Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Londono Faces Disciplinary Hearing.

This post on The Gazette's new real estate blog has been getting a lot of attention, with readers leaving some vicious comments.  We'll see what comes of it. No one ever wants to find herself in front of the OACIQ's disciplinary committee.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Little House in Little Portugal

4255 Hôtel-de-Ville. Asking price $439,000

I've just hammered the sign in front of this sweet little cottage on Hôtel-de-Ville Ave. north of Rachel St in the heart of Little Portugal.

There's so much to like about life in this part of the Plateau. Location, for one.The bright lights of St. Laurent are four blocks west. The brighter, possibly more elegant lights of St. Denis are four blocks east. Duluth St. with its BYOB restos is a block south and Mont Royal Ave in all its hemp-covered, tam-tam jamming glory, is two blocks north.

You can stand at the corner of HdeV and Rachel and gaze upon the mountain. It's prime dog-walking, bike-riding, cross-country skiing and jogging territory. Skating on the serpentine lake at Parc Lafontaine is another option in winter.

All this, and more can be yours for the price of $439,000. What does that get you? It gets you a house lovingly renovated from roof-top to foundation. The current owner bought a wreck in 2006 and spent the next few years making things right.

People go nuts for decor, but let me tell you, there's nothing more exciting than a Plateau house with a waterproof membrane and functioning  French drain. I kid you not. He also did the roof and installed  energy-efficient windows and doors.  He had the place energy audited after the renos were complete and got a clean bill of health. This house is as energy efficient as a new Novoclimat certified home. Not too shabby, considering it was built in 1885.

This is a two-bedroom house with a bright living room, as well as a roomy and functional kitchen with new Shaker style cabinets. There's bedroom or office off the kitchen, plus a powder room with washer/dryer hook-up. Access to the large fenced yard is through the kitchen.

The upstairs is essentially loft style, with the large master bedroom at the front and a second open room that could be closed to create another bedroom. There's a balcony off the back. The upstairs bathroom is large and fully renovated.

The seller installed new plumbing and wiring. He's a sound engineer who used the downstairs for recording and basically lived upstairs. He insulated and soundproofed the building to a fare-theee-well so that the neighbors would never be bothered by the strains of late-night thrash metal.
In all, there's 1,050 square feet of living space. It would be the perfect size for a couple or single person working at home.  Do you know anyone looking for a Plateau pied à terre? Have them give me a call.

This one won't last long. Here's the listing.

Living room

Master bedroom

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And It's Name Shall Be Mile Ex, Because Philtrum is Already Taken

Photo of Le Pick Up, shamelessly stolen from La Presse.
The space between the nose and the lip is called a philtrum. The space between Mile End and Park Ex is called Mile Ex, according to La Presse.
Wasn't so long ago that we didn't call it anything. It was a no-man's land of not quite Mile End and not quite Park Extension.
That was before people began buying up the working-class duplexes and triplexes tucked among the area's factories and warehouses. Now it is a happening part of the city with lots of artists, architects and young families setting down roots in the 'hood. Those cheap lofts and industrial spaces afford the luxury of space, if you're looking for a place to live and work.
It makes perfect sense. The location is quite central - not far from Jean Talon market, the bright lights of Park Ave. and the de Castelnau metro station not to mention the 80 bus rocketing  straight downtown. There are neighborhood playgrounds, easy access to Jarry Park and very little through traffic.

One of the buzziest of Montreal's little neighborhood eateries in located smack-dab in the heart of Mile Ex. Check out Depanneur Le Pick-Up next time you're looking for a quick and quality nosh. It's an art space/dep and neighborhood joint where meatpackers (that's not a euphemism) and scenesters rub elbows over fair-trade coffee an big ol' sangwiches.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just Listed - Mile End Condo. Charm + Space + Location

 Are you looking for a condo that exemplifies everything people love about charming, funky Mile End? Look no further. This gorgeous two-bedroom corner unit has more than 1,100-square feet of living space, a large private deck, basement storage and shared use of the back yard. Asking price is $385,000.

It's the ground floor of a red brick triplex located on Clark just south of Laurier Ave. There's a bike path outside the front door, a Bixi bike stand on the corner as well as all the shops, restos and services your heart could ever desire.

Inside, you'll find all the charm typical of a 1910 building: high ceilings, elaborate wedding-cake plasterwork, cast-iron radiators, vintage suspended light fiixtures,  high wooden kitchen cabinetry and beautifully weathered wood floors.

Charm will take you so far in life. This condo has benefitted from quality upgrades, including all new plumbing and electrical (2004), new argon-gas filled windows and the installation of a high-efficiency Veissman gas furnace that keep those radiators toasty warm in winter.

Unlike many of the apartments offered in Mile End, this is a divided condo, meaning that the down payment required is a minimum five per cent, not 20 per cent.

There's lots more to love about this place. It currently has one closed bedroom but also has two double rooms, one of which could easily be converted into two more bedrooms.  Or you can enjoy the open, airy layout as is.

The recently renovated bathroom has an exposed brick wall, white subway tile accented by a strip of red and brown floral tile in the tub and dark brown wooden cabinets. Very zen!

The kitchen has a door leading to the private deck and shared yard where a sour cherry tree produces huge quantities of ruby red fruit each summer.

Living room

Dining Room
Would you like to know more? Drop by our open house at 5048 Clark, Sunday, November 14, 2010 between 2- 4 p.m.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm only Telling the Truth.

I've been invited to be part of a regular Gazette panel of experts answering reader questions pertaining to real estate.
The first question was not a softball lobbed gently over the plate but more of breaking fastball. I hit it squarely, but something tells me the answer won't win me many fans. Oy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

1,600 Housing Units Slated for the Foot of Guy St. on the Lachine Canal

 Two of Montreal's better known residential developers have got the nod to build as many as 1,600 housing units on the Lachine Canal in the Sud-Ouest borough.
Canada Lands Co., a federal agency that sells off unneeded government land, has tapped Prével and Conceptions Rachel-Julien to be part of the redevelopment of the area called Les Bassins du Nouveau Havre.
They will build in area between William St. and the canal just west of the foot of Guy St.
The press release issued yesterday doesn't give too many details, but specifies that the first phase of construction will start late next year and will involve "various residential lots".  That implies smalleer projects, rather a mega-development of the kind Devimco is proposing a little further east.
What caught my eye about this project, for which no drawings or plans have yet been made public, is the fact that Prével and Rachel-Julien have committed to incorporating 400 units of social and community housing. They will work with Batir son Quartier, which coordinates the construction of housing cooperatives. They will also partner with RESO, Regroupement économique et social du Sud-Ouest, a community organization that looks out for the socio-economic interests of the people of southwest Montreal.
But then, Prével, at least has a track record for this kind of development. When it purchased the old Imperial Tobacco plant on St. Antoine St. several years ago, it committed to making social and community housing part of the project, as well.
The redevelopment of the industrial land around the canal is big project. You can read up on it and see computer models of the site's master plan by visiting this web site.