Sale of the Week: The $2.3-million Willowdale home that proves the second time is sometimes the charm

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Published on: July 5, 2016

Address: 52 Cobden Street

Neighbourhood: Willowdale

Agent: Terry Kulaga, Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage

The property: A newly built four-bedroom home, outfitted with lots of luxurious imported materials.

The history: The sellers bought the property in 2013 and quickly went about rebuilding from the ground up. They began construction on the current structure in January of 2014, and completed it in March of this year. The sellers went all-out with Italian porcelain and wood. They even brought contractors over from Europe to install it all. Now, they’re unloading the house so they can move to a more central location.

The fate: The buyer will be moving in with his family. He sees the property as an investment. Although the square footage of this house is a little on the low side relative to its sale price, the expensive materials made up the difference.

The sale: The sellers had the house listed for three months with another agent, but grew frustrated when the property didn’t sell. Shortly after they hired a new agent, but before they could list the property again, the eventual buyer got in touch. They negotiated a price $88,000 under asking.

By the numbers:

  • $2,310,000
  • 4300 square feet
  • $4231.03 in taxes (2016)
  • 722-bottle wine cellar
  • 5 bathrooms
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 selling agents

The house has heated floors on all three levels:


This is the family room, sans furniture:


The office is panelled in rich wood:


The dining nook has coffered ceilings and some fancy light fixtures:


The kitchen:


The living room is next to the kitchen:


There are four bedrooms on the second floor of the house:


Here’s the master bedroom, with its Juliet balcony:


The master bedroom’s walk-in closet:


And the master ensuite:


The agent says the basement wine cellar holds 722 bottles:


And where better to enjoy all that wine than in the adjacent bar area:


The Hunt

More Sales of the Week

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A Nigerian politician is selling his Aura penthouse

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Published on: July 5, 2016

Victor Ochei is the former speaker of the Delta State Assembly, a legislative body that represents Delta State, an oil-producing region in southern Nigeria. He’s also a member of a much-talked-about but little-seen demographic: foreign investors who buy luxury Toronto real estate by the handful.

Ochei and his wife, Hanatu, own at least three condos in Aura, one of Toronto’s tallest and priciest condo towers. One of those units, a penthouse on the 78th floor, went on the market late last month for $3,688,888. It’s a 3,100-square-foot suite with two bedrooms and a den, plus two parking spaces and a storage locker on a lower floor. Ochei closed on the property in March 2016—meaning he owned the unit for just under three months before putting it up for sale. His original purchase price was $2,499,115. It’s not clear whether he, or anyone else, has ever lived there.

Ochei closed on his other two Aura condos in 2015. One of them, a smaller unit on the building’s 56th floor, is titled in Hanatu’s name. The couple bought it for $1,002,832. The other unit, a 77th-floor penthouse, originally cost Ochei $2,929,524.

It’s possible the couple bought all three condos at roughly the same time, during the pre-construction phase of Aura’s development. Ochei couldn’t be reached for confirmation, and his local real estate agent declined comment.

Ochei was first elected to the Delta State Assembly in 2003. On top of his political activities, he claims to be the founder of an engineering and construction company called Davnotch Nigeria.

In 2009, while Ochei was a member of the Assembly, Davnotch won a lucrative government contract related to the construction of a power plant in Nigeria. According to reports in the Nigerian press, the power plant was never completed and much of the funding is unaccounted for. The Financial Times reports that the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office is investigating the possibility that the Rolls-Royce corporation bribed Nigerian officials in exchange for the right to supply gas turbines for the project. Ochei has denied any wrongdoing. On his website, he claims to have divested all his Davnotch holdings in 2011, the same year he became speaker at the Delta State Assembly. He resigned his position in 2014.

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