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.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Detached house in Toronto, Beaches area ($1M)

Detached house in Toronto, on the Beaches.



Location
Address: 114 Edgewood Ave, Toronto, Ontario.
The main intersection: Queen St East/ Woodbine.
MLS area - E02.

Price
$999,500.
To be honest the price has confused me.
Taking a look at the picture and lot size (25 feet width) I supposed something was wrong in this game. So I decided to visit the house being just curious what houses could be for this price...
Toronto real estate, Beaches house
After seeing myself I would say the price is pretty reasonable.
Because this house is really different from other ones at this location.

Footage
Near 3000 sq.feet (300 sq.m.), plus finished basement.

House Age
8 years.
Finally I found an agent who knew the year of construction.

Property Type
Detached 3-storey house.
There are central air conditioner and central vacuum.
Hardwood floors are except bedrooms (where you can see carpet).
For an average house owner this beauty may look as a really luxury property.

Lot size
25 x 264 feet (7.5 х 80 metres).
The width is not so impressive however that's kind of old house legacy. And it's hard to expect anything else on the Beaches.
However the depth was a surprise.

Kitchen and appliances
Everything is new, clean and shiny.
The kithcen in a million house

Main room
There are many rooms you know...
The house for sale in Toronto. Would you like to buy?
According to the papers near 12 ones that looks like a true or close to true .. :)
Real estate property in Toronto: house on Beaches
4 washrooms.
5 bedrooms.
House on Beaches, Toronto
Two families I think can live together with pets, and sometimes invite guests and make parties.

Bedrooms
The bedrooms are located on the second floor.
Bright and spacious.
Bedrrom in Toronto house on the Beaches
Торонто, Beaches, house for sale, bedroom

Basement
Basement is finished and makes the same nice impression as the house.
Basement in the house on Beaches (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Driveway
The house has no garage, but by the papers it's declared 4 car driveway. I have certain doubts regarding that statement... or maybe those are Smarts/Minis supposed to be parked here, or maybe more serious cars but well-pressed up :)
Propertyin Toronto, driveway of the Beaches house

Backyard
Backyard is not so wide but is definitely very deep.
House on Beaches, backyard
I am really impressed.
Not so often can see so huge backyard relatively close to downtown.
Backyard of the Beaches house in Toronto

Area
I thinks the Beaches always was a special and unique place in Toronto where you can feel the Art in the air. It's a place with high concentratiion of art people. But not even those who doing art for living. More even place with feeling of freedom. Freedom and a bit Europe. And this feeling is here, everyone can see it. That's why I' glad to go to Beaches when I'm tired of this American style of life.

Do you know why the area is called the Beaches?
It is on lakeshore of Ontario lake, there are large line of sand where you can find nice sand beach. Feel free to swim and acquire some tan there.
But Ontario is not a warm lake frankly speaking. :)

So because of that this area (few kilometres in radius) was called the Beaches.

Schools
In the centre of the city all the schools are usually very close to each other.
There are many of them on the Beaches.

Parks
The Beaches is one big park.
At least I consider it this way.

Shopping
There are many small (European-style) stores on the streets here.
I found even couple of tiny supermarkets, and of course they are not comparable to huge plazas somewhere in Richmond Hill. But nobody compares, c'mon... Your "enough" minimum is here, and we don't care about the rest...

Transportation
TTC (street cars and buses) are on every serious street (5 minutes of walking from any place on the Beaches). It may take 20 minutes of TTCing (or 10 minutes of "no traffic" driving) to downtown Toronto.

Property tax
$6500.00 for 2008.

Pros
The location si one of the best in Toronto.
This house is new (the old one has been demolished, brand new one been built from scratch), and the new house cannot be compared to regular 100+ years house which are usual on the Beaches.
The house is really large. I would say - as large as the lot width may allow.
Quiet street however at the same time everything is close - shops, public transit, restaurants, schools, Ontario Lake.
Would you like to purchase a house in Toronto?

Cons
The price.

Resume
If you are not shoked by the price I think this could be a nice variant.
The house makes an impression of holiday.
My opinion - 8 out of 10.
The house in Toronto, the third floor

Technical details
Foyer: 5.50 m x 4.45 m
Living Room: 7.01 m x 5.80 m
Dining Room: 4.54 m x 4 m
Kitchen: 5.43 m x 4 m
Master bedroom: 8.03 m x 5.80 m
Bedroom 2: 4.82 m x 4 m
Bedroom 3: 3.66 m x 3.05 m
Family room/bedroom in the 3-rd floor: 10 m x 5.80 m
Game room in the basement: 8.35 m x 5.80 m
Bedroom in the basement: 5.82 m x 4.82 m
Real estate property in Canada, Toronto, Beaches

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Detached house in Tottenham ($230K)

Detached 2-storey house in Tottenham.



Location
Address: 87 McKnight Cres, Tottenham, Ontario
The major intersection: Queen St / 5th Line, Tottenham, ON.
MLS area - N19.

Price
$229,900.00.
To be honest I am not so familiar with Tottenham real estate prices but comparing them to Toronto prices those looe very very good. At the same time if you have to commute to your workplace to Toronto / Brampton / Concord / Richmond Hill then this location (I mean Tottenham) is the same as Newmarket (where the real estate prices are 50% higher) - the distance to Highway 400 is almost the same.

The original price was $250K, then $235K, now it is $230K and I guess it's not the limit. It looks if you come and bring $220 offer the owner will be glad to discuss it, and maybe give you a tip for a beer. :)
House in Tottenham, Ontario


House Size
Approximately 1600 sq.ft. (160 sq.metres), plus finished basement.

House Age
Near 10-15 years old.
I'm always surprised why usually an agent doesn't know (doesn't tell?) exact size and age of the property.
Mistyfing those questions like I'm asking about some military secret...
Maybe they don't know really?

Property Type
Detached two-storey house in residential area.
There are central air conditioned and central vacuum in the house.

Lot size
30 x 105 feet (9 х 30 metres).
By the way it's not so huge lot even for GTA, not saying about such far-far-away areas like Tottenham.

Kitchen and Appliances
Clean and nice.
Absolutely good "my own home" environment, and to live here would bring no negative points.
Kitchen in Tottenham house

Main Rooms
Dining room and living room have no visible separators and are practically the same big room.
Dining room in house for sale in Tottenham
There are hardwood floors everywhere and it looks very organic with even not the biggest footage.
Living room in Tottenham house

Bedrooms
There are three bedrooms on the second floor.
Looks pretty standard by Canadian tendency.
Master bedroom

Basement
Basement is finished and spacious but unfortunately a bit dark.
No windows however nothing that looks wet or smells bad.
Basement is important for any house listed for sale

Driveway
The house has an attached garage for one car,
two more cars can be placed on paved driveway.

Backyard
Backyard is not very big but cosy and pleasant to be at.
Wood deck.
The backyard is bordered by tall wood fence.
Faces not to a neighbor but to a children playground which is very nice as for me.
No direct access to the playground though.
Backyard in house for sale listed in Tottenham, Ontario, Canada

Area
The area is very nice, and it's not a surprise - so far from Toronto so good :)
Very clean and quiet.

Schools
Are very close to us, maybe 5 or 10 minutes of walking.
The area looks very safe (to allow children to walk themselves) because even cars are moving not so often. Like in any village in middle of nowhere though :)

Parks
There are few children playgrounds withing a walking distance, and a big park in 10 minutes of driving (Tottenham Conservation Area).

Shopping
Two big grocery stores are located on opposite ends of the town so no risk to die because of lack of food. Also the near-placed plazas have many small convenience stores that carry all the stuff required for life :) including few family doctors (it's hard to find one in Toronto, but here the situation is much better).

Transportation
Someone said there was a bus that can take you and move somewhere closer to the civilization. But I'm afraid living without a car is impossible in Tottenham.

Property Tax
~$2050.00 for the year of 2007.

Pros
Relatively low price.
Very nice neighbourhood - everything is very quiet, clean and near-by.
Far from noisy Toronto, another style of life.
Main manufactoring plant of Honda Canada (in Alliston) is withing 10-20 minutes of driving (that's regarding a job).

Cons
Anyway the house could be a bit more spacious.
The nearest hospital is in Newmarket (more than 30 km).
There is no variety of schools and after-school programs comparing to Toronto and/or suburbs.

Resume
Everythign depends on where you live and what style of life you prefer.
I mean for this house the question is not "I like the house or not", but "I like Tottenham or not".
The house is nice for a family with up to 4 people.
The price is good and you won't find anything like that in Toronto or GTA.
So if you work from home, or need to commute to Barrie, Alliston, Orangeville or Newmarket - this town can be suitable for you.
You can reach Hwy9/Hwy400 intersection in 10-15 minutes, there are steps to north Toronto from there.
My opinion - 7 out of 10.
Tottenham house for sale

Technical details
Kitchen: 4.42 m x 3.05 m
Dining room: 7.17 m x 3.05 m
Living room: no data but it looks that the previous demensions (7.17 m x 3.05 m) are for both Dining & Living rooms together
Master bedroom: 3.75 m x 3.35 m
Bedroom 2: 3.35 m x 2.52 m
Bedroom 3: 3.11 m x 2.67 m
Game room in basement: 6.86 m x 4.12 m
Laundry room in basement: 4 m x 2 m

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Detached House (bungalow) in Bradford ($310K)

Detached bungalow in Bradford.



Location
Address: 4322 Sixth Line, Bradford, Ontario
Main intersection - Hwy27 / Hwy88.
MLS area: N18.
Buy Detached House in Bradford

Bradford - that's something north-west of Newmarket.

The town itself is a bit closer to Newmarket, but this particular house is located in so called rural area which is country life as I understand it.

No central sewer system,
the output goes to ceptic which has to be emptied and cleaned once per few years. I am personally a bit scared by these devices but it works somehow and most of the houses in rural areas use ceptics. Hmm.. ok...
House for sale Bradford
But life in rural area definitely has some positive moments like having less noise, less neighbours and the distances are much longer.

Price
$309,900.00.
The price is not so high but it's hard to understand whether the reason is the location (middle of nowhere) or something wrong with the house itself.

Footage
At my opinion the house has 1000-1100 sq.ft (100-110 sq.metres), plus finished basement (almost the same size).
Kitchen in house for sale in Bradford

House Age
Approx. 30 years old, according to real estate agent.

Property type
Detached house, bungalow (one floor plus basement).
However I wouldn't expect anything else from an old house in rural area.
I think 30 years ago nobody tried to save few more sq.feet of land.

Lot size
100 x 200 feet (30 х 61 metres).

Kitchen and appliances
Nobody lives in the house now since the owner made full renovation and left so there are no major appliances, You'll have to bring your own ones.
Bradford kitchen

Main Rooms
There is a dining room, not so big, near the kitchen. It faces to the big window so you can see your driveway and the entrance to your lot while eating/sitting. Very bright and beautiful so no doubts it's a pleasure to have a dinner there.Living room
Nice and big family room.Family room: house for sale in Bradford
Hardwood floors everywhere except bedrooms (carpet) and washrooms/kitchen (tiles).Bradford, Ontario - house for sale

Bedrooms
Bedrooms are tiny. One bedroom is pretty small, another one (master bedroom) is a bit bigger but anyway it's not so impressive.

But that may make sense: I never understood why the bedroom should be huge. I guess it's better to have more space for children to play instead of for adults to sleep.
Master bedroom
One more small bedroom you can see in basement.
However it has no windows at all.
Very hard impression.
It looks like you can practice enforcing sleeping there as a punishment.

Basement
Basement is walk out (not an usual feature in houses for sale in Bradford and Toronto) so you can step out right to backyard.
The basement is bright and light enough.Basement: real estate property in Bradford, Canada
The bedroom in basement looks not so perfect as for me (as already mentioned). You can however use it as a storage room.Finished basement in Bradford
There is a real wood fireplace, that's something I really liked.
The basement has a real wood fireplace

Driveway
No driveway as we understand it.
Just not-paved piece of one-direction road coming directly to the house.
Logically there is a designated space for two-car garage right near the house so you can build it if you want. But the cars can be parked as it is now, without a roof.

Backyard
The backyard is nice.
Why I usually don't like rural area houses is their ceptic system, and why I like them is their backyards.
It is wide, deep, very close to nature and looks great.
The house located on a hill so backyard is a bit uneven. But that's not a negative point.
However the problem with the backyard is there is a major road (highway 27) visible from the backyard. Frankly speaking it breaks the feeling of seclusion and doesn't help meditation.

Area
Non-immigrant population, very nice and not depraved by big cities.
Nice people until you make them angry :)

Schools
Usually no schools withing walking distance in rural areas.
But schoolbus can take your children and then bring them back so it doesn't look as a problem.

Parks
The whole are is a big park.
You can live in the park - was it that you dreamed about?

Shopping
The nearest grocery store is in Bradford, approximately 10 minutes of driving.
If something minor required urgently feel free to go to the convenience store in 1 minute of driving.
Maybe not so convenient comparing to residential area but anyway...

Transportation
What transportation you guess can be an option is rural areas?
Your own truck is the best variant I think.

Property tax
~$3000.00 for the year of 2007.

Pros
Relatively low price.
Far away from big (and even small) cities.
No much neighbours in the neighbourhood.
Large backyard.
Walkout basement.
Recently completed renovation.Would you like to buy a house in Bradford?


Cons
Far away from big (and even small) cities (you are right, that's in both lists - everything depends on your mood).
However it's a bit noisy from highway 27 that laid near by.
The house is not new.
No central sewer system.
Oil heating.

Resume
You can expect silence and quietness from a rural area house.
But it's a bit noisy, plus all the problems of rural areas.
Besides, there is a steep hill road between highway 27 and the house so I'm not sure you'll be able to drive uphill on your Civic in winter time after snowfall.
The rest is ok.
My mark: 5 out of 10.

Technical details
Kitchen: 6.90 m x 2.75 m
Dining room: 3.96 m x 2.70 m
Living room: 5.73 m x 4.90 m
Master bedroom: 4.30 m x 3.47 m
Bedroom 2: 3.53 m x 2.75
Kitchen in basement: 2.70 m x 2.62 m
Bedroom in basement: 3.53 m x 3.05 m
Family room in basement: 5.40 m x 4.17 m
Game room in basement: 5.70 m x 4.26 m

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

House for sale in Mississauga ($350K)

For the first review we have chosen a semidetached house in Mississauga, Ontario.



Location
Address: 422 Ginger Downs, Mississauga, Ontario
Main intersection: Cawthra/Dundas.
MLS region: W15.

Price
$349,900.00, this is already reduced price.
A month ago this house has been listed for the price of $364,900.00, so now we can see a tendency to slow moving down, i.e. negotiating is a must here - I'm sure it's not the last price.

Property size
Approximately 1600-1700 sq.ft. including finished basement

House Age
No data but I suppose may be near 20-25 years.


Property type
Semidetached house, so there are some neighbours behind the wall.
The selling agent is sure it is not a problem since the neighbiurs are quiet and the wall is isolated enough.
Maybe that's true.
At least for a half an hour spent in the house we didn't hear any noise at all.

It is a backsplit, i.e. entering the house we see a kitchen and living/dining rooms and then can go either upstairs for a half of a floor, to washroom and bedrooms, or downstairs (to the same a half of a floor) visitng basement.

Lot size
31 x 242 feet (9.5 х 74 metres).

Kitchen and appliances
Electrical stove looks pretty new. The fridge and dishwasher unfortunately not that much. If you decide to buy this house then maybe it makes sense to think about purchasing some new appliances as well. Of course it depends though :) The old ones are working so maybe it's not the number one purchase in your priority.
There is a CAC (central air conditioner) in the house.


Main rooms
Practically speaking, the main room is the only one, but logically it is divided to dining room and living room. There are a table, sofa and TV set in the rooms.

Hardwood floor and tiles everywhere, looks good enough.

There is a dog living in the house now.


Bedrooms
There are 3 bedrooms at the 1.5th floor.
To be honest, the bedrooms are not huge by size.
Dark colors of painting didn't make me much enthusiastic, but maybe you'l like it. Anyway it's not a big deal to repaint them into black more light and eyes-friendly colors.

Basement

The basement is finished,
there are washroom and shower (a cheap one from Home Depot but that's definitely better than nothing) in the basement.

The basement smells like someone's smoking there time by time.
All the rest is clean.
The agent says the smell can be removed by cleaning the ventilation pipes. I'm not sure about that but maybe she's right.


Driveway
The driveway is big and can accomodate up to 4 vehicles.
Besides, there is a gate that can be opened so two more cars can move into paved place almost at the backyard.

Backyard
The backyard is great.
Really, it is the most attractive part of the property.
It is wide and deep, and is definitely a nice place to play and take a rest.
There are an inflated pool (big enough for the whole family, or children party), also plastic garden house, swings, some bushes and trees.


Area
The area is good.
Not the best probably but not so bad.
My concerns were 2 rental buildings in 5 minutes of walking but overall the area is average, with its pros and cons.
No specific nationality/foreign language dominated.
Livable.

Schools
A secondary school in 5 minutes of walking.

Parks
5-10 minutes of walking can bring you into one of two big parks - CedarBrae Park and McKenzie Park. In 15-20 minutes of driving you can find more seriuos parks. So we can talk about family neighbourhood where you can walk with children or pets.

Shopping
No information, sorry...

Transport/commuting
GO station Cooksville (buses and trains to Toronto downtown) is located in 10 minutes of driving (20-30 minutes of walking).

Property Tax
~$3000.00 for year of 2007.

Pros
Super backyard
Family neighbourhood
Quiet street

Cons
The major concern for me was a railway right near the backyard. And it is railway for GO Trains which are passing nearby quite often in morning and evening hours. Let's say for the half an hour spent there we noticed two trains come through. They are a bit noisy and annoying. And 6am train may be surprise for someone :)

Also I would add the house age to Cons list. I cannot say it is very old house but it is definitely not new.
Also the house size.
Honestly it is not a big house. I would rather say - a small house...


Resume
For a not so big family (up to 3-4 people) that could be a good choice.
Feeling about area are good.
And the overall opinion is positive.
If you can live with a railway on your backyard.
My rate: 6 out of 10.

Not so interesting technical details
Kitchen: 3.66 m x 3.01 m
Living room: 2.68 m x 3.17 m
Dining room: 3.05 m x 4.23 m
Master bedroom: 3.36 m x 3.01 m
Bedroom 2: 2.74 m x 3.05 m
Bedroom 3: 2.60 m x 3.93 m
Basement: 6.09 m x 3.66 m
Bedroom in the basement: 2.90 m x 2.50 m

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What is this and what is it for

I am Alex Blinoff, a real estate agent located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
And what do you think I should tell you about? :)

You are right,
I can tell you about real estate market here in Toronto.
What's for sale, what are the reasons to buy, or, if you are a house owner, what could be the reasons to sell (and buy something else of course).

Here I plan to provide reviews of houses which are listed "for sale" now.
I realize it's impossible to visit all the houses and make your own opinion about them. So you can read my notes and see my opinion about the house, the area and the neighbourhood. I believe that could help you to learn more about different variants of properties listed for sale, and make your own choice - what makes sense to visit and take a look yourself.

If you have any question I would be glad to answer.
Also maybe I didn't observe some area that looks interesting to you - so just let me know and I will do that.

See you, and I look forward for your feedback!