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Friday, January 31, 2014

1309 Newton Street Key West - Bank Owned Fixer Upper

There are two, no make that three certainties in life in Key West: (1) Death: (2) Taxes; (3) Lots of buyers for Bank Owned Houses.  1309 Newton Street Key West is a Bank Owned property that was just listed, but not by me.It's a fixer-upper that is offered for sale at $249,900.  I spent about ten minutes at the property taking photos. Three other Realtors popped in and out of the house during those ten minutes.  I would suggest that a lot of other agents were there as well that day because this little house is offered at a price point that a lot of potential buyers can afford.
I went to the Sanborn Fire Maps and found 1309 Newton Street first shown in the 1892 edition. The 1300 block of Newton Street was obscured by an overly of another area. So it's a guess as to whether this house was built earlier.  Numerous other houses were built in the same area which is only a block south of the old Army barracks.  The black and white photo above was taken in 1965. It shows metal louvered shutters on the front porch and a modern awning (for that time period) that extends out just a bit. Compare and contrast that black and white photo to the two current color photos that show the same porch and entry that I took.  You will see the metal louvers and awning are gone and replaced with opaque glass louvered windows.  It looks like the porch became some type of living space.
The old front windows now have shutters that open into the enclosed porch room. A long hallway leads from the front door through the kitchen that was added a few years ago to the back "family room" that was also an addition.  A second bedroom is entered just off the kitchen.
There is a small back deck just off the rear bank of windows and door. There is not enough room for a pool. A new owner could put in a hot tub which is portable (removable). No permit is needed for that.
A new owner might consider converting the porch "room" into a real front porch; gutting the interior rooms and reconfiguring the house to create two nice sized bedrooms with a shared bath; install a new kitchen; replace the mix of various windows with historically correct windows; repair or replace the roof as needed (there is a leak in the family room); and maybe shrink the size of the family room to create more deck area at the rear. We spend a lot of time outdoors in Key West. This home could be so much more if the deck area were larger and if the family room widows were replaced by French doors that open to the outdoors. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this property. This is a very narrow lot. A new owner will need to make nice with the neighbors to fix up the exterior sides.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West Association of Realtors mls datasheet on this property.  Even updated this house in my opinion will be a regular home. Buyers who want a place they can rent out as a vacation rental should probably find a place with a larger outdoor space. Buyers who want a flip project need to really consider the cost of doing all the projects that I suggest (or that you and your architect or builder might consider).  I personally don't think this is a flip project at this time. But if you buy this property at this time, fix it up, and hold it for several years, property values will increase and you will have the opportunity to participate in the price appreciation.

Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or send me an email at  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

1012 Fleming Street, Key West - Investment Property

The charming five unit apartment building located at 1012 Fleming Street in Key West was just listed by Preferred Properties Key West. That is where I work, but this is not my listing. The listing agent describes this particularly well located property this way:
"Conch House Multi Unit in a great location on Fleming across from the Eden House Hotel. 4 Rental Units and an owners unit all with their own utility meters. Great opportunity for a buyer who likes the income aspect while enjoying his owners unit."
 I checked the Sanborn Fire Maps for Key West to determine when this building was built. I was surprised to see that it was constructed after the 1889 map and before the 1912 when it appeared on the same lot as 1010 Fleming street. The two properties share a common property line that carves 1012 Fleming apart from the yellow house viewed above. I then dug down inside the old shoebox and found a photo of 1012 Fleming Street taken back in 1965.
Today the building consists of five units that rent at modest rates as compared to other long term rentals I have seen in Key West. The current owner resides in one unit and rents the other four. The building is 2995 sq ft of living space divided among three floors. There is a small garden area at the rear that may have room for a dip pool or hot tub.
The movie CRISSCROSS was filmed in Key West in 1992. The Eden House, located across the street from 1012 Fleming Street, was the home to Goldie Hawn's character and her son. Many locations at the nearby Key West Seaport also played integral parts in the movie.
When Goldie exited the Eden House movie set her view would have been similar the photo below.  Other than painting and perhaps new shutters, the houses in this block look pretty much the same today as the did in 1992 and decades before that.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this five unit investment property that is offered at $950,000.  Better than looking at photos, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. We will need 24 hours advance notice to see the units.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

3433 Riviera Drive - Key West, Florida

Just listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that is where I work but this is not my listing, 3433 Rivera Drive in Key West, Florida. The house sits behind a privacy wall like a lot of the homes in this area. I gotta tell you I was taken by surprise at how cute this 1600 sq ft ranch style home built in 1958 looks today. Oh, was I surprised!  The listing broker describes the property this way:
"Pristine and stylish light-filled home in quiet neighborhood. Front entrance opens onto spacious dining and living area, a good-sized covered terrace and 12X20 foot pool. Two bedrooms, bright kitchen and large adjoining pantry/laundry room. Polished Vermont black slate floors throughout. The exotic backyard has mango and banana trees, a 16 foot long series of antique wooden Indian arches framing the pool, a 4X5 foot outdoor shower with decorative Turkish tiles, and sun the year round. Central AC plus remote controlled ceiling fans. Private and secure with fence, locked gates, alarm and off-street parking. Hurricane shutters for all doors and windows. Sophisticated design & storage. Sunny, inviting and well maintained."
The living area opens out to a covered loggia that overlooks the pool and rear garden.  Who would expect this incredible view in a ranch home at the asking price of just $525,000?
Back inside the cook is never too far away from the family or friends.  The kitchen opens into the living spaces. A small ante-room is located adjacent to the kitchen where it is currently used as an office.
The two bedroom bedrooms share one bath quite efficiently.  The spaces are as pretty as a picture and provide pleasant places to place ones' head after a rough day by the pool.  CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this pretty home.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls  datasheet on 3433 Rivera Drive, Key West, Florida. But better than looking online, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.

Friday, January 24, 2014

3630 Flagler Avenue - Key West, Florida

Just Listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that's where I work but this is not my listing, 3630 Flagler Avenue in Key West.  Buyers who seek a freshly renovated home with the latest in interior finishes and appliances should take a look at this forward thinking 1517 sq ft ranch style home.  The listing agent describes the home this way:
"Brand new renovation from top to bottom. Outstanding family 3/2 bedroom home on a very large corner lot. Kitchen renovation has been opened to increase the great room living space with the latest in appliances and finishes. Marble counter tops, and sliding glass doors reveal a 30 foot kidney shaped pool. On the other side of the pool is a wonderful Lanai surrounded by new and old tropical landscaping. Lots of outdoor lighting for a magical atmosphere at night."
3630 Flagler Avenue is situated a a large tree line lot. The home has a Spanish hacienda look on the outside. Inside, the home is all fresh and new with the latest in glazed floor tiles throughout the house to new exterior pool deck which makes an almost seamless transition to the pool deck and cabana.
Once you enter the home your attention is drawn through the living area and out to the gardens and pool. The rooms meld into a large open space with great views of the outside and still provide a sense of comfyness on the inside. 
The master bedroom with bath are located adjacent to the large kidney shaped pool. Two sets of sliding doors open out to the pool from the master bedroom so that you can take a late night soak in the hot tub or an early morning dip in the pool The two other bedrooms with shared bath are located on the opposite end of the home. You will have privacy from children or friends.  Occupants in the other bedrooms each have sliding doors that open out to a private deck.
The poolside cabana is not quite finished this week, but it will be done next week. The photo below shows the home in the background including the new glazed tile roof and faux painted shutters and wood trim.
CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this wonderful family home or vacation home.  It will work either way. This home is offered at $1,049,000.  Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

1014 Varela Street #4 - Key West - Bank Owned Condominium

Just Listed, but not by me, 1014 Varela Street #4, Key West, Florida.  This is a Bank Owned property in Old Town Key West. This unit is the second floor rear condominium in a small compound of older cottage style homes that were converted into condominiums several years ago. The listing Realtor describes this property as:
"Key West Central Location With Open Living Area/ Kitchen With 2 Bedrooms And 1 Bath Condo With Outside Private Deck To Enjoy The Beautiful Key West Sunshine. This Unit Needs Some Tlc And Personal Touches."
I actually went over to the property early this morning to take photos of this unit. The sun had been up maybe an hour or so. The condo sits behind another house that I wrote about a few years ago in this blog.  When I got back to my office I dug into my old shoebox and found photos of the front and rear properties as they looked before and how they look today.
As is the case for many homes on our small island, 1014 Varela Street #4 is located to the rear of another house. The black and white photo shows how it looked in 1965.  Unit #4 is actually just the second floor unit. The entry is up the steps to the right. The living room is on the right side of the photo and the front bedroom is on the left side.
According to the Monroe County Property Appraiser Unit #4 is 810 sq ft. There are two bedrooms, one bath, a large living room, an updated kitchen, an usual entry plus laundry and a roof top deck.  See the photos below which are self explanatory.
I took more PHOTOS which you can view if you CLICK HERE. The photos show the gated entry to the unit; exterior photos show the unit from various angles; there are interior shots of each room; and photos of the rear deck.  1014 Varela Street #4 is offered for sale at $299,000 or $369 per sq ft.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on this Bank Owned property.  But better than that, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West


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.