When you hear the term “alleyway,” what is the very first thing that comes to mind?
Admit it – many of you thought of either the term “dark alleyway,” as in “I wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alleyway,” or you thought of something to do with homeless and/or drunk people, potentially living and/or puking in said alleyway.
But did any of you think of the Nintendo game for Gameboy called “Alleyway?” No? Just me? Fine, let’s look at Toronto’s “alleyway” homes then…
I tell ya – a lot of buyers in this Toronto market will pay extra for an original Victorian home! That charm, that character, that curb appeal!
And then, some buyers couldn’t possibly care less as to what the house’s exterior looks like, so long as the interior is nice, the location is great, the schools rate well, and so on, and so forth.
Some of my buyers consider “curb appeal” to be a form of materialism, in that it really offers nothing tangible, otherwise it would be called “curb value” instead.
I see both sides to the argument, and I’m not saying that because I’m a two-faced salesperson, but because it all depends on the individual buyer, their tastes, their preferences, their wants, their needs, and ultimately where, and on what, they place the value.
I sold a house a few years ago on a street called Moutray Avenue.
The house, which was built new in 2001 along with about six or seven others in the block of townhouses, was technichally in an alleyway.
Here’s the entrance to the “street” itself:
Yep, it sure looks like an alleyway to me!
Only once you get down about 150 feet, you see this great block of red-brick townhouses:
That house cost my clients about $150,000 less than what it would have cost if it were two blocks over.
It was better than any house we had seen before it, even those priced higher.
It was the only way they were going to get everything on their list, and more.
This house not only had 3-beds, 3-baths, a massive kitchen, 2-car parking, and a backyard, but it also had a legal, self-contained basement apartment paying $1,000 per month.
What should have been absolutely unaffordable to my clients, was right in the middle of their price range.
The answer should be obvious by now, otherwise I’m not telling the story very well.
The house was in an alleyway.
It didn’t have “street appeal,” and it couldn’t really have curb appeal because there was no curb on which to stand and admire the house (that’s a joke – the house was red-brick and gorgeous).
But my buyers got into the market, got a better house than they expected to, and as a result of the size, will take longer to out-grow it.
Every buyer is different, and there’s no right or wrong answer in this equation.
So if you’re an active buyer, ask yourself if curb appeal, and streetscape are at the top, or near the top, of your “wants and needs” list…