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Thursday, December 22, 2016

1021 Packer Street, Key West - Renovation Project with Potential

Key West has changed a lot in the past half century. The town was re-discovered in the 1970s by hippies, gays, and the literary. During the 1980s and 1990s word of this magical laid back town located out in the ocean spread by word of mouth. Soon thereafter the Monroe County Tourist Development Council was formed to promote tourism. Depending on who you talk to the TDC has been a wondrous success or a Frankenstinian ogre that is destroying the very Paradise it was designed to promote.
The above black and white photo was taken in 1965 and shows 1021 Packer Street with an open front porch with center doorway and windows on either side.The house resembled a bungalow rather than cigar maker cottage which was as is typical of this part of town. A later owner enclosed the front porch where a bathroom was added adjacent to what may have been the original living room. I believe that owner built the rear addition that included a kitchen, living area, and rear deck. The addition must have been made before HARC existed or was done in the middle of the night. I can't believe any governmental body officially would have approved what was built. The building is fine. The interiors are laughable.
The current house and rear cottage offer 1395 square feet of living space and sit on a 4002 square foot lot (42.8' X 93.5') located in the south of Truman Avenue area of Old Town Key West. The large house across the street was sold in June 2016 for $2,100,000. That property was built in 2005 and sits a 5667 square foot lot. That sale suggests to me that a nicely renovated house would fit very nicely into this improving neighborhood. I believe 1021 Packer Street is a buying opportunity for a buyer who is looking for a renovation project in Old Town.
I searched the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and learned that 1021 Packer Street existed as of the 1892 map - or to say it differently 1021 Packer Street sat on this lot for at least 124 years. The City of Key West officially designated this house as a contributing structure. Longtime readers of my blog know that our Historic Architectural Review Commission (HARC) has guidelines which suggest how renovation to contributing structures like this should be addressed. This old house and this particular lot pose a challenge for a potential new owner as well as the City of Key West. Earlier this year a new survey was prepared for a then pending sale of the property. The survey showed that a portion of the front roof and eave encroached onto the adjacent lot at 1119 Packer Street.  Encroachments occur from time to time and owners can often resolve these issues with easements, land swaps, or land sales. Because of lender issues on the adjoining property the encroachment could not be resolved. A cash buyer could take title to the house as it sits and hope to resolve the encroachment in years to come. A new lender however probably would not loan new money with the encroachment. The most likely buyer for 1021 Packer Street will be a cash buyer who is looking for a project property.
The listing Realtor describes this listing this way:
"Historic 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Old Town plus a 240 sf out building that needs City approval to rent. Backyard big enough for a pool. The house encroaches on 1019 Packer and needs to be lifted and moved 3 feet. Price reflects contractors bid of $142,500. See documents. This location is increasing in value with a $2 million home right across the street."
The City of Key West is aware of the challenging lot line issues for this property. I think the listing Realtor has a developed a workable solution to fix the problem and to preserve and to improve the original house.  The encroachment will disappear when the house is moved. Many of the existing trees will be removed and all new piers added. The listing Realtor suggested to me that a new owner might try to get permission to add a new first floor addition and place the original house on top thereby creating a two story house. Otherwise, the house would be moved onto the piers and renovated. Nothing inside the existing house is worth saving. Money spent on replacing windows, doors, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC will be money very well spent. 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 1021 Packer Street which is offered at $575,000. Click on the DOCUMENTS tab to view the survey and contractor bid. I think this will be  a really fun project. I look forward to seeing how this place will get renovated. There are very few houses with this much potential at a price this reasonable - especially houses located in Old Town. If you are looking for such a place, please contact me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to set up a 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.