Monday, April 16, 2012 3:37 PM EDT
71 Morningside Avenue: How much would a chi-chi nabe Toronto house with a second-floor walk-out deck, like this one, be worth to you? For the eye-popping price it recently sold for, read on.
A few weeks ago, word spread that a modest three-bedroom bungalow in North York sold for $421,800 over asking. The asking price for the Leave it to Beaver-era pile? $759,000. This was a seven-figure ticket in Willowdale, a mid(ish)-scale quasi suburban neighbourhood with a traffic-laden main artery and largely '50s to '80s era homes and '90s condos.
First-time and move-up buyers across the GTA started wondering if they’d ever have a sizable home to call their own. The fact is, owning a single-family abode in Toronto requires big dosh: The average price of a GTA house right now is $502,508, up (once again) more than 10% from this time last year. What can you expect for just over half a million? A dinky dwelling or, at best, one that is in dire need of renovation. In the spirit of this trend that shows no signs of slowing, we rounded up three homes in three different Toronto neighbourhoods to illustrate the madness (or magic, depending on your view) of Toronto’s real estate market today.
Oh, Beaconsfield Village, with your leafy streets, ragtag of Victorians, Georgians, boxy angelstone-clad ’70s homes and buzzy scene: We salute you! A decade ago, you were merely a sketchy street on the outskirts; a tad too far west for uppity families, but perfect for artists. Now, you’ll find tattooed lads and ladies pushing strollers while toting yoga mats past The Drake hotel, boutiques, some of the city’s trendiest restaurants (on Ossington Avenue) and a half a dozen new condo towers and counting (word has it that a splashy new grocery store is on its way). This is one hot ’hood, where teardowns are not uncommon. For example…
49 Brookfield Street (virtual tour)
List Price: $1,249,000
Selling Price: $1,265,000
Selling agent: Colby Bayne, Royal LePage
49 Brookfield Street: A contemporary black-bricked beauty, whose ticket price more than doubled between 2010-2012, following a full-gut reno.
Wedged between two homelier stepsisters, this stunning semi-detached, three-storey Cinderella with five washrooms and four bedrooms was owned and designed by architects. They blew out the walls and proceeded to load in contemporary everything: potlights, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, cathedral ceiling, stylish bathrooms and killer kitchen. Before its makeover, it was a drab little 1970s box with parquet floors and two bathrooms, listed in 2010 for $529,900, eventually selling for $535,000. Following the large-scale renovation, the owners listed it in 2012 for $1.249-million. Final sale price: $16,000 over asking.
Swansea -- downtown west -- where the terrain gently swells, the Bloor Street shops and eateries are fine and dandy, and Toronto's High Park is but a sneakered walk away. This residential neighbourhood with recreation galore has been a long-standing alternative to the suburbs; a choice spot to raise a family and a dog or two. Gracious, classic homes in natural settings dot the landscape, and it’s rare to find cheapie deals here. Well, maybe not…
71 Morningside Ave.
List Price: $1,298,000
Selling Price: $1,515,000
Selling agent: David Oey, Re/Max
71 Morningside Avenue: An architect-reno'ed former bungalow whose ticket price more than tripled between 2009-2012.
This detached bungalow once had poky windows on its facade and about as much personality as a potato. Solid and earthy, it lacked flair — until a buyer with big plans bought the two-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling in 2009 for $452,000 (it was listed for $439,000). Construction followed and the house was replaced with a two-and-half storey affair whose luminous interior shone at night, thanks to large windows. Five washrooms and three plus two bedrooms later, the house looks nothing like its previous incarnation (consider the second-floor back deck, picture at the top of this post). It flaunts 3,000 square feet of bespoke finishes, including a chef’s kitchen and wraparound roof deck with hot tub overlooking the lake and city skyline — in total, the knockout number has 1,000 square feet of terrace. It was listed in 2012 for $1.298-million and sold for more than $200,000 over asking.
71 Morningside Avenue: the living room
71 Morningside Avenue: the kitchen
71 Morningside Avenue: the master bedroom
Not everyone is a diehard downtowner. There are deals to be had outside of the core, where there’s more room to spread out and *gasp* luxuriate in a garage! The Bathurst and Finch area, known as Bathurst Manor, is a quiet nabe in north-central Toronto, where the bagels are hot out of the oven. Catch culture at the Koffler Centre of the Arts, where there’s dance, drama and visual arts. The area is chock full of 1950s and 1960s-built side-splits and bungalows. These sit on generous lots, which make them prime candidates for primping. Case in point...
80 Evanston Dr.
List Price: unavailable
Selling Price: $900,000 (approx.)
Selling agent: Marci Koifman, Royal Lepage
80 Evanston Drive: ’70s on the outside, ’00s on the inside, and with a ticket price that almost quadrupled in less than one decade.
This house looks like it was plucked straight out of the kooky ’60s/’70s sitcom Bewitched — is that Tabitha’s living room? — or at least it did six years ago. At that time, the detached bungalow with three washrooms had lovely large dimensions but the pink carpeting wasn’t cutting it. The owners listed it in 2006 for $529,000, selling it for $500,000. The young family that purchased the house promptly went about sprucing it up, installing hardwood floors and a trad kitchen. Suddenly, the bungalow had bragging rights. It recently sold for $900,000 (the exact price can’t be disclosed). What’s amazing is that a decade ago, this home was priced at $250,000, which just goes to show that you can hardly go wrong with real estate — and a fabulous interior designer, architect and bank loan — on your side.
80 Evanston Drive: the kitchen
80 Evanston Drive: the bathroom
80 Evanston Drive: the living room
Have an outrageous (in your opinion) real estate story to share? Let us know in the Comments!