As Torontoâ€™s real estate market continues its wild run, itâ€™s not just potential homeowners who are having trouble finding affordable properties. For infill developers and resellers â€“ otherwise known as flippers â€“ bidding wars and wild-eyed buyers are making it hard to turn a profit rehabilitating broken homes.
â€œFor years, improving distressed properties was our sole focus,â€ says Bill Crilly, a structural engineer who runs 3 Stones Custom Homes with general contractor Chris Lawrence. The company focuses on what Mr. Crilly calls â€œdilapidated houses that no one would want to live in,â€ in the downtown Toronto core, completely gutting and restoring stately, 100-year-old brick houses and outfitting the insides with luxe, contemporary design touches.
In the past year and a half, the duo has found itself regularly outbid and for the past few months has found itself entirely without a house to fix up. In early fall, for example, they tried for a house on Euclid Street, near Bathurst and College, that was listed at $960,000. 3 Stones offered $1,035,000, planning to spend around $200,000 on a six-month fix and sell for about $1.5 million.
The house sold for $1,220,000, almost $200,000 more than they were willing to pay.
â€œThe thing is, we bought and restored the house right beside it, we know what it needed,â€ Mr. Lawrence says. He says the eventual buyers are in for an unpleasant surprise if they think they can get away with a cosmetic renovation. â€œWe planned a complete gut right back to the studs.â€Read more Back