Basement Blues


Today was a bit boo-hoo for and one of its fab Buyers. Over the weekend our Buyer popped through an Open House in the central west end of the City and developed a bit of a crush on the property. Within 48 hours her note pad comprised a dozen pages of renovation ideas and her calculator had done overtime punching out the numbers. Visions of stylish updates danced through our client’s head and the prospect of owning this ‘cottage in the city’ was giving her goosebumps though, to her credit, she retained some reservations pending a personal tour with my fine toothed comb.



The property, a century three bedroom row house reeking with the charm of wood plank floors, an old vintage stove, and an aggressive under-500k price tag, came with a pre-sale home inspection report that gave the house a solid thumb’s up with the exception of the basement. The issue? Well, er… ummm… there really wasn’t much of a basement. What existed was a tiny stair down to an 8×14 foot bump-your-head space that contained the wiring panel, furnace, a rusty plumbing stack, a few metal support columns shoring up some cut headers and then, on either side of this damp brick prison, were two massive gaping holes of removed bricks showing nothing beyond mounds of dirt with the floor joists and garbage resting directly on the soil. Argh!



Along with the fact I consider a property’s resale value is severly compromised by the lack of a ‘potentially livable’ basement, this house had a questionable foundation (a portion of the floors on the main level sloped in the area where the floor joists were embedded in soil), concerns over water penetration, and the high risk that this house was a candidate for a future termite infestation. Although a quick call to Aetna Pest Control (416-469-4111) confirmed they had not treated any property on the street for termites, it’s in the vicinity of houses which have.

Termites are evil pests. I personally found out the hard way, when one of my own residences got munched to the tune of a $100,000 repair bill. Needless to say, I’m super cautious about termites. Here’s a map on where they’re located, and more information, from Toronto Termite Inspections.



You may have read my past post about termites. Click HERE to read that post called ‘Termites For Our Anniversary’, and how the presale home inspection for that property didn’t alert any prospective buyer of the potential concern which I consider highly problematic.

The end result of today’s visit with my initially enthusiastic buyer? Sixty minutes after our arrival my Buyer and I walked away from the property with a single tear each running down our cheeks. Once again I did what I do best…. I talked my Buyer out of buying! Alas, it was a bittersweet moment, but I won’t deny I’m extremely proud for my commitment and integrity to serve my clients’ interests. It’s why I’m a Top Producer. All the same, it’s never easy to see a dream of home shatter, but I know in the end it will work out!

After all, it always does!

~  steven and the urbaneer team
we’re here to earn your trust, then your business.

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000

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