The bungalows that dot Davisville have a certain charm. They harken back to the city’s earlier days, they create a cosy neighbourhood feel and they’re a great option for both downsizers and young families starting out.
Typically hovering around 1,000 square feet, these pre-war homes can offer a comfortable amount of space at a much lower price point than an infill. But there are both pros and cons to a nearly century-old bungalow in Midtown and it’s wise to know what you’re getting into if you’re thinking of buying one.
Yes, a home ages slowly and one that is well-maintained holds up well, but after a certain age, it often needs more than a cosmetic facelift to get it anywhere near the current building code.
Many of Davisville’s bungalows date to the early 20th century. Some are more than 100 years old, while others were built in the 1930s. Building standards back then were nowhere near what they are now.
It’s almost expected to find knob and tube wiring, for instance. That’s how homes were built back then, but good luck trying to get insurance for a home with knob and tube today. Insulation was also rare, or if there was any, it consisted of old newspapers and rags stuffed in crevices. Many a story is told of a century home that’s been renovated having decades-old newsprint in the walls.
The plumbing may be seriously out of date, too, and if the home has had popcorn ceilings added or uses radiators for heating, there’s the possibility of asbestos. (Asbestos is fine if it’s contained and is left undisturbed, but a professional must be used if you plan to renovate.)
And while the trend today is to knock down walls and rearrange the main living space into an open-concept floor plan, an older bungalow that’s pre-renovation is almost guaranteed to have choppy spaces.
If the home has been regularly updated, and done properly, you’ve likely found a gem. If it hasn’t been renovated, you will have your work cut out for you. Maybe you’re thinking you’ll buy one of these older homes to tear down and rebuild. That was my thinking when I bought my bungalow, and if that’s your plan, having a temporarily dated home may not be a concern. But if you love the charm of the old place and prefer to restore it to its former glory, it’s best to be aware of what you’re getting.
Some recent midtown bungalow sales
Davisville Village had 8 detached bungalows sold in 2017. They ranged from $828,000 for a 17’ x 130’ lot with a 1- bedroom, 1- bathroom bungalow on it, to $1,660,000 for a 25’ x 142’ lot with a 2- bedroom and 2- bathroom home and a private drive. The average price for the 8 bungalows in 2017 was $1,365,250.
2018 has only seen 2 bungalow sales so far (January to March), they averaged $1,250,000.
Leaside had 1 semi-detached bungalow sale in 2017 for $1,078,000 or 16% above the asking price. It was cute and renovated, on a 25’ x 134’ lot.
There were 12 detached bungalows that sold in Leaside in 2017. The least expensive one being $1,247,000 on busy Southvale. The most expensive one was the one Seymour Real Estate Team sold at 32 Killdeer Crescent, a very quiet and sought after location, for $2,225,000. We were able to generate 13 offers and sold it for 17% above the asking price.
During the first three months of 2018, Leaside had 5 bungalows sales, with the price ranging from $1,500,000 for a 29’ x 125’ lot, to 2- bedroom, 2- bathroom home which sold at $1,650,000 (94% of the asking price) on a 32’x 130’ lot.
About Jethro Seymour
Jethro Seymour, one of the Top Davisville Village Real Estate Brokers at Royal LePage RES Ltd., Johnston & Daniel Division. Jethro Seymour is a midtown Toronto residential specialist with over 20 years of sales experience in real estate, marketing, construction and publishing. He has helped many families find homes in Toronto’s great neighbourhoods, and has extensive knowledge of local markets, new home construction, resale home sales, and the condo market. Living in midtown Toronto, Jethro previews many of the homes that come to market for his clients and inventory knowledge. Jethro specializes in Midtown, Davisville Village and Leaside neighbourhoods. For more information, call Jethro Seymour, Broker.