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Real Estate

Sale of the Week: The $1.7-million Willowdale home that proves land is sometimes worth far more than a house

By Kelly Reid| Photography by Yiannis D/Downtown Photos
Sale of the Week: The $1.7-million Willowdale home that proves land is sometimes worth far more than a house
Listed At
$995,000
Sold For
$1,700,000

Neighbourhood: Willowdale

The Property: A one-and-a-half-storey house on a huge, manicured lot.

The History: The seller bought the house for $305,000 in 1997. She made modest updates over the years, but the house itself is virtually unchanged. Most of her effort went towards landscaping the 300-foot lot and creating a lush perennial garden. Now, she’s retired and planning to move to Ottawa to be closer to family.

The Fate: The buyers, a couple from New York, plan to move into the house for now, but they’ll almost certainly redevelop it eventually to take advantage of the size of the land. There’s a lot of rebuilding happening on Ellerslie Avenue at the moment, including on a massive double lot just four houses east of this one.

The Sale: The listing agent gently broke the news to the seller that her land was worth a great deal more than her house—and, that if priced very aggressively, it would generate a lot of interest among developers and builders. There were about eight showings on the first day, but there was also an extremely high pre-emptive offer. At $700,000 over asking, and with a quick closing as part of the deal, the seller had no reason to decline.

By The Numbers:

  • $1,700,000
  • $5,558.83 in taxes (2016)
  • 1200 square feet
  • 53-by-300-foot lot
  • 5-car driveway
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1 day on the market

The house isn’t big, but it’s cozy. Here’s the living room:

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The dining room:

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And the family room, with greenery inside and out, and a wall of exposed brick:

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The kitchen:

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There are three bedrooms. This one is being used as an office:

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The main bathroom:

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Another bedroom:

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And the last bedroom:

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But the real attraction here is the lot, which is 300 feet deep. This is only the start of it:

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This is what the buyers paid $1.7 million for:

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The Hunt

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