A Toronto Real Estate Tale: What Were They Thinking?

Two year ago, when we found ourselves house hunting for our very first home, this house was the house that got away.
MLS, two years ago

Everyone’s got one, I’m sure. The funny thing is, though, we never even got a chance to see it. It was a mix of bad timing – there were already two offers on it by the time we entered the game – and our own lack of experience with how the real estate thing works. But somehow, it became The House anyway.

This is possibly because this house is within decent walking distance from our house and, occassionally, we stroll past it on walks with the dogs. We know now that it’s a good thing we didn’t consider it – it’s on a busy street full of cars and buses that, back before we were familiar with the neighbour, we knew nothing about. We’ve found watching this house to be somewhat painful none-the-less.

This is why:

Two year ago, a builder bought the house. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with builders buying bungalows and topping them up. We were going to do it, after all! There’s a builder down our street who’s doing a phenomenal job of topping up a bungalow. 
But this one?
It started out so cute. That round door! Those double peaks! 
And it ended up so… so… box-like. Every smidge of character has been wiped out and they couldn’t even be bothered to do something with the upstairs windows to make them look a little less lopsided. The busy stonework, the understatement of the bay window, it all makes me shake my head, just slightly sad at what could have been. 

Oh. The kicker? The price tag they’ve added to this box of a house. They’re asking a solid $400,000 more than it was listed for 2 years ago, substantially overpriced for the neighbourhood and the street it’s on.

I’m sure it will sell, eventually, and I’m sure whoever buys it will love it and enjoy it just as it is. It’s beautifully finished inside, after all. But I will always remember it as the adorable little bungalow we wish we could have bought.

0 thoughts on “A Toronto Real Estate Tale: What Were They Thinking?

  1. I can completely relate! We almost made an offer early on in our search on an amazing deal of a house with tons of potential. Unfortunately it needed more work than we were prepared to do right away (and we didn't have the cash on hand that would have been required for the renos). We let it go and someone snapped it up quickly. I still drive by it sometimes and although I can't see what they've done on the inside, the outside is really quite ugly. It's hard when you fall in love with a house and have already fixed it up in your mind, only to have someone come along and do the exact opposite. Of course it's not my house to be upset about, but I know exactly what you mean!

  2. They really ugly-fied that house! So sad. Bump ups don't have to be hideous. But builders aren't known for their aesthetics, hence the faux brass fixtures throughout the new home world…

  3. Ya, I dont really like the new one either. I used to live in the bayview/401 area where a LOT of bungalows are being bulldozed to put up McMansions and I hated the new houses because they all looked the same! I can understanding wanting a bigger house, but I hate when they tear out all the character to achieve that.

    FYI- I never had a house that got away. I bought the first condo I laid my eyes on 🙂

  4. I don't understand how builders think this is okay. I really wish Toronto had a city planning department that had some vision – and actually cared about whether a reno or new build will fit in a neighbourhood. Just because you can build a house on a lot doesn't mean you should.

  5. ahhh..that' is so sad!! I think that's what I love the most about that house, is the beautiful round door and the lovely stone work around it 🙁

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