Welcome to our January 2017 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what urbaneer.com’s Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.
In this month’s feature, we share the journey of a professional couple who climbed the property ladder from their swish one bedroom condo at The Hudson on King and Spadina, into a four level freehold townhouse in Prime Leslieville. Although they didn’t seek out a dwelling with nearly four time more square footage than their condo, this strategic property purchase appealed to our Buyers for its turn key condition and superb location.
Our Buyers, who started their house search in the Summer, had a fairly broad geography in which they were willing to locate. Although they were most familiar with the central west end – principally the South Annex, Little Italy, and Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhoods – they were open to other areas like Swansea and Bloor West Village to the west, and South Riverdale and Leslieville to the east. Along with wanting their next home to be within walking distance of village amenities like grocers, shops and cafes, they also wanted a location which was cycle-friendly, as he commutes downtown daily by bike. With a housing budget up to $1.2m, our Buyers weren’t adverse to doing home improvements – like the kitchen, baths or building component upgrades – but they didn’t want to have to tackle a substantial ‘total gut’ renovation. The objective was to purchase something which they could move into, and over time change to suit their own aesthetic, as required.
Quite early during our search, a detached two bedroom bungalow in Swansea caught their attention. Although dated, the house was in sufficient good nick that it didn’t require immediate renovation, it had a generous lower level with high ceilings that offered a lot of additional living space, and it was on a very desirable street just west of High Park. Listed at $998,000, there was no question the property was aggressively priced, but neither the Buyers nor myself anticipated the level of interest, nor how substantially over the list price the property would sell. To our amazement, their bid was 1 of 33 offers submitted on the offer date. The house soared 54% over the list price to land at $1,533,000. Shocking! If you’re curious to see this two bedroom bungalow, then check out A Swansea Toronto House Received 33 Offers Last Night!
As we continued our search, it became increasingly apparent the west side bidding wars were pushing prices to new sums which our Buyers couldn’t justify. In one instance, a 2storey 2bed Victorian row house near Trinity Bellwoods listed at $819,000 spiked to $1,020,000 despite its dated kitchen and questionable foundation. In another case, a dilapidated 2storey 4bed detached house near Harbord and Bathurst boasted the residue of the 70s, including a symphony of parquet flooring, gold veined mirrors and an abundance of wrought iron railings. Offered for $998,000, the property sold for $1,450,000 despite needing a complete overhaul.
After witnessing several junkers get ‘knocked out of the park’ in competition, I suggested we concentrate our search on newer townhouses on the east side. Why? Because the urbaneer team love the urban infill freehold (and in some instances, condominium) townhouses constructed in the late 1980s through the early 2000s, which dot the original city. For one, unlike the 100 year old row and semi-detached houses typical of our city, these dwellings typically offer more amount of space for the dollar – often having three floors + a lower level with 8 foot ceiling – instead of the vintage housing stock which typically have two floors and a leaking cave for a basement). These properties typically have similar outdoor space which rivals the older housing stock, most always have on site parking if not a garage, and what they may lack in style – if in original condition or subject to past trendy renovations which are now considered dated – lend themselves easily to reinvention. Sure, at 20 years of age the building components may be approaching obsolescence, but more often than not, several of the building systems will have been upgraded by the time the property has reached this age or remain serviceable . Here’s one of our popular posts that explains the 6 Layers Of A Property and how any Buyer should approach their purchase taking each of these layers into account.
Fortuitously, a 3storey 3bed semi-detached house completed in 2000 came to market in hip Leslieville. Featuring a renovated kitchen and bath (one of three), a third floor master suite with 5 piece ensuite, bamboo flooring on the top two levels, and a spacious finished lower level with ample storage (along with a garage), this property fit the bill for our Buyers. Move-in ready, yet still offering the opportunity to improve – including removing the popcorn stucco on the ceilings, replacing the main level floors with bamboo for continuity, and replacing the aging windows (including an idea of replacing the living room rear door and slider which connect to the garden with a contemporary folding glass wall) – this generous residence just steps from the heart of the action on Queen Street East slid into Home plate.
Here are some snaps of this dwelling from MLS:
Listed at $949,000, our Buyers secured the property after three rounds of bidding, for about 121% of the list price. Isn’t it gorgeous?
A special thanks and congratulations to our Buyers!
Do you like Leslieville? We’re huge fans of the east side, and forecast values will eventually soar to be on par with the west. Here’s one of our past posts worth checking out, called Why Toronto’s East Side Real Estate Has Historically Been Cheaper.
Did you see our Best Houses & Condos Of 2016 By Urbaneer, which shows the range of properties we sell? We work from The Beach west to The Kingsway, and from Lake Ontario north to Sheppard!
Serving first, second and multi-time buyers, young families, down-scaling Zoomers, renovators and those building their investment property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients strategically secure the best real estate on offer, while ensuring their purchase best serves their practical needs and their dream of ‘Home’. We identify a property’s best qualities, features and insouciant charm in the context of the future target market while meeting your own wishes, wants and desires.
If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of Top Producing boutique Toronto real estate outfit who subscribe to a pressure-free approach – and a specialty in unique urban homes – please know we’re here to help!
~ Steven and the Urbaneer Team
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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Buy Of The Month