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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

909 Southard Street - Old Town - Key West

909 Southard Street - Old Town - Key West in 2010

Just listed, but not by me, is the really interesting home at 909 Southard Street in Old Town Key West. I found an photo of the property taken in 1965 (see below). Compare the way the house looked then with the way it looks in 2010. Old Town Key West has a treasure trove of old houses like this: homes that have been protected from aggressive renovation or teardowns to build something new. There are some differences between the two. Can you spot them?

909 Southard Street circa 1965

The listing Realtor describes 909 Southard Street this way:
"Great Old Town home with location and charming. 2 bedroom 1.5 bath, dining and generous living room with French doors leading out to the back deck, center stair case takes you up to 2 good size bedrooms. This low maintenance home is perfect for sitting on the wonderful front porch to rock away the evening with friends, relaxing and watching the world go by."
The listing Realtor said so much with few words. He noted (1) location, (2) charm, (3) low maintenance, (4) front porch, (5) friends, and (6) watch the world go by. Some people that read my blog often comment about location. Comments about location are normally negative and reflect feelings about traffic or lack of parking. Southard Street is a feeder street in the daytime but it is very quiet after 5:00 PM and on weekends. This house has no parking nor a pool nor room for either. If you require one or both, this place will not work for you.

I like to point out the positive aspects of locations such as this property which is a 5 minute stroll to Duval Street or the Historic Key West Seaport. Second home owners and vacationers love the ability to walk out the front door and take a short jaunt to their favorite restaurant or the theater or maybe a drinking hole or an art gallery. Did you notice the small lane next to the house in the black and white photo? That is Hunt's Lane and there are just a few houses down this walking-only lane.

Some potential buyers say they want a "fixer". That is code for "I don't want to spend much and will do work myself to save money". I get it. But remember buying a place that has been fixed and does not need repairs can save you needless trips to the hospital or having to loot the kids' college fund. The good thing about this house is ready to move in and ready to start living. And it is priced at only $695,000 or $582 per sq ft.

Friends and relatives will visit you as soon as you tell them you bought a place in Key West. But if you are a little out-going, you will meet a lot of very interesting people that live here full time or (maybe like you) seasonally. I have been very fortunate to work with some very nice and most interesting people. They all have jobs and lives and most have kids in school or just about finished with college. A few couples have little ones. As a Key Wester you will meet other interesting people and new friendships will be made. Life in Key West does not revolve around Duval. It happens at dinner parties, cocktail parties, after theatre parties, art gallery receptions, sporting events, fishing, snorkeling, boating, etcetera.

The front porch is a throw back to American culture from long ago-before TV, the Internet, and Twitter. Key West has lots of front porches (like the porch at 909 Southard Street) where you can watch the world go by.

The bigger house across the street has a larger porch guarded by stone dogs but both houses get to watch the same parade.

CLICK HERE to checkout the mls listing datasheet and to view listing photos of the inside. Better yet, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a showing of this charming Old Town home. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.


Anonymous said...

What's a 'Key Wester'? Don't you mean 'Conch' to describe someone who lives in Key West?

Gary Thomas said...

No I don't.

Conchs are people who have lived here since birth. Some Conchs count the generations their families have lived here.

Key Westers are all people who live here.


Stephanie B said...

Thank you Gary for letting people know the difference. I am a Key Wester, and my husband is a 4th generation Conch. By the way-that's a great house-still has the old conch charm!!

Anonymous said...

Love that front porch!

Anonymous said...

There are Conchs, there are salt water Conchs and fresh water Conchs depending on if you were born here (Conch) if you have just moved here in the last 10 years (Fresh water Conchs) and if you have lived here over 10 years (Salt water Conchs). That is how I have heard it defined. However, that said, no real Conch acknowledges anyone not born here. Plus, there is a caste system of how long your ancestors have been here as well - a third generation Conch does not rate in their eyes like a fifth or sixth generation Conch. And don't get started on Bubba versus Conch - that is a long story and no, I am not talking negatively either. There is a difference in who is a Conch and who is a Bubba Conch. Plus there are differences in being from Key West, Marathon, Key Largo, etc. Just some info for your readers.


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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.