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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1322 Thompson Street - Key West - The Essence of Cool

Cool.... in Key West!
1322 Thompson Street is the antithesis of the quaint cigar maker's cottages, the big conch houses, or the eyebrow houses that dominate Old Town Key West. Most of those houses are old and have been updated to accommodate today's lifestyle. Some renovations are highly successful while others are often challenged by small buildings, small lots, small budgets, or small imagination.
1322 Thompson Street, located just east of the Casa Marina Area, on the other hand, is a 1958 ranch renovated a few years back by Debra Yates and Raymond Jungles who created a one-of-a-kind Key West residence that is the essence of cool. The Urban Dictionary defines cool as 'The best way to say something is neat-o, awesome, or swell. The phrase "cool" is very relaxed, never goes out of style, and people will never laugh at you for using it, very convenient for people like me who don't care about what's "in.' At least half the people in Key West are cool by that definition. And so is this tropical residence.

  The first time I went to this house I was taken aback. The house sits on a large corner lot on a Key West suburban block (not Old Townish by any stretch of the imagination). The lot dominates its corner location which is enclosed by a large privacy fence. Tall palms and specimen trees ring the inside of the fence and grass that looks like a velvety moss delicately frames the lot at the corner of Thompson and South Streets. As much as I know I live on an "island" I sometimes forget it. This property exudes an island flair as soon as it comes into view.
When you open the gate you walk into an oasis of lush vegetation in all directions. Specimen trees of all types and wondrous foliage separate this property from the hum-drum of so many Home Depot instant gardens.
I don't know whether it is the sound of the waterfall or the vibrant colors of the mosaic tiled wall that draws your attention to the pool. But you cannot avoid looking and hearing and just be captivated with this area. It is like "wow" in every direction you look. This is not what you expect to see-in suburbia.
The house itself is bold in design yet very understated. Travertine marble floors in the main living, dining and kitchen areas keep the tone very low key. A glass wall in the living room looks out to the pool and waterfall. The kitchen sits at the back of the living space and is defined by fire engine red wall with non-traditional horizontal windows over the kitchen sink. An intimate dining room without doors (or pretense) completes this part of the house.

The master bedroom and bath are on the south side of the house. The bedroom is totally understated, but it too has a glass wall that opens out to its own private sitting area. There is a separate Debra Yates mosaic in the master bath. A second bedroom and bath are also located in the main house. And then there is the guest cottage located out under the palm trees. Guests can access this cottage from either the front entry or a side gate on South Street.

Indoor and Outdoor Showers - Way Cool !

The listing Realtor describes the new listing at 1322 Thompson Street this way:
"This spacious home is surrounded by privacy fencing. Just step inside the front gate to a private tropical world. A lovely pool with a waterfall and beautiful mosaics tilework designed by the talented artist Debra Yates. A covered lanai perfect for entertaining guests. The interior of the home offers a wall of glass doors which open to the pool area to incorporate the outside living area, a fantastic kitchen complete with a gas stove, stainless appliances and a concrete custom counter top. The master bedroom has a small covered private deck to relax in comfort and enjoy the lush landscaping. All of this along with a one bedroom one bath separate cottage to place guests or use as an office or studio."
Guest Cottage
Let me add this: it is better than that! It is one of those places that just knocks you over when you enter the property. 1322 Thompson Street is offered at $749,000 or $482 per sq ft.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property.

This place is really cool. The chic contemporary interiors may not work for those with a yen for an Old Town Conch House. But if you are open to new ideas and want a really beautiful place to call your Key West home, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305.766.2642. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. Let me show you this truly remarkable property.

Monday, April 29, 2013

1433 Flagler Avenue - Bank Owned - Key West

The newly listed Bank Owned property at 1433 Flagler Avenue in Key West is most certainly something to cheer about, especially if you are a current Key West family looking for a place that has four bedrooms,  lots of quality living space, a pool, a great enclosed yard, and is in move-in condition.  I was totally surprised by how nice this place looks.
The original house was built in 1953 and has been updated a couple of times in recent years. The current owner has added impact windows and doors, painted and cleaned the inside and outside, added the necessary child safety fence surround by the pool, installed a new fence around the front, and replaced a substantial amount of the roof. The Monroe County Property Appraiser shows this house as having 1730 sq ft of living space under air. (I suspect the actually living area may be larger, but that is only my opinion. A measured appraisal or survey will confirm.) The lot is 83 x 93' or 7473 sq ft.  
The interiors are all fresh and contemporary. New light fixtures and fans plus updated built-in closet systems, valances over windows, travertine marble floors, and crisp and clean interior paint treatments give this home a stylish look. Unlike a lot of houses that have been updated, this place actually looks good. Too often updates are second rate. This house looks like it could actually work for a family.
There are two living areas which include the informal living room and the family room. The kitchen and dining area are open. There is an attractive passage way between the kitchen and family room which provides views of both living areas so the cook can keep an eye of what the kids are doing in both parts of the house at the same time.
There are three good sized bedrooms located at the front of the house. They share a single updated bath.
The master bedroom is located in an addition at the rear. The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and multiple sets of French doors that open out to the rear deck and garden area. This space is just great.  Mom and Dad can have some really nice personal space located just far enough away from the kids but not so far as to be out of ear-range.
Located on the far side of the family room is an area I dubbed as the playroom or office. This is a nice sized area on the main floor over which there is a delightful guest bedroom with a Romeo and Juliet balcony that overlooks the rear garden at the rear and the pool at the front. (With views like this, your guests will never leave.)
This bank owned family home is offered at just $549,000 or only $317 per sq ft. That is a lot of quality house in a very good neighborhood within a few walks walking distance to Higg's Beach. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls data sheet. And CLICK HERE to view a slide show of photos I took of this attractive property. 
Nearby Higg's Beach
Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this family home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. This home is worth viewing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

818 Olivia Street - Old Town Dream Cottage - Key West

The new listing (not mine) at 818 Olivia Street in Old Town Key West is a dream cottage come true. This place is as cute as a button, has off street parking, a pool, and is in move-in condition. It is within walking distance to just about any place you might want to go in the Old Town area, and it could even be rented as a monthly vacation rental if you really, really could allow someone else to use this precious space.

The listing Realtor describes 818 Olivia as follows:
"This wonderful historic cottage is loaded with Key West charm and character. Situated on a generous sized Old Town lot the home has a spacious picket-fenced front yard, a rocking chair front porch and off-street parking. The entrance foyer carries through to the rear of the house where the open living, dining and kitchen areas create an ideal plan for entertaining. French doors from the vaulted ceilinged living area open out to the pretty landscaped rear deck with pool. The main level includes the master bedroom and bath, second bedroom and half bath. Upstairs is a cozy bedroom and full bath. Great central location just a few blocks from Duval Street."

The Monroe County Property Appraiser's property card shows this 1475 sq ft house sits on a 39' x 83' lot (3244 sq ft).  And the property appraisal card further shows the house was built in 1928. I found an old photo of the same house that was taken in 1965. A notation on the photo shows that 818 Olivia Street was built in the 1890s. That is the same rough date other houses in the block were also constructed.  I choose to believe the 1890s date because the house looked "old" in the 1965 photograph. A house that would have only been 17 years old in 1965. It just does not make sense. Compare the old view with the clean facade as it appears in 2013. It looks picture perfect in my opinion.

This house sits opposite the Key West cemetery. That means the neighbors will be quiet at night and will not be competing for on street parking - ever.  A lot of buyers question what might happen to a particular or house. When it comes to the cemetery, the answer is pretty assured: nothing.  There will never be some big house built there with windows looking down onto your space. You will always have open sky views looking across the street. Your home will forever bathe in the Key West sunshine. There won't be parties at night or people competing with you for parking space.
Once you pass the gated entrance you enter into a lovely small garden. The front porch as a great little sitting area where you can sit and watch tourists and locals pass by the house on foot, bike, or by car. Olivia Street is a one-way street headed easterly. 

I had never been inside this home before today. As soon as I opened the front door my eyes were drawn past the colorful entry and delightful artwork that adorns the walls. My attention was drawn through the house to the rear where I could see the pool and waterfall. I knew in an instant that I was ready for a real treat.
As the listing Realtor points out, this home has three bedrooms and three baths. The current owners use the main floor bedroom on the left as the master suite. The bedroom to the right is currently used as a family room or office. The second floor bedroom is used as guest quarters. 
There are several really interest architectural features in this home. The stairway to the second floor is one of them. The geometry demands your attention. The craftsmanship requires your inspection. The color scheme commands your consideration. It is whimsical and lyrical.
The living, dining, and kitchen are located at the rear and open out to the pool and rear deck. This is how we live in Key West. Doors open to allow indoor and outdoor living spaces to meld into each other.
I looked for but did not see any deferred maintenance. There is a place for everything and everything appeared to be in its proper place. That's why I said this home is in move-in condition. CLICK HERE to view a slide show of other photographs I took that show this home from bottom to top and front to rear.

I am confident you will appreciate the charming home which is offered at $889,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos. Better than just looking at photos online, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this cute Old Town cottage style home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. This place could be the answer to your dreams.


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.