Sunday Morning Walk

Took my little camera along for my walk this morning. Come along…

Talk about a butcher job! This house has long needed a renovation and it finally is getting one but I feel bad for the tree. Hopefully they come back and finish the ob properly.

This is Hunt Lane. It’s a small walking lane just off Southard Street. There are six homes located on this lane!

Just up Southard Street from Hunts Lane is Mangia Mangia restaurant. Love the curved balcony up top. What a gorgeous building.

This is the old “Albury” house that just was magnificently restored. Old Bonnie Albury lived here until her death two years ago. She used to sweep her sidewalks everyday with a thatched broom. She would yell at people for parking in front of her house and she would also pull down her pants and moon the conch train as it drove past.

Notice the widows walk on top. The ship captains would use the walk to check the activity at the harbor and when the captains were sailing, their wives would keep a look out for their husbands’ return.

One more look because  it is just so pretty.

This house sits near Solares Hill on Angela Street. See the condition of it? The Albury house above was in this exact condition prior to the renovation.

 This house is an anomaly. It sits on Petronia Street between Simonton and Elizabeth. One of my co-workers and her husband purchased this house and are remodeling it. It is unusual because it is a concrete block home in a neighborhood of frame houses. Here they are enclosing the front porch. The lot is very narrow but more than 100′ deep.

 Directly across the street from the above house sits this Methodist church.

 We have a lot of churches in Key West.

 This is the Key West I love. Another little walkimg lane and I am not going to tell you where it is unless you ask me.

 I LOVE this shot. Little house on same lane. You cant find this scene in Old Town much anymore.

 Entrance to the lane.

 Art Deco meets historic Old Town.

 Now we are walking down Olivia Street where the above lane dumps you out. Look how cute little cottage is.

 This cottage sits smack dab next door. This is what makes Key west so quirky. There literally is a stewpot of people, all of differing economic means living somewhat compatibly on a tiny little rock in the middle of two bodies of water. It’s so far removed from the sterile, planned community of Truman Annex.

 Further down Olivia Street and we  get to the Cemetery.

 It could use some attention.

 Like a weed wacker for starters.

 This sign is on the fence of a tiny cottage next to the Cemetery. To the left of the red Iguana sign, there is another knocked over that says “Help a Local Sleep. Take a chicken with you when you leave town”. If you’ve ever been to Key West, you know exactly what that means.

 Now we are back yo my house.

More bananas on the way…

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Sights along my morning walk

I brought my camera along on my early morning walk. Here are some of the sights encountered along the way.




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Hackers Suck

Seems I did a post on this subject awhile ago but my oh my, the message remains true and timely. It is true that I have been MIA on this site for a very long time. Because everytime I try to log on, WordPress has blocked my access for my own protection because so many attempts have been made to attack all of the blogs on WordPress.Thats a lot. And while I appreciate their help, it’s been frustrating to not get access when I want it. But I tried again just now and here I am!







That said, there is not much going on around town today. Key West is in the summer doldrums. Too hot to be outside and all the tourists are home enjoying summer in their own community. Here is a shot of the street outside my office. This is Southard Street in the block between Duval and Simonton Street.







This picture was taken at 3:00pm on Wednesday. The parking lot should be packed.







Even the ATM machine is dead!






The beaches are quiet too. But that is a good thing! Come on down.

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Can you see this newly hatched butterfly?He has spent the morning pumping his wings to get the fluids flowing before flying off to begin his short but busy lifespan. 

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One of the many pleasures of living in Key West is the sheer beauty of everyday life. This orchid is tied to a tree just outside my front door. It’s been in full bloom like this for two weeks. I get to see it morning, noon and night, I do not know what kind of orchid it is, I barely even take care of it. Just spray it with water while watering the yard. Thats just how easy it is to grow beautiful plants, flowers and shrubs.

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Walking to Faustos grocery store to grab some lunch Friday and saw this old conch house being tented. We tent for termites in the tropics. If you own a wood frame house in Key West, it is neccessary to tent about every eight years or the termites will set in and start eating! And if you qon a CBS house, (concrete, block, stucco), you will still want to tent every ten years or so. What happens is the termites get into the wood trim and start eating. They love window sills and door jambs especially. The cost to tent a home this size (2 story) is about $2000.00. You will need to beout of the home for at least one night, possibly two depending on the timing of the tent coming off. Once off, the house needs to air out for about six hours before you can move back in.

Are you interested in Key West Real Eatate? Let me know…I am happy yo add you to a direct feed from our MLS system. You can be among the first to know as new properties hit the market. My name is Dominique Barrera and I am a Realtor with Preferred Properties in Key West, Florida.

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Summer evening social

I love summer in Key West. The island is an explosion of colors. The heat is up full throttle and all over the island there is a feeling of relaxation. Less traffic, less stress…
I have been taking advantage of the slowdown in showings by riding my bicycle to the office all week. I always try to take a different route but each route I take will intentionally cut through the Key West Cemetery. I have family buried there so I’ll ways shout a greeting out as I pedal through. Yesterday evening, this was the scene I encountered on my way through. Big Iquana sunning himself on a low wall while chicken family walks towards him, pecking for insects. Iguanas are vegetarian so no danger to the chickens. 
We really are “One Human Family”.

My name is Dominique Barrera and I am a Realtor with Preferred Properties in Key West, Florida,
Please contact me if you are interested in Buying or Selling your Key West home. 305-923-1530.

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Old Key West

Here is another old postcard. Check out the 7 mile bridge. It was so very narrow and the railings were so low.  Not much room for error. I remember being on a school bus with the tennis team when I was in high school, crossing over the bridge. The driver, (our coach) hit the side of the bridge  gently and scared us all to death.

Also notice the old shrimp boats. They docked down at the Key West Seaport, home of the Turtle Kraals.

See the little girl in the postcard? That could be me!. I would have been just that age and standing in just that spot, checking out the turtles on the dock. Of course I had no idea what was to become of them. Just thought they were cute. 

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Not seeing the Forest for the trees

Today I feel frustrated.

I am working with a Buyer’s agent who has the perfect, dream clients.

They are young, they have a beautiful baby, the husband is an up and coming neuro-surgeon and they have a 2.5 million dollar budget.

This is the house they are looking at

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What exactly are your reasons for buying that house?

So…my husband  and I just returned from a quick trip to Asheville NC where we went to look at a property we thought we would like to buy. We were soooo excited stepping onto the airplane the day before viewing the home. Thoughts of a cozy little bungalow, one mile from the downtown area were floating around and around my mind. 

We took a taxi from our vacation rental to the property and immediately I felt disappointed.
The last time we had seen the property it appeared in much better condition. Now, with a wet spring, the grass had turned to weeds and the vines were growing up the side of the house. Not too big a deal. We both love to garden but still…I took a deep breath, shook of my trepidation and inside we went, for the first time ever.
It has tall ceilings and old wood floors that might be able to be refinished.
The kitchen is teeny tiny and very old. 
The bathroom is a gut job.
It has a little porch off to the side.
Everything was just old and abandoned feeling. The owners of the house have been deceased for a few years and the heirs have kept the utilities going but have not cleaned out one single thing form the house. There is still food in the kitchen cabinets and loads of stuff everywhere. It was really hard to even see the house. 

There is a walkout basement. The ceilings are low and it was too crammed with stuff to even take pictures. 
Also on the property is this old trailer. It seems like some kind of kit trailer. It was wet inside and needs to be rebuilt or torn down.

All in all, we were very disappointed with the condition o f the property which leads me to the blog title.What exactly are our reasons for buying this house. 

We cant afford to buy the property and just let it sit. We would need to get a tenant in the house quickly. However, certain repairs will need to be made if we do plan to rent the home. Do we really want to make the repairs when the house is more likely a teardown? The property consists of three lots. One option would be to sell off one lot, pay down the mortgage and sit on the property until time to resell in a couple of years at a profit. 

My goal to purchase a home in Asheville is to eventually spend more time there in the summers. Reselling the property does not accomplish that goal. Prices are increasing so quickly that we wont be able to afford anything if we don’t act right away.

We could do repairs, rent the house for a few years and then tear down and rebuild, eventually having a new home on two lots in a great neighborhood. 

It’s a lot to think about and my mind changes often. The neighborhood is fantastic and to eventually own a house and large lot sq footage in such a location would be great. But we live in Key West and the logistics of doing anything with the property is going to be more challenging.

So what are your goals for buying a property in Key West?

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