#GTAHomeHunt is a weekly series from the Star that gets into the details of real estate listings in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Have a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
X-factor: This stylish, modern, two-bedroom, one-bathroom corner loft near Lake Ontario at 36 Charlotte Street has floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan, updated laminate floors and a two-seater kitchen island that could double as a workspace.
A rare, larger condo in the city, this 800-square-foot unit listing is also steps away from the Financial and Entertainment Districts, nightlife and transit.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you might be wondering, is this a good deal? We brought in our expert, real estate agent Othneil Litchmore, to gain a better understanding of why this property costs what it does.
Why is it priced this way: While it’s listed as a two-bedroom, Litchmore said this listing is more consistent with a one-plus-den as the second bedroom is fairly small with no windows. Likely, it has no closet and can only fit a small bed making this a better option for a young family.
“A couple could live here comfortably, even a couple with a small child,” he said, adding the space could also be the perfect fit for a single professional looking for more space who is planning to live in the city long-term.
It’s important to note that older buildings like these come with higher maintenance fees, he says, and a $919 per month price tag on this listing will make this much less attractive for an investor looking to buy the property and use it as a rental.
As for the listing price, it isn’t far off from other properties sold in the building recently. A smaller, one-bedroom unit in the building sold for $836,000 in February, so it’s very possible this unit was priced at $799,900 as a marketing tactic to attract as many potential buyers as possible, Litchmore says. The listing price is almost double the $399,900 tag from 2010, according to House Sigma.
While the maintenance fees are “exceptionally high,” the buyer’s utilities are covered under that charge and a parking space is available.
“It wouldn’t be economical for most investors,” Litchmore said, but the layout and staging of the unit will “draw in a buyer.”
Tips to finding places like this: If you’re looking for a place similar to this unit, you likely need to look at older buildings and be prepared to pay high maintenance fees, Litchmore said.
Many older units are also bigger than most recent builds, Litchmore says, but all the monthly costs will make listings like this unattractive for buyers.
You likely need to be a dual-income household to afford units like this or if you’ve owned a property before and can front $400,000 to $500,000 as a down payment, he adds.
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