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Friday, May 22, 2015

807 Washington Street #102, Key West, Florida - Casa Marina Buying Opportunity

Just Listed, but not by me, 807 Washington Street Unit #102, Key West, Florida. This is an opportunity for the buyer who wants a quality home in the Casa Marina Area of Key West at an affordable price. Many of the single family homes in the Casa Marina Area are now priced over $2,000,000 and some are trending higher. So a place priced at $949,000 is a buying opportunity.
The listing Realtor describes this 1876 sq ft three story town home this way:
"Casa Marina Townhome w/Private Heated Pool. Just two blocks from the Casa Marina & beach, this new townhome (built in 2007) has it all. Designer kitchen, private pool, hardwood floors, three bedrooms (each with en suite baths) and off-street parking. The 1st floor features an open floor plan with a beautiful kitchen (granite counters, wood cabinets & stainless Viking appliances), a half bath, open living area with double French doors leading out to the back yard & pool. The 2nd floor hosts the Master bedroom & private balcony overlooking the back yard & pool and a 2nd bedroom with its own private balcony & bath. The entire 3rd floor is a large bedroom, en suit bath & sitting/reading area. Home is elevated & located in an X-Flood zone."
I have sold four units in this 12 unit complex over the years. My buyers absolutely love their homes and this incredible location. The units were built to sell at the $1.8 million price point. And then the 2008 recession hit Key West. The important thing for current buyers to understand is these units were built with quality in mind and have features that endure to provide long term value.

The listing Realtor gave me permission to use his photos. I took only the front exterior photos. The units are all set up the same way. There are two porches on both front and back - main floor and second floor. There is a semi-formal front entry that welcomes guests into the home. A beautiful stairway on the left side leads up to the second and third floor bedrooms. The wood floors lead through the unit to the main living area. The kitchen features Viking Stainless Steel appliances and real hardwood cabinets with black granite counter tops. A window above the kitchen sink lets the glorious Key West sun shine through to make doing clean-up less taxing.

There's a half bath tucked in under the stair to the second floor. Upstairs, each of the three bedrooms has a private bath and both second floor bedrooms have porches. The master suite is quite large. It has a volume ceiling and covered rear porch where you can look down to the private pool below. The third floor bedroom runs the length of the unit and provides quality space for the kids or grandkids. Each unit has a private parking space. By the way these units can be rented as monthly vacation rentals. Some owners do rent while other owners do not.

Five Minutes Away from home!
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this property. After you've looked online, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to take a look in person. You just cannot buy a single family home in the Casa Marina Area at a price this low. Take a look at this town home. You just might be a Key West homeowner quicker than you might imagine.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1104 South Street, Key West, Florida


One of the joys of living in the Casa Marina Area of Key West is driving home down uncontested streets lined with giant palm trees and mahogany trees.  I often see locals walking their dogs or tourists on bikes touring the area pointing out houses that they wish they someday could call home. Some of the houses sit back from the street behind expansive lawns while others are hidden behind six foot tall privacy walls. There are a smattering of 1960 vintage CBS houses left that have not been touched. While Casa Marina Court, Johnson Street, and Flagler Avenue have curbs and gutters, the rest of the area retains its original almost rural charm where yards and driveways extend out to the street. The architecture varies throughout the area and ranges from Grand Conch houses to mid-century modern to avant garde 21st Century.
Each block in the Casa Marina area is different - there's nothing cookie cutter about this part of town. The new listing at 1104 South Street was designed and built in 1999 by Kum Kee Fu an international architect who built three homes in Key West. This home sits adjacent to 1100 South Street, the bungalow Ernest Hemingway lived when he completed A Farewell to Arms. The two houses could not be any more different in style or construction. Both have merit in their own right. A prior owner added a brick veneer that now covers the original wood on the Hemingway bungalow. 1104 South Street by contrast is recent construction with a contemporary style. You can't tell exactly what is there, however, because the front almost seems to be a carriage house, but you intuitively know there is more to this place which cannot be seen from the street. It is that privacy that makes this place so precious.
Guests enter the home through double doors which lead through an outdoor hallway where water gently falls over the rocks on either side. The Trex deck foot path splits and leads either to the pool at the east or to the main entrance to the west. Take one step, turn left, and be prepared to be awed.
The living room has multiple architectural features that make this space so intriguing. They include the pyramid ceiling under which are clerestory windows over either French doors, interior passages, or windows all which add light and spatial interest to the space. The long black pool is located opposite the French doors. The deck from the front walkway turns south and flanks the living room and adjacent library and dining room both of which have French doors and clerestory windows.
 The dining area is just plain stunning.  It is so simple. It is so grand!  The cathedral ceiling mimics the style of the living room but on a much smaller scale. If you look at the reflection in the mirror above you'll see a metal spiral staircase that leads to the second floor rear guest bedroom. You'll also see that spiral staircase from the kitchen window. And what a kitchen this home has. It also simple but grand as well. Sometimes things that are understated appear much more important because they don't clamor for attention: they earn respect just by their being.
The second floor rear bedroom packs a lot of punch for a small space. You enter the space off a small balcony. Like the grand living room and smaller dining area, this room has a cathedral ceiling as well. You'll quickly notice the bath, hall closet, and a door that leads to a rear second floor balcony where you could get that all-over Key West tan in total privacy. I had not seen this space in years when I took the photos for today's blog. I was so excited about this space because it oozes charm!
The second guest bedroom is located on the main living level to the rear of the living room. The efficient room is large enough to accommodate a Stairmaster, bed, two chests with table lamps, a side chair and reading light. If it were any larger, the guests would never leave.
The biggest surprise I had when photographing this house was the renovated master bedroom. Entrance is through a pocket door just off the main entry. A staircase leads up to what was previously a guest apartment over the two garages.  The bedroom and bathroom each occupy the same amount of space. The result is two dramatic spaces.  
French doors from the bedroom and bathroom open out to separate balconies.  The bathroom has a separate W/C and shower. There's room for a coffee bar which is something I'd probably add. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this wonderful home.
The house has 2412 sq ft of living space. The lot is 44' wide by 112' deep or 4974.66 sq ft in area. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet for 1104 South Street which is offered at $2,145,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule an appointment to see this special Key West home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. You just may fall for this house. I'm sure you'll fall for the Casa Marina Area.  


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2412 Linda Avenue, Key West - New Lower Price at Water's Edge



The asking rice on 2412 Linda Avenue in Key West just got a whole lot better. Now this waterfront property is offered at only $705,000. I first wrote about this property a few months ago when it was first listed. I am a bit familiar with the location as I wrote an offer for on a nearby bank owned property a couple of years ago. I had no idea how radically different the two properties were even though they are located only a few houses apart on the same side of the street. The two differences are even more dramatic as this home has been lovingly updated and has that incredible water view whereas the other needed a radical update and had only a partial water view. Today's blog is a short narrative with photos I took and listing photos. I must tell you from the outset that I was so amazed by what I found. It truly is a La Belle Vue Cottage!
2412 Linda Avenue is located on the edge of the Key West Salt Ponds. The Salt Ponds run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean from Bertha Street eastward past the Key West International Airport. I estimate the ponds take up about 25% of the land on the Island of Key West. A good portion of the land mass is composed of mangroves and the balance by shallow salt water ponds that are navigable by canoe or kayak.  CLICK GOOGLE AERIAL MAP for an aerial view. Use the toggle switch to zoom in for a closer look or pull back or move the map around to gain a better perspective of the location as it plays into this house and the features here.
2412 Linda Avenue was built in 1950. Although the home has been updated, it retains a good bit of the original character of the construction while important features like windows, air conditioning, and electrical service has been replaced or upgraded. The front entry welcomes you into the home where your eyes are immediately drawn through the house to the water view at the rear. First, however, you must pass through the historic living room which is located at the front.
Just past the living room is the dining area and kitchen. A was the case for many homes built in the 1950s there is no "formal" dining room because lifestyles were evolving from one purpose rooms to multiple purpose spaces. The kitchen is as clean as a whistle and still has the original wood cabinets from back in the day. What I like to call a 'drama wall' was added to the dining area. A similar wood
'drama wall' was added to the guest bedroom. The inclusion of wood into the home brings more texture and life to these spaces.
The large master bedroom has an extra large and renovated en-suite bath and closet area. I was surprised by how large this space was as it is atypical of what you would expect in a vintage 1950s home.
The family room and adjacent office is located opposite the dining area. This is where the less serious living occurs in this house. The office is tucked away in the right corner. A sofa occupies space where a new owner might put in a bookcase or maybe even a Murphy bed. I could see an artist using this space as a studio, a stockbroker or business executive using the space to do deals, or a writer as his/her writer's workshop. I myself would find the views too distracting for any serious purpose other than to write my blog!
The family room is a big, open space with lots of windows plus two French doors that open out to the rear deck. These wind impact windows and doors were just added a few years ago. The rear deck is on the same plain, but the world out there isn't what you'll find in most houses in Key West or anywhere else for that matter. While there is no pool here, there is a semi-covered spa with serene water views.  There is plenty of room to add a pool, however. This space is magical and works well for this owner.
As I was taking pictures I noticed a pelican perched on a nearby canoe moored at waters edge next door. He stayed there a long time.  I inched closer to take photos of him. I live a couple of miles west in the Casa Marina Area and sometimes see egrets and herons walking around the area. I have never seen a pelican in my backyard. What a joy that must be different kinds of birds sitting, fishing, and doing whatever it is that birds do in their natural habitat. Except their habitat would also by your habitat if you lived here.
I love Old Town Key West even though much of it is now congested. I live in the Casa Marina area which has a much more open feel. But I gotta tell you the feeling at this home is something very unique. If you are a nature enthusiast I'm sure you would love watching the mix of of colors as the sky and clouds play against the waters. It is a kaleidoscope of never ending colors and shapes. CLICK HERE to view the photos I took. Click any photo to enlarge. 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos. This home is now offered at $705,000. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up  private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  Let's plan on a few minutes extra here so you can contemplate nature in this special Key West property.

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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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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.