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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

415 Frances Street Key West, Florida - A Classic Bahamian Eyebrow House

The recently listed house at 415 Frances Street in Old Town Key West is described by the listing Realtor, not me, as:
"This beautiful example of a classic Bahamian eyebrow style home has been totally renovated from top to bottom. The first floor of the main house includes a formal living room with exposed Dade Pine walls, study/den which could possibly be a 4th bedroom, full bath and gorgeous great room. The great room features a vaulted ceiling, built-in cabinetry, recessed lighting and granite countertops and stainless appliances in the kitchen. Upstairs are two large, sunny guest bedrooms. The separate cottage is a private master suite with vaulted ceiling and multiple sets of French doors opening onto the large deck and access through the bath to a private deck with outdoor shower. There is an inground pool, off-street parking and lots of outdoor space."
I have shown this home several times over the many years I have been selling homes in Key West.  It has always been a favorite of mine because of the classic lines of the main house, the inviting rear cottage, and the spacious and sunny pool that separates the two buildings. The first home I owned at 511 Eaton Street had the same style delicate French doors at the front entry. Those doors have been retained and create a gracious entrance into this beautiful home. The most recent update put this home in move-in condition for a new owner. Nothing needs to be done or fixed. The interiors glisten. The home has been freshly painted throughout. Side and rear windows and doors have been replaced by wind impact resistant windows. The roof on the main house was replaced. The effect of these updates will reduce the cost of windstorm insurance for the new owner.

I dug into the old shoebox to see if I could find a photo of the house before any renovations were done. I did find a photo taken in 1965. Contrast that black and white photo with the color photo immediately below. Note the original "windows" were actually louvers - a metal shutter device used in many older Key West homes before electricity and way before air conditioning.  Note also the slant of the rear portion of the roof. You will see the angle is less pronounced than the front portion. This slant created additional head space on the second floor to allow for the two rooms to be used as bedrooms.  You will also see a shed addition that attaches to the rear of the main house. Anybody familiar with the house as it existed almost fifty years ago would be pleased with the sensitive transformation to the property it has become. I found 415 Frances Street on the 1889 Sanborn Fire Map for Key West. That means the original house was built before 1889.
The old louvers were replaced with impact windows and doors except the front windows. Bahamian style shutters cover the other windows for decorative purposes. The front porch was beefed up with substantial columns and a new banister added to create a wonderful porch for sitting and watching the world go by.  A white picket fence, off street parking spot, and a couple of palm trees and other tropical foliage complete the classic eyebrow house look.

Inside, you will see the original house was and is still divided into quadrants. Main floor left is the formal living area. Main floor right is a small bedroom or study. The main floor bath is located behind the front main floor bedroom or study.  There are two bedrooms located on the second floor.
The open family room, dining area, and kitchen are located in the addition to the rear of the main house.  It appears to me this space was created in two separate additions to the original house. Whatever the case, the new spaces look great and provide an inviting space to kick back and enjoy the this user friendly home.  During the winter the French doors open out to the sunny pool and newly rebuilt deck. During the summer the doors are most likely kept shut to keep the cool inside.
The cottage at the rear of the property was also recently updated. New impact doors were added. These doors open out to the sunny pool. Consider how many houses you may have looked at in Old Town that have "dip" or "cocktail" pools and lots of trees or tall neighboring houses that block sun.  Ain't gonna happen here. This home has a large pool, lots of sun, and no tall neighboring houses to diminish your privacy or take away your sun.
The interior of the master suite is so tastefully outfitted.  Plantation shutters provide privacy when needed and open to reveal the pool when desired. The huge double vanity and closet are located behind the bedroom area. The W/C is off by itself. There is both an indoor and outdoor shower ( a must-have in my opinion). And there is a wrap around the house deck that provides some private sunning space for an all over tan.

Buyers who want to purchase a home they can rent as a monthly vacation rental will be pleased to learn that this home has been rented this way for several years.  You won't need to create a market for renters to find this home. They already know about the great location near the seaport and the convenient walk to Duval Street which is near enough.

415 Frances Street is offered for sale at $1,425,000 for this four bedroom two bath home with a total of 1849 sq ft of living space.  CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet for more information and more photos.

After you have view the facts, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a personal tour of this home.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.  Let me help you find your place in Paradise.  

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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.