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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

1114 Watson Street - Old Town - Key West - Legal Duplex

If you are looking for an affordable house in Old Town Key West with income potential, covered off street parking, and room for a pool, the new listing (not mine) at 1114 Watson Street just may the answer to your dreams. And if you are an investor looking for a legal duplex with upside potential, this new listing may just entice you to take a look. The listing Realtor describes this property this way:
"So many sunny living areas in this move in ready duplex! From the enclosed front porch to the open living room, to the kitchen/living room combo to the outside porches and decks, you'll have plenty of room to spread out! The downstairs is a large 2/1 with bamboo and hard wood flooring. All bright rooms freshly painted from crown molding down. New ceiling fans, upstairs is 1/1 with spacious loft and large private porch with Epay decking, up and down. Marble counter tops, double sink with garbage disposal and new faucet all in a large island perfect for entertaining! Plus, it's wired for speakers for surround sound. Gas stoves, updated electrical and a fenced backyard with room for a pool. All located in old town and in an X500. 2 legal units."
I found an old photo of this property taken in 1965 (below).  The note on the back of the black and white photo states that 1114 Watson Street was built in 1890.  I will be the front porch was added or remodeled to add the stucco siding sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s.  Compare the black and white photo t with the color photo I took a couple of days ago. The shed addition to the right has been transformed into a carport - a novelty for the Old Town area. Just behind the carport is an extra large storeroom which a new owner might attempt to convert into an extra bathroom or put to some other use.

The main level living area is located at the rear of the home. A recent kitchen and family area open out to the covered IPE deck.  This is the area of the home where most living will take place - especially if the new owner adds a pool to the backyard. This house is laid out like many cigar maker cottages with rooms the run from front to back off a side corridor.
The front two rooms are spartan now. I bet a new owner could re-think the use of space and develop a creative use for these rooms.  The master bedroom and then a second bedroom follow.
The backyard has room for a pool.  There is plenty of room. A newly installed stairway to the second floor legal apartment could probably almost disappear with the addition of landscaping to mask the intrusion.  The listing Realtor told me the seller is going to install a privacy fence between 1114 Watson and the property to the south.  That will give 1114 Watson the privacy a new owner would require.
The removal of the shed storage area and the replacement of the tattered canvas awnings would enhance the views both of and from the main level and second level living areas.  The second level apartment is an updated and contemporary one bedroom with a great deck with sunny views.  The living area has a vaulted ceiling and new kitchen. There is even a small loft for that occasional over-night guest.
I think the second floor apartment would be a big hit and would rent in a New York minute.  It has its own private outdoor area with a really great view.  Locals would love to have living space like this.  I would imagine the second floor unit would rent for $1400 to $1600 per month.  If the new owner did not live on the premises, I would estimate the ground floor two bedroom would rent for $1500 to $1800 per month.  Rentals are scarce in Key West.  This property is located in the South of Truman area of Old Town. It is within walking distance to the shops and restaurants of upper Duval and the gyms and yoga studios that are located nearby.

 I took the photo above which is for rentals our office has available and for potential renters seeking a new place to live. The Looking to Rent side had about six lookers a couple of days ago and only one rental. I mention this because the rental market it Key West is Smoking Hot.  There is a real demand for short term (less than six months) and long term housing.  We have a lot of people who move here who fall off the world and think they would love to live in Paradise. Some stay. Others fall  deep into oblivion and find there way back to where they came from.  That's only one group of renters. Another group are people with good paying jobs that move here and lots of people in the military. We have a very strong military presence with both single people and married couples who do not want to live on base and in military housing.  We have a lot of government contractors who provide services to the military or other agencies.  We have doctors, nurses, and attorneys who rotate in and out of Key West on a weekly or semi-weekly basis.  All of these people need housing.  If you check the local Key West Citizen newspaper you won't find many places for rent in Key West proper. You may find places up the Keys but you probably won't see many there.  Craigslist has become a cheap and easy vehicle to post and find rentals in Key West. Go there and see what is available and what the rates are. You may be shocked at how expensive good clean apartments and houses rent for. That is why I think a place like this could function quite well for an owner who wants some supplemental income or for an investor looking for a legal duplex.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to see listing photos of this property. Or you can CLICK HERE to view more photos that I took of the property.

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing of this legal duplex or any other property in Key West. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

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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.