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Friday, January 7, 2011

405 Olivia Street - Key West - Bank Owned

Just listed (but not by me) a very interesting Bank Owned house located directly across the street from the Ernest Hemingway Home in Old Town Key West. One of the great marvels of the internet is Google Maps. CLICK HERE to view 405 Olivia Street. Use the toggle switch to get a different aerial perspective or click 'street view' to see the area.

The two story bank owned house was built around 1890. The county records show the house has 1380 sq ft of living space. I have not been inside so what I write is just speculation. This place looks like it may be bigger than the records state and that there may have been alterations and or additions that the county is not aware of.

405 Olivia Street as it appeared in 1965 - notice the porch columns

405 Olivia Street in January 2011

This photo demonstrates the width of the side yard which is 89' deep

The lot is 55' wide

The county records show the lot size as 3828 sq ft with a frontage onto Olivia Street of 55 feet. The lot is basically 89' deep but there is a small cutout at the left rear which makes the lot not perfectly rectangular. Otherwise, 405 Olivia Street has a big lot with room for a good sized pool, more gardens on the west, north, and east side. In my opinion the existing carport is an eyesore. The space could easily be redone and made attractive and useful.

CLICK HERE checkout the Key West mls database on this bank owned home. I found some earlier photos of the interior. Please see below. The place has been tenant occupied and looks the worse for wear. Big deal. That's what bank owned bargain hunters look for. They want good deals on places with upside. They expect the worse. I don't know that I would classify this property as "worse" but it is not the best. But the previous owner paid $1.1 million for this same property in January 2006. TODAY this Bank Owned property is listed for $450,000 or $326 per sq ft (again square feet according to county records which sometimes are wrong).

old interior photo

old photo

old photo

I may be accused of being a cheerleader, but I think this is a really good buy for someone that wants a bit of a project house. The big lot and solid looking (at least from the outside) are certainly worth a serious look.

If you buy this property your neighbors will include the Ernest Hemingway House (museum) which has thousands of visitors all year long. The entrance to the museum is on Whitehead so most of the visitors won't be passing your doorway. A parking lot is located immediately adjacent to the west and a simple Key West cottage is the neighbor to the east. The Six Towed Cat cafe is located at the rear. The Lighthouse Court guesthouse is located on the far side of Whitehead Street and a small public housing structure is on the opposite corner. See the photo below taken from the nearby Key West Lighthouse. It gives a decent perspective of the area.

The Hemingway House before the ugly fence was built

Corner of Whitehead & Olivia as viewed from atop KW Lighthouse

Ft Zach Beach

The tourists normally head north to Mallory Square in the late afternoon so they can view sunset. They don't return to the area until mid morning. The area turns into a regular neighborhood to the extent possible during that time. Yes, tourists bring people walking down the sidewalks with cameras and cellphones. And lots of money, too.

Ft. Zach Taylor is just a few blocks walk. So are the restaurants, bars, shops galleries, and other hangouts on Duval Street. I can see why someone paid over a million dollars for this house and this location. Today you can buy it for less than half the recent sales price.

If you are interested in this bank owned property or any other house in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.

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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.