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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Key West Home Buy Christmas - 912 Truman Avenue - Old Town

I have written about the lovely old home at 912 Truman Avenue a couple of times, and I have had the privilege of showing the house several times over the past few months.  As we approach Christmas Day which is now only a week away, I want bargain buyers to give this really big, really nice old Key West home serious consideration.  I don't often talk about price per sq ft (partially because some houses are pretty pricey on a per sq ft basis and also because our housing supply is so diverse price comparisons are difficult).  But I am going to make an exception here and appeal to the inner Scrooge in some readers. 912 Truman Avenue is offered at just $795,000 or $227 per sq ft.

912 Truman Avenue is a large house, 3494 sq ft divided between the main floor which has a formal entry, living room and adjoining parlor (with door to the pool), formal (regal) dining room, and old fashioned kitchen with modern and updated charm. The second floor features master bedroom with a very large en-suite bath, two large bedrooms and a full bath. The third floor is a quite large space with large gables on four sides which allow good daytime light and a large bathroom. Outside this home has a white picket fence, front yard with dramatic palms that shield the home from the street, large side yard on the east where the adjoining parking space is located, and the pool in the rear which has a water wall and fountain.

If you are thinking of buying a Key West home which you could rent as a vacation rental, you really ought to consider this property and compare it to other properties that are currently available at much higher prices.  Look first at the photos below and then really think about how attractive this property would be to a prospective renter.

Artist's depiction of 912 Truman Avenue
When you step inside 912 Truman Avenue its like stepping back into another era. This home retains the functionality and character of the original home but it has been updated with central air, updated bathrooms, and modern kitchen.  The old style rooms remain in tact with all of their flaws, charm and character.

When you enter the front entry you see the ancient staircase and central hallway that divides the house in two. On the right side you will find the living room and parlor on the right side.  The dining room and kitchen are on the left side. A small bath and servants' stairway are located at the rear.

As you view the photos below imagine how different the spaces might look if you furnished the rooms with your vision of how this old house should look.   And also consider how you might paint or otherwise improve on the existing room paint schemes. New owners often do some inexpensive improvements the dramatically enhance the charm of even the best of homes.

 Front door with living room located on the right
The dining room is located to the left. Note the crown molding and high baseboards.

The beautiful staircase leads to the bedrooms on the second and third floors.

The living room (above) is divided into two sections.  Note the rich Dade County Pine walls, the equally rich and very real wood floors, and the old school wood ceilings. Note as well the ancient windows with glass that ripples.

The dining room obviously hearkens back to another era. Imagine vacation renters gathering here to enjoy morning breakfasts as they make plans on how they will spend their days in Paradise.

My dear old grandmother had the same octagonal tile in her bathroom. I love the look and feel of this place. It evokes a feeling continuity over generations of people that lived here. The house has the necessities, but it is not consumed by modernity. It retained its soul. 

The master bedroom and bath occupy the west side of the second floor. Two more bedrooms plus a shared bath are on the east side. The master bath is huge.

The two second floor bedrooms are shown above. One is now used as a sitting room. Note the old newspapers glued to the ceiling. The papers were originally used as insulation and where retained when the home was renovated.

A door in the hallway opens to the second floor front balcony that spans the breadth of the home.

The master bedroom is located to the right and it's bath is located to the right rear. The second bath is located at the far rear and it is used by the occupants in either of the bedrooms on the left. Note the servants' staircase at the rear. It goes goes down to the area just off the kitchen. The main staircase provides access from the main floor (at front). And the staircase rising on the left leads to the third floor bed and bath.

The third floor space is actually quite large. Unfortunately I took lousy pics. I think this space would work great as a kids' retreat away from grown-ups on the second floor. There is plenty of room for a couple of sets of bunk beds or trundle beds plus room for games or distractions.

912 Truman Avenue is part of a land based condo. The house was extensively renovated in 2002 at which time the adjacent garage was also renovated and expanded. The grounds to the rear had new houses built upon them. To comply with City of Key West building code, the properties were classified as condominiums. There are limited common areas for ingress and egress to the new houses. Otherwise, the quarterly condominium fee is just $150.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property.

If I have intrigued enough with my write-up consider this: 806 Truman Avenue sold in February 2012 for $1,600,000. Now it had three transient rental licenses which allowed weekly rentals as opposed to vacation (monthly) rentals. It was smaller in size but equally rich in amenities. It shared the same basic street location.

Now, please CLICK HERE to checkout the Key West mls and see what houses you can find on Old Town priced anywhere near this and then decide for yourself how much money you could make renting this house on a monthly basis as a vacation rental as compared to equally priced houses. 

Consider this as well: vacation renters are here for a few weeks. They want a nice, clean place to stay with great amenities and a location that allows them to do things tourists do.  They aren't buying the place to live in forever. They are renting it because it offers them space, charm, a pool, and easy access to all that is fun. 

If you would like to see 912 Truman Avenue or any other property in Key West, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. If you buy this great old house you could have a wondeful place to spend your Christmas next year.

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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.