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Friday, February 12, 2016

614 Frances Street, Key West - Sophisticaed Renovation

Just Listed, but not by me, 614 Frances Street, Key West. This freshly renovated home is located on one of the very best blocks in Old Town. The former top selling Realtor in Key West dubbed Frances Street "the Park Avenue of Key West". When you sit on the front porch and look across the street at the two large homes that extend one entire block to the rear, you may agree this is a high society location.
The listing Realtor, not me, describes this 1700 sq ft home this way:
"A stunning combination of classic Old Town charm with a head-to-toe remodeling gives you the best of both worlds all on coveted Frances Street. Every benefit of renovated living - from new floors, electric, plumbing, roof, windows, doors, air conditioning to everything in between - including vaulted ceilings, fully insulated walls and impact-resistant Euro-designer folding doors that open to a newly constructed pool and private covered patio. 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths - including a spacious master suite with in-suite bath - provide ample comfort all on one level. Stay high and dry in the heart of Old Town in the desirable X-flood zone. The home also features 2-car off-street parking and a lovely guest cottage. It's the total package for anyone seeking the best in Key West living on a corner lot (off of a quiet lane) in a sophisticated neighborhood."


I dug into my old shoe box and found a photo dated 1965 that shows how 614 Frances Street looked then. If you look carefully you may agree with me that the base of the front porch appears to be cement which suggests the porch was not original because the porches on most historic homes were wood. The flat and boxy roof looks more like a 1950s addition than something that would have been a part of the original house. I then checked the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and determined the house first appeared on the 1892 Map. The 1889 map did not show any houses on Frances Street between Southard  to Olivia. I am confident many houses did exist but were omitted from the map. The two color photos dated 2009 show a different styled roof with pseudo-Victorian thingamajigs added. The 2016 photo shows the freshly renovated home with a crisp white facade, new roof with historically correct metal shingles, and a white picket fence. There is off street parking located to the left. The main entry is tucked on the right side just off Roberts Lane. This little lane adds separation and privacy from the small enclave of houses located there.
As a practical matter an owner would probably park the car and enter the house on the south or kitchen side. Guests would likely enter from the Roberts Lane entrance on the north whereupon they would walk into the large living area with vaulted ceiling. Most of the ceilings in the home are vaulted and have recessed lighting. New wood floors were added to all of the house except the bathrooms. The historic Dade County Pine wall boards were removed from the living room and master bedroom. New insulation was added throughout the house together with all new electric service, plumbing, and air conditioning. The Dade County Pine was planed and reinstalled creating what I like to call "drama walls". I think a new owner could use very contemporary furnishings or look backward and use over-stuffed furniture as well. The kitchen cabinetry, counter tops, and back splash are uber chic. There are abundant windows and doors that bring lots of light into the communal living spaces.
The listing Realtor describes the impact glass doors as Euro. They look like Nano door systems to me. Whatever they are, they look great - especially the folding living room doors that fold back and let the outdoors merge with the indoors. The waterfall pool is a new addition to this home. Newly planted tropical foliage will soon fill in and provide more privacy for the pool area. The little cottage to the south was totally updated. It has a separate bath and closet. It would definitely work well as a writer's cottage, private gym or yoga studio, or a bedroom for a teen who like to listen to loud music.
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The main house has three bedrooms. A center hallway leads from the living area to the master bedroom which is located in the front building of this saw tooth home. The original front door opens out to what is now a private porch looking out to Frances Street. What a delightful little area this is.  I must add that I was really impressed by the quality of the workmanship and the materials used in this renovation. There is a lot of attention to detail throughout this house.
Both guest bedrooms have vaulted ceilings which reflect the soaring heights of the saw tooth construction. You'd never think the bedroom space above is located in an house that is perhaps 125 years old. But it is. CLICK HERE to view more photos I took of this home.
614 Frances Street is offered for sale at $1,950,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West mls data sheet. 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.  This old house may the home to our new future.

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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.