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Friday, August 5, 2016

721 Southard Street, Key West - a Fixer-Upper in a Great Old Town Location

The little pink house as 721 Southard Street in Old Town Key West may not catch your eye as much as the beautiful yellow house next door. But it could and it should because it is offered for sale at the new reduced price of $575,000.  This legal duplex can be lived in "as is" or it could be remodeled and improved. The listing Broker, not me, describes the property this way:
"This property is in the heart of Old Town Key West in an X Flood Zone. Legal duplex but could be used as single family with guest unit/rental unit. This is a fantastic opportunity to have an owner occupied unit with rental income or use as an investment property. The main level was owner occupied and the upper 1/1 apartment was tenant occupied. The property is ready for updating and your personal touches. Great location near Duval Street, restaurants, library, and the historic seaport."
I dug down into my old shoe box and found the black and white photo above which shows 721 Southard Street the way it appeared in 1965.   I think this house was updated in the 1950s or 1960s when the original front porch was enclosed and jalousie windows were added. The interiors suggest the same. The photos below show a rustic division where I believe was the porch roof appears at a lower angle inside the current living room area. Fifty years ago a lot of people modernized their homes by adding paneling similar to that shown in the color listing photos. I'll bet the recent owners added the full length mirrors and chandelier in the 1970s or 1980s. I then reviewed the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps. 721 Southard Street appeared on the 1889 map but was then identified as 407 Southard Street. In 1892 the street number was changed to 619 Southard and changed to its current numerator in 1899. The map consistently showed a simple cottage with a front small front porch and a small rear attachment. The Monroe County Property records do not show when the rear addition was added. Since it is not original, I think a new owner may be able to get permission to remove that addition. If I am correct in my assessment, I would suggest a new renovation that would include the restoration of an open front porch overlooking Southard Street. I would remove the "modern" windows and replace with historically correct windows and new wood siding.  I would re-frame the original cottage and seek permission to add a revitalized two story addition at the rear which would reduce the current lot coverage and allow the creation of a larger rear yard. I would personally like to see a pool located there. The lot measures 24.75' in width by 90' in depth or 2228 sq ft. The house next door to the right (pictured above) has a small pool on an exactly the same sized lot. The east side yard (shown in photos at top of this blog) show a five foot space between the buildings which would give a pool contractor sufficient space to remove debris and introduce materials to construct a new pool behind the house.
The home was expanded several years ago by adding a rear addition. Today the main floor has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The legal second second floor unit is accessed via wood exterior staircase. That apartment has one bedroom and one bath.
The door at the back of the above photo opens out from the bedroom to the roof of the front part of the original house. I did not take a photo on either time I showed this home, but the view is really precious. You can see the storybook cottages across the street which I believe are fairly similar to the way this house originally looked.

The two photos above of 718 Southard Street (directly across the street) demonstrate what I think the original front porch of 717 Southard Street looked like before that space was enclosed and jalousie windows were added. A new owner of 717 Southard might prefer a smaller renovation similar this house. That would be cheaper and as you can see from the photo, the resultant house would be utterly charming.

Southard Street is one of the best blocks in all of Key West. The three most expensive listings are currently located on this block. This location is a five minute walk to Duval Street and a short walk to many of the small restaurants and haunts of Old Town. This house is located near the tippy-top of Solaris Hill which is the highest point in town. That means your lender will not require flood insurance if you have a mortgage.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and to view listing photos. 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.

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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.