#GTAHomeHunt is a weekly series from the Star that gets into the details of real estate listings in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Have a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood: O’Neill — Oshawa
X-factor: This detached 4+1 bedroom home in Oshawa is one of the best priced houses you can find across the GTA — if you’re willing to move further out of Toronto.
At 1,800-square-feet, this house is newly renovated and hosts a large backyard and big parking lot.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you might be wondering, is this a good deal? We brought in our expert, real estate agent Othneil Litchmore, to gain a better understanding of why this property costs what it does.
Why is it priced this way: The price of this home is currently listed at $649,000 but is estimated to go for about $705,000. Litchmore says the price is reasonable considering other similar detached homes in the neighbourhood have been sold in the same ballpark.
“For that quality of home, that’s a good price for the GTA. You could probably get a similar price in Hamilton or maybe Barrie, and that’s it,” Litchmore adds.
This property was purchased less than six months ago in January, priced at $600,000, but is already back on the market. That might be due to buyer’s regret — or that the owner was looking to flip the property as it’s vacant. No work has been done on the house since it was last purchased.
According to Litchmore, the rise in the price of the home after just half a year is due to the hot housing market in the GTA.
“The market over the last six months has been extremely active because you got a lot more buyers than you have homes,” said Litchmore. “People are competing for homes and that’s what (drives) the prices so quickly.”
The competition for real estate may also be higher due to current interest rates being historically low, Litchmore adds, with monthly payments being extremely manageable, despite the higher price point in houses.
Litchmore thinks the constraints of the pandemic is also having an impact on people wanting to buy homes — similar to this Oshawa residence — as the demand for space is also higher. Back in 2008, this place sold for just $220,000.
Other similar 4+1 bedrooms in Toronto are going for more than double the price of this detached home in Oshawa. Specifically looking at one in the Broadview North, which is on sale for over $1.3 million and a home in the Bloor West Village going for almost $1.5 million.
For those worried about being too far from the city, the home on 630 Carnegie Avenue can still get you to downtown Toronto in just under an hour with close access to the GO Train and Hwy. 401.
“Oshawa has good transit, good restaurant, good shops, at half the price,” said Litchmore. “It’s meant for a person with a family, I wouldn’t suggest a single person moving out to Oshawa.”
Litchmore acknowledges that there might be a negative stigma attached to Oshawa, but sees the city transforming with new jobs in the area, most notably General Motors recently looking to hire more than 1,600 employees for their Oshawa plant.
In November, General Motors Corp. announced plans to reopen and invest $1.3 billion in a facility. The job creation in the area will only add to the value of the home as more and more people will be looking to staying in Oshawa, says Litchmore.
The rent on this home would cost $2,681 compared to buying it would be over $3,000 a month. The minimum down payment would be about $45,000, plus your land transfer tax, and ongoing property taxes — which combines for a yearly payment at about $4,345.
Tips to find places like this: Litchmore advises people that are looking for potential similar homes to be open to living a bit out of the city. The purpose of purchasing a home like this would be to save money compared to paying double the amount for a similar home in Toronto.
You’ll need to be willing to commute fairly often, but the key to finding a home like this is knowing your surroundings and potential transit routes.
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