Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Fab 3 bed semi on Glebeholme Blvd – **SOLD**

November 15th, 2013 Posted by Hot Listings, Open House No Comment yet

The Danforth is such a great part of Toronto. The subway provides access for local residents to quickly get downtown, and at the same time conveniently brings folks to the area to enjoy the great restaurants, pub and shops. The neighbourhood brims with activity.

Set just two blocks north of the Danforth, stretching from Donlands Ave eastwards to Woodbine Ave, is Glebeholme Blvd, a pretty, leafy street lined mostly with classic, Toronto-style three bedroom brick semis. This home, built in 1918, has had just three owners – including the current seller. Over the years, it has been extensively maintained and upgraded, in a way that has allowed it to retain much of the original character and charm.

The home features a living room with decorative fireplace and French doors, a formal dining room and a brand new kitchen. The second floor has both an electric fireplace and a wood-burning fireplace. Outside, the garage has been restored, and the back yard recently landscaped. Other improvements include upgraded wiring and water main, and a ’50-year’ roof. 

Donlands subway station is just a two blocks away, so the commute downtown is quick and easy. Local schools are Wilkinson Junior PS,  Earl Grey Senior PS and Riverdale CI. (Catholic, Holy Cross elementary and St Patrick HS). All-in-all, this is a great home in a great neighbourhood.  Contact me any time for more information.


Update: This house sold on ‘offer night’. 🙂

October 2013 Market Review

November 7th, 2013 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

As shown in TREB’s latest report, October was another strong – if somewhat frustrating – month in the Toronto real estate market. The key points are that, compared to October 2012, there are fewer homes on the market (-10.5%), they are selling faster (DOM -2.6%), and for more money (+7.4%).

Once again, condos sold very well last month, with the number of sales in the 416 up 20.4% over last year. The average price for a condo in Toronto increased by 7.2%, just a touch under the overall average. (That city-wide average is broken down by type: detached (+12.4); semi-detached (+11.7%); townhouse (+4%) and condo.)

So, that’s the strength part. The frustrating part is the continuing lack of supply: there just aren’t enough houses on the market to satisfy the demand. That is making it hard to buy, which delays selling, which perpetuates the cycle.

Part of the issue is our continuing population growth (currently increasing by about 5%/year). Overall, I’d say that’s a positive thing for the city, even if it puts pressure on the real estate market. Another part is limited space on which to build net new houses. Also, a powerful curb on buying and selling (moving up, downsizing, or relocating to a different part of the city) is the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. Hit the TREB web site for your fill of anti-TLLT info.

All we can do is carry on: shop patiently, and be ready to pounce if you spot something you like. When it comes time to sell (if you have something to sell), do your prep work, price to market, and be as accommodating as you can for showings – the more, the better. It ain’t rocket science, but there certainly is a right way to do it. Cal me any time to talk more about that. 😉

Think your home needs ‘staging’? Then hire a *real* stager.

November 4th, 2013 Posted by Commentary, Featured, Style & Staging No Comment yet

One can’t talk real estate without at some point touching on the issue of ‘staging’. The idea is that somebody replaces some or all of your furniture with nicer stuff, and blows the socks off potential buyers. Sounds simple enough.

As I have written before, when selling your home it is absolutely critical that you put your best foot forward. Removing or replacing furniture, lights, wall hangings, etc. can be a part of that. Unfortunately, we have seen staging become a real ‘hook’ used by some in the real estate industry to attract clients (they pay for it!), and that has really watered down its value and effectiveness.

Before you decide to hire an agent just because they offered to ‘stage’ your home, think about it: do you really want stuff that was just picked up at another listing and trucked over to your house? (Was it even cleaned?!) Is there anything unique or special about that? Not in my opinion. Besides – with some exceptions – the furniture and decor in your home reflects your style and it fits your home far better than a white leather love seat or green couch ever will.

However, if you really do need to stage – maybe the house/condo is vacant, or what you have is really on its last legs – do yourself a favour and hire a professional. I have recently had the pleasure of dealing with two really great independent professionals, both of whom I would recommend in a heartbeat.

First, Dawn Chapnick was recommended to a client to stage a high-end downtown condo. Another owner in the King Edward Private Residences had recently hired her, and everybody liked what they saw. When I met with her at the unit she quickly convinced me that she understood what was needed, and could source the right pieces to show the space and accentuate the high quality finishes. In short, she knew what would fit, and where to get it. Take a look at her work:


The other really great stager is Kim Ostergaard, who was hired by my clients for their beautiful detached home in the Beach. I had seen Kim’s work before, so I knew that she has a great touch. The pieces she uses are carefully selected to match the style of home, the materials and the finishes. You can tell the difference when you walk in the door: the place looks nearly perfect, but also quite natural. It’s a rare blend. Take a look:


The key point is to find a full-time professional (and both of these ‘stagers’ do interior design work, unrelated to real estate sales) with the experience and expertise to do a proper job. It’s not good enough to simply plunk down some furniture and a couple of pillows. Access to quality pieces at affordable rates really sets the professionals apart from those who have just a limited inventory of ‘stuff’. If they are making their living at it, chances are they are pretty good. Do some research and find one who works for you and get the job done right.