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Toronto condo shoppers shift to architect’s urban cottage

Done Deal, 421 Craven Rd., Toronto

421 Craven Rd., Toronto

Asking price: $950,000

Selling price: $945,000

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Previous selling price: $130,000 (2004)

Taxes: $2,390 (2017)

Days on the market: 19

Listing and co-op agent: Mimmo Galati, TheRedPin

The Action: This detached, 1 1/2-storey house has few similarities to neighbouring homes, so it tested out the market at $899,900 and $950,000 in October and November respectively. The first time, a deal arrived quickly, but crumbled. The second time, an offer came from buyers who courted large condos for weeks prior.

"The Coxwell and Gerrard area is up-and-coming with a lot of single-family homes and a lot of families looking to upgrade from condos," said agent Mimmo Galati, whose clients balked at the idea of buying a $900,000 unit with $1,400 monthly fees.

"This house doesn't have high maintenance fees and in the long run, [the buyers] would save more money on maintenance, as well … they can do whatever they want to do to make it to trend when they sell it [later]."

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What They Got: On a street known for its tiny homes, this century-old cottage on a 17-by-73-foot lot was modernized and expanded upwards and outwards over the past few years.

The owner, an architect, opened the ceiling above the dining area, concealed kitchen appliances and imbedded storage into the stairwell and added heated floors on all levels, including the concrete beneath the lower level guest room and office.

Created across the rear is a main-floor living room addition with sliding doors to a private, maintenance-free backyard, as well as a master bedroom above with a glass-lined balcony.

The Agent's Take: "There is not one house on the street you could compare it to," Mr. Galati said. "There are other two-bed and two-bath homes in the area, but they were semi-detached or if you looked at detached homes, they were larger."

Thought the frontage is just 17-feet wide, the interior was open, yet cozy. "It seems small from the exterior, but when you walk though the home, [the seller] kept the original peaked ceilings exposed, so it has that loft-like feeling," Mr. Galati said.

"And there are heated floors throughout, which is fantastic and probably the best feature in the house."

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