Real estate “bargain” hunt 2014: is it possible to find a freehold home in “downtown” Toronto for $500,000 or under?

According to Wikipedia, Downtown Toronto is “is approximately bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don River to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west.” With an average (resale) freehold home prices over $730,000* in Toronto 416 region, is it still possible to find a freehold home for $500,000 or under in downtown Toronto in 2014?

Yes, it is! Although the options are really limited.

So where are the potential “bargains”?

Ontario St

Look for townhouses around the Moss Park area (the block of residential area South of Dundas and East of Jarvis) if your budget is around high $400,000’s to low $500,000’s. Currently there is a century old townhouse on the market in the area with 1 bedroom plus den for $495,000. In October and November 2013, two 3-bedroom townhouses with single car garage in the area were sold for just a bit less than $500,000.

In Regent Park, there was a circa 1870 Cork Town Victoria cottage with renovations done in the 80s sold for $468,000 in October 2013.

How about if we move a little bit further out?

Little Portugal

If we expand the search a little bit to the west side of downtown Toronto in the Little Portugal community (West of Dufferin, between Dundas and Queen), there is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath semi-detached home currently listed for sale at $429,900. Similar homes that have not been renovated were sold in fall 2013 in similar price range. While Little Portugal is technically not downtown Toronto, this area is predominantly residential with access to Queen and Dundas Street car, making it a great alternative for families vs. condo units in the King West area.

What if you increase the budget to about $600,000?

If the budget is $600,000, most of your freehold home options would still be in the Moss Park area. You will get a home that is larger, renovated, a parking garage or a little bit of all of the above. It might be possible to find a townhouse in the Little Italy area near College and Ossington or the Trinity-Bellwoods area near Queen and Barthurst area for just under $600,000 and low $600,000. Currently, there is a 3 bedroom townhouse listed in the College and Ossington area for $599,000. While multiple offers are expected for the house, it is very likely that the house will be sold for more than $600,000.

* The average prices of townhouses, semi-detached and single-detached homes in the 416 region of Toronto, according to TREB February 2014 Market Watch.

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