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.
This month we share the tale of first time Buyers – a young couple with a toddler looking to get into the market – who were ultimately bestowed with good fortune in their house hunt. Referred by a past urbaneer client they indicated that – while they loved their South Annex/Little Italy neighbourhood – they were well aware that the prices for a freehold dwelling were likely above their preferred $700,000 price range. Which, unfortunately, was very much the case.
For those seeking an affordable family-friendly neighbourhood in proximity to recreational green space, good schools, shopping amenities and easy public transportation, the best value in the City of Toronto remains the stretch of 'The Danforth Village' from Jones east to Main Street. The retail mix is a bit hit and miss along this part of The Danforth, which is a sign Gentrification is still in its early stages (though it's only a matter of time until Starbucks casts its anchor and officially brands the neighbourhood as trendy). The original working class housing stock located both north and south of The Danforth is efficient, practical and mostly well-built. Consisting of row, semi-detached and detached one and two-storey dwellings built between 1910 to 1930, these modest houses appeal to first and second time buyers who are looking to spend around $550,000 to $900,000+, depending on the condition and size. Of particular merit are the area's community parks and recreation centres, including Monarch Park with its outdoor skating rink and swimming pool (with two-storey waterslide!), and East Lynn Park with its organic market, outdoor wading pool, expansive playground, and ravine setting perfect for tobogganing in the winter. Without question, with these sorts of amenities this is definitely a neighbourhood for children. And despite the unprepossessing streetscapes and architectural repetitiveness of its early suburban heritage, the speedy 15-minute subway ride downtown is decidedly urban. As are its residents. Predominantly progressive, liberal, and community-minded, the vibrant collective family spirit makes this one of my top locations for young families.
Our Buyers became quickly well-informed. We viewed a number of Open Houses together – along with several on their own – to become well-versed in the competitive spirit of real estate where bidding wars remain common. After all, when you're starting your house hunt, it's critical you view around ten properties to see the difference between the list price and what the property ultimately garners even before you submit a bid. Why? Given the reality that the more offers there are competing, the higher the sale price, it doesn't serve you well to submit just “any offer” on a property as you're effectively contributing to the blind bidding climate which forces Buyers to offer Top Dollar. As far as we're concerned, you should only bid when you're “in it to win it”, meaning you're submitting an all-cash condition-free offer with a large bank draft in hand and the Seller's preferred closing date.
When our Buyers felt sufficiently well-informed on the market – and they found a domicile near Coxwell and Mortimer ideal for their needs – they ponied up their top dollar against several others to try secure a beautifully-presented open-concept three-bedroom semi-detached residence with front pad parking. Listed at $629,000, our Buyers submitted a bid in the low $700s, losing the deal by a heart-breaking few thousand dollars. It was a crushing defeat, especially given the property was secured for $710,000, which reflects how strong the market is oscillating these days.
As we continued our search, we viewed houses that needed too much work or conversely, were the product of flippers who – while perhaps well-intentioned – missed the mark in aesthetics and execution. We've written about this a few times in the past, where we find ourselves challenged by some of the product which comes to market. It was during our search that these Buyers viewed a residential travesty which prompted this post called We Flip Quesadillas, Not Houses!
As it turned out, it didn't take long to find 'the One'. While our Buyers competed and lost on the semi-detached dwelling at Coxwell and Mortimer, a similar property nearby had come to market around the same time for $689,000 which – as it turns out – did not garner any offers. What's interesting to note is that – while listed only $60,000 more than the other property – and superior in size and of a similar condition a lot of Buyers – including ours – had skipped viewing this dwelling when it came to market. Why? After years of Toronto listings coming to market priced low to incite competition, if a dwelling is listed close to its real market value, Buyers get suspect or spooked. Because the market is sufficiently conditioned to expect the sale price to end up spiking substantially over the asking price, when a house comes to market in a hot real estate climate like ours, many Buyers automatically assume the Sellers are seeking substantially more than the asking price. So, if the list price is at – or near the top of their budget – they won't view it as they don't think it's a realistic option for them.
So when the property in question didn't receive any offers on the offer date, it subsequently caught the attention of our Buyers when the Sellers reduced the property price by $10,000 and set a new date to receive bids. After viewing the property and liking it more than the one they had lost in competition, our Buyers decided to be pro-active and submit a Bully Offer. A bully offer – or pre-emptive bid – is one where the Buyers don't wait for the offer date set on the listing but instead submits their offer earlier in the hope it's a sum sufficient to entice the Seller to not wait for the offer date. That Saturday – after the open house – we submitted a bid in the low $700s which, as it turned out, the Sellers rejected.
But here's where good fortune came our way. The Buyers – who left their offer registered ready for submission on the posted offer date – meant the listing realtor was obliged to tell other interested parties who inquired on the status of the property that a bully offer had been submitted and rejected, yet remain ready for review. What we suspect happened, is that having our rejected bully offer registered for presentation deterred other interested parties who weren't ready to compete against a Buyer who had submitted a Bully Offer. Furthermore, in our opinion the modest price reduction of $10,000 hadn't been substantial enough to either generate more interest nor signal motivation on the Sellers' part to get the house sold. Strategically this was a fail, which seredipitously contributed to deterring a bidding war.
To our Buyer's good fortune, when the posted offer day arrived they were the only offer registered. So instead of submitting their bully offer again – which was a sum in the $700s – they submitted a bid at the list price of $679,000. The Sellers, who by this time were sufficiently exhausted from the selling process and motivated to move, accepted this lower bid.
Here are some photos of this happy family home situated north of The Danforth east of Donlands just a short stroll to The Danforth Shopping and the Donlands Subway. Well-maintained and renovated, including an open concept entertainment area, a finished lower level, an over-sized washroom and rare front yard deeded parking, this was a terrific value-proposition:
A big thanks to our clients for entrusting us to help you find your homes!
Could Danforth Village be the ideal neighbourhood for you? Check out our Danforth Neighbourhood Page which includes a flavour video, the area census data and our amenity blogs!
We LOVE what we do and consider ourselves most fortunate.
Serving first and next-time buyers, relocations, renovators and those building their long term property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients choose property which will realize the highest future return on their investment. Additionally, we ensure the property best serves their practical needs and their dream of “Home” during their ownership. At urbaneer, we identify a property's best qualities, features and insouciant charm in the context of your wishes and wants, plus your future target market. Although searching for the right property can be an intense and sometimes lengthy process it is, without fail, rewarding both to our clients and the urbaneer team. We are so grateful to be the realtor of choice for so many Torontonians, and new arrivals.
If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of a Top Producing boutique real estate team who subscribe to a pressure-free approach, please know we're here to help at urbaneer.com.
~ 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) 530-1100
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