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By Loren Rea
(Truman & Co. Real Estate Services)
Comments 5
There is no time like spring time in the Keys. The islands come alive with flora and fauna and the waters surrounding our islands are teeming with great fishing opportunities.  May is always an attractive month for anglers to come try their skills fighting the 'silver king' - - the tarpon. My move to Key West in August 1996 was mainly to go fishing. I moved here from southern Connecticut and my first trip to the Keys was in the early 90s. I had never seen clear water before and fell in love with the charm of the island and friendly people. My first job was at the Key West Citizen, the only daily newspaper in the Keys. I am a graphic artist by trade so I got a job, rented my place in Connecticut and moved down to Key West. I never looked back. There is plenty to be thankful for here in p...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 1
The above photo is from the internet and was not taken in Key West - you can tell that by the trees in the background. Nor is the broken fence typical of a white picket fence one would see in Key West.  Late yesterday afternoon I received a telephone call from a customer of mine. We discussed the Key West real estate market in general and the state of affairs on his street in particular. He mentioned a new neighbor bought a nearby house who has been making an upgrading an already beautiful home into an even better one. That goes on all the time here. Some people buy perfectly fine homes, take them a part, and remake them in their own image.  And then he mentioned his neighbor Lacy. He said Lacy has a driving problem - she keeps driving her car in to his fence. He opined Lacy's driving p...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
The first time I encountered a Nanny cam was ten years ago. I remember seeing various cameras throughout the house. I "knew" the owners socially.  They bought the house when it was a bank owned property and the renovated it. They furnished the place and rented it as a monthly vacation rental. As I looked around the house I thought it very odd that there were Nanny cams located everywhere. I immediately determined that I would feel violated if I rented a house like this and knew that someone could be watching and or listening to what I did and said. I did not sell that house so my personal suspicions ended that day. Except I remembered them ten years later. In fact I recall them ever so often as I see new versions of hidden cams on television photographing home invasions, thefts, child a...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 2
One of the many things that makes Key West so much different than many towns across America is the fact that we have so many of our original houses still in place. On my first trip to Key West in 1985 I did what most tourists do, I looked around at the old houses and noticed many were in a deplorable state of disrepair. I remember the houseboy at the guest house telling me that old houses were protected and could not be torn down - they could only be rebuilt. I thought that was a waste of money. I thought new could be made to look old, but function like new. I know I am still right on that part. But over the years I have come to appreciate the old house more than I ever imagined.     The little house at 719 Petronia Street (also known as719 Petronia Lane and also 719 Poorhouse Lane) is/...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 3
Several weeks ago I was sitting on the far chair of this front porch on Elizabeth Street waiting to start a Facetime video with potential buyers. We had to delay the start because we can't always do what we want when we want. I sat there looking across the street. At this location Elizabeth is a quite narrow one-way street with parking on the west side. The highest point in Key West is located across the street and to the north - maybe 150 feet. The area was called Buzzards Roost on the old Sanborn Fire Map. That day I could hear birds just singing their hearts out. What a sweet serenade. I sat there thinking how fortunate I am to live in this place.  The photo above is symbolic of many suburban American communities. I've read people who live there sometimes have to drive around with ga...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 5
 Hey Pardner, follow us down Truman Avenue to Windsor Lane. Head North and go about Two Blocks. Turn Left and Walk Up Solrais Hill. That's the highest location on the Island of Key West.   724 Windsor Lane will be OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM$649,000 PARKINGPATIOPORCHPalace for two small people and Bullseye too  CLICK HERE for more information. Better yet, show up. 
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
A few years ago I worked with a buyer who left Wall Street soon after the 2008 Crash and landed in the Florida Keys. He wanted to use his business acumen to purchase a business and live the good life in Key West. I will call my buyer "Wilbur. Wilbur told me he had an uncle in New Jersey who owned a bar. Wilbur initially wanted to buy a bar. That would be the perfect after Wall Street job. Few bars are actually listed for sale in our MLS. I nosed around and found one, got the sales package, and sent it to Wilbur who scrutinized. Then one day Wilbur asked me '"Who do I buy my napkins from?" I told Wilbur he could buy his napkins from whomever he wanted. He did not believe me. In New Jersey bar owners had to buy everything from specific "vendors". I immediately envisioned Tony's Napkin Sto...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
From: November 18, 2017The Case of the Gremlin Chasing Home Inspector Three weeks ago I wrote a blog where I recounted my experiences as a law clerk in the Jefferson County Colorado court system while I was attending law school in the early 1970s. Judge Joseph P. Lewis was one of the judges I worked for. One day shortly after a criminal trial had begun, the judge gestured to me to approach the bench. When I got up there, the judge put his hand over the microphone and instructed me to call the Colorado Supreme Court to verify that the young attorney representing the defendant in the criminal proceeding was actually a lawyer. I will call that lawyer "Odd Bob".I had never been asked to verify that any other lawyer was in fact licensed to practice law. This was a first! I made the call and ...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 6
Trues Story:  I wrote a blog about trying to sell a house listed by a Realtor who was also a retired lawyer. She had to lawyer-up the deal so much my buyer decided to forgo the house he loved and settle on another place just to get peace of mind. He was later shot to death inside that house. I blame the former lady lawyer-real estate agent as much as the guy that pulled the trigger. I have sold several homes to sitting judges, practicing attorneys, and retired lawyers. I don't recall any of them trying to lawyer-up an offer I wrote. They tend to be cautious and check the numbers, decimal points, spelling, and dates to make sure I get the important things right. (So do most people.)Every now and then a buyer has a family member or even a partner who is a retired lawyer from another state...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 6
I woke up earlier than usual today and was passing time on Twitter when I saw a couple of photos from a house for sale at 702 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, California. The poster commented about prices being out of control. People are saying the same thing about the price of houses in Key West. So I decided to GOOGLE the house.  A couple of photos of the house, to wit:  Doesn't look so bad to me.  Okay, it needs some roof and drywall work done.So it needs a lot of work. Offered for sale at $1,395,000. I searched the Key West MLS for active single family houses priced $1,390,000 to $1,400,000 and found only one house. It is located at 3122 Riviera Canal Drive, Key West. It is offered for sale at $1,395,000. Same cost, different coasts. You decide. The backyard and pool open out to the ...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
JUST LISTED by me, 733 Poorhouse Lane, Key West. A few boards from the original house remain, but in actuality this is a brand new house from pier to rooftop, from front porch to pool cottage at the rear. Everything in between and side to side is new and perfect.  The owner working with architect Matthew Stratton created a contemporary masterpiece replacing all but a few of the old bones of the original house. Everything is essentially brand new but the front is still "technically" a renovation. The entry hall two Dade County Pine drama walls to remind guests this is an old house which are counter-pointed by new white-washed wood and solid maple flooring.      I am mindful of the tragic losses caused by Covid 19. The supply chain of home appliances has made it impossible to install the ...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 7
from August 16, 2015Real Estate Photography for DUMMIES - A True Story This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. I get most of my business from people who read my little blog about Key West real estate. Most of my customers are buyers, but I also get a few listings throughout the year. About a year ago a buyer called me to ask about a new listing she had seen in our online mls. The Key West Association of Realtors mls website is open for all to see. You don't need to send an email to an agent to get details on anything.  But this buyer asked my opinion on this particular new listing and the neighborhood. I knew the neighborhood but knew nothing of the house. So I called the listing agent and set up a time so that I could preview the house and take more p...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 5
I got my real estate license and started to sell houses in Key West in 1996. Most of the people I worked with were my contemporaries - they were foremost baby boomers and several came with a dash of hippie. The closet I ever got to being a hippie was a pair of bell bottom jeans, hair a bit over my ears, and a mustache. My customers grew up in the fifties and sixties. Some of my buyers did well for themselves. Some did exceptionally well. And it wasn't just my buyers, but the slew of people who came to Key West during the past quarter century to be apart of this place that is not like up north in America. In the beginning there still were Conch Cruisers, dilapidated houses, and bars where you could buy a Miller Lite for a buck. Those were the days my friend.  A strange thing happened thi...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 1
Just Listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that is where I work, but this is not my listing:                   1215 Grinnell Street. This stand alone home is located at the center rear of the Grinnell Gardens Compound created in 1990. This home was retained and lived in by the developer who created this unique community of three stand alone houses built on postage stamp lot and two side-side town homes that replicate Grand Conch Revival architecture found throughout Old Town. The compound has a secured front entrance and mailbox station. The focal point upon entering the compound is the shared community pool with large open sunning and seating area.The focal point is the pool of the compound is the sunny pool and tropical setting. 1215 Grinnell Street is tucked behind the pool for pr...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
Last week while photographing some ongoing construction for my blog I suddenly got a whiff of garlic. It wasn't totally am unpleasant smell but not the kind of smell I normally encounter in Old Town. A few days earlier I picked up my completed federal income tax returns from my accountant. His office is  located on North Roosevelt Blvd in one of our shopping netters. As soon as I opened the door I got a whiff of the Subway Sandwich shop located next door. The smell made me think of food. It was both pleasant ad distracting. I commented on it to my CPA. He said you get used to it. Why should anyone have to get used to the smell of somebody else's business?  A few years ago a woman who reads my blog called me to talk about looking for a new house. I knew where she lived. I blogged her hou...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 4
  Not the real house A very pretty but assuredly run down house was listed for sale several years ago. Unlike so many the houses located in the Historic District of Key West, this property actually had an historic past. I mention this because much of nothing ever happened in most of the homes real estate agents list as "historic". This property actually had a pedigree and story. And when it was listed also had a disengaged owner who only wanted money and lots of it for his prized but ill-treated property. I wrote about the property in my blog and showed it to several potential buyers. Three of them made cash offers on the property that were in line with what would have been a good pay day for the seller at that point in time. Each offer required the seller to deliver the property vacant...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 5
From October 4, 2017The Accidental Bodybuilder The Accidental BodybuilderSeveral years ago I worked at a Key West real estate office with a young lady whose boyfriend was a house painter and a semi-professional bodybuilder. I remember meeting him for the first time:  the guy was massive. He had shocking red hair and a surprisingly tanned body. I guess when you work outside most of the day with your shirt off, you can get pretty tanned. Nobody could could overlook his amazing body. All people might not admire his physique, but nobody could miss seeing it.One of my favorite true stories about life in Key West involves this bodybuilder boyfriend. One day he was standing on extension ladder at the corner of Simonton at Fleming Streets were he was painting the exterior of the Marquesa Hotel....
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 6
 If you watched any of the HALLOWEEN or SCREAM movies you know never to investigate strange noises in the woods; never to search for a missing friend by yourself; never to go upstairs or to the basement when the lights are not working; never to leave leave Jiffy Pop on the stove, and so on. In general you learn never to do dumb things. You learned valuable life lessons by witnessing what happens to people who do dumb things. Doing dumb things can have really bad consequences.My dad was born in 1908. He was the oldest of three boys. His little brothers learned about life from him. That is the way life works. He was born almost before movies were invented - seriously. Saturday afternoon movies had not been invented when he was a kid. There were no SCREAM-type movies movies to inculcate hi...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 5
Have you ever been tempted to buy a house from an owner? I think the theory owners use is that they know their property and can sell it as well as some real estate agent, save the commission thereby increasing the cash in the seller's pocket. That sounds reasonable.  Last week a customer who is looking for a new place in the Key West area sent me a link to a house she found on Trulia. Truila is a real estate search engine acquired by Zillow. They share the same information but put it out in the universe just a bit differently. Both acquire listings located in the Florida Keys from the three Florida Key associations of Realtors as well as other MLS sites which post listings for properties located in the Keys. This is legal. I called the listing agent located far away from the Florida Key...
By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
Comments 6
Key West is filled to the brim this weekend. There are thousands of people here - everywhere. I have not seen so many people in town since Christmas two years ago. It may or may not be a good day for an Open House. We have had a couple of cooler than normal days with a bit of wind. The skies have been sunny with an occasional cloud. EASTER SUNDAY724 Windsor Lane11:00 AM to 1:00 PMLet's see if he appears. Regardless,    

Monroe County, FL Real Estate Professionals