Sale of the Week: the Oakwood starter home that shows you can enter the housing market below $320,000

Sale of the Week: the Oakwood starter home that shows you can enter the housing market below $320,000

 195 Boone Ave.


Address: 195 Boon Ave.
Neighbourhood: Oakwood
Agent: Vito Doria, broker; Dagmara Lulek, sales representative, Royal Lepage Real Estate Professionals, Brokerage

The Property: This is what a starter home for under $350,000 looks like. For the price of a modest condo, the buyer got a freehold two-bedroom, two-storey townhouse with hardwood floors, cozy kitchen and a parking space. The top draw here, however, is the neighbourhood. The street is lined with a raft of newly built homes and some classic Toronto house styles—including a property that recently sold for twice the price of 195 Boon Ave.

The History: The same selling agent sold this property 22 years ago for under $100,000. Afterward, the single occupant embarked upon a slew of upgrades, including the installation of a modern furnace and the addition of an excavated walk-out basement for convenient storage. Though diminutive, this is not the smallest property in the area. The city’s tiniest abode, which measures in at 7.21-by-46.9 feet and was featured on Ellen, is just located nearby.

The Fate: The new owner wanted to avoid Toronto’s legendarily horrible commutes while keeping costs low. Although this is a low-maintenance property with nothing amiss, the kitchen and bathroom could still use some TLC. Given their small size, however, it would only take an investment of $10,000 to create an estimated $20,000-30,000 increase in the home’s value over the next five years. Upgrading the paint job—or any other part of the facade—would require the consent of all three rowhouse owners, which could be tough.

The Sale: Even for such a diminutive house, the head-turning list price sounds too low for a Toronto freehold—a true unicorn in a city where homes rarely go for under $400,000. There is a house-hunting tip in here: December is a good time to buy. In this case, the seller was motivated to sell at $14,900 under asking in order to offload the property before the slow holiday season.

By the numbers:

• $320,000
• 96 per cent of asking price
• 73 days on market
• 12 feet wide
• 10 minutes’ walk to St. Clair streetcar
• 2 bedrooms
• 1 bathroom
• 1-car parking via laneway