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Thursday, March 19, 2015

1211 Duncan Street, Key West - Bank Owned!

There is a new Bank Owned home located at 1211 Duncan Street in Key West that bargain hunters will surely pounce on.  It has an affordable price tag for our town, just $424,700. It is in basic move-in condition, but it has room for improvement which will make it not only a better house down the road but also a more valuable home for eventual resale.

I dug not too far down into my old shoebox and found a black and white photo of the house taken fifty years ago. I took another from a similar location yesterday. The neighborhood has improved over the years. There are a lot of palm trees and bougainvillea bushes that line this small street that extends east from White Street about five blocks where it eventually ends at George Street. Tennessee Williams lived two blocks to the east at 1431 Duncan Street. It's a nice little area just south of Bayview Park.
1211 Duncan St, Key West in 1965

1431 Duncan St - the former home of author Tennessee Williams
The Monroe County Property Appraiser records show this house was built in 1933 which we all know was in the Great Depression when Key West was kept "alive" thanks to federal programs like the WPA. I guaranty that this house was not built in 1933. I looked at the Sanborn Fire Maps and found what I think is this property on the 1912 map. The house was located immediately east of 1209 Duncan and was only designated as "A" on the map. 1209 Duncan St. still exists today. So I am pretty confidant that 1211 Duncan existed as early as 1912. And it is probable that it existed earlier. The earlier Sanborn maps neglected this area entirely in the 1889 and 1899 maps.
The house has been updated over the years. The Property Appraiser website shows permits were taken out for various upgrades including roof replacement in 1996 and 2001, piers replacement in 2002, and upgrade to electric service also in 2002. The property was 'red tagged' in 2007 for various building code violations. The current layout suggests that a prior owner added some spaces that might have been used as rental units. For example, there is a second 'front' door to what is essentially a large bedroom with large private bath. If you look again at the black and white photo you will see a window to the right of the front door. That window is missing today and there is a second front door in its place. The original front door opens into a center hallway that leads to the rear where the great room where the combined living, dining, and kitchen are located. There are two bedrooms on the left side of the hallway and a bath opposite. There is a ladder that provides access to a 'loft' over the bedroom adjacent to the living area. The door at the back opens onto a small back deck where there is a second 'cottage'.

The back cottage is a 34' X 12' two room building with a 6' X8' bath extension. The building looks it was built within the last twenty or thirty years. There is a 16' X 16' deck which is accessed via the bathroom of all things. This is an unconventional layout. I have added photos below so that readers can see the cottage as it exists.
I think the highest and best use of this property would be to take this property back to a simple cottage with one front door and have just two or three good sized bedrooms with private baths. By taking down the existing wall between the two bedrooms on the left side of the house you could create a larger bedroom and perhaps use some of the space to expand the living area. That would surely be a plus in my opinion. I would ditch ladder to the silly loft space and instead increase the interior height of the bedroom which is now not quite claustrophobic but not good design either. The kitchen has been nicely updated. The black appliances are a bit harsh but will make do until they need replaced.
Take Down This Cottage and Put in a Pool and Garden!
I would take down the rear cottage and silly deck. I would then add a pool and install a nice covered rear deck. Less is often more.  Removing this odd duck cottage is the best thing a new owner could do with this property. There is plenty of room for a good sized pool and expansive deck and gardens. This area abuts the rear concrete block wall of a commercial building on White Street. Someone created a really nice tropical mural on the wall. I can envision a real garden that interacts with the mural. This could be quite an outdoor area if done correctly. CLICK HERE to view all the photos I took of this property.

1211 Duncan Street is offered at $424,700. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to show you this property. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Don't miss this buying opportunity!

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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.