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Monday, December 29, 2014

1709 Washington Street, Key West

The listing agent at Preferred Properties Key West, that's where I work but this is not my listing, describes 1709 Washington Street this way:
"You will fall in love with this beautiful conch house located on Washington Street. From the wraparound porch to the the 16' ceilings, Dade County pine and stunning original crown molding, this house is full of historic character but also virtually brand new inside. The floors are wide plank Hickory and the roof, windows, kitchen and baths all brand new. There are 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, including a master-suite and a guest bath with claw-foot tub. Glass doors open onto the large lanai perfect for outdoor entertaining and swimming pool. For the tinkerers,there is a detached small workshop with A/C. Pets will be happy here too as there is a lot of yard space,fenced and secure. This home offers indoor/outdoor living at it's finest."
The last time I showed this home to potential buyers I said something like it is located in the country.  Up north in America the term country evokes visions of wheat fields, farm animals, and a pastoral lifestyle.  Down here in Key West country conjures up an older Key West conch style house located outside of Old Town - out in the boonies where the lot sizes are larger and where there are fewer homes and more open spaces. This particular property is located six blocks east of White Street and two blocks north of Flagler Avenue in an area where most of the neighboring houses were built in the middle part of the last century.  It's an extra minute drive from the higher priced homes in the Casa Marina area. This home sticks out not like a sore thumb but more like a wonderful reminder of what once was. It's a quiet reminder of diverse historic Key West architecture that makes our island home so appealing to folks from around the world.
The single story home at 1709 Washington Street has 1017 sq ft of living space under air. It sits on a 52' x 94' (4862 sq ft) lot near the corner of Ashby Street. (That's about the same size lot as you will find in the Casa Marina area and twice the size you'd expect in Old Town.)  This is the general area where Mid Town Key West begins. Most of the homes in this area are single family residences and most of these homes are owner occupied.You won't find many vacation rentals in this area as vacationers tend to prefer to be closed to Duval.
The front porch wraps around this home on either side. You will really appreciate the joy of having a covered porch on any day we have a huge rainstorm. If you have ever stayed in a Shipyard condo and have had to run from your care to your condo through the maze of  gravel walkways, you'll appreciate what I mean. Plus the covered porch looks great the rest of the time. Not all houses have these porches but those that do usually look terrific. The formal entry is actually located midway on the east side of the house which opens into the newly renovated kitchen. A hallway leads to the living room at the front of the house. A crisply updated Dade County Pine wall is set off by three pastel walls.  White trim on the windows, door, and crown molding punctuate the simple architectural elements.
I had shown this home a few years ago before the current owner purchased it. I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautifully this house had been renovated. Each room looks freshly updated. The colors and architectural elements are all crisp and clean as if poised for a new owner to take over the property. 
This home has a really nice semi-enclosed covered deck area located just off the newly renovated kitchen.  As a new owner you will probably spend most of your time in this area where there is a mini-fridge and wine cooler and television.  The pool is located just steps away from the covered deck. The pool ought to stay sunny during most of the day. Buyers who like to actually swim will love this pool. And there is even an outdoor shower. Move to Key West and you will love taking showers under the sun or moon. Or even in the rain - you just turn up the temperature a little bit to get the shower of your life. Also note the small adjacent building. The listing agent told me the space is large enough to be used as a small office or studio. I have not been inside so I don't know from personal knowledge how large a space exists.
1709 Washington Street is offered for sale at $899,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view more listing photos.  Please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this move-in ready home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your home in Paradise. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Interview is coming to the Tropic in Key West

The lead story in today's KEY WEST CITIZEN reads 'The Interview' coming to Tropic.  That headline got me so excited I had to go down to the Tropic Cinema in the wee hours of this morning to take a photo of the theater, the Marilyn Monroe statute, and "The Interview' movie poster, each of which is symbolic of what is right with America.
I often write about Key West being located out in the middle of the ocean far from the mainland. You have to fly, sail, or intentionally drive three hours or more to get here. Key West is so far removed from the mainland that people unfamiliar with Key West often wonder how we survive. As far removed from civilization as we may seem, we are an incredibly connected society nonetheless. So it came as no surprise that the Tropic Cinema joined other independent theaters across America that petitioned Sony Pictures to let them show the movie the big chains were afraid to show.

While being interviewed by The Citizen Matthew Helmerich, executive director the non-profit theater, said the decision to show the controversial movie is really a matter of "free speech". And it is. Like many Americans I was outraged that a group of hackers made SONY seemingly walk away from a multimillion dollar investment over threats by mad man.  Helmerich said "The Tropic Cinema has a long history of speaking our minds." 

Marilyn Monroe is an icon - maybe the biggest icon of the 20th Century. She became not only a sex symbol but also a symbol of America. We export culture to the rest of the world. What better a model of what is right about America than a beautiful and talented woman. And in Key West we will celebrate our right to free speech by watching a comedy about an evil man.

Just over Marilyn's right shoulder is the movie poster for "The Interview'.  I don't recall having ever paid money to watch a Seth Rogen or James Franco movie, but I'm gonna watch this movie. The thing I appreciate about living in my adopted hometown is that you can be whoever you want to be in Key West. You can live the life you want to live here. Most of us that came here left someplace else that wasn't where we want to spend the rest of our lives. I for one have never taken well to having some other person tell me what I had to do or what I could not do. I hope people from all across America show up at their hometown theaters to give notice to the hackers and the North Koreans that we are free to decide for ourselves whether to watch a silly movie. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

1313 United Street, Key West - A Lucky New Listing!

Just listed by Preferred Properties Key West, that is where I work but this is not my listing, 1313 United Street. Buyers looking for a charming house with the potential for some legal income or property that could be tweaked a bit without breaking the bank should take note of this abode which the listing agent agent describes as:
"A delightful duplex on a nice big lot, this property has many surprising features. The downstairs owners unit has been completely renovated, with elegant molding, new hardwood floors, split-system A/C, two bedrooms with private baths, and a half bath off the living/dining area. A galley kitchen opens out to an inviting rear deck with views of the tropical gardens and a cute little cottage with many possibilities. There is room for a pool and expansion of the existing cottage. Upstairs is a spacious one bedroom one bath apartment with its own kitchen, washer/dryer and air conditioning. A surprise is a real cellar, currently used for storage. Easy conversion back to single family residence."

The black and white photo shows 1313 United Street as it appeared in 1965. I think it looks so much better today. The old carport is gone. Now one of the two main  level bedrooms (both with en-suite baths) occupy the space on the east side of the house. The main living area is a large open space that flows into the recently updated kitchen at the rear of the house.  There's a powder room just off the dining area.
The large kitchen is bright and cheery.  New cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and easy flow out to the deck and beautiful backyard make this cooking and dining area such a delight.
CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of the property. This house came as a big surprise to me. I was not expecting a house this gracious at this price point. This main house is spotless and is move in ready. There is room for a pool in the rear. A new owner might want to convert the rear cottage into a pool side cabana. An outdoor shower is located at the side of the rear cottage already.  The legal apartment is accessed via an exterior staircase on the side of the house. Look at the photos to see that unit. A new owner might use that space as a home office. I get a lot of attorneys and semi-retired execs looking for a place where they can stay busy when not enjoying their life in Key West. This space would be perfect. And if you wanted some income to help pay the costs of home ownership, this apartment is legal.

Please CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and view listing photos. 1313 United Street is offered at $795,000. 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. This could be your lucky day if you snag 1313 United Street.

Monday, December 22, 2014

1017 Thomas Street, Key West - Just Listed

Just Listed, but not by me, 1017 Thomas Street which is located in the Bahama Village Area of Key West. The listing Realtor describes this charmer this way:
"Cozy, Charming and Completely renovated in 2014, this three bedroom, three bathroom cottage has seen a remarkable make-over. The third bedroom has access to small outside patio and would make a great den or office. Beautiful new kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances overlooks the living area. Off Street parking and just steps to the beach and Duval St. Perfect Key West Beach Cottage."
The black and white photo above was taken about fifty years ago. I know all things change over the years and many change for the worse. But if you ask me, this place looks so much better today than it did back then. In fact it looks much better today than it did a couple of years ago when it was first offered for sale.
This remodeled home offers sits on a 50' X 41.9' lot (2095 sf) lot with off street parking and a white picket fence. Once you pass the gate and step through the very low maintenance yard you arrive at the cute front porch. Note the unique wood shutters and contrast the blazing white of the house. This place is a standout! Once inside your eyes continue to be awed by the simplicity of design. Sometimes less is more and that is certainly the case here. The understated tones let this little home show off big time.
The cheerful front bedroom has an en-suite bath. Note the new wood floors that flow throughout the house.
The middle and rear bedrooms each have private baths as well. This owner is using the rear bedroom as an office. CLICK HERE to view more photos that I took of this cute cottage home.

This home is located two blocks from Duval Street, one block from Blue Heaven and other nearby eateries, and five minute block ride from Ft Zach Taylor Beach. Some day the city will eventually get the Truman Waterfront Park opened and darling little houses like this will have quick access to the waterfront as well. 
1017 Thomas Street is offered at $669,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and to view listing photos. After you've looked at photos, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to set up a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Remember, there are only two shopping days until Christmas. Better move it and get this place before all the After Christmas Shoppers hit Key West. Our housing supply is very low. Cute little places like this will go flying off the shelf next week!


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.