gary thomas realtor: Former Key West Association of Realtors Executive Gets Prison Time for Embezzlement - 06/18/18 07:43 AM

                                                                                                               Photo credit Key West Citizen
Ydaris Wood, former executive director of the Key West Association of Realtors, was led out of Monroe County Circuit Court in handcuffs last Thursday after being sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by twenty-five years on probation. She was … (5 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Separation Anxiety - 06/17/18 03:51 AM

The little kid is wee me and the bigger guy is my big brother. The photo was taken on the lawn at the now razed Presbyterian Hospital in Denver in about 1948 or 1949.  My mother worked at the hospital as a switchboard operator back then, but today's blog relates to a different visit there and how it impacted my life forever.
I was about two years old when I was admitted Presbyterian Hospital to test for a heart murmur. Readers may be skeptical of my recollection, but it is real. I have seen it in my mind's eye for decades. It … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 715 Fleming Street, Key West - Back on the Market - 06/14/18 05:10 AM

Wake-up early risers. The really sweet single family home located at 715 Fleming Street was just put back on the market.  Many would-be buyers missed the opportunity to buy this place when it went o the market a couple of months ago. The buyer on that deal withdrew from the sale and now some other buyer has the chance to buy this wonderful Key West home.
715 Fleming Street in Key West is located opposite the Monroe County Library. When the listing agent asked me to take some photos of the house, I gladly agreed. I immediately went to my old shoebox … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 723 Southard Street, Key West - High and Dry on Solares Hill - 06/13/18 07:54 AM

723 Southard Street sits on one of the highest locations in Old Town Key West near the tippy-top of Solares Hill - the highest point on the island. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with a large family room has three walls of sliding glass doors which open to the new heated and chilled pool. The gourmet kitchen has granite counter tops, Bosch stainless steel appliances, vaulted ceiling and a dining area with a wall of glass. Crown molding, designer lighting and beautiful heart of pine floors throughout make this one of the most appealing homes available a this price-point.

I found … (1 comments)

gary thomas realtor: The "Cobbled Together" One-Time Key West Compound of Nancy Friday - 06/10/18 04:36 AM

I recently received an email from a friend who used to live near Nancy Friday's house in Key West. The email included a link to a Wall Street Journal piece entitled Author Nancy Friday's "Central Park West Compound Asks $22.5 Million". CLICK HERE to read the piece. The first line reads: "Over two decades, author Nancy Friday cobbled together an unusual compound of three adjacent apartments atop a New York City apartment building that overlooks Central Park".
I read the article and responded to my friend telling him that is exactly what Nancy Friday did in Key West three decades ago when … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 813 Shavers Lane, Key West, Florida - Bank Owned - 06/06/18 05:21 AM

Ten years ago there were a lot of bank owned properties for sale in Key West. In 2018 the number of bank owned properties has reduced to a trickle including the newly listed property located at 813 Shavers Lane, Key West. Shavers Lane is located one-half block west of Duval Street just south of Petronia Street.  The Hemingway House is located one-half block west and one block south. Several of the single family homes on this block have become very successful monthly vacation rentals. This property when updated just a bit could become a monthly vacation rental as well or just … (4 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 724 Eaton Street, Key West - Historic Home Available for the First Time - 06/04/18 03:49 AM

In his book, The Houses of Key West, author Alex Caemmerer tells us the Freeman-Curry House located as it is now known was built in 1865 and remained in the same family until the 1920s when it was purchased by T. Jenkins Curry. The Curry's completely remodeled the house located at 724 Eaton Street and moved it back from the street forty feet where it still sits today. He tells us the outdoor kitchen and outhouse were replaced with modern additions to the building available to the rich in the 1920s. 
I searched through my shoebox and found the above black and … (4 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Key West Horror Story No. 11 - 06/03/18 08:23 AM

 The ten days after Hurricane Irma were about the most difficult days of my life. I had a little damage to the roof of my house  I lost parts of my fence after not-all-that-tall trees fell upon it. And I was without power and potable water for more than a week. I stayed with friends and we made the best of it. I stayed in Key West for the storm and was lucky enough to learn my house was okay in spite of the minor damage.
During the next two days I went by many of the houses I had sold to … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Key West Real Estate Sales Report - June 2018 - 06/02/18 07:47 AM

I took the above photo a few years ago. It shows the sleek metal spiral staircase in a modern addition to an historic home in the Old Town Key West. The photo is a bit symbolic of real estate prices in most parts of the county which go up and down. I have been selling real estate in Key West for the past twenty-two years where, save for the 2008 Recession and a couple of years thereafter, real estate prices have gone up an average of ten per cent or more each year.
I have become more and more pessimistic by the … (0 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 1319 Eliza Street, Key West - Elegant Transformation - 05/31/18 05:31 AM

Older readers of today's blog will surely remember Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady where a cockney flower girl was transformed to elegant lady.  That is exactly what occurred at 1319 Eliza Street in Key West. Two unassuming cigar maker cottages were thoroughly renovated and bridged together to make one elegant 1547 square foot home in the Bayview Park District.
To prove my point  I dug into my old shoebox and found photos of the two original houses taken about fifty three years ago.  The photos show the clean lines even back then. Note that 1319 Eliza Street is a corner lot. … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Key West Realtor Caravan: What Were They Thinking? - 05/26/18 03:08 AM

The Key West real estate  "selling season" starts just before Christmas and ends in late May. During that time the Key West Association of Realtors hosts twice monthly Realtor caravans to showcase new MLS listing to local agents. Agents are bused from house to house to see new listings. Agents who own Range Rovers, Bentleys, and Teslas drive their own vehicles. #TRUE
During a recent Realtor caravan I overheard a female agent remark "What were they thinking?" as she looked out to the pool area.  The Midtown house was well over fifty years old and looked every bit its age. It was … (4 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 715 Frances Street, Key West - Quintessential Eyebrow House - 05/25/18 02:26 AM

If you are a longtime and loyal reader of this real estate blog, you may remember that I have written several blogs about 715 Frances Street several times over the years. It is one of the most visible of all the eyebrow houses in Key West. It was built circa 1896 and has been renovated to some degree by each of the recent owners. The current owners have done a masterful job in editing and refining prior renovations and adding their touch to make this home a genuine gem. This is not real estate mumbo jumbo.  Let's take a look at … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: The Projects of Key West, May 2018 - 05/23/18 05:22 AM

I have been posting blogs periodic blogs about the ongoing projects of Key West for the past several years. Today's blog is a continuation of that series along with some comments on trends I am seeing which reflects prices being paid for land when new construction is favored over renovation or restoration.
Long time readers know that the City of Key West has an Historical Architectural Review Commission (HARC) which has an established set of "Guidelines" that are enforced as if they are statutory mandates.  Several years ago HARC identified by address each house or property in the Old Town and nearby … (9 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Key West has Fake Grass - 05/18/18 05:09 AM

During the height (or depth) of the 2008 Recession (which lasted into 2012 or so), I was taking photos of a bank owned home located in the South of Truman Area of Old Town Key West. A neighbor came outside to talk to me and told me a family member of his used to own the bank owned property. And then he related the tales of woe as to what lead to the demise of the once prized property.
As we stood in front of his personal abode he told me worked for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, our local water company. … (5 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 800 Fleming Street No. 3-B, Key West, Florida - 05/16/18 05:24 AM

The asking price for the top floor unit at 800 Fleming Street 3-B was just reduced to $875,000. That makes this unit a buying opportunity in my opinion. This is one of the earliest and finest renovated buildings in Key West and it certainly enjoys the prime location of about any single property in Old Town. The historic seaport is located three small blocks to the north and Duval Street is located three blocks west. You can be at any incredible Old Town location in a matter of minutes by foot. And when you return home you will be in the … (4 comments)

gary thomas realtor: Two Presidents in Key West - 05/15/18 07:18 AM
 President Trump was in Key West a few weeks ago. I once said I wouldn’t walk across the street to see him even if he came here. But when it was announced that he was coming and would be driving past the block where I live, I did walk to the corner to watch him pass. 
I stood in the glaring sun for twenty or thirty minutes at the corner of Von Phister and White Street. The motorcade turned from Atlantic Boulevard onto White Street and sped towards us at lighting speed. First there were several Key West motorcycle police, then a … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 317 Catherine Street, Key West - 05/10/18 07:55 AM

I have lived in Key West for the past 23 years and have watched as this little old drinking town with a fishing problem has changed, much for the better, and sometimes for the worse. But it is still the place I would rather be than any other place on Earth.
The two above photos show 317 Catherine Street photographed about 53 years apart. The black and white photo was taken in 1965 and the color photo just recently. The house, built around 1923,  was typical for many of the other houses in the area. It was small, but it was big … (3 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 701 Elizabeth Street #1 , Key West - An Apartment to Rent - 05/08/18 02:26 PM

It's end of season in Key West. Some folks have left town to find fame and fortune in northern towns and territories. Others folks are heading down to Key West to do the same thing. Some people succeed, others do not. That is life. I was in Miami a couple of weeks ago. I cannot imagine why any sane person would want to live there, but I cannot imagine living in any big city after having lived in Key West for the past 23 years.

701 Elizabeth Street #1 is located at the top of Solaris Hill in Old Town Key West. … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: 1501 Pine Street, Key West - Price Reduction - 05/07/18 08:25 AM

The asking price on 1501 Pine Street, Key West, was just reduced to $1,149,000 making this Meadows of Key West homes one of the very best values in town. This stunning home is part of The Meadows condo association. Newly built in 2007 with top of the line materials and craftsmanship, this home features soaring 11' ceilings in the living area. The kitchen is top of the line with stainless steel appliances, beautiful granite and solid wood cabinets, plus a wet bar in the living room. The bedrooms are en suite with impressive architectural details including crown molding, high ceilings, porches … (2 comments)

gary thomas realtor: In the Key West Closet - 05/05/18 05:10 AM

I check the Key West MLS hotsheet constantly throughout each day. It is important to know about each new listing and also be aware of price reductions and houses that go under contract. Just as important are new solds as they indicate what has sold, at what price, and identify the agents who listed and sold the property.
A few days ago I was drawn to the sale of little home a few miles outside of Key West. I seldom drive that far to show a house as most of my buyers want to be in Key West, and, more particularly, in … (5 comments)

Gary Thomas (Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc.) Rainmaker large

Gary Thomas

Key West, FL

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Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc.

Address: 520 Southard Street, Key West, Fl, 33040

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