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Saturday, April 21, 2012

804 Catherine Street - Old Town - Key West

                                   804 Catherine Street - Key West

Just listed, but not by me, a true "fixer" with "upside potential" that will not break the bank. The listing Realtor describes the new listing that is located at 804 Catherine Street in the South of Truman area of Old Town Key West this way:
"Nice Old Town single family home lovingly cared for by the same family since the 1960s. Large lot with off-street parking on a quiet street. Plenty of room for a pool and gardens. Loads of potential to make this your Dream Home in Paradise."

The listing Realtor shows the house as having a total of 2083 sq ft of living space. The lot is 38' x 92' or 3496 sq ft. I suggest a potential buyer look at the size of the existing building as "potential" and view the lot size as a "phenomenal" opportunity to create a tropical living space.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet and to view the listing photos of this property. Next, get out a clean sheet of paper and draw a rectangle. Draw a square that occupies the bottom 60% of the rectangle.  That space would represent the existing concrete apron in front and the existing house. The back 40% of the space is where you would build a covered deck overlooking the new pool which you would frame with lots of tropical foliage and palm trees. Maybe you would include a Key Lime tree or frangipani or other ornamentals to add color to the space. The back yard right now is a paved with concrete. You will need to chop it up and have it hauled away. But afterward, you will have a huge piece of land where you can create your own dream space. If you have looked at other properties you surely know how limiting some spaces can be. There are all kinds of code restrictions and rules limiting homeowners. This space is big and barren and not necessarily affected by concerns like those.

Plot out how you would restyle this property on a budget that works for you. Don't be extravagant. But don't be cheap either. Any new owner will likely gut the inside of the house as it sits today. A new owner will probably add new windows and doors, install a new central air conditioning system, put on a new roof. Since the rooms will likely get reworked and usages moved around, new plumbing will be installed. You will likely install a new kitchen and baths. These are things most renovators do. The final cost would be dependent a lot on the quality of cabinets, fixtures, appliances, and lighting that you install. The structure itself seems very sturdy. A licensed home inspector or general contractor can advise as to the accuracy of my layman's observation. But I think I am correct on this point.

804 Catherine Street as it looked in 1965

804 Catherine Street as it looks in April 2012

A new owner will obviously need to get HARC approval of a new renovation plan, but I suspect that will be pretty easy. Below is a list of things I would do. Look at the pics and figure out for yourself what you would like to do.
First, I would take off the brick veneer and restyle the front. I would try to add a front porch and add a white picket fence. I found the old black and white photo of the property which shows how the property when at lease a part of it was used as Pedro's' Upholstery Shop. That space has been enclosed and is now part of the living room. I would personally ditch that usage entirely. I'd even forgo the lovely old lean too canopy in favor of the open air. I'd replace the concrete with brick pavers, create a pretty period correct front porch, add a white picket fence and some tropical plants. The front would look much better without it.But that's just me.

I would redesign room usages and move the bedrooms and bathrooms to the current front of the house. I would blow out the back wall and put in new French doors or perhaps install sliders which recess into the rear walls which would open the entire rear pool and garden to the new home.  There is a second floor to this house that is not visible from the photos. There is no existing stairway to this space. A new owner may want to use that space for bedrooms or perhaps loose the space and vault the rear area to create spectacular views of the pool and garden. The possibilities are endless.

804 Catherine Street is located just three blocks east of Duval Street. If you walk straight over from the house, you would land at LaTeDa. Take a left and walk a few blocks to South Beach. Take a right at Duval and you could get lost at any number of art galleries, business emporiums, drinking establishments, or eateries.
La Te Da at Christmastime 2011

804 Catherine Street is offered at just $399,000 or $191 per sq ft. Similar fixer houses have recently sold at $188 per sq ft. Do the math. This property is priced right. CLICK HERE to view photos I took of the front and rear yards. The rear yard is the key to this Key West property.

If you would like to see this property or any other property in Key West, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-76-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  I really consider this property as buying opportunity for someone who wants a fixer project.

1 comment:

prakash said...

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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.