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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

820 Carsten Lane, Key West - Old Town Surprise

When I started this blog eight years ago I realized that one of the things that draws people to Key West is the simple way we spend our lives. If you watch any of those reality tv shows about million dollar listings in Beverly Hills or New York you get to see houses for people that live the fast life, the showy life, the I'm very important life. While I amdit I watch those shows, I don't aspire to live in those places. Life in the slow lane is fine with me.
Just listed, but not by me, is 820 Carsten Lane located on one of the cute little lanes that dot our island home. The lane is located on the back side of the old Harris School on Southard Street. The lane runs from Margaret Street to the east to William Street on the west - just one block. There's a dogleg bend in the road about midway through.  The Historic Key West Seaport is a short walk to the north. Duval Street is four blocks west. The cemetery is around the corner to the rear. Near everything but not there.
I found an old black and white photo of the property taken fifty years ago. It shows the simple construction of the original house to be a long wooden box. I checked the Property Appraiser records and learned that numerous improvements and additions to the structure were made in 1996-1999. A pool was added later. The Property Appraiser records show the house was built in 1908 and sits on a 32' X 86' lot. The reconfigured house is laid out a bit different than what you'd find in Peoria, but were not in Peoria. The entrance is now located mid-way on the right side of the house. The old front room is now the main floor bedroom. The living area is in the center of the house and the kitchen is at the rear.
French doors open into the living area which like the front bedroom has a vaulted ceiling. Original Dade County Pine walls have been painted white and present a subtle juxtaposition to the stained wood floors. Skylights were added that bring in additional light.
The front porch railing is visible through the front bedroom window. The original door now opens out to the porch where you could sit and watch the occasional neighbor or tourist walk down the lane.  While the room is not huge, the vaulted ceiling transforms this space into something much larger than actually exists. It works.
The kitchen and bath/closet area complete the back third of the interior portion of this house. The photo shows a gas stove. You have no idea how many potential buyers want a gas stove. Serious! 
I would imagine that most owners would probably use the covered outdoor living area as the primary living space throughout most of the year. The gate at the rear of the yard opens onto Carey Lane, a little dead end lane with some of the most precious cottage homes in Key West.
The second floor tree house bedroom and bath are accessed via an exterior stairway. A small balcony provides a view of the pool and grounds below. The bedroom space is just magical. I took the photos in mid-afternoon. The sun filtered through the tress as I looked down to the pool and I thought I should buy this place. But I already have a house and don't need another one. So I'm staying put and maybe some reader will call me up and say "Show me that tree house!" CLICK HERE to see more photos I took.
820 Carsten Lane is offered at $849,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this really unique home on one located on one of the slow lanes in Key West. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

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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.