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Saturday, August 4, 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. The owner changed agents and the asking price was recently reduced to a more realistic price of $459,900. I recently showed the property.  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. I think the original house was expanded by the addition of a concrete block addition 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 sits at a lower elevation and has a different floor surface. Finally, another 'room' is at the rear. This 'room' appears to have been a porch that was enclosed thereby 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. The house does not have the charm second home buyers seek. But charm can be created.

 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" which is a commonly used wood siding seen in many older Key West homes. You can still buy it at our local lumber yard, Manley deBoer Lumber. I think the houses are virtually the same.  I believe 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. Finally, I would replace the kitchen and add a new rear porch.  I think you could come up with a mighty charming home. Many of the small homes and cottages in this immediate area are rented as monthly vacation rentals. I think this home would make a wonderful vacation rental if it were remodeled and a pool added.

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 $459,900 ($360 per sq ft) 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.


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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.