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Toronto Real Estate

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Tag Archives: beaches real estate

High bidding in High Park and other tales of the Toronto real estate market

Carolyn Ireland – The Globe and Mail

Real estate agent Pro Sarbadhikari knew he had a unique property when he listed 31 Ellis Park Road for sale.

The small, mid-century house is perched on a precipice right above Grenadier Pond in High Park.

Mr. Sarbadhikari established an asking price of $999,999 and an offer date in early September.

After 16 bidders submitted offers, one determined buyer prevailed at the end of the night with an offer of $1.55-million.

“It’s not very often you get a listing like that. It took on a life of its own,” says Mr. Sarbadhikari of Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc.

The agent says about 100 parties booked showings and another 200 or so people came through the open house.

“I think we were all shocked,” he says of the reaction to the final price. Mr. Sarbadhikari contacted a few interested agents the next day to let them know the result. “Not a single one said, ‘Oh, I thought it would go for that.'”

The agent knows that some of his peers set eye-catching asking prices for the houses they list for sale, then bask in the attention when the property sets off a bidding frenzy and sells for a lot more.

That wasn’t his plan at 31 Ellis Park Road, Mr. Sarbadhikari says.

The house is small, with only one main level and a lower level with above-ground windows on one side. Renovated?

“Not at all,” says the agent, who figures the house hasn’t changed since it was built in 1955.

High Park houses
The pie-shaped lot has a 135-foot frontage but it’s only 46 feet deep. It’s bounded by the ravine on the east side and the road on the west. There’s nowhere to build to the north and there’s another house to the south.

All of that makes it difficult to imagine expanding the house to any great degree, he says.

The new owner, he says, will likely work within the existing footprint and renovate the interior.

Mr. Sarbadhikari thinks the value was not in the house itself but the view from the treetop balcony.

“People looked at it through very different lenses,” he says of the parties vying to buy it.

Another batch of unusual listings will arrive on the market soon as Toronto Community Housing continues the sell-off of some of its holdings.

Rick DeClute of DeClute Real Estate Inc. is representing the agency in the sale of about 20 properties in and around the Beaches. The plan is to get a lot of exposure for each property, then accept bids on a specified date. He’s fixing up some of the properties in order to get them listed soon – while the market is a little brisker than normal for this time of year, he says.

Comment: TCH has been holding them back, selling them slowly over the years. I wish they would just get it over with!

The crème-de-la-crème will be the two duplexes at 5 and 7 Hubbard Boulevard in Toronto.

The attached duplexes are configured into the two up, two down apartments so typical of the Beaches. The balconies face directly onto the boardwalk.

Mr. DeClute expects a commotion when the properties arrive in a few weeks.

“We have a line-up already,” he says. “There are agents saying they have offers waiting for as soon as they come on the market.”

Toronto beaches house
Mr. DeClute figures the two properties will be listed in the range of $1.7-million or $1.8-million each. That would give the buyer a duplex and the right to decide whether to keep it that way or to turn it into a single-family home. Another possibility is that one buyer will buy both duplexes for $3.5-million or so and turn the whole building into one dwelling.

“Renovating that into a single-family home would be spectacular,” Mr. DeClute says.

The finished house would have about 5,000 square feet of living space and multiple walk-outs onto the balconies.

“It’s a spectacular place to live,” he says. “Your front street is the boardwalk.”

Mr. DeClute knows the appeal well: his own house is a former TCH property on Hubbard. Mr. DeClute purchased the residence from a private seller, he says, but in years past it was owned by TCH.

He’s not bothered by any stigma, he says, but acknowledges that some potential buyers are. Also, the properties often don’t have surveys and other formalities that some house hunters expect.

Comment: What stigma? People are salivating, waiting for many of these houses to come on the market.

“It may diminish the buyer pool.”

Other house hunters flock to them, he says, because they figure they might get a deal.

“A lot of bargain hunters are coming out.”

Comment: Yeah, right. Ain’t no deals any more folks. And especially on these ex-government properties.

The houses at 5 and 7 Hubbard are protected under heritage rules, Mr. DeClute says. The architecture isn’t particularly distinguished but officials wanted to make sure that the properties wouldn’t be replaced by a monster building.

“It would have been very easy to snap them up, then tear them down and put up a condo.”

Earlier this week, a TCH semi on Maclean Avenue in the Beaches had four offers registered by mid-afternoon. It’s the other half to the TCH semi sold by the DeClutes a few years ago.

His company has been painting and staging the houses in this batch, Mr. DeClute says, because they’ve all been in fairly good repair. In the past, some were in such poor condition there was no point, he says.

In addition to the group lining the water, there are others very close to the boardwalk on Wineva Avenue, he says.

He’s hoping to get them all on the market over the next several weeks while the pace is brisk and tons of people are out strolling the boardwalk.

“They just tend to show better in better weather.”

Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.