Welcome to our May 2017 Home of the Month! This feature provides a snapshot of what Urbaneer.com's Buyers have recently purchased in the City of Toronto.
Just last week I posted a piece called How Demographics Affect Toronto Real Estate, which outlined the bottleneck effect of boomers holding onto their family-friendly Toronto real estate, at the expense of Millennials who are having to pay top dollar for the limited supply of freehold residences which are coming to market. This post shares the tale of one client who proactively down-scaled from her 4 bed family-friendly residence in North Toronto, after securing this month's feature - a luxe contemporary townhouse in a vintage shell just steps to the Rosedale Subway, and backing onto Ramsden Park.
For Zoomers nearing (or in) retirement, increasingly the next move on the property ladder isn’t just about downsizing; they are keen to urbanize their lifestyle. With the children gone, this cohort are favouring the physical and social benefits of a pedestrian lifestyle, choosing their next home based more on proximity to amenities like shopping, dining and leisure space as opposed to the big auto-reliant house. Although this phenomenon is nothing new, it is gathering speed as property values for this particular cohort during their tenure of home ownership have skyrocketed, so there is the opportunity to cash out, trade in for an urban dwell and live debt-free.
When the aim is to cash out, scale down your property and switch lifestyle all at the same time, what kind of home do you seek?
At the top of the list is turn-key, low-maintenance home that supports a carefree lifestyle that lets them pick up and go wherever they please. And despite a strong supply of condos and townhomes in Toronto, those that can offer these specific benefits for Zoomers are actually in short supply. That’s because the focus of development of this housing type has - for two decades - been targeted at first time homebuyers, offering them affordable passage to home ownership. They’ve also targeted property investors as well. The end product is those ubiquitous condo towers that dot the skyline. Another issue with the available stock downtown is that there isn’t enough square footage for those who still want a sizeable home after they downsize. It’s unfortunate, because there is a robust need for this type of product, yet developers have neglected to fill this growing need. And these Zoomers have cash on hand and are willing to pay for quality housing that checks their boxes on their specific wish list.
Like many buyers reconciling a move into smaller digs, these parents still want to have space to accommodate their children in the event it's necessary. So when they're seeking urban spaces, the list most always includes three bedrooms - or two bedrooms and a den. Outdoor space with a place to barbecue, at least one car onsite parking, two full baths (one being a master ensuite), and a sizable kitchen/diner for gathering loved one around are critical must-haves.
In addition to amenities and features in their homes, this cohort very much knows what they want in terms of location. Given that they have progressed up and down the property ladder, their experience means that their criteria are specific because they understand how location supports lifestyle. Our buyer for example, zeroed her search into the central core of the City - ideally Deer Park, Summerhill or Rosedale - near Yonge Street. She yearned for the sense of community and freedom that urban village living (particularly pedestrian living) provides. It only makes sense at this life stage. When you’ve devoted decades to caring for your family, the years have arrived for Zoomers to focus on their own pleasures - so it's essential to have numerous options right at your doorstep, where evenings can take their own shape or running errands becomes an afternoon of leisurely strolling.
While our Buyer identified a preference for a townhouse with street access and some outdoor space rather than a condominium with an elevator, she kept an open mind. She bid on a lovely townhouse near Summerhill that backed onto the rail corridor. The entertainment level wasn't open plan, and the garage was teeny tiny and difficult to park anything other than a Mini, so when she lost it in a bidding war no tears were shed. We viewed some fixer-uppers north of St. Clair west of Yonge in Deer Park too, but the houses were either too large, or required too much renovation to really make it financially feasible.
When this renovated townhouse first came on the market, it was listed $200,000 higher. My buyer didn't view it until it had been relisted at a lower price and within her price parameters. Stylish and chic, and well-executed, the location was a winner, because it was even more central than originally considered, being just north of Yorkville.
Are you familiar with Yorkville? It's pretty swish and yet charming with it's human scale century architecture.
Here's a video of this favorite neighbourhood, Yorkville:
This townhouse dates from the turn-of-the-century, and is one of a row with handsome Edwardian facades. Solid brick, with wrought iron fencing and distinct English flavours, these residences have long been coveted by many who drive by, myself included. But first, if you're a fan of 'before' and 'after', here's a link to the property pre-renovation some years back, featured in MASH.
And here are some snaps of the dwelling post-renovation, which my Buyer fell in love with:
Featuring three beds and three baths spread over three levels, this city home had a private courtyard garden and laneway parking. Fully fitted with luxe finishes completed with a great eye to detail, this sun-drenched citypad was reslisted from $1,900,000, to $1,750,000 to $1,700,000, when our buyer submitted a bully offer for $1,750,000 to secure it.
Congrats to my Buyer!
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 someone Celebrating Twenty-Five Years As A Top-Producing Toronto Realtor who subscribes to a pressure-free approach - and a specialty in unique urban homes - please know my team and I are here to help!
~ 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
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