October 2011 Home Of The Month – Roncesvalles Village

Roncesvalles Village

Welcome to urbaneer.com’s Home Of The Month. This feature provides a snap shot of what urbaneer.com’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 sell each of their single’s pads and co-habitate in their newly purchased place of domestic bliss. This white picket fence fairy tale of every day life makes this curmudgeon smile every time.

For many of these couples, moving in together entails the sale of their starter condominiums, towns or mini-manses that aren’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 one can grow into over time. As a result, most couples have little choice but to sell their two single’s pads 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 duo-list of needs, wants and desires creates a less room for compromise and more boxes to check on the property’s base criteria. Especially if it entails the prospect of raising children.

Herein lay one of the real estate truths of existing, or emerging, downtown family-friendly neighbourhoods. If two singles are selling their condominiums for $250,000 to $350,000 each, then their purchasing power automatically merges into the $600,000 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 which remain unabated in the original City of Toronto right now.

Case in point. My couple knew they wanted to be in the central west end where they could enjoy an urban life, while remaining close to the Gardiner Expressway for the most streamlined commute west possible. Open to most anywhere from Trinity-Bellwoods west to High Park in an area conducive to rearing children, 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.

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? An end of row Victorian in Roncesvalles Village that had already had significant improvements along with the opportunity to make it their own.


Above, the open concept living/dining room had great proportions and length. Below, the renovated kitchen in a vintage style connects to a decked out garden perfect for barbecuing.


The master bedroom (above) has double doors connecting to a second floor family room with wood-burning stove, bay window and vaulted ceilings under a dramatic roof pitch. This sun-drenched room is the perfect place to curl up with a book.


The third floor attic atelier is one of the first zones to be renovated. Along with renovating the second floor washroom, and adding new paint, carpet and lighting throughout, this top floor space will eventually be a romantic skylit treetop aerie!

Listed at $599,900, my buyers pushed their price to a squeak over $711,000 to secure this property against several other bidders. As shocking as this may be, subsequent sales in Roncesvalles Village have already climbed higher. This is the new ‘price of admission’ for this coveted family-friendly neighbourhood. By my forecast, over the long term values and demand for this location will only continue to rise.

If you, or someone you know is looking for a great opportunity, please know finding ‘dream homes’ is our commitment at urbaneer.com.

~ Steven

Home Of The Month

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