I have only been inside the grand Conch House at 1420 White Street once, and that was several years ago when it was offered for sale at the price of $2,695,000. The inside had been carved up. The interior stairway between the main floor and second floor was removed so that the upstairs could be used as an apartment. The large side yard on the north was sold away and a beautiful new home built thereon. The garage at the back had been made into an apartment years earlier, and it was legally separated from the main house. Despite the loss of the side yard and garage properties,the main house still stands as an anchor in the Casa Marina Area of Key West. It is now offered for sale at the short sale price of $495,000 or $190 per sq ft. CLICK HERE to checkout the mls listing info and view more photos of this property.
This is how the listing Realtor describes 1420 White Street:
"Casa Marina Area! This 2-story 5 bedroom, 3 bath home has over 2600 SF of living area. It sits on a large corner lot and is within walking distance of the beach. The separate guest quarters on the second floor of the house is not currently accessible but could be renovated to make the house one grand home again. This is a potential short sale that may be subject to third party approval."
But that's not the end of the story. The garage at 1133 Von Phister Street (rear of 1420 White Street) became a "cottage" and was sold in May 2005 for $749,000. The 648 sq ft building has two bedrooms, one bath, a nice little kitchen and living room. There is a second smaller building that is part of this parcel that could possibly be incorporated into living space in some way or perhaps be demolished to make room for a pool. 1133 Von Phister Street is now offered for sale as a short sale at the asking price of $299,000 or $441 per sq ft. CLICK HERE to checkout the mls listing info and view more photos of this property.
This is how the listing Realtor describes 1133 Von Phister Street:
"Short sale. Quaint cottage in the Casa Marina neighborhood. Two bedroom one bath residence has off street parking and an additional 126 sq ft CBS building in rear of slender but deep lot. This building does NOT have its own electric, water or sewer accounts. New owner will need to establish utility accounts/services. This is a short sale & will require approval by seller's finance companies."1133 Von Phister Street Key West
I think somebody with money and vision need to take a serious look at these two properties as one project. The main house is one of the prettiest houses in Key West. It deserves a better fate than it has been dealt. The cottage portion of the deal may be more difficult because it will be hard for someone at the big bank up north to understand that it lent so damned much money for a garage that someone called a "cottage".
A smart buyer might buy just the cottage at 1133 Von Phister Street. Other than not having its own water, sewer, and electric lines, it could be dolled up quite nicely. It will cost $20,000 +/- to put in new utilities to the property. Throw a few thousand bucks and some fairy dust at this place, and you have yourself a nice little cottage in the Casa Marina Area of Key West for about the same price as a condo.
Or an investor might just buy the parcel and wait for one of the three neighboring properties to buy it. The big house at 1420 White Street is just a big house without room for a pool. It has a very small back yard and really needs the space occupied "cottage". The house next door to the north on White Street is absolutely grand. It would be more grand if it had a garage and off street parking. And the house next door on Von Phister Street CLICK HERE could also benefit from having covered off street parking or possibly use the property as a guest house. 1133 Von Phister Street could make a nice income rental property for several years until one of the three neighbors decides to bite the bullet and buy the property. Because 1133 Von Phister would make any of the three adjacent properties more valuable.
There is some renewed construction going on in Old Town and Casa Marina areas. I sincerely think buying these two properties as one package makes an immense amount of sense. There are two separate owners and different lenders, however. Doing one short sale will test your patience. Doing two might send you to the hospital where you will end up a patient. But the reward of redoing a big grand old house and having either a guest house or garage and a pool may be the kind of challenge you are looking for.
If you would like to take a look at either or both of these properties, please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty,Inc. in Key West, Florida.