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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

712 Elizabeth Street - Hidden Treasure in Old Town Key West

712 Elizabeth Street is hidden behind 710 Elizabeth Street shown below

Just listed, but not by me, 712 Elizabeth Street, located steps from the tippy top of Solares Hill in Old Town Key West. Wow, that's a lot to say! But it says so much about the most excellent location of this new Key West cottage listing. The listing Realtor describes the cottage this way:
"Beautiful little cottage with lots of Dade County pine high on Solares Hill. Built in 1928, the house was completely and lovingly restored in 2000 with all new electric and plumbing, kitchen and bath and it's been meticulously maintained. There's an open kitchen/living/dining plan with a set of French doors that lead to a side porch and bricked patio. One bedroom and bath with a loft for overflow guests or storage. The house sits quietly on a walking lane behind 710 Elizabeth Street. A must see and easy to show."
Active buyers know that many of Key West's hidden treasure houses are hidden behind other houses that are clearly visible from the street. I found the old photo below that shows the house taken in 1965. Interestingly, the County Appraiser identified it then with an alias (befitting Key West's colorful history!) as "712 Elizabeth St. aka 710-1/3 710-1/2 Elizabeth St.". I have never seen any house number as being a "1/3" whereas there are several "1/2"s. That designation normally means the house sits behind a larger house that fronts on a street or lane. Such is the case here. The second photo below shows the primary house behind which 712 Elizabeth now sits. CLICK HERE for an aerial view of 710 Elizabeth (house in front) so you can gage the vicinity from a street view perspective.

The County Appraiser shows 712 Elizabeth as being 598 sq ft ( or 23' x 26'). It sits on a 1686 sq ft lot (41' x 48') and it appears that the 'walking lane' may actually be deeded as the property appraiser's map shows the access as being part of the property itself. A survey or title policy will show this for sure. At any case, the "lane" leads only to the house and is not a lane any yahoo would be walking down. The lane is accessed only through a gated and locked privacy fence inside the yard at 710 Elizabeth Street which is shown in the four photos below.
Access to 712 Elizabeth is through this gated and locked entrance

Solares Hill is the highest elevation in Key West. And it is a great starting point for any walking destination. Duval Street is just two blocks to the west (via Angela Street to the north or Olivia Street to the south). The Historic Key West Seaport is a quick five minute walk to the north. Seven Fish is up the street at Olivia and Elizabeth and Sarabeth's is two blocks away on Simonton at Southard. The Key West Garden Cottage is 100 feet to the west of Sarabeth's. Fausto's Food Palace is one block further north. And the Solares Hill grocery is one long block to the east down Windsor Lane.

Seven Fish at Olivia and Elizabeth Streets

Sarabeth's Key West at Simonton and Southard Streets

Garden Cottage at 530 Southard Street - Key West

The cottage at 712 Elizabeth Street may appeal to the buyer who wants cozy as opposed to the person who wants 'showy'. Instead of spending several hundred thousand dollars more to buy a place with a guest bedroom and parking, invite your guests to stay at a guest house or hotel-maybe at your expense. It will be cheaper in the long run and you will save extra money on taxes and insurance to boot.

Front entry is upper right side

712 Elizabeth Street is offered at $499,000. I haven't shown this place yet as it is brand new and has not been previously offered. But I'd love to show it if you are in Key West. Please give me, Gary Thomas, a phone call 305-766-2642 or contact me by email at I am a buyer's agent and 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.