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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Lady in Waiting - 410 Simonton Street - Old Town Key West

I wrote about one of the most photographed houses in all of Key West last fall when it was listed by Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc., that's where I work but this is not my listing. I would like to reacquaint my Dear Readers with about this property and perhaps encourage someone to come on down and get her before someone buys her and gets to have all the fun.

410 Simonton Street - Old Town - Key West

410 Simonton Street is truly a Lady in Waiting - waiting that is for that special someone to come in and restore the house and grounds to the trophy property it should be once again. It's not that the property as it now exists is bad. It isn't. It just is not as good as it could be. In fact, it could be grand.

The listing agent provides this bare bones description of 410 Simonton Street:
"One of Key West's most beautiful houses. True history resounds in this one of a kind home. Paintings from the 1880's are featured in the front parlor on the ceiling and walls. Currently in use as a 5 unit rental property with rental income of $8,100/month. This house is a great candidate to remodel as a single family home."
This property is offered at $895,000 or $287 per sq ft for the 3123 sq ft house plus attached living units. The lot is 60' x 106' (6036 sq ft). A newer addition was added to the property in 1997. The main part of the original house has been made into decent sized one bedroom apartments, each of which has a living area, kitchen, bath and bedroom in some form The second floor is one large one bedroom apartment that could be just grand. That unit is accessed via an exterior staircase and second floor balcony that is just perfect for people watching. Inside the angular ceiling provides a wonderful living space. Another special feature is the Romeo & Juliet balcony that overlooks the bricked grounds and century old iron fence that distinguishes the house. A majestic mahogany tree frames the visage.

Mahogany tree frames the Romeo & Juliet balcony

I envision two scenarios that could work equally well for a new owner. An investor might gut the existing units and move one of the living units to the newer building to the north. That would permit increasing the size of the other units inside the main house. The five units could become high-end rental units.

Or a new owner could convert the use to single family. The adjacent building would make a wonderful guest cottage and provide separate facilities for guests so that friends and family would not bother the owner on those late night returns from Duval Street or other nearby haunts. The second floor could become the master suite. The main floor units could be restored to a semblance of the usage of decades before when this was one of the most beautiful single family homes in all Key West.

The main house has high ceilings, grand windows and doors, substantial crown moldings and trim throughout. The house could become a showplace. The building has been very well maintained in my opinion. The piers and structural elements seem solid and well maintained. I think most of what a new owner would do would be considered refinement rather than rebuilding. That is my opinion. I am not a contractor. Rely on what a contractor tells you.

The property has a pool, off street parking, and a street presence that can match any other property in Old Town. CLICK HERE to view a slide show of photos that show the property with all its warts and its potential.

I dug through the shoe box and found two old black and white photos that show the house in earlier times. The Monroe County Property Appraiser noted that the house was built in the 1870s but was not specific as to the exact date. The old gal still looks pretty good for being over 140 years old.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls data sheet on this property. If you would like to see this property, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. This is a great buying opportunity for someone who wants a truly beautiful home in Old Town 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.