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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1305 Reynolds Street - Short Sale - Casa Marina Area - Key West

1305 Reynolds Street in the Casa Marina Area of Key West

I have written before about the house at 1305 Reynolds Street in the Casa Marina Area of Key West. I have shown the house several times. The property is now being offered as a short sale and the new asking price is $649,000 or $382 per sq ft. The new asking price seems like a bit of a deal to me. Read on.

The listing Realtor describes this house this way:
"Very spacious 2 story home located in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Key West - the Casa Marina. The open floor plan of this home includes an entrance foyer, very spacious living/dining room with french doors to a large covered porch, a galley style kitchen, half bath and a laundry room. Originally the second floor was three bedrooms and two baths but is currently a master bedroom with private bath and walk-in closet and a large second bedroom and hall bath. The upstairs can easily be converted to 3 bedrooms if desired. Both bedrooms open through french doors to an oversized porch. Outdoors is a tropical garden with meandering pathway and a large pool and deck plus a separate storage building. There also is covered parking."
I think I have figured out why the house has not yet sold, and I have some suggestions as how a new owner might overcome some of the objections to the property. What I say is opinion. I may be wrong. I could be right. I am not trying to say anything negative about the property.

The house at 1305 Reynolds Street was built in 1976. The house is a CBS (concrete block structure) with what appears to be a stucco finish. There is a bit of gingerbread trim on the first floor deck and second floor balcony. The house does not seem to have any cohesive architectural style. It is part Conch-cute and the other part is late mid-century modern. In short, it doesn't know what it is.

The house has 1697 sq ft of living space with two bedrooms and two and one-half baths. The kitchen and baths are a bit dated. There is a little storage building by the pool that might make a a cute pool house. The remember the pool as being quite large and very deep. But I also recall that there is an abundance of concrete decking that seems blah and most uninteresting or inviting. The area gets quite a bit of sun. But there is also a shaded deck area to protect from getting too much sun. The rear area is just as ripe for renovation as is the inside and the exterior. CLICK HERE for more detailed information on this property and to view more photos.

The lower part of the house is hardly visible from the street. There is an old fashioned chain link fence in the front yard that is overwhelmed by tall greeny just behind it. A white picket fence flanks the front driveway. The two fences clash in style and function and both mimic the same dis-function elsewhere.

The inside of the house is very neat and clean but it comes across as very dated. The front garden hides the front facade and the rear pool area shows potential but potential always translates into the expenditure of money.

My suggestion is for a new buyer to develop a simple but current "theme" for the property. Since Casa Marina area has a mix of modern, traditional Conch homes, and arts and crafts styled homes, the house and gardens at 1305 Reynolds could probably go in any architectural direction a new buyer would want. I'm pretty sure a new owner would want to rip out the current kitchen and baths. The current bedroom and bathroom layout on the second floor is dated as well. The rooms are laid out in a linear fashion that is no longer "in fashion". Reconfiguring the bed and bath layout would do wonders for this house.

Finally, I would rework the whole exterior of the house. Nothing would be sacred. The pool is very large-perhaps too large. The concrete deck area is too big and unattractive.The rear needs to be redesigned to give the house a cooler and more intimate feel. The little storage building could become quite a pool bar. Maybe the concrete could be replaced with more garden area. The front of the property could be equally improved by removing all of the overgrown trees, shrubs, and chain link fence. The facade of the house could go modern or it could go "Conch" by adding Hardy Board siding to replicate the traditional lap siding we are familiar with in Old Town. The new owner could install a new CBS fence to insulate the house from street noise or go the opposite direction and put in a white picket fence to show off the clean new facade of the restored house. This would be set off with new and smaller shrubs and trees.

Of course all of the things I mention cost money. I don't do construction but I think a 1700 sq ft remodel ought not cost more than $200 per sq ft. That would be $340,000 added to the purchase price. The total price would be around one million dollars plus or minus. A good architect, designer, or contractor could give a better estimate of real construction costs.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced home in the Casa Marina area that has upside potential, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up a showing on this property. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.


Anonymous said...

You can never ever have an inground pool 'too large'. Far from it - most in Key West are dip pools or cocktail pools or splash pools at best. This is the homes nicest feature - and one most buyers want - a decent size pool!

Anonymous said...

Agree on the plusses of a large pool - but we are from the Northeast with a bunch of kids. I like the location and the house in general but just not in position to go 7 figures to make it a dream home.

Plus, dealing with contractors down there is as bad as dealing with them up here, but not there to keep on eye on the. Gary has written on this issue before, as I recall.

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, You don't have to remodel.This house is livable as is. I just think that the new asking price is good enough to overcome the objections of those who don't like the fact that it is not perfect.

I don't mean to infer that it is bad. It isn't. It is dated. And it does need dolled-up. But that should not take anyone's budget over $1 million.



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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.