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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Affordable* Key West Houses

*How would you like to buy a cigar makers cottage made of real Dade County Pine for $2000 or less? Well, you can. Sort of. Ronny Bailey is a fourth generation conch that spent 30 years of his life restoring many of the old houses in Key West. A couple of years ago he started fooling around with some Dade County Pine and created his first new old house replica. His wife came home and expressed in amazement "I didn't know you could do that!" Ronny replied "Neither did I." And so began his new career as artist-carpenter where he creates miniature near replicas of real houses in Key West using salvaged lumber. Ronny stresses that he only uses old salvaged wood to construct the houses. He doesn't paint the pieces. Instead he relies on the ravages of our sun and the weather to create the natural patina that make each piece look so genuine. Ronny's inner artist comes out when he adds a bit of whimsy such as a rooster to his work.

CLICK HERE to visit Ronny's website. Take a couple of minutes to go through the original miniature facades and the more affordable prints. Ronny does commissioned pieces as well.

The photos above are of a piece Ronny just completed. We think. He said he's not sure it's done yet. But pretty sure. I wish I were a better photographer so that you could see the detail in his work. The real building depicted in the art is located at the corner of Frances Street and Olivia. Checkout the little birds sitting on the neon sign above the front door or the cat laying on the second floor window ledge. The buildings Ronny creates are historically correct but the whimsy he adds is purely original. I'm no art critic but Ronny's work sure looks like it will become some very collectible folk art in the not too distant future.

Ronny Bailey will be exhibiting his works in Naples December 12 and 13 and at the Old Island Days Art Festival February 27 and 28. He invites interested buyers to view all of his pieces at any time. Go to his website to make contact.

If you are looking to purchase a slightly larger Key West house CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors real mls database. If you see something that interests you, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or contact me be email at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc. in Key West, Florida. We sell real houses in Paradise.

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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.