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Friday, March 17, 2017

915 Cornish Lane, Key West - Old Town Buying Opportunity

 I have written a several blogs suggesting that readers quit their jobs and move to Key West. I know some people actually fantasize about doing that. And some people actually follow through and do the deed, not because I suggested it but because Key West is so alluring on so many different levels.  Key West lures the sane and the not-so-sane. People come here to find a way of life that is not possible to achieve elsewhere. Many of those who end up here adopt the manana way of looking at life and develop an ethos that determines the importance and speed within which daily tasks need to be completed. Government workers do the same thing, except they just get paid a salary and receive benefits for moving slowly.
No matter which street a person lives on in Key West, all of us live our lives in the slow lane. Key West is in the midst of Spring Break and people of all ages from all over the world are here enjoying our wonderful climate, our pebbly beaches, our bubbling bars, and a myriad of other things that draw people here. Getting around becomes a chore for us locals who view having to wait two light cycles to cross Truman Avenue as near insanity. When we make it home, we de-stress and all is right with the world. For those Key Westers who actually reside on a lane, life is much slower and much quieter. Many of the lanes such as Cornish Lane are less than a block long. Cornish Lane dead ends about 145 feet from Grinnell Street whence it begins. While Cornish Lane is paved with tar, none of the three homes on this lane have any off street parking space. There are several similar lanes in Old Town and they attract owners that want a slow paced and quiet lifestyle.

The listing Realtor describes this home this way:
"Home of Men's Fashion Designer Andrew Christian & featured on HGTV's new show Hunting Vintage. Formerly the home of the B-52's cofounder, Keith Strickland. This stunning contemporary cottage is tucked away at the end of a quiet lane, beautifully renovated down to the last detail and sold turnkey with its designer furnishings. Walnut wood floors throughout, accented with Caesarstone counters in the kitchen & bathrooms, wood built-ins provide a seamless & chic touch. Lush & private from the front, sun-filled and airy in the garden, this 2 bedroom and 1.5 bath home is the ultimate getaway. Viking & Subzero appliances, top of the line fixtures and high ceilings. Wrapped in ipe decking with 2 outdoor showers & a stunning plunge pool."
I showed this property maybe a dozen years ago, I was not prepared for the home as it now exists. I sold the prior owners a large home in the Casa Marina Area a couple of years ago. They told me about the intense renovation they had done to 915 Cornish Lane a few years earlier. Intense was right - they rebuilt it. And everything they did was done with style and demand for excellence.  As you walk down Cornish Lane and spot the cottage behind the gated entrance, you'll notice the board and batten exterior, the wood shutters, and may expect to see a cute little storybook house. Instead when you open the front door you enter into space larger than you would expect with a wall of windows which looks out to the pool and garden beyond. The interiors are stark and modern in design and function. The master bedroom is located immediately right of the entry. A guest bedroom and bath are located to the left. The kitchen is to the right rear and the pool is directly forward.
The master bedroom and master bath are the perfect marriage of old Key West and contemporary lifestyle. One bedroom wall offers private views of the sequestered outdoor space. The en-suite bath offers a step-through shower which can be entered from the outdoors or from the sleek interior. You won't find the custom cabinetry at the bargain barn. Ever.
 The guest bedroom and guest bath are located opposite the front door. This is a small and private space for the occasional guest. While this is a two bedroom house, the spaces were designed for a single person or couple who may have an occasional visitor as opposed to a small family. 
915 Cornish Lane is now offered at $1,265,000. CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and beautiful listing photos. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 to schedule a private showing of this up to date old house. I know the people who did this renovation. This is a really good buy. This is sophisticated living in an excellent Old Town location close to everything.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Visited last two open houses. Neighbors post a signed petition on the fence post stating they are opposed to this house being used as a monthly vacation rental. Nice house. Fantastic location. Enchanting lane. Horrible neighbors. I'll pass every single time.

Gary Thomas said...

This is a really neat house in a very quiet location. While I often write about a buyer being able to rent a house as a monthly vacation rental, I wonder why in the world somebody who pays a million dollars or more for a house would want some stranger to sleep in one's bed or lounge around naked on a chaise lounge by the pool.

I hope some rich New York litigator buys the place.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Haha! Now that would be the perfect buyer. Great point Gary. My only point was someone should have a little pow-wow with those neighbors and remind them of your point exactly. When someone pays $1M for a place (or $100,000) that place is theirs. The owner shouldn't be made to feel like some outcast should they choose to defer some cost and rent it LEGALLY. I was stunned to see that sign and felt very lucky that I did.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the sign is a bit overt (and I wonder how it can be done legally) I must say that it expresses exactly how most full time and seasonal residents of old town feel . . . given a choice we would much rather not live next door or near a vacation rental. Many monthly vacaction renters are lovely folks who blend well into the neigborhoods they rent in. However, many management companies care much more about collecting as much money as possible and do little to screen clients or insure that they understand the realities of living in old town. There is also a lot, and I do mean a lot, of cheating that goes on because much more money can be made by renting on a weekly basis. And while there is recourse, via code enforement, most of us do not want do go down that road. So yes, if you are buying a home in old town, most of your new neighbors are hoping that you do not plan to rent your home on a short term basis. Kudos to the residents on Cornish for their sign if they can get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Yes Kudos. Such great neighbors making sure nobody wants to buy the house. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

If the neighbors want to dictate how the property is used they could always buy it.

Anonymous said...

I think the sign will attract as many buyers as it turns off. Maybe the sellers are OK with the sign because they care about the neighborhood they are leaving and want to screen buyers? Why else would they allow the sign to be there?

srk said...

Gary - we purchased a house in Old Town for just under $1M. It's a monthly rental from December thru March, and we use it the other 8 months of the year. Renting it our for 4 months covers our entire annual mortgage costs plus some expenses. Our monthly renters are retired snowbirds (usually in their 70s) who have treated our home like their own. We don't mind the strangers in our bed. When the house is finally paid off, the mortgage will have been paid for almost entirely by someone else. From a cost perspective, it's win-win for us.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you didn't buy on Cornish. That would have been VERY uncomfortable. Go read the sign next open house. I've never read something so ridiculous. "Among the residents of this lane are artists, authors, teachers and EVEN A DOCTOR". A doctor!!!!! Wow how very fantastic. I wonder if Jesus would make the cut? Previous post was correct. If you want to dictate usage buy the house. Otherwise, take down your stupid sign.

Anonymous said...

"I think the sign will attract as many buyers as it turns off"

Well it's been for sale 386 days with multiple price drops. Seems like it's turning off more than its attracting.

Anonymous said...

The house has been for sale for 386 days with multiple price drops because, like a lot of properties currently in Key West, it was originally price way too high. Nothing to do with the sign.

Gary Thomas said...

This house is priced right now. That is why I think this is a buying opportunity - not because it is cheap but because this is a really well built house that is unique. I have seen other old houses with contemporary updates. Some work. Some don't. This does and it is done so very well.

I think the contemporary design may have deterred a lot of buyers who want a stereotypical Key West cottage. I deal with buyers like this all the time. Buyers get an idea in their head as to what they want and many won't look at anything that does not fit their requirements.

Gary

Anonymous said...

Gary, you can't imagine renting out your home because you live in Key West full time and make a lot of money there selling overpriced homes to rich NY litigators, especially during season. We live full time elsewhere in South Florida because our jobs are located there and it is not like we have to freeze up north when we are not in Key West. Living in Key West full time and using the home year round is just not realistic for us or many who you sell these home to. Not only are homes in Key West expensive to buy but it costs a lot of money to upkeep these old wooden homes, especially if they are well landscaped and have a pool. We are fortunate that we have the same rich retired couple from NY (He was a litigator from NY) who gives us $50,000 a year to stay in our home every season for three to four months. I don't ask them which bed they sleep in or if they lay naked by the pool. They love the house and treat it as if it were there very own home because it is for 3-4 months out of the year and they know they would spend more if they had to buy a similar house in a similar place in Key West. Our realtor never mentioned how expensive maintaining one of these home is in Key West especially if you have to pay someone to maintain it because many would not buy the house if they knew the truth of the expenses. That is probably why there is so much selling going on in Key West because people love Key West and think they can afford a vacation home and perhaps move there one day full time but cant afford to keep up the house. To help you understand better, we could not own a house in Key West if we did not have this couple to help with the expenses we never thought would be so high when we bought it long ago. We do not have a mortgage but the $50,000 pays the taxes (a lot because it is not our homestead), the landscaping, the exterminator, the electric, the water, the pool service, the cleaning lady, the repairs, our overpriced dinners and entertainment when we are in town, etc. and probably our annual winter ski vacation. We don't make much off the deal but the house costs us nothing for the rest of the year (only because we dont have a mortgage) and we get to enjoy Key West for 8-9 months when all the tourists leave and when we dont need to make dinner reservations because it is not as crowded. So now you understand why it makes sense to rent the house and why we dont care if they sleep in our bed (because all you have to do is change the sheets) or if they lounge naked by the pool.

Anonymous said...

Rich part time residents of Old Town complaining about their rich neighbors who rent out their million dollar homes. Love it. I'm sure the full time working stiffs of Key West who could never afford to own in Old Town feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the last anon comment: No, you could not be more wrong. Most of the residents complaining are full time residents, both owners and renters, who live in the Cornish Lane neighborhood. Many have lived there for a very long time. Cornish Lane is still a lot like all of Old Town used to be not very long ago. Mostly full time working residents with a few seasonal residents, mostly retirees, artists and writers, mixed in. Right or wrong, that is the Key West the residents who put up the sign are trying to hold on to. And again, right or wrong, they see vacation rentals as a threat to their wonderful close knit neighborhood. In their view progress is not always progress. Regardless, it is a great house in a great neighborhood that some lucky buyer is going to buy . . . and hopefully live in.

Anonymous said...

With regard to the last anon comment: shame on you for being a crappy neighbor. So happy I saw that sign during the open house as I loved the place. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget THE DOCTOR!!!!

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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.