Tag Archives: Florida Keys

TAKE A PEEK INTO YOUR KEY WEST HOME’S PAST

Back in 1965, the Monroe County Property Appraiser’s office took on the arduous task of taking a Polaroid photograph to document every structure in the county. The resulting group of 4,470 architectural images offers an extraordinary glimpse into a time in Key West history just before homes and commercial structures began to be restored en masse. It is surprising (if not shocking) to see how rundown much of the island’s buildings were at the time. The collection serves as a testament to the commitment of countless individuals that have—over the past fifty years—invested their money, blood, sweat, and tears into returning Key West’s historic structures to their previous glory.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965;  1405 Olivia St.; built c1906; Tract 7, Sqr 2, Pt Lot 13

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 1405 Olivia St.; built c1906; Tract 7, Sqr 2, Pt Lot 13

1405 Olivia Street as seen today.

1405 Olivia Street as seen today.

The treasure trove of photos was endowed to the Monroe County Public Library in Key West. Luckily, the library has made the entire collection available online at http://bit.ly/keyspix.

Click here to visit the website and you will be able to explore a vast array of historic Keys photographs. The 1965 Property Appraiser’s Polaroids have been grouped together in the album The Way We Were—Key West 1960’s.

You can search for the 1965 picture of your Key West home by clicking on the search icon just above the photographs (not the Flickr search icon at the top of the page). Type in the number and street name only. Do not include Street, Avenue, Lane, etc. Undoubtedly, you will be delighted to see how your home looked over fifty years ago. Download the image to your computer and share it with family and friends. Frame a print and proudly hang it on the wall of your Key West dream home. The peek into your home’s past will surely spark many memorable conversations.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 1209 Knowles Lane; built 1920's; Gwynn Sub, Pt Tract 13

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 1209 Knowles Lane; built 1920’s; Gwynn Sub, Pt Tract 13

Today, beautifully renovated 1209 Knowles Lane shines brightly.

Today, beautifully renovated 1209 Knowles Lane shines brightly.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 719 Eisenhower Dr. aka 720 Eisenhower Dr.; house was originally located on the water @719, c1975 house moved across the street to 720 Eisenhower; Tract 7, Lot 5

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 719 Eisenhower Dr. aka 720 Eisenhower Dr.; house was originally located on the water @719, c1975 house moved across the street to 720 Eisenhower; Tract 7, Lot 5

720 Eisenhower Drive has changed a great deal in the last half-century.

720 Eisenhower Drive has changed a great deal in the last half-century.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 813 Frances St.; built 1920's; Tract 6, Sqr 4, Pt Lot 10 & 11

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 813 Frances St.; built 1920’s; Tract 6, Sqr 4, Pt Lot 10 & 11

Beautiful 813 Frances Street today.

Lovely 813 Frances Street captivates today.

Photo taken by Prpoerty Appraiser's office c1965; 530 Grinnell Street; built 1923; Sqr 46, Pt Lot 1

Photo taken by Prpoerty Appraiser’s office c1965; 530 Grinnell Street; built 1923; Sqr 46, Pt Lot 1

One of the most charming cottages in Old Town Key West, 530 Grinnell Street as seen today.

One of the most charming cottages in Old Town Key West, 530 Grinnell Street as seen today.

1711 Von Phister Street, Key West, FL 33040—$649,000.

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Enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride to the eastern end of one of Key West’s beautiful garden byways and you will come upon the charming cottage at 1711 Von Phister Street. When we first visited this tranquil and welcoming home, we saw it as the perfect choice for anyone dreaming of starting out in life (or starting life anew) on our enchanting island.

Constructed in 1943 and nicely renovated in 2007, this single story, three bedroom/two bath, 1,150 square foot cottage is move-in-ready. With its captivating character, spacious 4,862 square foot lot, and central location outside of the historic district, opportunities abound to create the Key West home of your dreams.

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Harkening to a simpler time, the gracious front porch invites one to while away the hours.

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The light-filled living room’s vaulted ceiling adds to its spacious feel.

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Recapture the family dinner hour and enjoy festive holiday celebrations in the home’s traditional dining room.

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Tastefully designed, the updated galley kitchen leads to the tropical backyard.

With no stairs to climb on the way to bed, and three ground floor bedrooms to choose from, the home is the perfect choice for a multigenerational family.

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The large lot offers off-street parking and room for a sparkling inground pool.

We bet you will love this welcoming island cottage as much as we do.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

Click here to enjoy a virtual tour of this charming Key West starter home.

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WHAT FEATURE TOPS THE LISTS OF TODAY’S KEY WEST HOME BUYERS?

Swaying palm trees, a shimmering pool, and a porch of indecision always seem to be on the gotta have it list of those dreaming of purchasing their own corner of paradise. An Old Town location, move-in ready home, and off-street parking are common requirements. One characteristic has risen to the top of our clients’ lists. A ground floor master suite has become the most desired feature of today’s Key West home buyers.

With the Florida Keys coming in with the world’s sixth highest, resort area, million-dollar-plus average home prices (per square foot)—just after Monaco, Naples, Telluride, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Jackson Hole—owning a piece of paradise is not exactly cheap. Consequently, most of our buyers have successfully reached a stage of life where they can afford to acquire their island dream home.

Most of our buying clientele are in their 50’s and 60’s. They have worked hard and have gained a level of career success; allowing them to indulge in a charming Victorian cottage, convenient oceanfront condominium, or historic Old Town estate. Middle age certainly has its perks, but it can present some physical drawbacks. The inability to easily climb stairs on the way to bed is one of the main reasons people are unable to age gracefully in their home. With the possibility of mobility issues looming down the road, a ground floor master suite is an important feature for many baby boomers, retirees, and those with older parents, family, and friends.

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When Key West’s treasured Classical Revival homes were built between 1880 and 1910, they typically had bedrooms on the second floor to catch the island’s breezes. While many of these gems have been lovingly restored and renovated over the past decades, too few projects have added ground level master suites.

The value of an easily accessible master bedroom and bath cannot be underestimated. Many of our buyers will not even look at a property that does not have a first-floor master suite—or the potential to add one.

When investing in Key West real estate, you can’t go wrong if you fall in love with a home showcasing a ground floor master suite, or in choosing to include one in your renovation design. You will command a higher price, and find the right buyer in nothing flat, when the time comes to sell your property.

—Dean & Keith Townsend, The Townsend Team

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1010 Elgin Lane, Key West, FL 33040—SOLD $1,200,000.

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Among the sweetest perks of selling Key West real estate are the array of invitations, to tour the island’s hidden treasures, that come across our desks. After experiencing the captivating cottage at 1010 Elgin Lane, we felt like we had discovered a pot of gold.

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Tucked away on a hidden Old Town lane, this historic, 3 bedroom/3 bath, property can best be described as personality plus. With quintessential Key West curb appeal and a front porch tailor-made for whiling away the hours, the home lays out an unforgettable welcome mat.

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Crossing the threshold, one is immediately struck by the cottage’s storybook charm. The art-filled living room lends itself to whispered confidences and joyous celebrations. Wonderful artistic details delight at every turn.

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The generous, cottage-style, eat-in kitchen offers views of the beautiful garden and pool.

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Downstairs, the master bedroom and adjoining sitting room are awash with dappled light.

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Custom features create a tropical island paradise in the home’s main bath.

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Born from a childhood fantasy, an enchanting secret garden awaits in the backyard.

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Guests will long to stay forever in the coastal guest cottage overlooking the sparkling pool.

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Reminiscent of a British architectural folly, or a New England summer house, the unforgettable octagonal pavilion offers a peaceful retreat from the world’s cares.

Undoubtedly, the magical island escape at 1010 Elgin Lane has captured our hearts. We bet you will fall in love with this not-to-be-missed home as well.

—Keith & Dean

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OUR TOP 10 FAVORITE KEY WEST HOME SALES OF 2016

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With over 13 million dollars in sales, three current listings, and four transactions set to close after the first of the year, 2016 has proven to be a banner year for The Townsend Team. From stately Classical Revival homes, to charming historic cottages, to sunny beach condominiums, we listed and sold many unforgettable Key West dream homes in 2016.

We hope you will enjoy our third annual list of our favorite home sales of the year. Not only did we wish we were buying these wonderful properties for ourselves, family, or friends, we had a great time working with the buyers, sellers, real estate agents, loan officers, closing attorneys, and all the individuals that helped make these transactions happen.

Happy New Year!

Keith & Dean Townsend, The Townsend Team
www.DeanTownsend.com

OUR TOP 10 FAVORITE HOME SALES OF 2016

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10. 3632 Sunrise Drive, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $1,345,500. When we first toured this beautiful canal front home, we knew we had to find the buyer. Our clients fell in love with its amazing outdoor living and had to make it their own.

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9. 418 Amelia Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $545,000. Ideally located just steps from Upper Duval Street, this historic fixer upper was the perfect match for our first-time Key West home buyers. They are off and running, turning it into their dream cottage.

1711-von-phister-street8. 1711 Von Phister Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $530,000. We had so much fun working with our buyers, we were thrilled that they found their Key West starter home. They will undoubtedly transform their charming cottage into a showplace.

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7. 1405 Olivia Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $1,315,000. After helping our sellers purchase a picturesque waterfront home up the Keys, we were delighted to list, market, and sell their historic Classical Revival gem for them.

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6. 639 United Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $810,000. When one of our favorite local mortgage loan originators asked us to help he and his wife purchase their Key West dream home, we were delighted. Their detailed renovation of the historic home is stunning.

11-whistling-duck5. 11 Whistling Duck Lane, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $375,000. We were thrilled to assist the Executive Director of one of our island’s terrific non-profit community-based organizations in the purchase of his first home. The low-maintenance Key West Golf Club townhouse was the perfect match for his busy lifestyle.

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4. 1211 Newton Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $1,185,000. It was a kick when our buyers chose to make the gorgeous home of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, their tropical island escape. We really enjoyed searching with them for just the right property and we are very happy to call them friends and neighbors.

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3. 1022 Roberts Lane, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $699,000. Our sellers created a masterpiece when they meticulously renovated this island style Old Town cottage. It was love at first sight for our buyer.

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2. 1500 Atlantic Boulevard, Unit 107, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $1,200,000. We wished we were buying this stylishly renovated Key West Beach Club condominium. After being listed unsuccessfully with other agents, we went to work restaging and creatively marketing the property and sold the home for our client.

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★1. 824 Thomas Street, Key West, Florida 33040—SOLD $924,500. When ZILLOW.COM selected this extraordinary church-to-home conversion as its Unique House of the Week, our seller was thrilled. The excitement grew when it was featured on TODAY.COM. Going under contract—just one week after we listed it—was the icing on the cake. Selling this 1867, Carpenter Gothic style, former home of the Zion Primitive Baptist Congregation was unquestionably our favorite transaction of the year.
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