Tag Archives: Key West history

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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824 Thomas Street, Key West, FL—SOLD $924,500.

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If you have dreamed of finding a historic barn, firehouse, or church and turning it into a one-of-a-kind showplace—or lost a Sunday afternoon captivated by amazing home conversions on HGTV—then our new listing at 824 Thomas Street, in Key West’s historic Bahama Village, is your dream come true.

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dmre-824thomas-3173Erected by former slaves in 1867, the Zion Primitive Baptist Church was rebuilt in 1911. The African American congregation closed its doors in the 1970’s and the current owner converted the church to an extraordinary single-family home in 1983. Elementary architectural features attest to its ecclesiastical origins. The simple elegance of the corner steeple, prominent double-door entrance, and pointed-arch windows reflect the structure’s Carpenter Gothic style.

Being offered for sale for the first time in 33 years, 824 Thomas Street presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a truly unique Key West property.

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Working on the project for over three decades, the craftsman owner has created an unforgettable home with 2,692 square feet of living space on a lot of 4,865 square feet. The converted church structure features two dramatic living spaces: a 2 bedroom/1 bath main living area and a 1 bedroom/1 bath Mother-in-Law suite/artist’s studio. A charming 1 bedroom/1 bath guest cottage and a spacious storage shed can be found in the tropical backyard garden. Generous off-street parking and a prized X Flood Zone location add to the property’s substantial charms.

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dmre-824thomas-3154The main living area offers striking spaces rarely seen in Key West. Soaring to 27 feet at its peak, the great room’s beamed ceiling is breathtaking. Original Romanesque arches and unique craftsman features demand one’s eye at every turn. With outstanding flow from the great room to the massive kitchen space and out to the garden, the home is ideal for entertaining. A cozy guestroom, full bath, and large laundry complete the first floor. Looking over both the great room and the backyard, a grand master bedroom dominates the second story.

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A lofty, 1 bedroom/1 bath, Mother-in-Law suite has been created in the front of the converted church structure. Architectural Fir wood beams add to the drama of the space’s 27’ ceiling. A roomy loft bedroom—with skylights—looks out over open plan living below. The towering space calls out for an artist to take up residence.

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dmre-824thomas-3166A secret garden can be found at the back of the property. Overlooking the mature tropical garden, a historic, 1 bedroom/1 bath, guest cottage offers visitors a charming private retreat. The deep lot is beautifully landscaped with rare palms and features a grand old Sapodilla tree. With a generous storage shed, privacy, and room for a sparkling pool, the backyard garden is a rare gem in the Key West Historic District.

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Nothing less than a Bahama Village Neighborhood landmark, 824 Thomas Street is routinely photographed, sketched, and painted by visitors and artists from around the world. Iconic Key West restaurant, Blue Heaven, can be found on the corner, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum sits a block away, and you are just a two-block stroll to all the best of world famous Duval Street.

Since we first toured this incomparable home, we have not stopped daydreaming about what we would do to make it our own. We wish we were buying this wondrous corner of paradise.

—Keith & Dean

Click here to enjoy of virtual tour of this truly one-of-a-kind Key West home.

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser's office c1965; 824 Thomas St.; built 1920's; Zion Primitive Baptist Church; Tract 3, Sqr 2, Sub 5

Photo taken by the Property Appraiser’s office c1965; 824 Thomas St.; built 1920’s; Zion Primitive Baptist Church; Tract 3, Sqr 2, Sub 5

1022 Roberts Lane, Key West, FL—SOLD $699,000.

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If you have enjoyed fantasies of owning a charming Key West cottage, tucked away on one of Old Town’s historic hidden lanes, then the beautiful island style home located at 1022 Roberts Lane is your dream come true. We love everything about this meticulously renovated 1 bedroom/1.5 bath corner of paradise.

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Stroll down tranquil Roberts Lane (off the 600 Block of Frances Street) and you will discover this unforgettable cottage nestled at the end of the lane. Artisan-crafted features abound in this truly one-of-a-kind home. Entering to inviting open-plan living, you will be captivated by the spacious kitchen’s beamed ceiling, handcrafted copper countertops, and reclaimed Dade County Pine bar. The gorgeous living room’s exquisite teak floors and soaring bamboo ceiling echo South Pacific dreams. French doors carry you to a private side porch overlooking the lush tropical garden. Nirvana.

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Beams grace the ceiling of the lovely and serene master bedroom. The light-filled master bath is unforgettable. With its vaulted ceiling, double vanity and shower, and magnificent windows, it rivals a five star spa. A bright Balinese inspired powder room opens to a wonderful sundeck, outdoor shower, and enclosed laundry.

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As REALTORS®, we do not always have the opportunity to sell a home that has captured our hearts. 1022 Roberts Lane is not only a listing we are more than proud to have, we wish we were buying this adorable island style cottage for ourselves.

—Keith & Dean

Click here to enjoy a virtual tour of this beautiful island style cottage.

Click here to see THE TOP 10 THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT 1022 ROBERTS LANE, KEY WEST, FL.

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The Year of the Key West Cottage

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With our sales of five charming island cottages since the beginning of the year, 2016 is turning out to be The Year of the Key West Cottage. While it is not unusual—among our closings of historic Classical Revival mansions, stylish oceanfront condos, and tropical mid-century homes—for us to sell an Old Town cottage here and there, more and more of our clients are choosing cottage living. Since we happily dwell in an 1890’s cigar makers’ cottage, it is not hard for us to expound on the joys of cottage life. We are delighted that cottage living seems to be the Hemingway cat’s meow in Key West.

So what is it about quintessential Key West cottages that is attracting buyers? Yes, they are quaint, charming, and adorable, but we believe people are being drawn to them on an even deeper level. Among this year’s contentious presidential primaries, the Syrian refugee crisis, and terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, individuals and families are longing for a simpler, less chaotic time. (Not long after the attacks of September 11th, Dean sold his home in Chicago and bought his first Key West cottage.) The trademark white picket fences, welcoming front porches, and Victorian gingerbread adornments of Old Town’s historic cottages evoke the cherished, uncomplicated lifestyle lived by our grandparents and great-grandparents. Only a distant memory in most places, Key West cottage living offers a lifestyle of strolling to dinner, visiting with neighbors, and watching the world pass by from a porch swing.

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While the Florida New Urbanism communities, of Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and Celebration have worked to recreate the best of small town America, Key West is the real deal. The Charter of the New Urbanism begins with: “We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrates local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.” Sound like Key West? Investors have been backing these developments for over three decades because they know they offer what buyers are looking for. Key West has obviously inspired more people than us.

Taking up residence in a century old cottage can take a lot of getting used to for those that are accustomed to the space allotted to many of the country’s suburban homes. Although challenging, adapting to living less large can be freeing, and can certainly lead one on a path to a simpler life. (Many Old Town cottages have been renovated to make it easier, not only maximizing space, but reflecting the best of modern living and design.) It is the Siren’s call of Key West’s laid-back, authentic, small town lifestyle that is capturing the hearts and minds of our cottage buyers and makes adapting to a different way of living well worth the effort.

Cottage living in Key West has given us the uncomplicated lifestyle that we see our clients longing for. We bet that they will love living in a tropical island cottage as much as we do. With a new listing of an exceptionally renovated Key West cottage coming our way, and clients deciding on which charming shotgun cottage to make an offer, 2016 will surely continue to earn The Townsend Team’s title of The Year of the Key West Cottage.

—Dean & Keith

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The Top 10 Features Key West Buyers Are Looking For In Their Dream Home

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Countless people fantasize about owning a home in Key West. Each year, hundreds of lucky dreamers descend on our island looking for the perfect Victorian cottage, seaside condominium, or tropical estate. The best thing about our job, is helping our clients find the Key West home of their dreams.

With sixteen years of combined experience selling Key West real estate, we pretty much know what people desire in their dream home. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten home features that Key West buyers are looking for. What are your Top 10?

—Keith & Dean

The Top 10 Features Key West Buyers Are Looking For In Their Dream Home

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10. Old Town Location
It is no wonder that the Key West neighborhood that tops the list of home buyers is our beautiful, historic Old Town. Amid picturesque Victorian era streets and a lifestyle lived visiting on front porches or strolling to dinner at favorite neighborhood eateries, Old Town is the authentic version of classic small town America that the New Urbanism movement has been recreating across the country for decades.

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9. Palm Trees
Key West buyers simply can’t imagine purchasing a home without palm trees in the yard. With a subtropical climate offering an eternal growing season, and over 2,500 species of palms to choose from, palm trees abound in our island’s gardens.

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8. Covered Outdoor Space
The sun in Key West is intense. Dreams of enjoying a cool tropical drink in the shade of a lazy veranda, live in many a heart and mind. Having covered outdoor space undoubtedly adds to sweetness of island living.

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7. Off-Street Parking
Although they will likely find themselves walking and biking most of the time, buyers are looking for a home with a parking spot for their vehicle. In our historic neighborhoods that were densely built before the introduction of cars, off-street parking can be elusive.

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6. High & Dry
With images of the flooding caused by 2005’s Hurricane Wilma lingering in the minds of many buyers, the desire for homes that did not take on water during the storm, is strong. A flood zone “X” certification eliminates most lenders’ requirement for flood insurance. Luckily, the majority of Old Town sits high and dry.

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5. Move-In Ready
There will always be those looking for a cigar maker’s cottage to renovate, or a neglected Classical Revival mansion to restore, but most buyers are in search of their move-in ready corner of paradise. With many properties being sold turnkey, it is possible to find a home where you can move in with just your toothbrush.

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4. Indoor/Outdoor Living
With an abundance of great weather to enjoy, our buyers want to be able to open their windows and doors and live a lifestyle that flows seamlessly from the indoors to the outdoors—especially if they have just endured a Chicago winter.

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3. First Floor Master Suite
Let’s face it, Key West is not an inexpensive place to live. Most of our buyers have reached a stage in life where they can afford to buy their dream home in paradise. With the possibility of mobility issues looming down the road, a first floor master suite is an important feature for many baby boomers, retirees, and those with elderly parents.

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2. Front Porch
What is more quintessentially Key West than kicking back on an old fashioned front porch and watching the world stroll by?

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★1. Pool
A pool and Key West go together like rum and Ernest Hemingway. Is it any wonder that having a pool tops the list of the features our buyers are looking for in their dream home?

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