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Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve Showing - 2009

Nine years ago today I met some new clients for the very first time. I picked them up at the Marquesa Hotel and we headed toward our first of several showings. I remember that day for three reasons. First, it was cloudy and drizzly - something not normal in Key West. Second, it was after all New Year's Eve day and town was extremely busy as people were out and about everywhere despite the dampness. Third, my lady customer got injured.

We had just finished looking at an expensive home in Old Town which was listed by one of our "star" listing agents. We headed out the front door. My customer started down the steps and slipped and fell and landed on her behind. The listing agent was unconcerned and said something like "You should have been more careful!" implying what happened was her fault instead of expressing any concern as to whether she was injured.

She got up, dusted herself off so to speak, and got in my car where we headed off to the next property. Inside the car she announced she did not like the other agent. The good thing was she was not seriously injured and the couple ended up buying a house in Old Town from me.

A couple of years later the house next door to the one the couple bought came on the market. I called my lady up and convinced her to buy it sight unseen.  She did. (It was a short sale and one of those incredible bargains that happened a few years ago.)

A year of two later my lady customer was in town and invited me to dinner at the Cafe Marquesa. We discussed the market, life, her two houses, and the other agent who she sneered at as mentioning his name. She still hated him.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

11 Nassau Lane, Key West - Open House Sunday

Look carefully at the newspaper Avery is holding next to his seersucker jammies.  It is the Key West Citizen of course. Avery and Lillie are Key West locals who do what so many locals do - they go to Sunday Open Houses to see what is for sale and compare what they have to what someone is trying to sell. I see them often at open houses that I host.
I sent in an ad to appear in the Sunday Key West Citizen before noon on Friday only to get an email advising me I missed the cutoff deadline. So the ad I intended to run will not be in the paper.  Instead, look to INSTAGRAM and TWITTER for reminders of the Open House at 11 Nassau Lane in Old Town Key West.  
Greet each morning from your treehouse view of the orchid garden at 11 Nassau Lane located near the end on one of the slowest lanes in Old Town Key West. Don't blink or you'll miss the turn off of Fleming Street between Grinnell and Frances Streets. Better yet, walk.  It does a body good.

Enchanting two bedroom two bath cottage offered at $899,000.  Open Sunday December 30th

11 Nassau Lane
Open House
12:00 to 2:00 PM

Let's prove the Key West Citizen obsolete - come to my Open House! Look for Avery.  

Remember to follow me on TWITTER CLICK HERE for real estate deals that I may not blog about.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Key West Properties Blog Twitter Account

I started the Key West Properties BLOG eleven years ago this week. I didn't really know what a blog was or what I would do with it. As it turned out, I somehow created an internet connection between myself and potential buyers of houses in Key West who are located all over the place.

Along the way some other real estate agents got upset with the sales I was making. Rules were made that required me to get permission from a listing real estate agent before I could write a blog about a property.  That dampened things a bit, but I followed the rules.

Some real estate agents still will not let me write about their properties. That is their prerogative. But I recently realized I am legally able to TWEET about listings.  And that is why I set up a new TWITTER account which I request you click in the USEFUL LINKS corner or CLICK HERE to go to Twitter and then follow me.

I am on the Key West MLS all day long.  I am always looking for deals and learning when prices are reduced, properties go under contract, and what got sold and for how much.  I can now share that info with my dear readers and Twitter followers. I won't tweet every little thing.  But I will let readers and followers know about interesting new listings etcetera.

316 Peacon Lane, Key West Florida

Just listed by Preferred Properties 316 Peacon Lane near the Historic Key West Seaport in Old Town Key West. If you read my blog regularly you already know that I'm like Lady Ga Ga about the slow lanes of Key West. Peacon Lane is one of the more user friendly of the lanes because you can actually drive a car into and out of the lane. Some of the smaller lanes require that you park your car on the street and walk to your house. I like those really slow and quiet lanes, but some owners have this incessant need to be near to their cars. This home, however, has off street parking directly in front.  Click the MAP to see the location of Peacon Lane. It's easy to miss the lane if you are not looking for it. As a result most tourists miss it and don't drive that live on Peacon Lane residents to distraction with senselessly beeping scooter horns. The black and white photo below shows the late David Kaufelt discussing the Calvin Klein House with participants in a Key West literary seminar. That house is located exactly opposite Peacon Lane and is part of the distraction. People look at that wonderful home and miss the turn.
The black and white photo in the above middle was taken of Peacon Lane in 1937. The same houses are there. There are still people walking on the lane. Prices have risen - a bit.
I dug down into my old shoebox and found the black and white picture above which shows 316 Peacon Lane in 1965. The color photos shows the front of the house as it appears today. There is bricked parking in front as well as places for bikes. This location is convenient for walking and biking anywhere in Old Town. I also checked the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps to determine when this home may have been built. It appeared in 1889 Sanborn Map and was then identified as A5 on Grunt Bone Lane which eventually became Peacon Lane. The A5 house numerator got changed to 116 Grunt Bone and later 316 Peacon Lane. The early Maps identified several small stores on the lane. This area was one block from the seaport and it makes sense that small businesses would have been located nearby. Today there are two commercial buildings on the corner at Caroline Street. Otherwise, Peacon Lane is known for its quaint single family homes including these below.
If you lived at 316 Peacon Lane you'd hardly know about all of the nearby hubbub because the house is so insulated by the location. It doesn't any more charming than this. Imagine sitting on your front porch having coffee and watching nothing happen still knowing the historic seaport and its famous eateries are within a few minute walk as is world famous Duval Street. But the houses you would see are the sweet relics of a hundred and fifty years ago or so.
The house was thoroughly renovated and expanded about ten years ago when the new rear addition and pool were added. The original Dade County Pine was preserved and now is the centerpiece of the front part of the home. The open living area is more contemporary in design. The two ages blend together quite well. Clerestory windows on either side of the great room and over the dual sets of French doors to the rear deck bring abundant daytime light into this space give the space a much broader spatial feel.
Today there is a nice private pool plus good sized rear deck for sunning and socializing.
The renovated house now has 1986 sq ft of living space divided between the two floors. The first floor has a full bedroom and bath. There is a large second floor front bedroom also with private bath. The master bedroom is quite large and includes an en-suite bath with shower and tub, ample closets, and a private roof-top deck with great views.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to set up a private showing of this great Old Town home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

414 Louisa Street, Key West - Just Listed!

Just listed, but not by me, 414 Louisa Street, Key West Florida. Buyers seeking a nice house in a good location with a pool, parking, and potential rental income should take a look before somebody else scoops this up. I have written about this house several times over the past few years as the house was tweaked here and there by successive owners. The current owner has made it better than ever. Let's take a look.
I looked around in my old shoebox and found the black and white picture taken back in 1965 before any of the current renovations occurred. The color photo two above was taken in 2013 before the most recent updates. Notice the falling-down fence in the foreground. That lot sat vacant for decades.  Soon after that photo was taken a brand new home was built on the lot. The third and fourth photos show 414 Louisa Street as it looks today together with the new house next door. That large green space to the rear of the new house is Duval Street. Remember that.
This 970 sq ft cigar maker cottage is somewhat typical as to how old homes are re-purposed for modern life in Key West. A long hallway leads to the open living area in the rear. Both bedrooms, each with en-suite baths, are located up front. A ladder in the hallway leads to a secret loft space which offers sleeping space for the guests you don't want to stay forever.  There is AC up there.
Some of the recent renovations include new wood flooring, new central air conditioning, new windows, and thorough exterior painting. The house shows very well. If you saw it a few years ago, you need to see it again. It is better. The pool area looks especially better. The house is offered fully furnished - TURN KEY
I took the above photo from the bedroom of a Duval Street commercial and residential building in January 2016.  The new house on Louisa Street is the larger, more prominent structure. 414 Louisa Street is nearly invisible from this vantage point. I add this photo to demonstrate the proximity to Duval Street and all that offers to an owner who seeks vacation rental income. You cannot beat the location for proximity, yet the house is far enough removed that noise and traffic do not effect the property.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and listing photos of 414 Louisa Street offered at $939,000. 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.


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.