Thursday, April 21, 2005

Speculative Bubble in Key West Real Estate Due to Pop

You know, an assurance from a realtor about the housing market is about the same as a stockbroker's view on purchasing stocks...pretty much biased. Seems that Key West may have hit an air pocket on it's jetlike rise to the hyper-inflated prices of today. For sale signs seem more prevelant than ever, mostly fueled by easy credit from the bank. Everyone in town is a speculator, if they want to be. Reminds me of the old saying: If your doorman is giving you stock advice, it's time to sell. To verify this in today's terms, a local masseuse shared with me that she is contemplating buying a "hotel-minium". Basically, she'll be buying a room of a small motel for around $500,000. She won't live in's just as an investment. She rationalized to me, that in a year, between the appreciation and interest rates, she'll be able to refinance and be able to afford the payments. I didn't even bother explaining that interest rates are rising and what that would mean. Why burst her bubble? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm early. Either way, it's her roll of the dice.
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Historic Key West documents

The Key West library has a great historian and room devoted to preserving a lot of history about Key West. There I found a fascinating text written in 1912, which appears to the one of the earliest detailed histories of the island.
The Historical Room has a lot more, and I hope to be able to add more of the information for display. For now, check out what I have uncovered at Key West Florida history . From hurricanes, to cigar rolling, and everything in between, it's a fascinating look at the island. Certainly times have changed, and some of the dim-witted mentality from that era may suprise you. Still, it is a commentary of the life, environment, and attitudes of islanders.
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Why pay a fare wage if the government will do it for you?

Blogger lost my entry...grrrrrrr. I wrote a nice and eloquent (as far as I know) entry about Key West's monopolist and tourism magnate Ed Swift. The owner of the Conch Tour Train and longtime "partner" to the City of Key West has taken up the cause of affordable housing in the most ironic manner. On the one hand, he is clearly pointing out that the sky-high real estate prices have squeezed out the workforce and created an impending crisis, not to mention torn the community apart. Yet, on the other hand, his help-wanted ads for Train Conductors offer a $10 hour salary. By my estimation, each train seats at least 30, and costs $22 per adult. I figure each train grosses over $600 for the 90 minute ride. And the conductor, the local worker who's boss is so concerned about, makes $15 for the 1.5 hours.
Housing is unaffordable for two reasons. One is the high prices. The other is the low wage. Ed Swift's cry for government action on affordable housing is an attempt to disguise his contribution to the problem.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Seafood Restaurants in Key West

Just added a page for seafood restaurants in Key West. Many people ask where to get good seafood, and the answer can be pretty diverse. There is great sushi, traditional fish houses, and modern-cuisine bistros, all offering delicious local Key West seafood.
The best local fish are: hogfish, yellowtail snapper, dolphin (mahi-mahi),florida lobster, grouper, and stone crab. But don't think that a nice cobia or wahoo wouldn't make a good meal. Whether it's a fish sandwich, or a snapper burre blanc, my favorite seafood spots should satisfy. Here is the link to seafood restaurants in Key West.
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