The Place: A grand, detached house in the High Park area.
The sellers: Shanna Landolt, the 43-year-old founder and president of executive search company the Landolt Group, and Paul Landolt, a 49-year-old software developer for RBC.
The property: A detached four-bedroom Edwardian in Riverdale, which the couple bought for $1.285 million in 2013, and lived in for just under a year with their three young kids.
The story: As Paul’s 50th birthday loomed closer, he and Shanna started daydreaming about a simpler life outside the city. Shanna grew up in Brockville, and the couple figured they could buy a house there—for a third of what it would cost them in Toronto—work remotely, and have enough extra cash to rent a pied-à-terre in the city and take regular family trips to the Caribbean. After mulling it over for a bit, they resolved to list the house just before Christmas to see what offers they could attract.
The prep: The Landolts’ agent, Suzanne Lewis of Keller-Williams, initially advised the couple to have the house professionally staged. Then, she reconsidered: two homes in the area had sold after receiving 20-plus offers, and some of those disappointed suitors were sure to bid on the next comparable property. So they spent four days de-cluttering and put the house on the market on December 9.
The offers: After a flurry of open houses, they received three offers, one of which was slightly over asking. Feeling buoyed, they signed all three back, and all returned with even higher bids. They haggled with the top bidder for 45 minutes, then made a deal for $74,500 over list price—a satisfying sum to put toward a new home base outside the city.
The Property: This well-maintained Bedford Park home is on a lot about 40 feet deeper than the area average, making it perfect for major renovations or new construction.
In the spring of 2009, 212 Vesta Drive—a four-bedroom 1930s Tudor on a 40-foot-wide lot—went up for sale. It was a pretty house with green trim that had been, in the words of the Forest Hill listing agent, “lovingly maintained with original charm and character.” The list price was $1.1 million, and cars full of eager bidders lined the street on offer night. There were 13 bids. Carmela Serebryany-Harris and Geoffrey Harris, a young couple with one child and another on the way, presented the winner at $1.25 million.
The Property: This contemporary University of Toronto–area home has excellent curb appeal, thanks to a premium cedar-and-aluminium exterior. It has a Bulthaup kitchen, high ceilings, a second-floor family room and a unique interior design with high-quality finishes.
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I blew our budget on a detached home and during a minor reno found black mould in the basement, which looks like it was patched over by the previous owners. We suspect it runs up the wall and into the kitchen. After some hemming and hawing, we’ve decided to sell and downsize to a semi, which makes more sense for us financially. Our question: are we legally, ethically or otherwise obligated to tell our agent and prospective buyers about the mould, or can we just pretend we never noticed?
—Fungus Among Us, Riverdale Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
The Place: A compact one-bedroom halfway up the Cinema Tower, with a balcony offering the quintessential Toronto view (CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Lake Ontario).
The Property: This freehold Summerhill semi is set up for couples or small families, with just two bedrooms spread over its four levels. Its open concept living area has floor-to-ceiling windows, and the third floor master bedroom has its own massive marble en suite.
The Property: This extensively renovated Humewood home has an open-concept layout. Luxury details include a designer freestanding fireplace in the living room, a striped Missoni runner on the staircase and custom built-in shelving in the master bedroom.