How is 2019 treating you? Given the lack of blizzards and 5 foot tall snow drifts I'd say we're in pretty good shape for mid-January!
As a final reflection on the year gone by, we'd like to continue our tradition of showcasing the past year's 'Homes Of The Month'. In the spirit of our favourite 'zines like Toronto Life and their '10 Most Popular Houses Of The Week Of 2018 / Condos Of The Week Of 2018', we hope this roundup gives you a better sense of the kinds of properties we recommend Urbaneer buyers purchase, along with the reasons why.
Spanning several of the neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto, here are 12 examples of the dwellings we assisted in buying this past year! When you click on each link, you'll get the full story on each Buyers' journey to homeownership!
January 2017 - Home Of The Month - Moss Park / South Cabbagetown • Listed at $1,075,000 / Sold for $1,070,000.
To kick off the New Year, I'd like to share the story of a client who wasn't a homebuying newbie, but who had never purchased a property in Toronto before. While the journey was not without obstacles, we enjoyed guiding this courageous client as she and her partner zeroed in on the property that would serve them best! Our Buyers, who work in a field that helps Toronto's marginalized population, had always gravitated to the central east side so they could walk to their offices. But their choice of a property was flexible. On one hand, they desired the appeal of a two bedroom city vista condominium in a calibre building, ideally with hotel-like amenities including an outdoor pool in the $700,000 to $900,000 price range. On the other hand, they were open to a freehold house at a higher price point that was offset by the lack of monthly common fees.
February 2018 - Home Of The Month - St Clair West Village • Listed at $849,000 / Sold for $828,800.
This month’s real estate buy comes from Urbaneer team member James Ormston, who assisted our Buyer in her search for a freehold property for less than $850,000 which still satisfied all of her needs and desires. When our financially savvy Buyer contacted us to help secure her first purchase, she had already sharpened her pencil and prepared a list of six objectives ranked in order of importance. With her partner already owning his own property, she wanted a principal residence which met both her particular needs in addition to having broad appeal to potential future tenants. Why? Part of their strategy as a couple was to ensure their dwellings could potentially be merged into their income property portfolio in the future, should they co-purchase a matrimonial residence down the road.
March 2018 - Home of the Month - The Queensway • Listed at $592,800 / Sold for $583,000.
This post is about climbing the property ladder into a centrally-located downtown Toronto stacked townhouse, the challenges of Kitec Plumbing, and sleuthing for family-friendly accommodations for less than $600,000. Our buyers, who had recently sold their 1bed Liberty Village condominium, were ready to climb the property ladder and secure a residence where they could accommodate their future family. Like many Buyers operating within a strict budget, they were reconciling whether they move to the suburbs where they could secure a larger space but increase their commute time, or if they should buy something more central where they could be closer to work and, therefore, have more time to engage their family.
April 2018 - Home Of The Month - Trinity Bellwoods • Listed at $1,580,000 / Sold for $1,610,000
Our buyers, a young couple - both handsomely established in their respective professions - came to us with the express desire to make a move up the property ladder. Although they were ready to say goodbye to their stylish (but increasingly cramped) one bedroom concrete 'n cool hard loft conversion they, like many long-time loft residents, recognized that having become accustomed to soaring ceilings, open plan living, and an airy clean-lined aesthetic, moving into most traditional city housing would feel too oppressive and confining to their spatial sensibilities. Instead, they sought the hard-to-come-by unique urban space that offered all the benefits of loft living, except with multiple bedrooms, outdoor space and parking. Furthermore, they wanted it to be in a centrally located neighbourhood that was both walkable, engaging, and within a quick commute to their respective jobs in the heart of the business district. Ideally, it would be low maintenance (given the demands of their busy careers), turn-key, and requiring few, if any, changes in part due to one partner's recent (and somewhat-trying) experience with the home renovation of a family member.
May 2018 - Home of the Month - Wychwood • Listed at $1,199,000 / Sold for $1,185,000.
This month’s real estate buy shares the speedy journey of well-informed buyers who secured their property purchase the first time out viewing houses! While it often takes Buyers several months of searching to find the right property, the stars aligned for this lovely couple in their quest to purchase their first Family Home. Our Buyers, a professional couple in financial services, had been referred to Urbaneer by one of our long-time clients. They're initial note said they were seeking: " 3 bedrooms, a semi-detached is okay (assume it would be hard to get a detached in our price range), west side of the city with good transit options, good school district is preferable, close to a park / green space is preferable, recently renovated is preferable, street parking is okay. Our max budget would be in the $1.1M range, I’d say. We are okay going west as far as Jane in the Bloor West/High Park areas. We’d like to avoid Keele to Dufferin, but are good with the Christie Pits/Wychwood areas. We’re also open to exploring North Toronto up to about Lawrence." Fairly succinct, right?
June 2018 - Home of the Month - Bloor Dundas • Listed at $599,900 / Sold for $671,100.
This month’s real estate buy shares the journey of a single professional first-time Buyer who wanted to secure the coveted 2bed 2bath sun-filled condominium with parking, locker and reasonable common fees on the west side of the original City of Toronto for up to $750,000. My Buyer was living a Queen West urban life in a contemporary 1bed condo rental when my his employer relocated to a north-west on-the-way-to-the-suburbs location. He weighed out the value of leaving the downtown core for a location which would extract him from some of the commuting congestion of daily life in the city centre. Setting a search parameter from Bathurst Street west to High Park, and from Lake Ontario north to St. Clair West - my Buyer gravitated to the neighbourhoods radiating from Queen and Dundas West - in addition to Roncesvalles Village and The Junction (MLS Districts C01, W01 & W02). Although my Buyer found the loft aesthetic appealing, he didn't feel any need to define his status by living in a 'concrete n cool' or 'brick and beam' aesthetic, though he did appreciate how airy the open plan higher-ceiling spaces presented.
July 2018 - Home Of The Month - Danforth Village • Listed at $899,000 / Sold for $1,100,100.
This month’s real estate buy shares the journey of first time buyers whom - after 16 months from the start their search - secured a property conditional on financing on their first offer attempt! When my Buyer first reached out to me - at the beginning of 2017 - he identified a desire for a 2bed stacked townhouse with parking in the price parameters of $600,000 or so in the central east end - including Regent Park, The Danforth or Riverside/Leslieville. He expressed resistance to high-rise condo living as he wasn't attracted to buildings that had multiple amenities spread out throughout. As he wrote, "This type of living almost seems like I'm going back to a school dormitory; you only go back to your condo to eat and sleep; most everything else is in a communal shared space within the condo building". Although he ultimately coveted a detached bungalow, he also understood that our housing stock in the central core is old and tends to require a lot of maintenance and "I am not skilled at fixing plumbing, electrical, etc.". This is what prompted him to consider the stacked townhouse - as it seemed to be the housing type which best balanced his wishes, wants and needs.
August 2018 - Home Of The Month - Coxwell & Gerrard In The Upper Beach • Listed at $979,000 / Sold for $1,175,120.
This month’s real estate buy is about the journey of a first time buying couple who competed in 6 bidding wars over a 12 week period from the end of January to the beginning of April during the height of the spring market. In their early 30s, these newlyweds found themselves embroiled in the intensity of this year's spring market, which by my account signaled the recovery of the downtown freehold housing market after The Provincial Government Unveiled The Ontario Fair Housing Plan in April 2017. These Buyers were seeking the highly coveted but rare unicorn of a dwelling where they could put their personal stamp on it, without having to undertake a substantial renovation. Properties like these don't come to market frequently in downtown Toronto, which is unfortunate as there is a large market of Buyers whose wish-list includes a house which is structurally sound, has updated mechanical systems and building components, but ideally is aesthetically dated, tired or obsolete in its finishes and fittings, making it ripe for a design elevation. Sadly, Toronto freehold housing stock that falls into this middle ground is few and far between.
September 2018 - Home Of The Month - Hillcrest Village • Listed at $949,999 / Sold for $1,202,500.
This month’s real estate buy is about the journey of a young family of five who competed in 4 bidding wars over a 12 week period from mid-February to the beginning of May during the height of the Spring market. Our buyers, who were renting a too-small 2bed condominium on Grand Trunk Crescent in the heart of downtown that was imminently coming to market for sale, began their search by exploring whether they should purchase a larger 3bed condo or townhouse as close to downtown core for the ease of commuting - acknowledging it would have to have a lower acquisition cost given the often hefty common fees associated with this dwelling type - or purchase a freehold dwelling a bit farther out of the downtown core where they would potentially have more interior space plus a garden, although it would require a longer commute to work. Reconciling this dilemma is not unusual for many buyers who work in the central core and who, when operating with a specific price cap, have to weigh the location, the condition, and the size/type of dwelling.
October 2018 - Home of the Month - Leslieville • Listed at $1,889,000 / Sold for $1,801,000.
In this month's post, I share the journey of a professional couple who, at the start of their search 9 months earlier, had just conceived. By the time they secured their purchase and took possession, the most adorable newborn was ensconced in her new nursery in a spectacular lofty 4bed penthouse perch in Leslieville. Let this be an example of the common experience of many Buyers of Toronto real estate who are seeking the ideal dwelling; it can take time, but for those with patience and intent, you will ultimately be rewarded! Although they didn't anticipate finding a condominium that truly fit the criteria of being 'house-sized', let alone one in a dynamic hip neighbourhood, this strategic property purchase appealed to my Buyers for its sun-drenched lake and city vistas, its pristine condition, its expansive square footage, and its Triple AAA location.
November 2018 - Home of the Month - The Annex • Listed at $1,959,000 / Sold for $1,880,000.
This month's post follows a journey that is typical of many buyers, one where the property hunt is not engaged with a specific timeline in mind, but with one eye open. There are a lot of buyers like this who would like to climb the property ladder into the 'house that will be home' for the next 25 years. But because they're happily ensconced in a place which is meeting their needs, their search isn't as aggressive as it would be if time were a factor. The motivation to purchase is less than it would be for, say, a corporate relocation, or someone navigating a lifestyle change like cohabitating with a new partner, the arrival of a baby, or getting divorced. Five years ago, my Buyers relocated from the United States to Toronto. At that time they purchased a gracious residence in the South Annex that, while truly stunning, in retrospect didn't fully tick all their boxes. A substantial merchant class residence situated on one of the beloved trilogy of streets steps to Bloor and College Streets, it was while living in this property these clients acknowledged they'd ultimately prefer to own a smaller house with a bigger yard that had better access for aging parents and was located in The Annex.
December 2018 - Home Of The Month - Liberty Village • Listed at $669,900 / Sold for $669,900.
This particular Buyer was referred to us by past clients following his initial unfruitful sojourn with another realtor. Seeking a property that would provide both sufficient utility to meet his day to day needs while also serving as a profitable investment property when he climbs the property ladder in the future, this client had saved a bit of a nest egg - padded with a familial financial gift - to finance his first property acquisition. Our Buyer wanted to eliminate his long commute from the suburbs by purchasing a centrally located property and in a well-constructed well-managed reputable building. With a budget under $700,000, he sought a unique urban space that offered all the benefits of condominium living, with one bedroom and a workspace or separate den, outdoor space and parking. Furthermore, he wanted it to be in a centrally located neighbourhood that was both walkable, engaging, and within a quick commute to his job in the heart of the central business district. Ideally, it would be low maintenance (given the demands of his busy career), in turn-key condition, and requiring few, if any, changes prior to moving in.
Did Any Of These Properties Speak To You?
These 12 diverse Toronto properties provide a snapshot of the kind of Homes Urbaneer sells. Serving first and move-up buyers, investors building their long term property portfolios, and down-scaling Zoomers, our mandate is to help our clients choose the property which will realize the highest future return on their investment while ensuring 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 both Torontonians, and the newly arrived.
If you, or someone you love, have specific real estate needs, wishes, and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of Top Producing boutique real estate outfit who subscribe to a pressure-free approach, please know we're here to help at urbaneer.com. Here are our Testimonials which showcases our commitment to service.
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