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Toronto/GTA "house for sale" reviews

Are you interested to buy house, townhouse or condo in Toronto or suburbs (Markham, Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton, North York, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa)? I am here to help you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Do you really need a real estate agent to buy a house or condo in Toronto?

It's not a secret the most of real estate property sales in Canada happen with help of real estate agents. There are usually two agents take part in a transaction: seller's agent and buyer's agent.

You might be surprised but it's not a law - you can sell/buy your property yourself, without any agent. And such websites exist - feel free to list your house and look for customers without help of anyone.

The agents get their payments for their work (or participation - whatever you like more :)). And the payment are serious enough - usually two real estate agents share 3-5% of the property cost as their reward.

Naturally some home buyers or sellers would guess "why we cannot do a sale a purchase without a real estate agent"? What are the reasons to pay thousand dollars for some service that seems to be easy enough?

In the next postings we'll take a look at these questions.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Website changes

Congratulations to my readers,
and to me a little bit of course :)
This website became multilingual.

Being in English most of the time until today,
now we also have Arabic, Deutch, French, Japanese and Russian versions of HomeBuyerBlog.ca.

Wow :)

We just started and other languages are not populated with a number of materials yet however you know to start something is usually the hardest step.

Keep in touch reviewing real estate properties for sale together!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Being paused

Wanted to let you know I'm out of Canada now so new reviews publishing can be slightly delayed.

Also this website has been moved to another hosting and was not available for a few days, please accept my apologies about the possible problems.

If you however still want to read something then feel free to click the ad at the left and read very interesting materials there. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House for sale in Etobicoke ($430K)

A detached semi-floor house for sale in Etobicoke district.



Location
Address: 31 Aldgate Ave, Toronto, Ontario.
Main intersection - Park Lawn Rd / The Queensway, Etobicoke.
MLS district - W07.


Price
$429,900.

Square Footage
The information is restricted.
Judging by its view, it’s about 1000 square feet (100 square kilometres)


Age of the house
About 50 – 60 years.

Type of real estate
Semi-floor house.
As I understood, initially it was a single-floor house, but then some know-it-all decided to build a staircase to the attic and made a bedroom there.
Build and made.
But it’s impossible to sleep there when it’s hot.
I was there not on the hottest day, but 2 air conditioners didn’t manage the workload – it was quite hot and stuffy upstairs.

Size of the lot
40 x 175 feet (12 х 52 metres).

Kitchen and household appliances
The kitchen looks quite good against the general background.
At least, there are fewer complaints against it.
The colors a bit depress, but this can be easily helped.


Main rooms
There’s only one main room.
It’s logically divided into two parts by the sofa.

There’s a fireplace.
The agent said that it’s gas, though it seemed to be firewood (there was even an armful of wood nearby).


Bedrooms
It’s a sore point in this house.
There’s only one bedroom (upstairs), but it’s impossible to sleep there: it’ll be hot in summer and cold in winter.

But tastes differ.
If you, like Rakhmetov by Chernyshevsky, decided to train your strength of will by means of torturing your body, this house will be a suitable variant for you.
Philosophers should pay attention to this house too.


Basement
The basement is finished and tolerable, saving nearly a total lack of windows.
There’s even a bedroom there.

Driveway
The driveway would be nearly normal, if it fit for 2 cars in its width.
Though there’s even a garage, 3 more cars would fit into, but they’ll leave along the stack.

Backyard
The backyard is a light moment in the survey.
The backyard is large, with a pool and hottub,
and old fruit trees.


District
The district is not totally awful, but not very good.
It’s probably possible to live there, but you could find some better variants.

Schools
The nearest schools are Etienne Brule JS, Park Lawn JMS (both of them are quite near – 5 10 minutes of walk) and Etobicoke CI (you need to go by bus there).

Parks
Woodfrod Park, South Humber Park and Bell Manor Park – it’s just a 5 - 10 minute walk (in different directions, see the map).

Shops
The Shop in Queensway,
You need to drive somewhere to find big ones...

Transport
The highway (Queen Elizabeth Way) is a three-minute drive,
streetcars and buses are also nearby.
Though it’s not very convenient to go to the subway using public transport.

Property tax
About $3000 in 2007.

Pros
The price isn’t high for Etobicoke.
The highway is nearby; the access to TTC (Toronto buses-trams) is not very far.
The backyard made me happy.
The pool and hottub produce the impression of luxury.


Cons
The house is extremely small, it actually has a single bedroom (it’s not a suitable variant for families with children).
The district is so-so, a bit dirty.
In South Humber Park (within one kilometre to the east from the house) there are large sewage-purification facilities. If the wind blows from the east, it’ll smell, you know.

General thoughts
The backyard impresses greatly.
On the whole the house produces a better impression than the previous one, but this kind of real estate is lower than the average level.
It’s possible to live here only in case of emergency.
My evaluating of the house is 4 of 10.


Technical details
Living room: 7 m x 3.50 m
Dining room: 4.50 m x 3 m
Kitchen: 3.40 m x 2.70 m
Kitchen with a place for having meals: 3.30 m x 2.70 m
Bedroom (upstairs): 5.25 m x 3.40 m
Room in the basement: 4.80 m x 2.80 m
Kitchen in the basement: 2.75 m x 2.40 m
Bedroom in the basement: 3.30 m x 3 m
Room for washers-dryers in the basement: 3.80 m x 3 m

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

One more detached Etobicoke house ($430K)

One more detached bungalow in Toronto (Etobicoke district).



Location
Address: 5 Inverleigh Dr, Toronto, Ontario.
Main intersection - Royal York / QEW, Etobicoke.
MLS district - W07.
Etobicoke – a house for sale at a low price

Price
$429,000.

Square Footage
A difficult question.
The agent dodged the question.
Seems to be not more than 1000 square feet (100 square metres).

Age of the house
About 60 years.
Looks decrepit.

Type of real estate
A detached bungalow with finished basement.
No garage.

Size of the lot
44 x 113 feet (13 х 34 metres).

Кitchen and household appliances
The tiniest kitchenette I’ve ever seen in Canada.
Kitchenette
To my mind, kitchens are larger even in Canadian apartments.
Here it reminded me 50-100 years old European flat.
The appliances are comparatively new – they say that all of them (the fridge, washer, dryer, and stove) were bought in 2007.

Main rooms
Several adjoining rooms.
Produce a bit miserable impression because of their small size and the age of the house.
Dining room

Bedrooms
Two bedrooms upstairs and one in the basement (it’s scary to sleep in the basement).

Basement
Curtailed and deterrent.
Iron-barred windows, the existence of which I’ve already forgotten about.
As the agent says, the owner of the house is crazy about safety.
But, frankly speaking, it’s indicative of bad criminal situation.
Real estate in Toronto: a house for sale in Etobicoke - basement

Driveway
Grass-bush-flowers.
3 cars, they say, can fit into the asphalt driveway.
They may fit into, but only the last will be able to leave.
The driveway to the main road fit for a single car reminds me of the times when horse-drawn trams ran about in the street, and the fact that a family had more than one car seemed to be a flight to the Moon.

Backyard
The backyard is unexpectedly large (or it seems such against the background of the house).
Backyard for sale in Etobicoke

District
Judging by the iron-barred windows, the district is good :)
Indeed, the nearby street Queensway seems dirty and ragged. The sidewalks are broken, there’s garbage in the streets.
The first sign that there’s something wrong with the district...
A detached house in Toronto (Etobicoke district)

Schools
The nearest schools - Norseman JMS (10-15 minutes of walk) и Etobicoke CI (you needn’t go by bus).

Parks
There aren’t any parks nearby.
It’ll take you 10-15 minutes to walk to Woodford Park, Queensway Park East and West – a bit farther.
But there’s a playground with some slides nearby (just a few minutes of walk).
Tree in the frontyard

Shops
Small shops are on Queensway,
something more or less big like No Frills, are about 5 minutes of ride.
There are no big stores nearby.

Transport
The highway (QEW) is nearby, buses (along Royal York) go to the subway.
A streetcar going downtown was also declared (it was said that it would take about 40-50 minutes).

Property tax
About $3000 in 2007.

Pros
The price can be considered low for the district.
The highway is nearby and the centre of the city is not so far.
Life’s flowers

Cons
The house is old and small, one of the smallest Canadian houses I’ve ever seen.
The district is so-so, not at all super...

Resume
The house is for those people who want to live not far from the centre, and the magic word “Etobicoke” makes the heart pounding.
But the house itself is sheer disappointment.
My evaluating of the house is 3 of 10.
Living room in the house for sale

Technical details
Living room: 4.30 m x 3.70 m
Kitchen: 2.85 m x 2.45 m
Dining room: 2.80 m x 2.50 m
Master bedroom: 3.17 m x 2.66 m
Bedroom 2: 3.23 m x 2.94 m
Bedroom 3: 3.53 m x 2.75 m
Main room in the basement: 10.85 m x 3.37 m
The bedroom in the basement: 3.70 m x 3.13 m

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Monday, May 25, 2009

A detached house in Etobicoke ($750K)

A detached one-storey house (bungalow) in Toronto (Etobicoke district).



Location
Address: 181 Royalavon Cres, Toronto, Ontario.
Main intersection: Kipling / Burnhamthorpe, Toronto, Ontario.
MLS district - W08.
A house for sale in Toronto (Etobicoke)

Price
$749,000.

Area
about 1000-1200 square feet (100-120 square meters).
Plus the basement of the same measure

The age of the house is
about 50 years old.
But, frankly speaking, you won't tell by it.
It looks a spry man.

Type of real estate
A detached house with finished basement (with a separate entrance).
Single car garage.

The size of the lot
50 x 150 feet (15 х 45 meters).

Kitchen and household appliances
Everything's new, stainless steel, combined into kitchen furniture.
Counter tops of granite
Central air-conditioner.
Kitcen

The main rooms
In spite of the age, everything is designed sensibly.
All looks quite spacious.
It's seen that recently (in 2006) certain alterations and renovations have taken place.
Gas fireplace.
There is parquet on the first floor.
High ceillings and windows in the roof (even in the toilets) impress greatly.
It looks super.
It's just the thing for those who suffer from claustrophobia.
A house for sale in Etobicoke)

Bedrooms
2 bedrooms on the first floor, and two more in the basement.
Bedroom

Basement
A finished basement with a separate entrance without any strange smells.
Average lightness, but in general, it's suitable for living.
A separate entrance from Burnhamthorpe, so you can subrent it or use the house for two families.

Driveway
The house is in the corner of Burnhamthorpe и Royalavon St., so it has two driveways - one from both entrances. The only garage, though, more than that for one car, and more than that a kind of ancient and decrepit.
Each driveway would accommodate 2 cars.

Backyard
The backyard is average in its size, but very cosy.
It's seen nothing from the street, encloused by thick bushes.
There's a pool with a fountain-falls (naturally, electric) in the backyard. It looks beautiful, impresses greatly.
Pool in the backyaed
The walls of the pool are concrete, not plastic. Built in 2002.
The agent asserts that you can leave the water in for winter season, as concrete is durable, It won't be broken. I would have argued to this, but didn't do that. It's better to pour the water out for winter season, it'll be much more healthful. So be ready for addituonal costs. Besides, the insurance for a house with a pool is a bit higher, as a pool, you know, water and nature, there's no fence, children running, and two metre depth ...

District
The area is good, without any doubt.
The most of newcomers can't afford to buy a lodging here, but the district is not at all bad.... So, Etobicoke is regarded here as quite a pleasant district (of course, excepting such monsters as Forest Hill or Post Road).

Schools
The nearest schools - Islington JMS (a 10-15 minutes walk) и Etobicoke CI (somewhat farther).

Parks
Quite near - Islington Golf Club, Thomson Riley Park и Echo Valley Park (farther north to the districts of other parks).

Shops
It seems there are no large supermaekets within the distance of a short walk, but there are small shops in Dundas (a 15 minutes walk),and within the distance of 10 - 15 minutes ride - No Frills, and Costco, and many others.

Transport
Subway Kipling - within the distance of 15 - 20 minutes walk.
Or two minutes to the bus station, and the bus will bring you to the subway.
It's probably one of the main reasons of popularity of this district.
It will take you 3 minutes of ride to reach the highway (427), and from 427 - 5 minutes to 401, and to QEW.

Property tax
$3500 in 2008th.
Impressively low.
The agent explains that it's an old bungalow, aged to the times of baby-boom, and the municipal government has kept low taxes,haven't let them rise since long ago.
Maybe out of respect for the people living here who aren't to blame that their houses cost more than a million.

Pros
The district is old, comfortable and well settled.
Sky lights windows in the ceiling look very nice.
The pool and the falls are not at all bad.
The subway is at arm's length.

Cons
The price is a bit high, but no one is to blame that for lower price you can find either something sensless or in Newmarket.
The windows look out a street with intensive traffic (it's very dangerous to let the children out).

General thoughts
The house is in good state and seems to be quite pleasant.
The subway and the highway (427) are quite near.
The price seems to be a bit high, but to my mind, it'll be going down.
My rating of the house is - 8 out of 10.
Would you like to buy a house in Toronto? Etobicoke district is waiting for you.

Technical details
Living room: 4.32 m x 5.04 m
Dining room: 4.32 m x 5.04 m
Kitchen: 4 m x 3.17 m
Family room: 4.01 m x 5.76 m
Master bedroom: 3.33 m x 3.60 m
Bedroom 2: 3.38 m x 3.65 m
Room in the basement: 5.60 m x 3.60 m
Bedroom 3 in the basement: 5.58 m x 3.90 m
Bedroom 4 in the basement: 3.20 m x 3.10 m

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I would like to have a chance to thank you for your interest to my blog,
happy New Year to you and your family,
and all the best in the 2009th!