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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

414 William Street, Key West - Old But also New

 New to the Key West MLS is 414 William Street located in the Heart of Old Town. This is an historic Conch House which has been updated and given a bit of refinement that previously did not exit.  I dug into my old shoe box and found a black and white photo taken in 1965 which shows the house as it then existed. See below. The angle is somewhat similar in both photos and that may help you see some of the changes including replacement of jalousie windows (probably a recent update from the 1950s or early 1960s), addition of gingerbread on the columns, and moving the entry door from the center bay to the right bay.
I checked the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps to see if I could determine when this home was built. Since it is located on one of the more oldest and most prominent streets in Old Town, I had no problem finding it on the 1889 map. However, it was identified then as 127 William Street. It was not until the 1892 map was created that the street numeral was changed to 414 William Street. 
 I got a chance to see the inside of this home for the first time last week during Realtor caravan. (This is a time when agents from town go from house to house to see new listings. Agents are asked to provide comments on pricing and condition of each house to provide feedback to the owner.) This particular house is fairly large (three stories).  The interiors are about as fine as any I have seen in Key West. But they are also unconventional. Many of the houses in Old Town feature Dade County Pine walls and ceilings  A different type of clear coated pine was applied to the walls trimmed with brilliant white baseboards, crown molding, and door and window trim. The windows are outfitted with Plantation shutters that really dress each room. Marble tiles lead from the foyer rot the kitchen at the rear. The main floor master bedroom and bath is located between the front sitting room and the kitchen at the rear.
The kitchen is awesome. I stood at the stove and watched other agents buzzing around looking at different parts of the ground floor and at the pool at the rear. I looked closely at the burners. They had never been used. The listing agent told me the owner has several properties nearby and has never actually lived in this house.
The rear yard isn't huge which means there won't be all that much for a gardener to take care of. There is a small pool and a shaded rear deck. I looked over the fence to the north. The neighbor to the north owns one of the most famous houses in Old Town. There is no pool there - just a nice old fashioned Key West garden
The second floor spaces include a sitting room located between front and rear bedrooms plus a rear balcony which looks down to the pool. The listing agent announced the paladin windows on ground level were from St Mary's convent in Key West which burned to the ground half a century ago. I suspect the first floor arches and the bathroom window in the bedroom were created by craftsmen to replicated the delicate style of the old windows. 
This block of William Street is rich in architectural design and diversity. A former Methodist church is located on the corner at Southard Street. For now, it sits vacant and awaiting an inspiration on what it might become. There are a couple of Bahama houses floated over from the islands that sit on this block. There are a couple of large grand Conch houses located on the opposite side of the street, one of which was converted into a guest house. The Historic Key West Seaport is located two blocks to the north. Duval Street and all that goes on is just three blocks to the west. There are gyms, yoga  studios, art galleries, little shops, restaurants, all over the place, all within a few minutes walk of 414 William Street.

414 William Street is offered at $2,295,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS and then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to set up a private showing. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. Let me help you find your place in Paradise. If you are a cash buyer, this could be your home buy Christmas this year.

Friday, December 8, 2017

1109 Petronia Street, Key West - Just Listed - Legal Duplex

Just Listed - 1109 Petronia Street, Key West, Florida. This is a sweet legal duplex located on a quiet little block just east of the Key West cemetery. Petronia Street at this location runs only two blocks from White Street to Frances Street where it appropriately dead-ends at the cemetery.  A full time owner and/or tenants will love the location because it is near all the attractions around Duval Street and the historic seaport (it's within easy walking or biking distance to both), but it is far enough away not be a part of the hub-bub. I looked in my old shoebox and found a photo of this same property taken in 1965. See immediately below.  This home is one of six double gable homes in Key West. CLICK HERE to see the other properties as well as more photos of the interior and exterior of this listing.
I point out the historic architectural reference to this house for good reason - I think this house is absolutely charming and deserving of a sweet restoration if the right buyer who is looking for a little project house were to buy the place.
The building is approximately 1,000 sq ft divided between the first and second floor units. The downstairs unit is a bit larger than the upstairs due to the small side addition where its' kitchen is located. The side yard is currently used for bike and scooter storage but could become so much more if the stairway were removed and relocated into the interior. I think but cannot confirm there might be room for a dip pool in the side yard if appropriate variances could be obtained.
The main level apartment is a bit larger and has a separate door which opens out to the garden.  This unit my work well for an owner/landlord who wants a place in Key West which he or she could used as a little Key West getaway cottage and still earn income all year long by renting out the second floor unit.  I have had two buyers who purchased duplexes and this process worked for them.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and then please call either me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, or Dan Skahen, 305-923-6524, to set up a showing. We are both full time Realtors at Preferred Properties Key West. Both units are tenant occupied. We and they request 24 hour advance showing request. Both units are on annual lease and each is subject to a 60 day kick-out clause which would give the new owner the right to take possession of the unit upon vacation by the tenant.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just Listed: 1233 South Street, Key West

Just Listed by yours truly, 1233 South Street in Key West, Florida.  I have had an interesting association with this property for the past few years. I wrote in my blog about the home that used to occupy the lot for generations. I refer to the former home in the past tense for a reason: the former home no longer exists. All that remains of the old structure is the foundation upon which a totally new house plus new master wing was built.
The new 1750 sq ft three bedroom 3 1/2 bath is sited on a large 6066 sq ft corner lot at the corner of South and Tropical Street. The photo two above shows he house and lot shortly after the large native palms and other major plants were introduced to the site even before the old house was touched. The reason for planting first ought to be self-evident. The site has matured trees and tropical foliage encased by the ever-so-proper white picket fence.  There is gated entry with intercom to welcome guests. The lot has both irrigation and lighting. There is a side gate on Tropical Street for access to the brick paved car park.
The original house was a typical mid century Conch home built in 1950. It was simple family home on a large lot in a neighborhood of equally nice homes many of which have been rebuilt in recent years.  Some older homes were razed and new houses built in this area as well. 1233 South Street was identified as a contributing structure during the 2004 survey of revised boundaries for the Key West National Register Historic District. The new owner (and now the Seller) took the old house apart bit by bit and rebuilt the house board by board. He reclaimed Dade County Pine lumber found in the attic and used it for accent walls throughout the new home. New engineered wood floors were added in all living areas. If you look closely you will notice the "wood" changes from interior to the deck where TREX decking is introduced. You will also see a slight gap between the interior and exterior floors. The owner created a seamless transition from inside to outside avoid that trip hazard often seen in other houses where sliding wind impact resistant doors are used. Finally, note how the glass doors slide into the little pocket which then creates this immense space we Key Westers absolutely love.  
 Readers of my blog up north who are now confined inside their homes for the next few months may appreciate the ability of folks who live in Key West can live indoors and outdoors throughout most of the winter. The glass doors that disappear into the wall is not a gimmick. Instead, it is a pricey but ever so useful building element that enhances the interior and exterior beauty and functionality of the doors. The outside space becomes an element of the total living experience. This is not some real estate talk. Owners and guests can move easily between the areas. I will be the new owner will make the outdoor kitchen a focal point for family cooking. Note the last two photos above. There is a poolside bath plus an outdoor shower. The decking stands up to sub tropical climate unlike real wood and even high price Ipe decking which requires maintenance to keep it attractive.
The master bedroom wing is all new construction added to the west rear of the house. Another set of pocket doors was added to the bedroom area to provide views of the pool and spa. As the photographer was taking photos of the house, I sat on the bedside bench to tie my shoes. I could hear the waterfall splattering into the water. It wasn't loud. I could just hear it. I thought this is nice. This is what I could hear at night or in the morning.

The progressive photos taken from the bath looking through to the closet will hopefully give you a sense of how large this wing actually is. The five piece bathroom suite includes the spa tub, separate WC, shower stall, and the dual vanities. What you cannot see is the size of the room or the frosted glass side door to the outside or the vaulted ceiling. I think the new owner will spend a lot of time in this resort-like bath.
The two guest bedrooms are located at the front of the house with doorways located just off the front  foyer entrance. Vaulted ceilings in each room add to the sense of volume in these spaces. Note the interplay between the stained engineered wood floors (made to function efficiently in our climate and the Dade County Pine ceiling. Look also at the up and down blinds either of which may be used to limit sunlight into the space. I was really taken by the serene yard views. The nearest house across the street is probably located sixty feet from the window. Trees and foliage lay in the yards between both homes. During the daytime these rooms rock style.
Just about the time the sun goes down, the lights go on and at this home,  And they can go on with a snap of the state of the art Luton lighting system which incorporates programmable lighting from remote control devices or by cellphone. The lights are energy efficient LED lights. The nighttime pool view in the photos is a cool aquamarine, but that can all change with built in lighting system which is also program able and changeable by remote or by phone. An owner can turn on the water feature, check the water temperature, etc. from across the decking or across the world. Another feature not visible in the photos is the Creston sound system. Creston makes home automation technology practical and easy to use. BOSE speakers complete the package.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet on 1233 South Street, Key West offered by Preferred Properties Key West at $1,795,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule a private sowing. I am the listing agent on this beautiful now Key West home in Paradise.


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


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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.