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Thursday, July 30, 2015

9 Gerome Avenue, Key West - Price Reduction

The asking price on 9 Gerome Avenue in Key West was just reduced to only $479,000 or $515 per sq ft for this 930 sq ft 2 bedroom, 2 bath home hidden away from public view down a small walking lane in Old Town. Maybe the reason it did not sell in our hot market is the location is so well hidden. I'll betcha that few locals have any idea where Gerome Avenue is located.  But everyone knows where the Truman and White Chevron station is located.  There is a little walking lane called Nichols Avenue runs parallel to Truman Avenue from White Street to Pohalski Street or Pohalski Lane which is at the west end of the Chevron gas station.  If you walk about 150 north from Truman on either White or Pohalski you will find Nichols Avenue. If you walk down Pohalski, Nichols is opposite the Coffee Mill Dance Studio. Walk towards the middle of the two blocks, turn north and then walk 50 feet or so. There you will find 9 Gerome Avenue. A big six foot privacy fence with an ominous ADT warning sticker lets you know the space is private so you'll need a Realtor like me to get you access to see the place. Once you are inside the gate you will immediately see all the possibilities this property offers to a new homeowner.
The house sits near the west edge of the property. There is a good sized yard that wraps the perimeter of the house on the south, east, and north sides.  Nichols Avenue dead ends at the rear of the property so the western edge is pretty much the private domain of the owner at 9 Gerome Avenue. There is an existing covered spa located at the southeast corner of the property.  The lot has ample room to add a swimming pool - my choice would be the south area opposite the front entry where you would get the most sunshine. The deck provides space for reading, dining, and communing with nature. This space is so private you could get away with anything here.

The house has a good sized great room with kitchen, dining, and living room spaces combined. The ceiling is vaulted and this gives the room an extra spacious feel  The house was renovated in the 1990s so it still has the elements that were au currant back then. They still work today.  A new owner might do some updating on appliances, cabinetry, or lighting (or all three).  That would be an option but not be a requirement.
The Dade County Pine walls have been painted white. French doors and newer replacement windows provide ample light that give views of the welcoming front porch which wraps around the house to the east and back to the west.  The home has two bedrooms and two baths. I was not able to photograph the master bedroom. The bath is quite large. The guest bed and bath are on the small side. But they exist. So if you have small relatives or friends, they will fit in just fine. CLICK HERE to view alt the photos I took.

A lot of potential buyers shop online and search for homes by price. As of today there are seven houses located in the Old Town area that are priced lower than 9 Gerome Avenue. Four of those houses are priced higher on a price per sq ft basis. And six of the seven houses need renovated in my opinion. I think some buyers will dismiss thinking about a house like this because you must walk to the house down a little lane. Earlier this year I sold a very expensive home on Pinder Lane that was tucked away down a small walking lane. Other buyers may think they don't want to be near the gas station or the dance studio. Neither function at night. The little ballerinas that learn ballet go home when the sun goes down. I think an artist, a writer, or any person who values his or her privacy would be well advised to look at this place.

9 Gerome Avenue is offered for sale at $479,000 for this 930 sq ft home that sits on a 3243 sq ft lot that is an island unto itself. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up a private showing of this most private property.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

918 Southard Street #101, Key West, Florida


Just listed but not by me, 918 Southard Street #101, Key West, Florida. This is private and spacious first floor unit tucked away from the other units in popular Southard Square Condominiums located in the very heart of Old Town. The listing Realtor describes this property thus:
"Charming condo located in the highly desirable Southard Square Condominiums, this ground level unit offers privacy and convenience in a tropical paradise. With a recently updated bathroom and flooring, this unit's open floor plan offers a comfortable and spacious area to enjoy family and friends while preparing meals or enjoying the breeze on the patio. This thoughtfully planned community has wandering walkways and paths that guide you through the gardens to the large shared pool and clubhouse perfect for small gatherings. This monthly vacation rental has a proven history as an income producer. Convenient Old Town location is close to restaurants and Historic Seaport and includes a dedicated off-street parking space."

Southard Square Condominiums was built in 1987. I remember hearing that part of the 918 Southard building was the former location of the De Poo Hospital. I dug down into the bottom of my old shoebox and found the black and white photo taken in 1965 of the De Poo Hospital. Then I found another photo of a house next door at 912 Southard Street which was taken down so that the modern condominiums could be built. I doubt that our Historic Architectural Review Commission (HARC) would allow a similar fate to a historic house today. It is interesting to compare and contrast the two styles of architecture from the 19th and 20th Centuries.  I took the color photos below which show the "renovated De Poo Hospital" as it looks today.  The front of the condo development now sits where 912 Southard Street was once located. Several nearly identical houses to 912 Southard Street still exist just to the east and also around the corner from 5 Brothers Grocery on at the corner of Southard and Grinnell Street.)
918 Southard Street in 1965
912 Southard Street in 1965

 
Today Southard Square is a stable condominium community with just 16 units most of which are owner occupied. A few units, such as #101, are rented as monthly vacation rentals. The entrance to  Unit # 101 is located just to the left of the main gated entrance shown immediately above. The main bricked pathway leads through the landscaped courtyard to the huge pool located in the middle of the property.  The pool is very large and provides ample opportunities for sunning most of the day. There is also abundant deck area so that non-sun worshipers can lay by the 20' X 40'pool but not get zapped by the Key West sun rays.
The club house or community room
The historic buildings and the newer buildings are each different as are each of the residential units. This is no cookie cutter community here. Each unit has an assigned off street parking spot. Unit #101 is located at the front of the easternmost building. It has a private outdoor sitting area tucked behind tropical foliage.
If you have traveled to Key West several times and stayed at one of the many Shipyard Condomiums, you will probably appreciate the fact that this one bedroom unit is just a bit larger than the typical two bedroom Shipyard units.  Here the kitchen and living areas are open. There's a breakfast bar for casual dining. Notice also the sofas can be converted into sleepers for the occasion guest.
The monthly condo association fees at $667 and cover building maintenance, common area and pool maintenance, building insurances, trash removal, and basic cable TV. The property is professionally managed as well.
5 Brothers Grocery - half a block away
Mangia-Mangia up on the corner at Margaret Street
Michael's Steak House also on nearby Margaret Street
Key West Seaport - a five minute walk down Grinnell or Margaret Street

The pool - a one minute walk out the front door
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and more listing photos of this unit. This one bedroom, one bath first floor unit is offered for sale at $500,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this monthly vacation rental. This unit is constantly booked so advance appointments are mandatory. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

916 Von Phister Street, Key West - Casa Marina Contemporary

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916 Von Phister Street is located in the tony Casa Marina Area of Key West. This bedroom community is a stone's throw from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The Casa Marina Resort is a short two block walk to the west. Two great ocean front restaurants (Salute on the Beach and Louie's Backyard) are located within a five minute walk.  The madness of Old Town is within easy biking distance for those times you want to break bread with tourists or attend a play at the Waterfront Playhouse or the Red Barn Theater. Otherwise, you'll enjoy the serenity of this little enclave.

The area is not without its ties to old Key West. Tennessee Williams' sister owned the house across the street at 915 Von Phister; Thomas McGuane lived half a block away also on Von Phister Street; for a brief time Ernest Hemingway lived two blocks away at the corner of South and Whalton Streets; Phil Caputo lived on Casa Marina Court; and today Judy Blume lives very near. Houses in the Casa Marina are typically located on larger lots than Old Town. Many of the homes have a semi-rural flare because most of the streets do not have sidewalks. Instead the public rights of way are often planted with grass or pea rock  with all sorts of palm trees and other tropical plantings. And unlike much of Old Town where many of the homes have become vacation rental money machines, most of the houses in the Casa Marina are primary residences or second homes. And one last thing: the Atlantic Ocean and beaches are just a couple of blocks away. You can be wiggling your toes in the water in minutes.
 The listing Realtor describes 916 Von Phister Street this way:
"One of a kind, newly renovated, single family home. Oozing with the wow factor of midcentury and modern living all on one level. Stacking doors allow ample marriage of the outside and inside surrounded by two large patios and a glass tiled pool. Superior bright rooms flood the interiors with warm sunlight. Notable features are the telescope sky lights, oversized tiled porcelain floors,custom cabinetry, Bosch 800 series appliances, including double wall ovens, microwave drawer, dual beverage center and large Thermador refrigerator. Three en suite bedrooms with premium appointed bathrooms, den or fourth bedroom, private patios and ample closet space. All surrounded by a privacy wall with covered and uncovered parking enough for 3 cars."
Readers of my blog may recall I followed the renovation of this home for many months. I found a genuine throwback photo of this house taken from the Von Phister Street side in 1965. Other photos are recent. They show the transformation of the plain 1960s ranch into the sophisticated home it is today. The interior was totally gutted. External building changes included a new roof, installation of new impact windows and doors, and the construction of a new six foot privacy wall that envelops large corner lot. Landscape architect Craig Reynolds designed the pool and gardens.

The interiors are new throughout. Once you pass the threshold you behold a huge new space that is both subtle but demanding in the same instance. How can that be, you ask.  The color pallet used in the flooring and walls is very soft and unobtrusive so when you enter the house your eyes are automatically drawn first to the far end of the house which opens out to the pool. As you pass into the house you can't help noticing the contrasting colors of the pool, tropical gardens, and sky which depth and dimension to the interior spaces. The gardens are newly planted. As they grow the depth of color from the trees and tropical foliage will become even more vibrant.
The public living spaces are bright and open into each other. The sleek porcelain floors and monochromatic color scheme tie the rooms together. Design elements such as light fixtures, tiles, mirrors, and so on catch the eye of the beholder.  
A guest bath is located off the hallway leading to the bedrooms. This home has two master bedrooms each en-suite. Each with private outdoor garden space.
The west master bedroom suite is a bit larger. Dual doors at the far end of the room open into the bath which is a darker than the other master bath which seems almost opulent compared to the almost understated simplicity employed in this bathroom. When you look closer you quickly appreciate the richness of the minimalism which includes dual sinks with tilting mirrors and a huge glass enclosed shower. A set of dual doors open into one of two walk-in closets in this second master suite.
A third guest bedroom provides generous sleeping accommodations and equally dramatic en-suite bath. Like the two master suites, the guest bedroom has access to a small private garden on the other side of the impact doors. A large privacy wall insulates the house and garden from the street. Light flows in to the rooms but privacy prevails.
As I took photos of the baths I had to touch the tiles. They so totally different from the run of the mill tiles you see see repeated in house after house in Key West. The tiles in the master bath almost have an art deco feel to me. They aren't, but they give off that aura.  And it is the aura of being different that separates this house from so many others. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this property.
Doors from the kitchen and living room open wide and seem to disappear into the walls. The outdoors and indoors become one as living and entertaining spaces merge. In the winter when your friends up north in New Jersey or Michigan are freezing their behinds around dinner time, you and your Key West friends will be having cocktails and canapes under the stars either by your pool or you can walk over to Louie's Backyard or any number of other places. 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on 916 Von Pisterl Street which is offered at $2,195,000. Besides the refined public spaces there are two master suites, one large guest bedroom, a fourth potential bedroom which could alternatively be used as a den/study, office, media room, or home gym. There are three full baths and one half bath, two off street parking places (one covered), pool and lanai,  and laundry. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this freshly renovated home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. I live in the Casa Marina Area and love it. Let me show you this house and this wonderful neighborhood. 



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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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.