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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

627 Caroline Street - Historic Seaport Area - Key West

Just listed (but not by me) 627 Caroline Street just one block from the Historic Key West Seaport.
View Larger Map shows you where it is located. Or CLICK HERE. I know you will recognize the house next door. Almost every traveler to Key West takes a picture of this house. CLICK HERE to see the same house next door (629 Caroline Street) as it looked around 1965 when it probably had its last paint job.

The listing Realtor describes the house this way:
"Historic Conch Classical Revival home ready for your special touches. Two story, 2300 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 blocks from Duval Street and near the Historic Seaport and all attractions. Large yard with room for a pool."
The house sits on a fairly good sized lot - 4541 sq ft. You will note from the photos that there is brick paved off street parking. You will also note the "addition" or enclosure of the downstairs front porch. That would never be allowed today and it ought to go. This particular block of Caroline Street has some really beautiful old homes that have been meticulously restored. A couple of stragglers are left, like this house, but the block is one of the prettiest in Key West. The Monroe County Tax Appraiser says this house was built circa 1889. Put on your imagination glasses and compare the way 627 Caroline Street looks today CLICK HERE with a nearly identical house across the street that has been restored CLICK HERE, you will get a sense of what you could do with this classic Key West home.

The house is nearly original. A kitchen was added where the back porch was located. A bathroom was created on the second floor. And there is that front porch enclosure. But those additions are relatively new-say 50 years ago or older. The house has Dade County Pine walls, ceilings and floors, old windows and doors, old plumbing, old electric, and a year's worth of work and expense to restore this old house. The dining room has a bay window and the entire downstairs has quite a bit or interior light. The difference in buying a fixer like this versus buying a house that has already been restored that may cost more might elude some.

I warn buyers to expect time delays and unexpected costs in trying to do a renovation. I tell them that they need a good architect and a good contractor to get the job done right. I even tell them that they could probably buy a place that has been restored more cheaply than if they were to do a project themselves. But when a buyer does a project he or she or they get to recreate the house.

As nice as it is to have a garage I would probably eliminate the garage, ditch the addition on the front and add a white picket fence and electric gate at the driveway. I would doll up the facade with a fresh coat of paint and install new shutters where needed. By eliminating the porch addition and garage, I would add light to the downstairs. The living space would be reduced a bit, but the available space would be improved immensely.

627 Caroline Street is offered at $950,000 or $426 per sq ft. CLICK HERE to see more photos of the exterior of the property and view more details. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 if you would like to see the inside. I a m a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc. in Key West, Florida.

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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.