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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

617 Simonton Street - Key West - a Potential Money Maker

A lot of would-be buyers seek a second home in Key West that they can occasionally rent to help defray the cost of home ownership.  As a home owner in Key West you can legally rent just about any property in town as a vacation rental (30 days) provided you have city non-transient occupational license. Notice I wrote "non-transient" which means not nightly or weekly.  Even though Key West is a small town, some locations are better suited to a vacation rental than others.  The house at 617 Simonton Street has an excellent location that is close to just about all the places vacation travelers want to go. And it has the amenities like a private pool and off street parking that many travelers prefer.

617 Simonton Street is a town home located in The Gardens of Key West just one block east of Duval Street. This home has the features most second home owners seek and it is priced at just $825,000. The listing broker describes the home this way:
" Lovely two bedroom home in highly desirable Gardens of Key West community in Old Town Key West. New construction meets Old World Charm to achieve a great downtown lifestyle. Fully renovated chef's kitchen, open floor plan and bright and airy rooms. Large master suite with ensuite bath. Private yard with heated pool and private carport for off-street parking. Great porches and outside covered spaces. A wonderful newer home located in a prime Key West location. A Tropical Oasis for Comfortable Island Living."

Lauramar Developers built this home and several others in a little compound called The Gardens of Key West in 1997. I remember the construction project quite well because I thought about buying one of the houses. I hemmed and hawed and mused and dilly-dallied. The homes had all the features I thought would work for me and were initially offered for sale at an incredible price. Several units were purchased immediately, and the developer suddenly increased the asking price to meet the market demand. Free Enterprise!

The houses had the historic "look" that buyers wanted, but they had modern interior layouts and functionality that the old houses did not have. And they were built with new materials such as Hardiboard siding which is a man made material that is termite resistant and holds up to the Key West sunshine and weather.  Each house had a private pool and off street parking.

The listing Realtors' description pretty much gives you the basics. The ground floor has a formal entry which opens into the great room. The kitchen is located at the front of the house and merges into the dining area and living area at the rear. A guest bath is located under the stairway. As soon as you enter the house it is the view of the pool at the rear that attracts your attention. Who could resist looking at the pool surrounded by tropical palms?

Upstairs you will find the two bedrooms. The guest bedroom is located at the front. That bedroom has its own en-suite bath. The second floor front porch is accessed off this bathroom.  This is a great people watching space all the time, and it is especially a great place to watch people during the annual People's Parade at Fantasy Fest. The master bedroom and master bath are located at the rear.

Perfect perch for people watching
Front bedroom with en-suite bath
Master Suite is located at the rear and overlooks the private pool
This home is the only home at The Gardens of Key West with covered off street parking. That means you won't melt under our sun or get drenched during a rainstorm while getting in and out of the car. The carport is located adjacent to the back of the pool area.  The home owner association is responsible only for the common area maintenance which is primarily the bricked driveway and parking area. Fees are just $250 per year. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view the listing photos.

This home would make a great getaway home for a single or couple seeking a Key West home that requires little maintenance and that offer a great location within easy walking distance to most of the attractions in the Old Town area. It would make an excellent vacation rental and could provide a bit of extra income to help pay for itself over the years. This home has been successfully rented as a vacation rental for several years. I think this property has a lot of potential as a money maker. To view more photos CLICK HERE.

If you would like to see 617 Simonton Street 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 home in the Conch Republic. Remember, this house is located next door to the Embassy of the Conch Republic. That's status!

Conch Republic Embassy is located next door to 617 Simonton Street

Monday, January 28, 2013

920 Terry Lane Key West - Priced to Sell

The asking price on the award winning three bedroom home at 920 Terry Lane in Key West was just reduced to $819,000.

The house sits across the street from the Historic Key West Lighthouse which is now a museum. A small enclosed park surrounds the old lighthouse and that is the view one has from the front porch at 920 Terry Lane. I must tell you I have sat in a chair on the front porch and envied whoever gets to buy this home. You cannot ask for a more serene view in our little town. And you know that the beautiful view will always be maintained - and that it will never change. That is an intangible benefit that eludes most property owners anyplace.

This home is listed by Preferred Properties, but this is not my listing. The listing Realtor describes the home this way:
"A Million Dollar House with a Million Dollar view in one of the best locations of Old Town Key West. Just 1 block from the Hemingway House and 2 blocks from Duval,is this Historic three bedroom 3 bath home with a cocktail pool and off street parking. No expense was spared in this renovation. On the first level there are 2 bedrooms, one of which can be used as a master, vaulted ceilings, Brazilian Hardwood flooring, and a great open living/dining area. The kitchen has glazed maple cabinetry with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, large pantry with washer and dryer. Down a few steps is a great family room which opens to the pool. The master suite on the second level is the entire second floor with fabulous lighthouse views."

The old house with an incredible location has been updated and expanded to meet the needs of modern day living. Gone are the small one-purpose rooms. Instead, the first floor has an open great room with soaring ceiling. The kitchen is a big open area with rich custom wood cabinets and large windows that let sun shine in to brighten the space. Off to the rear and down a step is the family room with a set of French doors that open out to the small garden and pool. Two large bedrooms complete the main floor. As the listing Realtor points out, one could use the down stairs bedroom as the master suite. Potential older buyers need to consider options like that. As we get older, stairs can become more challenging.

Original house in front with two story rear addition and wrap-around porch

View off wrap-around deck off the master bedroom

If you are not yet challenged by stairs (lucky you!) the view and the geometry of the master suite on the second floor is unlike any other house in Key West. The owner designed this space so one could lay in bed and still have a view of the old light house. He built wrap-around decks that provide that stunning view of the light house as well as neighbors in some of the pristine little renovations that surround the property.

920 Terry Lane has 1856 sq ft of living space and sits on a 41'x79' (3212) sq ft lot. The living space is nicely divided by room function. The main living area provides access to the bedrooms on the main level. The kitchen area double functions as a core living area and as access to the stairway to the second floor and lower level family room or access to the pool.  This home has every feature necessary to make it a great vacation rental as well.   CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet and to see listing photos.

920 Terry Lane is offered at $819,000. If you would like to see this home or any other house in Key West, please consider working with me, Gary Thomas. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

909 Pohalski Lane - Key West - Open House Sunday

This cottage style home has two bedrooms, two and 1/2 baths and 1268 sq ft of really beautiful living space plus 700 sq ft of nicely landscaped outdoor living area located on a cute little Old Town Key West Lane.  Stop by 909 Pohalski Lane on Sunday, January 26th between 12 to 2 and take a peek at this newly remodeled and expanded cottage home priced at just $595,000.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Un-Real Real Estate in Key West

I have written  about Ronny Bailey before. He is a former Key West builder who turned in his "trade" to become a folk artist extraordinaire.  In stead of building big houses, he now creates paintings and small art installations that depict real Key West cottages, homes, and commercial businesses.

Some of Ronny's current works will be on display at the Key West Craft Show this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) on Whitehead Street between the hours of 10:00 to 5:00.  If you are in Key West you really need to stop by and take a look at his work. He puts so much love into each piece. You can tell that by looking at the pieces he has created. His art preserves a part of Key West that cannot be re-done with marble or stainless steel nor Hardiboard siding. Every piece that Ronny makes is fashioned out of wood - even the "metal roofs" and red fire engine are made of wood.

I had the  opportunity to photograph two of his pieces on Friday morning. As I was taking photos people that were walking by stopped to take a look (or photograph)  and marvel at what this man has created.  Those of us who love Key West's great architecture hold Ronny to be a treasure in his own right. The two pieces shown are the Historic Key West Fire Station #3 located at the corners of Virginia and Grinnell Streets and the Old Town Bakery (the former Salgado Brother's Grocery) at 930 Eaton Street. Take a peek and then go take a look at the real thing at the craft show. Tell Ronny you read about this on my blog. He gets a kick out that. And so do I.

By the way the actual Old Town Bakery has the best home made pastries in town. I am on a perpetual living diet so I can't eat the great goodies they make there. (Well, I did cheat a couple of times.)  Stop by some morning and buy a couple of pastries and coffee. It's a treat. CLICK HERE to view 930 Eaton Street Click the link - I'm proud of these pics.
The second floor sleeping quarters photos did not come out the way I had hoped. That floor has similar detail as the main level and facade. The names of old Key West fire fighters like Chief Bum Farto, Bethel, Gates and others line the wall. Theses are the surnames of current Key West residents. After you have lived in Key West a while you begin to sincerely appreciate the heritage Conchs and freshwater Conchs (like me) have for the families who have lived on our little island for decades. CLICK HERE to view the FIRE STATION. Click the link - I'm proud of these pics.

Viewing old buildings through the perspective of Ronny Bailey's eyes gives the viewer a real sense of appreciation for the un-real real estate the artist sees. On each piece he creates you will see three simple words:  Joy, Love, and Peace. And I guarantee you will see lots of whimsy as well!  Instead of buying a lot of tee shirts or hot sauce, buy a painting, a lithograph, or even an art installation like Old Town Bakery or Fire Station #3.  And then call me to buy a house.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.