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A canal-front home on Key West

Photos by Robert L. Drake

The view from the three-bedroom house in the Florida Keys is down a quiet canal.

Stepping into the living room and seeing the view down the length of the Riviera Canal’s side channel, Mike Jolly knew he had found the house he was seeking. He bought it immediately.

In the intervening 18 years Jolly “redid almost everything except the seawall,” he says, continually upgrading his one-story, concrete block home on a quiet back street in Key West’s New Town neighborhood.

Built in 1958, it’s one of very few homes on the island’s only canal. From their dock, Mike and his wife, Sue, have boating access to both the Gulf of Florida and to Hawks Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.

Now they are moving closer to their children and grandchildren in Tampa and have their three-bedroom, two-bath Key West home with an 80-foot waterfront, a 60-foot floating dock, a heated swimming pool and covered parking on the market for $759,000.

A concrete privacy wall surrounds the property, hiding the view. The tiled front entry and etched-glass front door don’t expose the view, either. However, the water panorama through the French doors and picture window dominates the central living room. Tile floors, white walls and windows in the gables of the cathedral ceiling enhance the room’s airy ambience.

A privacy wall surrounds the home.

In the open-plan living area a breakfast bar separates the rear dining area from the compact kitchen, which is lined with stone-washed maple cabinets, Corian counters and appliances that include an electric range with a ceramic glass cooktop. Sliding glass doors open the kitchen to a raised wooden side deck, where the family grills many meals.

The master suite, which has a Pergo floor, a walk-in closet and a private tiled bath with a glass shower, is on one side of the living room. A room air conditioner supplements the central 3.5-ton air conditioner. Two bedrooms with a connecting tiled bath are on the other. One bedroom has built-in bookcases. All three have ceiling fans and canal views.

The living room sliders open directly to steps leading to the stamped concrete deck around the 15- by 25-foot heated swimming pool and spa.

Next to the pool deck coral-stamped pavers make a shady patio. A 60-foot floating dock has 3 to 5 feet of water, depending on the tide (a 1- to 3-foot range), but most of the canal is about 12 feet deep. The A1A highway bridge (which has a 16-foot vertical clearance) crosses Riviera Canal where it flows into Cow Key Channel. Manatees and tarpon can be seen around the dock.

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The original carport was enclosed to create a laundry, storage room and workshop. A wood-framed canvas roof over the original driveway offers covered off-street parking (a rarity in Key West). Double doors connect the carport to the house through the workshop.

From the street and carport, brick paths lined with river rock lead through palms and tropical shrubs to the front porch.

The home has municipal water and sewer service, hurricane shutters on all windows and rubberized EPDM roofing. Taxes are about $2,800 with a homestead exemption.

Barbara Crespo, (305) 797-0803,, of Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co., Key West, (, lists the property. 

May 2013 issue