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Saturday, October 16, 2010

901 Packer St - Old Town - Key West

The Key West Cemetery as viewed from 901 Packer Street

901 Packer Street in Old Town Key West is located directly across the street from the Key West Cemetery and is in desperate need of The Re-Animator.

The listing Realtor describes this property thus:
"Great Old Town Key West location within walking distance to Duval Street and all of the Key West attractions. Perfect renovation project on a corner lot with off street parking. Located in an X500 flood zone, this is one of the highest elevations on the island."
This house was built in 1948 or 1953 (there are two different dates in county records). The relative newness means the house is not a contributing structure and that means a new owner could tear down this property and build all new. A caveat to tearing down and building new is that the current building codes and set backs will control what can be built and the lot coverage area. "Re-animating" or renovating this house would permit the new owner to keep the existing lot coverage and setbacks in place. CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls data sheet and listing photos.

Let me share my thoughts about the house. Unlike The Aadams' Family mansion, this house is no museum. The house itself is ooky and the layout is kinda kooky. I don't know that I'd say its mysterious and spooky, but it surely ain't imperious.

"it surely ain't imperious"

This place will need lots of work. These are things I think it needs: new doors and windows, a new roof, new electric and plumbing, new interior layout which means all new interior framing and drywall, a new kitchen and one or two new bathrooms. The existing covered parking is nice but it looks like the roof may collapse. There is an old homemade addition to the Olivia Street side of the house that looks awful from the outside and it looks terrible from the inside. There is spauling across the north side of the kitchen. (Spauling is prevalent in many Key West houses of that vintage. It's repairable but the cost depends on the condition of the house and how much area has been compromised.)

While the house is capable of re-animation (lol), it is a better candidate for demolition in my opinion. A good architect or contractor could help a potential new buyer determine what could be done on the 27' x 58' lot. I personally think a new owner could build a nice two story Conch style home on this lot. The 1566 sq ft lot may sound small compared to the big sized lots you readers who live up north in America have, but down here a lot this size in Old Town is quite common. What is less common is the view across the street.

I recently took photos of the property. It was a gloomy day in Paradise, that day. CLICK HERE to view. A lot of potential buyers absolutely refuse to consider a property that overlooks the cemetery. Some would see that location as gloomy forever. I think not so. That refusal to consider the location is their loss in my opinion. Of course the area is quiet at night. No pun intended. It really is. And that is a great feature in any neighborhood. Having quiet neighbors that do not party all the time is a blessing compared to those that do. Olivia Street is a small one-way street that runs parallel to the south boundary of the cemetery. That street is primarily used by locals and is not normally used by commercial vehicles or Conch Trains. That keeps street noise to a minimum.

More than the quietness of the location is all the sunshine one normally gets. If you love Old Town houses as much as I, you know that most houses are built so close to each other that there often is little space between properties. Since most houses are densely landscaped and typically have trees on all sides, natural light is often minimalized. The result is that many homes only have direct sunshine for a few hours a day. And most Old Town homes do not have clear open views of the beautiful Key West skies.

The house at 901 Packer Street has a vast sweeping view looking north across the Key West Cemetery. Locals appreciate such views because so few in Old Town have them. The house at 901 Packer Street was originally priced at $249,000 and recently reduced to $219,000. I have my own opinion of what it will sell for, and that price is nowhere near the asking price.

If you would like to see 901 Packer Street please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or contact me by email at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. I believe in Re-Animation, Renovation, and Innovation. But I am not a witch!

1 comment:

Robert D. said...

I love reno's, but have to agree, this puppy is beyond repair.

You're so right about the sun and vegetation, too. One of the reasons people love the Sunshine State is for the sun! Although shade is nice, some areas are too shaded. We need vitamin D!!


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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.