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Thursday, June 5, 2014

813 Waddell Avenue - Casa Marina Area - Key West

Location! Location! Location! Those are the words that are the driving force in most home sales across this country. And on the Island of Key West the two prime real estate locations are Old Town and the Casa Marina Area. Old Town is know for its historic old houses and white picket fences whereas the Casa Marina Area is know for the larger lots towering palms, and variety of homes that populate the area. The Casa Marina Area has its small share of older historic homes. But it has many mid-century homes and quite a good number of newly constructed homes as well. And the Casa Marina Area has its close proximity to the ocean and beaches that Old Town just does not have.
The mid-century modern home at 813 Waddell Avenue was built in 1954 and sits on an extra large lot that measures 105' X 100' (10,500 sq ft) opposite the Casa Marina Resort.  I dug into my old shoebox and found a 1950's vintage aerial photo that shows 813 Waddell Avenue. If you have been following my blog for a couple of years you may recognize the next door neighboring house which I featured a couple of times as it was being built.  That house is a prime example of new construction that is giving new vitality to this upscale Key West neighborhood.
Not every potential buyer of a home in Key West wants a cigar makers cottage or a grand conch house. And not every new buyer wants to own a mid-century home or a 21st Century reinterpretation of historic Key West architecture. That is what makes the 813 Waddell Avenue so appealing because a new owner could remodel the existing house or raze the house and build an entirely new home. It's nearly impossible obtain permission to raze a home in Old Town.  Having the option gives a new owner so many more possible ways to create exactly what he, she, or they want.

813 Waddell Avenue is actually two separate lots with two separate legal descriptions. A new owner might separate the lots and build two separate houses. I think the larger lot would cost less to develop than building two houses, but I'm not the guy who is going to build a new house or renovate the existing property. Having the option might make this property more interesting to some buyers. 

813 Waddell Avenue is located about two blocks from Higg's Beach.  The dog park is located opposite the beach. Salute's on the Beach is up there as well. The White Street Pier is where the annual 4th of July fireworks display occurs. The rest of the year it's a good fishing pier and sightseeing destination.  Louie's Backyard is located one block west of 813 Waddell Avenue and Doggy Beach is adjacent to the restaurant.   Most of the gyms and yoga studios are located within a five to seven minute walk of 813 Waddell Avenue. Did you know that you can buy a membership to the Casa Marina Club and have access to the private beach and use of the gym (pictured below)?  Upper Duval Street is about seven to ten minute walk. I have lived in the Casa Marina area since 1995. I love the area for its convenience and quiet neighborhood charm.
Higg's Beach

The Thing at Higg's Beach
White Street Pier as photographed in the 1980s - same ocean, same sky, but new rainbows occurring all the time
Casa Marina Resort Health Facility
I have not opined about the current real estate market in several months because our market has been so schizoid.  A few years ago we have lots of short sales, bank owned properties, and a fair share of regular market sale priced properties. When we had too many houses for sale, buyers were fearful of buying. The over supply of inventory has cleared up. Today, we have very few homes available in all price ranges except the very high. But even the very high end properties are selling. That has caused a lot of buyers to consider buying fixer and tear-downs even more-so than previously.

I don't want to go all political and get readers angry with me, but I think the current political climate and especially the negativism directed toward the Washington is hindering the national psyche.  I remember the same anti Jimmy Carter sentiment forty years ago. When he left office and Ronald Regan became President, it was like a heavy burden was lifted off America. When Clinton was in office the economy soared. Then 911 occurred within months of George W. Bush's election. We have lived through fourteen years of anger over what happened on 911. Then we went through the Great Recession. I think there is a pent-up demand from a lot of Americans to feel good about themselves and the national economy.

I think housing prices in Key West will soar in the next couple of years. I think a lot of sellers are sitting on the sidelines waiting.  Just waiting. If I am correct, prices today that might seem high will seem like bargains in a couple of years. This has been the operative history for Key West for many years I have sold houses here. 

813 Waddell Avenue is offered at $1,125,000CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to arrange a showing of this property.  I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,

I'm a big fan of your blog. No matter what I read it everyday. I currently own two homes in Key West and love them both. I also am one of those potential sellers just sitting and waiting. I agree with your prediction for the near future. However, comparing this list price to the price that was paid for the place just a year and a half ago seems VERY aggressive. Good luck to the sellers though!

Gary Thomas said...

Dear Anon, Thanks for reading my blog. Please go back to the Property Appraiser's website where you will see that the owner purchased the two lots separately.

As I wrote in the blog, a new buyer could build two separate houses on fairly good sized lots of more than 5,000 sq ft each or build one really great house on the 10,500 sq ft lot. I would probably do the latter if I were to develop this property. There are a lot of wealthy buyers for big Casa Marina homes.

Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking houses (and empty lots) don't appreciate rapidly down here. Because they do. The scarcity of old houses and lots really is driving up prices.

If a buyer sits back and waits out the market for too long, that buyer may end up not getting anything at all.


Anonymous said...

"Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking houses (and empty lots) don't appreciate rapidly down here. Because they do...."

Sounds familiar. Wait - I know. Same thing realtors said 2005-2008...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clairification Gary. Now that prices makes much more sense. And houses do appreciate rapidly...very rapidly. I purchased my home there in late 2011 and last year it appraised for far more. I set up a pretty sweet equity line and, as I said before, am just waiting.

Anonymous said...

Prices definitely rise more rapidly in KW than in most places. I had to sell my KW house after owning it less than a year and it sold for $300,000 more than I paid. It's worth even more, now, but situations changed and a sale was necessary.


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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.