May 2014 Home Of The Month – Corso Italia

Buy of the Month, Corso Italia / Davenport

Welcome to's Home Of The Month. This feature provides a snap shot of what's buyers are purchasing in the City of Toronto.

One of the best parts of a realtor's life is being witness to the bloom of love. Adorable girl meets cute boy…they date, become smitten, and after a suitable (or whirlwind) courtship said couple cohabitate in their newly purchased place of domestic bliss. This white picket fence fairy tale of everyday life makes this curmudgeon smile every time.

For many of these couples, moving in together entails the sale of a starter condominium which isn't suitable for conversion from single to mingle. Often, they're simply too urban or too small for the prospect of their future family. This isn't uncommon with first time home purchases, where the limitations of one-income affordability in an expensive city like Toronto provides few housing options that one can grow into over time. As a result, most couples have little choice but to sell their single's pad to buy one place for two. When it does happen, the joint housing criteria of the new couple must now meet the immediate needs and requirements (and future dreams, plans and realities) of two people over one. This more complex list of needs and wants narrows the opportunity for compromise, with more “must-have”boxes to check on the property's base criteria. This is especially true if the prospect of raising children is on the horizon.

And so is made evident one of the real estate truths of existing, or emerging, downtown family-friendly neighbourhoods. If two singles are selling their condominiums for around $350,000 each, then their purchasing power automatically merges into the $700,000 to $800,000 price point. As a result, this standard of a couple's affordability becomes the barometer of value for most any freehold house of reasonable condition in the city. With so many 20-somethings, 30-somethings, and 40-somethings cohabitating and beginning their journey into coupledom and parenthood, the demand and pressure for fantastic family homes is outstripping the supply. This is one critical reason for the bidding wars that remain unabated in the original City of Toronto right now.

Case in point. This couple knew they wanted to be in the central west end where they could enjoy an urban life, while remaining accessible to the highway system for the most streamlined commute possible. Open to most anywhere on the western side of the City that was still 'city' and not 'suburbs', the key was finding an affordable property within walking distance to urban village amenities and green space that didn't require a total 'gut' renovation. Not that these buyers weren't prepared to do some work, but the prospect of undertaking a major renovation was far from ideal.

Like many couples, their spatial criteria included three or four bedrooms, onsite parking for at least one car, and a garden of decent proportions. Their solution? A renovated semi-detached 4-bedroom Edwardian brimming with charm in Corso Italia near St. Clair West and Lansdowne, that had already had significant renovations, including a stunning kitchen and spa washroom.

Here are some pics:

This property, listed at $649,000 did attract more than one buyer. Our clients succesfully bid 13% over the list price to secure this property for just a few thousand dollars more than the second offer. Phew!

Are you seeking an opportunity like this?

If you, or someone you love, is looking for a handsome and smartly executed turn-key renovation like this, please know finding 'dream homes' is our commitment at

~ Steven and the urbaneer team

Buy Of The Month

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