QUEEN WEST FOOD DILEMMA
Eating out in West Queen West is not as easy as you think. It’s not for the lack options… it’s due to too many options. Each time I walk down Queen West it’s a revelation…
I love chowing down at as many eateries as I can in the West Queen West corridor of Toronto. But for me this includes streets like King West, Queen West, College and Dundas West, anywhere West of Spadina. But who can keep up with all the amazing, delicious new offerings that seem to pop up overnight like mushrooms after a spring rain?
Dundas West is more than just a lineup of Asian options. From Pie Commissions, to microbreweries, Pubs, and Pizza places, all the way to Bagels just the way you like them, loaded, unloaded, shaken or stirred. College presents its own dilemma. It’s bad enough that the street is has its share of incredible Italian, Middle Eastern and Asian food, but if you check down some of the side streats like Clinton you will discover hidden treasures like Bitondo’s, San Fracesco’s or a coffee spot you didn’t know existed.
Here are a few option along Queen Street West that BlogTO is suggesting.
New Year’s resolutions don’t come Easily or cheaply when you own your own home.
Here are some renovation ideas you may want to pursue in the new year that may hit the mark.
Have you ever seen a postcard of a charming Old Quebec City street in the summer? It appears next to an exact angle of the same street in the winter. The summer version looks nice, but normal. But in the winter, the seasonal lights and decorations, carefully groomed snow drifts, and frost-glazed windows add this … Je ne sais quoi … to the environment, and you could swear that there is more charm and “warmth” there, than what is captured in the summer photo. That is “How you Sell your Home in the Winter”.
Now let’s transform these intangible sensations into practical ideas for selling your home in the winter.
The thought of selling your home at all may already be a chilling thought for some. Historically in Southern Ontario, strongest listing seasons have been the spring and fall. Seasonal sale activity slows somewhat in the summer months, as it does in the middle of winter. If not careful, selling in the middle of winter could freeze out potential buyers, and ultimately, the best sale price.
REMEMBER: Your listing agent may not be as busy during winter months. Bonus for you! They should have more time to work on your deal!
So what winter magic can lure a buyer away from their winter’s den, and into your home’s warm embrace?
If you know a few months in advance that you will be placing your home on the market in the winter months, try taking exterior photos of your home with green grass and fall leaves still on the trees. Your home under bright sunny skies and lively fall colors can be a nice alternative perspective for your listing.
Take another set of exterior photos as you get closer to listing day, especially on a sunny day after a snow fall. Sculpt the exterior grounds for a tidy appearance. AVOID: brown grass and stripped trees, against a drab sky.
NOTE: If the first picture you have doesn’t cut it, you don’t have to stick with it. Take a new picture at a later date under better conditions, and replace the old one.
Provide listing agent with both winter and alternative weather images and insist that they post both images on the MLS, or at least on the agent’s private site for your home, to inspire potential buyers.
TIP: Take exterior photos with plenty of sunshine, blue skies and with interior and exterior lights on. Clear snow from driveways, and walkways. Cover gray or black snow with fresh powder. Dress it up! Pretend it is a movie set!
COLORS ARE A COZY FACTOR:
Make sure that your home seems like the warmest place to be this winter.
Add a splash of colour with seasonal conifers, or shrubbery. Local gardening stores can provide you with plenty of seasonal options. AVOID: Over-decorating for Christmas or Hanukkah at this time. However, a cute snowman during a visit, in the front yard, may be a welcoming touch, and humanizes the place in your absence.
NOTE: I still see MLS listings in the spring with a drab old winter exterior photo as primary image. If your home doesn’t sell in the winter and your are heading into spring, get new, fresh photographs of your home (preferably inside and out) with updated seasonal staging. If you don’t update your listing, it shows laziness and a lack of interest from you and your agent.
LIGHTS ATTRACT BUYERS
When photographing or showing your home, turn on all your interior and exterior lights – even in the day time. Light the fire place ahead of a showing, and heat the house to a comfortable temperature. This is not the time to conserve energy.
Reheat a banana loaf, or seasonal pie in the oven, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Warm sensations are more powerful and effective when they come from within. Attack all senses. Visitors should be tempted to stay in your home longer, rather than go back out. AVOID: Playing seasonal music during showings.
PRE-SELL YOUR HOME
Give prospective buyers and their agents plenty of reasons to visit your home. A good online presence, additional photos and story prior to posting the deal on MLS could manifest the urgency and fear in a buyer that others may get to your house before they do.
Facebook, Blogs, stand alone sites are all good at making new connections with buyers. You will get more buyers doing more intense website shopping in the winter, to reassure themselves that your home is worth braving the weather. Use those sites to tell the entire story! Make each room more than ordinary by writing a short description about each image.
NOTE: MLS allows up to 9 photographs. Make sure to take extra photos for alternative marketing sites. Stage each photo. AVOID: Rooms that don’t look great, or are cluttered.
SEND OUT EXTRA E-MAILS AND CALL OTHER REALTORS
Before the home hits the market, announce to everyone you know and everyone your agent knows, in advance, that your home is about to go up for sale, even while you are still getting it ready.
Offer exclusive showings to potential buyer and their agent, so that this visit appears like an extra effort by you, the listing agent, and the buyer’s agent. Advise the other side that you will be leaving them some hot beverages and sweet snacks for their visit when they arrive. How can they stand you up when you make such an effort?
EARLIER AND LONGER OPEN HOUSES
Sun sets earlier in the winter. Choose a noon to 3 PM open house on both Saturday and Sunday. Weather is erratic in the winter, so consider an Open House both Saturday and Sunday, in case one of the days sees bad road conditions. AVOID: Do not be present during showings of the home, even if you did bake, and want to personally see if the shoppers like your offerings. You want the buyers to see themselves in your home, and not to picture you there.
Play up the positives: Certain types of properties are best for winter living. You may actually have an easier time selling those homes during winter than in warmer seasons.
Be careful not to make the conclusion that just because the property is winter-friendly that it would sell itself. Emphasize the winter-friendly aspects: Display to the fullest snow shoes, skis, and snow mobiles, in and around your home. Sheds that store additional winter gear should be staged. Mud rooms should be equipped for handling snow covered boots and coats. Make available maps to local attractions and trails for buyers to review. NOTE: try arranging an activity to the buyer after they visit your home. This may help create emotional ties.
WINTER FRIENDLY CITY HOMES
In some cases condominiums have their edge over single family homes. Aside from maintenance-free living, emphasize proximity to public transit, underground passages and shopping. A sauna, indoor heated pool, or even an outdoor heated pool accessible in the winter may be perceived as a bonus.
Attached garages could be favoured in the winter by expecting mothers, young families or older buyers who prefer to stay out of the elements.
Winter selling presents its own set of challenges, but also has its many advantages: There are typically less homes listed, so your buyer may have an easier time zeroing in on the home they really want: yours. So make that search an easy one for them. At the same time, don’t assume you will have a hard time selling in winter. Many homes do sell in the winter time. Just make sure you execute as many ideas as you can to make your home stand out online and in person.
Surprise the winter house hunter: Bring that Old Quebec winter charm to your home.
(ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR AN PUBLISHED IN “RESALE HOME AND CONDO GUIDE”, by Yan Gurevich)
YAN’S WILD WEST QUEEN WEST PROPERTY REVIEW FOR FEBRUARY 27, 2018
Yan’s Wild West Queen West Property Review: Spring has started early, but not all flowers smell sweet at this time. Pay close attention to the property @ 52 Beaconsfield Ave – one of my favourite streets in all of West Queen West. You can do something really nice at 42 Brookfield and 73 Montrose if you can figure out their curb appeal.
Explore 63 Claremont, 42 Brookfield, 128 Macdonell, 73 Montrose, 119 Givins, 52 Beaconsfield.
I specialize in working with families who wish to move into the West Queen West area. This is the most exciting part of Toronto’s Real Estate Market for me, as this area is probably one of the most stable real estate investment pockets out there. Rents often dictate price in this corridor as those who cannot afford to buy, and choose to rent, flock to the West Queen West Corridor. I call it the Wild West Queen West, because it’s full of prospectors, cowboys and financially stable customer base. Even the parents who buy their kids homes in this area want to now move here.
Developers! Do you know which house can bring you the most return in this area? What is the ideal width of the lot to build on? Should you tare down a house here? Gut it completely? Do a cosmetic remodel? Ignore completely? There are proven approaches to each home in this area. Let us discuss all the scenarios together. Let’s crunch those numbers, make the right decisions together and make sure you don’t leave your profit up to “LUCK”
Explore the Wild West Queen West Real estate market with Yan: 647 209-4004
If you’re ready to work with a real estate professional who knows intimately not only the homes you are considering purchasing, but what may lie behind the old and tired surfaces, shouldn’t we have a tete a tete soon?
WQW Wild West Queen West (Februaray 23. 2018)
Follow Yan through home previews in the West Queen West Corridor of Toronto as he shares his insights about new listings.
You’re too busy to see some of these homes, so I will do it for you and give you some feedback.
As a realtor in the Queen West Corridor, I adore seeing any type of home. Nothing is too weird, ugly, difficult or impossible to work with.
I spend time with end users and home renovators, developers and flippers in the Queen West Corridor guiding them on finding value in each property for their needs.
In these Blog Posts I will share my insights about newer listings in the West side of Downtown Toronto.
Want my commentary on a home you’re interested in? Why wait? Give me a call and I will be happy to navigate the Wild West Queen West real estate world with you.
IN THIS REVIEW:
90 & 222 Markham, 53 Palmerston, 194 Argyle, 38 Foxley, 46 Cowan
STAGING – CBC reports on home staging and what Home Staging can do for a sale price of a home in Toronto.
Staging: Watch Yan Gurevich – Real Estate Agent with Harvey Kalles Real Estate chat to CBC about staging his listing in Little Portugal, West Queen West, and witness the work being done by Ella Zetser, top Toronto stager (The Last Detail, Stager’s Source).
“Staged homes could earn between 6 and 15% more if staged properly” – CBC.
I am often amazed how few homes are staged before photos are taken and homes are shown to the public by the agents. Even less homes are prepared by professional stagers who’s job it is to make sure that every room in your house looks as appealing to all potential buyers as they can be.
In most cases, even if your house has plenty f furniture and all your walls are covered by art or photographs you really appreciate, a professional stager will quickly separate what works for a functional space from a space that is ready to be shown.
I am always excited to hear a client’s gasp once they see one of their own spaces again, for the first time, after me and my stager have prepared it. It’s like a house you can fall in love with again.
Once staged and properly marketed, This home sold well over asking, and set a record at the time for a home that size in that pocket of Toronto.
So what are the key elements of staging that nearly all homes in West Queen West that my team has listed, which really made a difference in final sale price for my sellers?
More about home and condo staging by Contacting Yan Gurevich directly.
Take a stroll down the Queen West area of Toronto, and you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with what the neighborhood has to offer – truly more than a few steps above from your average shops, well-known flavors, and local attractions. Queen West is where Toronto goes to reinvent itself: on its streets, it’s hard to ignore the up-and-coming – because it’s what envelops this part of town.
From art galleries, to independent boutique shops, patios, and a whole slew of all things hipster in the most trendy of ways, Queen West real estate, comprising neighborhood staple houses, luxurious high-rise condos, and even independent retail is competitive, stylish, and rewarding for anyone who makes the cut.
Queen West real estate is perfect for anyone who lives and breathe the independent creative culture that Toronto has cultivated for itself in the past decade. Add to that, it also doesn’t hurt to call one of Vogue’s coolest neighborhoods your own home, especially if you’re all for panoramic skyline views of the city condos along the strip have to offer; or quaint, old-charm houses interspersed between a bustling retail scene and small corners intersecting into the Queen West strip.
All in all, the look of Queen West real estate is multifaceted, designed to appeal to just about everyone: all the way from tailored suits and the next big ideas, to young families, and the city’s trendy hipster scene.
Though home to a variety of up-and-coming labels, hipster trends and artisan shops, fret not, for you will find yourself easily taking in all these new sights and flavors, a nice refresh from the places and brands you already know and love.
Enter the Queen West area, and you’ll find all the same things you need occupying valuable real estate along the strip, like a trusty tailor, bookstore, clothes rack, accessories depot, spa, gym, yoga studio, restaurants, pubs, bars, the finest of the Drake Hotel and everything else – albeit with a unique, trendy, and lifestyle magazine-worthy spin!
If living in this soulful city-center paradise is your dream (at this point, why wouldn’t it be, if it isn’t already?), there’s just one tiny caveat: thanks to the good life the Queen West promises, real estate pricing isn’t exactly the friendliest, as for good reason, a spot in this neighborhood is arguably one of the most coveted in the country, if not the world.
But for this we dare say: for the Toronto lover at heart, and with the right mix of savings, skills, and the spirit to flourish with a knack for trendy living, there’s always cool new spots, drink patios, art, and bites to find yourself in, and grab – all more than making up for the possibly hefty price tag!
Walk along Queen Street West and you’d be hard pressed to see any changes over the past decade. All the fashion chains you’ve come to know and love litter both sides of the streets with foot traffic that rivals parts of NYC. Queen Street has always been know as that hip part of Toronto that’s just different enough to be “cool”. But venture far enough West along Queen Street and you slowly come to a part so distinctly different that they had to add another “West” to the namesake just to make sure that you knew you were somewhere different. Move along Queen West peeps, this is ‘West Queen West’ – where the word ‘Hip’ has no bounds and all are welcome.
There is something to be said about the neighborhoods hugging West Queen West, they’re a more diverse mixed dish than your grandmother’s famous stew. All kinds of people live in these areas, from the downtrodden artist to the secret plutocrat, and they all call this region their home. It is a unique area in which the old are old, and are ready to pass down their deeds; and as for the young, well, they range from young-and-upcoming to the young at heart. The latter of which is what lights up nights in these areas. Don’t believe us? Walk along Ossington on a Weekend night and let that experience redefine the word “youth” for you. We’re not talking about the reckless binge drinking, “woooo-ing” party type that you might see waddling on King Street, no.
These streets don’t just facilitate nightlife for people; the people are the nightlife. These areas aren’t just places for people to party on. They are social hubs where community and culture collide to create something new, and is then re-invented again every night. The type of unique businesses, boutiques and shops that you see in these communities are indicative of the type of culture that they represent. Cookie cut chains and franchises need not apply. Perhaps that’s why Vogue named Toronto’s “West Queen West” the second-hippest district in the world in 2014; second only to Tokyo’s Shimokitasawa district.
Combine everything you read, and it’s easy to understand why West Queen West is one of the most sought after areas for prospective home-buyers and renters. Everyone wants to either live or work here. From bachelors, students, artists, entrepreneurs to families. It’s the most ideal and well rounded place for all types of life. Those who want to downsize and live a more quaint life tucked away in a picturesque home, now can. For those who want to up-size and renovate decades old lots for something more modern, now can. The young and young-at-heart who want to be close to the hip lifestyle but distant enough for solitude, now can. Those who want to re-energize their artistic needs by surrounding themselves with the most creative and hip minds a neighborhood can offer, now can. And for those who want to start a business counter to the establishment, you wont find a more eclectic and experiential customer base than those on West Queen West. Seriously, we’ll try anything, at least once.
Anyone who lives in Toronto breathes in the city’s vibrant scenery and rich cultural experience everyday, and they’re certainly a gift the city is known for. With dynamic and lively neighborhoods spread across town, it’s no wonder that everyone who comes to live here falls in love with the city’s streets and sights, especially with Queen Street West – a neighborhood that’s uniquely Toronto. From trendy shops and restaurants, to up-and-coming flavors and spots that trace their roots in the area, West Queen West has quickly risen to become a coveted real estate heaven for everyone who lives and breathes Toronto.
Step into West Queen West, and you’ll immediately see why it’s Toronto’s very own real estate holy grail. And here, we’ll quickly arm you with the why’s:
With Dufferin to its West, Queen to the North, Shaw to the East and King Street down south, West Queen West is a region of inspiration, as shown in the influx of flavors, art, design, and creations that’s uniquely Toronto – making it a real estate haven for anyone who’s looking for space in the area.
Brace yourself, because Toronto’s trendiest can come at quite the price. With West Queen West being one of the city’s most coveted spots, iconic houses prices start in the one million’s, and hip condos range from the $300,000’s all the way to $800,000. Just remember, the view, flavors, art, and culture definitely make the price tag all worth it!
As one of the world’s most culturally diverse and vibrant cities, every inch of Toronto is reflected in the West Queen West real estate, with a healthy combination of kids, families, and the youth’s up-and-coming sharing the strip of trendy shops, restaurants, parks, and just about everything in this neighborhood.
Feel like venturing out into the rest of the city? With a 97% rating on Walkscore, and 100 on Transit Score, it’s no wonder that real estate space in West Queen West is easily filling up, if not consistently full as the neighborhood continues to reinvent itself, and with it, Toronto’s hottest lifestyle trends.
West Queen West Toronto Real Estate is your real estate go to site when you are serious about finding a home to buy or wanting to sell a home in the area. We are happy to walk you through our system, it is simple to understand and yet very effective. Contact us and let’s continue the conversation.