is as hip as all get out. Upstairs there are two incredible bedrooms and each has an incredible bath. CLICK HERE for more detailed information on this property and additional photos. Well worth the look even if you are going to buy.

The property was originally listed at $2.6 million and was reduced on April 18 to $1,875,000 or $1,050 per sq ft for this very high end 1785 sq ft home that sits on a 3091 sf ft lot. Very few homes in Key West are worth over $1000 per sq ft. This is one of them. If you would like to schedule an appointment to see this property please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I think this is a real buying opportunity. This is not a short sale.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Key West Real Estate Q & A

I have been getting e-mails and phone calls regarding some pretty basic real estate issues in Key West. So I thought I would start a Q & A thread.

Explain the difference between Transient Rental and Vacation Rental The City of Key West has an ordinance that prohibits homeowners (and condo owners) from renting their homes on a nightly basis unless the house has a transient rental license. Transient rental licenses are limited to specific areas that are zoned for such use, and those areas are specific and very limited by design. There are a limited number of new transient rental licenses that the city can issue. Some transient rental licenses are available for purchase through Realtors, but the transfer of these licenses from one property are restricted. The City of Key West issues a medallion that is to be affixed to the outside of any property to identify it as being a legally licensed transient rental. I encourage any potential purchaser to verify with the city licensing office and private counsel to ensure that a license if purchased may be transferred and used for the purpose intended.

Since the transfer of transient licenses is so tightly regulated you may appreciate the value of such a license. A transient rental license is a license to make money, sometimes lots of it. Tourism is the biggest business in Key West and tourists who flock here need a place to lay down and rest their heads in beds. In recent years several established guest houses and motels were converted into condominiums, so the number of available hotel type rooms decreased.

The City of Key West does permit property owners who have obtained a non-transient occupation license to rent there homes or condos legally once per month for a period of 28 dyas or less. That means a property owner can rent his or her home for one week in January or for the entire month to the same renter. The property owner may not rent the property for one week to one tenant, skip a week, and then rent the same property to someone else for the remainder of the month.

Are there any special rules for transient rentals at 1800 Atlantic? The rules cited above apply to 1800 Atlantic, and it is in an area that is zoned to receive transient rental licenses. But you cannot purchase a license from one place (even within the complex) and transfer it to a unit that has not previously had a transient license. If you purchase a unit at 1800 Atlantic that has a transient license you are not required to rent your property out as a vacation rental. But you should pay the annual license fee to the City of Key West and Monroe County to maintain the license (about $80 total) because that license adds about $50,000 in additional value to your unit at 1800 Atlantic.

By the way there are some good buying opportunities at 1800 Atlantic. CLICK HERE to checkout all of the current condos listed for sale. Some have transient licenses, some are rented as vacation rentals, and some folks actually call 1800 Atlantic home. If you see a unit that interests you and you want more info, e-mail me at

April 22nd: CLICK HERE to see a new listing at 1800 Atlantic with a transient rental license. Although this unit is not listed as a short sale, it may in fact become one because the amount the owner owes on the mortgage cannot be satisfied even if the unit sells at full asking price. The unit is on the second floor on the Bertha Street side (east) of the complex and is located 5 units from the Atlantic Ocean so it does have an ocean view. It does have a new kitchen and baths, but the asking price is high in my opinion for this demanding market. But should not deter a serious buyer from looking.

What is HARC? HARC is a board of Key West citizens appointed by the Mayor of Key West to oversee the development plans and execution of same in the historic district of Key West. CLICK HERE to see the official City of Key West Historic Architectural Guidelines. The guidelines provide a simple statement of the types of materials that are generally permissible in the restoration or renovation of historic properties or the construction of new properties in the historic district. If you intend to buy an renovate a property in the Old Town area it is essential that you review these guidelines before you start planning to demolish anything or construct anything that is new.

What happens in Short Sale if I am a Buyer? A Short Sale offering is made by a Seller who owes more against a property than he believes the property will sell for in the current real estate market. The Seller will have contacted his lender(s) and provided detailed financial information about himself and his inability to sell the real estate for the amount(s) owed to secured lenders on the property. The Seller asks that the lender(s) agree in principal to permit the property to be sold at a market price that is negotiated between seller and buyer. The lender then determines whether to release the existing by examining the nature of the offer: is the price reasonable given the condition, location, and comparable recent market sales in the area.

The Key West Association of Realtors requires that a Short Sale Addendum accompany any Short Sale Contract for Sale and Purchase of Real Estate. The addendum references the contract and then interjects a provision that permits the lender a specific time period within which to accept or reject the terms of the contact. If the lender accepts the purchase price, the lender normally agrees to either release the mortgage on the real property subject to receipt of the sales proceeds less closing costs, taxes, and real estate commissions.

Other than the lender acting as the final arbiter of price, the seller and buyer are still free to negotiate the other terms of the contract. The lender's primary objective is minimizing loss and mazimizing recovery. So contracts that are all cash with no contingencies (other than inspection, survey, and clean title) are recommended. Get pre-approved for your financing before you attempt to buy any short sale property or any bank owned property.

Who pays the real estate commission? In most instances the Seller has a signed contract with the Seller's Real Estate Broker agreeing that Seller will pay a specific percentage of the purchase price as a real estate commission at closing as a fee procuring a purchaser. This fee is usually divided between the listing broker and the broker who procures the buyer. If you are a buyer you do not have to pay a Realtor for his/her services (unless you have a specific agreement to the contrary).

If you have a Question please leave a comment or send me an e-mai at

Friday, April 18, 2008

Garden of Eden 120 Angela Street Key West

The listing broker to the setting of the cute Key West condo at 120 Angela Street as the Garden of Eden. When you enter thru the gates into the entry and pool area you really are transported to a very serene place.
The pool sits to the front of a large variety of palms and tropical foliage. There are only four condos in this building and each has its own designated paved off street parking space. The building itself is a very handsome structure that is the anchor of the block just to the south of Truman Annex. Angela Street is supposedly going to be a pedestrian and bicycle path when the Truman Annex Beach and Harbor redevelopment is completed. CLICK HERE for more info and photos of this property.

The asking price on the 2 bed 2 bath unit is 852 sq ft was just reduced to $599,000 or $703 per sq ft. At this price you get a beautiful kitchen with upscale cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The baths are way upscale over what you would find across the street in the smaller Shipyard units (680 sq ft with just one bath). To make it easier for you to do some comparison shopping CLICK HERE to see other Old Town condos or town homes with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths at $599,000 or less. And CLICK HERE to compare this unit with units at Shipyard. I'm not taking sides because I want to sell. Like Sargent Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts!" I do think this property looks superior to most of the other similarly priced properties.

It is my understanding that two of the other units are only used as vacation homes by the other owners so there is not a lot of contact with neighbors. But that can change as ownership changes. It is easy to see this little gem. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just Listed: 916 Fleming Street Old Town Key West

Just Listed: 916 Fleming Street, Old Town, Key West, Florida. No it is not my listing. But if you have the glue, you need to checkout this stunning new addition to one of the best streets in Key West.

Two years ago a friend who owned the house next door at 912 Fleming was in the process of starting the renovation of 916 Fleming when he passed away. His estate sold the property very quickly at a very good price at the time. The new owner completed the demolition of the interior of 916 Fleming and created his own vision of how to redevelop the property. For years the property had been known as the Baker House and all I can say is that it wasn't pretty. CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE to see pics of what the property looked like before renovation.

Fast Forward to today and the revelation of an exquisite designer Old Town Home offered turnkey, stunning furnishings with state of the art amenities included. Dramatic great room welcomes you with coffered ceilings, wood walls, sophisticated gourmet kitchen, wet bar & beautifully appointed living & dining area. Indoor/outdoor living room finished in IPE flooring, pool, waterfall & new guest house. Unsurpassed craftsmanship & custom designer materials grace this home including walnut counter tops, marble selections, bamboo & sea grass treatments, plantation shutters, generator. This gem comes fully furnished with 9 flat screen T.V.'s, all accessories, most of the art & linens. A Truly impeccable work of art to be appreciated by the most discriminating buyer. Offered at $3,400,000 or $1063 per sq ft. CLICK HERE for more photos and additional information on this home.

The home two doors west at 908 Fleming recently sold for $3,600,000 ($1,158 per square foot) and is undergoing a massive remodel. That house is huge and sits on a huge lot. The house across the street at 911 Fleming sold in 2007 after 120 days on the market for $4,340,000 or $1401 per sq ft. The other homes on the block are not as expensive, but they are very attractive and share what I consider to be an excellent location. The homes are a short 5 minute walk to Duval Street and an equally short walk to the Historic Key West Seaport.

Of course if you are looking for a house that is perhaps just a wee bit smaller and maybe not quite as expensive, there are several available in all price ranges--even in Old Town. CLICK HERE to do your own search of the Key West mls database to find your new home in Paradise. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at to schedule a showing of 916 Fleming or some other great property.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

826 Olivia Old Town Key West -- Short Sale

I wrote about 826 Olivia Street a while back. I am totally surprised that this little gem has not sold because it is so sweet. Let me tell you the negatives before I expound on the positives. It has no off street parking, there is no pool or room for one, and it is located across the street from the Key West Cemetery. Oh, the house next door to the east isn't as cute as it could be. (But the house directly behind this home is gorgeous and it is on the market for $2,595,000.)

This charming home, with extraordinary ambiance and comfortable, convenient floor plan, is located in Old Town Key West. Upon entering the large Great Room, with soaring wooden, beamed Cathedral ceilings and wood floors, you view the landscaped yard with deck, patio and Jacuzzi. The windows, and the French doors on 3 sides, make this space spectacular! The kitchen, which is open and airy, lends itself perfectly for entertaining, is all new with wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counters and tile floors. The bathroom, also all new, features granite counters, neutral tile and new cabinetryIt is now offered at only $645,000 or $640 per sq ft. This is a short sale so you may be able to negotiate an even better deal. CLICK HERE to checkout what the listing Realtor/Owner says about this property.

The property has been successfully rented as a seasonal vacation rental. CLICK HERE to see the vacation rental company's website for the cigar maker's cottage.

Want to see this little charmer? Call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Million Dollar Short Sales -- Key West

There are currently 222 Key West single family homes priced at $1,000,000 or more. Six of those properties are shown as either potential Short Sales or Bank Foreclosures. CLICK HERE to checkout each of the properties.

I have written about a few of the properties previously. I think there are some real buying opportunities on some of these listings. The house at 1021 Johnson for example is located on one of the most desirable streets in the Casa Marina Area. It is flanked by many multi-million dollar homes that will only continue to increase in value as the years pass by.

The home at 3500 Flagler Blvd. is listed at only $1,200,000 ($420 per sq ft) for a 4 bed 6 bath home with a pool that sits on a 10,312 sq ft lot. Its' kitchen is pictured to the right.

The house at 716 Olivia Street could make you cry. The beautiful Arts & Crafts home was renovated by a friend who is also a Realtor. He put so much into the house as far as quality and workmanship that he was not able to finish the project. That makes it difficult to sell a house in this wicked environment. So the house just sits there. Undone. If you go inside you'll see the beautiful floors, woodwork, cabinetry, custom tiles, elegant light fixtures that were so thoughtful introduced into this property. The house is listed at $1,995,000 or $845 per sq ft. It's going to take some money to finish the house. But a smart buyer ought to be able to negotiate a good deal on this property because of the shortfalls.

Then there is the big house at 23 Sea Lore Lane on Shark Key. It is offered at $1,650,000 or $628 per sq ft. The 4 bed 3 bath home sits on the water amid many multi million dollar homes. How often do you get a chance to own a waterfront home in Key West for that kind of price?

And finally there's that sweet little house on Seminary Street with a nice pool and lots of charm. It's offered at only $1,000,000 or $697 per sq ft. The house has 3 bedrooms and two baths.

The houses on the click list are those whose Realtors have shown them as Short Sale or I identified as bank owned. But there are more properties offered that are "financially challenged". I would suggest that if you are looking for a deal on a larger home that you consider looking at one of these properties. The asking prices are just that: asking. Short Sale prices can be negotiated between the seller and the buyer. The lender will ultimately decide whether to approve the deal or not or perhaps offer a compromise price. This may be your opportunity to buy a big house for a small price in Key West. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or e-mail me at if you would like more info or if you would like to schedule a showing.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.