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Friday, October 30, 2015

712 Ashe Street, Old Town Key West - Room for Improvement

The house at 712 Ashe Street has been on the market 36 days as of October 30, 2015. It is located in the Old Town area of Key West. This is the area where most second home buyers want to locate.

The listing Realtor (not me) describes this property this way:
"This total renovation project or tear down home has been in the same family since it was built in 1933. Located in a fantastic area of million dollar plus homes in the X flood zone, where flood insurance is not required. The values in this neighborhood could support the types of improvements this home requires. Current home sits very far forward on the deep lot, giving it plenty of room in the rear for additions, pool, etc. Buyer to verify what can be done with the lot through HARC."
I looked through my old shoe box and found the above black and white photo of this property that was taken in 1965. I was intrigued by the old car which I recognized as a Nash Rambler. I found a photo of this same make which was manufactured in 1952. Then I found a recent color photo of the same make and age. It's remarkable how good a classic old car can look if properly maintained and or restored. The house at 712 Ashe Street hasn't fared that well, however.
I often tell buyers that houses are just boxes. Some "boxes" look a lot better than others. 711 Ashe Street sold earlier this year for $1,000,000 despite the fact that its view is of the rather run down 712 Ashe. The location is the same, however. Ashe Street runs three blocks beginning at Southard Street at the north to Olivia Street at the south. Most of the houses on this little block are in really good condition.  I believe this property is in such poor condition that a new owner will seek permission to raze the original house and to build a new structure. You normally can't tear down an old house and build new. I think this will easily qualify for demolition.
I checked the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and found this property first appearing on the 1892 map. The 1889 map blanked out a major portion of this area. No houses were shown. Since houses appeared on nearby blocks on that map, I assume this house probably existed at least three years or more earlier. It is unfortunate that this property was maintained as good as it should have. Other homes on this block have been successfully restored. I don't think there is much hope for this place. The important thing to remember is that the rest of the houses look so much better. This is an opportunity for a new owner to do something really creative.
The Monroe County Property Appraiser shows the lot as being 32' wide by 93' deep or 2930 sq ft. There is a small metal shed at the rear where the current owner has a laundry. This is good for a couple of reasons: first this building could remodeled as part a renovation of the existing house or the construction of a new house.The lot is large enough to allow a new house, a new pool, and renovate the rear building. Second, there is water, sewer, and electricity to this building. This will somewhat mitigate construction costs.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet and listing photos on this property which is offered for sale at $550,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to discuss. 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.