Welcome to our September 2016 Home of the Month. This feature provides a snapshot of what urbaneer.com's Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.
This month we share the tale of first time buyers who desired a property in North Riverdale on The Danforth within walking distance to the subway and daily amenities. As a young family renting in the area, they had been keeping tabs on the market and, in the early days of our communications, were already going to open houses to become better informed.
As prices surged this past Spring, one of the Buyers - who is the sibling of one of our past clients - reached out for our services ready to make a move.
There's no question the Toronto real estate market has been scorching hot for some time. After all, it's been escalating for 20 years! But the increase in values has been spiking at a far greater pace in the past two years than ever before (most recently 17.7% annually since last August), to the point where many Buyers are having to either search outside the downtown Toronto real estate market, shift from the more costly freehold housing market to the more affordable condominium market, or reconciling their value matrix as part of their housing search. What is the 'value matrix'? It’s how the three influential factors of a property - size, site and condition - influence a property's value. If you're considering purchasing real estate, How To Search For Your Next Property Purchase is an essential read.
In this instance, our Buyers made the 'location location location' mantra of real estate their first priority. If you're new to the market, east of the Don Valley and Bloor Street Viaduct, values are their highest at Broadview Subway Station and decrease the further east you go in the City of Toronto (Victoria Park Subway is the last subway stop before one enters Scarborough). As you travel along The Danforth, you'll see the commercial businesses from Broadview to Pape are well-established (Danforth Music Hall, liquor store, Carrot Common, organic butcher/fishmonger etc). The retail from Pape to Coxwell is gentrifying (including two fairly recent Starbucks on Danforth at Langford and Monarch Park). Coxwell to Woodbine is emerging (with a number of pop up shops, new cafes and Wag On The Danforth), while east of Woodbine is transitioning - but definitely check out the Icelandic Viking Bakery. The price spread? I would say houses range upwards of $2million apart from Broadview to Victoria Park - given Playter Estates has numerous merchant class residences, while Victoria Park is dotted with post war semis. Here's a post called Mapping Average Toronto Real Estate Prices By Subway Station that offers a gauge. As far as we're concerned, given the challenges of commuting these days - which will only intensify as the city grows - we believe you can't go wrong securing property along The Danforth. It's an excellent prudent long term hold.
Our Buyers were well-versed in each of The Danforth neighbourhoods and understood the property values they commanded. Given they lived near 'The Pocket' at Danforth and Jones, they were both familiar, and coveted, the well-established amenities and community-spirit found near the Pape subway. So while they were going to open houses as far east as Coxwell and beyond, their preference was to be as close to Pape and Danforth as possible. Which is why, when this estate sale one block from The Danforth and Pape subway came to market near Playter Estates, despite the upgrades required the location trumped everything else they had seen.
This was an estate sale where the property had been with the previous owner for over 50 years. During that time he had added a 2-storey addition with basement, which extended the kitchen with a sitting area and fireplace, and doubled the size of the third bedroom above. While the house had undergone several upgrades during his ownership, it was currently 'stuck in the past' with parquet floors, a 70s kitchen and a very tiny second floor washroom. However, despite needing a cosmetic and building component tune up, it has around 250 square feet of additional above-grade living space than similar semi-detached area dwellings - and a laneway garage. It offered a significant upside for Buyers willing to roll up their sleeves. First, all their future renovations can be completed within the existing space plan, meaning they won't have to incur a significant future cost adding an extension which, realistically, would require Committee of Adjustment approvals, take around 18 months to complete and cost about $150,000 to build. Second, with an opportunity to reconfigure the space plan, this layout offered an opportunity to create a main floor family room and either a large second floor washroom or a master ensuite. Either way, with 'spa washrooms' and 'family rooms' in high demand, this house offered an upside rare to find downtown in this price range.
Here are some snaps of this dwelling from MLS:
UGLIEST BATHROOM EVER:
*Images courtesy of the Multiple Listings Service
Another upside? This Estate Sale had been on the Multiple Listing Service twice before. It had first come to market for $890,000 and subsequently relisted for $849,000, sitting on the market for seven months to no avail. You see, once a property gets over-exposed to the market, both realtors and buyers start ignoring the listing, believing something must be terribly wrong. However, what was wrong wasn't this house, but its price. It's a funny thing about human nature, because as consumers we tend to want what everyone else wants, which is one reason realtors list low in order to incite competition. In today's market, if you over-price your property and it gets over-exposed, it can result in a lower sale price. Even though this house did go into competition when it was relisted for the third time, if it had originally been listed lower we believe it would have spiked for significantly more.
Relisted at $799,900 seven months after first coming to market, our Buyers secured this property in competition for about 3% over the list price.
A special thanks and congratulations to our Buyers!
Serving first, second and multi-time buyers, young families, down-scaling Zoomers, renovators and those building their investment property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients strategically secure the best real estate on offer, while ensuring their purchase best serves their practical needs and their dream of 'Home'. We identify a property's best qualities, features and insouciant charm in the context of the future target market while meeting your own wishes, wants and desires.
If you, or someone you love, has specific real estate needs, wishes and desires, and would enjoy the personalized service of Top Producing boutique Toronto real estate outfit who subscribe to a pressure-free approach - and a specialty in unique urban homes - 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) 322-8000
Like what you've read? If you're house-hunting - or just curious to see where values are landing in the City of Toronto, here's Toronto’s Best Houses And Condos Of 2015 by Urbaneer which showcases 12 properties our clients purchased this past year!
Following the Toronto real estate market? Consider reading our insightful overview in Urbaneer’s Spring/Summer 2016 Toronto Real Estate Forecast: Part One and Urbaneer’s Spring/Summer 2016 Toronto Real Estate Forecast: Part Two!
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** Did you also know Steve leads a Student Mentorship and Internship Program for Canadians being educated in the field of housing? Consider visiting our sister site called Houseporn.ca