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Monday, June 5, 2017

806 Southard Street, Key West

The asking price on 806 Southard Street, Key West was just reduced  from $949,000 to $799,000 and that makes this house worth serious consideration. This sweet home is located a little over one block from the top of Solares Hill -  the highest point in Old Town.  The immediate neighborhood is a mix of Grand Conch houses, eyebrow homes, cigar maker cottages, several churches, two restaurants, a few apartments, and the most expensive home currently listed for sale - the Albury Mansion located about 100 feet west and offered at $15,850,000 (not a typo).   I mention the location for two reasons: (1) this home is located in the heart of Old Town and surrounded by multi-million dollar homes and (2) this home is in the X Zone which a new lender will not require the buyer to purchase flood insurance.
This is a fixer-upper by Key West standards not because it is in bad shape but because it will be worth so much more money after it is renovated. The listing Realtor describes the property this home this way: 
"MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION: Endless potential. 2br/1 bath with 575 sq ft half story bonus room waiting your imagination. Stairwell removed. Here is your opportunity to own an old town treasure. Some upgrade in kitchen in bath. Needs TLC and imagination to make this your old town Jewel. Truly a prime location in a fantastic neighborhood. Home has off street parking and plenty of room for a pool."
I dug into my old shoebox and found a black and white photo of 806 Southard Street taken half a century ago - before the carport and white picket fence were added.  I checked the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps and learned that this house existed as of the 1892 map when it was then identified as 706 Southard Street. By the time the 1889 map was published, the addressed had changed to 806 Southard Street. 
The above photos show the location of the house in relation to the street and the large neighbor to the east - the Historic Harris School site which includes the school and the immense lot which will eventually be developed in some way. The school site will be a multi-million dollar project the development of which will be a major community concern. Whatever is done with the site will require a major infusion of money to preserve the old school and require any other development to compliment the other homes in this neighborhood. 

The black and white photos above show the school yard in 1955 (and 1962) but also show 806 Southard Street. When you stand back at a distance you can actually see how large the lot is. The house sits on an irregular lot measuring about 34.27' X 100'  or 3153 sq ft.  The current house has off street parking and more than enough room to install a pool. If you look at the photo of the driveway you may realize a pool contractor could take a small backhoe through the driveway to removed debris thereby cutting constructions costs a bit. 
The two above photos show the rear addition to the house - one from the outside and one from the inside. If you are a long time reader of my blog you will remember I often state that houses are only boxes. It is how you arrange the box that gives the space meaning and purpose. A new homeowner will likely rearrange about everything inside the box including changing the possible relocation of the primary living area to the rear. I would imagine a new owner might remove the existing ceiling and vault the space and to add two or more French doors to the rear which would look out to the new pool area. The reconfigured room may accommodate part of the kitchen and dining area as well.  Privacy fencing and tropical foliage would be added at the rear to make the neighbors on all sides disappear from view. 
The front portion of the original house has two attic rooms bisected down the middle which are not currently accessible because the old exterior stairway was removed. The first floor ceiling height is about eight feet tall when the current acoustic tile ceiling is removed. This will give a new owner immense opportunity to reconfigure all living spaces. The 1955 black and white school yard photo shows the exterior staircase that was removed which would give a new owner the right to ask to create new living space in that area. If the main entry door was move to one side, the current living area could be reconfigured with two large bedrooms and baths on the east side of the first floor where the current living room and second bedroom plus bonus room are now located. I would relocate the front door to the west side. That would allow the new owner to create a whole new bedroom and bath on the second floor. Just because the house looks and functions the way it does today does not mean it could not become something extraordinary in a few months to come. 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos of 806 Southard Street which is now offered for sale at $799,000. 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 is truly an exciting buying opportunity for someone seeking a fixer-upper in a great Old Town location. Remember, it does not need fixed. It would be worth so much more if it were.

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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.