Are There Tiny Houses In Toronto?

Houses | September 25, 2019


One reader raised an interesting point on Monday and noted that the “Cypress” model tiny house had a trailer hitch on the back, and thus might be more trailer than house.

Okay, totally fair.

Many, if not most tiny houses do have wheels, since I guess the assumption is………what………that the people who own them are vagabonds?

I don’t necessarily think so.

Your typical tiny house owner is this guy:

That’s Willie.

He’s 37-years-old, has never kissed a girl (or boy…), doesn’t have a pet but likes feeding squirrels, and spends his spare time painting Warhammer figurines.

Perhaps that’s judgmental, I mean, I collect G.I. Joes.

So maybe those that live in tiny glass houses shouldn’t cast the first pebble…

For the readers that suggested these tiny homes are only sufficient for one person, think again.

I mean, this tiny home has a guest room!

You see “bottom bunk” but a jobless, drifter, who wants to live off the grid sees a “guest suite.”

In all seriousness, not all of these tiny homes are trailer-esque.

Here’s a pretty one that even has  a deck:

If you missed it, there was an article in the Globe & Mail on the weekend about the cheapest property in Toronto.

Well, not the cheapest property, but rather the lowest-priced.

The title of the story explains why:

Here’s The Cheapest House In Toronto – Wink Wink
Carolyn Ireland
September 16, 2019

From the article:

Real estate agent Cheri McCann of Toronto-based McCann Realty Group Ltd. is dangling a property for sale with a tactic meant to draw the attention of first-time buyers: She has listed a detached house in Toronto with an asking price of $399,900.

“It’s the cheapest house in Toronto that we’ve found – unless we’ve missed something,” says Ms. McCann.

The listing comes a few days after another agent sparked a furor on social media by listing an east-end garage for sale with an asking price of $599,000.

The single-car garage, on a 20 by 100-foot lot, is located on Greenwood Avenue north of Danforth Avenue.

The fall market is off to a fairly brisk start, many agents say, and marketing strategies are varied and creative. Offer dates were reserved for only the most coveted properties in the past couple of years but agents say they’re creeping back into the market again.

Ms. McCann’s listing is tiny house at 4 Lucy Ave. near Danforth and Victoria Park Avenue in the city’s east end sits on a lot 22 feet wide and 100 feet deep. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom and one parking space.

Ms. McCann says she set the asking price under $400,000 in order to generate some buzz. She acknowledges the property will likely fetch more but declined to speculate on how much a buyer might be willing to pay.

For those of you that want to talk about how much you hate real estate agents, and how awful it is that an agent will price properties at a fraction of their market value, consider that this house only sold for $430,000.

Yes, that’s right.  Listed at $399,900 and sold for $430,000 last week.

Many people merely assumed that the $399,900 list price was stupid-low, like so many others that we see out there, and perhaps a few buyers missed the house as a result.

The house was on a 22.08 x 100 foot lot, 2-bed, 1-bath, unfinished basement, and being sold in “as is” condition with no inspection.

It was this article that got me thinking about tiny houses, hence Monday’s blog.

I figured I would go through some of the recent sales for so-called “tiny houses” and share them with you today.

Of course, now is where I provide that disclaimer to keep me out of RECO jail, and tell you that the following is not “unauthorized advertising of a competitor’s listing,” nor am I providing sales data without a VOW, but rather this is all information I found publicly on sites like Realtor.ca, and better sites like Bungol and House Sigma.

There are a few houses that have sold in the past decade that really drew the attention of the real estate community, and two of them really stand out to me.  So while I want to show you what has sold recently, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention these two.

The first house I want to draw your attention to sold on Shuter Street back in 2017.

The house is on an eight-foot-wide lot.

You read that correctly.

It’s the house seen here:

This sold for $788,800, if you can believe it.  But perhaps this is a downtown land value play, who knows.

Even better (or worse) than this one is a house that I’ll never forget, because it literally looks like the place your garden gnome would live in:

This is in the west end, and it’s a 7 1/4 foot frontage.

That means if Shaquille O’Neal laid down in front of the house, he would stretch from one side to the next.

And if he put his arms back over his head, he’d be in the bushes you see on the right.

Of course, this was also made famous because Ellen featured it on her show a decade ago:

Now these are both novelty houses, both houses that about 99% of the buyer pool would never consider.

In order to make this blog post somewhat helpful, I want to look at the intersection of smaller houses in Toronto and price, to demonstrate where would-be condo-buyers can seek out a housing alternative.

In August of this past year, an east-end house near Danforth & Coxwell sold for a mere $499,900:

This is a 1-bed, 1-bath home.

13.08 x 83 foot lot.

Unfinished basement, no parking.

Check out the front yard:

Speaking of Coxwell, how about that house that was all the rage last year?

Remember “Lil Yellow House?”

Yes?  No?

Maybe?

Here’s a refresher:

The listing agent, who goes by the moniker, “real estate by bike,” put together a rap video about the home:

The story was picked up by multiple news outlets, including CTV, who wrote “Toronto Realtor Hopes To Inspire Bidding War WIth Viral ‘Lil Yellow House Video.”

It didn’t work.

The house sold for $481,000, listed at $499,900.

This 1-bed, 1-bath house, on a 12.5 x 110 foot lot with no parking, did have a finished basement, as well as a deck out back:

I’m going to just assume those are tomato plants…

Now for something totally different, but somewhat the same.

Does this look familiar?

Yes, it does.

That’s the “lil yellow house” on the right.

But on the left is the sister house: lil white house.

It’s not actually called that, and in fact, there was nothing cool about this listing when it came up last month, but it’s really tough to beat a rapping Realtor who rides his bike to showings!

This little white house is a similar 1-bed, 1-bath, on a 12.5 x 110 foot lot, also with a finished basement.

THis sold for $491,000, listed at $449,000, and from what I can tell, it’s a substantially better house than the ‘lil yellow sister.

So tell me the first buyer overpaid, or the second buyer underpaid, but I call it as I see it.

The one major rub with both of these houses: the bathrooms are in the basement.

There’s nothing I hate more than getting out of bed at 3:00am to pee, and having to go down a flight of stairs.  It just makes you want to put a pillow between your legs, grit your teeth, and fall back asleep, bladder be damned.

I might be inclined to suggest that one bathroom is better than the other.

You tell me…

Yeah, so there’s that.

Last but not least, how about a house up at Woodbine & Gerrard that sold for $460,000 back in 2018?

This is a 1-bed, 1-bath on a 12.67 x 124.75 foot lot, no basement.

The words “please take a flashlight” in the listing, combined with “being sold in as-is condition,” tells me that this place might have needed some work.

But backing onto a park, and being situated on a 125-foot lot are things you just can’t change about a tiny house, I mean, unless it was on wheels and you could just take it away, like this one…

Back To Top

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

3 Comments

  1. IanC

    at 9:56 am

    There’s no way I would walk down a flight of stairs to pee at 3AM in the morning.

    #ChamberPot

    1. Max

      at 2:24 pm

      Interesting article. I would imagine these are in a way better value vs condos of similar size and price but significantly higher maintenance costs.

      1. Izzy Bedibida

        at 10:33 pm

        I doubt that the monthly maintenance costs would be more than condo fees for a similar sized condo unit.

Back To Comments