Welcome to Urbaneer.com's August 2019 Home of the Month!
This feature provides a snapshot of the journey an Urbaneer Buyer has recently taken to secure a property purchase in the City of Toronto.
I don't believe any Buyers starts their journey thinking it will take a year to find their first house, but in a city which continues to suffer for significant supply issues two years after the provincial government intervened with policy changes to divert what was clearly becoming a housing bubble, and over 18 months after the federal government introduced a Mortgage Stress Test to prospective buyers in an effort to dampen demand - it took exactly that long for these purchasers to secure their property-to-be. You can read about these government interventions - which diverted a bubble but didn't dampen demand in the central core - in Urbaneer’s latest Toronto Real Estate Forecast 2019: Part One.
These Buyers had a wish list which was by no means unreasonable: an upgraded or renovated 3bed future-family-friendly home, preferrably with finished basement - ideally in the central west end (although open to the east side) - having a separate garage which could be used as a workshop for upwards of $1,100,000. At the time of our meeting last summer there were a handful of properties which had recently sold meeting this criteria, and given there with indications the market was stable and possibly cooling, it seemed feasible.
However, the one mitigating factor which was a bit of a wild card was finding a property with a suitable garage which, in the central core, is surprisingly rare. In fact, in my effort to help counsel my Buyers I wrote this Dear Urbaneer: Does Wanting A Garage Mean Compromising On The House? which shared how, over my 27 years of selling real estate in the central core of the city, I've come to learn that a property with onsite parking - whether it's a city licensed front pad parking space (with an annual fee of just under $300 payable to the City), a spot at the end of a shared mutual drive, or an onsite spot off a laneway, most Buyers value a parking spot pretty much the same. Furthermore, if the property has a dilapidated garage, a mid-aged open carport, or the grandaddy of them all - a newer concrete block garage - most Buyers don't appropriate a specific value or premium based on the varying degrees or condition of the parking structure. Essentially, so much focus is directed at the location of the property, the condition and space plan of the dwelling, or even the cost benefit of a secondary unit which can generate income (regardless of whether it is legal, or not), most Buyers see on site covered or uncovered parking as an equal-value benefit. In other words, a house with a crappy garage will sell for a similar price as one with a new garage on the same street, as Buyers tend to place higher priorities on other aspects of the dwelling.
Garage aside, as the Autumn 2018 market unfolded, demand continued to outpace supply and competition saw the limited product being snapped up for sums that surpassed these Buyers $1,100,000 price cap. After seeing several dwellings but offering on none - often because of the likelihood the listings would spike in competition, in January 2019 the Buyers - now expecting their first child - reassessed their housing priorities and increasing their budget to $1,300,000+.
This past March, my Buyers competed against 6 others and lost this renovated semi-detached dwelling with collapsing garage near Dundas and Bloor:
Alhambra Street - March 2019 - 7 Offers
List: $1,098,000 / Sold: $1,385,000
And in May 2019, competition was fierce on this detached charmer which needed some updating and had a 'garage shack', also near Dundas and Bloor:
(11) Abbott Avenue - May 2019 - 4 Offers
List: $999,900 / Sold: $1,400,000
It was during this Spring frenzy that my Buyers - whom were finding many in their social world were purchasing properties on the east side - began considering expanding their search east knowing it offered a better value proposition, because they're usually in better condition or better renovated. Here my post on the subject called Why Toronto’s East Side Real Estate Has Historically Been Cheaper.
So when a stylish renovated end-of-row residence came to market in The Pocket - named after its geographic shape - located south of The Danforth east of Jones my Buyers had finally found 'the one'.
THE WIN - An End Of Row Renovated 3Bed In The Pocket
I'm a huge fan of The Pocket which is completely integrated to all the amenities of The Danforth but offers all the benefits of a tight-knight community (think community block parties, street events and art shows centred around Phin Avenue Parkette) that accompanies village living.
Gorgeous and bright, this Edwardian 3 bed 2 bath residence is thoughtfully upgraded, retaining a lot of the original character including original wood floors, stained glass windows and the vintage fireplace mantle, while integrating contemporary aesthetics like exposed brick. The kitchen marries old with new aesthetics (who doesn't love subway tile?), there are substantial built-ins throughout the dwelling (including custom closets), and the property features a waterproofed fully-finished lower level with heated floors. I particularly adore the lush rear yard with expansive deck under the shade of a mature tree and, because the property is the first on the street, its west elevation has no dwelling abutting it directly (It overlooks the back yards of homes facing another street) so the middle rooms on both levels are flooded in natural light - which is rare to find in the central core. Plus, it has a newer generous garage finished to a high calibre making it an ideal workshop!
Here's some snaps from MLS:
Listed for $1,095,000, our smart n' savvy buyers competed and came out on top with bid of $1,385,000!
Congrats to our Buyers, and their newborn Maggie!!
This is much deserved!!
Are you, or someone you love, considering a Toronto real estate purchase?
Here's a step by step summary of how I analyze listings of merit for my clients, including the preparation and delivery of our comprehensive due diligence packages for every property our Buyers identify as a possibility:
Curious about the East Side?
Here's what one Urbaneer Buyer purchased for $982,500 --> May 2019 - Home of the Month - Upper Beaches
Did you enjoy this? You may also like these informative Urbaneer.com blogs:
Do you covet a unique urban home? Me and my team are here for you!
Thanks for reading!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
- we're here to earn your trust, then your business -
Keen on Toronto real estate? Here's Urbaneer’s Toronto Real Estate Forecasts!
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