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Friday, October 18, 2013

630 Elizabeth Street - Key West

Frequent readers will recall my former listing at 630 Elizabeth Street (above). The house sits at the very top of Solares Hill - the highest point on the Island of Key West. Passers-by could not help notice how poorly she looked.  Last year the new owner had started a major renovation to the property when his business and home were devastated by Super Storm Sandy. That put the Key West project on hold. The renovation was stopped after the new foundation had been added. The property is now offered at the asking price of $650,000 or $328 per sq ft which makes it the least expensive property for sale in Old Town on a per square foot basis
630 Elizabeth Street built circa 1887, photographed in 1965
Photo taken during renovation of the piers
This property was historically a two unit. In the very old days the downstairs unit was a neighborhood store. Presumably the owner lived on the second floor. The property was converted into a legal duplex in the 1970s. The downstairs was a three bedroom apartment. The second floor was a two bedroom apartment.  The property would still qualify as a duplex were a new owner want to keep that usage.  However, in my opinion the highest and best use of this property would be to make it into a single family residence.

The listing Realtor describes the property today as:
"Historical renovation project 1.5 blocks from Duval street, built in 1887 located at the highest point in Key West on the top of Solares Hill. The seller began the renovations on a legal duplex and has plans already in place which would convey with the sale. The property also has plans to be turned back into a single family home. The seller has lifted the property up and renovated the footers/subfloor, leveled the home and placed it back down. Inside is now stripped down to just the shell so it is prepared for the floor plan of your choice.2nd floor views looking down Solares Hill are extraordinary. Plans Provide for 2300 sq ft of Living Space upon Completion of Remodel plus Porches&Siding (Exc20%of Existing)."
View from the second floor looking down Windsor Lane
The photos immediately below demonstrate balloon framing. The exterior walls support the structure. The second floor will then be added to stabilize the entire building. Finally, the interior framing will be added.
Early photo showing balloon framing

630 Elizabeth Street is vastly improved from the way it looked when purchased. With the piers replaced and the building stabilized, the hard and most expensive part of the renovation has been done. Building plans have been approved by HARC and the building permits are in place. However, a new owner could change things - even at this late date.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view listing photos. This property is listed by Scott Forman who kindly gave me permission to write about it in my blog.  If you are interested in seeing this property please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. 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.