Swaying palm trees, a shimmering pool, and a porch of indecision always seem to be on the gotta have it list of those dreaming of purchasing their own corner of paradise. An Old Town location, move-in ready home, and off-street parking are common requirements. One characteristic has risen to the top of our clients’ lists. A ground floor master suite has become the most desired feature of today’s Key West home buyers.
With the Florida Keys coming in with the world’s sixth highest, resort area, million-dollar-plus average home prices (per square foot)—just after Monaco, Naples, Telluride, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Jackson Hole—owning a piece of paradise is not exactly cheap. Consequently, most of our buyers have successfully reached a stage of life where they can afford to acquire their island dream home.
Most of our buying clientele are in their 50’s and 60’s. They have worked hard and have gained a level of career success; allowing them to indulge in a charming Victorian cottage, convenient oceanfront condominium, or historic Old Town estate. Middle age certainly has its perks, but it can present some physical drawbacks. The inability to easily climb stairs on the way to bed is one of the main reasons people are unable to age gracefully in their home. With the possibility of mobility issues looming down the road, a ground floor master suite is an important feature for many baby boomers, retirees, and those with older parents, family, and friends.
When Key West’s treasured Classical Revival homes were built between 1880 and 1910, they typically had bedrooms on the second floor to catch the island’s breezes. While many of these gems have been lovingly restored and renovated over the past decades, too few projects have added ground level master suites.
The value of an easily accessible master bedroom and bath cannot be underestimated. Many of our buyers will not even look at a property that does not have a first-floor master suite—or the potential to add one.
When investing in Key West real estate, you can’t go wrong if you fall in love with a home showcasing a ground floor master suite, or in choosing to include one in your renovation design. You will command a higher price, and find the right buyer in nothing flat, when the time comes to sell your property.
—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team