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Sunday, September 13, 2009

South of Truman - Old Town - Key West

Many months ago I wrote a blog entry that discussed people being creatures of habit. Maybe we become that way because teachers always made us sit in the same seat. So when we get big and got to choose where to sit, most of us go to the same spot time after time. I catch myself doing that sometimes. And sometimes I move to another place just so that I cannot be defined by where I sit.

A lot of people seem to vacation in the same location every year or sometimes more than once a year. Many people who come to Key West pick a particular hotel or guesthouse and stay there because they like the neighborhood and feel comfortable. They get to know the staff and feel like they belong. Gay guesthouses have repeat visitors all the time. But so do expensive places like the Marquesa Hotel. Vacationers and tourists alike go to familiar restaurants because they know they will always get a good meal or maybe just a cheap meal. But they go back again and again because they know what they can expect.

I have often written about Key West neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are where us locals live. I have never written about the South of Truman area as such. Until today. Almost every first time visitor makes it to the corner of Duval and Truman Streets. U.S. 1 (the only highway from mainland United States to Key West) becomes Truman Avenue at Eisenhower Drive (ten blocks to the east of Duval Street). The intersection at Duval diverts a lot of people to the north towards the heart of Old Town.

It is a ten block walk toward the north from Truman and Duval to reach the Gulf of Mexico. Of course you might never make it that far because of all the distractions like Bourbon Street Pub, Margaritaville, Rick's, Sloppy Joes, etc. And the area around the 800 Block of Duval is sure to attract some kind of commotion almost anytime. But if you decided to walk southward you could be at the Atlantic Ocean in only five blocks. Along the way you could get distracted by La Te Da, the Banana Cafe, the Butterfly Conservancy or a bunch of cute little art galleries and other diversions. The pace of living is so much easier and and noise level so much quieter south of Truman.

Listed below are some places that have become affordable to buyers who want a part time place in Key West. Many can be rented either as a vacation rental (rented for a period of 30 days or less but only rented one time per month) or that have a transient rental license which permits daily rental (just like a hotel room). I also included a few single family homes might work out as full time residences.

422 Louisa Street #7 CLICK HERE is a one bedroom one bath condo with a valuable transient License at the La Casas De Lucas which is located around the corner from the Cuban Club. Priced at $309,000.

508 Louisa #2 CLICK HERE is a one bedroom one bath unit located just steps west of Duval. Walk to Banana Cafe every morning for a bit of heaven. This 500 sq ft elegant little place is offered at $339,000. Rent it as a vacation rental when you are not in residence. It is eligible for a transient rental license.

422 Amelia Street #L-2 CLICK HERE is another one bed one bath unit that is also a part of La Casas De Lucas. This unit is Bank Owned (a local Key West bank - not a monolith). It is offered at $449,000 and it also has a valuable Transient License.

1102 Duval Street CLICK HERE is a one bedroom but two bath unit that is also Bank Owned (that same local bank) that is offered at $449,000. It also has a valuable Transient Rental License. It is located in the Cuban Club Condominiums. It has an assigned parking space.

1401 Simonton Street is the location of the new Santa Maria Condominiums. CLICK HERE to see the lowest priced unit. This Transient Licensed unit is offered as a Short Sale at $490,000. The unit has 907 sq ft of efficiently and elegantly designed living space. There are two bedrooms and two and one-half baths. There is a great tropical pool, parking, the Ambrosia Restaurant, and the Reach Resort provides access for use of its beach, pool, spa and is located right next door. There are several short sales and a few market priced sales over one million dollars in this complex. This listing is the least expensive.

407 Catherine Street CLICK HERE is located almost one block west of Duval Street. Most of the neighboring houses are still single family residential and all are in good condition. This single family home has two bedrooms and one bath and is offered at $649,000. It is has been really tastefully remodeled. The rear doors open wide to a great pool. This place is really cute.

408 Amelia Street CLICK HERE is a simple two bedroom one bath that is very economically priced at only $429,000. Most of the other homes and condos on this block are priced much higher. (This is basically an estate sale and it is priced to sell quickly.)

525 Louisa Street is a single family home CLICK HERE located about one-half block east of the Banana Cafe on Duval Street. This block has mostly single family homes and condos that are rented as vacation rentals. This house is currently used as a full time residence. But it could make a great vacation rental. It has a pool and off street parking. There is a white picket fence that keeps the outside out. Inside the house has been redone within the past few years. The kitchen was not quite completed. Use your imagination and complete this property. You might be able to turn it into a real money maker. It is offered at $850,000

625 Louisa Street CLICK HERE is a two bed three bath home built in 1989 that is part of a compound with a shared pool. Other than the shared pool, everything about this house is single family. It is offered at $659,000. Checkout the photo of the back of the house and that great pool.

634 Louisa Street is located east of Simonton Street and across the street from the Suburban Propane tank farm. CLICK HERE. It is a two bedroom two bath condo with 765 sq ft of living space on two floors. It is new construction in 2007. It is Bank Owned and offered at $269,000. This place probably would not be my idea of where I'd want to spend my two week vacation. Not because the place is not nice, but there is no pool. But it might appeal to a buyer that want a nice sized place in Old Town that does not cost a lot.

639 United Street CLICK HERE is a single family home that was tastefully redone a couple of years back. It is offered at $790,000. This 1350 sq ft home has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a beautiful pool and a pool house. Click on the link to see the photos of this place.

If you are looking for a place in Key West please consider working with me, Gary Thomas. Contact me at 305-766-2642 or by e-mail at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coast Realty, Inc. We are an affiliate of Christie's Great Estates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

Gary, you have written about S of Truman before, particularly the 900block where some substantially renovated homes have sold. 726-728 United, another property you posted about, just closed a week ago. There are also some nice properties on Royal and Catherine that you have from time to time mentioned.

One correction tho, the Santa Maria no longer has the beach access agreement with the Reach. It is now with the Southernmost.

Captain out...........


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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.