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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

618 Petronia Street - Old Town - Key West

 618 Petronia Street - Old Town - Key West
The house at 618 Petronia Street is worth looking at if you are a budget shopper looking for a perfectly livable house that can be moved into the day you close but that could be upgraded and improved upon as well. That house has been on the market for quite some time. I have told buyers that found it that I thought the property was 'over-priced' and we never looked. A new Realtor recently listed the property at a new and much more realistic asking price of $474,900. I showed the property last Saturday.  I have changed my mind about the house being over-priced and I now think this place is worthy of consideration.

The house sits on Solares Hill and is near the highest point on the Island of Key West. The other houses in the immediate area were built around the same time.  It looked to me as though the original house was a typical wood frame construction that can be seen in many old Key West homes. It looks to me as though the original house was expanded by the addition of a CBS structure at front which includes the front porch and what is now used as the third bedroom. I believe a second addition was added at the rear where the kitchen is located. The kitchen has a different floor level and a different floor surface. Finally, another 'room' is at the rear. This 'room' appears to have been a porch that was enclosed creating a family room.  The original house is still intact and consists of the living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Besides the various floor levels and surfaces, the house seems dated but not quite as quaint as most buyers expect when purchasing an older Key West home.

 Front porch

The kitchen
Family room
It looked to me as though much of the original house got a stucco exterior when the front addition was added many years ago. The house next door is almost identical and it has "novelty siding". I think the houses are the same and I expect 618 Petronia would have had the same siding were it not for the stucco. I'm a believer in wood and I think this house would benefit immensely from the removal of the CBS front addition and maybe removal of the kitchen and porch enclosure. I would replace the front with a period correct front porch. I'd restore the wood siding all over the the house. I would remove the clam shell awnings and replace with shutters that are more in keeping with the way Key West cottages look today. I would finally replace the kitchen and add a new rear porch.  I think you could come up with a might charming home to keep to yourself or that you could easily rent as a vacation rental. There are several homes in the immediate area that are used that way.

That's when the creative part kicks in. The rear yard is immense. (The Monroe County Property Appraiser's map shows the lot as being 32 feet wide by 189.33 feet in depth.) There is room for a huge pool and an accessory unit (a mother-in-law cottage).  This space is just incredible. Below are some photos I took on Saturday which was a gray day. 

I spotted huge an avocado tree, a lime tree, a key lime tree, and a sour orange tree in the rear yard. The space is inviting.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property. A new owner doesn't have to do any of the remodeling I suggested. The place works just fine the way it is. But it could be so much better. And at the asking price of $474,900 it is worth looking at.

If you would like to look at this property or any other house in Key West please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.


Enid and Ciaran said...

Wow! Very rare to have a garden this size in Key West!!!

Would the city allow development in this area and the building of a pool or a guest cottage?

Gary Thomas said...

The City has lot density rules and stringent building codes. However, the size of this lot is so huge that it would appear a new owner could redo the main house and either add on and go up at the rear and/or add a new building further back in the lot. The new building code be a guest cottage or pool house overlooking the new pool.

If interested, send me an email I can direct you to an architect or land planner who can tell you exactly what is permissible.



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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.