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Saturday, December 19, 2015

1107 Southard Street, Key West, Florida

The newly listed house at 1107 Southard Street in Old Town Key West has been occupied by the same family for decades.  The last family member left the home in 2011 and it has sat vacant since then. It is now is available for purchase at the asking price of $549,000. The house still has some of the furniture and memorabilia that made this house a home for many years.
The house first appeared on the 1892 Sanborn Fire Map. I searched through my old shoe box and found the black and white photo above taken in 1965. The original vernacular style house was a typical one story home built upon piers. The front porch spanned the front facade from side to side. The home was plain Jane and had no ornamentation. The black and white photo shows a metal awning attached to the front to provide shade. That photo shows the original roof line had been modified to permit usage of the second floor as additional living space.  The side yard to the left provides additional outside space for the owners. A cistern was and still is located near the far end of the open space. The front portion provides off street parking. The metal awning exists no more. The original wood railings were replaced with CBS blocks. Cuban tiles now cover the front porch floor. Wrought iron bars give the front louvers an ominous aura.
The house is constructed of Dade County Pine which is for the most part in pretty good condition. All of the exterior and interior wood needs scraped, sanded, and painted, but the good thing is it has not been messed with.  I have seen a lot of older homes where the Dade County Pine was sand blasted, painted, faux painted, and so on. There's a clean palette of potential with wood in this home. I did not measure the first floor ceiling height but reckon it to be 8' or 9'. The second floor ceiling is much lower - probably less the 7'. The house has no insulation and no air conditioning. When you view the interior photos below you will quickly deduce the home needs all new electric and plumbing. The roof will need replaced as well.
If the photos scare you, don't let them. Many of the old houses in Key West looked like this before those houses were renovated. The jalousie windows will be replaced with approved wood casement windows.  The linoleum covered floors will likely be stripped and refinished. Once the electric and plumbing has been installed, the walls will likely be injected with insulation to make the house more energy efficient.
The second floor currently has two bedrooms, the main bathroom, and a storage room. You may have noticed there are no closets. This house is typical of the way houses used to function. These homes were for working people whose lives were lived much differently decades ago than the way we live today. During renovation some of the interior walls will be removed and living spaces relocated to other parts of the house. If a pool is created out of the old cistern, the existing first floor "front room" would probably get converted into a bedroom. The back of the first floor would likely become a great room with kitchen, dining, and living spaces combined. French doors would probably open out to a new deck which would extend directly out from the house. I think there is plenty of room on the second floor to create two good sized bedrooms each with en-suite baths. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this home.
While no two renovations can or should look alike, let me share with you how an owner of a very similar nearby vernacular home renovated a very similar second floor front bedroom. I think you will appreciate the height limitations and how this owner capitalized space maximization. Key West has a lot of very talented designers, architects, and general contractors that can help you create the Key West house of your dreams.
Southard Street gets a fair amount of daytime traffic. But that traffic gets drastically reduced after 5:00 PM when the courthouse and offices close for the day. Conch Trains and delivery trucks disappear from the streets as tourists move towards Mallory Square to view sunset or to head for dinner. The neighborhoods in Old Town return to the people who live there. This neighborhood includes the old Key West armory which is located at the corner of White Street. A fancy design store is located on the next corn at Frances Street. Cafe Sole, Azur, Michael's, and Mangia Mangia are all within easy walking distance. There is a neighborhood convenience store located one block north of the armory. And there are several gyms and yoga studios located within a five to seven minute walk.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls datasheet on 1107 Southard Street which is offered for sale at $549,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. If you buy this home this year, you will have a Key West home for Christmas next year.

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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.