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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

1125 Washington Street - Casa Marina Area - Key West

1125 Washington Street

I've told you before about the joy of living in the Casa Marina Area. The streets are wide, the yards are big, the trees are tall, the houses are usually much larger than those in Old Town, the beach is only a couple of blocks away, and most important of all, it is normally a very quite and laid back neighborhood. Just as Old Town sells more quickly than other areas, Casa Marina sells more quickly than any area other than Old Town. And it offers proximity to the Atlantic Ocean that Old Town does not.

The White Street Pier

The new listing at 1125 Washington Street is located half a block west of White Street which runs north and south and ends up at the White Street Pier five blocks to the south. Most of the properties in the Casa Marina area are single family homes. There are a few town homes and condominiums, one motel, a world famous waterfront hotel (The Casa Marina Resort), and a couple of apartment buildings of which 1125 Washington Street is one.

The listing Realtor describes the property this way:
"Rare Casa Marina Multi-unit Home. This Home Consists Of 3 Separately Metered Units, A Stand Alone Cottage (1 Bed/1 Bath) And One Lock Out Efficiency. Great Rental History With Good Long Term Tenant's. Great For The Owner Who Wants A Return On His Home. Price Per Square Foot Is One Of The Lowest On The Market! This Home Is Listed Below Appraised Value."
The public records show this property was purchased in 2004 for $1,150,000, but it is offered at $650,000. It is not offered as a short sale. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this property.

The tax records show that this property has 6 bedrooms, 5 baths in a 3538 sq ft of FLA living space on a 44' wide x 112' deep (4973) sq ft lot. The Key West mls data sheet says there are 6 bedrooms and 5 baths and three city non transient rental licenses. Additionally, the square footage of the is only shown to be 2108. Property records are sometimes inaccurate. I think an accurate appraisal would establish the true living area which I suspect is larger than the mls states, but it may not be as great as the county record show. Irregardless, I think the value of this property is not in the number of occupational licenses or bedrooms or bathrooms , but rather is based on the location and the ability to transform an early 20th Century home into a wonderful Casa Marina home with a pool located on a large lot in a great Key West neighborhood.

1125 Washington Street as it appeared in 1965

A somewhat similar Old Town bungalow that has been recently renovated

Compare the basic house shown in the black and white photo to a similar house in Old Town that was recently renovated and sold. The lines of both houses, except for the front porch on the renovated house, are quite similar. I think the renovated house is just stunning in its simplicity. There is plenty of room inside the renovated house where that owner managed to add a pool and also get off street parking on a much smaller lot.

The house at 1125 Washington Street by contrast has what look to be several additions over the years that created more rental space. The house reaches back to near the end of the lot where a smaller cottage with another living unit is located. The east side of the lot is one long parking strip for tenants vehicles.

I envision two different scenarios for this property, neither of which involves maintaining the property as rentals. Under the first scenario the new owner would raze the current buildings and build a new single family home and add a pool at the rear. A similar in fill house was built next door at 1123 Washington Street. It sold in February 2010 for $1,100,000. A new house might cost $400,000 or so to build on the lot at 1125 Washington. In my opinion prices in this area support this kind of investment even in these difficult days. (I live in the immediate area and bought a duplex located next to my house. I got permission to raze it. The cost was about $18,000 in total. I got rid of an eyesore neighbor and gained a lot of lot usage. )

Under scenario number two I would gut the interior of the main house and redo it. I would take down the rental room addition at the rear. I might add a nice front porch (similar to the one shown in the color photo) to give the house a more welcoming appearance. I might save the cottage at the rear and convert it into a guest cottage with a bedroom and bathroom only. I would add a pool in the space occupied by the present rental rooms. There is still room at the right front for off street parking. I would finish the renovation with a white picket fence and gated driveway and landscaping for privacy.

There are four single family homes in the Casa Marina area for sale priced under one million dollars. There are seven price above that price point. The demand for houses in the area is always there, but there are properties priced under the million dollar threshold. That is why I see 1125 Washington Street as a buying opportunity.

I realize the listing Realtor is offering 1125 Washington Street as an investment property. An investor may want to buy this property because of the location and totally dismiss my vision of what could be done with the property. The place stays rented.

If you would like to see this property or any other property in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. I live in the Casa Marina area and love it.

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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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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.