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Sunday, March 29, 2015

OPEN HOUSE TODAY - 812 Johnson Lane, Key West

If you are in Key West and are out and about today after church or after brunch, stop by my Open House at 812 Johnson Lane in Old Town Key West. I have put a GOOGLE MAP just below so that you can find me. The home will be open 12:00 to 2:00 PM.
812 Johnson Lane is actually located three blocks from Duval Street and about one-half block north of Truman Avenue on a single block that begins at Windsor Lane and ends at Packer Street. Most of the cottage style houses on this block date back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Several of the cottages have been renovated including one across the street that merited a Ceramic Star several years ago. This is a quiet little lane near everything, and 812 Johnson Lane is a bright little star on this street.
The front cottage was totally renovated in 2014. All interiors were gutted and replaced. Today there are two new large bedrooms with ample closet space, recessed lighting, crown molding, and new floors. There's a new travertine marble bath and a cute new kitchen complete with new cabinetry, granite counter-tops, and stainless steel appliances. The house is laid out with two bedrooms up front off the main hallway. The open living area is at the rear where beveled glass doors open out to the covered rear porch that overlooks the heated pool that is 5' deep. I mention the depth because size matters to some people.
The covered porch looks not only provides shelter from the sun but also provides a comfortable and protected space for poolside dining. You'll be surprised at how much time we Key Westers spend outside - that's a big part of the reason many of left our lives in the frozen north.
There is a second cottage at the far side of the pool. The owner obtained permission to add a bath and laundry to the cottage. There is also an outdoor shower on the back side of the cottage. The lot extends 117 feet from Johnson Lane to the rear property line. That's deep for a property in Old Town. When you look up to the sky you can actually see the sky and sunshine. There are nice trees on the neighboring houses which the neighbors get to take care of. Here, the owner gets to take care of tanning. This property would make an excellent vacation rental!

812 Johnson Lane is offered at $769,000. Please stop by and see me or CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this really cute two cottage buying opportunity. Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

1501 Truman Avenue, Key West - Transient Licensed Property

Sometimes we need to look backward to see forward. That's the case for the investment opportunity located at 1501 Truman Avenue in Key West. The listing Realtor, not me, describes this listing as a:
"Great Investment Opportunity. High Visibility On Truman Ave. 4 Units Each With Full Kitchen And Private Bath. Transient Licenses, Pool And Off Street Parking For Two Cars.Original Structure Has Dade County Pine.Needs Tlc,Being Sold As Is."

I recently took some photos for a potentially interested buyer which you can see if you CLICK HERE. I used the pocket camera and the pics are not all that good. You will quickly see that the camera would not have made much of a difference. This place needs work! A lot of it. Let's look back to a couple of older photos of this property.
 This photo shows the house much better than we can see it today because of all the trees and foliage that protects the house from Truman Avenue.  You'll notice the broad front porch which angles back on the right side where there is also one off street parking spot. Note also the exterior staircase to the second floor. That tells us there is no interior staircase. And finally we see a second floor front balcony that appears to have been added.
The above photo shows a banner across Truman Avenue welcoming M.W. Davis H. Wilkinson, Mason Grand Master of Florida to Key West in 1960. You can also see that wrap-around porch. The house has a stately look back then. Today, the beauty of the house is more difficult to see party because of all the trees but also because the place has not been maintained.  A good haircut never hurt anybody. It's gonna take more than a paint job to fix this old place, but it will certainly look much better after it gets a spiffed up.
The site is located at the corner of Truman Avenue and Pearl Street. The lot measures 49' X 88' or 4371 sq ft. The Monroe County Property Appraiser records show the main house plus rear first floor addition and a second rear cottage on the Pearl Street side total 2214 sq ft of living space capable of being air conditioned.  The stairs were removed from the main house. Today these areas are used as kitchens or baths for the three apartments that make up the current building. I think any renovation would remove the exterior staircase and relocate it back in the main house. 
Original staircase area now used as a kitchen.

The above photo shows the second floor apartment. The room on the right is where the stairway would have landed. The opened door leads to the front balcony that overlooks Bayview Park across the street. The views from the balcony are actually pretty interesting.

The three photos immediately above show two sawtooth additions appended to the rear of the main house followed by a rear cottage which the listing Realtor describes as an owner's unit. You'll see a nice pool located just off the owner's unit plus the sunny expanse on the opposite side of the tall white fence.  Each of the three apartments in the main house have a valuable Transient Rental License which permits daily rental.  The street photos also show what the listing Realtor describes as off street parking. CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on 1501 Truman Avenue which is offered for sale at $949,000.
The large building lot located on the far side of 1501 Truman Avenue is my listing at 1430 Albury Street (formerly 901 Pearl Street). This lot measures 50' X 70' or 3500 sq ft.  I think a smart investor might be able combine the two parcels into a single lot and potentially relocate one or two of the transient licenses into structures moved from the front portion to the rear or to build a new structure or structures there. There is actually plenty of room to have three stand alone cottages each with separate pool and parking. A land planner and a real estate attorney would need to advise a buyer whether such a combination is legally permissible and politically acceptable.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on 1430 Albury Street which is offered for sale at $750,000.
I think that the old house combined with new construction could create a wonderful Renaissance project that could work. The transient licenses and the size of the vacant lot provides all sorts of potential for such a project. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of both properties. Let's look at what exists and explore what might be. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West

Thursday, March 26, 2015

413 Virginia Street, Key West, Florida

A buyer looking for a renovation project in Key West may want to consider the recently listed house located at 413 Virginia Street. The property is listed in the Key West mls as "413-415 Virginia Street". You'll quickly notice that there is only one house, the one with the numbers 413. The other house was razed years ago and is now vacant space. I searched the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and found 413 Virginia (previously numbered 203) and 415 Virginia (previously numbered 205) on the 1889 map.  Then I looked through my old shoe box and found photos of each house taken in 1965. The photos show the additions of jalousie windows which enclosed the original front porch, scalloped aluminum shutters on the side, a concrete block fence and wrought iron gate and stair rail.
413 Virginia St.
415 Virginia St - now razed
The Monroe County Property Appraiser shows the house as being 705 sq ft and located on a 45' X 84' or 3889 sq ft lot. The house is located about 200 feet west of Duval Street.  I wrote about another nearby house three years ago which went through a dramatic renovation. (See pics below.) I think this house could undergo a similar renovation. The location merits real consideration for a buyer who wants to create a monthly vacation rental. Alternatively, a new owner might renovate 413 Virginia and seek permission to build a new house on the lot where 415 Virgina was located. The city might recognize a ROGO because there is demonstrable proof that a house existed there previously.

I found the aerial photo of Key West that was taken in the 1930s. I added an arrow to point out 413 Virginia Street.  It's nice to see that so many of our old houses have survived the wrecking ball and remain an important part of our lives and commerce today.

The photo below shows 421Virginia Street before it was renovated. The second photo shows the property during construction. And the last photo shows the completed house with new pool and landscaped driveway.
The listing Realtor, not me, describes the 413 Virginia St. this way:
"Location, location, location! Shotgun style conch house with YARD SPACE in prime 'Old Town' Key West spot. X Flood Zone. This residence beckons to be returned to its splendor of the 'Roaring Twenties' and the prohibition era. Lot affords room to expand and build a pool. It even boasts an out house! Historical District locale is walking distance from everything. Half a block off Duval St and five blocks to Southernmost Point. The parcel is surrounded by Spanish lime, mango, avocado & banana trees. Make this Old Town spot your Island Oasis."
CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property which is offered at $575,000. Then please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this interest property which might very well be converted into a nice vacation rental with pool, parking, and a convenient location near Duval Street and the attractions at the southern end of Key West. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2601 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Unit 306A - Key West By the Sea Ocean View Condominium

Some pretty sharp buyer is going to snatch-up Unit 306A at Key West By the Sea that is priced to sell at just $439,000. The listing agent describes this 960 sq ft third floor in the A Building located only one unit from the front this way:
"OCEAN and pool views from the living room and balcony of this third floor two bedroom apartment. Unfurnished. Right on Smathers Beach, the main beach in the Florida Keys. Eight acres of lushly landscaped grounds, two pools (one heated), two tens courts, low density, no transient rentals, gated community. Very strong concrete block construction with pre stressed slab between floors, footings into cap rock. The complex has never flooded."
Imagine your furnishings in this space. Imagine waking up in the morning and having your coffee on the deck with the ocean view. Maybe you'll take your pooch (pet's welcome) over to Smather's Beach for the morning walk. Later in the day you might go down to one of the two large pools. CLICK HERE to view more photos of this great listing.
 Key West By the Sea is a professionally managed condominium association. The condo fees for this unit are $525.64 which covers cable tv, building maintenance and all insurances, common area and pool maintenance, security, trash removal, and professional management.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on Unit 306A at Key West by the Sea. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to arrange a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  



The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.