Search This Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

1126 Washington Street - Casa Marina Area - Key West - Bank Owned - Buying Opportunity

This is a RAH RAH moment. I have been waiting for this one for a long time. The foreclosure took forever. The house at 1126 Washington Street in the Casa Marina Area of Key West is now Bank Owned. I am particularly interested in this property because I live nearby. This house has been an eyesore for at least 15 years, and now some new owner gets the chance to buy a real fixer with a huge lot in a truly great neighborhood at a great price.

Longtime Readers know I don't jump up and down about new listings very often. This is the exception! This is one of those times when buyers who want a really good deal need to act quickly. 1126 Washington Street is offered at just $369,000. I predict it will go under contract within a matter of a few days. The price, location, and ability to re-do or to create a new house in a great location make this property worthy of serious consideration.

There are two prime areas in Key West - Old Town and Casa Marina. Everybody knows Old Town because of the quaint old houses and nearness to dining and cultural events. Casa Marina is known for its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean (a five minute walk) and the extra large lots and larger homes - most of which are valued over the one million dollar mark. Some of the houses in the Casa Marina Area that have not been renovated may qualify to be razed because they are not located on historic maps. (You basically can't tear down in Old Town and must renovate-often on small lots.) Additionally, homes that are unsafe may be approved for demolition on their own right. The house at 1126 Washington Street is a likely candidate for demolition in my opinion. It is a nasty old mess that needs torn down, or it needs a really gifted architect and contractor to turn this old house into something special. CLICK HERE to view photos I took of this house for an out of town buyer.

1126 Washington Street as it looked in 1965

Exterior photo May 2011

Garage and huge parking area

East side of house has large yard and immense decks

Steel Posts and Beams added to Prevent Ceiling Collapse

Forget about how bad the house 1t 1126 Washington Street may look now and instead focus on the location, lot size, and ability to create your own private paradise on the 8304 sq ft lot (89' x 94'). While the size may not seem like a large lot up north, it is a very big lot by Key West standards. The Monroe County Property Appraiser says the house was built in 1938 and has 1539 sq ft of living space. I suggest that you consider the asking price of the land value which is offered at $44 per sq ft. Compare that price to the lot at nearby 1426 Reynolds Street which sold April 12th at $70 per sq ft (11,500 sq ft). The Reynolds property has an excellent location closer to the beach but it is also located across from the Casa Marina Hotel. CLICK HERE to read what I wrote about that property. I think most Readers would agree that $44 is better than $70 any day of the week. Of course there are pluses and minuses for any property and each offering or sale must be judged on its own merits.

I counted five different floor levels in this house and numerous kinds of windows, doors, air conditioning units, fans, odd light fixtures, glass block walls and mirrored walls in the bathrooms. There is no cohesive style. There are orange warning cones and yellow tape to warn of potential hazards. Since costs of renovation can often be much higher than new construction, I suggest that a new owner raze this old house and build a new two story house and take advantage of the large lot to create a wonderful pool and garden area.

If you are looking for a project property in Key West, give this listing serious and prompt consideration. If you are not working with another agent, please consider calling me, Gary Thomas, 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. Don't wait too long!


Anonymous said...

How was the flooding in that area during Wilma? Would a new house need to be built on stilts?

Gary Thomas said...

There was water in the streets during Wilma.

A new house would NOT need to be built on stilts.


Anonymous said...

A new house is needed. This is Casa Marina. Can you tear this down and rebuild without HARC breathing down your neck over the re-do?

I would say, tear it down. Build something up high even if not on 'stilts' to avoid future water damage potential (yes, it happened before and yes, it will happen again. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.)

Build something 'eco' or 'green' and really stand out of the crowd. SOLAR PANELS are a must! Get off the grid and into the 21st century!

THAT would bring in potential buyers - there is nothing like eco friendly to a buyer and Key West would benefit from this change and challenge to the real estate market.


that is all...

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of first floor garage for food reasons but it kills the everyday flow from inside the house to yard/pool.

Maybe 3-4 ft crawspace would be good enough to avoid flood damage.

Gary Thomas said...

The discussion about flood damage is nonsense. Most of the houses in the Casa Marina area did not flood during Wilma.

This house looked like someone (not a licensed contract) made many additions that were not permitted nor inspected. There were five (5) elevations of floors on a single story house. That is nonsense.

There were multiple types of windows and doors. It looked as though someone found a door at a yard sale or on the street and decided to add it to one of many suspected addtions to the house.

Various rooflines suggest that additon after additon was added and that nobody at city hall or the county appraiser's office knew what had been built.

This house needs to come down, in my opinion, because it is unsafe at any speed. But not because Key West had a hurrican in 2005.

Some person with too much time is trying to stir up trouble.


Anonymous said...

Flood damage is not nonsense as everyone in the FL Keys pays Flood insurance unless you have no mortgage. True, parts did not flood but others did. Take a look around the island and you will see that it wasn't just New Town that saw water damage their homes.

I say build it slightly higher to avoid future disasters and save on your insurance as well.

With windstorm rates going thru the roof, a little advice to those who plan to buy and rebuild.

info said...

I am the buyer of 1126.

The house is above FEMA BFE and thus does not have to be raised. If as we think, that the house is structurally sound, we are going to attempt to renovate the original area as a great room and add a sympathetic bedroom addition. Components of the house, that were not original (the faux stone facing) will be removed and clapboard siding will be reinstalled. This will be our new home so we want to do things properly - but within our limited budget.

We have already hired an architect to prepare plans and are hopeful to put them out to bid by September. If any contractor is interested in being on the bidders list - or individual subs - contact me at


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


Free Counter

Key West

Key West
You could be here!

Blog Archive

Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

My photo
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.