Condo of the Week: $600,000 for a two-bedroom suite in a once-controversial Queen West building

Address: 1169 Queen West, PH 720
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Agent: Alexander James Wilson, Re/Max Condos Plus Corp., Brokerage
Price: $600,000

The place: A two-bedroom, two-storey penthouse in a five-year-old building.

The history: A decade ago, developers dubbed this project the Bohemian Embassy, in a bid to take advantage of Queen West’s resurgent hipness. Local artist Michael Toke nicknamed the place the “Bohemian Embarrassment.” The name stuck. Sensing a deal, real estate agent Alex Wilson grabbed a penthouse in the building. Now he’s moving on to a bigger space in the same neighbourhood.

Big selling point: The asking price is reasonable for a two-bedroom place in such a sought-after area. Two-bedroom units of similar size in other buildings go for well into the $700,000s.

Possible deal breaker: The lower price is partly offset by the maintenance fees, which are over $700 a month. Wilson points out that the money does, at least, contribute to a healthy reserve fund. It also covers some fun amenities, including party areas, an arts and crafts room and bike storage.

By the numbers:

• $600,000
• 1,010 square feet
• $722 in monthly maintenance fees
• 100-square-foot terrace
• 2 bedrooms
• 2 bathrooms
• 1 parking space

The living areas are on the main floor. The owner carved out a small “office nook” with built-in shelving, visible just behind the dining table.

Here’s the reverse view.

The kitchen has Caesarstone countertops.

Both bedrooms are on the upper floor. This bedroom is being used as an office.

And here’s the main bathroom.

The master bedroom.

The master ensuite has a glass-enclosed shower.

Barbecuing is allowed, but the buyer will probably need a pretty skinny grill.

More Condos of the Week

Former Barrick Gold director sells his Rosedale condo for $3.85 million

(Image: Google Street View)

Howard Beck, a Barrick Gold director since 1984, who left the company amid a leadership shakeup in 2014, seems to have put some of that mining money to good use. He just sold one of the luxest condos in Rosedale. The 3,900-square-foot unit, with an additional 1,800 square feet on the lower level, occupies the entire main floor of a converted mansion at the corner of Chestnut Park Road and Roxborough Street East. It’s one of only three suites in the building. (There’s a fourth unit in a separate coach house, which we featured earlier this week.) It has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large kitchen and a library. The maintenance fees alone are almost $2,500—which, relative to the size of the space, is actually pretty reasonable.

The property was listed in February for $4,500,000—a steep price for a one-third share in a house. But this is Rosedale, so the place did find a buyer. On Friday, it went for $3,850,000, or $650,000 under asking.

It’s not unusual for condos of this stature to struggle on the market. According to a recent Sotheby’s Canada report, there were only 34 Toronto condo sales in the $3-to-$4-million price range in the last six months of 2015. Only a quarter of those went for over list price.

Although the Becks didn’t get the amount they were looking for, they may have managed to turn a profit: in 2011, their purchase price was $3.6 million.

House of the Week: $1.2 million for an extra-wide Victorian semi in Moss Park

Address: 344 Berkeley Street
Neighbourhood: Moss Park
Agent: Vincci Kumabe, Realosophy Realty Inc., Brokerage
Price: $1,190,000

The place: A Victorian-era home in Moss Park with an inviting front porch.

The history: This 1875 bay-and-gable-style home is typical of the time period. A previous owner renovated the interior in 2009, which helped modernize the space.

Big selling point: There’s a certain grandeur in the front-facing living room, with its bay window that overlooks the garden and spacious front porch. At a glance, it’s easy to imagine the lives of the home’s first owners back in the late 1800s. For the more pragmatic buyer, the home’s 24.75-foot lot gives it a little more horizontal space than the average semi-detached in this part of the city.

Possible deal breaker: The half-finished basement is not exactly Versailles, but with some insulation, drywall and a few coats of paint, the buyers could probably add an extra bedroom.

By the numbers:

• $1,190,000
• $5,465.25 in taxes (2015)
• 1,956 square feet (plus 1,069 square feet below grade)
• 24.75-by-122-foot lot
• 141 years old
• 3 bedrooms
• 3 bathrooms
• 2 parking spaces
• 1 fireplace

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The covered porch has a little space for seating.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The house is over a century old, but the interior was refreshed in 2009.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The ground-floor layout is still fairly Victorian, with separate living and dining rooms and a kitchen at the back of the house.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

Here’s the dining room.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The kitchen.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

And, at the very back of the house, there’s a family room with a door to the backyard.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

There are three bedrooms on the second floor.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

Wall-to-wall carpeting in older homes is underrated, as anyone who has ever tried to keep a wood floor dust-free can attest.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

This bedroom is being used as an office.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The master bedroom, which looks out over the front yard.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

The basement is finished, but could probably use some sprucing up.

(Image: Dave Rempel)
(Image: Dave Rempel)

And here’s the backyard.

More Houses of the Week

Sale of the Week: The $3.8-million coach house that shows the allure of a unique property

Address: 1 Chestnut Park Road

Neighbourhood: Rosedale

Agent: Kate Ryley, Blue Elephant Realty

The property: One of four units in a restored Rosedale mansion. This renovated coach house—which is physically separate from the main building, but still part of the same condo corporation—has four private terraces, two master bedrooms and a private elevator.

The history: The selling agent says her client bought the coach house in 2013 because he couldn’t turn down such a unique property. The space ended up being too large for just himself.

The fate: The buyers have the opposite problem: they’re a couple with grown children looking to downsize to a smaller property in the neighbourhood. They fell in love with the coach house because it felt like the perfect compromise between a house and a condo.

The sale: The buyers made a bully offer for $60,000 over asking, which the seller accepted.

By the numbers:

  • $3,810,000
  • $14,239.08 in property taxes (2015)
  • $2,656.31 in monthly maintenance fees
  • 5 days on the market
  • 4 bathrooms
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 parking spaces
  • 1 private elevator

The unit is in a coach house behind this restored, multi-unit mansion.

The unit has its own elevator, naturally.

The coach house has two gas fireplaces.

The kitchen is all decked out in quartzite.

This den area is on the second floor.

And here’s the second-floor bedroom.

The second-floor bedroom’s ensuite bathroom.

This bedroom has the third floor to itself. It has two walk-in closets.

And here’s that bedroom’s ensuite bathroom. Interesting choice of shower stool.