Happy New Year and welcome to our January 2019 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what Urbaneer's Buyers have recently purchased in and around the GTA!
This month’s real estate buy comes from Urbaneer team member Kellye MacMillan, who is killing it as our Hamilton real estate guru while she continues to assist her faithful client base in Toronto! She recently helped our Buyers snag a stunning Victorian home with loads of reno potential - located in a prime pocket of South Riverdale. This 'hood is right on the cusp of one of the most significant transit redevelopments in recent Toronto history. How exciting is that!?
Take it away Kellye!
My Buyers are a terrific couple who, at the time of their purchase, were renting a home in Riverside (just steps from bustling Queen Street East!). They made the exciting leap to cohabitation a few years ago, each forgoing their rental units in the West Queen West neighbourhood in favour of the oh-so-attractive east end of Toronto! This particular duo truly does take advantage of all of the amenities offered by living in central Toronto; they dine out regularly, have an ever-updating list of go-to cocktail bars, frequently commute by bike, and enjoy taking a scenic strolls - like walking from Leslieville to Regent Park to visit friends. They love living an active, urban lifestyle and were ready to put down some roots to make this lifestyle a permanent reality.
Their purchase was recent, but the buying process actually started eighteen months ago when we sat down together for a meeting to discuss the 'ins and outs' of the buying process. They knew they were at least a year a way from making the move to homeownership, but wanted to make sure they would be ready to make the leap when the time was right. (This is a very smart way to kick start the buying process!) An early meeting helped me to to establish their budget, introduce them with to an awesome mortgage broker, educate them on financial benefits available to first time buyers, and introduce them to many of the elements that make the Toronto housing market so unique - particularly the multiple offer process! We were able to accomplish all of this important preliminary work without the pressure of a tight timeline; the early meeting and subsequent planning over the next year gave them the confidence to make a move the moment the timing was right.
Location was of utmost importance to this convivial couple. Having each had experience renting in various pockets of the city, they were able to easily narrow down their search area to a few desirable 'hoods. Initially, the search area included South Riverdale, Leslieville, Upper Beaches (up to the Danforth) in the East end, and The Junction in the West end. After a bit of soul searching, they realized that, while they really liked to visit the West end, they much preferred to live East of Yonge Street. As well, they prioritized their need for a 'pedestrian lifetyle', with fun restaurants, bars, parks etc. just a stroll away. They set a budget of $1,000,000 and limited their search to South Riverdale, Leslieville, and the suddenly-hip stretch of Gerrard Street East from Bricktown to Little India. We focused the search to move-in ready homes with a minimum of three bedrooms, a yard (for their adorable dog!), and lots of storage. They were willing to forego parking if street permits were available on the street (an issue of increasing significance in the east end). Then we waited for interesting opportunities to arise!
Below are two properties my Buyers looked at during their search that helped them form a baseline for their expectations and desires.
156 Rhodes Ave
Early in the search process we visited a nicely renovated, semi-detached home on Rhodes Avenue. The house was move in ready and featured the chef’s kitchen he desired. It was in one of their favourite areas - near Gerrard Street’s vibrant Little India corridor and the terrific Godspeed Brewery. One of the main selling features of the home was its basement potential. The one-bedroom apartment was currently tenanted and the tenant had no plans to move. While my clients were intrigued by the thought of an income generating suite to offset the cost of the mortgage, they were also a bit dismayed by the resulting lack of basement space for their own use. Their need for storage and rec space outweighed the income potential, and so they passed on the home.
Listed for $929,000, this home sold for $1,050,000.
Photo courtesy of MLS.
55 Billings Ave
55 Billings Avenue hit the market with a list price of $929,000, and immediately peaked the interest of our clients. It was located on a leafy street within walking distance of the off-leash area of Greenwood Park and Maha’s - a local favourite spot for brunch! The house itself was an attractive, 3-bedroom house with front pad parking, but the real highlight of the property was its one-of-a-kind backyard! The yard was beautifully landscaped and featured a garage converted into a terrific secondary space perfect for a home office, yoga studio or “She Shed”. However, our clients weren’t the only ones struck by this unique feature; we received a call from the listing agent minutes before our appointment, notifying us that the Sellers had just received a bully offer on the property. They were planning to review it that evening. Consequently, my clients only had about an hour to decide whether they wanted to also present an offer on the house or not. We got a copy of the home inspection and went to work! It turned out that while the house was great, the pressure my clients were feeling was greater. They just weren't willing to decide so quickly - smart! - and declined to present an offer.
Listed for $929,000, this home sold for $1,085,000.
Photos courtesy of MLS.
Continuing the search, we quickly noticed a pattern: many of the homes listed from $799,000 to $999,000 with a set offer date to incite bidding wars were selling for just over a million dollars – within $50,000. This is a strategy that has become increasingly common in our competitive market. Any time a potential buyer offers a price of over a million dollars, they are swiftly reducing the competition by ensuring that competing offers whose upper value is limited by an insured mortgage can no longer compete. Insured mortgages cap a total purchase price at $999,999, thus limiting their buying power.
However, through these observations, my clients were gaining more knowledge of the buying process, as well as the types and styles of properties available in the area. They were quickly refining their idea of what they wanted from their new home, noticing that the homes meeting their vision were selling in the $1,050,000 to $1,300,000 range. A successful home search requires that budget, location, product and timing all come together in agreement; if they do not, then the buyers need to adjust at least one these factors. Finding themselves in this predicament, this couple chose to revisit their finances, and were eventually able to increase their budget to better reflect the current of the market in the East end.
At long last, a property appeared that ticked all the right boxes!!
200 First Ave
200 First Ave is a semi detached, 3-bedroom home in the South Riverdale heritage district.The location was outstanding – on a quiet street between Gerrard and Dundas – with great cafes, cocktail bars and transit options near by. The most exciting feature for our sellers was its proximity to one of the potential new subway stops on the proposed Downtown Relief Line. Our forward-thinking buyers loved both it’s impact on their commute but also it potential to significantly increase the value of their home.
The home has been through a few updates over the years, yet it maintained its Victorian charm with its stained glass windows, high ceilings, decorative ceiling and original woodwork. Other highlights include the oversize washroom on the second floor and a third-floor loft/master bedroom with a private roof deck. Our clients loved the overall space it afforded (it was by far the largest home we visited) but were initially daunted by the thought of a major renovation project. The home was certainly liveable in its current state but it did not fully reflect their tastes and standards. However, the potential for renovation in this home was incredible. Our Buyers were attracted by the idea of recreating this heritage home in a way to perfectly suit their needs and tastes. Their decision was solidified when we discovered the neighbouring home at 198 First Ave (a mirror image floorplan of this home) had been significantly renovated and recently sold for $1,406,000. Talk about resale value!!! This house provided a rare glimpse into the future of what their home could ultimately be.
The seller set an offer date with instructions for no pre-emptive offers.
Here are some photos from MLS which showcase this outstanding home:
Here are a few pictures from neighbouring 198 First Ave (the "after" photos) courtesy of MLS:
200 First Avenue received three offers on offer night, with the Seller accepting ours after a slight improvement upon our initial submission!!!!
List: $1,089,000 / Sold: $1,210,000
Incredible! A stand-out residence with endless potential to customize in the buyer's favourite neighbourhood. Having recognized the rare opportunity for what it was, our happy buyers are currently living in the home while they plan their renovations.
Congrats to my delightful and intrepid 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.
Check out our Neighbourhood Pages to explore many more of Toronto's desirable neighbourhoods!!
Curious to see what the Urbaneer Team sells? Here's Urbaneer’s Best Buys Of 2018 which showcases our expertise across the original City!
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage - (416) 322-8000
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