It’s fall and I have some new listings. It’s busy out there. First up are a couple of homes on Bagot St, between Charles and James, specifically numbers 618 and 628. Buy one or buy them both. (There’s a real advantage to picking up both of these properties, by the way, but I’ll get to that in a bit.)
618 Bagot is a four-bedroom semi-detached house that has seen very decent renovations to its main living spaces. It's listed for $229,900.
The house must be the better part of 100 years old, but the inside walls have been mostly replaced and so everything is bright and square and the ceilings are nice and high. This is a house you might want to fill with mid-century furnishings, it seems to me – put lots of sleek teak against the flat walls, and some funky rugs over the immaculate, if uninspiring laminate floors. The kitchen here is a bit perfunctory, there’s no denying that, but the room itself is a good size and renovations would be straightforward.There are also bathrooms on both levels, plenty of parking and an attractive side yard that’s just crying out for a fence.
I think this place would make a good rental too. Students are moving further north every year, and four-bed, two-bath homes (and I’m talking four real bedrooms upstairs here, not some awful dining room conversion), are still something of a rarity.The baseball and soccer fields are just down the street, as is the boxing club. The Olympia is a fantastic little diner and that’s right around the corner, you’ll never need to make your own fries again, and the beer store’s right there too. It’s quite a spot.
628 Bagot is a detached three bedroom home with an upstairs laundry room, a ton of character and a great yard that ends at a limestone shelf. A hundred years ago there was undoubtedly a quarry here. It's also listed at $229,900.
The siding is nearly new and so are the shingles, so you’re protected from the elements and won’t have to worry about exterior maintenance. The inside is more of a project. The seller has removed the old kitchen and framed in the new one as well as a space for the main-floor bathroom, and has fixed up the walls and floors.But you still need to re-attach trim, complete the wiring and ductwork, and so on.
I'm not pretending it’s a short list. It’s going to take some time and some real money. But I honestly think there’s an opportunity here too. The demo is all done, and the bones are good, as we like to say; now comes the fun part (and the tiring part, and undoubtedly the frustrating part too; I know how these things tend to go).
I mentioned at the start that there was an advantage to buying both of these houses at the same time and here it is:
The seller of both houses has received consent to sever a building lot between these two properties, the proposed lot to be comprised of a piece of both properties. Makes sense? The most onerous task remaining is to commission a Phase One archaeological study of the land involved. That will set you back about $3500 to $4000 bucks. If nothing of historical significance is discovered the lot severance can quickly be finalized. And a new lot in the downtown core is not to be sniffed at. It’s probably the option that makes most sense financially (the potential is there to create three parcels at the price of two, right?), but I realize that the money and energy involved, and the uncertainty, mean that it’s a route seriously available to only a few investors, not just regular working stiffs like most of you, and me.