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Reno Payback

Leslieville reno has six-figure return Add to ...

72 Larchmount Ave., Toronto

This semi-detached, two-storey house is in Leslieville, a fast gentrifying neighbourhood that's become much sought after. But recent renovations are what dramatically increased its property value.

"It was a complete gut and rebuild - from the bricks out - which is definitely something that's kind of rare in neighbourhoods like that," says agent Brennan Aguanno. "It had all the bells and whistles."

The lack of comparable homes late fall also made this upscale residence look even better. "There was a lot of … buyers anxious to get something before Christmas," says Mr. Aguanno. "So when something really attractive comes on the market at a good price, it creates a lot of interest."

Listing agent: Brennan Aguanno, Sotheby's International Realty Canada

PURCHASE PRICE: $251,500 (2002)

Built in the 1930s, this three-bedroom house had separate living and dining rooms, kitchen, rear sunroom and finished lower level. Finishes consisted of tiling and carpeting.

THE RENO: Modern makeover and mechanics

COST: $120,000

In the past two years a new stone patio, porch and back deck updated the back exterior. Inside, hardwood floors and pot lights were installed in most areas, walls between the hall, principal rooms and kitchen were removed, the upper- and lower-level bathrooms were remodelled and the kitchen was rearranged and outfitted with white cabinetry, black granite counters and stainless steel appliances, including a professional Wolf gas range.

Most of the budget was spent on essentials, such as updated heating, cooling, wiring, plumbing and security systems, plus new Energy Star windows, laundry machines and a detached garage.


SOLD FOR: $632,000 (2010)

The house was decluttered and professionally staged, then listed for $525,000. In six days, it brought out over 200 visitors, including four who presented "bully bids" before the offer review date and 14 who eventually engaged in a bidding war.

"In my seven years in real estate, I've never seen such a frenzy," stated Mr. Aguanno.

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