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Saturday, November 15, 2014

622 United Street - Old Town - Key West



Just Listed, but not by me, 622 United Street in Key West.This house dates back to World War II when it was used as an Army barracks and then located at Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West. At the end of the war the Army sold off these barracks at $100 each. Each buyer had to relocate the barracks to a different location. The photo below shows the approximate location where Army barracks similar to the one that was relocated to 622 United Street once sat. The wide open street on the right side of the photo below is United Street. Moving the house would have been pretty easy back then because there were fewer trees and no historic body that regulated who could build what. I am not saying it was better. It was different. And it worked.
The black and white two photo above was taken nearly fifty years ago. The color photo was taken in November 2014. The exterior of the house looks pretty much the same today as it did then. A small shed addition was added to the right (west) side of the house which is where the laundry room is photo located. A larger shed addition was added to the left (east) side of  the house which was previously a semi-enclosed porch with numerous louvered windows which had views of the rear, east side, and front yards. If you do a quick comparison you will see that the trees have certainly grown and wall unit air conditioner was added. The original asbestos siding is still intact.

I recently showed this property to a prospective buyer. It looks to me as though the original interior walls were removed and new studs installed to create a new layout. Some insulation has been placed between stud walls. I'm not sure about the direction the current owner has taken on renovation.  I'm not saying it is wrong, but instead suggesting a new owner might go another direction.  I don't think scrapping the existing layout or "improvements" would be wasteful because so much finish work needs to be done. It makes more sense to get the layout and finishes done which would result in a superior property. A new owner might completely redo this simple 904 sq ft house.  If I owned this house I would remove the asbestos siding and replace with traditional clapboard siding.  I would take out the old "picture window" and all other windows and replace with new wood windows. If I could afford impact windows, I'd do that in a New York minute. That would save on windstorm insurance year after year and it would eliminate the need for ugly metal panels.  The roof is looking a bit worn. It should probably be replaced as well.  This house is located on United Street which is the second highest elevation in town. The original piers looked to me to be in very good condition. A home inspector would need to verify my assumption. But if I am correct, the piers do not need to be redone and that would result in costs savings to a new owner seeking a project property.

The current owner started to enclose the east side porch shown below. I would remove all drywall and rethink how I could use this space. The drywall that was installed blocked the only access from the house to the back yard. That should be undone pronto because you have to have easy access to your outdoor space. There is not enough room for a pool, but there is room for a spa and patio. The room is not large enough to be used as a bedroom, but it might be large enough to be used as a kitchen if some of  window area was enclosed to provide upper cabinets. There would not be any space for dining, however. That's why the used needs to be thought out before building continues.
This property is located on a well traveled street during the daytime. Traffic on this street really diminishes after 6:00 PM. The house is located next to a motel and across the street from single family homes to the east and low impact offices to the west. South Beach is located one block to the south and west. Duval Street is two blocks west. I view 622 United Street as being an excellent location for a vacation rental which is what I think this property ought to become.


622 United Street sits on a quite irregularly shaped lot of 3103 sq ft.  While the front and side lot lines are easily understood, the back property line is a hodgepodge. The asking price on this fixer is $390,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. Please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to show you this Key West house. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. This house has a great location and a lot of upside for the right buyer.

1 comment:

ss said...

What a unique historic rehab this could be! And in a great location. Now, if I can just pull together the 400k...

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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.