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Key West Real Estate: The 411 on Buying Property in Paradise

Aug 18, 2007
Ok - so you have decided to buy a piece of "Paradise" but aren't sure where on the Island to call home?Well - I've got three words for you - Location, Location, Location!

Everyone knows the old Real Estate Axiom....

And the beautiful part of buying in Key West is regardless of where you buy - you are in a great spot!

For all intents and Purposes - Key West real estate can be broken down into three *distinct* areas:

1. Old Town

2. New Town

3. Casa Marina

Now you have to remember that the entire island is only 4 miles long and 2 miles wide - so really - there isn't a big difference geographically between the three...;-)

But - there is a different feel and character to each area - and it is definitely worth exploring each before buying your piece of Key West real estate.

My favorite part of the island is Old Town for many different reasons, both pratical as well as simply personal preference. Lots of my friends prefer the peace and quiet of New Town, or the more water friendly and exclusivity of Casa Marina. And while getting around the island is easy no matter where you live, I just love the feeling of being in the middle of all the action while living in the heart of Old Town.

Key West has much more of an "East-West" layout rather than a "North - South" orientation - with White Street serving as an unofficial dividing line between what is considered Old Town to the West - and New Town to the East.

(The only way in from the Mainland is down U.S. Route 1 - which enters the Island on her Northeast Corner)

"Old Town" as the Historic District is Internationally known - is not only Key West's major tourist destination - it is also home to many historically registered structures full of charm, grace and an incredible sense of history and purpose. You will find shotgun style homes - classic Bungalows, Mini - Mansions and all kinds of interesting structures bearing the beauty of Old Florida, and more specifically the unique and eclectic style of many of the original settlers here many years ago.

Old Town Key West Homes have zoning and modification restrictions in keeping the character and charm of the neighborhood and the streets - so obviously if looking to buy in Old Town, it would be best to "inquire" before planning any major renovations to your dream house...;-)

Old Town is home to Truman Annex - President Harry Truman's "Home Away from Home" - Internationally famous Mallory Square known for it's fantastic and Phenomenal Sunsets and equally as interesting nightly performance artists - it is home to Fort Zachary, Duval Street (the Key West version of Bourbon street in New Orleans) and too many other interesting tourist friendly and local points of interest to mention here!

The architecture in Old Town Key West date from approximately the latter part of the 19th Century to roughly 1910. Homes are distinguished through their predominately wood frame construction and are graced with beautiful porches and balconies and often are painted in ecclectic, pastel colors - highlighting the unique and unusual style of the neighborhood.

Old Town Key West is a wonderfully interesting and captivating place to call home - probably one of the most visually engaging and lively places to live anywhere in the entire United States..:-) You are living in "Paradise" - yet - still in an urban and active community of neighbors, business owners, wonderful restaurants, fantastic nightlife and the amazing scenery that only those who have been here can attest to experiencing on a daily basis.

The downside to all of this magnificence is -It is Expensive!

Generally speaking - Buying in Old Town is the most expensive area to purchase in Key West.

All of "Paradise" is pricey - but Old Town tends to be - as you would expect - the most expensive piece to purchase!

Homes generally begin in the high six figures - with many, if not most of the prime properties running over a Million Dollars - some even much more.

Good bargains can be found though - you have to look, but if you keep your eyes peeled you can always find special properties selling for far under market value. And remember - for those who really have a taste for the real "rich" rewards life has to offer will tell you - if you aren't living in Key West,You ain't living at all!
About the Author
Ian Hollander is a writer, business consultant and entrepreneur. He has had a lifelong love affair with Key West, Florida and writes extensively about his many adventures in paradise. Want to learn more about Key West Florida?
Visit us online at Gotokeywest.com - Perpectives From Paradise - everything you need to know about living, loving, playing and partying in Key West, Florida in One Place!
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