It’s still possible to find a detached home in the City of Toronto for $500,000 or less, just be willing to alter your expectations on size.
The Wynne government may have just announced sweeping new housing measures —slapping a 15 per cent tax on non-resident buyers, universal rent increase control and new taxes on vacant homes —but buyers in Toronto today still face an average sale price on a detached home of $1.56 million in April.
But sitting only one street apart from one another, there are two small detached homes priced $1 million below the average sale price, in the neighbourhood of Silverthorn, north of St. Clair Avenue West and Weston Road.
First is a home on Rosethorn Avenue, a one bedroom, two bathroom bungalow, with a separate one-bedroom basement apartment below.
Its agent, Nelson Campos, says other agents would call it a two-bedroom home, and ignore the fact that the bedrooms are in separate units within the home.
“I’m telling the truth and calling it a one bedroom,” he says.
It received a new roof and basement kitchen last year. It is listed for $500,000.
Campos says the Silverthorn neighbourhood is one of the most affordable areas of the city. He says that at 1200-1300 square feet, the home is a great alternative to a condo and offers its owner some rental income with the separate unit in the basement.
Even with the price, he says buyers are looking for properties that promise great appreciation if work is done to them, and those homes are usually larger than this.
“They don’t want a small house to make a little bit of money. They want a big house that will make a lot of money.”
The small lot of the Rosethorn home means it could not easily be torn down and rebuilt. When asked if he thinks it will be bought by an investor or a first-time buyer, he says he’s torn, as many first-time buyers are struggling after the federal government introduced new mortgage qualification rules last fall.
The cheapest of the pair of houses sits one street over on Chambers Avenue and is listed for $469,000.
It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a set of uneven concrete front steps and no interior photos listed online.
“This is a must see home which has great opportunity for first time home buyers or for buyers who give the property their own personal touches to make it their cozy & home sweet home,” its capital word-loving listing states.
In another part of the city, near Jane Street and Shoreham Drive, a four-bedroom bungalow is listed for $500,000.
The home, on Fletcherdon Crescent, is near York University and has a large, fenced-in backyard.