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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

625 Frances Street - Old Town - Key West

The newly listed home at 625 Frances Street in Key West is a doozie!  It's gonna be very popular, and I expect someone will buy it soon. It's got charm for days; it's really attractive and has good sized rooms that work for a full time residence or a Key West getaway; it's got a pool and off street parking; and it's priced to match the great location in Old Town Key West - just $975,000.  Oh, and it is the recipient of a gold star for historic preservation. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet.
 The listing Realtor describes this beauty as a:
"RARE FIND. Conch Beauty. True island style living. One of the best locations in Old Town! Special Pilot House style kitchen and lots of French doors, large vaulted ceiling living room leads to pool and deck. Off street parking, well, gas range and roof scuttles,outdoor shower and lots of Dade County Pine and unique privacy fence."
I dug deep into the old shoe box to find the black and white photo below that shows how 625 Frances Street looked back in 1965.  I took the color photo just below that shows how it looks in 2013.  There are some noticeable changes. As you read this blog see if you can determine what has been added. I also searched the Sanborn Fire Maps to determine the date this house first appeared on a map. That was in 1892. But the area in which this house (and its neighbors) was omitted in the 1889 map that I saw. I suspect this house was actually in existence at that time because it fits in with similar nearby homes.
Like many of the old vernacular houses, this house has a formal entry on the left side with a hallway that leads straight to the rear (like a shot gun or cigar maker style cottage, except this house has a second floor. The interior layout has changed over the years and at least one and probably two additions were added. The front room, which was probably the parlor or living room, is now the main floor master bedroom with en-suite bath. The living room is located to the rear.  There are two second floor bedrooms that share a bath. How this house is decorated and styled separates this property from so many pretenders in paradise. Much of the interior paint treatments are tromp-l'oeil (literally translates from French to mean "fools the eye." Hard to paint, the trompe l'oeil piece requires meticulous attention to detail on the part of the artist. Proper sizing and every detail, nuance of light and gradation of color must be skillfully incorporated in order to make the two-dimensional work appear to be three-dimensional.) This home is the real deal. It could easily be a feature home in Coastal Living Magazine.
The living area features a vaulted ceiling with woven grass, Dade County Pine walls, rich dark floors, and ancient glass windows with ripples that would make a bodybuilder envious. The listing Realtor describes the bump-out kitchen addition as a "Pilot House style kitchen". If you buy this house and stand at the kitchen sink you might just quote William Ernest Henley "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul" and who could blame you. 
Two of the kitchen windows can be hoisted from a fixed position to extend upward where a simple rope keeps them in place as the kitchen counter top becomes a pass thru to the covered outside dining area. The deck is a man made material that may be Trex deck or something similar. This type of deck stands up to our tropical climate.
The master bedroom is located at the front of the house. The room is extra large as you can see from the photos below. The front windows look out to Frances Street.  The master bath and closet have mirror inserts that add a bit a pizazz to the doors. But it's the door inside the bathroom that opens out to outdoor shower that you will really enjoy opening. There are few things about living in Key West that rival taking an outdoor shower. This one is pretty as a picture.
There are two bedrooms on the second floor. Both rooms are decent sized and offer more living space than you might expect.  Note that each bedroom has a scuttle (a metal capsule that sits atop the roof that opens to allow warm air inside the house to vent to the outside).  (This home has wall unit air conditioners.)
I took more photos of this lovely Key West home which you can see if you CLICK HERE. But better than looking at photos, why don't you call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a showing of this property.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Don't drag your feet on this if you are a serious buyer. It will not last long. There were agents and buyers waiting for me to leave when I recently showed this home to my buyers.

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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.