TIMELESS ‘OLD FLORIDA’ DIFFERENT FROM MODERN MANSIONS
42: When many Fort Lauderdale home buyers think about what they want in their next residence, they see a modern home with all the latest amenities. They look for contemporary design with open interior floor plans, fewer walls, and spaces bathed in natural light. Outside, building exteriors feature glass, concrete, and steel forming both sharp angles and straight lines. A home like this is beautiful, but it lacks the timeless Florida style that a shrinking number of Florida lifestyle homes bring.
Consider, then, the design features of “Old Florida” homes. Built of concrete block and stone (CBS) construction across one-floor or “ranch style” architecture, these bungalow homes often feature curved, gabled and carved elements. Ceilings are lower, roofs are flatter in slope, and the overall elevation is a timeless design that is becoming increasingly rare across South Florida.
It’s also popular for the right buyer.
It still exists today in the waterfront home at 2313 E. Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale’s equally timeless Las Olas Isles neighborhood. Built in 1949, what the spacious, 2,700-square-foot home seemingly lacks in the scope, scale, and grand design of a modern multi-level mansion it teems with timeless Florida beauty.
OLD FLORIDA STYLE, NEW FORT LAUDERDALE LISTING
Recently listed by the team at the Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office, it was our task to bring that ageless beauty and timeless design to life at this Florida lifestyle property for just the right buyer.
That CBS construction ensured the home had what they call “solid bones.” In fact, we performed a pre-listing inspection to discover - or make sure there were no - hidden surprises tucked away in this 70-year-old structure. None were found.
Outside, it has a circular driveway, pool, and lush landscaping. The most marketable amenity, however, is its waterfront perch. Set on a canal 20 homes from the Intracoastal Waterway, homeowners for generations have enjoyed what locals call “deepwater access” to the Intracoastal - and the Atlantic Ocean. Power boats and yachts are able to leave the dock behind the home and be on the Intracoastal in minutes, and the ocean is less than a half hour.
That address also place it a 15-minute walk from A1A and Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Couple the waterfront setting with the old Florida charm and that classic Florida style, and the right buyer likely would be pleased to spend the $1 million-plus asking price. These were key considerations when the Lanham Team sat with the owner to calculate the price as part of the home’s positioning and marketing.
TIMELESS, CLASSIC FLORIDA STYLE
We’ve previously reviewed this home and the classic Florida style and attributes considered for its pricing and positioning. But let’s look at this home’s unique attributes again. With three bedrooms and two-and-one-half bathrooms, it’s not the number of rooms but how they’re placed that makes the home work for the right buyer.
Like many classic Florida lifestyle properties, this home was made for living. The primary bedroom, which leads out to the patio (we’ll get to that in a bit), has two sizeable closets. The larger one is a walk-in with ample space. The second, slightly smaller closet, would be perfect for the spouse or partner with fewer clothes - maybe daily wear, boating or golfing attire, a few suits or a tuxedo for formal events. Both bedrooms have their own bathroom.
Common to the 1940s design, and any renovations or embellishments that often came later in the 1950s and ‘60s, the open kitchen is styled far differently from modern kitchens. We decided we would embellish it with furniture.
STAGING THE HOME FOR PERFECT SHOWING
We partnered with expert broker and staging professional Robert MacKilligan of Florida Stage Hands and Designs to perfectly and magnificently stage the home. Working with associate Sherri Cohen, their goal was to take this house back to the look of life in an old Florida style.
As you would expect, the kitchen area was full of special touches from a bygone area. As was common in the day, the half-bath off the kitchen brought a certain level of convenience. Nearby, there’s a step-down laundry area.
Today, making any significant renovations to a classic Florida style home like this requires a host of city permits. Which permits are required would depend on the unique city or municipality. In 1950s and 1960s, adding to a home like this often didn’t require permits or face regulations as we would today. If some of these elements required upgrading to bring them into current code, responsibility would fall to the seller in order to transfer title.
Returning to the kitchen, it’s really a centerpiece to the home. It faces a large bedroom, and nearby are doorways inviting guests outside to the patio, a view of the waterways, and the subtropical climate many moved here for. The spacious patio will get frequent and lengthy use during the cooler months; even summer evenings are welcoming for relaxing beside the water.
For those yearning for South Florida waterfront living, these doors are your invitation.
FORT LAUDERDALE WATERFRONT & TIMELESS FLORIDA LIFESTYLE
Boaters, cruisers, and water enthusiasts will find what rare homes like this offer. People come here because they want to cruise the Intracoastal, access to the port, even cruising or fishing the Atlantic for the more adventurous. The opportunity to take advantage of their boat any day of the year is uniquely a Florida lifestyle. This home and these doors put you steps from the aquatic living.
Like other classic Florida-style homes, this one has exposed, interior brick; whether it was an addition is unknown. If it were done by permit, it would be noted in county records. As noted above, a lack of permitting means it didn’t meet the requirements or standards of the time. It’s clear in many of these homes how additions were made to meet the desires of the unique owner at a particular time.
Beyond the three bedrooms, there are two other common living rooms. The first, on the home’s northeast side, could be an ideal media room. With easy access to kitchen and primary bedroom, it’s ideal for modern media-watching needs. Popcorn or snacks are in close reach from the kitchen; the bedroom is nearby, too. Whether taking in a baseball game or just hoping to “Netflix and chill,” it’s all close at hand.
This Florida lifestyle property is the complete package - waterfront, perfect for a small family or empty-nester retirees, or an executive looking for an ideal South Florida waterfront residence. The Gary Lanham Group consulted with the owner to the position this home not as a tear-down/rebuild, but as a home for a buyer who would appreciate its historic charm. This could help deliver a premium price.
That’s the expertise the team at The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office brings to each transaction. Whether listing, marketing and showing a home in Las Olas Isles, Lake Ridge, Wilton Manors, Coral Ridge, Imperial Point, Coral Ridge Isles, or Oakland Park, we help maximize each transaction.
And if you’re looking for a home in any of these markets, from Boca Raton to Harbor Beach on Port Everglades, we’re your team.
Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 954) 695-6518 or visit www.GaryLanhamGroup.com.
WRITTEN BY GARY LANHAM
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