Toronto’s Narrowest House!

Shuter

CityTV ran a story the other day on “Toronto’s narrowest house,” and it provided viewing pleasure for more than a few folks.

The house in question is on an 8-foot-wide lot, and is 7-feet-wide inside, so form your own opinions as you judge this book by its cover.

But when I looked at how the property was being marketed, I was surprised to see that “Toronto’s Narrowest House” was being touted, not avoided.  Here’s the video, and sorry about the 30-second advertisement for Coca-Cola…

Shuter

The listing starts with the following:

“Cabbagetown Landmark, Narrowest, Detached Home In Toronto”

I see.

So a narrow house, apparently, is a good thing.

Folks, I’m treading lightly here.

As I’ve explained on many occasions in the past, organized real estate has several rules that prohibit me from, among other things, “disparaging a competitor’s listing,” and since this property is currently available for sale, it would be irresponsible for me to say anything that isn’t glowing.

But that doesn’t stop you people from commenting below.

So let me ask the following questions, just to stimulate some conversation:

1) Would you live in a house on an 8-foot lot?

2) What do you think about the way the property is being marketed?

3) What does this listing say about the overall Toronto market?

4) Who is the target buyer for this property?

5) Why would a buyer target a property like this to begin with?

6) With an offer date set, do you expect to see a sale price over the $750,000 list price?

I think that’s a fair list of questions, and the answers should tell a pretty accurate story…

18 Comments

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  1. CC says:

    I’d hate to be the one moving the furniture in!

  2. Paully says:

    David, I hope that you will update us all when this place sells!

  3. jeff316 says:

    We’ll have to see how the “FRANK LEO GUARANTEED HOME SELLING SYSTEM” works for this one.

  4. lui says:

    Funny how a real estate broker is always say what a “wonderful” or “unique” property even though he knows its over priced and fit and finish is terrible.

  5. Sabrina says:

    Ever been to Amsterdam?

  6. jeff316 says:

    Seems like a not unreasonable condo alternative for a quirky buyer, but for a discount – not the premium that is suggested by that price.

  7. tight fit! says:

    I could see moving there, but for less than half the price. At 750k? No way.

  8. Steve says:

    3) What does this listing say about the overall Toronto market?

    maybe too much bling and not enough value (wait until mortgage rates go up)

    1. Appraiser says:

      That’s a familiar refrain @ Steve. We’ve been “waiting” for many years now.

      P.S. What a laugh! It will take take two 25 basis point raises to us get back to where we were earlier this year; with a very good chance that the overnight rate will actually drop again one more time before the year is out.

      The horror – the horror!

  9. Jayne says:

    according to mpac its a freehold townhouse/rowhouse, this being the first sale in over 5 yrs, “current” value assessed at $358g,

    maybe a minimalist whose into the tiny home/small space movement and with more money than sense would go for this, or an enterprising airbnb host esp with all the free publicity of its uniqueness (saw this last night on cp24’s hot property) but maybe at $450g like Jimbo said

  10. Appraiser says:

    Seems like a bargain compared to New York City.

    Average condo price in Manhattan hits $1.87 million. http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150701/REAL_ESTATE/150709994/manhattan-apartments-cost-an-average-of-1-87m-a-record

    Parking spaces go for $1 million. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-race-to-the-1-million-parking-spot-1440003713

  11. Clancy says:

    I feel like the buyer will be somebody starved for attention who can’t wait to tell all his or her friends to come by and see “the city’s narrowest house.”

  12. condodweller says:

    I like games so here we go…

    1) In most cases not, but in this case I might. As I stated in previous posts I like unique things/designs and I doubt many others would have a property like this, so personally yes. Having said that, my wife most likely would not want to deal with all the narrow stairs so, no we would not live there. As a single person, I would definitely consider it as it seems to be very well designed, laid out, and it has lots of light.

    2) This is typical where they highlight the positives and positively spin the negatives. I don’t think there is anything dubious about that as it’s up to the buyer to see through all that. I’m sure you do the same, this just happens to be an extreme case.

    3) Um…nothing. It’s just another property for sale. it’s a perfectly fine and livable house.

    4) Me :-), and a like minded couple like me who appreciates the design and uniqueness of the property.

    5) Because he/she want’s a turn key house beautifully renovated. Because they want to live in an art.

    For me the deciding factor would be how much of a premium you end up paying for it.

    6) It turns out it’s not only a unique desgin, it’s also in a unique location. I guessed by the surrounding buildings that it was near the core, but when I found it, it is dead smack downtown. I mean this would be a Jay’s fan’s dream. When I searched for other properties in the area from $500k to 2 mil there is nothing but condos. It’s hard to judge the square footage but considering downtown townhouses go for well over a million, I would not be surprised to see it go well over the asking price. I would expect it to go for higher price per sq/ft than a similar, renovated townhouse.

    I don’t think a 7’3″ room width is spectacularly small. Most new condo bedrooms are fast approaching that. I would have to walk in there to see how cramped, or not, it felt, but I expect with the high ceilings and all windows it would not feel all that small. My issue would be if I started to bang my head into the ceiling, or my elbow into walls as I was doing normal activities, but all the rooms seems to be the full width of the house which makes everything very functional.

    Let us know what it goes for.

  13. Jimbo says:

    I suspect a millennial or someone who cares about their carbon footprint will buy the house. Micro houses are a new fad, but I think generally they are built in other people’s back yard?
    This will def give a new fire to those of us that think Toronto’s market is ridiculous and fuel the over priced chants from the bears.

    I don’t think it will sell for over $750,000 and I will wager in the $450,000 range.

  14. RPG says:

    Okay, I’ll play the game!

    1) Not a chance in hell
    2) it’s being marketed to morons, one of which will buy the house
    3) You can sell anything in Toronto. Even the house equivalent of a clown car.
    4) A moron.
    5) A buyer doesn’t target a property like this. They see it on the news, think it’s neat, and a few days later they own it.
    6) For the love of God, I hope not.

  15. Vik says:

    I think this house is a novelty and nothing more. It will be bought by somebody with more money than brains, who thinks its “cool” and then regrets it a month later.

    But you just know that somebody out there wants to say they own “Toronto’s narrowest house” even though that’s not exactly a badge of honour.

  16. Marina says:

    This is a great house for what it is – a unique property for an urban designer or architect who wants to specialize in small spaces. Basically someone like the guy in Hong Kong with the modular apartment:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WB2-2j9e4co

    But to market it as a mainstream property is insulting, to potential buyers and to the house.

  17. grasshopper says:

    I’m just surprised that it is being marketed as a detached house. It looks like there might be only a inch between the houses. It might fit some technical definition of a detached home (what is that by the way?), but I don’t think that a buyer who wants a truly detached house would be interested. Then again, a buyer who wants a truly detached house probably won’t be interested in this house at all.

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