Constrained by ever-increasing interest rates and reduced home buying budgets, it’s never been harder for first-time home buyers to find a home that fits both their needs and budget.
Add in the fact that young couples are looking for a home that’s as close to being move-in-ready as possible, and the challenge of finding a solid starter home gets even more daunting.
Denis-Michel Thibeault of RE/MAX One Group (The Moore Group) says that he recently listed a one-and-three-quarter-storey gem at 161 Traverse Ave. in Norwood.
“It’s a beautiful home that offers tremendous charm, and curb appeal in the heart of Norwood,” he says of the 1,102 sq. ft., character-filled home. “It’s the perfect starter, as it’s close to multiple schools, as well as community centers, restaurants, and transit. You’re also less than 10 minutes from downtown.”
He adds that there’s another reason that the home is at the top of the class as starter homes go: it’s in turnkey condition.
“Basically, it was completely redone about seven years ago,” he says. “The windows, electrical and plumbing were upgraded, and the kitchen, living room and bathrooms were updated. Even though this is an older home – it was built in 1923 – it feels modern inside. At the same time, those modern design features work well with the home’s classic design features.”
Thibeault says you’re hit with a healthy dollop of yesteryear character the instant you set foot in the bright, spacious foyer.
“The first thing you see is a classic upper-level staircase next to an original stained-glass window with original dark wood trim. All that character creates a warm, inviting feel that just draws you into the home.”
Step into the main living area, and you find an area that offers a wonderful synergy of modern and classic design themes.
White wainscoting lines the walls in both the living room and dining area, while oversized transom windows on the side wall add character and light.
A white, paneled ceiling above perfectly complements the wainscoting, while cappuccino-stained maple hardwoods infuse the area with a welcome bit of warmth.
“A cultured stone feature wall was also installed in the living room,” Thibeault notes. “It features an electric linear fireplace down low, and a good-sized TV area above, with a stone mantel and tech storage area below. There’s also an updated powder room tucked in between the living room and kitchen.”
Then, there’s the dining/kitchen area.
“You can seat four to six people comfortably in the dining area, which is next to one of the transom windows,” he says. “The roomy open-concept kitchen is a super functional space that offers a breakfast bar, newer stainless appliances, a stainless hood fan over a built-in cooktop, two-tone cabinets, lots of counter space, a corner pantry and a gorgeous glass tile backsplash.”
Take the adorable staircase upstairs, and you find more character, function – and tastefully updated spaces.
“The updates and use of space in the main bath are incredible. There’s a clawfoot-style soaker tub in its own private nook, a tiled corner shower, tile floor, and updated vanity with a big sink. There’s also lots of storage space and a separate water closet.”
Both bedrooms, it turns out, are also quite generous in their proportions.
“They’re both quite roomy,” says Thibeault. “The second bedroom has the space that could allow it to be developed into a primary bedroom, while the primary bedroom, like the bathroom, features a good use of space. There’s plenty of room for a king-sized bed, plus a fireplace and accessories. And there’s a group of closets with built in storage on the wall opposite the bed.”
Next comes a bonus.
Unlike many 100-year-old homes, the lower level is highly functional.
“It’s been fully developed, and comes with a rec room with wet bar, updated three-piece bath, laundry area with sink and counter and good storage space. In many homes this age, lower levels are just used as storage space,” he says.
Add in a low-maintenance exterior, low maintenance backyard with a huge deck and potential to put in a garage (the old garage was dilapidated and knocked down when renovations were being performed, and you have a well-located, move-in-ready starter home that has much to offer.
“Put in a garage, and you can own a charming, updated starter home for well under $400,000,” Thibeault says. “You’re in the heart of Norwood, close to downtown, in a wonderful neighbourhood. The character, value and style that this home offers is amazing.”