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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gary's Got a Secret Listing in Key West


I received a phone call a couple of days ago from a lady who said she wanted look at such and such address. I then asked her if she had read a blog I wrote about that house. She said yes. I asked the date. She said it did not have a date. I said all of the blogs are dated, but I did not want to debate that point. I had a potential buyer for a house - I found the blog which I wrote in early 2014. (The date was in the upper left hand corner of blog.) The price was low, less than $250,000 for a fixer. I told the lady that property sold years ago, was renovated, and resold in 2017 for just under one million dollars.

I then asked her what she was looking for. She said a fixer that she could renovate and flip. I then asked the area or areas she wanted to buy and how high she was willing to pay. At this point I was preparing to search the Key West MLS. She did not respond. I thought she had dropped the call. I said "Hello?  Are you still there?" She then said yes. I asked again the area of town and the highest price she would consider paying. She told me wanted to buy a house in Old Town. She said if she told me the price she might pay I would only search for high priced properties.

I explained that the prices available in 2014 are no longer available. By that point I had the MLS up and had searched for single family homes priced between $299,000 to $500,000. There were only four active single family homes and they were located in marginal areas. I told her the address and price of each. They were price too high for her. She then said "You have my name and number. Call me when you get something."

You bet!







Tuesday, April 17, 2018

1311 Catherine Street - Just Listed - Adorable Renovation

Just Listed, but not by me, 1311 Catherine Street, Key West. Long time readers of my little blog may recall seeing the same house featured here four years ago when it was a bank owned property. I took the photo below in 2014 to show the "potential" about which I wrote. That potential was achieved to a greater extent than I could have imagined.

 The listing Realtor describes 1311 Catherine Street this way:
"This ideal conch cottage is perfectly located to enjoy everything Key West has to offer. On the edge of Old Town, this 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath is sure to impress! The main house was completely renovated with attention to detail that blends modern convenience with historic character. With vaulted ceilings, the open and bright living room and kitchen flow effortlessly onto the covered deck; perfect for indoor/outdoor living, dining and entertaining. Central AC, new metal roof, stainless steel appliances, quartzite counter tops, on demand propane water heater, and gas range are among all the many updates that round out the property. The vaulted master suite has french doors that open onto the covered veranda and en suite bath with walk-in closet. Connected by a breezeway, the second bedroom."


The original cottage shown immediately above was quite small. Previous owners made two separate additions including a bedroom on the right side and a stand alone cottage at the rear which is now bedroom number two. Every part of the original house and the attached bedroom addition were totally renovated including new piers, floors, and roof. The house was but a shell when purchased. During the renovation the walls were insulated, new historically correct windows were added to the front of the house and wind impact resistant glass windows and doors were added everywhere else.

The original house is now the "great room".  The vaulted ceiling carries through to the rear door which leads through the breezeway to the rear cottage. The laundry and a full bath are located at the rear side of the kitchen. All of the interiors are new including the wood floors, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and so forth. The so forth includes down lights in the main house. The structural renovations  were done by a licensed general contractor. Various design features such as the facing of the kitchen island with Dade County Pine salvaged during the renovation were added by the owner. 
A new master bedroom en-suite was added. The owners designed and built a poured concrete sink on a vanity base they purchased. Various tones of gray tiles are used the various bathrooms.
The master bedroom on the right was increased in size and the ceiling vaulted just a bit to give the area a more spacious feel. Glass panel doors were added to the bedroom and off the dining area. The new partially covered rear deck (breezeway) immensely increased the living area of the house and provides a covered transition to the second bedroom located in the rear cottage. Key Westers spend a lot of time living outdoors during the daytime and night time all year long. This area will be used constantly.  CLICK HERE to see more photos.
The rear cottage was updated a bit but not renovated. It has a half bath. The new full bath located to the rear of the kitchen includes a new porcelain tub and vanity which also incorporates wood salvaged during the renovation.
The west side yard includes a storage shed and the air conditioner unit. That space is fairly large and probably provides lot ratio coverage to permit the inclusion of a pool on the east side of the house were the flagstone patio new exists.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 1311 Catherine Street which is offered for sale at $879,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to set up a private showing of this adorable home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

606 Truman Avemue Unit 10, Key West - Great Old Town Bargain

Buyers seeking a well maintained primary residence or a second home with monthly vacation rental possibilities should take a look at 606 Truman Avenue #10 at Windward Park. This group of 13 town homes were built in 1988 to reflect the architecture of Old Town Key West but which have all the features for modern day living. 
The black and white photos above show the area around 606 Truman Avenue as it appeared in the late 1960s. The old cottages were located to the east of Duffy's where a small trailer park once existed. The cottages were razed and the trailers relocated to make way for Windward Park. The grove of trees to the left of the Duffy's sign now shades the Winward Park parking area. The location itself is about seventy-five feet to Simonton Street which leads to the Atlantic Ocean six blocks to the south and the Gulf of Mexico nine blocks to the north. Duval Street is one block to the west where the world comes to party.
The listing Realtor describes 606 Truman Avenue #10 this way:
Windward Park! Beautiful furnished two story townhouse in Old Town Key West. This well maintained community offers 13 secluded homes with secured entrance, private heated pool and immaculate tropical grounds. This home has been upgraded with hardwood floors, granite counter tops, ceramic tile, built-ins, and more! Main level boasts a spacious living and dining area, updated kitchen & powder room, and french doors leading to private deck area. The upper level has master bedroom with vanity, ample closet space, updated full bath, and spacious second bedrooms. This home offers laundry, off street parking, front porch, side deck, skylight and more! Ideal location just steps from fine dining, shopping, galleries, and famous Duval Street. X Flood Zone.

This home is located near the rear of the property which means more privacy. The front porch overlooks the pool. This home is designed for casual Key West living. Multiple windows and French doors bring filtered daytime light inside.  French doors open to the adjacent private deck which expands the living and entertaining area. The built-in bar is a custom feature of this home.
Several of the homes in Windward Park have been rented as monthly vacation rentals. This home has not been rented, but could very easily become a successful vacation rental. It is offered furnished and looks sharp. You can't beat the location for convenience or popularity.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos for 606 Truman Avenue #10, Key West, which is offered for sale at $795,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-3642, to schedule a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

711 Georgia Street, Key West - Meadows Area

The asking price on 711 Georgia Street, Key West, just got reduced to $679,000 making this Meadows Area home an even better value. The listing Realtor describes the home this way:
"Priced $25K below recently appraised value this low maintenance, move in ready and ready for your touch. Tucked away in the quiet Meadows neighborhood is where you will find this charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with off street parking, private patio. The first floor features an open kitchen with granite counter tops and custom cabinetry. The second floor is where you will find the master suite with an ensuite bathroom and private screened in porch. There are two guest bedrooms on the third floor as well as a guest bathroom. The outdoor patio is completely fenced in with a privacy fence and lush low maintenance landscaping. There is off street parking for one car."
The Meadows Area begins at White Street. Historically, the area immediately north was the Army Parade grounds. Much of the near areas were housing and services that supported the military as well as grazing grounds for several dairies. Today the homes here are quite similarity to those found in Old Town. This house was built in 1976 and later expanded upward. Today it has1266 sq ft of living divided between three floors. There three bedrooms, two and one-half baths, parking and a patio.  As a fact there are few single family homes in Old Town that can offer that much at a comparable price. In further point on fact, you may pay that much for a Shipyard condo which is about half as large and have more than 170 neighbors sharing your space.
This house is perfect for the buyer who wants a decent sized home that does not need a lot of attention. It is move-in ready. The location is away from all the Loony Tunes and forgetful tourists who roam the streets at 4:00 AM trying to remember where they are staying. This area is home to full time Key West residents. The area is quiet and uneventful. Bayview Park and several gyms and yoga studios are located a few short blocks to the south. And the attractions and distractions of Duval Street is only a five minute bike ride away.
CLICK HERE  TO VIEW THE KEY WEST MLS for 711 Georgia Street offered at $679,000.  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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

1227 Washington Street, Key West

Most potential buyers seeking an historic home in Key West will likely be searching for a charming cottage or two story revival style home in Old Town. If they are also shopping by price, they will learn totally renovated properties will be pretty "pricey" and non-renovated places will likely be both more expensive than they envisioned and probably will require expensive renovation.  The house at 1227 Washington Street offers the historic character that some buyers may find enticing. Let me tell you why.
I saw the property at a recent broker open house. An ancient Mahogany tree dominates the front yard which is 100 feet wide. The house is set back from the street in the middle of the lot. There is a wide driveway on the east side and a lap pool is hidden on the west side behind a fence an tropical foliage. The door to the front porch was open as I approached the house. As I started to enter I saw the Cuban tile floors and instantly knew I was in for a surprise. The porch has traditional wood louvers that move to moderate sun, wind, and rain. Since the front porch ensures privacy, French doors provide a novel entry into the living room. I was genuinely awed when I saw the ten foot ceilings and the expansive size of the living and adjacent ding room.
The listing Realtor told me the story of the one family who lived in this home since it was built. As I went through the house and walked around the outside I could tell the place was very well maintained throughout its existence. The kitchen and bathrooms are dated, but the interior spaces are both large and inviting. Remember I mentioned the challenges buyers face when they find a cottage or a "fixer" in Old Town - those little items like failing piers, tiny bedrooms, woeful neglect. That is not the case here. I did notice an opportunity to make the both the appearance and functionality better in a couple of places. The two single doors in the dining room open out to the side porch which overlooks the pool. I will discuss the porch and pool later. I think a new owner might replace both the windows and doors such that the entries are both on the same vertical and horizontal frame as opposed to the way they look and function now. The "look" would be better, of that I am sure.
Unlike most houses in Old Town which have small bedrooms, there are two very large bedrooms on the east side of the house which are separated by a bath. The far bedroom has an en-suite bath. A third and smaller bedroom is located just off the dining room. A large hallway takes up a substantial amount of potential usable living area. The ten foot ceilings carry throughout the house. Each of these rooms (even the third bedroom) feel quite large. Also, there is a unique walk-through closet shared by the north and third bedroom.
The kitchen was "modernized" a few decades ago.  It may be time to update this space and integrate it into the other public areas of the home. Let's take a look at the outside to consider what might be done to make this home and yard more relevant modern life.
I am no architectural critic but I play one on the internet. I think the side porch overlooking the pool is less than it could be. I also think the step down the pool reflects how we lived years ago. There is a small building at the back of the lot which could be elevated and enlarged to create a poolside cabana. Perhaps the pool, porches and cabana could all be located on the same plain to create an integrated outdoor environment. In that process I would definitely replace the existing fences.
The old garage at the end of the long driveway could possibly become a new guest cottage which could replace the third (and smaller bedroom) inside the house. CLICK HERE to view more photos of this home.
The White Street Pier and Higg's Beach are located just six blocks to the south. You can be almost anywhere in Key West in about five to seven minutes by car - except those times we are overridden by tourists who we love. Not. Maybe...

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos of 1227 Washington Street, Key West which is offered for sale at $1,420,000. The listing Realtor advised me the price is "negotiable". I think every price is negotiable, even in pricey Key West. Please take a look at the MLS and then 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. I think this place could be spectacular. Most of the money spent here will be on fun things like the kitchen and bathrooms and possibly redeveloping the cottage, garage, and pool and garden.


Disclaimer

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.