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, 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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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bungalow in Keswick ($325K) for sale

A detached bungalow in Keswick (town of Georgina).



Location
Adress: 435 Lake Dr. South, Keswick, Ontario.
Major intersection - Queensways South / Glenwoods Ave, Keswick, Ontario.
MLS area - N17.
The house on lake Simcoe

Price
$324,900.

Footage
Approx. 1500 sq.feet (150 sq.m) within several levels.

House Age
Strictly protected information, hasn't been disclosed even after direct question.
Dining room
Answered "too many upgrades for the last year".
By feeling, the house is very old.
I wouldn't guarantee 100 years but easy 70 or 80.
Internal decorating is almost modern (if you consider 10-20 years old as a modern).
Family room

Property Type
Detached bungalow, backsplit.
Half a level up you can see 3 bedrooms and almost luxurious bath.
Half a level down you'll find a separate apartment including a separate entrance (possible can be rented out).
No garage.
Entrance to the house

Lot Size
63 x 115 feet (19 х 34 metres).
View from the street

Kitchen and Appliances
Tried to look nice but we can see their age as well.
Kitchen in the house in Keswick
There is a central air conditioner.

Main Rooms
One big room (logically presented as two rooms) at the main floor, near kitchen.
Dining Room
So the whole main floor looks like one big room.
Living room in the house for sale in Keswick

Bedrooms
Buy a house on Simcoe lake - here is bedroom
There are three bedrooms on high level, one more is on low level.
A bedroom

Basement
I would say not basement but low (ground) level.
It contains a separate apartment.
Basement, or ground level
The entrance is right from the ground and it is supposed it had to be light and bright here.
Surprisingly it is not.
There are so many mature trees near the house that not much light in the ground level (be honest also not much light on high level too).
Basement

Driveway
One car track, not even paved used here as a driveway.
3 cars can be parked here (but since the driveway is one car wide only one car can move when parked).
No garage as already mentioned above.

Backyard
Backyard is not so huge but I would say cozy and nice.
Backyard in the house on Simcoe lake
There is a hot tab on backyard.
Looks nice.
Hot tub

Area and Neighborhood
The area looks not so good being honest.
View to Simcoe is very nice but neighbors seemed a bit gloomy, and the neighborhood itself looks... hmmm... slightly slovenly.
Backyard
However I must say Keswick is nice place to live. I really liked it.
More about it you can find on Georgina municipality website.
And real estate property is still not overpriced here, especially comparing to Toronto closest suburbs.
Family room in the real estate property

Schools
What we can find withing a walking distance here? I would mention Brock High School and Our Lady of the Lake Catholic College School.
These are just flowers

Parks
There is Simcoe Lake across the road. Here you'll see our private beach (the owner pays $45/year now)
Across the road of the house

Shopping
On Queensway (10-15 minutes walk) you can see may small shops plus large grocery store Price Chopper. One more grocery store (Zehrs) you'll find on Woodbine (10 minutes drive).

Public Transit
Go and YRT (York Region Transit) buses are here.
Also local Georgina buses that make public transit in Keswick surprisingly wide and divaricate. For more information please visit Municipality website.
Bathroom

Property Tax
$3400 in 2008.
View from the house to Simcoe Lake

Pros
Simcoe Lake is just across the road.
The view
The price is not skyscraper's.
There is sewer system, not septic as you may expect from such house.
Two families can live here not interfering to each other.

Cons
A bit far from everything (however it's a question to Keswick but not to this particular house).
The house is a bit old.
Installed alarm system ($35/month) also tells you about something.
Real estate property for sale: Bathroom

Resume
The house is old but at the first look is in a good condition (for the second look ask for your home inspector's opinion).
House for sale in Keswick, Ontario: dining room
Dark colors of walls and ceilings are too hard to accept.
I guess the whole house will be much brighter if repaint everything in light colors.
A bit far from amenities however if you work from home (or don't work) then you can consider this property.
My personal opinion - 6 out of 10.
On frontyard

Technical Details
Living room: 5.79 m x 5 m
Dining room: 3.05 m x 3.05 m
Kitchen: 2.74 m x 2.62 m
Master bedroom: 3.99 m x 3.99 m
Bedroom 2: 3.35 m x 3.37 m
Bedroom 3: 3.07 m x 2.70 m
Recreational room in basement: 2.62 m x 2.70 m
Family room in basement: 3.99 m x 7.80 m
Bedroom in basement: 2.76 m x 2.71 m
Bungalow for sale: take a look at the rooms

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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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