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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

1319 Catherine Street - Key West

Just Listed by Preferred Properties Key West (that's where I work but this is not my listing) 1319 Catherine Street, Key West. This new listing may appeal to a buyer who wants a property that they can successfully rent throughout the year as a monthly vacation rental.  This two bedroom/two bath home has a lot of features packed into its 743 square feet.  I have a bit of history that dates back to early 1997 when I sold the prior owners an adjacent duplex on Florida Street. They understood the value of owning and controlling abutting property especially during a rising real estate market.  When I saw their residence at 1319 Catherine I was immediately taken by how much they had crammed into the space. A new owner may want to freshen the place up a bit, but the design elements still work.
The feature that stood out most in my mind was the step-through bathroom. I had never seen a bath like this before, but I have seen this feature imitated in other homes since then. Marble tiles lined the floor and three walls in the shower area - either side and the rear wall. A set of French doors took up most of the rear wall with marble tiles making up the balance. The shower basin was a short step down from the bathroom floor and provided a natural spot for the drain. The affect of having and inside - outside shower was just mind boggling to me back then. Those owners did other creative treatments to the house which still exist such as the TV set built into the wall.  
I looked back in the old shoebox and found a photo of 1319 Catherine Street that was taken nearly 50 years ago (see below).  Just below that photo was a listing photo of the same property taken around 2005.  I share these two photos because the show a bit of the architectural evolution of this house which is not evident today. The older photo shows the original vernacular style front portion of the house with a sawtooth addition followed by a shed addition. The front porch had an awning extension and screened in porch area. The awning extension and screens were removed by 2000. Today the front facade is only partially visible. There is a lot of foliage that hides the sweet architecture of this small house.  If I owned this house I might try to emulate the facade and fenced yard of the Tennessee Williams house just a couple of blocks away (see fourth photo below). I know the houses are not identical but the look could be really attractive.
1319 Catherine Street - 1965
1319 Catherine Street - 2005
1319 Catherine Street - 2014
 If you look back up at the black and white photo you can better understand the layout of the 1319 Catherine Street as it currently exists. The front door leads into the living room. One bedroom is on the front right. The second bedroom is in the sawtooth addition, also on the right.  The kitchen is in the shed addition at the rear left. The step through shower is on the right side of the shed addition.
A subsequent owner added a small pool and outdoor bathroom with toilet and shower.  If you have never had a chance to take an outdoor shower in Key West, you have missed one of the daily joys us Key Westers enjoy. There is nothing like taking a shower and looking up to the blue sky and palm trees - especially when you think of the suckers up north in America who are freezing to death.  If you rented this home as a vacation rental, your guests will relish the intimate surroundings.  
 The photos above shows a canvas covered, screened porch that is annexed off the living room. The "ceiling" inside the covered space is actually wood. This space is not counted in the legal square footage of the house because the space is not permanent and is not capable of being air conditioned. Nevertheless, it adds to the living space of the main house to some degree. Notice also the herringbone bricked off street parking.

Not every buyer needs a big home that is a monument to how successful he or she has been in life. A lot of people prefer smaller homes such as this that are less costly to maintain (an insure) year over year.  1319 Catherine Street is offered at just $609,000CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos of this property. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up an appointment to view this home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Don't wait on this one. It will go under contract right away. If you snooze you will lose.

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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.