It’s only natural that young families looking for a starter home would prefer to live in one of the city’s more central neighbourhoods.
Consequently, they tend to focus their home search on areas such as River Heights, Crescentwood or Linden Woods.
While those areas are the perfect place to put down roots, that perfection comes at a cost. Which is to say, if you aspire to buy a home in such a desirable neighbourhood, you’d better be prepared to pay a premium price.
Unfortunately, many young families don’t have the budget required to purchase a home in these neighbourhoods. That’s why it often pays to look closely in other spots throughout the city for those hidden gems, Sherri Baldwin of Re/Max Executives Realty says.
"You just never know what you might find when you decide to broaden your home search," she says. "In this case, I recently listed an almost-new, custom-built home at 206 Johnson Ave. W in Elmwood."
Built in 2014, the two-storey home — with its white picket fence, taupe vinyl siding and white-trimmed windows — stands out from the rest of the homes on the street.
"It’s only five years old, while the rest of the homes in the area are considerably older. Not only are you getting a maintenance-free exterior and newer shingles, but you’re also getting a contemporary floor plan and modern finishes."
While the 1,344-square foot, three-bedroom, 2½ residence is priced under $300,000, it’s no spartan starter.
That becomes abundantly apparent the moment you first set foot in its foyer.
Not only is it a good size, but it has a tile floor and double coat closet. It then transitions smoothly into a large living room that possesses three notable attributes, Baldwin says.
"The first thing you notice is the flooring. Even though it’s a laminate plank product, it looks like hickory and gives the living room and dining area a warm, upscale feel. The living room itself is also very spacious. A huge picture window lets in loads of natural light, and there’s also some handy built-in shelving. There’s also a main-floor powder room, too."
And while many homes in the 1,300-sq.-ft. range have small kitchens and modest dining areas, that’s not the case here due to a well-conceived floor plan.
"This home offers a wonderful floor plan, and that’s showcased in the way the kitchen and dining area were laid out," she says. "The kitchen’s right-hand wall was bumped out to make room for a table for six. That left plenty of room for a functional kitchen."
Defined by a smart taupe vinyl floor, the kitchen is thoroughly contemporary with taupe granite countertops, cappuccino maple cabinets, a tan/taupe glass tile backsplash, double sink (set under a large window), walk-in pantry and stainless appliances.
"It’s a beautiful space that gives you plenty of space to create. The back door — it’s a new, insulated Polar door — leads out to a deck and fenced backyard with parking for two in behind."
Baldwin adds that the second floor is just as functional and stylish as the main floor.
"It features a very efficient layout that offers three good-sized bedrooms and a beautiful main bath with tile floor, maple vanity with granite countertop and bathtub with tile surround. Both secondary bedrooms are a good size, and the master suite is a very pleasant surprise."
At nearly 13 feet by 12 feet, the master suite is generously sized given the home’s square footage. It’s also surprisingly well-appointed, Baldwin says.
"There’s a beautiful three-piece ensuite that comes with a tile floor, vessel sink, maple vanity with granite countertop and tiled walk-in shower. The new owners will also appreciate all the closet space and a large window that lets in all kinds of natural light."
With over 500 sq. ft. of space to develop, the lower level — its walls are insulated with a vapour barrier on — is ready to go.
"You could put in a rec room, bedroom, bathroom and still have lots of storage space left over," she says. "You also get a newer high-efficient furnace with HRV and newer hot water tank."
Last but not least, there’s the home’s excellent location.
"It’s in a great spot close to schools, parks, transit, shopping and even an active-living centre," Baldwin says. "This home offers young families the opportunity to get an almost-new home in a mature neighbourhood for $279,900. That’s $50,000 to $60,000 less than you’d pay for a comparable home in a more central area."
Location: 206 Johnson Ave. W., Elmwood
Year built: 2014
Size: 1,344 sq. ft.
Contact: Sherri Baldwin, Re/Max Executives Realty, 204-979-7650