BUYER: Kenny Chesney
LOCATION: Caroline Street, Key West, FL
SIZE: 6,888 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 full and 1 half bathroom
DESCRIPTION: …Stately and elegant, the 5 bedroom, seven and one-half bath house has high peaked Gothic style roof over classical Revival portico and four graciously arched bays. The beautiful arched front door is distinctive and rare in Key West…Large rooms, 13′ ceilings, elegant moldings and hardware, formal living and dining rooms, custom designed 1500 bottle wine room, an outstanding kitchen equipped with all gourmet appliances, Carrara marble counter tops and in-kitchen dining.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Okay babies, Your Mama is going to pass along some unsubstantiated celebrity real estate gossip here. We don’t normally do this sort of thing, but besides the not so surprising news that security conscious stay at home mommy Jennifer Lopez and her frighteningly skinny salsa singer huzband Marc Anthony bought the house next door to their Brookville, NY estate, the pickins are somewhat slim this morning. So we’re going with what we got and we ask that the children keep in mind this information is not yet verified with property records and suggest that if you’re going to go around trying to impress your friends with all your celebrity real estate knowledge you best qualify this one as rumor. You got that children? Rue-mer. At least for now. Now then…
Although Kenny Chesney, the diminutive country music crooning superstar, has yet to unload the seven and some million dollar property he bought last year in Malee-boo, CA and just two days later flipped back on the market with a stunning $550,000 increase over what he paid, Your Mama hears from Fanny the Floridian (among others) that the award winning singer/songwriter recently closed on an historic house in Key West, Florida. Your Mama’s tipsters all swear on their little sisters’ navel rings that Mister Chesney purchased a lavishly renovated property on Caroline Street that is generally referred to as the W. Hunt Harris House. We aren’t the only folks who think this neither.
However, before we get to discussing the big ol‘ house down in Margaritaville, Your Mama has a bone to pick with Mister Chesney regarding his incessant hat wearing. Listen buddy, we all know yer bald under that thing. And despite your (and your handlers) misgivings about it, there ain’t nuthin‘ wrong with bald. In fact, bald can be hot. It’s the pretending yer not bald that’s not so hot. (Just so y’all know, we are not being defensive due to any follicular issues on our part. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter both have full heads of hair.)
Anyhoo, property records Your Mama accessed do show that the house in question did indeed transfer ownership in mid-January, 2008. Records show the previous owners received $5,700,000 from the new owner. That’s a lot of money for an island hideaway but it’s not nearly the $6,495,000 listing information shows the sellers were asking for the property.
Listing information shows the fully renovated and restored W. Hunt Harris House measures 6,888 square feet and includes five bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. For those not schooled on the historical who’s who of Key West (and why would you be?), back in the late 1800s Mister Hunt Harris married into one of the first and most prominent families to settle in Key West and proceeded to build himself house which was completed in 1898. At least that’s the 411 on Mister Hunt that appears in the property’s listing.
The front façade somehow manages to remain dignified even though it is a thorough melange of Southern Antebellum, Greek Revival and Gothic architectural styles mixed with classic Key West features like the arched front door that leads to a narrow buttercup yellow entrance hall.
The main floor, with stately 13 foot ceilings, includes a formal living room that due to its current shockingly bright coral colored paint job screams, “Look at me! NO! ME! Not the dining room, ME!” Other punishable decorative offenses in the living room include upsetting gold colored swagged curtains, a couple of floral printed swooping settees and a cheap-ass looking ceiling fan. Don’t nobody misunderstand Your Mama here because we think this house is a gorgeous example of modern day Key West living–if you’re a couple of middle aged, empty nesting, heterosexual multi-millionaires–and we totally respect the sellers sensitive and comprehensive restoration of the historic house, but that retina burning coral colored living room set up has got to go.
The dining room, painted the palest shade of baby blue Your Mama has ever seen, features a glittery crystal chandelier and an unfortunately off-center fireplace. Listing information reveals the adjacent wine room holds 1,500 bottles of booze and has its own generator ensuring that when a hurricane takes the power out (and you know it will), the vino stays at a perfect temperature.
The kitchen is large enough for two cookers to maneuver comfortably, has a mix of Carrara marble and wood counter tops which may or may not be teak. Naturally it’s nearly impossible for Your Mama look past the monolithic and menacing pot rack without cringing but when we do we spy something for more upsetting than a pot rack. That would be, of course, that stoopid stuffed parrot hanging in the window. Have mercy.
Beyond the kitchen is a breakfast area as well as a window wrapped family room with shiny wood floors, a truckload of white furniture and few more of the same cheap looking ceiling fans we found in the living room. Okay, what’s with the cheap looking ceiling fans? We recognize that fans are fantastic for moving the hoo-mid Key West air around and it’s obvious this place was not done over on a dime, so can someone please explain these uglee ass fans that look like someone bought them in bulk at a Home Despot clearance sale?
Located on the second floor of the main house, the master bedroom features a large bedroom with a coal burning fireplace (coal?) and some kinda crazy fabric treatment behind the bed, a separate dressing room, a mini-kitchen for late night ice cream snacks, a private balcony that runs the width of the house and is only accessible through the master bedroom and a Carrara marble clad bathroom that successfully manages to merge Old World with new fangled and, perhaps best of all, has a shower built for two.
A guest suite completes the second floor and offers a sitting room, steam shower, walk in closet and private balcony. All that sounds perfectly lovely, but Your Mama fears that with a dee–luxe guest room like guests will never pack up their toiletries and leave. The third floor provides an office area and two more bedrooms with en suite terlits.
The back yard, lush with verdant and steroidal tropical greenery, includes a 42 foot long swimming pool with brick terracing and a commodious wood floored pavilion with a high peaked ceiling that is set up for outdoor entertaining and late afternoon tabloid reading. The guest house/pool cabana, located at the far end of the swimming pool, has been built to withstand a category 5 hurricane, so you know where Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter would be holed up with our menagerie when the wind starts a-blowing. The lower floor of the cabana thing is comprised of a gym space with retractable glass walls where Mister Chesney can do his Bikram yoga in the shaded but open air, an attached full bathroom and an outdoor shower (love that!), custom cabinetry with built in desk and a washer and dryer which means, of course, that no stinky work out wear ever need enter the main house. Upstairs, the fifth bedroom suite offers over night guests (or staff) a morning kitchen, entertainment area (whatever that means) and a private balcony.
As far as we know, Mister Chesney continues to make his primary home in a big Cape Cod style mansion that sits on a 48 and some acre farm in Franklin, TN and which records show he picked up in September of 2003 for $2,500,000. And, of course, there’s also that house on Carbon Mesa Road in Malee-boo which he was unable to sell last year and which records show he still owns and appears to have been taken off the open market.