Knowing A Streets History Is a Window To The Future

The Devil Is In The Details

For those working with me quickly realize that I am a detail orientated guy.   What I mean by this is when I read a listing I try to determine what is being said but almost more important is what’s not being said.

A listing came out earlier this week and it was a cute little bungalow in Toronto’s east end.   I’m familiar with the street, but in the description and comments there was a key piece of information missing.  Most realtors would likely only look at the present, but in doing so they are blinding themselves to what their clients can expect in the years to come.

There are about 24 houses on this street and they all detached bungalows or 2 storey homes.  This particular house just came on the market and most realtors would look at the comparables within a half a kilometer radius which sold say within the last 6 to 8 months.  If you just those metrics you are going to miss a critical detail which will end up costing the buyer dearly.

All 3 houses directly to the south of this listing (Number 3, 5 and 7) sold in 2007, 20010 and 2011.  If you only using recently comparables in your research then you would not pick up on a key disclosure issue.

If you look at the listing presently for sale there is no mention of any problems.    Well, if the surrounding neighbors have issues I have to suspect this house either has the same problem or will be experiencing it in the very near future.

Here’s the shared problem that the 3 previous homes disclosed in their listings: Toronto termites

The odd thing is that they only exist on the one side of the street and none have been reported across the road.  Now termites can travel, and I firmly suspect that this new listing has already been infested with them.   So there may not be any visible signs of their nasty work, however any new buyer is going to discover them very soon.

History has a way of repeating itself.   But like any student of history if you do your research you can avoid some of the pitfalls of the past.  We are not deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics but you can, with a little work, find out issues that can come out and bite you.

Now if a street is not known for termites or other issues, you should still look into the area’s history.  Like any buyer you just want a glimpse of what you can expect down the road