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Monday, February 10, 2014

1006 - 1008 Fleming Street Key West - Past Made Perfect!


When I first started selling houses in Key West, I questioned a fellow agent about a new listing. She told me all about the house even though it was just listed that day. I asked how she knew so many details about the property. She said something like "Gary, there are only a couple of hundred houses in Old Town. We keep selling the same houses over and over." Nearly twenty years later I understand exactly what she meant as I now have the same type of memory of prior listings which I have shown (or maybe sold) over my stint as a Realtor.  I have come to learn that most new owners redo some part of a property. So what once was may not be what exists at a later date. And redoing what someone else previously did with flare won't deter a new owner from adding his or her own revision.
Today I am writing about the two homes located at 1006 - 1008 Fleming Street in Key West. Before writing today's blog I searched the Sanborn Fire Maps and learned that both 1006 and 1008 were shown on the 1889 edition.  In 1889 1006 Fleming was identified as 421 Fleming St. and 1008 Fleming was known as 421 1/2 Fleming St. A large cottage sat to the rear of 421 1/2 Fleming.  In 1892 the street identifiers were changed. 421 Fleming became 906 Fleming St and 421 1/2 Fleming became 921 1/2 Fleming St. In the 1912 Sanborn Maps the street identifiers changed one last time. 906 Fleming became 1006 Fleming St and 921 1/2 Fleming became 1008 Fleming St. The cottage was always present but never had a street identifier number.  The Sanborn Maps let us know that both houses were in existence by at least 1889.
1006 Fleming Street as it appeared in 1965
1008 Fleming St as it looked in 1965

I remember showing both houses in 2001 when they were offered as an assemblage for the asking price of $899,000. The houses had been updated with an unimaginative design.  The cabinets and appliances were run of the mill. The bath was ceramic tile. A pool was added but it award amid of "garden" of scraggly plants. Nothing joined the two properties into a cohesive whole. That changed after a new owner undertook a huge renovation that corrected the shortcomings of the prior effort. The renovation was remarkable and later appeared in Metropolitan Home Magazine. End of story, or so I thought.
That owner sold 1006 -1008 Fleming Street a couple of years ago. The property is located in the very heart of Old Town Key West. The new owners undertook their own update which has just been concluded. The three building compound is now offered for sale at $2,900,000. The listing Realtor, not me, describes the property as:
"Exquisitely restored & renovated, this captivating Old Town home on a rare large lot is truly perfect & in mint condition. Enjoy a fabulous great room w/soaring ceilings & a new Heart of Pine wall that completely opens up to pool & lush private gardens. Totaling 4 bdrms/4.5 baths including 2 guest houses. Since these owners purchased this compound they have done nothing but refine every detail of this fabulous property. Upgrades include a generator, privacy wall & gate, sprinkler system, pool retiled & refinished, day kitchen in pool house, & off st pkg for 2, hurricane shutters, security, sound & camera system throughout, new doors, landscaping, window treatments & much more!"
Rear outdoor lounge behind 1006 Fleming St
The prior renovation brought the three buildings into harmony by adding an elevated deck area that connected the two original houses plus a new back addition. One of the flaws in the prior renovation was the lack of privacy.  The entry to the compound is off the driveway that separates the two original houses. The new owners added a privacy wall: privacy issue was resolved. The old house first known as 421 Fleming St (and now as 1006 Fleming St) stands in the same location but is now used as guest cottage. It has a living area with built in book shelves, window seat, and a vaulted ceiling. There is a small day kitchen with sleek under counter SubZero refrigeration and a farmer's sink. The bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and lots of closets. And then there is that luxurious tiled bathroom with antique flare.

The original house at 421 1/2 Fleming St is now a guest bedroom in the significantly expanded main house.  The main house stretches from the east to west lot line boundaries.  The listing Realtor detailed all the updates the current owner added.
Bedroom is now used as a home gym. The kitchen is visible as well.
 
 I noticed two additional and remarkable changes to the property. The original pool and unremarkable garden are now unified with a beautiful deck that seems to flow from inside the main house and now extends to the guest cottage at the back of the property. Previously the cottage was accessed via a stone foot path that began at the edge of the pool apron. Now the deck, pool apron, and walkway to the cottage are one.  The landscaping has been refined. So, too, has been the cottage at the rear. Old foliage at the rear of the cottage was removed. The interiors update and a morning kitchen added. This is now the perfect place for writer, artist, or in-law that wants privacy - but not too much of it. 
Master bedroom is located in new addition behind 1006 Fleming Street
1008 Fleming St is now a guest bedroom

If you saw this house before, you must see it again. The foot print is the same but the details are remarkably different. That does not diminish the prior home. Today's view is more like a time date stamp on a passport. CLICK HERE to view all the photos I took of this remarkable property.


CLICK HERE to view the mls datasheet on 1006-1008 Fleming Street and then 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.  Who would think two old houses built before 1889 could look as perfect as these. They are past made perfect!



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gary:)

FloridaAG said...

We saw this on an open house a few years ago. It is an incredible property.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.