April 2013 Home Of The Month – Midtown


Welcome to urbaneer.com’s Home Of The Month. This feature provides a snap shot of what urbaneer.com’s Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.

Although several factors are contributing to the bidding wars where Buyers blindly compete against each other to secure freehold houses in the City centre, we at urbaneer are witnessing ‘Demographics’ as the most critical mitigating factor currently compounding the freneticism of Toronto’s downtown freehold housing market. Right now there are multiple generations of Torontonians in their early 30s to mid-50s who have, or will soon have, children. This triple cohort of highly-educated high-earning professional Buyers are climbing the property ladder out of their first or second condominium purchase, or their first too-small-for-a-family-of-4 starter house, into dwellings which will be Home for the next 10 to 25 years. These Buyers seek premium properties located in family-friendly neighbourhoods with quality schools in convenient locations offering shopping, green space and easily-accessed public transportation to the central business district.

Because this group of Buyers is seeking places to put down roots for the long term, they’re understandably exacting in what they’ll buy (space) and where they’ll go. At the same time, this segment of the market realistically understand that properties in Triple AAA locations selling for under $1million will not be in turn-key condition nor fully-loaded with flash. However, they’re also too busy and focused on their careers and families to acquire the less expensive property which requires a total gut renovation. Instead, they’ll pay the higher price of admission for the house that is livable but needs maintenance, knowing they can modify, renovate or expand to suit (including the much coveted and required family room addition) as their career paths and income mature.

In this instance, our Buyers are recent 30-something newlyweds preparing to embark on the next chapter of their lives with kids. When they were first referred to us in the Autumn, they were considering buying either a starter house and keeping their condominium as an investment or alternatively, selling their condominium and buying a longer term family home that would serve them for the next two decades. After a two-month period getting educated in the market viewing houses priced within the $600,000 to $900,000 range, and while the condominium market began showing signs of uncertainty (which called into question whether our clients might be forced to keep their condominium and buy the starter house), urbaneer suggested we execute one of our Style Enhancements on the condominium to see if we could achieve Top Dollar and facilitate a move into a long-term family home. Our clients agreed, and under urbaneer’s tutelage we executed a $10,000 upgrade to their condominium while they were on vacation. Shortly after their return from vacation, urbaneer listed and, within 48 hours, sold their newly-transformed one bedroom and den midtown condo for a precedent setting price and a long four month closing. You can click HERE to read the story and see urbaneer’s Style Enhancement, including the furnishings we sourced for our clients to purchase using our designer discount.

With the condo sold, our Buyers spent four frustrating months competing in bidding wars for properties located in Leaside, Yonge / Lawrence and Davisville / Mount Pleasant. The houses they offered on attained sale prices ranging from 10 to 17 percent over their list price. As the closing date for their condominium approached, our clients found a short term month-to-month rental in the same building as their existing condo and temporarily moved in.

So temporarily, in fact, that within five days of moving in our Buyers had bought this detached midtown house one block away. The house was so close, you could see it from the balcony of their former condominium!

Featuring the traditional living, dining and galley kitchen with breakfast room (former enclosed porch) configuration typical of the 1920s/1930s midtown housing stock, including three generous bedrooms with a tandem room off the back bedroom (above the breakfast room) and a so-so finished basement with second bath, this house featured the benefit of being mechanically sound (including no knob-and-tube upgraded wiring, a newer furnace with four slim-jim air conditioning units), a recently renovated kitchen and bath, a generous landscaped lot and legal front pad parking.

Here are the promotional photos from the MLS listing:



Listed on a Thursday at $879,000 with (to our surprise) no holdback on offers, our Buyers promptly submitted bids going 2% over the list price against three other prospective purchasers to secure the property.

What gave them an advantage over other buyers?

Because our Buyers had proactively sold their condominium first making them cash ready, they were in a position to offer a quick 15-day closing to Sellers who had already vacated the dwelling. Had they not sold their condominium first, these Buyers would not have been able to offer such a quick Completion Date. This was critical in securing the purchase.

Fortuitously, although our Buyers reconciled the expense of having to pay two month’s rent per their short term rental agreement, urbaneer serendipitously had another set of Buyers seeking temporary accommodations for May 1st. In coordination with the owner of the rental suite, our happy homeowners are exiting at the end of the month and our next set of Buyers, who just gave birth to their first child this weekend (Congrats!) can continue their search for their next home under urbaneer’s guidance.

Is that luck, or the benefit of working with urbaneer.com?

If you, or someone you know, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would prefer the services of a boutique real estate outfit who subscribe to a pressure-free approach when searching for the right dwelling, please know we’re here to help at urbaneer.com.

~ Steven and the urbaneer team

Home Of The Month

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