Happy New Year! We wish you joy, prosperity & keys to a New Home!
As we roll into 2016, we thought we'd complement one of our fav 'zines Toronto Life and their '15 Toronto Houses and Condos That Were Actually Worth the Money in 2015', by showcasing our own 12 Buy of the Month 2015 properties to give you a better sense of the kinds of properties we recommend our Buyers purchase, along with the reasons why. Spanning the original City of Toronto, here is a sample of what some of our properties we sold this past year! If you click on each link you'll get the story on each Buyers' journey to homeownership.
January 2015 Home Of The Month - Midtown. Listed at $949,000, Sold for $1,075,100. In this instance our Buyers, an engaging pair of early-30-something professionals expecting their first child, came to us 2 years ago after they had sold their first condominium and were in temporary rental accommodations. After a lengthy search - including a second move into a small midtown rental and the arrival of their first born - our Buyers, who had initially started searching in Riverdale but found the 'too narrow, too small lot' housing stock mediocre relative to value bought this midtown Davisville Village house in the highly coveted Maurice Cody School District. The property, a detached 3-bedroom 2-bath renovated Tudor residence with legal front pad parking, was situated a short stroll to the Bayview shops and green space. Featuring great proportions, a lovely blend of old and new, with a sleek chef's kitchen, this residence also had lush south-facing garden home to a detached outbuilding well-suited as a perfect home office.
February 2015 Home Of The Month - Dufferin Grove. Listed at $549,000, Sold for $646,100. Our Buyer - who had just returned to Toronto after some years abroad - enlisted our services to find a three bedroom house in the central west end. Her preference was for a house that was solid, with good mechanics, but still afforded the opportunity to improve as she was enthusiastic to putting her own personal stamp on a dwelling to increase its resale value. After seeing a number of houses that fell short of expectations - some quite wildly - our Buyer knew instinctively that she'd found "the one". In her words, and true to our bidding, it was all "green lights!". She was sufficiently well-informed after her eight month search to know that it presented a rare and hard-to-come-by-opportunity that she did not want to miss. This is precisely why she put her best offer forward to secure this property as her next home. The row house offered the ideal marriage of size, space plan, condition, opportunity and centre-of-it-all location.
March 2015 Home Of The Month - Davenport Village. Listed at $469,900, Sold for $462,500. Our Buyers - intent on purchasing something turn-key in the mid $400,000 - were a lovely couple expecting their first baby. Naturally, these two (and a half!) Buyers wanted to find a home that would fit their new family, but also allow them room to grow. They weren't keen on tackling a renovation, sought a location where other young parents like them would be engaging with the local school, and was in proximity of the downtown core. After nearly twenty property viewings where nothing had felt 'right', this fresh-on-the-market townhouse near Lansdowne and Davenport held promise. This 7 year old townhouse offered both the space and modern feel our Buyers were seeking. Plus, it was move-in ready! After submitting a strategically constructed offer just below the $469,900 list price with a bank draft in tow, despite competition against two other Buyers our parents-to-be secured this new family-friendly home! In less than a year, these units have shot up nearly $100,000!
April 2015 Home Of The Month - Bedford Park. Listed at $799,000, Sold for $805,100. A dynamic couple who have a sweetheart of a newborn had resided in the Bedford Park neighbourhood for a number of years in a spacious condominium at 3130 Yonge Street. They were well-established in this beloved midtown location and were keen to stay, despite seeing real estate values in this highly-coveted neighbourhood rise to unprecedented values. Surprisingly rare to market, this spacious brick semi-detached dwelling came to market - reputedly one of the original Model Homes featuring well-proportioned and larger-than-typical principal rooms. Our Buyers decided they were willing to undertake a renovation where they could make the house their own. Though it was in need of repair, overall this dwelling had decent 'bones', legal front pad parking, and was just far enough from Yonge Street to be quiet, yet close enough to get anything you needed lickety-split. Our Buyers competed against one other purchaser and secured this property for one percent over the list price. They completed a substantial renovation in advance of moving in, which will serve them for the long term!
May 2015 Home Of The Month - The Fashion District. Listed at $479,900, Sold for $477,900. For those who are actively seeking a two bedroom condominium in the downtown core, you know it's surprisingly challenging to find! Like many Buyers reconciling what you can get for your money, our Buyers weighed out whether they would continue their urban walking life in the city, or take the leap to a neighbourhood further form the core where you can get a fixer upper bungalow which offers 'potential'. But as our Buyers soon learned, while the cute bungalows were within budget, by the time they added up the required household repairs and maintenance, and added their commute expenses, they would find themselves stretched both financially and for time. In the end, buying the condominium in the city won for our Buyers, in part because the suite of choice was located at 500 Richmond Street West which is located just west of Spadina in The Fashion District... and was over 1000 square feet! Our Buyers snapped up this 2-bedroom, 2-bath property for $2,000 under list. On closing, they invested some capital to upgrade the original 90s washroom as well as a refreshed the kitchen.
June 2015 Home Of The Month - Kensington Market. Listed at $474,900, Sold for $441,000. Our Buyers of this loft condominium didn't require the usual exhaustive search to find the ideal place to put down roots, and then be forced to blindly compete in a bidding war to secure it. When the Buyers called me on the referral of a past urbaneer.com client, it was first to see an 1880s high-styled-but-really-needed-a-ton-of-work row house around the corner from their Kensington Loft near College and Spadina. But when it subsequently spiked 12% over its 699k list price, the 499k studio loft - located next door to their current loft (and now 125 days on the market and just reduced to $474,900) - suddenly seemed like a much better option. Overpriced and languishing for sale, in advance of making an offer, the Buyers and I put into play the necessary steps required to address all of the critical factors which needed to be satisfied - including confirming with the condominium corporation the party wall could be cut open in order to connect the two lofts into one large 2-bedroom residence - before negotiations could happen. Twenty-four days after viewing this loft, we managed to secure and negotiate this space for 7% below the asking price (and $1000 less than our original appraised value).
July 2015 Home Of The Month - High Park / Swansea. Listed at $799,000, Sold for $777,000. The Buyers of this property were living in their factory space near Dupont and Lansdowne, with their active toddler sleeping in the mezzanine bedroom - making it time to find a more family-friendly space! Our Buyers identified the neighbourhoods of High Park, Bloor West and Swansea as their ideal both for accessibility to work in the northwest quadrant of the city, and hoped to keep their budget in and around the 800k mark. After a few disappointing losses a promising property came to market about a month later and was significantly more suitable. A condo townhouse in a small complex nestled in the Village of Swansea just south of Bloor Street, it offered all the benefits of a freehold house (a yard, parking and a bucolic setting) while bypassing the major overhaul a similar freehold house in this location offered in this price point would require. Facing a pretty ravine, this 3-bedroom, 4-bath garden townhouse with a 1-car garage had substantially more space (including a walk-out rec room and a massive 15x15 foot storage room) than the 2-bedroom house our Buyers had previously bid on. While our Buyers reconciled their finances, we received word a price reduction was imminent, which created an opportunity to negotiate a purchase price for nearly 25k less than the Sellers' preferred price.
August 2015 Home of the Month - Playter Estates. Listed at $799,000, Sold for $901,000. Our client, a young doctor who currently owns a concrete 'n cool loft condo in the downtown west core, contacted us with the idea of increasing his investment portfolio by purchasing a house that would be suitable for the next stage of his domestic life - one that will include a future partner and kids. Originally our geography included both the central east and west neighbourhoods that flank the central business district which are family friendly. These areas included Leslieville and Riverdale to the east; and Trinity Bellwoods, the South Annex and Palmerston to the west. This legal duplex in Playter Estates - just north of The Danforth between Broadview and Chester - came to market and offered promise. Listed at $799,000, we proposed the Buyer consider purchasing this house, give it a couple tune-ups, and then rent it until he wants to fully renovate and occupy it down the road. Garnering multiple offers, our Buyer bid 13% over the asking price to secure the purchase, and then invested around $60,000 upgrading the house and garage. The property was then placed on the market for rent with both suites being snapped up over a weekend, such that it now generates a gross income of $4000 per month or a 4.5% cap rate.
September 2015 Home Of The Month - The Danforth. Listed at $679,900, Sold for $795,000. Our first-time Buyers were looking to purchase a detached home close to the subway line to make the daily commute easier. After several prior efforts had repeatedly and frustratingly fallen short with another realtor, these Buyers came to us with a sense of urgency. In order to have the privilege of securing one of the rare-to-market 4-bedroom detached properties in this particular section of The Danforth, we advised our Buyers, who had been highly focused in their search, to moved forward decisively with a strong bully offer. When this dwelling came to market featuring a large fenced back yard, 4-bedrooms, 2.5-baths, and a cozy in-law suite with separate entrance, our Buyers felt this house was 'the one'. Through their agent, the sellers graciously agreed to entertain our expression of interest, and the parties came to an agreement for around 17% over the asking price.
October 2015 Home of the Month - Trinity Bellwoods. Listed at $799,000, Sold for $951,100. After witnessing some precedent setting - and somewhat shocking - sales, and even pulling the plug bidding on some potential contenders that weren't quite right, our Buyers put offers on two properties that they felt were great contenders. They lost both bids and felt truly defeated. Fortunately - like the silver lining that follows every storm - this 2-storey 3-bed 2.5 bath renovated vintage Victorian with charming family room located north of Queen West just east of Trinity Bellwoods Park came to market at an aggressive list price of $799,000. After submitting a bully offer on the property - which the Sellers rejected - our Buyers resubmitted their bid on the offer date against four other competing bids. Our Buyers successfully secured it for around 19% over the list price. What's especially amazing is these Buyers now walk two blocks to work!
November 2015 - Home of the Month - Danforth Village. Listed at $679,000, Sold for $679,000. In the instance of these first time Buyers - a young couple with a toddler looking to get into the market - they were ultimately bestowed with good fortune in their house hunt. Referred by a past urbaneer client, they indicated that - while they loved their South Annex/Little Italy neighbourhood - they were well aware that the prices for a freehold dwelling were likely above their preferred $700,000 price range. We viewed a number of Open Houses together - along with several on their own - to become well-versed in the competitive spirit of real estate where bidding wars remain common. As it turned out, it didn't take long to find 'the perfect home'. While our Buyers competed and lost on a semi-detached dwelling at Coxwell and Mortimer, a similar property nearby had come to market around the same time for $689,000 which - as it turns out - did not garner any offers. After a price reduction and still no offers, the Sellers, who by this time were sufficiently exhausted from the selling process and motivated to move, accepted our Buyers' bid at the list price of $679,000, after originally turning down our bully offer for around $30,000 more.
December 2015 - Home Of The Month - Riverdale. Listed at 949,900, Sold for $1,251,000. With this sale, our Buyers leapt up the property ladder from a central west-end stacked condo townhouse to a premium freehold Riverdale property. We've long contended that - given the soaring escalation in prices - those who aggressively stretch themselves to their top dollar in an effort to bypass multiple climbs up the property ladder will ultimately serve themselves well. If you can limit how many times you have to pony up the exorbitant closing costs associated with buying Toronto real estate, the better you'll increase your net worth years from now while reducing the hassle of moving. Such was the case with this elegant 2.5 storey 5-bedroom 2-bath Victorian manse with dug-down lower level on a large lot with private drive that had been owned by the same fellow since the mid 1980s. On the second day the home was on the market, our Buyers submitted a bully offer which was rejected. On the third day - just as the Saturday open house teeming with crowds of prospective Buyers was wrapping up - we resubmitted an offer 32% over the $949,900 list price. To the dismay and consternation of many other realtors and their Buyers who couldn't move quickly enough, we secured the property.
Did any of these homes speak to you?
These 12 diverse Toronto properties provide a snapshot of the kind of Homes urbaneer sells. Serving first and second time buyers, relocations, renovators and those building their long term property portfolios, our mandate is to help our clients choose 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 so many Torontonians, and new arrivals.
If you, or someone you love, has 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's some of our Urbaneer Testimonials which showcase our commitment to service.
- earn your trust, then your business -
Like what you've read? Consider signing up in the box below to receive our FREE monthly e-newsletter on housing, culture and design including our love for unique urban homes and other Toronto real estate!
Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve's Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, product and real estate in Canada!