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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Open Houses of Key West

 Two Open Houses Today

1413 Von Phister St, Key West  Open 12:00 - 2:00
There is 1924 square feet of living between the front and rear porches of this Brand New Home which has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large open concept living area, and that beautiful heated pool. Offered at $1,499,000.

619 Virginia Street, Key West  Open 12:00 to 2:00
Newer 1394 sq ft pool-side town home located at the Southernmost Cabana Resort which has only 21 homes. This home has a successful history as a monthly vacation rental. It should - it is located one block from upper Duval Street. South Beach is located four blocks to the south. It has adjacent off street parking and the largest deck in the complex plus a large private side yard. Offered at $899,000.
Follow me on TWITTER for up to the hour MLS info and other stuff including photos of people who end up in the slammer who look like they got slammed by a cop.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

1120 Curry Lane, Key West

I will bet you that a lot of potential house buyers who have been scouring the Key West Association of Realtors mls website have seen the listing at 1120 Curry Lane and have no idea where it is.  If you do a Google Search and see an aerial view you will quickly learn that it is located on a one-way lane that runs parallel between Fleming Street to the north and Southard Street to the south.  You enter from White Street - about 100 feet to east and exit at Frances Street at the west. Curry Lane truly is one of the slow lanes of Key West because so few people know where it is or have any reason to go there other than to go home.  That means is it quite. Some may think it is too far from Duval Street. Nay, I say. I think a normal person could walk to Duval in 8 to 10 minutes or be at the historic seaport in 7 minutes or so. There are normal people in Key West - sometimes it may not look like it, but there really are some.
I searched the Historic Sanborn Fire Maps to determine the approximate age of 1120 Curry Lane. It first appeared on the 1899 map. The Frank Harris Livery stable and sheds were located across the lane. The earlier Sanborn maps and the 1899 map showed several large open spaces between Curry Lane and Barracks Lane which was later renamed Stump Lane. This entire area was located just west of the ARMY Barracks and Parade Grounds which dates back to before the Civil War. In more recent times that area was federal government housing.  The black and white photo above shows the house as it appeared in 1965. The aerial photo below was taken in the 1920s. I added a notation to show the location of 1120 Curry Lane. By the time this photo was taken, the horses had been replaced by cars. The livery was razed and four cigar maker cottages were built at the location at Fleming and White Street. Those cigar cottages were replaced by the mid-century Sunbeam Grocery store.
The home and guest cottage offer 1922 sq ft of living space under air which includes two bedrooms on the second floor and a separate guest cottage at the rear which includes a small kitchen, bath, living and sleeping loft.
The main house and guest cottage are oriented toward providing direct access to the outdoor spaces as well as being recipients of the abundant daytime light which comes thru the glass paneled French doors. 
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet and more photos of 1120 Curry Lane. 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 took the little logo photo below of a nearby Curry Lane cottage a couple of years ago. This lane has several absolutely adorable little homes on it.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Party Line Telephone - My Life as a Brat

I remember that time before my sister passed away nearly twenty years ago when she told me I was brat as a child. I was ticked off and disagreed. That's a terrible thing to say to someone.  But it was partly true. You can judge me by what I did when I was about five or six years old.

Both of my parents worked. Before I went to elementary school I spent the days with Mr. and Mrs. Sorrentino who lived across the street. On warm days he would sit in his wood chair on the front porch watching not much of anything happen on our little street. He would place his hand on the arm rest and dare me to smash it with my powerful little fist. He would usually retract his arm faster than I could hit the top of his hand. He would let me hit his hand enough times not to discourage me however. I knew he let me win. 

One day a man drove his yellow couple car and parked it on the side of our house. We lived on a corner. The man was wearing a suit and fedora hat. This was the very early 1950s when just about every man wore a hat of some type. Mrs. Sorrentino came out to the porch. They either suggested that I go to my house to find out what the man wanted or I volunteered.

I went over to my house. The man asked me if I lived there. Yes, I said. He then said something to the effect that he was an investigator for the telephone company and that I had been on the telephone using very bad language. 
The phone was made of bake lite, a material that preceded plastic. The phone was heavy. It did not have a dial - that came a few years later. I do remember you had to give the telephone operator the phone number you wanted to call. Our telephone was on a "party line". This was a phone line shared by multiple users.  Anyone could pick up the phone and listen to whoever else was speaking. Users were encouraged to keep their phone messages short.
I guess it wasn't hard to figure out who the bad kid with the filthy mouth was. I can remember to this day that man scarred the hell out of little me. He did not threaten me. His being there at that moment accusing me of saying really bad words to women on the phone threatened my existence. My Sunday school boyishness was exposed to the nerve.

He then said that he wouldn't return to my house to tell my parents what I did if I promised not to go on the phone again and say bad words to the other telephone users. I promised!

He went back to his yellow car and left. I returned across the street to the Sorrentinos, both of whom were waiting to ask me who the man was and what he wanted. He was lost, I said - or some thing to that affect. My sister was probably correct. Not only was I a brat but also a liar.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Don't Play with Sharp Objects - A Cautionary Tale

I was at a home inspection a couple of weeks ago with a buyer's agent. We were standing on the rear deck discussing the installation of hurricane shutters - it's a thing in Key West.  The other agent had
a knife in his hand which he kept flailing about as he was talking. I kept telling him not to move his hand around.  He had something important to tell me. He felt compelled to keep moving that damned knife in the direction of my head. He wasn't mad. He was oblivious to the danger he could cause.

I had enough and told him the true story that happened in Denver three decades ago. I owned a bunch of apartments in Denver. I was on a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to testify in federal court against a guy who owned our bank a lot of money. My partner called me to tell me the story of what happened to Rick.
Rick was a 30 something tall, thin, exceeding handsome gay man who rented from me. He was the captain at the fine dining restaurant at one of Denver's premiere hotels. My partner told me that he had taken some new mini blinds to install in Rick's apartment.  Mini blinds are inexpensive and easy to install. All you need is a nail or drill to create a starter hole and then a screw driver to affix a screw to fasten a bracket to the window frame. Rick saw my partner put up one of the blinds and offered to help.
Within a few seconds of picking up a screw driver, Rick poked a hole in his eye. He screamed. My partner grabbed him and rushed him to Denver General Hospital. The wound was too severe to wait minutes for an ambulance. They were at the hospital in just a few minutes. It didn't matter. Rick lost his eye. It was heart breaking. This was life changing. It was forever.

I tell people this story because people do dumb things all the time without considering the consequences. There is a reason your mother told you not to play with sharp objects.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

1217 Newton Street, Key West

Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion states that an object remains at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The house at 1217 Newton Street in the Meadows Area of Key West is the perfect example of a house at rest, unaffected by the unbalanced world outside the picket fence. All inside is serene, sophisticated, and stylish.
The main entrance to this home is located mid-way along the west side wall. A high privacy fence separates this home from the place next door. A covered porch protects you from sun or rain at the main entry. As soon as you open the main door you know you are at someplace "special" because most houses in most places don't look like this. The first thing I noticed when I entered was the dark toned walls offset by windows and doors which illuminate this cozy space with light during the daytime. Cozy, yes, but not too small. The rooms have very high ceilings which give the living area a most spacious aura. One of the previous owners was an architect who designed the renovation. The interiors were designed to resemble the efficiencies one would see on a ship which includes lots of built-in storage. While many houses in Key West may have wooden rafted ceilings and/or galley kitchens, you won't find a one that resembles this home. The first floor guest bedroom has built-in bunk beds.
My eyes were drawn to the French doors that lead to the rear covered living area and the pool and spa beyond. A separate built-in seating area is nestled under palms at the rear. This place is just too wonderful for words. Seriously.
The original front porch is the outdoor domain of the guest apartment which takes up the front part of the house. There is a mini-kitchen, full bath, and living area on the first floor. A ladder leads to the second floor loft-style bedroom with knee wall closets. A skylight illuminates this space during the daytime.
A spiral staircase leads to the second level where an office is located on the landing. A door opens into the amazing master suite. The bedroom area has a large built in TV hidden behind paneled doors when not in use. Underneath you will find a fireplace. How warm is that? Doors on either side of the TV/fireplace wall lead to the separate treetop sitting area that is surrounded on three sides by windows that look out to lush palm foliage. It's like a cabin in the sky. A separate TV with fireplace below invite you to lounge in luxury. Another spiral staircase leads to the rooftop deck and outdoor shower. No prying eyes can see up here. Everything up t here (which a lot of people would deem throw away space) was treated just the opposite. Everything is precise and of highest quality. This house will appeal to an artist, a poet, a musician. It is a work of art.
I searched through my old shoebox and found a photo taken in the 1920s to which I added a check mark to show the location of 1217 Newton Street. The large ares to the rear is the former Army Barracks and parade grounds. The broad white colored street on the lower right was previously bounded by water. This area was known as North Beach. That area was later in-filled and became condominiums. Thank goodness the city fathers and mothers didn't let politicians and developers spoil the rest of Old Town and The Meadows.
CLICK HERE to view the Key West MLS datasheet of 1217 Newton Street, Key West, offered for sale at $1, 395,000. Then please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642, to schedule an appointment to see this one-of-a-kind home. I am a buyers agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Key West.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday Open Houses - Key West

12:00 to 2:00 PM

1413 Von Phister Street
Brand New 1924 Sq Ft  Contemporary Conch Style Three Bedroom Home
Pool, Parking, White Picket Fence, Ten Foot Ceilings, Brazilian Mahogany Floors
Landscaped and Move-in Ready
Offered at $1,499,000

619 Virginia Street   Southernmost Cabana Resort  
1394 Sq Ft  Two Bedroom/Three Bath Pool side Town Home
Adjacent Off Street Parking, Wrap-around deck, Private Garden
Successful Vacation Rental History
Offered at $899,000


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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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.