Here's a new blog feature...as the realtor with the reputation of "talking you out of buying most real estate", each month herein I'll post a property where I represented the buyers in their intelligent purchase. At $750,000, here's what made this dwelling a great opportunity.
When it comes to securing a location, I encourage my buyers to locate as close to 'village shopping amenities', near 'green space', and with easy access to 'public transportation links'. These three locational features are in high-demand for those embracing downtown living. This house is in proximity to all three, ensuring it will always be desirable and have a solid resale value in the future.
Located on Shaw Street, a tree-lined avenue of merchant class houses in a coveted central downtown-west location, this semi-detached all brick dwelling is equi-distant from the shops of College Street, with its 24 hour grocer and day-to-day necessities; spectacular Trinity Bellwoods Park with its community centre, swimming pool, tennis courts, organic market and leash-free zone for dogs; and hip Ossington Avenue with it's amazing purveyors of food, wine and nightlife. Located a short stroll to three streetcar lines, this property boasts the 'location, location, location' mantra of real estate in spades! This makes it a bang-on good investment.
The house is an architectural curiousity, in that it stylistically blends details reminiscent of neighbouring Victorian residences and those which are Edwardian. Built around c.1910, the interior has high baseboards, unusual marquetry wood floors, and amazing proportions appropriate to a Victorian. But there are also Edwardian elements like coved plaster ceilings, a simple fireplace mantle, and the restrained facade that has very little architectural embellishment. It's an interesting mix of styles.
I always encourage my buyers to try stretch their budget to acquire as much space as possible. This way they can grow into the property over time and potentially eliminate the need for a future move up the property ladder. Four bedrooms are rare to find in the city so count on a premium if you need this, but also know you'll get an extra return on your investment. Plus, if you can purchase a house that offers some form of potential income supplement then, in the future should you be spending less time in the city and only require an urban crash pad or should economic necessity require it, you can rent out a portion of your house in lieu of selling it.
This house is large, which isn't obvious when standing out front. The living and dining rooms are substantial (with gorgeous vintage parquetry floors), with an over-sized eat-in kitchen at the rear which has a recent powder room tucked in a corner. On the upper level are four generous bedrooms (one which is a former kitchen) and a renovated washroom. The master bedroom, located at the front of the second level, has unusually high ceilings. In fact, they're higher than the other bedrooms which I've never seen in a vintage house before.
Here are some pics from the MLS listing, which don't do it justice:
On the lower level, the previous owner excavated the front and created a studio apartment with private walk-out that rents for $850/month inclusive. It only occupies half the lower level, leaving plenty of storage for my buyers who access it through an internal staircase. This income supplement (or nanny's quarters) makes the dwelling a smart buy, as the extra revenue helps offset carrying costs which will also translate into a higher resale value in the future.
Having laneway access, the deep west facing garden has a single car garage in good nick, recent professional landscaping and a level of privacy many city lots lack. Note, if you can purchase onsite parking then do it, for it is definitely an appreciating asset.
This property has a Triple AAA location, that rare fourth bedroom, an income supplement, and a garage! These qualities make this house a stellar purchase and a profitable investment. Offered at $759,000, my buyers scooped this house the day it came on the market for $750,000. Had they not acted quick, this easily may have gone into competition.
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
Here's a helpful footnote from Mortgage Broker Jake Abramowicz - MortgageJake.com -
Mortgage Payments on a property like this, placing 20% down, would be $2992 in a 5-year fixed term at a rate of 3.49%, and $2613 in a 5-year variable at a rate of 2.25% Prime minus 0.70 having 25-year amortizations. The payments go as low as $2062 if you went to a variable mortgage, or $2467 for fixed mortgage with a 35 year amortization. Most mortgages allow a top-up on the payments as well, to pay them down faster. Incidentally, 66% of buyers are currently taking fixed term mortgages for peace of mind.