Quick Hits

This week’s quick hits is not about baseball, despite the photo, but who among you is watching the World Series?  Texas or St. Louis?  Does anybody care?  Free coffee to whoever can name the player in the photo without cheating.  Note the team name on his chest, and think World Series…

Can anybody else figure out why Bill Mazeroski (pictured above) is in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

I know that 51 years ago this month, he hit a game-winning homerun to clinch the World Series (the only player to do so before Blue Jays’ Joe Carter in 1992), but his career batting average was .260, he had just over 2,000 career hits, and with 138 homeruns – he wasn’t exactly a power threat.  He won eight Gold Gloves, but Jim Kaat won sixteen and he’s not in the hall.

Anyways…

FOR SALE: A Piece of Toronto History!

The Flatiron Building went up for sale at the beginning of the month and bidding closes this Friday.

For those that don’t know the building by name, you’ll certainly know it by sight:

I assure you – the rest of Toronto is, in fact, in colour, but I digress…

The building is actually called “The Gooderham Building,” but nicknamed “Flatiron” as it is reminiscent of a building by the same name in New York.  Built in 1892, it was owned by the Gooderham family of booze fame; the same name synonymous with the Distillery District today.

The building was home to “Gooderham and Worts” head office until the family sold it in the 1950’s.

It received historical designation in 1975 and is currently owned by Woodcliffe Landmark Properties – a company that specializes in heritage properties.

The timing of the sale coincides with the fact that this is the first time in nearly 100 years that the entire office portion of the building is vacant with no leases.  Only the Flatiron & Firkin pub in the basement is on a lease.

Although the property sold for $2.2 Million in 1999 and $10.1 Million in 2005, bids are expected to reach upwards of $20 Million for the 20,000 square foot landmark.

New Listing?

I brought out a new listing last week and the response was…..interesting, to say the least.

I had four showings booked the first day, and then I received an…..interesting call from an agent who I can only assume is an old-timer like Gill on The Simpsons.

He didn’t waste any time asking me, “How much price flexibility is in this listing?”  I was utterly confused.

I said, “You mean the listing I brought out today?”  He answered in the affirmative.  I responded, “Well, given that it’s been on the market for (look at my watch), just over 180 minutes, I’d have to say there is approximately zero price flexibility, and that number is, in itself, inflexible.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer the question in the first place!  What am I supposed to say?  “Well, the unit just came out and my clients are expecting me to work hard on their behalf, but why don’t you throw in an offer for $20,000 under asking and I’ll jam it down their throats!”

How could there be price flexibility on a unit that just came onto the market?

We sold it two days later, FYI…

Death, God, and Houses…

There is such a thing as a great street in a poor location, as I found out when a house on Ostend Avenue came onto the market.

Ostend Avenue is in prime Bloor West Village, one block south of the main drag on Bloor Street.  For the most part, it’s a gorgeous street that is tree-lined and full of young families, but one house in particular didn’t get a passing grade from me.

A listing came out that looked fantastic on paper, and the price was exceptional!

But when I arrived to inspect the property, I realized that the house was directly next to a church, and it backed on to a funeral home!

I understand being aware of your own mortality, but this was just a little to much for me.  I called my clients and said, “Let’s meet at the second property on our itinerary for today…”

Wow?

I can’t post the listing because it would be considered “unauthorized advertising,” but a listing came out this week and the MLS caption started with “WOW WOW WOW WOW!”

I’m sorry, but as soon as I see those words, I immediately conjure up images of a used car salesman or somebody trying to screw me out of something.  It almost has an opposite effect – as soon as I see all those wow’s, I start to assume that there’s nothing good about the property.

Whatever happened to actually marketing the property instead of just writing gibberish?

Coffee?  What?  Where?  WHY?

Even worse, perhaps was a caption that read: “Lovers Of The Best Coffee East Of Portland, Oregon Are All A-Buzz About (Address)”

I have several questions:

1.  Why the hell are we talking about coffee?  What does this have to do with a rowhouse in Little Italy?
2.  Why Portland, Oregon?  What is the connection to Toronto?
3.  Is everybody aware that anything west of Portland, Oregon would essentially be in the Pacific Ocean?  Is this supposed to be witty?
4.  Does this have anything even remotely to do with real estate?

I’m bringing out a listing next week in the Entertainment District, and I’m thinking about using the following caption:

“Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes And Screw In A Light Bulb As You Take The Moving Escalator From Topeka Kansas To 36 Blue Jays Way!”

That’s equally as stupid as what was written for this coffee-listing…

Park It!

I’ve written entire blog posts about “fake” parking in Toronto; how listing agents will note “one car parking” on a listing even though you’d have to tear out the back deck in order to get the parking space.

But when it comes to front pad parking, there’s a question of legality as far as the City of Toronto is concerned.

There are a lot of illegal front parking pads in the city, and many listing agents don’t check to see if their sellers actually have a right to park their car on what would otherwise be their front lawn.  In fact, many property sellers may have purchased the property with an illegal front pad, used the pad for years, and then gone to sell the house with what is an illegal pad.

Save yourselves the trouble and go to www.toronto.ca/row and look up the address of the house in question.

If you’re contemplating an offer on a house with a car parked out front, no matter what the listing agent or the sellers says with respect to legality – this website is the final authority.

The last thing you want is to purchase a house where you’ve paid a premium for one-car parking, only to find that the house doesn’t have any legal parking whatsoever.  

But you know what?  It happens every single day…

Pharm Party?

Am I the only one naive enough to think I could purchase cough syrup at 2AM?

I went down to the “all night” Loblaws on Queen’s Quay last night, in dire need of some NyQuill, and the whole pharmacy section is behind lock and key!

I asked the girl, whose eyes were redder than mine (although I don’t think she was sick…), “How come I can’t get cough syrup past 9PM in this city?  What gives?”

She said, “Buddy, if I had a dollar for every time somebody came in here looking for some cough syrup at three-thirty in the morning….” and then she trailed off while failing to complete the riddle.

I knew what she was saying, but I still answered, “That may be true, but I’m not a drug addict.  And if I was, I’m sure I could do better than cough syrup.”

So I drove around to Sobey’s, Metro, Rabba’s, and then eventually Esso, Shell, and 7-11, but all I could get was some Fisherman’s Friend lozenges.

Wow – imagine going to all those places in search of the good stuff that I needed to make me feel better!  I went to place after place after place and I couldn’t stop!  Couldn’t stop!!  Wouldn’t stop!  NEEDED IT!!!  BAD!!!

Wait…..a second…..I sound like a drug addict.

Oh.  Now I understand…

6 Comments

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  1. Angkasa Raya New Landmark in Kuala Lumpur…

    […]Quick Hits — Toronto Real Estate Property Sales & Investments | Toronto Realty Blog by David Fleming[…]…

  2. BillyO says:

    Future referenece: 24 hours Shopper’s at Yonge/College. Not too far of a drive for you.

  3. McBloggert says:

    Re: “Lovers Of The Best Coffee East Of Portland, Oregon Are All A-Buzz About (Address)”

    I came across that one too and was pretty puzzled by it. I kept looking at the pictures thinking I was going to find either a plantation of coffee trees (do they grow on trees?) or a miniature Starbucks…for those who haven’t seen it, neither are present in the house…

    I have to hope that the sellers forced their agent to use that description…

  4. Ian says:

    Re: “WOW?”.

    Along similar lines, I was just ***thinking yesterday*** after looking at a few ***MLS listings*** that if listings stopped using ***asterisks***, then the world – not to mention the credibility of the Realtor – would be all the better for it.

  5. Joe Q. says:

    The front-pad parking website is a good resource. The city seems to have everything in PDF files: here’s a direct link…

    http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/offstreet/pdf/residential_locations.pdf

    ” Is everybody aware that anything west of Portland, Oregon would essentially be in the Pacific Ocean? Is this supposed to be witty?”

    Actually Portland is quite a bit inland — from Portland you have to drive about 1.5 hrs west to get to the ocean. Don’t know about the coffee there, though. It continues to amaze me what some people will put in a listing.

  6. Graham says:

    You need to find the 24 hour Shoppers Drug Mart!

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