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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Listed: 602 Southard St. Old Town Key West

Just Listed, but not by me: 602 Southard Street (corner of Southard & Simonton Streets). This is how the listing Realtor describes this property: "Grand Historic Home (3 legal Units)located in the Old Town district. One block off Duval. Featuring Entry Porch, Hardwood Floors, Walk in Closets, High Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Metal Roof. The perfect historic Conch Home!" CLICK HERE to see more info and several photos of the interior.

I have never been inside this place, but I have admired this house since the first time I came to Key West. There is something so "old" about the place that makes me feel safe or content. It's a big house, 2746 sq. ft. according to tax records. The lot is big too, 5573 sq. ft. at a major point in Old Town. The property is presently configured as three units, and the listing agent says there are 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. CLICK "PHOTO" to see PHOTO, PHOTO, PHOTO , PHOTO I took this morning of the exterior.

The list of negatives about this property in today's economy might scare away just about every buyer: location (busy corner); income on 3 units likely not enough to support debt to finance the purchase; cost of renovation would be huge because of the large size of the property; the price ($950,000) s barely under one million bucks; that ugly little commercial building next door to the south; I could go on. But if you look at the property differently you see the location as a positive if you are looking for a house near everything with the size of the building and lot to do what you want. The building next door doesn't have tenants that party all night. The economy is slow right now so you do your own stimulus package and hire some local builders that are not otherwise engaged. The asking price may seem high but it may be negotiable and on a per sq. ft. basis ($346) it is a great value given the structure, size, and great location. There are some structural things you may want to change (add a pool and eliminate the exterior plumbing pipes for example). I envision HARC and the planning department working with a new owner to turn 602 Southard into striking property. Let's say you invest an additional $500,000 in renovation. Would a "new" renovation in that location be worth about $1.5 million? To some buyers it would. You can get a lot of house in Key West for $1.5 million in today's market. Some locations are better than others.

If you think the worst of times is in front of us, this property is definitely one that you should not see. But if you think our country is going to come out of this mess and you want to take advantage of the present price levels, you might want to take a look at this property. Whoever buys this big house with a big lot needs a big pocketbook to do this old lady her due. This place could be fun. If you want to see this property, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305.766.2642 or send me an email at

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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.