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Friday, May 28, 2010

1130 Royal Street - Bank Owned - Old Town -Key West

This seems like deja vu all over again. Actually, I reported on 1130 Royal Street over a year ago. There was a flurry of activity and it went under contract right away. I had a buyer that submitted a higher than asking price offer and he did not get the property. Neither did anybody else. Apparently there was a problem in the previous foreclosure and that prevented the bank owner from selling the property to anyone.

1130 Royal Street has just been put back on the market, still bank owned, and now offered for sale at $325,000 or $433 per sq ft for this two bedroom (one bath) house located on a corner lot one block south of St Mary's Catholic Church at the T-intersection of Windsor Lane, Amelia Street, and Royal Street. MAP.

This is how the listing Realtor describes this property:
"This cute 2 bedroom and 1 bath cottage has a large deck and a great Old Town location. Home is walking distance to dining, art galleries and shopping."

I showed this house about 5 times during the few days it was for sale a year ago. Each time there were other people stopping and looking. CLICK HERE to checkout the mls listing data and to view photos of this property.

If you are looking for an affordable single family house in Old Town Key West, this just may what you have been looking for. The house directly across the street to the north CLICK HERE is one of the prettiest newer houses in Key West. And the neighbor across the street CLICK HERE is just as pretty but not quiet as large. There is a mix of big expensive houses like the two mentioned and an equal number of small homes like 1130 Royal Street. 1130 Royal Street has the white picket fence and room for both a pool and off street parking. It is within easy walking distance to Duval Street as well as the shops and restaurants on nearby Truman Avenue.

I don't know if the listing agent will be working this Memorial Day Weekend (or if the bank asset manager will be as well). But I'm available and ready to help you make your offer on this bank owned single family house in Old Town Key West. Beat the crowd that took off from work to get the extra long weekend and make your offer on this nice little house with a lot of potential.

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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

1800 Atlantic Condominium Penthouse Short Sale

The interior courtyard and gardens are a wonderful surprise!

Five years ago I was the listing agent that sold 1800 Atlantic Unit C-435. It sold for $950,000. I was saddened to see that it is now offered for sale as a Short Sale at the current asking price of $525,000. This is how the present listing agent describes this unit:
"Everything that you could want in Key West! Located on Smather's Beach, this purchase opportunity offers a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the top floor of one of the premier condo communities in Key West. What makes this property special is income potential from a full transient rental license, allowing for unlimited vacation rentals, that is included in the sale. This 2 BR & 2 BA, 1357 sq. ft. penthouse unit has seen substantial improvements with a spectacular custom kitchen. As a penthouse unit, the main living area and the guest bedroom feature vaulted ceilings. Community amenities include a beach side heated pool, hot tub, saunas, 3 lighted tennis courts, 24 hour security & covered parking in a tropical resort setting."
This unit is located on the top floor and is the fifth unit back from the Atlantic Ocean on the Smathers' Beach side of the complex. For those of you who like to have something interesting to watch, this is the view for you. The ceilings are vaulted and provide a dramatic relief to the normal ceiling heights on floors one, two, and three. The greater volume in the unit just makes it seem larger than it is, but it still is quite large-1357 sq ft to be exact.

The large newer kitchen has a small dining area plus a kitchen island with separate bar area. There is plenty of cabinet space and counter top food preparation area. The spacious living and dining area are combined. Both bedrooms are quite large and the master bath is extra large. The living room and each bedroom have direct access to the extra large balcony that runs the length of the unit. Imagine having breakfast and dining watching the Key West early morning skies and sunsets from your penthouse deck.

Each unit has covered under-building parking plus a separate storage area. One of the two building elevators is located just steps away from this unit so it will be easy for you and your guests to transport bags, groceries, and cocktail makings with ease.

1800 Atlantic Condominium Unit C 435 is offered at the asking price of $550,000 or $387 per sq ft. Remember this unit has a valuable transient license which means you can rent it nightly every day of the year. CLICK HERE to read more information about this listing and to view more photos.

If you would like to see this unit or any other property offered for sale in Key West 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. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You Just Gotta See 1106 Packer - Key West

It's been 26 years since my first trip to Key West. Back then I would just marvel at some of the "Key Westy" houses. These were places the gays and left over hippies bought and redid on a shoestring and a lot of imagination. They were testaments to thrift, ingenuity, and art, but not necessarily in that order. As the lore of Key West became the lure of Key West and the masses started to come here to see what the fuss was all about, more people started to buy up the old houses and redo them except for many "shoestring" budgets were replaced by gobs and wads of moola, and, unfortunately, many redos lacked ingenuity and certainly were not artistic.

A couple of days ago I got the chance to see an absolute Key West Original that just rocks. It is located at 1106 Packer Street on the South of Truman area of Old Town Key West. The listing Realtor (from Preferred Properties) describes his listing this way:
"Naturally beautiful home with two bedrooms and two full baths down. Upstairs are additional guest quarters with an adjoining artist's studio loft. An extra-high front fence provides great privacy, hiding a wonderful, inviting front porch. There is ample off-street parking on two sides of the property. High ceilings and an open floor plan provide a natural indoor outdoor flow to porches and a private pool with tropical gardens. A romantic master suite with charming bath has multiple French doors leading out to a totally unique free-formed swimming pool with coral rock waterfall. There are many architectural and artistic surprises in every corner of this property. Come for a visit and you will want to stay for a lifetime!"
Looks can be deceiving. Oh the facade at 1106 Packer Street is very pleasant to look at, but you have absolutely no idea how wonderful the inside is. There is nothing normal or expected here. But everything here is terribly irresistible. This 1789 sq ft home has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (that's what the mls listing says). And it sits on a 4000 sq ft (40' x 100') lot. When you enter the front door you step0 into the livingroom that has an unexpectedly high vaulted ceiling. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the rear of the past the ingenious kitchen and dinging area where the pool and garden beckon you. But getting there is pretty difficult because every square foot of the space has something so interesting to see, that you can't just breeze through.

If you watch all of those HGTV shows that tell you the heart of any home is the kitchen, well, it's true, at least here. The kitchen and dinging area sit midway between the front and rear. It's as if the house and yard are flipped upward and the livingroom is the feet and legs, the trunk of the house if you will. The pool and garden are at the top and are more like the head or cerebral area of the house where all of the important thinking and pleasure thoughts are created. The kitchen and dinging sit in the middle and this is the area that literally feeds the body and makes it content. On the Food Network they teach us that the way food looks makes us want to eat it. Well, this kitchen is so original it wins the Iron Chef competition for being spot on.

If you follow me on TWITTER you can see the photos I took of this home. And if you CLICK HERE you can read the mls listing info and see more photos for 1106 Packer Street.

Better than clicking, why don't you call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, and let's set up a showing of this really great home. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. 1106 Packer Street is offered at $785,500. You just gotta see it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

1014 Elgin Lane - Key West Old Town Charmer !

Great Room at the rear with double French Doors leading to pool

The second floor bedroom at 1014 Elgin Lane

Just listed, but not by me, is the really charming two bedroom cottage at 1014 Elgin Lane MAP in the Old Town section of Key West. Elgin Lane is a one-way lane that runs westerly from White Street and ends at Grinnell Street.

The listing Realtor describes this beauty this way:
"Darling 1 & 1/2 story Key West cottage with small dip pool on quiet Old Town lane near Key West Historic Seaport area. Nicely maintained with charming details including a nice open kitchen/living area with vaulted ceilings and double french doors overlooking cozy backyard setting beneath a canopy of mature trees. Surrounded by a white picket fence with off street parking finished in brick for one car. This is a potential short sale transaction subject to lender approval."
The first floor bedroom is located up front to the right and the Great Room is at the rear

The 960 sq ft cottage is laid out most efficiently. There is a formal entry with the first floor bedroom and bath located at front behind pocket doors. The Dade County Pine walls and crisp clean white trim punctuate each room in the house. The cheerful entry leads to the rear great room which houses the living, dining, and kitchen areas in one large room with French doors that open out onto the small pool in the rear. Upstairs you will find an equally charming second bedroom and a separate bath. The rear yard has a dip pool. The asking price on this short sale property is $675,000. CLICK HERE to see the mls listing details and to view more listing photos. If you follow me on TWITTER you can see more photos I took of this charming cottage house located on one of the lovely slow lanes in Key West.

The Historic Key West Seaport is located about 5 to 7 minute walk to the north and west. Duval Street is a 7 to 10 minute walk. Strunk Ace Hardware is a block away. (There is a little Tim The Tool Man Taylor in every guy I know.) The Restaurant Store is next door where you can channel your Inner Bobby Flay. Cole'z Peace Bakery is next door to the east where you can buy Artisan (code: expensive homemade) bread that tastes really great. And the uber-new Old Town Bakery is one block west. Azur Restaurant is around the corner 1/2 block from Elgin Lane at the corner of Fleming and Grinnell. (They have daily lunch specials that locals love.) But everything is within an easy walking distance.

The nice thing about this house is that nothing needs fixed. It is in "move-in" condition. Bring your tooth brush, some fresh shorts and tee shirts, and get ready to live your life your way in Key West.

I think this is a heck of a buy. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Proprieties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Our office is the Lower Florida Keys exclusive affiliate of Christie's Great Estates.

Friday, May 21, 2010

527 Fleming Street - Old Town - Key West

527 Fleming Street - Old Town - Key West

527 Fleming Street in May 2010

527 Fleming Street as it appeared in 1965

Just listed, but not by me, 527 Fleming Street in Old Town Key West. This great house was built circa 1899 according to the Monroe county Tax Appraiser records. Just about every tourist in Key West has passed by this place at least once. It sits across the street from the main Fausto's Food Palace midway between Duval Street and Simonton Street. The imposing house has 3912 sq ft of living space and it sits on a 4528 sq ft lot (45' x 100'). The listing Realtor describes this property thus:
"A most UNIQUE & exquisite mixed-use historic property in the very heart of the upscale Old Town Key West commercial district, steps from Duval. First floor retail space with EXCELLENT visibility; Tranquil & charming 3 bedroom/2 bath residential unit on 2nd & 3rd floors of main house; lovely pool cottage w/private patio & hot tub with TRANSIENT license. Fine, detailed craftsmanship & Dade County Pine throughout. The options are numerous: Rent the retail and cottage to pay your mortgage and live in the fab upstairs apt; OR, run your own gallery or business on the 1st floor, live upstairs and rent the pool cottage; OR rent the entire property and watch your investment appreciate. Some furnishings included. This property literally has it all!"

There are a couple of very simple points in the above description that warrant further consideration. The property is currently configured and licensed for a variety of uses including light commercial (retail), transient rental, and non-transient residential. A professional like Owen Marshall or Marcus Welby, M.D. might have his office downstairs and live upstairs and continue to rent the cottage as a transient rental. An artist might use the current shop as a small gallery and decide to live in the cottage and rent the two story living space as the transient rental. (You need to check on the permissibility of doing that, but I don't think the transient license is necessarily identified by particular rooms but rather it is identified by address. ) My advice to someone considering this possibility is to consult with a local real estate attorney.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet for more detailed information. This property is offered at $2,400,000.

Returning visitors to Key West love being close to the action. They like to be able to walk wherever they want and know that they can find their way home at night. They love having a nice sunny pool and cooling shade. They appreciate having off street parking. They love being able to sit on the front porch and watch all kinds of humanity walk by and have come to expect to see it in Key West on a daily basis. 527 Fleming Street meets those requirements in spades.

If you are looking for a second home or a small business in Key West and would like to see 527 Fleming Street (or any other property as well), 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. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Casa Marina Retreat - 1128 Johnson Street - Key West

If you are looking for a very sharp, clean and contemporary home in the Casa Marina Area of Key West that is priced at under one million dollars, I may have the home you are looking for. The 1130 sq ft home at 1128 Johnson Street is offered at $898,000. The listing agent describes this home this way:
"This charming 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is located on one of the most desirable streets in the Casa Marina. Nice and private this light filled home features terra cotta tile floors throughout, vaulted ceilings, custom cabinetry and multiple sets of French doors to the gardens. There is a large porch for relaxing or outdoor entertaining and a spacious garage. The property does not have a pool but there is plenty of room."
The listing agent is right about the location. Most of the houses on either side of Johnson Street as it stretches from White to Reynolds are mini-mansions. All but a few of the houses are either new or have been substantially renovated in the past few years. This property is the lowest priced home in the Casa Marina area that is not a short sale or theat does not need substantial renovation. The Casa Marina Resort sits at the far end of Johnson Street as it meets Reynolds. The Atlantic Ocean and they beaches are two blocks to the south as is public tennis courts and Astro Land for the kids. The Key West International Airport is a five to seven minute drive and Old Town is within easy biking distance.
The Casa Marina Area is the beach and homes shown immediately above

Higg's Beach is one of three public beaches in the Casa Marina Area

The house is hidden from street view by a tall privacy fence. The yard is lush with vegetation. The house sits midway between the front and rear property line on the 50' X 100' lot. A pool could be built either at the front or rear. The extra large existing garage could be remodeled into a guest cottage to create more living space. CLICK HERE to view the garage.

This property would be perfect for someone who loves clean lines and not a lot of fru-fru. And this home is ready to move in. There is no need to fix something. Everything looked in very good condition. The present owner is replacing the existing shingle roof with metal v-crimp. CLICK HERE for more detailed information on 1128 Johnson Street and to view more photos.

If you are looking for a Casa Marina area retreat, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this really beautiful home. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1432 Virginia Street - Really Big Short Sale - Key West

1432 Virginia Street - Key West

1432Virginia Street as it appeared in 1965

The Classic Conch House at 1432 Virginia Street is the kind of place perennial vacationers dream of owning someday. It has the street appeal and interior features that make would-be buyers salivate. This property is offered as a short sale at the asking price of $550,000.

The listing Realtor describes this property this way:
"True Conch home with Dade County Pine throughout, in excellent location across from Bayview Park green areas! 2bd/1ba down with 2bd/1ba up and third story attic partially floored and insulated. High ceilings, wood floors, balcony from second story overlooking quiet green location of park! Private large deck plus 10 x 8 outbuilding with electric and water. Off-street parking space and totally fenced property. Short sale transaction subject to lender approval."
This classic two story 4 Bedroom 2 bath home sits directly across the street from Bay View Park in Old Town. It has double porches at the front, Dade County pine walls, wood floors and a charming stair case CLICK HERE. This large home (1480 sq ft) has a flexible floor plan and expansion possibilities. There is room for a nice size pool and potential conversion of the out building into a pool house. The electric and plumbing are either new or recently updated.

Bay View Park from the second floor front balcony

The view of Bay View Park from the second floor front balcony is just wonderful. The park is big and expansive and provides a nice relief from the closeness of so much of Old Town Key West. The bandstand CLICK HERE is located at the far east end and the tennis courts (CLICK HERE to see them as photographed in 1935) are located near the far west end. The area directly across from this house is most green grass and tall trees. CLICK HERE to see a photo taken in 1950 of the Confederate War Memorial at the east end of the park near the bandstand. The same war memorial is visible 60 years later on the opposite side of the bandstand CLICK HERE.

This house has an abundance of darkly colored Dade County Pine. (Walls, ceilings, and floors.) The jalousie windows CLICK HERE are a throwback to another age as well. And they must go. The house is ready for updating. According to the Monroe County Tax Appraiser the house was orginaly built around 1899. See black and white photo above that shows the house in 1965. The house hasn't changed much except the exterior is now painted blue. The front of the house now has some trees, but otherwise what was then is now. That is why buying an old house in Key West is so much fun. The way we were is the way we are and forever will be, at least that is the case as long as HARC stays around. It's the small things people do to improve their homes, the fences and landscaping, mailboxes and artwork that set each house apart from the next. I have seen enough houses like this to know that 1432 Virginia Street has the bones to become something great. CLICK HERE to view the mls data sheet and to view more photos.

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule your own private showing of this large and classic Key West conch house. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.

1120 Packer Street - Key West

The asking price on 1120 Packer Street in the South of Truman area of Old Town Key West just got a little better. The price was just reduced to $998,000 or $498 per sq ft for this very large 2005 sq ft home. MAP

The listing Realtor at Preferred Properties describes this house this way:
"This is a rare four bedroom, three bath house all on one level on an extra large lot(6473 sq ft.). The owners renovated the historic cottage and added an impressive and compatible addition. The addition includes a great room, dining room, beautifully appointed kitchen and a luxurious master suite, all of which have vaulted ceilings and french doors opening to porches overlooking the heated swimming pool. There is a real laundry room and parking for several cars."
This place is really fun to show. There are so many different areas outside where you can go cogitate or whatever you do by your lonesome. Those areas include two front porches, the front alcove off the kitchen, the rear deck off the living room, the deck off the master suite, the ruins from the old bakery (absolutely a killer feature-nothing like it anyplace else in Key West), and assorted benches placed in various areas around the grounds.

The ruins from an old bakery shown above

The two cottages are interconnected so you do not have to leave air conditioned space to go from one part of the house to another. Some compound type homes sometimes require the occupant to move from house to house in the pouring rain or beating sun. Not here.

Each part of this property has been smartly renovated and, like the outside, there are numerous interior nooks and crannies where one can go curl up to read a good book or take a nap. The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling that gives the already spacious room an even greater feeling of importance. A set of French doors open onto the private rear deck that provides instant access to the cozy pool. The master bath has a vaulted ceiling as well. This room has a shower, separate bath, a large vanity and storage space that singles it out from the ordinary.

The living, dining, and kitchen areas are very informal but the interiors are not. There is a simple graciousness of about this place. Everywhere you look there is something to see but you are not overwhelmed by things. Instead you are awed by the simplicity of each component part.

CLICK HERE to read more details about this house and to view more photos. Better yet, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. Our office is the Lower Florida Keys exclusive affiliate of Christie's Great Estates.

Friday, May 14, 2010

915 Angela Street - Key West - A Homage to The Trouble with Harry

To quote Andrew's Idea CLICK HERE "In Alfred Hitchcock’s world, nothing is more certain than death and attempts to cover up death." The author then goes on to explain that in The Trouble With Harry Hitchcock maintains his "critique of depraved humanity throughout the film, demonstrating uncannily the truth that he who hates his neighbor is guilty of murder. " But it is this line that makes The Trouble With Harry germain to today's blog about the cute little house at 915 Angela Street that is located directly across the street from the Key West Cemetery: "Turn away from death, and it’s as if it isn’t there."

You will either love 915 Angela Street or you will hate it. Oh, you'll love the house. There's nothing not to like about the house. It's the neighbors.

Let me tell you about the neighbors. The house next door to the west sits at the corner of Margaret and Angela Streets. CLICK HERE to view this incredible Key West property. The neighbors to the rear are a couple of very large homes accessed off Canfield Lane. The neighbor to the east is a nice house at the corner of William and Angela. Angela Street is a one way street that runs from Margaret eastward to White Street. It is just one lane wide. Across Angela Street is the Key West Cemetery. CLICK HERE to see the view from 915 Angela looking directly toward the cemetery. If you are concerned about flooding remember that the cemetery is near the highest point on the island. The big skies and bright sunshine from across the street will never be built upon nor will the neighbors to the west or east. The view that you see today is the view for eternity. Knowing the future in real estate is not necessarily a bad thing.

The cemetery bothers the hell out of a lot of potential buyers.Some people refuse to even look at houses anywhere near the cemetery. I guess I understand. Maybe it has some of that "Turn away from death, and it’s as if it isn’t there" going on.

This is why I really like 915 Angela Street. First, the place is really nicely laid out for Key West second home living. It is large enough for a couple that has a small family or friends that may drop in for an occasional visit. There are three bedrooms and two baths. The living room opens on the east to a beautiful pool. The living room also opens to the left onto a secluded deck with a hot tub. The master bedroom and bath also open onto that same deck. There is an incredibly sexy outdoor shower tucked away to the side. A second bedroom is located at the right front of the the house. The kitchen and dining area complete the main floor. There is a decent sized third bedroom or office on the second floor. There is enough separation between the rooms to provide the kind of privacy you don't see in many Key West houses. There are two separate off street parking spaces each of which is bricked. The house is just as cute as it can be. This 1350 sq ft home is offered at $998,000. The view from the front porch or the master bedroom looking south across the cemetery changes with each passing cloud. The view is the exact opposite of what you would expect. CLICK HERE to checkout the listing info and to view more photos of the home.
Above is one of two off street parking spaces

This house is an easy walk to Duval Street or the Historic Key West Seaport. Both are about 5 minutes away. There is no commercial activity anyplace within sight. The Conch Trains and Trolley Cars can't go down Angela Street because it is too narrow. What a rotten shame! Boo Hoo! Locals don't use it as thoroughfare because there are speed bumps. Tourists tend to walk fast or run because, well, it is the cemetery after all.

This place is super quiet. If you have seen this home before it's time for a second look. The owners have made some recent changes. If you are looking for a quiet little place and don't mind the neighborhood, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by e-mail me at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.