For Sale: Beachfront Beauty. Needs work, but just the ticket for discerning buyer with sense of history. Numerous improvements by security-conscious former owner.
For $575-000 you can pick up your own winter hideaway on Key Biscayne with extras such as one-fourth of a hellipad and a second mortgage held by Richard M. Nixon.
But don't expect a presidential palace.
Where Secret Service agents once kept a careful eye on comings and goings, now only a large spider guards the front door of the ranch-style home that Nixon sold to Toronto psychiatrist Sherwood Appleton in 1976 for $390,000.
Paint has mildewd, cracked and peeled. Leaves are piled in corners of the yard. Rose bushes are dying.
"Nixon didn't live there," Bittner said. "He only worked there. He lived here."
Appleton says he doesn't care to argue about it. "They were both the president's houses," he said.
Appleton said he originally hoped to live in the home himself part of each year but found he didn't have enough time. He rented it to a few friends, but found that being an absentee landlord doesn't allow him to supervise maintenance properly.
"It needs a permanent occupant who can appreciate the history as well as the location," he said. "It's a pretty unique setting. I think somebody who could understand that would appreciate it."
Among items requiring appreciation are the concrete hulk of a heliport jutting into the sea - built by the government to facilitate arrivals by presidental helicopter.
But Appleton's property includes only a 30-foot-wide section of the land site. "The rest belongs to the government," Mrs. Davide explains.