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Monday, August 18, 2014

Key West Guest House - Price Reduction


The asking price on the Frances Street Bottle Inn in Key West was just reduced to $2,450,000. The listing Realtor describes this eight room guest house this way:
"The Frances Street Bottle Inn is a well established guest house in the heart of old town Key West. The house has been lovingly restored and is a beautiful example of historic Key West architecture. There are eight lovely rooms, seven transient and one non-transient. In addition to the guest rooms there is a spacious lounge/dining room, an office/reception area and a wide porch where guests relax in the mornings and evenings and watch the world go by. Two of the guest room suites have living rooms and all have an outdoor space. Two of the guest rooms have brick patios. The guesthouse is perfectly located in the heart of old town within walking distance to everything."
One of the reasons visitors to Key West stay in guest houses as opposed to hotels is the building itself and the character of the proprietor.  Guests seem to love our old houses that have been transformed into small inns. They often love the people that own the guest houses or who work there. When that happens, those guests tend to return to the same place year after year. Some guests return multiple times during the year.
 I searched the Sanborn Fire Map for 1889 and found what I believe to be the main part of the current building now known as 1011 Southard Street.  I dug into the old shoebox and found a photo taken from the Frances Street side in 1965 with a notation that the building was built in the 1920s.  I think that is when the one story addition was constructed because the 1912 Sanborn Map did not show the addition.
The building's current structure has 2920 sq ft of living area under air conditioning. This does not include any of the deck areas.  The building sits on a 3445 sq ft lot (53' on Frances Street opposite Cafe Sole by 65' on Southard Street). There is no pool but there is space on the east side east side where a new owner might add a pool.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos.  Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this property.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Game of Frowns


A couple of days ago a fellow Realtor told me the story of a recent sale where the agent represented both the seller and the buyer in a real estate transaction. The house sold for a whole lotta money.  The seller's attorney had approved all contract documents including an addendum that itemized personal property the seller was leaving in the property including four TVs mounted to the walls. There should have been no surprises at or after closing. But there was. It seems the seller's moving company removed the four television sets and took them far, far away.  When the agent discovered that the TVs were gone, calls to the seller to return the TVs fell on deaf ears. So the agent bought for new TVs to make the buyer happy. The Seller was happy. The Buyer was happy.  The Realtor was a couple of thousand dollars poorer and wore a frown all week long.




Friday, August 15, 2014

1616 Atlantic Boulevard Unit No.2, Key West, Florida - Oceanfront Living

Casa Caselles is an ocean front town home community of just twenty units located at 1616 Atlantic Boulevard in Key West, Florida. 1616 Atlantic Boulevard Unit No. 2 is a three level unit with two bedroom two and one half baths. It has under unit parking plus two balconies plus a private gated rear garden and patio.  The listing Realtor describes this 1940 sq ft property this way:
"This three-story townhome at glamorous Casa Caselles has two balconies with ocean views and two balconies overlooking the lush and green nature preserve. The modern kitchen is light and bright and each spacious bedroom has a walk-in closet and a sleek well-appointed bath. There is covered parking at the front door and a private and tranquil rear courtyard. The oceanfront pool is one of the prettiest in Key West. There are no rentals at Casa Caselles so the neighbors are all owners or their guests."
Casa Caselles was built in 1980.  All of the units underwent extensive renovation in 2006.
 when the roofs, balconies, and facades were updated. The complex is professionally managed and always looks beautiful. The first sight you see when you pass through the double iron entry gates are two twin palms located at the far end of the driveway. The palms frame the entry to the spectacular ocean front pool and deck. 
Unit #2 is now vacant and ready for a new owner to move right in. The places is squeaky clean.  The main living area is on the second floor. A contemporary staircase runs from ground level (where the parking, patio, and garden are located to the second and third floors.
 The terra cotta flooring is a continuing architectural element throughout this unit. The flooring continues past the sliding glass doors out to the second and third level decks that overlook the nature preserve. The flooring contrasts to the newer white kitchen cabinets and Corian counter tops. Plantation shutters provide filtered privacy in the dining area.
The master bedroom and bath are located on the nature preserve side of the unit. The guest bed and bath are located opposite. Each room has private bath and access to an exterior balcony.
Each unit at Casa Caselles has private under unit parking, a private rear garden area, and shared access to the spectacular ocean front pool.  Anytime some civic group shoots of fireworks at Higg's Beach, you could walk out to the pool for a spectacular view of the fireworks. On other days, you can watch our beautiful sunrises and sunsets for free. HOA fees are $1800 paid quarterly and include cable, common area and pool maintenance. This unit has approved shutters and receives full windstorm mitigation credit. No rentals are permitted.

CLICK HERE  to view more photos of the Casa Caselles property.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos on this property which is offered at $735,000.  Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  Let me help you buy your place in Paradise.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bank Owned - Key West - 3800 Duck Avenue

Buyers who are weary of the high priced houses in Key West may want to consider expanding their search criteria from Old Town to New Town; from totally prime to possibly sublime; from pricey per square foot to the least expensive house on a per square foot (or webbed foot) basis.  The Bank Owned house at 3800 Duck Avenue, Key West is offered for sale at just $364,000 or just $215 per square foot.
3800 Duck Avenue is located near the eastern end of the Island of Key West.  The house sits on a large fenced lot that measures 49' X 120' (5855 sq ft).  The house was built in 1958 and fits comfortably in the neighborhood where most of the original houses have been expanded. The Monroe County Property Appraiser shows this house as being 1688 sq ft which includes a small shed addition at the front and a large new great room addition at the rear. There's also an 80 sq ft storage at the back of the large fenced back yard.  
Three sets of French doors at the back of the great room open out to the quite large back yard where there is room for a large pool. The rear shed could be converted into a small cabana or maybe a girl's playhouse or a boy's fort. The backyard has an existing sliding gate as well. I think the backyard area offers endless possibilities for a new owner. 
A prior owner did some renovations to the original house. A new owner could work on and improve the prior owners attempt to upgrade the house. The house as currently configured has two bedrooms and one bath. There is the remnant of a second kitchen in the original part of the house as well.

This house would benefit from a thoughtful redesign of spaces in the original house. Walls could be moved to create better room usage and flow through the house. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this bank owned property. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1103 Fleming Street - Key West - Sitting Pretty with a Transient License


A lot of potential buyers for homes in Key West seek a house that can be rented to help defray a part of the cost of home ownership.  A few years ago the City of Key West adopted a restrictive ordinance that limited the number homes that would qualify to receive a transient rental license which would permit daily or weekly rentals throughout the year. The conch house located at 1103 Fleming Street is one of the few single family homes in Old Town that has a transient rental license.  It is offered for sale at the asking price of $1,099,000. The listing Realtor describes this property as:
"Transient License! Grossed $94,279 in 2013. Charming cottage on beautiful Fleming Street. 1 bed/1 bath down; king-sized bed/1 bath up with skylights & owner's closet, cocktail pool--resurfaced, new pump, new heater in 2013--with a private deck & outdoor shower. Cathedral ceiling in the living room with 3 sets of French doors to deck, pass through kitchen window, Dade County Pine, hardwood floors downstairs, tiled bathrooms. Excellent rental history since 2004. Walking distance to Duval Street, White Street & the Seaport District. Offered turnkey, all furnishings, cookery, cutlery, linens, etc. included."
 I did a quick search of the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps for Key West and learned that 1103 Fleming Street first appeared in the 1912 edition. Then I searched and found a photo of the house taken in 1970.  If you compare the black and white photo to the colored photo you will see that the house looks pretty much the same today as it did 44 years ago with the exception of a nice white picket fence that adds some privacy. 
The house has been updated with a newer kitchen, baths, and pool plus living room at the rear which has a cathedral ceiling. A bank of three sets of French doors bathes the living area with difused light. I showed this home a while back and asked the guest what they thought of the property. They were returning guests and had stayed there before. The loved this charming home that met all of their needs.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on 1103 Fleming Street.  After you have looked at photos, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a personal showing.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

1005 Watson #1 Key West, Florida - An Unexpected Alternative to a Single Family Home

The two photos above were taken about fifty years apart of the same house at 1005 Watson Street in Key West. I am often amazed at how different a property can look after it has been renovated. That is certainly the case for this one time single family home that is now a two unit condominium located in the south of Truman area of Old Town Key West.  The house first appeared in the 1899 Historic Sanborn Fire map as 105 Watson Street. The house number changed to 1005 Watson in the 1912 map.  The home was renovated in 2004 when it the second level was enlarged. Two separate living spaces were created and became two condominium units.  The ground level unit is now offered for sale at $795,000.  The listing Realtor, not me, describes the unit this way:
"Renovated in 2004, this Old Town condo has the feel of a single family home. Hardwood floors, high ceilings, updated kitchen & bathrooms, off street parking for 2 cars, and ample heated pool with waterfall surrounded by lush foliage make this the perfect vacation home. Double French doors open from the living room to the pool area creating an indoor/outdoor flow. Home is rented by owner as a monthly vacation rental and even has a repeat booking in its 10th year scheduled for 1/15/2014 - 3/15/2014, repeat bookings for March-April, July & August. Furnishings, etc. included, turnkey. All rentals and deposits would transfer to buyer."
This unit has 1070 sq ft of living space on one level. There is gated off street parking at front, an inviting porch to sit and watch the world pass by, and a formal entryway that leads to the living room that begins midway in the house.  There are three bedrooms and two baths located at the front and south sides of the house. The kitchen and living room are at the rear where French doors open out to the backyard and pool which are for the exclusive use of the unit #1.
 CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this property. When you look at the photos and more importantly when you look at the property you will see modern interiors located inside an older structure that has been brought up to current building codes. This property does not have any Dade County Pine or architectural elements from the late 1800s. That's not a negative, its just a statement of fact. The interiors and building materials reflect the style of the first part of the 21st century. The monthly condo fees are just $162 and cover windstorm and homeowner insurance. (Flood insurance is not required at this location.)

 Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this unit. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.






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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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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.