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Friday, July 2, 2010

Award Winning Old Town Restoration - 627 Elizabeth Street - Key West

X marks the spot of 627 Elizabeth Street atop Solares Hill in Key West

The residence at 627 Elizabeth Street sits at the tippy-top of Solares Hill in Old Town Key West. The home was meticulously renovated and received a Certificate of Excellence and a Silver Star for Renovation in 2010. It is as clean as a whistle and ready for new owners to bring their tooth brushes and flip flops. Not much else to do here but sit back and enjoy the good life in Old Town Key West.

This is how the listing Realtor describes 627 Elizabeth Street:
"Opportunity knocks.This totally remodeled home was awarded the Cert. of Excellence and a Silver Star for 2010. You will feel the attention to details from the moment you step inside. The entire house has Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors. A 2-storey addition was added and there is central HVAC throughout the house. All rooms a wired with cat5 cable for phones and computers. A salt-system, heated pool with a waterfall was installed, and a propane valve is available for your backyard grill. The kitchen has all stainless steel appliances.The house is located at the intersection of Elizabeth and Angela Street. This is the highest point on the Island and flood insurance is not required. Furniture may be purchased separately."
The renovation included major structural improvements that will outlast all of us. Those improvements permitted the owners to edit the traditional approach to room configuration and ceiling heights in cigar maker homes. So what you think you know about a house that looks like this probably is not what you will actually see.

The home has a very elegant but not overstated feel once you enter. Every detail has been attended to but not in such a way as to make you feel uncomfortable. Some houses come across as being so "done" that you don't fell you can sit down. Not here. This home was made for sophisticated but also relaxed living.

Two bedrooms with a shared Jack and Jill bath are located at the front of the house. A guest bath is tucked in the hallway just off the living room with its vaulted two story ceiling. The kitchen with French doors that open onto the pool at the back occupies most the space at the rear but there is a darling staircase that takes you up to the second floor rear master bedroom and with ensuite bath.

When this home was first listed for $985,000 in March 2010 I thought it would sell right away. Boy was I wrong. I have shown the house several times and all of my buyers really love the house. The lack of off street parking and less than totally private pool area were the two things that gave my buyers "pause". The pool could use more landscaping and I think that would provide the privacy that some see as lacking. It would be great to have off street parking, but it ain't gonna happen. The good thing is that there are no nearby guesthouses, apartment buildings, or commercial activities. Typically only local residents park on this block and they respect each owner's parking space.

The asking price on 627 Elizabeth Street was just reduced to $955,000 or $699 per sq ft. This home has 1367 sq ft of totally remodeled space with superior finishes throughout. The wood floors, for example, are solid wood and not some el cheapo laminate. Everything is done just right. The second floor front window is even wired for placement of an electric "candle light" for the Christmas holidays. CLICK HERE for more details and photos of this home.

You can walk to Sarabeth's for breakfast. It is only two blocks away at the corner of Simonton and Southard Streets.
Two great Italian restaurants on Duval Street (such as Antonia's and La Trattoria) are a three block walk. And Walgreen's (also known as the old Strand Theatre) is nearby in case you drink too much Vino Fino. If you want fish for dinner, Seven Fish is located two blocks south at the corner of Elizabeth and Olivia Streets. Pisces is two blocks further but it is way too pricey imo. The Monroe County Library is located two blocks away at the corner of Elizabeth and Fleming Streets. There is a wonderful garden where you can read a book or contemplate the meaning of something important. The Historic Key West Seaport is located at the foot of Elizabeth Street just a couple of minutes further to the north. Lots of restaurants, bars, boat trips, and specialty shops there including Kermit's Key Lime Pie Shoppe. However, there is no commercial activity any place adjacent to 627 Elizabeth Street. Being near is better than being on top sometimes.

I think this is a great house and I would really like to show you this property if you are looking for the perfect Key West Cottage. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this home. 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.


Anonymous said...

It is a very nice house but the lack of parking is a real turn off especially on Elizabeth Street (which I think is one of the best in Old Town) and in this block. I don't know what to say about this one - nicely done but it needs to come down in price especially since it has been out there a few months (they may have listed it too late in the season to catch a prime snowbird buyer). Also, those taxes seem kinda high for a house with homestead exemption doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

The Captain says:

I agree, the house is way overpriced. The 2 story house on the corner, 600 Elizabeth, sold for less than $200sq ft altho admittedly it was (last time I looked still is) in bad shape. The other 2 story with a pool on the corner (you can't miss it as you go south on Elizabeth, it's blue and yellow and was designed by a prominent local architect)sold for only $675k. And that house had parking! Price on this one needs to come way down.

Captain out.........................

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous two posts. A price closer to $750,000 is more appropriate for this house. Unfortunate for the owners, but they bought before the market tanked and are trying to recoup that high purchase price + remodel in a down market. $750,000 gets them much more in line with the avg. price per sf of recent sales. $725,000 would make the house move a lot faster, probably.

Too bad about no OSP. Probably a major issue for a lot of buyers.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is overpriced. And the owner is a realtor too. They bought high, did the renovations and now want to get a price we haven't seen since 2006. But if they sell at 750K they will take a loss I bet. And no parking? Not at that price on that busy street. It is nicely decorated but still very taste specific and won't appeal to many buyers. The tile work in the kitchen is a major turn off too me but that is just my opinion. Too many key lime pie green and sky blue homes are around - it needs to get neutral and decluttered from some furniture to sell quicker. But that is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

With this bunch in DC it is time to re-think all investments. In my part of the world expenive beach fron rental are empty of tourest as well as the 100.00 night cottage. The high and low have taken a time out. The low have no work so no money and the high wonder if they are high enough to advoid the flood of new taxes and that is the money spent on T-shirts.

Anonymous said...

I agree - neutral would be better than the decor presented. To me it does not seem a 'high end' re-do; more like a step below, like if only they had spent a few dollars more. The kitchen cabinets look stock Kraftmaid with Home Depot knobs - not what should be in a home at this price. The backsplash tiles look cheap like those leftover from a bathroom remodel somewhere else - they could have opted for subway or small glass tiles. The Kmart blinds belong in a rented apartment - custom wood blinds or plantation shutters should have been in the budget. The furniture is awkward interferring with hallway traffic and the ceiling fans are typical builder grade white - another Home Depot purchase. Worn chair cushions, cheap bedding, tired teak and personal portraits scream for a make-over by a professional home stager. New paint is in order. It looks like they settled for a 'B' when they could have gotten an 'A'. For the price they are asking, they should have spent a little money on the visual as the details I listed would have given the home a better chance to sell. This market requires sellers to up the ante with higher end touches - which are becoming the norm.

Anonymous said...

Residential parking anywhere in Old Town is a nightmare but more so in season. Tourists, vacation home renters and local day visitors do not always respect the residential parking markings and I know for a fact there are three vacation home rentals in this part of the 600 block of Elizabeth Street as I have been in two (both with the same rental real estate company). A tight street and no where to park? Unless on another block? In any weather? I now know why a buyer will pass on this property and that is before we discuss the price!

Gary Thomas said...

Captain, the house you mentioned was an absolute steal. I showed it to several buyers during the many months it was for sale (at higher prices and after changing realtors and significant price drop). Almost every buyer dissed the architecture as not being Key Westy. Yet, the architect is one of our best. The style was more New York City loft. And while it had parking, the space was not very large or convenient to use. Still a great deal!

As for the critiques about this house, unless you have been inside I think you way off base in your descriptions. There is nothing KMART about this home. These owners built this place as their permanent home and used top of the line fixtures and materials. And shut up about colors. What HGTV Design Show gave you credentials?

Circumstances changed. I view your comments as almost hurtful. And they are not factual.

I also disagree on the $750,000 price. I had two closings for single family homes in Old Town in June that were priced at $775,000 each. Both very nice homes. Neither had a pool and one did not have parking. Those buyers got great houses. I think the sales price on 627 Elizabeth will probably be somewhere in the mid $800s if it sells. That price would be a BARGAIN for someone who wants a great house in a great location. Accept that there is no osp and put in more plants. You'll make out like gangbusters!


Gary Thomas said...

I forgot to mention that the real property taxes on any property are based on what that buyer pays.
The Co Property Appraiser values this home at $622K and taxes are at 10 mills.

Anonymous said...

The Monroe County Tax Rolls show the owners bought the house in 2006 for $599,000. It was a fixer. They did a lot of work - major strutural changes, the 7' x 16' pool, new a/c, new deck, new fixtures, etc. Now here is the kicker - I know this house from before (thought about buying it actually) and they added the second story. Yes, the sellers did a lot of work and I would guess about $250K in construction costs. Add that to the sold price and they are in around $850K give or take. I also remember this house listed just a couple years ago for over $1.1M (granted, it was the high point of the market). Nice house but please say the owners are not being realistic right now. I am with the Captain and say $750K may $775K tops. We shall see. Even if they get mid-800's they are barely breaking even on their investment.

Anonymous said...

Lots of "experts" on this one, huh Gary. OSP in that block is not that big of a deal, except possibly in season. I live 3 blocks south and we have only 5 spots for residents and 4 not marked. There are 3 B&B's and 7 Fish in that block also. Any time there is a non-resident in a resident parking spot all I do is pick up the phone and call KWPD and within a few minutes there is a ticket on the window. As for the price, seems kinda high for a 1,300 sf house. At that price point your buyers should take a look at my neighbors house, 2,000+ sf and a parking space...

The Masked Parking Nazi

Anonymous said...

Having to call KWPD every time someone is in your spot is not only annoying to them but does not bid well to the person getting the ticket. Could have been an innocent mistake or a visitor. Making new friends in the neighborhood does not mean you tattle on them. Also, keep crying wolf to KWPD and you may not like it. Price is high but the pool is nice.

Anonymous said...

Now a "new" listing at $895k. Still too high.


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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.