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Monday, November 17, 2014

416 Margaret Street, Key West - An Old Town Beauty

The house at 416 Margaret Street really is one of the prettiest homes in Old Town. The listing Realtor, not me, describes this Key West home this way:
"Two blocks from the Historic Seaport and 4 blocks from Duval, this classic home embodies the charm of Old Key West. With original Dade County Pine throughout, the first floor features 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths, living and dining area, and kitchen with granite countertops and top of the line appliances. The lovely covered lanai is the perfect spot to relax poolside. The upstairs studio has a kitchenette, full bath and private entrance -- perfect for visitors. Enjoy cool evening breezes and people watching from the vantage point of the extra wide front porch. Awarded the ceramic star in 2009, this beautifully renovated and maintained home is truly a prize and even has off-street parking and is elevated ABOVE base flood level."
I remember this home before it was renovated. A woman doctor from New Jersey came to Key West at least twice to look at this particular home. Back then the house was a genuine "fixer" that so many potential buyers think they want to buy. She wanted to buy it but found a dozen reasons not to buy it because of all the work she thought it needed. The house was purchased and thoroughly renovated. The renovation was so good, in fact, the the gents that did the renovation were awarded a ceramic star acknowledging the finished home. 
I looked in the old shoebox and found a fifty year old black and white photo of the house plus a picture of a prior owner, Mr. John Lopez.  If you look at the black and white photo you will see a car and a house located behind 416 Margaret Street. That car got to that house by driving down Lopez Lane which still exists today. (The historic Sanborn Fire Maps show 416 Margaret as existing as early as 1889. The 1912 map shows Lopez Lane as then being called Lippitt Ct.) The exterior staircase to the second floor has changed somewhat since the black and white photo was taken. The boxed in landing is now open and a white picket fence with trellis now provides a bit of privacy from passers-by on the sidewalk. You will also note that the house is elevated high above street level. When you sit on the front porch today, you have the perfect perch to people watch.
The house is laid out with both downstairs bedrooms located at the front of the property.  The living room, dining area, and kitchen are located at the back side of the house. This is typical Key West living for the modern age where public spaces are located at the rear of the house where many homes open out to rear porches or decks and pools.
A beautiful covered lanai is located just past the double French doors at the rear of the house. Another door in the kitchen also opens out to the lanai where there is plenty of room for socializing next to the pool and rear garden. There is a sunning area just off the covered portion of the lanai. A rear entrance from the off street parking spot passes by the outdoor shower. A separate door off the dining room provides access to the stairway to the second floor third bedroom efficiency and also alternative exit to the parking space.
The third bedroom is located on the second floor of this home. The only access is via an outdoor straircase. This space was originally a separate apartment. Today the city recognizes that space as being a part of the main residence. Hence, it is not supposed to be rented.  I was informed the prior owner used this space as the master bedroom. The bedroom is like a garret with precious window views of nearby homes set amid the angled room. The space is quite large and very beautiful. 

This1609 sq ft home sits on a 3300 sq ft lot mid-distance between Eaton Street to the north and Fleming Street to the south. The immediate area is a blend of high priced single family homes, guest houses, and some small commercial businesses. The historic seaport if two blocks to the north and Duval Street a five minute walk to the west. This home would make a great vacation rental for a buyer who wants some income to help pay a portion of the purchase price. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view more photos of this thoroughly renovated home that is offered for sale at $1,275,000. Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a showing. Don't make the same mistake the woman doctor from New Jersey made several years ago. Buy this house before someone else does. This is a one-of-a-kind home.

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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.