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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Your Second Chance to Become Hemingway's Neigbor

Ernest Hemingway's House shown as it appeared in the 1930s
Arrow points to 405 Olivia Street

405 Olivia Street - Bank Owned - Key West

You don't get many second chances in life. So when one pops up, consider it and then act if you regret a previous procrastination that cost you something you truly wanted. If you are among the several potential buyers who called me about the house across the street from the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, you just got a second chance to become Hemingway's neighbor. I am here to report that the Bank Owned house at 405 Olivia Street is back on the market and available for purchase. The asking price is $450,000.

The two story house was built around 1890. The county records show the house has 1380 sq ft of living area, however, I looked at the building map and it appears the house actually has 1740 sq ft of living area. (A proper measurement is recommend!) The lot is almost a rectangle of 89' (length) X 55' (wide) with a small cutout at the left rear. 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.

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

405 Olivia Street in 2011

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

The lot is 55' wide

Whitehead Street and Olivia Streets (Duval Street is one block to east)

I was very disappointed with the inside space. It has been "updated" but poorly so in my opinion. There are saltillo tile floors down (totally WRONG!) and acoustic tile ceilings (WRONG again). There is just one bath located downstairs at the rear of the kitchen. The three bedrooms upstairs are oddly configured. The saving grace in the house is its size. Key West houses are easily (if not cheaply) renovated. There is lots of room to be creative. And the second story front porch has a view of Papa's former home. CLICK HERE to view more photos that I took.

Stuff like this makes you wonder what possessed the person that "added" this tile

Could you create a better space?

Second story front porch

Hemingway's backyard

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.

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.

You don't get many second chances in real estate. If you missed this before, don't miss it now. 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is the "Six Towed Cat" what happens if you park your car blocking the driveway? ;)


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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.