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Sunday, December 20, 2009

So You Think You Can Enhance! Key West House

The Entanglement as I call it. The cottage to the rear of 825 Southard Street.

I don't know why we still have so many old houses that look so forlorn. Maybe it is because the owners never thought about fixing things up. Maybe they were satisfied with leaving things the way they are. Maybe they do or did not have the money. Maybe there was some kind of entanglement. The house at 825 Southard Street in Old Town Key West maybe the poster child for untangling and enhancing.

825 Southard Street CLICK HERE is a 1978 sq ft two story Conch Revival House located on a 3968 sq ft lot. The listing Realtor says "Great location, bones, and footprint characterize this historic property which has tall ceilings, offstreet parking, and a capped cistern which could become a dipping pool." But then suggest that the new owner buy the little cottage next door. That's the entanglement. CLICK HERE to see the mls info on the cottage to the rear.

I have shown 825 Southard Street several times. It could be great. The black and white photo just below shows 825 Southard and its cottage cousin as they appeared in the mid 1960s. The house next door to the west at 821 Southard Street is added just so you can see how damned pretty these houses were back in the day. 821 Southard Street looks pretty today. It has been well maintained. But 825 Southard and its cuz need some help.
825 Southard Street as it appeared in 1965.

The cottage to the rear of 825 Southard as it appeared in 1965.

821 Southard Street as it appeared in 1965. It still looks great today. What a great neighbor!

825 Southard Street has been on the market since January when it was priced at $525,000. It is now offered at $475,000 or $240 per sq ft. I personally do not think the asking price, condition, or location of 825 Southard Street is the reason this house has not sold. Instead, dear Reader, it is the cottage to the rear. That cottage presents all kinds of opportunities and challenges for a potential restoration of the larger house. The cottage has an easement for ingress and egress across the property in front. Were a buyer to buy both properties the challenge goes away and creative genius could explode. Problem solved: NO. The owner of the cottage at the rear is owned by another party. That owner is asking $315,000 or $438,000 per sq ft for the 720 sq ft cottage.

Any serious buyer must take into consideration the cost to renovate both properties. 825 Southard is a big place with big rooms. The house is pretty "virgin" but in good condition. I have shown this house several times and I have seen more things that need to be decorated and "corrected". The house will need all new electric, plumbing, air conditioning plus new bathrooms and a kitchen. The cottage could be come a guest cottage or pool side retreat. A pool is possible but only if both properties are purchased. That danged easement or entanglement must go away and that is only possible in my opinion by its elimination by merger of the two properties into one.

If you think you can enhance, you might want to take a look at these properties. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or email me at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty Inc. in Key West, Florida. CLICK HERE to search the real Key West Association of Realtors mls website.

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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.