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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Home, James




What do you think of when you hear the phrase "Home, James"? My mind conjured up a vision of a chauffeur driving someone very rich to some fancy house. I Googled that phrase and up popped a pic of King George V (see above) with a beggar chasing his carriage. And that is the roundabout explanation of today's blog except the home I offer for your consideration isn't fancy, but it is located on James Street.

Today's blog is about the hodge podge house located at 1018 James Street in Old Town Key West. The Monroe County Property Appraiser photograph below says the house was built in 1900.

1018 James Street as it appeared in 1965

1018 James Street - January 2011


I met a gentleman last weekend who told me the story of how he almost never saw Old Town. Many years ago friends told him about this wonderful place called Key West. He drove his car to see what the commotion was all about. When he reached 'new town' he was so disappointed he thought of turning around and going back to Miami. He couldn't imagine anything worthwhile beyond new town. Since he had already driven 120 miles, he decided to drive a couple more to see if Old Town was any better. Then he discovered why so many people return to Key West year after year after year.

James Street is a two block long street located between Frances Street to the east and Margaret Street to the west. The Key West Seaport is located one long block to the north. There are three notable landmarks at the corner of James and Grinnell Streets: Finnegan's Wake Restaurant and Bar, the Key's Energy building, and the Old Town Garage.

Finnegan's Wake

Keys Energy Building

Old Town Garage
1018 James Street is located four houses east of Grinnell Street, and it is not affected by the traffic. Thompson Lane is the rear boundary. Thompson Lane is a tiny lane with some houses that 'front' onto the lane whereas 1018 James has a large lot that extends from James Street to Thompson Lane. It is the size of this lot that makes 1018 James Street so appealing. The listing Realtor says the lot is 3508 sq ft.

The listing Realtor describes 1018 James Street this way:
"Classic Old Town diamond in the rough! This property has the charm of a cute Conch cottage backing up to Thompson Lane. In it's present state, this 3 bedroom/1 bath has Dade county pine throughout, large bedrooms,great front porch, large cistern,off street parking in the rear, and a new roof. Motivated sellers that are willing to entertain all reasonable offers. Great renovation project with a great location within a block to the waterfront."

Historic Key West Seaport as it appears in 2011

1018 James Street
is offered at $425,000. The photo below shows the property from the rear. I numbered five (5) different roofs that show how this house was cobbled together. This place cries out for someone to do something creative.

Count the roofs - five in total

CLICK HERE to checkout the Key West mls datasheet on 1018 James Street.

The house next door at 1016 James Street CLICK HERE is also available. It is priced at $325,000.

1016 James Street (above) is also for sale

View east of 1018 James Street

Manley deBoer Lumber Yard is located northeast of 1018 James St.

I know the neighborhood with its mix of commercial and residential will not appeal to most buyers. The thought of such a big renovation will scare most other potential buyers. This property will take a special buyer who has been coming here for years who appreciates the value of the land and its proximity to the waterfront. That buyer may not end up with a place grand enough to have a chauffeur named James, but the buyer surely will end up with a nice place to call home.

If you are looking for a fixer property please contact 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.