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Friday, November 29, 2019

Away is the Manager!

One of the favorite photos I ever took is of this house on Margaret Street.  It had two illegal apartments, a bathtub shrine to Mary in the front yard. It was the best of Old Key West.

I am away for the next two weeks.  May the Spirit of Jesus be with all of my Dear Readers.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Tale from Key West

I was watching NETFLIX'S "The Crown" episode entitled Tywysog Cymru  a couple of nights ago as Prince Charles is sent to Aberystwyth to learn Welsh from an ardent nationalist in preparation for the ceremony for his investiture as Prince of Wales.  The Prince arrived in town with signs of welcome and disdain. He had never been there before and had presumably never done anything to any person there worthy of such scorn. And this reminded me of how my beloved Gertie (above) was treated the first, second, third, and fourth times we walked past the former Strunk Lumber barns in the 100 block of Simonton Street shortly after we moved to Key West in late December 1993. Until then Gertie had lived her entire life in the privacy of her backyard in Denver. I don't recall her having interacted with any other dogs (other than an occasional sniff while walking and that one time she got pregnant on purpose) and certainly know she never met a cat.
We had just moved into the former Eaton Lodge at 511 Eaton Street in Key West which we purchased at auction in October 1993.  The place had been foreclosed by the Small Business Administration which boarded the place up to protect it while under foreclosure - two years of neglect. We moved in, bought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and fell in love with Key West in an all new way.  Spend Christmastime in Key West and you will understand how enchanting this little town becomes.

I put Gertie's lead around her neck and walked her one-half block to Simonton Street, turned left and walked north past the old Post Office, Cypress House, and headed to Gulf of Mexico two blocks beyond.  At that time there were multiple lumber barns on the east side of Simonton Street which were no longer being used as Strunk Lumber had sold the lumber business to Manely deBoer who relcated the lumber business to Eaton Street. Tall corrugated chain link fences kept ne-er do wells out. As we passed hissing sounds abounded from inside the barns. Gertie paused and turned her head to the right to take in the sounds. She was puzzled. She knew nothing of cats or hissing.
Town homes replaced the former lumber barns on Simonton Street

We made out way to the end of Simonton Street.  The Key West Hotel was located on the east side of the street. There was a small wood pier that extended out to the Gulf of Mexico.  Gertie and I walked out to the edge of the pier to survey the water as early morning light tickled the waters.  We both saw fish swimming in the water. Gertie knew fish even if she did not know cats. We had had a large fountain in our former home in Denver which had two very large KOI.

We walked back to the land and moved over to the waters' edge. Gertie stuck her snout into the water. She recoiled back and hacked the salt water out of her mouth. "Egads" she said in dog-speak. Never again.

As the days progressed Gertie's appreciation of the cat hissing turned from puzzlement to rage. Gertie would start to growl and try drag me across the street to show those cats who was the boss. Gertie never met any of those cats in person. It would not have ended well. She met a couple of people who climbed over our fence in Denver. One ended up in jail after his leg ended up in Gertie's mouth.

I am thankful to have had Gertie a part of my life for many years. I think of her often. I am very thankful that I live on this little island out in the middle of the ocean. Far away from all the craziness up north. In America.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

1100 Flagler Avenue, Key West - SOLD

1100 Flagler Avenue, Key West
SOLD by Preferred Properties Key West
November 27, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

1022 Flagler Avenue, Key West - Stunning Casa Marina Contemporary

Just Listed 1022 Flagler Avenue, Key West. Tom Pope, the dean of architects in Old Town, designed this stunning Casa Marina Area contemporary. He lives across the street. I guess he wanted something really nice to look at when he opens his front door. It worked. The 2,164 square foot home has four bedrooms and three and one-half baths sitting on a 5,100 square foot lot. 
Sleek new fencing and redesigned gardens and entry are among the changes the current owners made to an already beautiful home. As soon as you walk into the entry you are stunned by the view of the pool and rear gardens, all new.
The grey tones of the interior flooring flow out to the new pool surround. Landscape architect Craig Reynolds designed the new pool and gardens. There's an outdoor shower shown in the photo just above.
The kitchen back splash tiles were custom made in Columbia and compliment the Caesar stone  counter-tops. Other construction materials used throughout the house include opaque entrance doors and privacy doors; tall baseboards; high-end stainless steel fans; and LED lighting.
The main floor bedroom and bath could be used as a master suite later in life when climbing stairs can become difficult. All four bedrooms have Juliet balconies that span the width of the impact glass sliding doors which bring so much light into each room.
The wide staircase lands on the mezzanine level where there are two guest bedrooms which share a large bath. The stairs turn and land at the upper or master suite level. The master suite show the finger-joint fir walls used throughout the house. These walls break the monotony we see in some many homes these days. The simplicity of the overall design should work well with an owner who loves minimalism. The sliding glass doors open to a tiny terrace overlooking the pool and gardens below.
 The Casa Marina Resort and Higgs Beach are located about two blocks away.

CLICK HERE to the the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos of 1022 Flagler Avenue, Key West, offered for sale at $2,350,000. 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. I live in the Casa Marina Area and love it.

Monday, November 25, 2019

1616 Bertha Street, Key West - an Affordable First Home

I was invited to a broker open last week to preview the newly listed home at 1616 Bertha Street in Key West.  I was impressed.  This property has just completed a total interior renovation.  The listing photos in the MLS (copied herein) are what attracted me to go to the broker open. It was seeing the house that made me appreciate the design and materials that made this renovation so attractive. Let's take a look.
You enter into the home off a private side yard into the kitchen with the living room located just beyond. You immediately notice the extraordinary contemporary design and flair especially for a home in this modest price range - just $625,000.  The counter tops and table top are quartz. There is hidden storage in the table pedestal. The grey tile floors carry throughout the house.
You next pass into the living room and notice the volume ceiling with a wind impact resistant skylight and also sliding doors. The newly planted south-facing ))))))))) has Trex decking. These are features more often found in higher priced homes. 
 The two bedrooms share one bath entered off the side hallway off the living room. Each bedroom has two windows. All of the furnishings are included in the purchase price.
1616 Bertha Street is a two family home with a party wall agreement. This part of the house has a separate side entry located on the north. The other unit enters on the south side beyond the covered patio. Both parts of the house are totally private to each other. They share only the party wall.
Smathers Beach is located two blocks to the south. The beach is groomed each morning in anticipation of tourists and locals spending their day in the sun. The recently opened Body One Gym in located about a half mile east on Flagler Avenue. Our three shopping centers are about one mile away. Old Town is a five minute drive.

CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and more listing photos of 1616 Bertha Street, Key West offered for sale at $625,000. 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 place is worth seeing.
1616 Bertha Street could be your home by Christmas if you act soon.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

923 Angela St Key West - Storybook Open House

 1986 -  923 Angela Street, Key West, Florida 

If you are out and about on Sunday, November 24th between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, think about dropping by 923 Angela Street to view the Open House hosted by yours truly. This restored Storybook Cottage is picture postcard perfect.  I don't know if they still make picture postcards. I'll rephrase to say it is Instagram worthy!
One of the first things you'll notice when you step onto the inviting front porch is a Historic Florida Keys Foundation Ceramic Star awarded in 2017 for historic preservation of this home. The house was totally restored from foundation to rooftop. The house first appeared in the 1892 Sanborn Fire Map as 721 Angela. The Street number was changed to 923 Angela on the 1899 map
You will find Dade County Pine walls and ceiling throughout the house. A new wood floor was added during the restoration as were the new kitchen and two new bathrooms. There is also new air conditioning and on demand hot water.
The first floor bed and bath are located at the rear of the home where French doors open out to the lanai, heated pool, outdoor shower, and laundry area.  I recently previewed this house to a Realtor last week ahead of bringing his client. His eyes were drawn through the house to the pool. He was so captivated by the view that he missed seeing the bedroom. He had to come back into the house for a second look and confessed the pool just amazed him to the point he overlooked the bedroom.
The second floor was dramatically changed with the addition of a new bath and roof top deck. The bathroom is bright and cheerful. The deck is the perfect spot to get an all over Key West tan to make your friends and relatives jealous as hell. If you buy this home now, it could be your home by Christmas.
Open House
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
923 Angela Street
Now offered at $1,100,000


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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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.