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Saturday, October 24, 2009

639 United Street - Key West Charmer !

I showed 639 United Street last week. I had not been inside for a few years. The last time it was offered for sale it got purchased right away. I sort of remembered how cute it was -- how it meets the needs of a buyer that wants to buy that "Quintessential Key West Cottage" (the personification of idyllic living space in our little town). Well, I just fell all over myself again. This house just about everything a buyer could want - except the location.

I'll discuss the property first and then the location. 639 United Street is a 1350 sq ft main house with guest cottage. There are a total of three bedrooms and three baths. The lot is deceptively large (31' x 118.5') . The front yard is fenced and gated. The front porch belies the truth of this non-traditional shotgun style house. You see the actual entry is made into the living area midway through the house on the west side. The front of the house is where two of the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. The bedroom configurations are therefore larger and more user friendly. (See interior photos.)

The living area (kitchen, dining, and livingroom) open onto the rear of the house and have views of the pool and guest cottage where that third bedroom and bath are located. There is a side gate on the east side of the house that provides access to the rear area for the poolboy or guests staying in the cottage.

The  living room has a big vaulted ceiling that makes the entire space seem larger. The Dade County Pine walls are artistically painted. The kitchen opens onto the living area so the cook is always part of the action. There is an indoor dining area but there is dining space by the pool as well. Oh, and the outside is wired for tunes. The pool gets lots of sunshine but it is also nestled by some tropical foliage so users can get the tan but not get baked if they don't want to. CLICK HERE to see some excellent photos that really showoff each room and living area.

639 United Street is offered at $790,000 or $585 per sq ft. It does not have off street parking. And it is located on what I call a feeder street. United Street is a somewhat busy street during the daytime. At night the traffic is infrequent. There is commercial activity across the street and there is a trailer court a couple doors to the east. But Duval Street is only two blocks to the west and South Beach is only a five minute walk to the south. A week ago I wrote about the property just to the south of the guest cottage (622 Louisa Street). CLICK HERE to see the pool there. 622 Louisa is a little grander, I will grant you that. It's got a better location, I'll grant you that. And it is priced $500,000 higher.

Fantasy Fest started last night. The King and Queen were crowned and town is full of party-goers and some potential buyers. If you are looking to purchase the nearly perfect Key West getaway place, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305.766.2642. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. We are an affiliate of Christie's Great Estates. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.


Anonymous said...

Soooooo, Gary. Based on the comps from the last 6 months, wouldn't you say this property is a bit over-priced? Like say $200K over-priced?

address - sale price - price/sqft
623 Grinnell $418K, $299/sqft
308 Peacan Lane $500K, $386/sqft
825 Ashe $590K, $479/sqft
1223 Petronia $646K, $388/sqft
1209 Olivia $590K, $388/sqft
1215 Royal $550K, $399/sqft
1213 Royal $525K, $341/sqft
724 Ashe $690K, $418/sqft
1219 Eliza $570K, $375/sqft
614 Frances $620K, $446/sqft

Seems like somewhere around $400/sqft ought to be about right. What do you think???


Gary Thomas said...

Mike, 623 Grinnell is really cute but not a comp. Short sale that needed major updating. No pool but had room for one.
308 Peacan Lane was a 2 story duplex.Very clean and cute with room for a pool but would cost over $200,000 to renovate and add a pool.
825 Ashe - I sold it. Great house, had parking and a small pool. But yard not as large as United. United would rent for more $$$ as a vacation rental imo.
1223 Petronia used to belong to a fellow realtor. Started at$1,150,000 and listed by a Top Realtor. Took forever to sell. No pool. I showed it a couple of times. I didn't like the house but I wasn't looking to buy one. United is superior imo.
1209 Olivia was a good buy, but in no way compares to United. House was abandoned and reeked of mold and mildew. Fixable, but still smelled. It had spiral stairway and poor layout.
1215 Royal has always enticed me but also always been a problem house. Spiral staircase to unusable second floor 3rd bedroom. Kitchen was tiny and needed redone. But otherwise charming. Location puts off a lot of buyers. Most commented they thought it seedy. I don't think so, but buyers did.
1213 Royal --ditto.
724 Ashe - my sale, my buyer. Great house-the deal of the year. I don't think my buyer appreciates the deal he got. United Street's guest cottage and back yard is something my Ashe Street buyer would covet.
1219 Eliza, across from the church of churches. No real master bedroom. Main floor bath was a closet under the stairs. Kitchen was cheerful but not practical. Upstairs bedrooms were difficult for long term use. Location was major drawback for most buyers.
614 Frances was bank owned multi-unit. It was another steal. But it in no way compares to United Street. Frances has potential to be a very expensive property. Lots of room and character. Other houses are ultra-expensive and that location makes this property very attractive. I did my best to get a couple of my wealthy buyers to get it. They took their time and missed out. And I didn't get the sale.

Mike you are probably right that the asking price on United Street is a bit high. But when our market was strong a few years ago, 839 United sold very quickly. It is a very attractive house for the asking price. Shop it against other houses in the same price range. Don't look just at sale price per sq ft. Like I said 724 Ashe was a great deal. But you haven't a clue as to the crap we went through to get that deal done.



Anonymous said...

Nice homework, Gary...and I agree with most of your assessments, except for the Olivia & Eliza houses. I would have jumped on either of those based on their superior location had my situational timing been right, but alas it was not. However, my situation will be improving immensely next week, so we'll see what happens...

Gary Thomas said...

Mike, I showed Olivia many times and tried to get someone very close to me to buy it. I thought it had a lot of upside despite the smell and spiral stairway. I understand the new owner has been doing some improvements. I would have done a total rearrangement of rooms and put in a real stairway.

Another local Realtor has an active listing on a couple of units in the same block of Eliza that you mentioned. She is having a devil of a time selling those. And a different Realtor has a separate listing on same block and she can't sell hers either. I wrote about the house on the corner of Eliza and George. That house is listed by a fellow Realtor and he can't sell his listing.

I have owned properties on busy streets or that had locational issues. Believe me they are hard sells. Owning real estate is like not remembering Viet Nam: you make bad mistakes once.


Anonymous said...

Sweet house, and I like the location on United Street. Close enough to the rest of crazy Old Town but far enough removed. Very nice indeed and not a bad price either.


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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.