Friday, September 23, 2011
507 Frances Street - Short Sale - Old Town - Key West
507 Frances Street before. Now it is being offered as a Short Sale at the asking price of $499,000. The listing Realtor describes this property this way:
"Prime location and great investment opportunity! Frances St is one of the most desirable Streets in Old Town Key West. This is a 3 Unit building. Two 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartments downstairs and one 2 bedroom 1 bathroom upstairs. Each unit has a separate water and electric meter. Total gross income $49,800. This property could be converted to a beautiful single family home. History shows that it served as one of the early school houses in Key West followed by a church. Just steps from world famous Duval St and the Seaport. Excellent for an owner occupant or as an investment. Many possibilities. This is a potential short sale transaction subject to lender approval.
This double gabled building appears to date back to 1870. Removing the front porch enclosures would reveal a classic style conch structure with three doors across the front upstairs and down. The building is currently configured as three apartments. Each unit has a separate front and rear porches. Removal of the walls at the bottom of the inside stairs would create a unified living space. Then this former school house could become a Key West charmer.
The front porches are integral parts of the current usage. I recall the original exterior walls at front are still in place and doorways open onto the porches. (What you see from the street is not the original exterior wall. It is instead and enclosed porch. The original wall is perhaps six feet to the rear of the enclose porch.) An interior stairway provides access to the three units as currently configured. It works fine for the current usage but a new stairway could redefine the usage as a single family residence. The second floor units is very charming but it could be a wonderful master bedroom with en-suite bath and rear deck overlooking a new pool below. The ceilings could be vaulted and the whole interior spaces transformed into a very decent sized Old Town residence with a striking architectural style. Conversion of the enclosed porches to open porches would reduce the living area by about 300 sq ft but it would add a tremendous amount of charm to the facade.
The listing Realtor has a YouTube presentation that shows the interior layout that is quite helpful.
You probably have strolled by, rode your bike past, or driven by 507 Frances Street and wondered what it is and then easily continued walking, riding, or driving. It gets noticed because of its atypical architecture, but then it gets ignored because of it. People can't figure out what it is or why it should interest them as a potential home in Key West. I'm here to shed some light on this property and perhaps create a little interest in it.
I found the Black & White Photo (above) that shows how this property looked back in 1965. Compare that photo with the color photo immediately below. The place has not changed much. You will note that I added some text to the Black and White Photo to suggest possible changes to this house because I think change is exactly what is needed.
507 Frances Street is one of six double gable houses in Key West that I am aware of. The others are located in the Meadows area, Petronia Street, and two familiar properties (the Red Doors on Caroline Street and an apartment building at 701 Southard Street), and the Angelina Guest House at 302 Angela Street. If you study 507 Frances and compare it to either the Red Doors or 701 Southard you will immediately see that Frances Street architecture is basically the same. That is, there are two buildings seemingly joined at a common point with the resultant double gable roof. 507 Frances is different, however, since the porches on Frances Street were enclosed sometime in the past - at least pre-1965. (When I first moved to Key West I was told many of the larger old homes had the front porches enclosed during World War II to house military personnel stationed here. That may or may not be true.) But these four properties share another interesting feature: they are all site-situated right at or very near the sidewalk. There is no front yard or fence to set the building off from the sidewalk.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls database on this property. Please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at kw1101v@aolcom to schedule a showing of this property. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida.
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.
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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell
- Gary Thomas
- 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.